Doctor Who/The Space Museum

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The Space Museum
Airdate April 24, 1965
Production Number Q
Writer(s) Glyn Jones
Director(s) Mervyn Pinfield
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The Crusade
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The Chase
Doctor WhoSeason Two


The Space Museum is the seventh serial of the second season of Doctor Who, and the fifteenth serial overall.

Guest Stars: Peter Sanders (Sita), Peter Craze (Dako), Richard Shaw (Lobos), Jeremy Bulloch (Tor), Ivor Salter (Morok Commander), Salvin Stewart (Morok Guard), Salvin Stewart (Morok Messenger), Peter Hawkins (Dalek Voice), Murphy Grumbar (Dalek Machine Operator)

Plot Overview

The Space Museum

In the TARDIS the Doctor and his companions are frozen motionless. When they suddenly begin moving again, Barbara becomes concerned that their clothes have changed even though nobody remembers changing them. The Doctor just shrugs it off as "time and relativity". Besides, their clothes are hanging in the back where they should be: mystery solved as far as the Doctor is concerned. Vicki gets herself a glass of water and accidentally drops it, shattering the glass. But the glass does not stay broken, instead it reassembles itself into a glass complete with water.

Outside, the viewer shows that they have landed near a space museum, featuring technology from different eras of history. After a moment outside, Ian notices that, although the dust on the ground is several inches deep, they are not leaving footprints as they walk. Very strange!

When they reach the museum, the doors open and several men come out. They appear to be quite alert and are searching for something. Although Vicki sneezes, the men fail to take notice of them. Later they hide from a group of young men who are moving their mouths, but not making any noise. When Vicki attempts to touch an exhibit, her hand goes right through it. Ian tries the same thing and his hand also passes right through the exhibit.

Having concluded that they are effectively invisible because they are not really here yet, they wander for miles through the museum, where they finally find the TARDIS on display. Like everything else, they cannot touch it. Opposite the TARDIS is a chilling display: the lifeless forms of the Doctor and the others standing on display in glass cases.

The Doctor believes that the TARDIS jumped a "time track", causing them to arrive before they actually arrived. This is what the future holds for them unless they can find a way to change it. All they have to do is wait until they actually arrive, then they will be able to touch things and be visible again. After a moment, the cases vanish, indicating that the TARDIS has arrived.

The Dimensions of Time

Now visible and capable of touching things, they decide to find the TARDIS and make sure that it doesn't end up in the museum in the first place, but they are lost, and museum personnel (the Morocks) are sarching for them.

A group of young rebels (Xerans) capture the Doctor. He feigns unconsciousness for a moment and overpowers the lone youth who is left guarding him. He eludes their subsequent search by hiding inside the Dalek in the Dalek exhibit, but is captured by the Morocks when he comes back out.

The Doctor is interrogated by Lobos, the governor of Xeros using a mind reading machine. The governor is able to determine that the Doctor has three companions. The Doctor soon learns to defeat the mind reading machine and make it give false readings. The governor then sends the Doctor to the "preparation" room, where he will be turned into a museum exhibit.

The Search

After a fight near the TARDIS, Ian overpowers a guard, taking his gun and forcing him to take him to take him to where the Doctor is. Barbara is locked in a store room during a search, and Vicki is captured by Xeran rebels.

The governor decides to gas the entire museum in order to catch the fugitives. Meanwhile Dako ("Dak") has found Barbara. When the gas is released, the two of them cover their mouths and try to work their way through it, but they eventually collapse.

Vicki helps the Xeran rebels break into the Morock armory. She re-wires the lock so that she no longer has to give the correct answer, just the truth. When the vault computer asks what the weapons are to be used for, she replies, "revolution," and the vault opens.

Ian breaks into the governor's office, where the doctor is being turned into a museum exhibit. He orders the men to get the Doctor out, despite their insistance that the Doctor is already beyond help.

The Final Phase

Ian goes so far as to threaten the lives of the governor and his technician if they are unable to revive the Doctor. Using procedures that have never been tried before, they are able to reverse the process and bring the Doctor back to life.

Three Morock guards arrive at the governor's office, where they find Ian and the Doctor talking to Lobas. They sneak up on Ian, overpower him, and imprison him. Sequestered in the preparation room, Ian destroys the "preparation" equipment. Hoping that they don't have another like it somewhere else.

Barbara and Dak, about to be overcome by the gas, leave the museum and are caught by Morock guards. Vicki saves them, but after a Morock counter-attack Vicki and Barbara are left alone.

The Xeran rebels having finished their attack on the Morock barracks, move into the museum. They successfully take over the Morock space museum, freeing the Doctor and Ian in the process. The Xerans destroy the museum, which was forcibly placed on their planet by the Morocks long ago.

At the close of the episode, a Dalek reports that the Doctor has left the planet Xeros, and that the Daleks will soon pursue them through time.


Arc Advancement


After defeating the Morocks, Tor gives the Doctor a souvenir from the museum: a time and space visualiser -- at least it will be a time and space visualiser if he can get it working again.



  • In the museum, while still invisible to others, the group come across a Dalek on display. Vicki has never seen one, except in history books. The Daleks invaded Earth centuries before she was born.
  • When they first regain consciousness, Barbara points out that they are no longer wearing the clothing from their previous adventure, but no one remembers changing them.


The Show

  • When they first become visible and capable of touching things, Ian and the others take a gun from a display case.
  • The Xeran rebels are the adolescent descendants of the original inhabitants of this planet, who were killed or enslaved not that long ago.
  • When Barbara and Dak are forced out of the museum by the paralysis gas, they leave through exit 417.

Behind the Scenes

Allusions and References

  • A discussion of steam taxes the Doctor's memory for the name of the Scottish inventor James Watt.

Memorable Moments

The Doctor briefly eludes guards by hiding in a Dalek body housing that is on display.



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