The War Games

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Story Code: ZZ / Season 6 UK Airdate: 19 Apr to 21 Jun 1969 Doctor: Patrick Troughton
First airings by location UK Repeats / Foreign Cable and Satellite Previous Story / Next Story

This story aired in the following countries. They are listed in chronological order according to known airdate. (Refer also to Selling Doctor Who for expanded airdates.)

Hong Kong Mar 71 b/w
Australia May 71 b/w
Singapore Jul 71 b/w
Gibraltar Sep 72 b/w
Zambia Apr 76 b/w
  • This is the second of only two instances in which Australia is not the first to screen a Troughton story. (See also The Space Pirates.)
  • Hong Kong presumably sent its films to Singapore soon after transmission, as that was the fate of the RTV prints of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear. Presumably Singapore returned the films to the BBC.
  • Clips from episode 10 appeared in the 5 November 1973 edition of Blue Peter. If these clips came from a print returned from overseas, Gibraltar is the likely source.
  • The ABC in Australia returned its prints to the BBC on 4 June 1975.
  • If those three countries had all returned their prints by late 1975, some of them may have made up the set that was sent to Zambia by February 1976.
  • BBC Enterprises held prints of parts 4, 7, 9 and 10 in 1976, and the Film Library had parts 2, 5, 8 and 9 in late 1977. That there were two copies of part 9 suggests that each set of four came from different overseas countries (one set may be from Australia, the other from Singapore or Gibraltar). (Unless the "two" episode 9s are actually the same print, and the combined 2,4,5,7,8,9,10 were from the same set?)
  • The BBC gave its original 16mm telerecording negatives plus a set of prints to the BFI in early 1978. The prints were later returned to the BBC; that part 4 was complete indicates this was not the censor-edited print from Australia.
  • 16mm b/w prints of episodes 1 and 2 were apparently found in Taiwan in 2013 (see Taiwan Prints for more). These two episodes may belong to the set (parts 4,7,9,10) held by Enterprises, possibly from Gibraltar.
    • If we place these events into a likely chronological order, we can determine where all these various prints came from: the Gibraltar set was returned to the BBC soon after broadcast, and part 10 was used by Blue Peter; the Australia set (with its cut copy of part 4) was returned in mid-1975; the now-surplus Gibraltar set was disposed of (with parts 1 and 2 somehow ending up in Taiwan); the Australia set was sent to Zambia by February 1976; the Singapore set was returned around the same time, and were the ones retained by Enterprises in late 1976; some of these films were sent to the Film Library in 1977; all 10 prints, plus the original negatives were later donated to the BFI; the BFI returned the prints to the BBC in 1978...
  • See also the Troughton Junkings page.


The War Games - this is a screen grab from the extended trailer that played at the end of Part One (i.e. the end of episode 5)
  • The serial was reissued by the BBC in 1985, and sold for the first time to:
United States from Feb 86 b/w
Canada Jan 90 b/w
New Zealand Sep 00 b/w
Netherlands Oct 20 b/w
  • For the US screenings, The War Games was edited into a two-part omnibus "movie" edition - with episodes one to five featured as "Part One", and episodes six to ten as "Part Two". A special "To be continued....." trailer for Part Two was shown at the end of episode five / Part One instead of a cast and crew credits roll.
  • When the serial aired on Chicago's WTTW in late 1986, it was re-edited into a 3-parter (1-3, 4-6, 7-10).
  • The story was later dubbed into German and released on DVD.
  • It was shown in the Netherlands from October 2020, with a repeat starting March 2021.

US TV Guide descriptions

More Information
Title: The War Games

  • Episode 1: The Doctor battles aliens who have gathered soldiers from various periods of history in an attempt to take over the galaxy.
  • Episode 2: (no plot description)
  • Episode 3: (no plot description)
  • Episode 4: (no plot description)
  • Episode 5: (no plot description)
  • Episode 6: (no plot description)
  • Episode 7: (no plot description)
  • Compilation 1/2: The Doctor battles aliens who have gathered soldiers from various periods of history in an attempt to take over the galaxy.
  • Compilation 2/2: