The Web Of Fear

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are nearly sucked out into the time vortex when Salamander takes off with the TARDIS doors open. Salamander is ejected from the TARDIS, and the ship lands safely in the London Underground circa 1968. But all is not well in central London: a deadly mist hovers above ground over the Circle Line, and an even deadlier web is filling the tunnels of the Underground. Yeti patrol the tunnels, trapping a batallion of Army soldiers in the tunnels. The Great Intelligence has trapped the Doctor and his friends in a scheme to take over the Doctor’s mind, using the Time Lord’s immense knowledge for evil. Professor Travers, the scientist who the Doctor saved from the Yeti in 1930s Tibet, is able to vouch for the time travelers’ good intensions, though some of the soldiers aren’t so trusting. The Doctor races against time to wrest control of the robotic Yeti from the Great Intelligence and to find a traitor among the contingent of soldiers in the Underground. And perhaps most importantly of all, the Doctor must gain the trust of an unusually open-minded Army officer, Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart.

Order this story on audio CDTrailerwritten by Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
directed by Douglas Camfield
music not credited

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart), Jack Watling (Professor Travers), Tina Packer (Anne Travers), Frederick Schrecker (Julius Silverstein), Rod Beacham (Lane), Ralph Watson (Knight), Richardson Morgan (Blake), Jon Rollason (Chorley), Jack Woolgar (Arnold), Stephen Whittaker (Weams), Bernard G. High (Soldier), Joseph O’ Connell (Soldier), John Levene (Yeti), John Lord (Yeti), Gordon Stothard (Yeti), Doctor WhoColin Warman (Yeti), Jeremy King (Yeti), Roger Jacombs (Yeti), Derek Pollitt (Evans)

Note: Considered “lost” for decades following a purge of videotape and film stock in the BBC’s archives, five of the six episodes of The Web Of Fear now exist thanks to the 2013 discovery of 16mm film copies in a broadcast transmitter hut in Nigeria. The third episode – in which the Doctor first meets Colonel Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart – sadly remains missing.

Broadcast from February 3 through March 9, 1968

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The Invasion

Doctor WhoThe TARDIS reforms itself after what appears to be a cataclysmic explosion in space, only to become the target of a missile fired from the dark side of Earth’s moon…in 1968, when there still isn’t a human presence there. The timeship finally materializes in a nondescript field on Earth, but instead of a police box, it’s completely invisible. The Doctor, Zoe and Jamie set off for London on foot to seek Professor Travers’ help with the TARDIS’ visual stabilizer circuit, but soon hitch a ride on a passing truck, whose worried driver informs them that they’re in danger as long as they’re on International Electromatics property. He gets them safely out of IE’s corporate compound, but is then gunned down in cold blood by armed IE guards.

In London, the Doctor and friends discover that Professor Travers has gone to America with his Yeti findings, but his friend Professor Watkins might be able to help. But Watkins has gone missing – he’s never returned from International Electromatics – and his niece is holding down the Fort. The Doctor and Jamie return to IE’s headquarters building, where they cause just enough trouble to get a personal audience with the head of the company, Tobias Vaughn. The Doctor immediately suspects that Vaughn is up to no good, but he and Jamie don’t have time to think about it before they’re intercepted by two cars that have been following their movements. They’re taken to the mobile headquarters of a military organization called UNIT – the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce – whose British branch is headed up by their old friend Lethbridge-Stewart, now promoted to Brigadier. The Brigadier and his troops are monitoring IE closely: many brilliant, prominent scientific minds have entered, but none have left. The Doctor suspects that Tobias Vaughn wants control of more than just the world’s largest maker of electronic devices…but whose help does Vaughn have to pull off such a coup?

Order this story on DVDwritten by Derrick Sherwin
from a story by Kit Pedler
directed by Douglas Camfield
music by Don Harper

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (Corporal Benton), Murray Evans (Lorry Driver), Walter Randall (Patrolman), Sally Faulkner (Isobel Watkins), Geoffrey Chesire (Tracy), Kevin Stoney (Tobias Vaughn), Peter Halliday (Packer), Edward Burnham (Professor Watkins), Ian Fairburn (Gregory), James Thornhill (Sergeant Walters), Robert Sidaway (Captain Turner), Sheila Dunn (Operator), Edward Dentith (Rutlidge), Peter Thompson (Workman), Dominic Allan (Policeman), Stacy Davies (Perkins), Clifford Earl (Branswell), Norman Hartley (Peters), Pat Gorman, Ralph Carrigan, Charles Finch, Richard King, John Spradbury, Peter Thornton (Cybermen), Peter Halliday (Cyber Director voice)

Notes: Parts one and four of this eight-part story (the only story of that length in the show’s history) were lost in a purge of black & white BBC shows after the BBC switched to color. (Ironically, part one of 1974’s Invasion Of The Dinosaurs, a Jon Pertwee story, was simply titled Invasion to avoid giving away that story’s adversaries, and it was mistaken for part of this story and junked, rendering an otherwise intact color story incomplete. A B&W copy of part one of that story was recovered later.) In 1993, BBC Video released The Invasion in incomplete form with Nicholas Courtney narrating encapsulated versions of the missing episodes, while a 2006 DVD release took the unprecedented step of completely reconstructing the missing segments with cartoon-style animation.

Broadcast from November 2 through December 21, 1968

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Spearhead From Space

Doctor WhoDr. Liz Shaw is uprooted from her research at Cambridge to serve as the scientific advisor for the recently formed United Nations Intelligence Taskforce, headed by Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. The Brigadier seeks Liz’s help in the investigation of two mysteriously precise meteor showers which could be signs of alien interference with Earth. But the Brigadier’s luck improves with the arrival of a police box in the midst of the most recent meteor shower, though its sole occupant is a man he’s never seen before. The Doctor, however, does recognize the Brigadier despite recovering from the trauma of his forced regeneration at the hands of the Time Lords, and the two join forces – with a somewhat bewildered Dr. Shaw in tow – to fight an alien menace which can inhabit and control one of the most common substances manufactured on Earth…plastic.

