Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
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TDP 228: The Sensorites
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
007 – The Sensorites
Doctor Who serial
The Doctor meets the Sensorites
Writer Peter R. Newman
Director Mervyn Pinfield (episodes 1-4)
Frank Cox (episodes 5,6)
Script editor David Whitaker
Producer Verity Lambert
Mervyn Pinfield (associate producer)
Executive producer(s) None
Production code G
Series Season 1
Length 6 episodes, 25 minutes each
Date started 20 June 1964
Date ended 1 August 1964
← Preceded by Followed by →
The Aztecs The Reign of Terror

The Sensorites is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in six weekly parts from June 20 to August 1, 1964. The story is notable for its demonstration of Susan's telepathy and references to the Doctor and her home planet.



[edit] Plot

The TARDIS travellers land on a moving spaceship and find the crew apparently dead. However, one of the crew members, Captain Maitland, regains consciousness and Ian Chesterton fully revives him and another woman, Carol Richmond. These two tell the travellers that they are on an exploration mission from Earth and are orbiting Sense-Sphere. However, its inhabitants, the Sensorites, refuse to let them leave the orbit. The Sensorites visit and stop the travellers from leaving, while sending them on a collision course, which the Doctor diverts. The travellers then meet John (whose mind has been broken by the Sensorites) and find out that he is Carol's fiancé.

Returning to plague the crew, the Sensorites freeze Carol and Maitland once more. The Doctor breaks Maitland's mental conditioning, but cannot help John. Susan's telepathic mind is flooded with the many voices of the Sensorites who remain scared of the humans and are trying to communicate with her. Meanwhile, The Doctor works out that the Sensorites attacked the human craft because John, a mineralogist, had discovered a vast supply of molybdenum on Sense-Sphere. Susan reports that the Sensorites want to make contact with travellers, asking the crew to go aboard Sense-sphere and reveal that a previous Earth expedition caused them great misery. The Doctor refuses but Susan, under duress, agrees and begins to leave the ship.

The Doctor deduces that the Sensorites need plenty of light, so Ian reduces the lighting on the ship, rendering the Sensorites helpless and rescuing Susan. The Doctor then asks the Sensorites to return his lock and is invited to go to Sense-Sphere to speak with the leader. Susan, Ian, Carol and John join him while Barbara and Maitland stay behind. John is promised that his condition will be reversed. On their journey to Sense-Sphere, the party learn that the previous visitors from Earth exploited Sense-Sphere for its wealth, then argued. Half of them stole the spacecraft, which exploded on take-off.

The Sensorite Council is divided over the issue of inviting the party to Sense-Sphere: some of the councillors plot to kill them on arrival, but some believe that the humans can help with the disease that is currently killing many Sensorites. Their first plot is foiled by the other Sensorites, but they continue to plot in secret. The humans are not told of the first plot, and John and Carol are cured. In the main conference room, Ian starts coughing violently and collapses. Suffering from the disease that has blighted the Sensorites, he is told that he will soon die.

It turns out that he was actually poisoned by drinking water from the general aqueduct. The Doctor finds the problematic aqueduct and starts work with the Sensorite scientists. The plotting Sensorites capture and then impersonate a Sensorite leader, the Second Elder and steal the new cure, before it is given to Ian, but a new one is made easily and Ian is cured.

Meanwhile, investigating the aqueduct, the Doctor finds strange noises and darkness. He finds and removes deadly nightshade (the cause of the poisoning), but on going back, meets an unseen monster. Susan and Ian find him unconscious with a ripped coat, but otherwise unharmed. On being recovered, he tells of his suspicion that some Sensorites are plotting to kill them. The plotting Sensorites kill the Second Elder and one of them replaces him in his position.

John tells the others that he knows the lead plotter, but he is now too powerful, so The Doctor and Ian go down to the aqueduct to find the poisoners. Their weapons and map were tampered with and are useless.

Elsewhere, a mysterious assailant abducts Carol and forces her to write saying she has left for the ship. Neither Susan, John or Barbara believe this so they go to investigate and find her imprisoned. Susan, John and Barbara overpower the guard and release Carol. On finding out about the tampered tools, they go into the aqueduct to rescue the Doctor and Ian. The leader discovers the plotters a little while later.

Ian and the Doctor discover that the monsters were actually the survivors of the previous Earth mission, and they had been poisoning the Sensorites. Their deranged Commander leads them to the surface, where they are arrested by the Sensorites. The Doctor and his party return to the city, pleading clemency for the poisoners. The leader of the Sensorites agrees and sends them back with Maitland, John and Carol to Earth, for treatment for madness.

[edit] Continuity

  • Susan's description of her home planet as having a burnt orange sky and silver leaved trees is echoed by a similar description of the planet by the Tenth Doctor to Martha Jones in "Gridlock". It also bears similarities to the description given to Grace in the 1996 telemovie.
  • In the Doctor Who Confidential episode, You've Got the Look (released to accompany "The Impossible Planet"), Russell T Davies said that he wanted the Ood to resemble the Sensorites, and that he likes to think they come from a planet near the Sense Sphere. This was later confirmed in the Tenth Doctor episode "Planet of the Ood", in which the Doctor visits the Ood's homeworld (the Ood-Sphere) and mentions that he once visited the Sense-Sphere in the same system.
  • Susan's experiences here carry over into the Big Finish Productions audio story Transit of Venus. It takes place directly after this story, despite the fact that the ending of The Sensorites seems to lead directly into The Reign of Terror. However, this inconsistency is explained in the audio play.
  • One of the creatures in the episode Kidnap attacks the Doctor, and he states later that it attacked him under his heart - suggesting that he has only one heart. The Doctor's having two hearts did not appear in the series until much later.

[edit] Susan's telepathy

  • This episode is known for Susan's use of telepathy. The earlier conception of Susan's character spun her as a less ordinary girl who had unusual abilities, of which Susan's ability in this story may been seen as one of the few remnants. At the end of the story, Susan loses her telepathy because according to the Sensorites, the Sense Sphere "has an extraordinary number of ultra-high frequencies, so I won't be able to go on using thought transference." However, the Doctor says that she has a gift and "when we get home to our own place, I think we should try to perfect it."
  • The spin-off media have more explicitly clarified that Time Lords have limited telepathic abilities.

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode
EpisodeBroadcast dateRun timeViewership
(in millions)
"Strangers in Space" 20 June 1964 24:46 7.9 16mm t/r
"The Unwilling Warriors" 27 June 1964 24:44 6.9 16mm t/r
"Hidden Danger" 11 July 1964 24:53 7.4 16mm t/r
"A Race Against Death" 18 July 1964 24:49 5.5 16mm t/r
"Kidnap" 25 July 1964 25:47 6.9 16mm t/r
"A Desperate Venture" 1 August 1964 24:29 6.9 16mm t/r
  • Jacqueline Hill does not appear in episodes 4 and 5, though she was still credited on-screen.
  • Designer Raymond Cusick used almost all curves in his sets for the Sense Sphere, feeling that this would give a more alien look.

[edit] Cast notes

  • Arthur Newall also appeared as a Sensorite in this story, not a Dalek as is commonly believed.
  • Stephen Dartnell appears as John. He had previously appeared as Yartek in The Keys of Marinus.
  • John Bailey, who plays the Commander, returned to the series to play Edward Waterfield in The Evil of the Daleks and Sezom in The Horns of Nimon.

[edit] Broadcast and reception

The third episode was postponed by one week following the overrun of sports programme Grandstand.

[edit] In print

The serial was novelised for Target Books by Nigel Robinson in February 1987 as Doctor Who: The Sensorites.

Doctor Who book
Book cover
The Sensorites
Series Target novelisations
Release number 118
Writer Nigel Robinson
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Nick Spender
ISBN 0-491-03455-5
Release date

February 1987 (Hardback)

16 July 1987 (Paperback)
Preceded by '
Followed by '

[edit] VHS, CD and DVD releases

  • A restored and VidFIREd version of this story was released on VHS in November 2002.
  • In July 2008, the original soundtrack was released on CD in the UK, with linking narration provided by William Russell.
  • The story is scheduled to be released on DVD in the UK on 23 January 2012 [4]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "The Sensorites". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-05-06. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  2. ^ "The Sensorites". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Shannon (2008-06-23). "The Sensorites". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  4. ^

[edit] External links

[edit] Reviews

[edit] Target novelisation


Direct download: TDP_228_sensorites_dvd.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 6:00am UTC

TDP 227: The Doctor The Widow and the Wardrobe (DVD Review)

Series Doctor Who DVDs Country United Kingdom Release date 16 January 2012 No. of discs 1 Rating Uk dvd rating 12.png Original RRP £13.27 Subtitles English Region 2 PAL Aspect ratio 16:9 Running time 60 mins approx Cover blurb It's Christmas Eve, 1938, when Madge Arwell comes to the aid of an injured Spaceman Angel as she cycles home. He promises to repay her kindness - all she has to do is make a wish. Three years later, a devastated Madge escapes war-torn London with her two children for a dilapidated house in Dorset. She is crippled with grief at the news her husband has been lost over the channel, but determined to give Lily and Cyril the best Christmas ever. The Arwells are surprised to be greeted by a madcap caretaker whose mysterious Christmas gift leads them into a magical wintry world. Here, Madge will learn how to be braver than she ever thought possible. And that wishes can come true... Special features Users who have this • The Doctor, the Widow and the Wardrobe Prequel • The Best of The Doctor • The Best of The Companions • The Best of the Monsters

Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:58am UTC

TDP 226: The Android Invasion (UNIT BOX SET Story 2)

Reprinted from Wiki with thanks and respect

A UNIT soldier walks, as if in a trance, through the woods, his right arm twitching spasmodically. Nearby, the TARDIS materialises, and the Doctor and Sarah step out. The Doctor explains that the coordinates were set for Sarah's time but the linear coordinates were off, so they could be miles from London. In any case, Sarah is glad to be back on Earth. The Doctor detects an odd reading of energy or radiation nearby.

The Doctor and Sarah meet a group of four men in white suits and opaque helmets. When the Doctor asks them for directions, they start shooting at them with their index fingers. The Doctor and Sarah duck and run, with the four in pursuit. Sarah slips down a hillside and clings to a cliff ledge. The Doctor helps her up; at that point, they see the soldier, jerkily making his way towards the cliff's edge. The Doctor shouts at him to stop, but he pays no heed, running right over the cliff and falling to his death.

The Doctor searches the body, finding a wallet full of shiny, freshly minted coins, all dated the same year. They also spot a casket-shaped pod nearby, which the Doctor finds familiar. Before he can identify it further, shots ring out: the white-suited men have found them again. They run once more through the countryside, avoiding their pursuers and reaching a village, which Sarah recognises as Devesham, which lies about a mile from a Space Defence Station.

The village, however, is deathly quiet, and seems unpopulated. The Doctor decides to try the local pub, the Fleur-de-Lys, but it is also empty, and the Doctor finds the same freshly minted coins in the register. Sarah then spots the white suits coming down the street, accompanied by the "dead" soldier. A Ford Transit pick-up truck arrives, carrying what seem to be villagers, all in a trance-like state. They are helped off the vehicle by the white suits, and distribute themselves around the village. Mr Morgan, the landlord of the pub, enters it along with several other people while Sarah and the Doctor hide in the store room. The villagers take their seats silently, waiting motionless until the clock strikes eight, when they suddenly come to life, acting normally.

The Doctor intends to get to the Space Defence Station and contact UNIT. He leaves, telling Sarah to meet him at the TARDIS if anything goes wrong. However, the "dead" soldier finds her in the store room and questions her. Morgan suggests that Sarah might be part of "the test". But when Sarah asks what test, he tells Sarah that she should go.

Outside, Sarah hides behind the lorry, observing one of the white suits turn around. Behind the opaque visor is nothing but a slab of plastic and electronics. Sarah runs for the woods, reaching the TARDIS. She spots a similar pod just next to the time machine and goes to examine it, leaving the TARDIS key in the lock. Suddenly, the TARDIS dematerialises without her, and as Sarah is still trying to understand why, a hand reaches out from the pod. Startled, Sarah sees a man lying inside, but when she goes closer, he grabs her around the throat. She breaks free and runs.

At the Defence Station, the Doctor asks a soldier on guard where the command officer is, but the soldier just stares ahead, unresponsive. Also inside the building, Senior Defence Astronaut Guy Crayford is addressed by a disembodied voice. The voice, named Styggron, tells him that there is a random "unit" within the complex and orders him to check.

The Doctor enters an office marked with Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart's name, but it is empty. Crayford enters, and points a gun on him. The Doctor introduces himself as UNIT's scientific advisor. Crayford has heard of him, but as the Brigadier is in Geneva, and Colonel Faraday is in command, there is no one to confirm the Doctor's identity; he could be an impostor. Before Crayford can have the Doctor taken to detention, the Doctor flips the desk over and runs. However, despite making it outside, he is recaptured. Sarah sees this and sneaks into the building, going to the Doctor's cell and unlocks the door, unaware that from behind a wall a stony alien face is observing them.

Styggron contacts Crayford again, complaining about a second random unit. Crayford identifies this random units as the Doctor and Sarah. At that moment, the alarm sounds indicating the Doctor's escape. Crayford sends his UNIT soldiers to stop them. Hiding in a storage cupboard, the Doctor tells Sarah about Crayford. She replies that it is impossible: Crayford was in deep space while testing the XK-5 Space Raider when it vanished, presumed destroyed. The Doctor and Sarah venture out to find Sergeant Benton standing in the reception area, who points a pistol at them. Styggron wants the Doctor captured alive. When Crawford cancels the kill order, Benton becomes dizzy, giving the Doctor and Sarah a chance to run away. Crayford orders Harry Sullivan to cordon off the perimeter road.

