30 August 1980
Adrienne Corri (Mena), Laurence Payne (Morix) , John Collins (Brock), David Haig (Pangol), Nigel Lambert (Hardin), Martin Fisk (Vargos), Roy Montague (Guide), Ian Talbot (Klout), Harriet Reynolds (Tannoy Voice) [1,4]*, David Allister (Stimson) , Clifford Norgate (Generator Voice) [2-3], Andrew Lane (Foamasi) [3-4].
|Written by||David Fisher|
|Directed by||Lovett Bickford|
|Produced by||John Nathan Turner|
The TARDIS lands at the site of a hyperspatial collision between two spacecraft, the Empress and the Hecate. As a result, neither ship is dimensionally stable, risking the lives of all those aboard. The Doctor, K9 and Romana offer to help out. When a crewmember is found dead, his face lacerated by huge claws, it seems something deadly has been released by the accident. But how is the death linked to the discovery that the killer drug Vraxoin has been smuggled aboard – and where has the supply come from?
The Doctor soon realises that the aliens stored in a projection machine may hold the answers – and that the cages holding these specimens are anything but secure as the savage Mandrels, hideous swamp-creatures from the planet Eden, tear through the corridors of the helpless spaceships..
- This story is the debut of the new opening and closing title sequences, complete with ‘neon tube’ logo, designed by the BBC’s Sid Sutton, accompanied by a new Peter Howell-arranged version of Ron Grainer’s theme music.
- This is John Nathan-Turner’s first story as producer.
- The story had a working title of The Argolins.
- A new TARDIS exterior prop makes its debut, this time made of fibreglass rather than of wood and, with its stacked roof arrangement, somewhat truer to the design of a genuine police box than the previous version (first seen in The Masque of Mandragora).
- The Doctor’s new outfit (the burgundy colour) also debuts in this story.
- Beginning with this story and continuing for the next several seasons, until The Five Doctors, each serial will be linked in some way, either through some reference, or directly linked.
- John Leeson returns portraying the voice of K9 having been persuaded by John Nathan-Turner to reprise the role for this season.
- This story features the first use in Doctor Who of the digital Quantel image processing system. Amongst the effects created by the use of this system was a moving shot of the TARDIS materialising on Argolis (whereas the ‘roll back and mix’ technique by which the materialisation was achieved normally necessitated a completely static shot).
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