Doctor Who: Tin Dog Podcast
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TDP 238: The Face Of Evil

The Fourth Doctor, traveling alone in the TARDIS, arrives on a mysterious jungle planet. He soon encounters Leela, a savage from the local tribe, who denounces him as the Evil One of fable amongst her people. She has been exiled from her tribe, the Sevateem, for profaning their god, the mysterious Xoanon, which speaks to them through the tribe’s shaman, Neeva. Her father, tribal elder Sole, tried to intervene to protect her but died when taking the Test of the Horda on her behalf. Now Leela is an outcast beyond the invisible barrier around her tribal home. Neeva, meanwhile, has sent two men to murder her, an action witnessed by Leela's friend Tomas, who kills one of the men as Leela dispatches the other. In the jungle beyond that she encounters the Doctor soon wins her over by defending her from invisible monsters that rampage about, attracted by vibration of any kind. Exploring further, the Doctor finds a sophisticated sonic disruptor which creates the forcefield that keeps the creatures from attacking the village itself. Leela regales him with more folklore of her people: the god Xoanon is kept prisoner by the Evil One and his followers, the Tesh, beyond a strange black wall.

The Sevateem have meanwhile decided to launch an attack on the domain of the Tesh to free their god. They are led by the combative Andor, who is determined to free his god, and also believes that an attack will unite the people. Andor suspects Neeva of being a false prophet, and Tomas tells him of Neeva's assassination attempt against Leela. Still, Andor believes the attack will succeed and is prepared to go ahead.

Two warriors are scouring the jungle when they find the Doctor, and they too call him the Evil One, making a protective hand gesture which the Doctor interprets as the sequence for checking the seals on a Starfall Seven spacesuit. The warriors seize the Doctor, but not Leela, and take him to the village council, where his face is shown to all the tribe. Andor is convinced the prisoner is the Evil One, and has him confined. However, Leela manages to free him by using poisonous Janis thorns, which paralyze, then kill the victim. The Doctor is horrified by this and instructs her "No more Janis thorns, Ever".

The pair flee the village and head to a clearing beyond, in which the Doctor is greeted with a stunning sight: carved into a mountain nearby is an impression of his own face. The Doctor cannot recall clearly why his face is depicted so, and persuades Leela to return to the village to find out more, despite the death sentence upon them. They return to Neeva’s holy tent and the Doctor inspects the ancient tribal relics, recognising them as artifacts from an Earth survey expedition. He also finds a transceiver used by Neeva to hear the commands of Xoanon. It speaks with the Doctor’s own voice, conveying exhilaration on hearing the Doctor that "At least we are here. At last I shall be free of us."

They then head off to inspect the dark Wall that stands at the entrance to the realm of the Evil One. The Doctor deduces it is a primitive time barrier, and is convinced the Sevateem warriors will be massacred if they attack the fortress of their enemy, the Tesh. From a distance they see the massacre unfold, as laser beams cut down warriors armed only with crossbows and other basic tribal weapons. Half the tribe is lost in the assault and one of the elders, the devious Calib, is first back at the camp where he finds the Doctor and Leela. He is evidently intent on using the Doctor to break Neeva’s hold on the tribe by exposing the faith in Xoanon as misplaced mythology. Leela’s friend Tomas also arrives, and is appalled to find Calib has stabbed Leela with a Janis thorn to prevent her exposing his schemes. The Doctor gets Tomas to help him move Leela to Neeva’s tent, where he uses a bio-analyzer to synthesise an antidote to the poison.

When the surviving warriors return, the Doctor, Leela and Tomas are invited to address the tribal elders in defence of their lives. Leela makes matters worse when she accuses Xoanon of causing the trap at the Wall. Calib intervenes to suggest the Doctor is not the Evil One, and this can be proven by getting him to take the fabled Test of the Horda. In the centre of the village is a pit full of Horda, two-foot-long worms which hunt in packs and react to the movements of their prey. They are reputed to strip flesh from a man in an instant. The Sevateem evolved the Test of the Horda as a measure of justice and bravery. It involves suspension on a rope above the pit, and accused characters are gradually lowered into the pit by means of a rope. The Doctor is given a crossbow which has to be fired at the exact moment to sever the rope without causing him to fall into the pit – which is, of course, the fate of the guilty. The Doctor succeeds, and is therefore presumed to be a non-malign influence and freed. He proceeds to examine some relics of the tribe and repairs a disruptor gun. He also tells some of the tribe that the Sevateem are the descendants of a “survey team” which left a Starfall Seven Earth colony ship. The Doctor and Leela then go to examine the face in the mountain, and they climb into the face by scaling the Doctor’s teeth.

Neeva returns to his tent, where the voice of Xoanon tells him that the tribe will be destroyed, and the mysterious being then causes the sonic disruptor to shut down, leaving the village open to attack from the invisible beings. These descend on the village, killing indiscriminately, including crushing Andor to death. Tomas uses the disruptor gun built by the Doctor to expose the true appearance of the invisible beings: they are ferocious, angry depictions of the Doctor’s own face as shown in the picture.

