The Ark In Space

Doctor WhoSeveral millennia in the future, heightened solar activity threatened to devastate the Earth, and mankind retreated into hibernation aboard an enormous space station, where the last surviving members of the human race are cryogenically preserved. The Doctor, Harry and Sarah arrive on the station, discovering that humanity has slept in by thousands of years thanks to unearthly saboteurs who intend to claim Earth in the absence of its original inhabitants…who are scheduled to become the main course.

Order the DVDDownload this episodewritten by Robert Holmes
directed by Rodney Bennett
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Wendy Williams (Vira), Kenton Moore (Noah), Christopher Masters (Libri), John Gregg (Lycett), Richardson Morgan (Rogin), Stuart Fell (Wirrn), Nick Hobbs (Wirrn), Gladys Spencer (voices), Peter Tuddenham (voices), Brian Jacobs (Dune)

Broadcast from January 25 through February 15, 1975

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

After the relative silliness of Robot, The Ark In Space is a wonderfully gloomy, scary four-parter which beat Alien to many of its punches by four years. (Interestingly enough, Alien director Ridley Scott was originally a designer for the BBC who alternated assignments with Dalek designer Raymond Cusick.) Some of the Ark characters occasionally get on my nerves with their preachiness. And, considering the resources (or lack thereof) available to the BBC, the sets are some of the most amazing construction work that has ever been seen on Doctor Who, even if a lot of it is plastic, and even if you can, in fact, see the black electrical wiring that runs between all of the “stars” on the black…floor…of space outside the station’s windows. The Nerva sets are wonderfully modular and functional-looking, so these few flaws are easily forgotten.

I always get an immense chuckle when the Doctor says that Harry, a Navy surgeon, is only qualified to work on sailors.