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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > The Essential Doctor Who: Adventures in History > NOT ONE LiNE

NOT ONE LiNE

Interfering with Earth history was forbidden in the earliest years of Doctor Who. But rules are made to be broken…
John Ringham (as Tlotoxl), William Russell (as Ian Chesterton), Jacqueline Hill (as Barbara Wright), William Hartnell (as the Doctor) and Keith Pyott (as Autloc) rehearse a scene from The Aztecs in May 1964.

Interfering with Earth history was forbidden in the earliest years of Doctor Who. But rules are made to be broken…

There is a defining moment in The Temple of Evil, the first episode of The Aztecs (1964), when the Doctor (William Hartnell) warns history teacher Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) about interfering in her own world’s barbaric past. “You can’t rewrite history,” he stresses. “Not one line!”

This wasn’t the TARDIS crew’s first trip back into Earth’s history, but this was its first real opportunity to intervene and make changes. When Barbara is mistaken for the reincarnation of the god Yetaxa, she attempts to use her influence to abolish the Aztec ritual of human sacrifice. Her efforts come to nothing, but her argument with the Doctor allows him to explain his manifesto.

“This is the beginning of the end of the Sun God.” Much to the Doctor’s alarm, Barbara resolves to change history in The Temple of Evil, the first episode of The Aztecs (1964).
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About Doctor Who Magazine

“History sometimes gives us a terrible shock, and that is because we don’t quite fully understand... We’re all too small to realise its final pattern.” Doctor Who’s first journey in 1963 took viewers back to the Stone Age. Since then the TARDIS has visited many other landmarks in a unique chronicle of the Doctor’s favourite planet. Purely historical stories were once a mainstay of the series, but for more than 50 years significant periods in Earth’s past have provided evocative settings for more fantastical adventures. This unprecedented guide takes a trip back in time with the people, places and classic episodes that are essential parts of Doctor Who history.
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