The arrival of the TARDIS coincides with a dangerous digression in Earth’s history: King John announces he has no plans to sign the Magna Carta. The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough investigate and discover that his majesty is not all that he appears – King John has been replaced by an intelligent, shapeshifting android called Kamelion. But at the moment, Kamelion is merely a puppet, and his strings are held by the Master, who escaped from Xeriphas (bringing Kamelion, a Xeriphan invention, with him) and now hopes to unravel the entire history of western civilization.
Guest Cast: Anthony Ainley (The Master/Sir Gilles Estram), Frank Windsor (Ranulf), Gerald Flood (King John/voice of Kamelion), Isla Blair (Isabella), Christopher Villiers (Hugh), Michael J. Jackson (Sir Geoffrey), Peter Burroughs (Jester)
Broadcast from March 15 through 16, 1983
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: An interesting and fairly uncomplicated two-part episode, The King’s Demons was intended primarily as a vehicle to introduce a new companion, Kamelion. As introduced to the press in publicity material and photo shoots, Kamelion really was a high-tech wonder, a remote-controlled robot “actor” capable of walking, moving its arms and hands, turning its head, and even moving its mouth. But when a tragic accident claimed the life of the special effects whiz who invented Kamelion, the character just as quickly disappeared from the show, to be featured in only one other story (which was hastily rearranged to show the now-crippled robot’s exit). As a result, The King’s Demons is a bit of a non-sequitur in the grand scheme of things. And speaking of non-sequiturs, the Master’s increasingly improbable escape from his previous adventure is something of a Davison-era trademark. So too is the disguising of the Master’s appearance in an attempt to preserve the surprise – in the Radio Times, the part of “Sir Giles Estram” was attributed to a fictional actor, “James Stoker”…or, slightly rearranged, “Master’s joke.” (A similar ploy, crediting “Neil Toynay” – an anagram of Tony Ainley – as Kalid, was used to keep the Master’s appearance a surprise in Time-Flight.)