Leela and the Doctor notice a figure in a space suit in the “mouth” entrance and follow it through a projection of a wall. Beyond this barrier is a rocket, which the Doctor recalls as belonging to the Mordee Expedition, his memory of events earlier in his regeneration now returning. Xoanon has detected the Doctor nearby, and when he reaches the ship the god-creature is both ecstatic that "We are here” while also manically pledging that "We must destroy us."

The Doctor and Leela now meet three representatives of the Tesh, who serve and worship Xoanon. They are human too, but technologically advanced and possessing telepathic abilities. The Doctor deduces both Sevateem and Tesh are descendants of the same crew from the Mordee Expedition, with the Tesh (or technicians) involved in the same deadly eugenics exercise as the Sevateem (or survey team).

The invisible creatures that attacked the Sevateem are also part of the same deranged scheme: Xoanon is a highly sophisticated computer, designed to think independently. The Doctor had once repaired Xoanon but forgot to wipe his personality print from the data core, leaving the computer with a split personality. The Doctor and Leela are soon imprisoned but evade their captors and find the remote communications device used to communicate with Neeva. The Doctor, speaking as Xoanon, instructs Neeva to tell Calib, who is now tribal leader, to lead the Sevateem survivors through the mouth of the carved face in the mountain. Calib accepts this instruction and leads them into the safety of the mouth, where the invisible beings can no longer threaten the tribe.

With Leela keeping guard and holding the Tesh at bay with a disruptor gun, the Doctor ventures into the computer room of the ship to confront Xoanon. He blames himself for creating the maddened split personality of the computer and now attempts to persuade it to shut down. When Xoanon refuses it channels a vicious mental assault at the Doctor, causing him to collapse. As the Doctor writhes on the floor, Xoanon booms: "Who am I?"

Leela rescues the Doctor from the mental assault, and as he recovers he warns her of Xoanon’s power. Moments later they realise the computer has electrified the walls to try to kill them, and the Tesh become more purposeful in tracking them down within the spaceship. The Tesh also come under attack from Calib, Tomas and the survivors of the Sevateem, who now reach the spaceship too. This diverts the Tesh while the Doctor and Leela return to the computer room, where Xoanon briefly takes control of Leela’s mind. Most of the Sevateem come under the telepathic control of the computer too.

The Tesh and Sevateem soon converge on the computer room too and interrupt the Doctor as he tries to repair Xoanon, realising the computer has now triggered the countdown to an atomic explosion. Elsewhere in the ship Neeva is alone but crazed, his faith in Xoanon shattered. The shaman uses the disruptor gun against one of the images of Xoanon/the Doctor projected through a wall. The ensuing blast kills Neeva but also interrupts Xoanon’s control of its subjects, allowing the Doctor to resume and complete his repairs. Xoanon’s circuits explode, knocking the Doctor out.

Two days later the Doctor wakes up to find himself aboard the spaceship in the care of Leela. She explains Xoanon has been quiet and he interprets this as success for his extraction experiment. They visit the computer room and find Xoanon’s identity and sanity restored. The computer confirms it was running a eugenics experiment and thanks the Doctor for his repair work. The Doctor then contacts the survivors of the Tesh and Sevateem and tells them Xoanon is now cured and able to support their new society. He then heads off to the TARDIS followed by Leela. She insists she join him on his travels, and when he refuses she jumps into the TARDIS with him and starts the dematerialisation process.

[edit] Continuity

  • The story does not explicitly explain when the Fourth Doctor repaired the Starfall Seven's computer. The novelisation suggests that the earlier visit to the planet of the Sevateem took place during the story Robot, in the moment when Sarah sees him begin to leave in the TARDIS but calls for him to stay.

[edit] Production

Serial details by episode
EpisodeBroadcast dateRun timeViewership
(in millions)
"Part One" 1 January 1977 24:58 10.7
"Part Two" 8 January 1977 24:58 11.1
"Part Three" 15 January 1977 24:40 11.3
"Part Four" 22 January 1977 24:46 11.7
  • Working titles for this story included The Day God Went Mad.

[edit] Cast notes

  • The actors credited as Xoanon do not appear onscreen; only their voices were used.
  • Features guest appearances by Pamela Salem (voice only) and Leslie Schofield.
  • Lloyd McGuire later played Generalleutnant Tendexter in the audio play The Architects of History.

[edit] In print

A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in January 1978.

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Doctor Who and the Face of Evil
Series Target novelisations
Release number 25
Writer Terrance Dicks
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Jeff Cummins
ISBN 0-426-20006-3
Release date 19 January 1978
Preceded by '
Followed by '

[edit] DVD & VHS release

  • This story was released on VHS in May 1999
  • The story was released on DVD on 5 March 2012[4]

[edit] References

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

[edit] External links

Fan reviews
Target novelisation


Doctor Who

Direct download: TDP_238_Face_of_Evil.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:05am UTC


As Suplied by Forbidden

To Win A signed copy of Shada

simply anser this question

name another doctor Who story by douglas adams.

send your name address and answer to

marked shada comp

Direct download: TDP_SHADA_COMP_SPECIAL.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 7:59am UTC

TDP 237: Blake's 7 Big Finish Box Set

Blake's 7 CD Box Set 1
(Duration: 180' approx)


Gareth Thomas (Blake), Paul Darrow (Avon), Michael Keating (Vila), Anthony Howell (Nyrron)

Three enhanced audiobooks performed by the stars of the classic BBC television series. These stories are set during Series 1.

