The War Machines

From Academic Kids

Template:Doctorwhobox The War Machines is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in 4 weekly parts from June 25 to July 16, 1966.



The Doctor and Dodo arrive in 1966 London and see that the Post Office Tower has been completed. Inside is WOTAN, an advanced computer that is supposed to link up with computer systems worldwide. However, WOTAN has plans of its own.


When the TARDIS lands in London near the Post Office Tower, the Doctor is unsettled by it. There the Doctor and Dodo meet Professor Brett, the creator of WOTAN (Will Operating Thought ANalogue), an advanced computer that even knows what TARDIS stands for. On C-Day, WOTAN will be linked to other major computers to take them over, including those of the White House, Cape Kennedy and the Royal Navy.

WOTAN begins to have its own agenda and takes control of Professor Brett through a hypnotic beeping noise. WOTAN's hypnotic influence is exerted over many humans including Dodo until the Doctor breaks her out of it. WOTAN uses its workforce to construct an army of War Machines to take over the world.

The Doctor alerts the army but their bullets are useless against the War Machines. The Doctor manages to capture a War Machine and changes its programming, which he then uses to destroy WOTAN, releasing the people from the hypnosis. Two "fab" young people Ben Jackson and Polly who the Doctor has befriended during the adventure enter the TARDIS to return the old man his key and are whisked off into time and space. Template:Section-stub


  1. WOTAN refers to the Doctor throughout as "Doctor Who", the only time that the character is ever given this name in the series' dialogue.
  2. At the start of the serial, the Doctor comments that he feels the same sensation as he felt when the Daleks were around. While this appears to be intended to equate the War Machines and WOTAN to the Daleks, it is interesting to note that the events of the serial happen almost contemporaneously with the Second Doctor serial The Evil of the Daleks.
  3. This serial is the first in the series to be completely set on present day Earth. The previous landings of the TARDIS in the 1960s were either brief (the Empire State Building sequence from The Chase, several landings during The Daleks' Master Plan, the stop over on Wimbledon Common in The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve) or exceptional (Planet of Giants, where the TARDIS crew were shrunk down to the size of insects and could not fully interact with present day humans). Here, for the first time, we see the Doctor take a leading role in the protection of the planet, which becomes a common theme in the series from here on.

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