Download this episodewritten by Robert Holmes
directed by Derek Martinus
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Hugh Burden (Channing), Neil Wilson (Seeley), John Breslin (Captain Munro), Antony Webb (Dr. Henderson), Helen Dorward (Nurse), Talfryn Thomas (Mullins), George Lee (Corporal Forbes), Iain Smith, Tessa Shaw, Ellis Jones (UNIT personnel), Allan Mitchell (Wagstaffe), Prentis Hancock (Reporter), Derek Smee (Ransome), John Woodnutt (Hibbert), Betty Bowden (Meg Seeley), Hamilton Dyce (Scobie), Henry McCarthy (Dr. Beavis), Clifford Cox (Soldier), Edmund Bailey (Waxworks Attendant)

Broadcast from January 3 through 24, 1970

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Doctor Who and the Silurians

Doctor WhoUNIT and the Doctor are summoned to a nuclear power research center located near a complex of caves; something has been slowly driving members of the center’s staff mad, one by one, and at least one spelunker has been killed in the caves. The Doctor investigates the caves for himself, uninterested in what initially seem like personnel problems at the center, and finds a living dinosaur inside them; he also discovers evidence of a bipedal reptile species, both in the caves and outside. The center’s director doesn’t believe the story he’s being told, but the Brigadier prepares UNIT to defend against a possible invasion. The Doctor is convinced that the reptile humanoids are Silurians, the original inhabitants of the Earth before a mass extinction wiped out most of the large reptile species and allowed humans to evolve and thrive. The few survivors of the event went into underground shelters, and the energy released by the research center is slowly awakening them. The Doctor is determined to contact them and try to talk them into coexisting peacefully with humans on the surface, only to find that warlike factions exist among the Silurians as well – and some of them will be satisfied with nothing less than wiping out humanity.

written by Malcolm Hulke
directed by Timothy Combe
music by Carey Blyton

Guest Cast: John Newman (Spencer), Bill Matthews (Davis), Peter Miles (Dr. Lawrence), Norman Jones (Baker), Thomasine Heiner (Miss Dawson), Fulton Mackay (Dr. Quinn), Roy Branigan (Roberts), Ian Cunningham (Dr. Meredith), Paul Darrow (Hawkins), Pat Gorman (Silurian Scientist), Dave Carter (Old Silurian), Nigel Johns (Young Silurian), Paul Barton, Simon Cain, John Churchill (Silurians), Peter Halliday (Silurian voice), Nancie Jackson (Doris Squire), Gordon Richardson (Squire), Richard Steele (Hart), Ian Talbot (Travis), Geoffrey Palmer (Masters), Harry Swift (Robins), Brendan Barry (Doctor), Derek Pollitt (Wright), Alan Mason (Corporal Nutting)

Broadcast from January 31 through March 14, 1970

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The Ambassadors of Death

Doctor WhoA British manned Mars mission has fallen silent, its crew incommunicado for months. A second manned space vehicle is launched to recover the first, but it too loses contact with Earth. Strange, piercing signals are heard in Space Command on Earth, and the Doctor quickly realizes that they may be messages from whoever took the astronauts – only to hear a similar coded reply being sent from somewhere on Earth moments later. The Brigadier is able to trace the source of the reply and finds that the people who transmitted it are better organized and better armed than anyone suspected, and they even have allies within Space Command who try to sabotage the Doctor’s analysis of the original message. The recovery mission returns to Earth, but when the hatch is opened, the crew is nowhere to be found. Three astronauts did, in fact, arrive safely, but they aren’t from Earth. When Liz is kidnapped and forced to experiment on the alien visitors, and the military suddenly becomes reluctant to aid the Brigadier, the Doctor finds himself racing against time to avert an interplanetary war sparked by one paranoid man.

written by David Whitaker
directed by Michael Ferguson
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Robert Crawdon (Taltalian), Ric Felgate (Van Lyden), Ronald Allen (Ralph Cornish), Michael Wisher (John Wakefield), Cheryl Molineaux (Miss Rutherford), John Abineri (Carrington), Ray Armstrong (Grey), Robert Robertson (Collinson), Juan Moreno (Dobson), James Haswell (Champion), Bernard Martin (Control Room Assistant), Dallas Cavell (Quinlan), Steve Peters, Neville Simons (Astronauts), Gordon Sterne (Heldorf), William Dysart (Reegan), Cyril Shaps (Lennox), John Lord (Masters), Max Faulkner (Soldier), Joanna Ross (First Assistant), Carl Conway (Second Assistant), Ric Felgate (Astronaut), James Clayton (Parker), Peter Noel Cook (Alien), Peter Halliday (Alien voice), Neville Simons (Michaels), Steve Peters (Lefee), Geoffrey Beevers (Johnson), Roy Scammell (Peterson), Tony Harwood (Flynn)

Broadcast from March 21 through May 2, 1970

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Inferno

Doctor WhoJoining the Brigadier’s team at a hazardous research site where Dr. Stahlman plans to drill through the Earth’s crust to tap its core as a new source of energy, the Doctor is annoyed when Stahlman rejects most of his expert scientific advice. But this isn’t enough to prevent to Doctor from availing himself of power from Stahlman’s nuclear reactor for his own experiments – yet another attempt to restore the TARDIS to full function. But during one such experiment, the TARDIS console shoots the Doctor sideways in time, depositing him in another dimension where Britain is a fascist state. In this alternate Earth, the Doctor can only watch in horror as Stahlman’s experiment progresses to the point where it destroys the world. The Doctor barely escapes, only to find that he may be too late from saving the Earth he knows from the same fate.

written by Don Houghton
directed by Douglas Camfield & Barry Letts
music by Delia Derbyshire

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Olaf Pooley (Stahlman), Christopher Benjamin (Sir Gold), Ian Fairburn (Bromley), Walter Randall (Slocum), Sheila Dunn (Petra Williams), Derek Newark (Greg Sutton), David Simeon (Latimer), Derek Ware (Wyatt), Roy Scammell (Sentry), Keith James (Patterson), Dave Carter, Pat Gorman, Philip Ryan, Peter Thompson, Walter Henry (Primords)

Broadcast from May 9 through June 20, 1970

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Terror of the Autons

Doctor WhoAs the Doctor begins investigating the theft of the last remaining Nestene energy sphere (left behind in the previous Auton invasion) and the disappearance of a radio astronomer, a Time Lord appears and warns him that the Master – the Doctor’s arch rival Time Lord – has come to Earth. The Doctor deduces that the Master’s plan is to reawaken the Nestene Consciousness, giving it the opportunity to invade Earth once more. The Master has already set up production of the lethal plastic Autons at a nearby plastic factory – and knows exactly how he wants to rid the universe of the human race…and the Doctor.

Season 8 Regular Cast: Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Roger Delgado (The Master), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart)

written by Robert Holmes
directed by Barry Letts
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), John Baskcomb (Rossini), Dave Carter (Museum Attendant), Christopher Burgess (Professor Phillips), Andrew Staine (Goodge), Frank Mills (Radiotelescope Director), David Garth (Time Lord), Michael Wisher (Rex Farrel), Harry Towb (McDermott), Barbara Leake (Mrs. Farrel), Stephen Jack (Rex Farrel Sr.), Roy Stewart (Strong Man), Terry Walsh, Pat Gorman (Autons), Haydn Jones (Auton voice), Dermot Tuohy (Brownrose), Norman Stanley (Telephone Man)

Broadcast from January 2 through January 23, 1971

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The Mind of Evil

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Jo pay a visit to Stangmoor Prison to witness a test of a revolutionary new device that promises to reform criminals permanently by entirely extracting the evil impulses from their brains. But in this case, the test subject – a hardened convict named Barnham – is not only relieved of the darkness in his mind, but most of his mind’s contents as well, rendering him mentally childlike. Not long afterward, Professor Kettering, checking the machine to find out why it overreacted so harshly, dies mysteriously. The Doctor becomes increasingly suspicious and decides to close off the room and check the Keller device himself…only to realize – too late – that it’s an alien life form that feeds on fear, that his arch enemy is behind its presence on Earth, and that the device is only a small part of a much larger plan to plunge the world into chaos.

written by Don Houghton
directed by Timothy Combe
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Eric Mason (Green), Roy Purcell (Powers), Raymond Westwell (Governor), Simon Lack (Professor Kettering), Michael Sheard (Dr. Summers), Bill Matthews, Barry Wade, Dave Carter, Martin Gordon, Leslie Weekes, Tony Jenkins, Les Conrad, Les Clark, Gordon Stothard, Richard Atherton (Officers), Neil McCarthy (Barnham), Clive Scott (Linwood), Fernanda Marlowe (Corporal Bell), Pik-Sen Lim (Chin Lee), Kristopher Kum (Fu Peng), Haydn Jones (Vosper), William Marlowe (Mailer), Tommy Duggan (Alcott), David Calderisi (Charlie), Patrick Godfrey (Cosworth), Johnny Barrs (Fuller), Matthew Walters (Prisoner), Paul Blomley (Police Superintendent), Maureen Race (Student), Nick Hobbs (American aide), Billy Horrigan (UNIT corporal), Peter Roy (Policeman), Michael Ely (UNIT chauffeur), Francise Williams (African delegate/Master’s chauffeur), Laurence Harrington (Voices), Paul Tann (Chinese aide), Jim Delaney (Passer-by), Charles Saynor (Commissionaire), Basil Tang (Chinese chauffeur), Richard Atherton (Police Inspector)

Broadcast from January 30 through March 6, 1971

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The Claws of Axos

Doctor WhoFreak weather conditions mark the arrival of an unidentified flying object which lands near a power station. The Doctor, Jo and UNIT enter the ship, with an officious bureaucrat named Chinn in tow, finding that the ship’s organic nature is closely tied to its inhabitants, the Axons. Though they can appear in humanoid form, the Axons’ true shape is an amorphous blob of tentacles – and they have a passenger on board: the Master. The Axons strike up a bargain with Chinn for Britain to serve as the worldwide distribution hub for Axonite, a miraculous substance the Axons are only too happy to provide freely as a gift of peace in all good faith. The Doctor discovers, only too late, that Axonite is a Trojan horse from space – and it will allow the Axons to feed on Earth’s resources until the planet is drained.

written by Bob Baker & Dave Martin
directed by Michael Ferguson
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Peter Bathurst (Chinn), Michael Walker, David G. March (Radar Operators), Paul Grist (Bill Filer), Fernanda Marlowe (Corporal Bell), Derek Ware (Pigbin Josh), Donald Hewlett (Sir George Hardiman), David Saville (Winser), Bernard Holley (Axon man / voice of Axos), Kenneth Benda (Minister), Tim Piggott-Smith (Harker), Nick Hobbs (Driver), Royston Farrell (Technician), Patricia Gordino (Axon woman), Debbie Lee London (Axon girl), Roger Minnice, Geoff Righty, Steve King, David Aldridge (Humanoid Axons), Gloria Walker (Secretary/Nurse), Clinton Morris (Corporal), Peter Holmes, Steve Smart, Marc Boyle (Axon monsters)

Original title: The Vampire From Space

Broadcast from March 13 through April 3, 1971

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The Daemons

Doctor WhoA live television broadcast from an archaeological dig at Devil’s End – which Dr. Reeves plans to excavate at midnight – draws the interest of the villagers and of U.N.I.T., though the Doctor is unconvinced that there is any supernatural significance to these events until a local woman, claiming to be a white witch, interrupts the broadcast to protest the dig. Miss Hawthorne believes that the dig could unearth the devil himself. The Doctor and Jo rush to Devil’s End, arriving just as Dr. Reeves opens the barrow – and brings it crashing down on everyone inside. When the Doctor recovers, all hell has quite literally broken loose in the village, thanks to the new vicar – the Master in disguise – who is calling upon the powers of what most people could only describe as the devil.

written by Guy Leopold (a.k.a. Barry Letts & Robert Sloman)
directed by Christopher Barry
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Damaris Hayman (Miss Hawthrone), Eric Hillyard (Dr. Reeves), David Simeon (Alastair Fergus), James Snell (Harry), Robin Wentworth (Professor Horner), Rollo Gamble (Winstanley), Don McKillop (Bert), John Croft (Tom Girton), Christopher Wray (Groom), Jon Joyce (Garvin), Gerald Taylor (Baker’s man), Stanley Mason (Bok), Alec Linstead (Osgood), John Owens (Thorpe), Stephen Thorne (Azal), Matthew Corbett (Jones), Robin Squire (TV cameraman), Patrick Milner (Corporal)

Broadcast from May 22 through June 19, 1971

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Day of the Daleks

Doctor WhoSir Reginald Styles, a diplomat whose efforts could keep the world away from the brink of war in the coming days, claims to have seen a ghost stalking Auderly House, his country mansion. U.N.I.T. troops search the nearby grounds and find a lone man in combat fatigues and carrying a weapon of a futuristic design. The Doctor and Jo spend a night in Auderly House, and in the morning are taken hostage by three soldiers armed with the same 22nd-century weapons, who claim they’re on a mission to kill Styles – a man who, in their history, failed to prevent a world war that left Earth vulnerable to domination by the Daleks. The Doctor and Jo are accidentally transported to the 22nd century themselves, where they find that their attackers are attempting to change history by assassinating a key figure whose role in creating the future has been misinterpreted badly.

Season 9 Regular Cast: Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant)

written by Louis Marks
directed by Paul Bernard
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Jean McFarlane (Miss Paget), Wilfrid Carter (Sir Reginald Styles), Tim Condren (Guerilla), John Scott Martin (Chief Dalek), Oliver Gilbert, Peter Messaline (Dalek voices), Aubrey Woods (Controller), Deborah Brayshaw (Technician), Gypsie Kemp (Radio Operator), Anna Barry (Anat), Jimmy Winston (Shura), Scott Fredericks (Boaz), Valentine Palmer (Monia), Andrew Carr (Guard), Peter Hill (Manager), George Raistrick (Guard), Alex MacIntosh (TV Reporter), Rick Lester, Maurice Bush, Frank Menzies, Bruce Wells, Geoffrey Todd, David Joyce (Ogrons), Ricky Newby, Murphy Grumbar (Daleks)

Broadcast from January 1 through 22, 1972

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The Time Monster

Doctor WhoThe Doctor is disturbed by a recent series of dreams whose imagery has included the destruction of the world and the laughing face of the Master. But with no concrete basis for these visions, he ignores them and accompanies Jo as UNIT’s observers to the demonstration of the new TOM-TIT device – standing for Transmission Of Matter Through Interstitial Time. But things go wrong from the start, especially when the Doctor sees that the TOM-TIT research program is actually being run by the Master. The Master demonstrates a mere fraction of TOM-TIT’s potential by snatching soldiers and artillery from World Wars I & II and launching them at UNIT troops. But the Doctor realizes that TOM-TIT’s true power is still largely untapped. The Master plans to capture a Chronovore – a creature which lives outside of the dimension of time and feeds upon temporal energy – harness its power for his continual conquests. The Doctor pursues the Master through time and the lost continent of Atlantis to prevent the Chronovore’s incredible powers from falling into the Master’s hands…but the only way to stop that from happening may be mutual destruction for both Time Lords.

written by Robert Sloman
directed by Paul Bernard
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Roger Delgado (The Master), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Wanda Moore (Dr. Ingram), Ian Collier (Stuart Hyde), John Wyse (Dr. Percival), Terry Walsh (Window cleaner), Neville Barber (Dr. Cook), Barry Ashton (Proctor), Donald Eccles (Krasis), Keith Dalton (Neophite), Aidan Murphy (Hippias), Marc Boyle (Kronos), George Cormack (Dalios), Gregory Powell (Knight), Simon Legree (Sergeant), Dave Carter (Officer), George Lee (Farmworker), Ingrid Pitt (Galleia), Susan Penhaligon (Lakis), Michael Walker (Miseus), Derek Murcott (Crito), Dave Prowse, Terry Walsh (Minotaur), Melville Jones (Guard), Ingrid Bower (face of Kronos)

Broadcast from May 20 through June 24, 1972

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The Green Death

Doctor WhoProblems at a Welsh mining operation draw the attention of UNIT. The Brigadier is frustrated by the usual lack of cooperation from the mining company, Global Chemicals, but the Doctor is more interested in the rash of mysterious deaths among Global’s miners. He goes down into the mine himself to learn more about the glowing green ooze that has killed almost every miner who has touched it, and discovers a horrifying sight – giant maggots, mutated to a grotesque size by Global’s waste chemicals, are secreting the deadly substance and may even be growing hostile enough to attack humans. Despite this revelation (and the well-meaning interference of local environmental protesters), however, Global Chemicals’ chairman refuses to shut down the mines – and it soon becomes evident that someone else is in charge of the operation, someone or something whose sinister motives may include allowing the poisonous insect larvae to reach the surface and hatch into equally deadly giant insects.

Download this episodewritten by Robert Sloman
directed by Michael Briant
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Stewart Bevan (Professor Clifford Jones), Jerome Willis (Stevens), John Scott Martin (Hughes), Ben Howard (Hinks), Tony Adams (Elgin), Mostyn Evans (Dai Evans), Ray Handy (Milkman), Talfryn Thomas (Dave), Roy Evans (Bert), John Dearth (voice of BOSS), John Rolfe (Fell), Terry Walsh, Billy Horrigan, Brian Justice, Alan Chuntz (Guards), Mitzi McKenzie (Nancy), Jean Burgess (Cleaner), Roy Skelton (James), Richard Beale (Minister of Ecology)

Broadcast from May 19 through June 23, 1973

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Invasion of the Dinosaurs

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith return from their medieval adventure, but when they arrive in modern-day London, the streets are bare, the people are nowhere to be seen, and dinosaurs stalk the streets. Like everyone else, the Brigadier and UNIT have gone underground, hiding from the enormous reptiles while they try to figure out what suddenly brought them to the present day. The Doctor and Sarah soon discover that it’s the product of an illegal time experiment designed to restore Earth to simpler, less polluted, less corrupt times – and it has come about thanks to a startling betrayal by one of the Brigadier’s most trusted officers.

written by Malcolm Hulke
directed by Paddy Russell
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Noel Johnson (Charles Grover), Peter Miles (Professor Whitaker), Martin Jarvis (Butler), Pat Gorman (UNIT Corporal), James Marcus (Peasant), Ben Aris (Shears), John Caesar (Soldier), Gordon Reid (Phillips), George Bryson (Ogden), Terry Walsh (Looter), John Bennett (General Finch), Martin Taylor (Corporal Norton), Dave Carter (Duffy), Terence Wilton (Mark), Brian Badcoe (Adam), Carmen Silvera (Ruth), Colin Bell (Bryson), Timothy Craven (Robinson), Trevor Lawrence (Lodge)

Broadcast from January 12 through February 16, 1974

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Planet of the Spiders

Doctor WhoPast events catch up with the Doctor in an unexpected way. A race of evil giant spiders on Metebelis 3 is looking for one of their planet’s perfect blue crystals to complete a crystal “web” that will broadcast the will of their leader, the Great One (not Jackie Gleason), across the entire universe. But the Doctor stole that crystal during a previous visit without realizing its significance, and his actions have drawn unwanted attention to Earth. The spiders use a monastery in the English countryside as their gateway to Earth, taking over the minds of a criminally-minded man named Lupton whose meditations have failed to turn him into a better person. In the end, the Doctor is obliged to return the crystal to prevent Earth from being overrun by the spiders – but the personal cost will be very high.

written by Robert Sloman
directed by Barry Letts
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), John Dearth (Lupton), Terence Lodge (Moss), Andrew Staines (Keaver), Christopher Burgess (Barnes), Carl Forgione (Land), Cyril Shaps (Professor Clegg), Kevin Lindsay (Cho-Je), John Kane (Tommy), Pat Gorman (Soldier), Chubby Oates (Policeman), Terry Walsh (Man with boat), Michael Pinder (Hopkins), Ysanne Churchman, Kismet Delgado, Maureen Morris (Spider voices), Ralph Arliss (Tuar), Geoffrey Morris (Sabor), Joanna Monro (Rega), Gareth Hunt (Arak), Jenny Laird (Neska), Walter Randall (Captain), Max Faulkner (Second Captain), Maureen Morris (Great One), George Cormack (K’anpo)

Broadcast from May 4 through June 8, 1974

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Robot

Doctor WhoThe Doctor’s regeneration and recovery come at an inopportune time for the Brigadier, who has to try to solve a series of crimes related to the top-secret plans for a disintegrator gun. Sarah, researching a story about the equally top-secret Think Tank organization, is introduced to a gigantic robot which could be the perpetrator of the thefts and killings – despite the scientists’ horrifying demonstration that the robot could not kill Sarah. The Doctor, recovering slowly and aggravating the Brigadier with his unpredictable new personality, discovers that the Think Tank scientists are doing much more than research – they’re planning on taking over the world and culling the human herd of those not up to genius standards.

Season 12 Regular Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan)

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Terrance Dicks
directed by Christopher Barry
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (RSM Benton), Edward Burnham (Professor Kettlewell), Alec Linstead (Jellicoe), Patricia Maynard (Miss Winters), Michael Kilgarriff (Robot), John Scott Martin (Guard), Timothy Craven (Short), Walter Goodman (Chambers)

Broadcast from December 28, 1974 through January 18, 1975

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Terror Of The Zygons

Doctor WhoRecalled to Earth by the Brigadier via time-space telegraph, the TARDIS brings the Doctor, Sarah and Harry to the Scottish moors, not far from where offshore oil drilling platforms have been subjected to a series of attacks from the sea – but UNIT can find no traces of attacks from either a boat or a submarine. In the nearest village, the Doctor uncovers evidence that someone there may be behind the attacks, and Harry is shot while trying to help a man washed ashore from the latest attack.

Season 13 Regular Cast: Tom Baker (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)

Download this episodewritten by Robert Banks Stewart
directed by Douglas Camfield
music by Geoffrey Burgon

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan), John Levene (RSM Benton), John Woodnutt (Duke of Forgill / Broton), Hugh Martin (Munro), Tony Sibbald (Huckle), Angus Lennie (Angus McRanald), Robert Russell (The Caber), Bruce Wightman (Radio Operator), Lillias Walker (Sister Lamont), Bernard G. High (Corporal)

Broadcast from August 30 through September 20, 1975

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The Android Invasion

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Sarah arrive near a village that Sarah recognizes as Devesham,but it’s immediately apparent that something is very wrong. Spacesuited robot guards patrol the countryside, firing guns built into their fingers at any intruders they see (including the time travelers), and they watch helplessly as a UNIT soldier bolts straight toward a cliff, and over the edge to his death. And yet he shows up later at the village pub, alive and well – and zombielike, until the clock strikes a certain hour. The Doctor has theories about the strange behavior, but nothing accounts for all of the variables until he realizes he’s not on Earth. Sarah is captured by androids disguised as UNIT troops, and taken to a ship manned by Kraal invaders, who have copied everyone from the villagers to Harry Sullivan as part of their plan to take over Earth.

Download this episodewritten by Terry Nation
directed by Barry Letts
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan), John Levene (RSM Benton), Martin Friend (Styggron), Roy Skelton (Chedaki), Max Faulkner (Adams), Peter Welch (Morgan), Milton Johns (Guy Crayford), Stuart Fell (Kraal), Patrick Newell (Faraday), Dave Carter (Grierson), Heather Emmanuel (Tessa), Hugh Lund (Matthews)

Broadcast from November 22 through December 13, 1975

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The Five Doctors

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Tegan and Turlough find themselves in no immediate danger for once, until the Doctor suffers from repeated, severe pain, claiming that his past is being altered in a way that could endanger him in the present. Somewhere on Gallifrey, long-abandoned machinery from the earliest days of the Time Lords is reactivated and its powers are brought to bear on each of the Doctor’s first four incarnations, snatching each of them from their own timeline and depositing them in Gallifrey’s infamous Death Zone, where the tomb of Time Lord founding father Rassilon stands. The fourth Doctor is trapped in the time vortex and never makes it to Gallifrey. As the various personae of the Doctor join forces, along with many companions, they find themselves fighting a variety of old adversaries – and one new antagonist – for the future of Gallifrey itself.

Order the DVDwritten by Terrance Dicks
directed by Peter Moffatt
music by Peter Howell

Guest Cast: Richard Hurndall (The First Doctor), Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor), Jon Pertwee (The Third Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), John Leeson (voice of K9), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Richard Franklin (Mike Yates), Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Frazer Hines (Jamie), Wendy Padbury (Zoe), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Philip Latham (Lord President Borusa), Dinah Sheridan (Chancellor Flavia), Paul Jerricho (Castellan), Richard Mathews (Rassilon), David Savile (Colonel Crichton), Ray Float (Sergeant), Roy Skelton (Dalek voice), John Scott Martin (Dalek), Stephen Meredith (Technician), David Banks (CyberLeader), Mark Hardy (Cyber Lieutenant), William Kenton (Cyber Scout), Stuart Blake (Commander)

Appearing in footage from The Dalek Invasion Of Earth: William Hartnell (The First Doctor)

Appearing in footage from Shada: Tom Baker (The Fourth Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana)

Broadcast November 23, 1983 (US) / November 25, 1983 (UK)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

War Time

War Time

This is a fan-made production whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Assigned to safely transport a radioactive cargo, UNIT’s Sergeant Benton is plagued by nightmarish memories when he passes a rural site he remembers all too well – his younger brother Chris died there while the two were playing as children. Increasingly bothered by the memory, Benton finds himself literally working through the ghosts of his past, but is unaware when the other UNIT soldier is knocked out. By the time Benton recovers from his trip down memory lane, he’s alone against terrorist agents who are trying to steal the radioactive material for their own sinister ends.

written by Andy Lane & Helen Stirling
directed by Keith Barnfather
music by Mark Ayres

Cast: John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Michael Wisher (Mr. Benton), Mary Greenhalgh (Mrs. Benton), Paul Greenhalgh (Chris), Steven Stanley (Johnny), Peter Noad (Willis), Paul Flanagan (Man), Nicholas Briggs (Soldier)

Timeline: unknown, though it may fall before The Android Invasion, in which Benton has been promoted to Regiment Sergeant Major.

Review: Reissued not too long ago in a new VHS package with supplemental material, War Time is the granddaddy of them all: the first fan-made Doctor Who spinoff video to ascend beyond the realm, or budget, of home movies. As Doctor Who was still in production at the time, producer/director Keith Barnfather made the decision to focus on a fan-favorite secondary character instead. John Levene, who played recurring UNIT troop Benton in the 1960s and 70s, had actually retired from acting when he was approached to do War Time. As it so happens, he was impressed with the script, was eager to work with Michael Wisher, and couldn’t pass up a project that would be focused entirely on him. The rest, as they say, is history.

Though exceedingly short and somewhat simplistic, War Time still manages to parallel the era of Doctor Who during which it was made: the production values are decent, the acting is top-notch, and it’s a bit of a head trip. All in all, actually rather enjoyable, and if you’re not that fascinated by it, fear not – it clocks in at under 40 minutes. Still, when so much of modern-day Doctor Who is now in the fans’ hands – the novels, the audio plays, and an ongoing stream of video spinoffs – it’s hard to overstate the importance of War Time. This production really set the ball rolling in terms of the fans paying for permission to use characters from Doctor Who, and then turning around and making a bit of a profit from the results.

This is a point repeatedly hammered home in the Making Of War Time documentary, which actually far exceeds the running time of the program it documents (a recurring phenomenon with Doctor Who video spinoffs). Many of the show’s participants are interviewed at length, including Barnfather and Levene himself (who now resides in Los Angeles under the name of John Anthony Blake), and there’s also a lengthy before-and-after section discussing the amateur fan films that preceded War Time – and the much glossier efforts that came in its wake. Sometimes it gets a bit too self-back-patting for my taste, but considering that the people involved in the late 80s/early 90s cottage industry of Doctor Who spinoffs were keeping the entire property going at the time of the re-release, I suppose they’ve earned it.