The two decide to return to the village and warn London, while being pursued by tracker dogs. Sarah twists her ankle while running through the woods and this slows her down. The Doctor hides Sarah in a tree, taking her scarf to draw the dogs away. He then hides in a stream, the dogs losing his trail. Unfortunately, when the soldiers turn back, they spot Sarah, and capture her. Styggron tells Crayford to locate, but not seize the Doctor. He has other plans for him.

Meanwhile, in an alien-looking room, Sarah is strapped down to a table. Harry tells her it is no use to struggle, and under Styggron's order, commences the scan. In the village, the Doctor finds the telephones are not working. He meets Morgan, who tells him the lines are down after a gale. Styggron speaks to another of his kind, Chedaki, who feels that the time for experiments are over, but Styggron insists that they must confirm their techniques are flawless if they are to conquer worlds other than Earth. Styggron contacts Crayford and tells him to commence the final test.

In the pub, the Doctor finds more oddities: an unused dart board, plastic horse brass on the wall and a tear-off calendar with only one date on every page - Friday 6 July. The telephone rings, and the call is for the Doctor. It is Sarah, who tells the Doctor she was captured but managed to escape. She asks the Doctor to meet her by the Village shop and to be careful of the robots. He hangs up the call, then finds that the telephone has stopped working again. The Doctor meets Sarah, who explains how she escaped. The Doctor remarks on the providence of her finding the only telephone in the village that worked, and believes they are being tested to find out how smart they are.

He decides to take Sarah to the TARDIS and use the radio there. However, the TARDIS is gone. The Doctor is puzzled: the ship is not programmed to auto-operate, unless... he asks Sarah for her TARDIS key, and when she claims she has lost it, the Doctor tells her she never had it. When Sarah put the key in the lock, she released the TARDIS's pause control and it continued its journey to Earth. This is not Earth, this is not a real forest, and she is not the real Sarah. Moreover, the real Sarah wasn't wearing a scarf, which the Doctor took off to draw the dogs away. The Doctor grabs the duplicate by the shoulders and demands to know where Sarah is. The duplicate pulls free, but falls to the ground, her face popping open and revealing the electronics underneath.

The android Sarah rises to its feet and starts to fire its pistol at the Doctor's retreating form. Chedaki tells Styggron that it was a foolish experiment. The Doctor could undo their plans. Styggron dismisses this; both the village and the Doctor will be destroyed by a matter dissolving bomb. The real Sarah is being kept alive so Styggron can test the virus he intends to use to cleanse the Earth of human life. All the while, Sarah is feigning unconsciousness and listening. When the coast is clear, she gets up and sneaks away.

The Doctor watches the pick-up drive into the village and evacuate the androids to the Kraal base. The Doctor is grabbed from behind by Styggron, who gets two white suits to tie him up while the Kraal places the bomb at the Doctor's feet. Luckily, Sarah too has made it back to the village, and uses the Doctor's sonic screwdriver to cut his bonds. With seconds to spare, they run into the base and shut the door, as the village dissolves into a wasteland.

However, the two are surrounded by androids, who escort them to a cell. The Doctor tells Sarah that he should have realised — the radiation levels he picked up when they landed were those of Oseidon, the Kraal planet. The levels are increasing and the planet will soon be uninhabitable, which is why the Kraals are invading Earth. The duplicated village and their androids were a training ground.

Crayford enters the cell and tells the Doctor that it is all for the best. Soon, the Kraals will send his ship back by space-time warp so he can make a normal landing. He has recently established radio contact with Earth, and fed them a story of how his ship was trapped in an orbit around Jupiter and he survived by rationing his supplies and recycling his water. The world's attention focused on his landing, the space shells containing the androids will be taken for meteorites, who will emerge and pave the way for the main invasion fleet. He is helping the Kraals because while Earth left him for dead, they rescued his ship and reconstructed his body. The Kraals only want to survive, and have also promised him no humans will be harmed as long as they obey.

Styggron gets "Harry" to place a drop of the virus in a jug of water to be taken to the cell. Meanwhile, although the sonic screwdriver is useless on the door, the Doctor has managed to remove a floor plate, intending to use the wiring below to electrocute their android guard. "Harry" enters with the water, and also to take the Doctor away. Before he goes, he tells Sarah not to waste the water and mentioned it is very good electrolyte.