The Turing Test by Simon Guerrier
Starring Paul Darrow as Avon and Michael Keating as Vila
After evading an attack by Cassini pirates, the Liberator heads to the rogue moon of Quentil, where Avon and Vila infiltrate a top secret Federation science facility.

Vila assumes the guise of Doctor Yarding Gill, an expert in digital memory. And Avon is his 'creation' - a super-advanced android that could pass for human. In fact, he does...

Can they maintain the ruse for long enough to complete their mission? And will the Cassini pirates catch up with them?

Solitary by Nigel Fairs
Starring Michael Keating as Vila and Anthony Howell as Nyrron
Vila is in solitary confinement. His friends have abandoned him; his only contact with the world outside is Nyrron, a scientist from the planet Auron.

Amnesiac and confused, Vila attempts to piece together recent events... A mission to Dulcimer 4. An important meeting. And a visit to the jungle world of Terrulis Major.

In the depths of the foliage, the truth is waiting. And it's more terrifying than Vila could possibly have imagined...

Counterfeit by Peter Anghelides
Starring Gareth Thomas as Blake and Paul Darrow as Avon
The Bovee Mining Facility: a Federaqtion slave camp worked by disgraced scientists.

The planet shouldn't be of interest but is it: Avon's investigations reveal that it's rich in Illusium, a mineral that can change from one substance to another. With it, the Federation could be invulnerable...

Blake teleports down to Bovee, but gets more than he bargained for. There's another visitor to the facility - and his presence changes the whole game...
AUTHORS:     Simon Guerrier, Nigel Fairs and Peter Anghelides     DIRECTOR:
    Lisa Bowerman
    Alistair Lock     MUSIC:
    Alistair Lock
    Anthony Lamb
    23 September 2011     RELEASE DATE:
    28 February 2012
    BFPB7BOX001     ISBN:     978-1-84435-624-9



These stories are set between Project Avalon and Breakdown.

Direct download: TDP_237_Blake_Seven_Box_Set.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:14am UTC

TDP 236: My 40th Birthday (and the Tin Dog Podcasts 6th) Special

A Heartfelt thank you for listening as we enter out seventh year together!



Michael M Gilroy-Sinclair




It's nineteen eighty three and I am late.


I’m perched on the edge of a sofa, dressed in what I can only describe as a paramilitary uniform. I have a green beret on my head, a golden cap badge and the insignia on my arm says that I am second in command of my sub group. My heart rate is up and I am full of guilt.


Except that’s only part of the truth.  I am eleven years old and I am watching Doctor Who, The Doctor is talking to a pirate queen and I am transfixed.


Both of these are true, I am dressed to go to the scouts and I am, as I have said quite late.


I was never athletic and yet I run. I run in the way you can when you are eleven. The wind holds its breath and lets you past. Traffic slows down to let you cross roads. You can bend space/time when you are eleven.  One day the The Wachowskis have nothing on this.


Across the field and down the cinder path, down Exeter road and onwards to the hut containing others of my kind.


The green wooden hut belongs in a Just William story and it is home to the 8th Tynemouth Scout group. I had been a cub and with an arm full of merit badges and a neckerchief which was always was worn with pride.


I burst in with an entry worthy of Sodeed, all eyes turn to me. A room full of punctual automatons all lined up for inspection.


I took my spot at the end of the line and waited. I knew that I would receive... 'a chat' one of the first 'have a quiet words with' id receive in a lifetime of 'having quiet words with'.


I did not have to wait for long.


Immediately after inspection I was taken to one side by as huge man, An ambulance driver by day and Scout leader by night. I remember his moustache bristling in a way I'd only heard about in Terrance Dicks novelizations.


He looked me square in the face and asked a simple question. He said it as a statement of fact, a management technique used by many.


“You have to work out what’s more important. Doctor Who or...” any words after that were lost to me.


I stayed the session and let my mind fill with Robots and Terileptils.


I never returned.


I knew that my heart belonged in the blue box and no amount of church parades and camping could ever change that.



It is also important to note that drama club was on a night when my Beloved TARDIS was not on television and there were also girls there!

Direct download: TDP_236_Birthday_Special_1.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 9:22am UTC

TDP 235: DWPA @ Gally 2012 - Network 23

Ken Deep spearheaded a podcast recording at Gallifrey One's Network 23 featuring:

Ken from Podshock
Steven from Radio Free Skaro
Daisy from Sonic Toolbox
Chip from Two-Minute Time Lord
Tom from Geek Planet

It's an interesting discussion about the convention and about Doctor Who in general

Direct download: TDP_235_dwpa_gallifrey_2012.mp3
Category:podcast -- posted at: 8:30am UTC