My auntie, Ivana Vasak has revealed to me, that she once worked on a Doctor Who episode. She said it was filmed in Canada, therefore she was called to help out. It was a looong time ago (she said - "I think it was like 40 years ago") and I would like to find out which episode it was. She gave me these clues:

  • it was around that time, when the world realized that we should protect the whales (there were some invisible hints in the episode)
  • there was some surgery going on in the episode
  • Doctor's companion helped out during this surgery and the bizarre thing was, that she was dressed up in a ball gown, because she went straight from a ball to the surgery room.

That's all the clues I have, she couldn't remember anything else. I'd like to track it down and update her profile on IMDb - anyone knows which one it is?

  • 1
    Does she remember who played either the Doctor or the assistant? Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 13:37
  • It was an opera gown. It was set in 1999, but it aired in 1996 (once) on Fox. Commented Sep 1, 2015 at 0:53

4 Answers 4


This is probably the 1996 Doctor Who movie.

  • This is the only episode filmed in Canada (source Wikipedia)

  • "On the evening of 30 December 1999, Grace was attending the opera when she was paged. She rushed to the hospital to deal with an unusual cardiac case that had come in — the Seventh Doctor, who had suffered minor bullet wounds and who apparently had a heart defect that caused a very irregular heart beat." (about Grace Holloway, the Doctor Who companion in this film)

  • This sounds pretty accurate! Not 40, but 20 years, but it definitely must be this one. Thank you very much, I'll try to verify it with her.
    – Michal
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 14:15
  • 1
    @Michal: I’d love to know where the whales come into it. I don’t remember any whale mentions in the movie. Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 12:14
  • I'll ask, maybe it was some kind of strange reference she connected to it...
    – Michal
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 12:20
  • This question has so many "technically"s! Technically, the movie isn't Classic Who, nor is it New Who. It was an attempt to launch a new series that never happened. Technically, Grace was never a companion because she never travelled with the Doctor in the TARDIS. However, for casual viewers these points are unimportant!
    – CJ Dennis
    Commented Aug 27, 2015 at 12:51
  • @CJDennis technically?
    – Zommuter
    Commented Feb 29, 2016 at 11:55

I expect this was the one off TV special for the millennium starring Paul McGann as the eighth Doctor and released in 1996. There's plenty of information on the web about this one.

  • 6
    What in that special matches up with the details in the question? We generally frown upon answers that just tell others to go look up the information elsewhere.
    – phantom42
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 13:32
  • The questioner's aunt worked on it about 40 years ago ie 1975ish, so it is unlikely to be this one. However, according to Wikipedia it is the only episode filmed in Canada. Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 13:34
  • 1
    She thinks it might have been 40 years ago. It might be overestimation.
    – Zikato
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 13:57
  • 4
    I am sorry for that misleading information. She is well over 70yrs old. It's ok if she's wrong sometimes :)
    – Michal
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 14:23

yes, it's the Paul McGann movie. Only 20 years ago, but the companion (Grace) does indeed perform surgery (on the seventh Doctor) in a ball gown, which causes his regeneration to Paul McGann.

The story was indeed filmed in Canada - the only episode to ever have filmed there - whilst pretending to be in LA.


There is no Doctor Who episode that fits all the criteria you describe. In the classic series, there were no episodes filmed in Canada at all. (I believe the only ones that were partially filmed outside Britain were Arc of Infinity in the Netherlands and The Two Doctors in Spain.) Moreover, I have seen all the classic Doctor Who episodes from the Pertwee era onward, and the plot you describe does not seem to sound like any of them (although it's possible that it might come from an earlier black and white story from the 1960s).

I think it was most likely not a Doctor Who story at all.

  • 1
    There were more serials filmed abroad; City of Death was shot in Paris.
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 17:03
  • Of course! I somehow forgot that one. And apparently Planet of Fire was partially filmed in the Canary Islands, which I don't think I'd ever heard before. Still none in Canada though.
    – Buzz
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 18:03
  • You should read the other answers!
    – Mr Lister
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 18:10
  • Yeah, so it was the FOX movie. I was explicitly talking about the classic series filming locations.
    – Buzz
    Commented Aug 26, 2015 at 18:13

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.