The Doctor is strapped down to the Kraal analysis table which will copy all his knowledge and experience. Despite what Styggron has told Crayford, he reveals that does intend genocide. Earth's resources are too limited to be wasted on an "inferior species". The virus, distributed by androids, will wipe the Earth clean in three weeks, then burn itself out. Styggron will then signal the invasion fleet. Styggron leaves the machine to do its work, and when it finishes, the stimulation will make the Doctor's head explode.

Sarah rigs the wiring beneath the cell floor, then sets a small fire to lure the android guard in. He steps in the puddle of water, and is electrocuted when Sarah applies the power cable. She makes her way to the Doctor and turns off the scan. She helps the disorientated Time Lord out of the base, heading for Crayford's rocket before it takes off. The rocket is launched, and the G-forces start to crush them.

Sarah blacks out, but is awakened by the Doctor. He tells her that was nothing; there is a more dangerous ride ahead. Before the rocket lands, the pods will be ejected, and the Doctor and Sarah will ride two of them to Earth to warn the real Defence Station, although he cannot guarantee they will survive the trip down. As they talk, neither notices a nearby pod open slightly to reveal an android Doctor. On Earth, Matthews at the Defence Station's scanner room picks up Crayford's rocket. Grierson, the man in charge, informs Colonel Faraday. Meanwhile, having found the TARDIS in the woods near Devesham, Benton and Harry have been searching for the Doctor and Sarah, but to no avail. Benton is worried, as he has never known the Doctor to leave the TARDIS key in its lock.

Faraday welcomes Crayford home on the radio, but the signal is broken up by the "meteor shower" of pods which, unusually, slow down as they enter the atmosphere. Some of the pods land in a nearby field, and one opens up to reveal the Doctor. However, he is unable to find Sarah. Sarah, having landed elsewhere, finds the TARDIS in the woods. As she looks around, the Doctor taps her on the shoulder. However, this Doctor is an android, and behind it a pod opens to disgorge another Sarah replica. The real Sarah runs for it. The XK-5 re-establishes contact and comes in for a landing. Harry and Faraday head for the rocket, not knowing that Styggron is there with Crayford.

The real Doctor enters the Station, and recognises the "dead" soldier. Showing him a pass, the Doctor tells the soldier that if he sees the Doctor again today he is to report it to him immediately. The Doctor goes to the scanner room, leaving the soldier puzzled. When Benton tells him where Harry and Faraday are, the Doctor contacts them on the radio and urges them not to enter the rocket. He will meet them at the lift.

While the Doctor gives Grierson some instructions for modifying the radar dish, an android Matthews has incapacitated Benton and introduced an android replacement. Grierson says that if the Doctor points the dishes down here, it will jam every piece of electronic equipment for miles. Faraday returns to the scanner room, demanding an explanation. The Doctor tells them about the Kraal invasion. However, the Doctor is too late: Harry and Faraday have been replaced, and the android Doctor is pointing a gun at him. He slams the door in the android's face and leaps through a window. Outside, he meets Sarah. The Doctor tells Sarah their only chance is to stop the androids before they take over the complex, and runs back towards the scanner room, bluffing his way past "Benton" by posing as his duplicate. Sarah climbs up the rocket towards the real Harry and Styggron.

Grierson finishes his modifications, but is shot in the shoulder by the android Doctor before he can turn on the power. The android is about to shoot the original when Crayford enters, saying that Styggron promised no killing. The "Doctor" calls him a fool, and tells him about the virus. Crayford cannot believe this, but the real Doctor tells him that his rocket was actually hijacked by the Kraal, and they did not reconstruct but merely brainwashed him. Realising the truth, Crayford rushes out, distracting the android long enough for the Doctor to make his move. In the struggle, the Doctor manages to activate the power to the radar, jamming all the androids in mid-step.

In the rocket, Sarah unties Harry and Faraday. Styggron enters, holding a ray gun on them, but Crayford appears and attacks him. The two grapple, and Styggron shoots Crayford. The Doctor makes his own entrance, punching the Kraal, who falls on the vial of virus, cracking it open. Styggron shoots the Doctor before he dies. Sarah is horrified, but the real Doctor shows up — he had programmed his duplicate to distract Styggron. As proof, the android disintegrates into its component parts.

Sarah and the Doctor make their way back to the TARDIS. Sarah says she is going to take a taxi home, but when the Doctor offers to take her home instead, she smiles, "How can I refuse?" The two enter the ship and it vanishes.

[edit] Continuity

  • This story marks the last appearances of John Levene (Sergeant Benton) and Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan) in the series. The characters were mentioned (but did not appear) in Mawdryn Undead (1983). Harry was said to be working with NATO and doing something "hush-hush at Porton Down". Benton was said to have left the army and become a used car salesman.
  • This story also marks the first appearance of The Doctor's grey coat, with its black elbow patches. This version of his costume would alternate with others for the next couple of seasons.

