The Two Doctors is unique among multi-Doctor stories because it is not an anniversary special. It has more in common with the “Time-Crash” minisode from 2007 than The Three Doctors or The Five Doctors. When fans tuned into Doctor Who on the 16th of February 1985 they were in for a surprise. Instead of the Sixth Doctor and Peri, the episode opens with the Second Doctor and his companion Jamie. If viewers hadn’t read the Radio Times for that week, they’d spend the first ten minutes of the episode confused, wondering where their regular Doctor was.
Without any mention of the unusual circumstances, the Second Doctor and his companion arrive at a space station to talk to the scientist Dastari. The Time Lords are not pleased with the Time Travel experiments and want them stopped. Dastari is not happy to see him. However the Doctor and Jamie unknowingly stumble into a trap. Chessene, an augmented member of the space station’s servant class, conspired with the Sontarans to capture a Time Lord. They want to unlock the secrets of Time Travel so they can finally defeat their enemy, the Rutans.
Meanwhile, the Sixth Doctor is fishing, or at least attempting to fish. Nothing is biting though, and he gives up soon after catching a miniscule fish and releasing it. Inside the TARDIS, he unexpectedly faints, scarring Peri. Fortunately he recovers soon after, but unfortunately he believes he witnessed the death of an earlier incarnation of himself, which is confusing when he is still present in the TARDIS. He decides to visit his friend Dastari for a consult.
The Sixth Doctor’s TARDIS arrives at the same space station, only now everything is dark. Peri is nearly overcome by the smell of death and decay. The Time Lord suggests she returns to the TARDIS but she presses on with him. The Doctor tries to put the pieces together while dealing with a hostile computer that tries to murder them. While traveling through the service ducts, they encounter a traumatised Jamie who believes he saw his Doctor killed.
Thankfully the Second Doctor hasn’t died. When the Sontarans attacked the space station, they captured and brought him to contemporary Earth with Chessene and Dastari. They land in Spain outside Seville. Dastari thinks the key to unlocking time travel is inside the Doctor’s genetic code and is willing to operate on the Time Lord for Chessene and the Sontarans. The Sixth Doctor must work with Jamie and Peri to rescue his earlier incarnation as well as prevent Chessene and the Sontarans from unlocking the secrets of Time Travel.
I think I liked The Two Doctors a bit more than Attack of the Cybermen, probably because it wasn’t as continuity heavy. Though I was confused because they never explained what an Androgum was, besides a description of their nature. It’s definitely a story worth checking out because all the scenes in Spain were shot on location. It’s a refreshing change of scenery from the sets of the Television Centre and quarries serving as alien planets.