108) THE HORNS OF NIMON

22 December 1979 - 12 January 1980

Average Viewing Figure: 8.8M

Plot

The Doctor and Romana land on a spaceship with young Anethans who are being taken to Skonnos to be sacrificed

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Lalla Ward (Romana), Graham Crowden (Soldeed), Michael Osborne (Sorak), John Bailey (Sezom)

Bob Hornery (Pilot), Janet Ellis (Teka), Simon Gipps-Kent (Seth), Malcom Terris (Co-Pilot)

Robin Sherringham, Bob Appleby, Trevor St John Hacker  (Nimon), David Brierley (Voice of K-9), Clifford Norgate (Voice of Nimon)

Uncredited Cast

Nicholas Drake, Daniel Tabori, Rachael Wheeler, Zena Daire, Katy Jarret (Anethans), Terry Gurry, Joe Santos, Derek Suthern

Edmund Thomas, Norman Bradley, Peter Roy, Paul Barton, David Glen (Skonnon Guards), Peter Jackson, Roy Shelley, Trevor Wedlock

Ronald Meyer, Robert Barker, Roy Brent, Ray Lavender, Donald Groves, David Harris, Jim Delaney, Eric French (Skonnon Elders)

Gary Gold, Jane Frost, Debbi Thompson (Anethan Corpses)

Crew

Anthony Read (Writer), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Henry Foster (Production Assistant)

John Nathan-Turner (Production Unit Manager), Elizabeth Sherry (Director's Assistant), Rosemary Chapman (Assistant Floor Manager)

Nigel Wright (Studio Lighting), John Hartshorn (Studio Sound), Derek Thompson (Technical Manager)

Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman), Peter Pegrum (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Jervis (Electronic Effects), James Gould (Vision Mixer)

Rod Waldron (Video-Tape Editor), June Hudson (Costume Designer), Christine Walmesley-Cotham (Make-Up Artist)

Douglas Adams (Script Editor), Graeme Story (Designer), Graham Williams (Producer), Kenny McBain (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Francoise Creeson, Christine Greenwood, Jenny Hughes (Make-Up Assistants), Gordon Phillipson (Grams Operator)

Rorie Mitchell (Design Assistant), Sally Bates (Floor Assistant)

Broadcast

76) THE ARK IN SPACE

Filming Locations

  • Ealing Film Studios

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Deaths

  • Soldeed [shot dead by Seth]

  • Sezom [shot and killed by a Nimon]

  • Pilot [killed due to an overload on his ship]

  • Co-Pilot [killed by a Nimon]

  • Nimons [killed in an explosion]

Production Days

  • 7 Days between circa mid-September - Tuesday 9 October 1979

Production Errors

  1. The Co-Pilot' trousers rip when the Nimon kills him 

  2. During part four, Soldeed's body disappears from where it fell 

  3. On several occasions, the Nimons' heads become loose, revealing the actor's necks beneath 

  4. During part four, the shoes of the actors playing the Nimons are visible, when the Nimons are lying on the ground

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles] 

Number of Production Days: 5

Verdict

The Horns of Nimon is one of those good-bad Doctor Who serials which cannot be put to bad writing or bad direction. The main problem is it tries too hard for its own good and often falls short on a number of levels. The humour is very forced with constant unfunny funny sound effects and fire and explosion special effects coming out of every episode and corner. The acting is pretty poor, the late Simon Gipps-Kent and blue-peter presenter Janet Ellis are subpar and the rest of the Anetheans extras are no better. Seth is as emotionless as Romulus and Remus from The Twin Dilemma. The Anetheans do not even react upon seeing their fate or watching in horror as one of them is zapped by the Nimon. Graham Crowden is overdramatic as Soldeed, shouting his lines and being over expressive, he cannot even die with dignity. Baker also seems a little out of place and rather uncomfortable. The story is nothing special and the similarities to Theseus and the Minotaur is about as subtle as Seth and Teka’s love relationship. The sets are more akin to construction sites and jumble sales than a planet awaiting planetary conquest. The Nimons are a let-down and very inconsistent and not that frightening. You can almost see the actors struggling in the big, lumbering costumes. One moment the Nimons are toddling along like drunken bulls and then they are marching like military bullies. There is no tension if the towering, monsters lumber along with no chance of getting the heroes. There are good concepts and ideas from the shape-changing corridors and the Nimon’s backstory is original but they are let down by poor production choices. It would have been nice to see a ravaged Chronith than watching recycled sets for half an episode.  Considering that this was the last story to be broadcast in the 70s does not reflect the last 10 years well in good light. **​