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode
EpisodeBroadcast dateRun timeViewership
(in millions)
"Part One" 22 November 1975 24:21 11.9
"Part Two" 29 November 1975 24:30 11.3
"Part Three" 6 December 1975 24:50 12.1
"Part Four" 13 December 1975 24:30 11.4
  • Working titles for this story included The Kraals, The Kraal Invasion, and The Enemy Within.
  • Location filming for the Kraal-replicated village of Devesham took place in East Hagbourne, Oxfordshire, a few miles from Didcot.
  • The story was influenced by the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and would be the last Terry Nation script for Doctor Who for four years until his final script for the series, Destiny of the Daleks (1979). This was the first script by Nation since The Keys of Marinus (1964) that did not feature the Daleks.
  • Nicholas Courtney was unavailable to play Lethbridge-Stewart, so his character was re-written as Colonel Faraday.
  • Kenneth Williams briefly mentioned viewing episode two of this story in his diaries, writing on 29 November 1975 "Dr Who gets more and more silly."[citation needed]

[edit] Cast notes

  • Ian Marter would continue his acting career and go on to write several Doctor Who novelisations, an original novel featuring Harry and an unused screenplay, Doctor Who Meets Scratchman, the last with Tom Baker. He died in 1986 from diabetes-related health complications.
  • Milton Johns' had appeared as Benik in The Enemy of the World. His next appearance in Who would be as Castellan Kelner in The Invasion of Time.
  • Only three Kraals are seen throughout the story. Styggron was played by Martin Friend. Marshal Chedaki, was played by Roy Skelton. The silent Kraal underling that appears in one scene was played by the series' long time stuntman Stuart Fell.

[edit] Outside reference

  • Near the end of Part Three just after Sarah frees the Doctor from the machine, the Doctor tells her, "Listen! Once upon a time, there were three sisters, and they lived in the bottom of a treacle well! Their names are Olga, Masha, and Irina." This is a conflation of the dormouse's story in chapter seven of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Anton Chekhov's play, Three Sisters.

[edit] In print

A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in November 1978. The novelisation was later designated number 2 when Target opted to number the first seventy-three novelisations alphabetically; however no edition using the number was ever released.

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Doctor Who and the Android Invasion
Series Target novelisations
Release number (Assigned 2, but never used)
Writer Terrance Dicks
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Roy Knipe
ISBN 0-426-20037-3
Release date 16 November 1978
Preceded by '
Followed by '

DVD & VHS release

  • This story was released on VHS in March 1995.
  • The story has been announced for DVD release on 9 January 2012 alongside Invasion of the Dinosaurs, coupled as the "UNIT Files" box set. [4]


  1. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "The Android Invasion". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 2008-07-31. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  2. ^ "The Android Invasion". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Shannon (2007-08-07). "The Android Invasion". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  4. ^

External links

Target novelisation
Direct download: TDP_226_Androids_Invasion.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 5:00am UTC

TDP 225: Invasion of the Dinosaurs

reprinted from wikipedia with respect and thanks


The Doctor and Sarah arrive in 1970s London to find that it has been evacuated, due to the mysterious appearance of dinosaurs. It turns out that the dinosaurs are being brought to London via a time machine in order to further a plan to revert London to a pre-technological level.

[edit] Plot

The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith arrive in a deserted London plagued by looters and lawlessness where UNIT is assisting with maintaining martial law. The regular army, headed by General Finch, has evacuated the entire city and issues a command that any looters in London will be shot on sight. The Doctor and Sarah are soon arrested on suspicion of being looters themselves but are identified from the photographs by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who is heading up the UNIT operation, and arranges that the pair are freed to help combat the monsters that have necessitated the evacuation of London. Dinosaurs have started appearing all over the city – but that is not all, as the Doctor comes across a medieval peasant from the days of King Richard, who disappears in a time eddy. It seems the dinosaurs have been present for several months, but nobody can account for their sudden appearance or the havoc they are causing. The British Government has been relocated to Harrogate during the crisis, and the army has taken charge to ensure an orderly evacuation and to try and maintain some sort of control in the city. The dinosaur appearances are various – pterodactyls, Stegosaurus, Tyrannosaurus Rex – but the creatures seem to vanish as mysteriously as they appear.

