The War Machines

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Story Code: BB / Season 3 UK Airdate: 25 Jun to 16 Jul 1966 Doctor: William Hartnell
First airings by location UK Repeats / Foreign Cable and Satellite Previous Story / Next Story
Telesnaps: the top three frames are part of the still-missing "attack on troops" cut by the NZ censors in 1968

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.)

Australia Apr 67 b/w
Barbados May 68 b/w
Zambia Sep 68 b/w
New Zealand Jun 69 b/w
Sierra Leone Aug 70 b/w
Singapore Feb 72 b/w
Nigeria Jun 73 b/w
  • The New Zealand government censors made a number of cuts to the episodes, including the removal of several minutes from episode three's attack on the troops in the warehouse. This missing footage was partially restored for the DVD by carefully dropping in alternative shots taken from the surviving material. John Cura's telesnaps taken off screen at the time of broadcast have preserved three frames from the still missing footage.
  • New Zealand sent its film prints of this serial to Singapore on 10 January 1972. The sale to Singapore was actually "back-catalogue", as they had already started screening Jon Pertwee stories by this time.
  • After screening the serial in February 1972, Singapore sent the prints to Nigeria.
  • Sierra Leone sent its prints back to the BBC in 1974.
  • An Australian print of part two was later found in the possession of an Australian film collector, who acquired it circa 1969/70, and a copy was returned to the BBC in the late 1970s. This in effect became the first of the missing episodes to be recovered from overseas...
  • All four episodes were later recovered from Nigeria in 1984, these being the ones that had originated in New Zealand, and sent to Singapore. Singapore or Nigeria had made further censor cuts or timing edits to some of the episodes. Episode two had parts of the cliffhanger ending removed, while the same footage was mostly missing from the recap in part three. Had those two episodes been edited and spliced together for broadcast in Nigeria?
  • See also Hartnell Junkings


  • The newly-recovered serial was quickly made available to:
United States from Sep 85 b/w
Canada Dec 89 b/w
  • For the omnibus "movie" version that was sold to the USA, some of the cast names were misspelled in the end credits, such as "Do-Do: JACKIE LOVE".
  • Apparently some US stations edited the final scene of the omnibus, so that after the TARDIS dematerialises it cuts to the existing footage of Hartnell regenerating into Troughton. The same scene was apparently also grafted onto the start of The Dominators, which was the "first" Troughton story in the US syndication package.
  • For the later DVD release, the films were restored by combining elements from the New Zealand / Singapore / Nigeria prints with a print of part two and censor clippings recovered from Australia.

US TV Guide descriptions

More Information
Title: The War Machines

  • Episode 1: A problem-solving device with the ability to think goes awry and plots the takeover of the planet Earth.
  • Episode 2: (no plot description)
  • Episode 3: (no plot description)
  • Episode 4: (no plot description)