We all knew Doctor Who: The Power of The Doctor would be a jam-packed episode. But none of us expected the sheer volume of Doctor Who Cameo & easter eggs it had in store. We’ll also reveal which of these cameos is due to make a repeat appearance in at least one of Russell T Davies’s upcoming Doctor Who 60th Anniversary specials. Therefore leaving you with even more to anticipate over the next year! Without further ado, here’s our guide to all the major cameos from The Power of The Doctor.
The Guardians of the Edge/Doctor Cameos
The previous Doctors’ cameos were some of the most moving parts of the episode. With five classic Doctors and one revival series Doctor returning, here’s our guide to these exhilarating Doctor cameos.
David Bradley as the First Doctor
First things first. David Bradley returned to the role of the first Doctor, who was played by William Hartnell (from 1936-1973) and Richard Hudnall (in The Five Doctors from 1983.) The return of the first Doctor is a fitting tribute to the longevity of Doctor Who on the BBC. His appearance also served as a touching bookend to the 13th Doctor’s era. Bradley had previously taken on the role in the 13th Doctor’s 2017 debut episode, Twice Upon a Time.
Known for being a curmudgeonly incarnation, who gradually mellowed thanks to his companion, he took a more kindly and wise role in The Power of the Doctor.
Peter Davison as the Fifth Doctor
Peter Davison returned as the fifth Doctor. This marks the first time the character has appeared in the new series canon since the 2007 Children in Need special Time Crash. (The one where he met with real-life son-in-law David Tennant’s 10th Doctor. The Fifth Doctor was known for being one of the more ‘human’ classic Doctors, showing deep affection for and frustration with his companions. His reunion with Tegan was a bittersweet mix of joy and grief.
Colin Baker as the Sixth Doctor
The Sixth Doctor appeared in small easter eggs in the new series. But this is the first time Colin Baker’s returned to the mainline canon since 1986’s The Trial of a Timelord. While his on-screen portrayal of the Doctor was once controversial, Baker has developed acclaim from his audio adventures. Fans were delighted to see him return in an unabashedly celebratory cameo.
Sylvester McCoy as the Seventh Doctor
Sylvester McCoy returned as the Seventh Doctor. Though he initially appeared clownlike, he quickly became known for being the ‘Machiavellian Mastermind’ of the classic Doctors. Seven and Ace (Sophie Aldred) have shared some iconic moments. And become one of the most iconic classic duos. Fans seem to have adored their emotional reunion.
Paul Mcgann as the 8th Doctor
Paul Mcgann returned as the 8th Doctor, who had only one on-screen adventure in a 1996’s TV movie. He was also brought back in the mini-episode Night of The Doctor for the 50th Anniversary special. But fans rejoiced to see this underappreciated Doctor acknowledged in a main-line episode of the show again. Some fans were so appreciative of this Doctor Who cameo that they’re now begging for him to helm his own spin-off series.
Jo Martin as ‘The Fugitive Doctor’
Jo Martin also had a Doctor Who cameo as the ‘Fugitive Doctor.’ She was the only new series Doctor to cameo in the episode. This Doctor was first introduced as a hidden incarnation in 2020’s Fugitive of the Judoon. She’s been shown as a brief but brightly burning Doctor. So fans were surprised and excited to see her in the episode.
The Companion Cameos
Another of the episode’s most powerful moments was seeing all the cameos in the companion support group scene. Here’s our rundown of all the included characters, alongside Bradley Walsh as Graham O’Brien.
Bonnie Langford as Melanie Bush
Bonnie Langford returned to cameo as Melanie Bush, companion to the sixth and seventh Doctors. Mel had not been seen in a mainline canon story since the 1987 episode Dragonfire. This was also the debut of Ace. She’d previously been regarded as a less favoured companion. But fans are excited to see how she will be written into RTD’s specials next year…And it’s been lovely to see how her return has been received warmly.
Katy Manning as Jo Grant
Katy Manning returned to cameo as Jo Grant, companion of the 3rd Doctor. This is Katy Manning’s second re-appearance in the Whoniverse. She previously joined Elizabeth Sladen’s Sarah Jane Smith in the 2011 episode The Death of the Doctor – where the pair met Matt Smith’s eleventh Doctor. Perhaps her cameo could be a precursor to an appearance in Big Finish’s ‘Rani takes on the World.’
William Russel as Ian Chesterton
Many fans became emotional at William Russel’s cameo as Ian Chesterton. Ian Chesterton was one of the first-ever companions. He also deserves massive props for returning to the role at 97. His appearance has been seen as a fitting tribute to both the history of Doctor Who and the BBC itself, as he’s one of the show’s last living actors from the 60s era.
The ‘Empty’ Chair
Eagle-eyed viewers spotted an ‘empty chair’ at the companion’s support group. It’s not easy to spot. But it’s been speculated to be either an iPad or a photograph of a deceased or otherwise absent companion. It’s been speculated to be anyone from Ryan (Tosin Cole) to a photo of Adric (Matthew Waterhouse). However, Twitter’s most popular – and heartwarming – theory is that it’s an empty seat left for the beloved Sarah Jane Smith.
Elisabeth Sladen, who portrayed Sarah Jane in Doctor Who, passed away in 2011. The actress suffered a short battle with cancer and passed away on the 19th of April 2011. A tribute to Sladen’s character, Sarah Jane Smith, was aired as a final episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures on 19 April 2020, titled “Farewell, Sarah Jane”.
A whole year till the return of RTD, David Tennant, and Catherine Tate still seems like an eternity. But the joy and surprise of seeing these cameos will stay with Doctor Who fans for a long time. Considering the epic, ‘timey wimey’ nature of The Power of The Doctor, it’s not hard to imagine that RTD will use the opportunity to segue into even more cameos – or add a whole new set of them – when we finally get to see his 60th-anniversary specials. Until then, Brave Heart, readers.