The Doctor ventures out around the city with a UNIT escort, hoping to learn more of the curious phenomenon, and they encounter a Stegosaurus moments before it disappears. He starts to suspect someone is deliberately bringing the dinosaurs to London – and in a hidden laboratory a pair of scientists, Butler and Professor Whitaker, are shown operating the Timescoop technology that is making the situation possible. They are being aided by Captain Mike Yates from UNIT, who is revealed to be recovering from a nervous breakdown caused by the events depicted in The Green Death. Mike feels the Doctor could help them achieve Operation Golden Age, but Whitaker is unconvinced, and tells Mike to sabotage the stun gun, which the Doctor is building for use on the dinosaurs. He does this, imperilling the Doctor when he encounters a Tyrannosaurus Rex, but the situation is saved and the creature is stunned and captured. Hours later, however, General Finch sets it free, evidently part of the conspiracy too.

Sarah Jane has meanwhile set off to gather her own evidence and meets with Sir Charles Grover, an ecologist MP who is acting as Minister with Special Responsibilities in London. She is drugged by him and when she wakes up is astounded to find herself on a vast spaceship. The crew include Mark, Adam and Ruth, all famed British minor celebrities who have adopted new aliases and lives. They tell her they en route for a New Earth where mankind can begin again, closer to nature. They left Earth three months earlier and the ship is one of a fleet that is carrying over two hundred people to a new life. Sarah is committed to the re-education programme to enable her to think like them.

The Doctor now focuses on more searches of London using his new vehicle, the Whomobile, as transport. Under Trafalgar Square tube station he finds the base used by Whitaker and Butler, but is scared away when they use a pterodactyl to defend their lair. When he returns with the Brigadier, the signs of occupation have been removed. Operation Golden Age is revealed to be a broad conspiracy containing Whitaker, Butler, Yates, Grover and Finch as its core co-ordinators. They have emptied London to enable it to revert to a more natural state, after which the people on the spaceships (in reality they are in vast bunkers and not in space at all) will be allowed out and enabled to repopulate a clean and free planet. Whitaker also works out how to reverse time, so that soon none of humanity apart from their own chosen specimens will ever have existed.

Finch tries to frame and discredit the Doctor, whom he knows will not support their plans, and the Doctor soon twigs that an over-zealous Yates is the UNIT mole. Sergeant Benton lets the Doctor escape, for which Finch threatens a court martial. The Doctor uses his freedom to track down more monsters, but when he is recaptured the Brigadier asserts his authority and takes the Doctor into UNIT custody rather than the regular army’s.

Sarah has meanwhile escaped from the fake spaceship having learnt its true nature, but is apprehended by Finch, who tracks her down and returns her to Whitaker’s custody. While she is away Mark works out that the ship is a fake too and exposes this to the other passengers, but he is not believed. When Sarah is returned to the ship she and Mark use the fake airlock to convince Ruth and the others of the depth of the deception

Shortly afterward Finch and Yates reveal their hands to the Doctor, Benton and the Brigadier, and reveal the nature of their plans. The Doctor and the Brigadier get away once more and head back to the base, evading dinosaurs en route, where they confront Grover and Whitaker. The duped environmentalists from the fake spaceship also appear, along with Sarah, and demand an explanation. In the ensuing fight Whitaker and Grover are transported back through the Timescoop to the Golden Age they sought to bring to modern Britain.

Back at UNIT HQ, the Brigadier confirms to the Doctor that the crisis is over, but there are still some human casualties to deal with. Finch will face a court martial while Yates is being offered the chance to resign and given extended sick leave. The Doctor reflects that people like Grover may have had good motivations in wanting to fight pollution and environmental degradation, but they took their schemes too far and endangered all mankind and its civilisation. He decides it is time for a holiday and offers to take Sarah Jane to the holiday planet of Florana.

[edit] Continuity

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode
EpisodeBroadcast dateRun timeViewership
(in millions)
"Part One" 12 January 1974 25:29 11.0 16mm black and white engineering print
"Part Two" 19 January 1974 24:43 10.1 PAL 2" colour videotape
"Part Three" 26 January 1974 23:26 11.0 PAL 2" colour videotape
"Part Four" 2 February 1974 23:33 9.0 PAL 2" colour videotape
"Part Five" 9 February 1974 24:30 9.0 PAL 2" colour videotape
"Part Six" 16 February 1974 25:34 7.5 PAL 2" colour videotape
  • Working titles for this story included Bridgehead from Space and Timescoop.
  • The first episode has the story title contracted to Invasion in an attempt to conceal the central plot device. However this was undermined by the BBC listings magazine Radio Times who gave the full story title.
  • In the original novelisation, no reference is made to the "Whomobile" and the Doctor uses a military motor bike with electronic scanning equipment attached to it.
  • Malcolm Hulke protested against the use of the title Invasion of the Dinosaurs, preferring the original working title of Timescoop, and felt the contraction for the first episode was silly, especially because the Radio Times listing used the full title. In a response letter after transmission script editor Terrance Dicks pointed out that all the titles used for the project had originated in the Doctor Who production office. He agreed that the contraction to Invasion was a decision he now regretted but noted that "Radio Times are a law unto themselves".
  • Locations used in London included: Westminster Bridge, Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Haymarket, Covent Garden, Southall and Wimbledon Common