Battlefield

Doctor WhoThe Doctor and Ace arrive in Britain in the late 90s, near a stranded convoy carrying a nuclear missile. Strange weather and power outages seem to be taking place all of a sudden, and the Doctor himself is mystified at the coincidences – especially since all of this is happening on the shores of the lake where, according to legend, the dying King Arthur returned Excalibur to the Lady of the Lake. The legend turns out to have a solid foundation in reality – but a different reality where one of the Doctor’s future selves was trapped for a time, assuming the identity of Merlin. Now that warriors on both sides of the ancient battle are entering Earth’s dimension, the Doctor must take on a role he doesn’t even know how to play.

Season 26 Regular Cast: Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Ben Aaronovitch
directed by Michael Kerrigan
music by Keff McCulloch

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Jean Marsh (Morgaine), Christopher Bowen (Mordred), Angela Bruce (Brigadier Winifred Bambera), Marcus Gilbert (Ancelyn), Ling Tai (Shou Yuing), Angela Douglas (Doris), June Bland (Elizabeth Rowlinson), Noel Collins (Pat Rowlinson), James Ellis (Peter Warmsly), Marek Anton (The Destroyer), Dorota Rae (Flight Lieutenant Lavel), Robert Jezek (Sergeant Zbrigniev), Paul Tomany (Major Husak), Stefan Schwartz (Knight Commander)

Broadcast from September 6 through 27, 1989

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green Read More

Downtime

This is a fan-made production whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

NeWorld University, a new high-tech campus in central London, has attracted the attention of reporter Sarah Jane Smith. She visits to ask a few pointed questions about the school’s cult-like atmosphere, but is rebuffed by the new headmistress and her persistent assistant. As Sarah leaves, they begin looking into her background, including her association with UNIT. In the meantime, retired Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, who left UNIT behind years ago and has even recently retired from teaching, experiences unusual visions of a woman in black – a woman Sarah knows as NeWorld’s headmistress. Daniel Hinton, a former pupil of Lethbridge-Stewart’s and now a NeWorld student, escapes from NeWorld with some damaging information, and the headmistress mobilizes an army of students to track him down. Hinton escapes and is protected by a homeless man who also happens to be an ex-Army officer – but Hinton also figures prominently in the Brigadier’s visions. Lethbridge-Stewart is surprised by a phone call from his estranged daughter Kate, who – like many other perfectly normal civilians – are growing increasingly paranoid of the appearance of “chillys” (zombie-like NeWorld students) around the country. Kate also introduces him to a grandson he didn’t know he had. As the evidence of some vast conspiracy continues to build up, the Brigadier and Sarah follow entirely different paths to the same conclusion. The Great Intelligence, the disembodied consciousness that terrorized London with its robotic Yeti in 1968 (and was defeated by the Doctor with Lethbridge-Stewart’s help) is back, and it is once again weaving its web of mind control, this time through the internet. This time the Doctor isn’t around to fight the Great Intelligence and its new servants – Victoria Waterfield, a former companion of the Doctor, and Professor Travers, whose research into yeti sightings led him into the Intelligence’s trap. The Brigadier may be forced to kill old friends to ensure that his grandson’s world has a future.

written by Marc Platt
directed by Christopher Barry
music by Ian Levine, Nigel Stock and Erwin Keiles

Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Jack Watling (Professor Travers), Beverley Cressman (Kate Lethbridge-Stewart), Mark Trotman (Daniel Hinton), Geoffrey Beevers (Harrods), Peter Silverleaf (Christopher Rice), John Leeson (Anthony), Miles Richardson (Captain Cavendish), James Bree (Lama), Kathy Coulter (Receptionist), Alexander Landen (Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart), Jonathan Clarkson (Chilly #1), Miles Cherry (Chilly #2), Richard Landen (Lead Yeti), David Howe (Yeti), Tony Clark (Yeti), Conrad Turner (Yeti), Stephen Bradshaw (UNIT Soldier), Keith Brooks (UNIT Soldier), Mark Moore (UNIT Soldier), Gabriel Mykaj (UNIT Soldier), John Reddingston (UNIT Soldier)

Review: Delayed in its production and release, Downtime was originally intended for a 1993 debut to coincide with Doctor Who’s 30th anniversary, but when it looked like an official BBC direct-to-video TV movie called The Dark Dimension might actually be produced (with all of the surviving TV Doctors, no less), the fans backing the production of Downtime let the schedule slide. It’s a pity, as the only member of their cast who would’ve had a conflicted schedule was Nicholas Courtney (aka Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), and in the end, Dark Dimension never got off the ground. Downtime made for a better anniversary reunion anyway, concentrating on the series’ well-loved stable of favorite guest stars rather than the Doctor himself. Read More

Auton

Auton

This is a fan-made production whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Dr. Sally Arnold, senior researcher at an under-funded facility contracted to UNIT, experiments with a round plastic artifact from UNIT’s archives. After running out of other ways to get the sphere to respond, Dr. Arnold bombards it with radio signals from deep space, including one pulsating signal to which it violently responds, killing Arnold’s lab assistant and then disappearing. A pair of unusual investigators and a platoon of UNIT troops arrive to take charge, finding only Arnold and the eccentric UNIT archivist alive. The investigators clearly suspect that there’s more going on, but they aren’t revealing much. When it turns out that the archivist lied about more Auton/Nestene-related items held in UNIT’s warehouse, the search for the missing sphere intensifies – but before long, it will have summoned help in the form of deadly Autons, programmed to defend it at all costs.

screenplay by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Bryonie Pritchard (Dr. Sally Arnold), George Telfer (Graham Winslet), Verona Chard (Janice), Reece Shearsmith (Dr. Daniel Matthews), Andrew Fettes (Sergeant Ramsay), Michael Wade (Lockwood), Roy Hughes, Gabriel Mykaj, Mike Parry, David Ringwood, Richard Smith (UNIT Soldiers), John Ainsworth, Gareth Baggs, Blaine Coughlan, David Ringwood (Autons)

Notes: Part of the code on the Auton crates – “RH / AAA” – refers to the late Robert Holmes, the veteran Doctor Who writer and script editor who created the Autons, and the BBC’s internal production code for the Doctor Who story in which they first appeared, Spearhead From Space. That story is also where the Doctor devised the unwieldly contraption that allows Dr. Arnold to battle the Autons.

