The Morbius Doctors

The canon first Eight Doctors.
One of the removed Morbius Doctors.
Morbius Ted.
Eighth Doctor: Christopher Baker.
Seventh Doctor: Robert Holmes.
Sixth Doctor: Graeme Harper.
Fifth Doctor: Douglas Camfield.
Fourth Doctor: Philip Hinchcliffe.
Third Doctor: Robert Banks Stewart.
Second Doctor: George Gallaccio.
First Doctor: Christopher Barry.

The 1976 story The Brain of Morbius, contains one of the most annoying Schrödinger's cat in Doctor Who - the Morbius Doctors, created as part of an evil plot to piss off continuity-obsessed fans and the actors' union at the same time. In a brain-to-brain contest with Morbius, eight different faces flash onscreen that appear to be previous incarnations of the Doctor that predate the William Hartnell Doctor.

Producer Philip Hinchcliffe addressed this: "We tried to get famous actors for the faces of the Doctor. But because no one would volunteer, we had to use backroom boys. And it is true to say that I attempted to imply that William Hartnell was not the first Doctor".

These eight faces shown belonged to:

Canonical Questions

Whether or not these faces actually are previous faces of the Doctor or not is both canon and non-canon at the same time. Additionally, they are also was-then canon, is-not-now canon, still-maybe canon, could-be canon, should-be canon, would-be canon, alternate-timeline canon, retconned canon, simply-mistaken canon, wisely-ignored canon, anti-canon, and un-canon. Fans of the show can argue this canonical question from any angle and be both wrong and right at the same time, maybe right, maybe wrong, etc.

Unless you believe that those faces are Morbius and/or Paul McGann in rubber masks gone back in time to fuck shit up and get more screen time.

The Morbius doctors where confirmed canon by Chris Chibnall which makes them officially non-canon

The Lost Episode

Before the serial aired, the scene showing the Morbius Doctors was actually part of a full 25 minute episode. Small clips were filmed with each Doctor that were to be shown as flashbacks between each face's appearance. Sadly the episode was scrapped during the editing process to please Tom Baker, who was quoted as saying "He's too old! And that one, well he's too fat! If these faggots are past versions of me then I quit the show right fucking now."

Eight of the ten faces were kept in the episode as a compromise reached whilst Baker was fucking lit. Oddly enough one of the two Doctors that did not make it into the episode would go on to become the showruiner for the 5th series of NuWho.


It's interesting to note that if these eight faces are not some form of canon, then neither are the crew members (Christopher Baker, Robert Holmes et al.) nor all the combined stories they worked on over the years, including this very episode itself. This would erase the following stories from canon:

First Doctor (William Hartnell)

Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton)

Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee)

Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker)

Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison)

Sixth Doctor (Colin Baker)

Tenth Doctor (David Tennant)

Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith)

Twelfth Doctor (Peter Capaldi)


I guess the moral of the story then is canon.

The Unwanted Return

As the ultimate coup de grace in his quest to piss all over the utter trashfire he'd made of Doctor Who, Christopher Theodore Chibnall took it upon himself to bring the Morbius Doctors screaming back into the TV show, as a twisted means of lending legitimacy to his fanfic about a shitton of pre-Hartnell Doctors. Everyone but the most depraved of fan freaks disliked that - even Ian Levine remained unseduced. Bravo!