The Fourth Dimension

The Rebel Flesh - Gangers Special

Next week we'll be covering The Rebel Flesh/The Almost People. But this week, the message is we're looking back on doubles in Doctor Who...

The Daleks made a robot Doctor in the 1965 story, The Chase. It looked exactly like the First Doctor and almost succeeded in killing the Time Lord and his friends, but the Doctor interrupted the Daleks' scheme by removing some of the robot's circuitry, rendering it useless.

A double of the First Doctor also appeared in the 1966 adventure, The Massacre. In this story, the Abbot of Amboise proved to be the Doctor's doppelganger! William Hartnell, who played both the Doctor and the Abbot delivered a superb, icy performance as the latter. The story was set in France, 1572.

The Second Doctor's doppelganger was the cruel and powerful Salamander, encountered in the 1967/68 story, The Enemy of the World. His character was defeated but he tried to escape in the TARDIS. However, the time machine took flight with the doors open and the Doctor's double was inexorably pulled into the time vortex.

In The Android Invasion, the Fourth Doctor confronted a robot version of himself created by the evil Kraals. He later fought Meglos who bore an uncanny resemblance to a certain someone!

In Arc of Infinity, the mighty Omega took the form of the Fifth Doctor. A Time Lord called Commander Maxil also appeared in that story. He was played by Colin Baker who later took the role of the Doctor... so it could be argued that the Sixth Doctor's doppelganger was seen before he was!

The Eleventh Doctor also came face-to-face with his own face when Prisoner Zero took his form in his debut adventure, The Eleventh Hour.

The Doctor isn't the only character to have met his own double. In Black Orchid, his companion, Nyssa, met her doppelganger - the genial Ann Talbot. Sarah Jane Smith wasn't so lucky. Her double, in The Android Invasion, was a killer robot that was identical to her in almost every respect... Luckily, it didn't fool the Fourth Doctor though!

The Androids of Tara featured former companion Romana. The story didn't just feature her doppelganger - Princess Strella - but an android version of the princess meaning actress Mary Tamm got to play three roles in one story!