Review: A cleverly-made “sidebar” to some past Doctor Who episodes, this opening volley in the Auton trilogy manages to attain quite a creepiness factor with an economy of effects and action. Auton also oozes – if you’ll forgive the pun – “pilot,” as its creators clearly had more story in mind than just this single installment. The characters are set up, the relationships (and potential problems thereof) are established, and yet they come together to win the day – or at least win the immediate battle in what promises to be a longer conflict. This is really the closest there’s been to a fan-made UNIT series, so it’s also refreshing to see that organization get an outing that makes it look bigger and a bit more effective than just, as Nicholas Courtney himself once put it, “the Brig’s Army”. Read More

Auton 2: Sentinel

Auton

This is afan-made production whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

Two years after the Auton outbreak at UNIT’s storage facility, a shipment of inert Autons being secretly transported by UNIT is awakened by the close proximity of a Nestene sphere. The reanimated Autons kill their UNIT handlers and walk into the bay on their way to Sentinel Island. UNIT comes to Lockwood and Dr. Arnold again for their expertise in dealing with the Auton threat, but the new UNIT scientific advisor, Natasha Alexander, has grave misgivings about Lockwood – and her latent psi abilities give her an insight into his true nature and his connection to the Autons. As UNIT, with a wary Lockwood and a distrustful Natasha in tow, gets ready to wage war on Sentinel Island, Winslet is also ready with a weapon of his own – he’s preparing to revive an inert, stranded Nestene creature using the psychic energy generated by the faith of his parishioners.

screenplay by Nicholas Briggs
directed by Nicholas Briggs
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: Michael Wade (Lockwood), George Telfer (Graham Winslet), Jo Castleton (Natasha Alexander), Andrew Fettes (Sergeant Ramsay), John Wadmore (Colonel Wilson), Bryonie Pritchard (Dr. Sally Arnold), Warren Howard (Daron), Patricia Merrick (Charlotte), David Rowston (Dave), Nicholas Briggs (Mike), John Hawkins (Hardgraves), John Hansell (Davis), Jayson Bridges, Keith Brooks, Stephen Bradshaw, Vaughan Groves, Mark Moore, Gabriel Mykaj, Richard Smith, Blaine Coughlin (UNIT Soldiers), Steven Friel, Peter Trapani, Pete Cox, Rod Horne, Alexander Wylie, John Walker, Mark Jende, Matthew Bradford, Ian Taylor, Philip Clarke, Randalph Edwards, Loraine Malby, Peter Frankum, Keith Burton, Robert Dunlop, Caroline O’Sullivan, Thomas O’Sullivan, Andrew Hasley (Villagers)

Review: Released in 1998, the second installment in the Auton series seems like it should’ve been a shoo-in for exciting science fiction drama, with its interesting combination of characters having formed a somewhat uneasy team at the end of Auton, and the Auton threat still alive and on the move. The first Auton video felt very much like a series pilot, so surely Auton 2 would take that potential and run with it…right? Read More

Auton 3

Auton

This is afan-made production whose storyline may be invalidated by later official studio productions.

In the immediate aftermath of the Sentinel Island incident, UNIT investigators are concerned by the sudden disappearance (rather than fiery destruction) of the Nestene Consciousness creature. Lockwood warns that he may have inadvertently made their return possible sooner rather than later, thanks to his brief psychic link with Natasha Alexander, the new UNIT scientific advisor. And the Autons do reappear ahead of schedule, but acting strangely. Dr. Arnold is pressed into the dangerous investigation by Palmer, who himself turns out to be another psychic with his own link to Natasha. Increasingly, UNIT is convinced that Lockwood has returned to the Autons and poses a danger to Earth, but only Dr. Arnold and Natasha seem to be prepared to believe that he still remains loyal to humanity.

screenplay by Arthur Wallis (a.k.a. Nicholas Briggs)
additional material by Paul Ebbs
directed by Patricia Merrick and Bill Baggs
music by Alistair Lock

Cast: George Telfer (Graham Winslet), Helen Baggs (Nurse), Andrew Fettes (Sergeant Ramsay), Bryonie Pritchard (Dr. Sally Arnold), Peter Trapani (Dalby), Graeme du Fresne (Palmer), Michael Wade (Lockwood), Jo Castleton (Natasha Alexander), Blaine Coughlan, Alex, Steve Johnson, Peter Trapani (Autons)

Review: As a rule, I try to concentrate on constructive advice when it comes to reviewing fan-made productions, simply because these aren’t shows with a ton of money behind them: they’re labors of love. However, Auton 3, the (thankfully) concluding chapter of the Auton trilogy, is nearly a decade old at the time of this review, so I’m not exactly sure this review will truly have anything new to say that the film’s makers haven’t already heard. Read More

Sympathy For The Devil

Doctor Who Unbound: Sympathy For The DevilOn the eve of the handover of Hong Kong from Britain to China in 1997, the TARDIS materializes near a traditional English pub. The Doctor, reeling from his ordeal at the hands of the Time Lords after his trial for interfering in the course of history, wanders into the pub to find that it’s run by the retired Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart – embittered after years of having to run UNIT’s fight against the unknown without any help. Just as the two become uneasily reacquainted, they hear a low-flying jet smash into something nearby, and yet they never see it. When they arrive at the hillside into which something has crashed, the Doctor and the Brigadier realize it’s a Chinese spy plane using some sort of stealth technology that renders it invisible, not just to radar but to the human eye. UNIT quickly arrives, under the command of the brash Colonel Brimmicombe-Wood – an old adversary of the Brigadier’s – and takes over a nearby monastery, monks and all, to use as a temporary command post. The Doctor slowly grows to realize that something more than espionage is going on here – but by the time he realizes who’s behind it, it will already be too late…and this time even the Brigadier doesn’t trust him enough to lend a hand.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Clements
directed by Gary Russell
music by Andy Hardwick
main theme by Ron Grainer / arranged by Lee Mansfield

Cast: David Warner (The Doctor), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), David Tennant (Colonel Brimmicombe-Wood), Sam Kisgart (Ke Le), Liz Sutherland (Ling), Trevor Littledale (The Abbot), Mark Wright (Marcus), Peter Griffiths (Captain Zerdin), Stuart Piper (Adam)

Timeline: after The War Games and in place of Spearhead From Space?

LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green Read More

The Coup

UNIT: The CoupCalled out of retirement to participate in a press conference following an apparent attack in the heart of London, Sir Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart finds that life as a member of the United Nations Intelligence Taskforce hasn’t changed a bit; a helicopter attacks the limo carrying him to deliver his speech. The driver is killed in the attack, but Lethbridge-Stewart’s steady aim helps to bring the helicopter down – where he discovers that its crew consisted of one human and one Silurian. Convinced that this incident has something to do with the planned handover of UNIT’s responsibilities within British borders to a new agency called ICIS, Lethbridge-Stewart takes drastic measures to preserve UNIT’s authority – even if it means blowing decades of covert operations involving alien invaders wide open.

written by Simon Guerrier
directed by Ian Farrington
music by David Darlington

Cast: Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), Siri O’Neal (Colonel Emily Chaudhry), Scott Andrews (Scott), Matthew Brenher (Silurian voices), Sara Carver (Captain Winnington), Michael Hobbs (Francis Currie)

Notes: The Coup was one of two stories included on a free CD given away with Doctor Who Magazine, along with the Bernice Summerfield/Cybermen adventure Silver Lining. Neither has been released separately or for individual sale. Lethbridge-Stewart says that he encountered the Silurians 30 years ago, though this raises the thorny continuity question of what years were depicted in the Jon Pertwee era; if one sets those TV stories in the same year that they were first broadcast, that puts The Coup in the year 2000, 30 years after 1970. However, Sarah Jane Smith, introduced at the beginning of Pertwee’s final season as the Doctor, later claimed (in Pyramids Of Mars) to have met the Doctor in the year 1980, which would place the first Pertwee season around 1975 or ’76, which would place The Coup in the present day of its release, 2005. (It’s also worth noting that the Brigadier himself said “Yes, Ma’am” to the Prime Minister on the phone in the Tom Baker story Terror Of The Zygons, which, despite being broadcast in 1976, would appear to be set during the Thatcher era, again lending credence to the UNIT stories being around 5 years ahead of their time.) It’s also possible that Lethbridge-Stewart’s memory fails him, but given that he’s still a crack shot with firearms in this story, that doesn’t seem likely. Lethbridge-Stewart was a General when he retired, a rank to which he’s risen in many of Doctor Who’s “expanded universe” media.