[edit] Missing Episodes & Archive

  • All episodes of this story bar episode 1 exist on their original PAL colour master tapes, with the first episode only existing as a monochrome 16mm film print. There is a longstanding fan myth that the tape of episode 1 was erased by mistake, having been confused with an episode of the Patrick Troughton serial The Invasion. In reality, BBC Enterprises issued instructions to wipe all six episodes of Invasion of the Dinosaurs in August 1974, just six months after the story's transmission; for reasons unknown, however, only episode 1 was actually junked. As far as the BBC was concerned, the story had been wiped in its entirety; researchers for the 1976 documentary Whose Doctor Who found that none of the episodes was listed as existing in the BBC library.[4]
  • The surviving film recording of Episode 1 is the only telerecording of a Season 11 episode known to exist.
  • A black-and-white film print exists of the film sequences from part one. This includes one scene of a scared scavenger stealing money from a dead milkman's satchel omitted from the transmitted version, this would have been part of the deserted London montage. The black-and-white prints were used as practice for the film editor to make cuts before they cut the colour negatives.
  • Colour 35mm film sequences from Episode five also exist.
  • Episode 3's first edit (also known in the BBC as a 71 edit) also exists, without sound effects or music on the soundtrack.

[edit] Cast notes

[edit] Reception

After the episodes were broadcast, many children viewers of the show complained that the Tyrannosaurus Rex was actually an Allosaurus.[5]

Doctor Who: The Television Companion (by Howe and Walker, BBC Publishing, 1998) quotes a contemporary review (from a fanzine) that describes the dinosaur special effects thus: "After escaping they [the Doctor and Sarah] came up against the first dinosaur and, oh dear, shades of Basil Brush! A glove puppet nervously skiing about London streets didn't exactly fill me with fright..."

[edit] In print

A novelisation of this serial, written by Malcolm Hulke, was published by Target Books in February 1976 as Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion. In 1993 it was reprinted with the title Doctor Who - Invasion of the Dinosaurs. The novelisation features a prologue about the dinosaurs and ends with the Doctor consulting the Book of Ezekiel to determine the final fate of the Golden Age time travellers. An unabridged reading of the novelisation by actor Martin Jarvis was released on CD in November 2007 by BBC Audiobooks.

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Doctor Who and the Dinosaur Invasion
Series Target novelisations
Release number 22
Writer Malcolm Hulke
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Chris Achilleos
ISBN 0-426-10874-4
Release date 19 February 1976
Preceded by '
Followed by '

[edit] VHS and DVD release

This was the final complete story to be released by BBC Worldwide on VHS, in 2003.

The story is to be released on DVD in the UK on 9 January 2012 alongside the 1975 Tom Baker story The Android Invasion, together forming the U.N.I.T Files box set.[6] The DVD will feature a restored black-and-white version of Episode 1 as the default and also a 'best-endeavours' attempt at colour recovery of this episode as a branched-extra feature.[7]

In contrast to other wiped colour episodes from the Pertwee era where the missing colour information had been inadvertently recorded on the surviving black and white film copies as a sequence of visual artifacts/dots or chroma dots, in the case of Episode 1 of this story this information was found to be incomplete, and only the red and green colour signal information was recoverable, requiring the missing blue signal information to be obtained via other means.

The new colour version of Episode 1 featured on the DVD thus employs approximated blue colour information, and although the outcome is not up to normal DVD quality, it gives an impression of what the episode would have looked like when originally broadcast.[8]

[edit] References

  1. ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "Invasion of the Dinosaurs". Outpost Gallifrey. Retrieved 2008-08-30.[dead link]
  2. ^ "Invasion of the Dinosaurs". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  3. ^ Sullivan, Shannon (2007-08-07). "Invasion of the Dinosaurs". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
  4. ^ Molesworth, Richard Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes, Telos Publishing Ltd, Sept 2010
  5. ^ "Doctor Who in the BBC"
  6. ^ "Doctor Who: U.N.I.T Files Box Set (DVD)". Retrieved 29 December 2011.
  7. ^
  8. ^

[edit] External links

Fan reviews
Target novelisation
Direct download: TDP_225_inv_of_dinos.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:17pm UTC

TDP 224: Doctor Who Confidential Replacement Service

with thanks to the official bbc site

Direct download: TDP_224_Confidential_Replacement_service.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 1:08pm UTC