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Time Heals

UNIT: Time HealsWith UNIT’s work now out in the open, Colonel Emily Chaudhry finds her duties as UNIT’s public relations officer growing more complicated by the day. The latest operation – making a very visible show of transporting discarded nuclear weapons to keep the press and public’s attention away from a smaller convoy transporting pieces of an apparent alien spacecraft – proves to be no exception when both the spacecraft convoy and its decoy convoy are attacked almost simultaneously. UNIT’s commanding officer, Colonel Brimmicombe-Wood, is kidnapped, but no one else is taken. The spacecraft is quietly spirited away by a group who wishes to use its technology to further its secret space-time experiments. But the experiments continue to go horribly wrong, resulting in commuter train crashes with massive casualties, a major disruption of the British banking system, and even a jetliner crash directly into Windsor Castle. Colonel Chaudhry and the rest of UNIT try to piece together the puzzle and find their missing CO, but when a new CO, Colonel Dalton, is assigned to take over, he seems like a poor fit: he knows nothing of UNIT’s past work, and shows no interest in learning. Worse yet, Chaudhry discovers that he may have ties to ICIS.

Order this CDwritten by Iain McLaughlin & Claire Bartlett
directed by Jason Haigh-Ellery
music by David Darlington

Cast: Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), Siri O’Neal (Colonel Emily Chaudhry), Nicholas Deal (Colonel Robert Dalton), Robert Curbishley (Lt. Will Hoffman), Matthew Brenher (Captain Dodds), Michael Hobbs (Francis Currie), Stephen Carlile (Kelly), Alfred Hoffman (Meade)

Notes: Colonel Brimmicombe-Wood, a character originally established in the alternate universe of the Doctor Who Unbound story Sympathy For The Devil, doesn’t actually appear in this story; apparently he’s a UNIT fixture in the “normal” Doctor Who timeline as well (if, indeed, any such thing can be said to exist and can be described as normal). For the record, UNIT seems to have terrible trouble with nuclear convoys (one is hijacked by armored knights from a parallel dimension in Battlefield, the first story of Sylvester McCoy’s final season as the Doctor) and with the transportation of spacecraft (as seen in 1970’s Ambassadors Of Death).

LogBook entry by Earl Green

Snake Head

UNIT: Snake HeadA mysterious death and a mangled body on a beach at Southend gets UNIT’s attention, and Colonel Chaudhry and Colonel Dalton arrive to investigate. What starts out looking like an investigation best handled by immigration officials takes a more sinister turn when a recorded emergency call repeatedly refers to “vrkolak” – a particularly nasty Armenian vampire legend. Chaudhry finds clues about how the illegal immigrant found dead on the beach arrived in Britain, and traces those clues back to a man who artfully dodges almost all of her questions about bringing illegal immigrants into the country as laborers. Dalton, in the meantime, finds another man just smuggled into the U.K. from Kosovo – a man who claims to be a professional vampire hunter, on the trail of the vrkolak (a claim which the still-skeptical Dalton finds incredibly had to believe). Dalton, despite now having caught up on UNIT’s past, can’t bring himself to accept that he and his officers are participating in a vampire hunt; he also accuses Chaudhry of believing in the unexplained far too readily. But before the sun rises again, something may happen to forever change Dalton’s mind.

Order this CDwritten by Jonathan Clements
directed by John Ainsworth
music by David Darlington

Cast: Siri O’Neal (Colonel Emily Chaudhry), Nicholas Deal (Colonel Robert Dalton), Ian Brooker (Dr. Hendrick), Robert Curbishley (Lt. Will Hoffman), Ian Hayles (Kevin), Toby Longworth (Goran), Jane MacFarlane (Anni)

LogBook entry by Earl Green

The Longest Night

UNIT: The Longest NightLt. Hoffman is caught in the middle of a terrorist bombing of a pub in London, but lives long enough to call Colonel Dalton and identify the attackers who sweep through the rubble, murdering survivors, as Scottish. Other attacks follow, and the media quickly dubs the night “Britain’s 9/11.” As Colonel Chaudhry races to meet reporter Francis Currie, who calls her claiming to know who’s behind the rapidly escalating series of attacks, Dalton listens as reports emerge in the news media about Muslim attackers – not Scottish. More suicide bombings take place, and Major Kirby of ICIS puts pressure on the Prime Minister to put Britain under martial law – and to put ICIS in charge. When Chaudhry meets Francis Currie, she’s amazed when the reporter tries to strangle her. She incapacitates him and finds that he’s under some form of mind control – and increasingly, it appears that all of the incidents involve similar mind control, all seemingly triggered by random phone calls from “help lines.” But Chaudhry and Dalton soon find that the trail leads to ICIS itself – and that even UNIT’s finest aren’t immune to the mind control.

Order this CDwritten by Joseph Lidster
directed by Edward Salt
music by David Darlington

Cast: Siri O’Neal (Colonel Emily Chaudhry), Nicholas Deal (Colonel Robert Dalton), Scott Andrews (Scott Christie), Sara Carver (Andrea Winnington), Robert Curbishley (Lieutenant Hoffman), Georgina Field (Nisha Townsend), Michael Hobbs (Francis Currie), Harry Myers (PM’s Aide), Steffan Rhodri (Prime Minister), Vineeta Rishi (Meena Cartwright), Johnson Willis (Major Philip Kirby)

Notes: The reference to Albion Hospital could be a nod toward the new 2005 series of Doctor Who; by the time this story was recorded, fan photos had leaked out showing a Cardiff location being redressed as “Albion Hospital” for the episode Aliens Of London, which also featured UNIT. Colonel Chaudhry’s reference to a “John Smith” situation is followed up by Colonel Dalton’s reference to shop dummies, an equally handy Auton reference; it’s unknown if this is a reference to a situation that has been connected to the Doctor, a situation that might be solved easier with the Doctor’s intervention, or something else. (“Doctor John Smith” was the alias used by the Doctor when the Brigadier put him on UNIT’s payroll in Spearhead From Space.) Reporter Francis Currie, sacked by the BBC, is now working for the Planet 3 network, which happens to be Sarah Jane Smith’s former employer in Big Finish continuity. Currie also mentions that a female reporter from Planet 3 exposed Major Kirby’s secret “a couple of years ago”, which may also have been Sarah.

LogBook entry by Earl Green