114) THE KEEPER OF TRAKEN

31 January - 21 February 1981

Average Viewing Figure: 6.3mM

Plot

On Traken, The Keeper is dying but when, The Doctor and Adric arrive to help an old enemy is waiting in the shadows

Cast

Number of Production Days: 7

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Anthony Ainley (Tremas/The Master), Sheila Ruskin (Kassia)

Denis Carey (The Keeper), John Woodnutt (Seron), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Margot van der Burgh (Katura), Robin Soans (Luvic)

Roland Oliver (Neman), Liam Prendergast (Foster), Philip Bloomfield (Foster), Geoffrey Beevers (The Master), Graham Cole (Melkur)

Crew

Johnny Byrne (Writer), Roger Limb (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Alan Wareing (Production Assistant)

Angela Smith (Production Unit Manager), Jean Davis (Director's Assistant), Lynn Richards (Assistant Floor Manager)

Peter Logan (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Nigel Finnis (Vision Mixer), Bob Hignett (Technical Manager)

Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman), Rod Waldron (Videotape Editor), Don Babbage (Lighting), John Holmes (Sound)

Amy Roberts (Costume Designer), Norma Hill (Make-Up Artist), Christopher H Bidmead (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence)

Tony Burrough (Designer), Barry Letts (Executive Producer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), John Black (Director)

Broadcast

76) THE ARK IN SPACE

Filming Locations

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Deaths

  • Tremas [body taken over by The Master]

  • Kassia [killed by The Master]

  • The Keeper [dies when his planet is destroyed]

    • confirmed in 'Logopolis'

  • Seron [killed with eye beams]

  • Katura [dies when her planet is destroyed]

  • Luvic [dies when his planet is destroyed]

    • both deaths confirmed in 'Logopolis'

  • Neman [forcibly executed by Tremas]

  • Foster [dies when his planet is destroyed]

  • Foster [dies when his planet is destroyed]

  • Trankenites [die when their planet is destroyed]

    • deaths confirmed in 'Logopolis'

Production Days

  • 7 Days between Wednesday 5 November - Wednesday 17 December 1980 

Production Errors

  1. Kassia's red eyes are clearly painted on her eyelids 

  2. During the Tardis scenes, the top of the walls are visible which show off the roof of the studio 

  3. During part two, a crewman or the shadow of a crewman is visible behind a bush, when Kassia runs out the finds the body of a dead Foster 

  4. When Seron runs to take the place of Keeper, he stumbles and grabs the door of the chamber to steady himself 

  5. The moss of Melkur's back has stitches in it 

  6. A crewmember's shadow can be seen when The Doctor calls out to the Foster 

  7. Why would Kassia insist on her husband being executed, when she is trying to save his life?

  8. Kassia at one point suggests that the Fosters should be armed. The Fosters have guns in the next scene, before the suggestion could have been debated and implemented

  9. The Master was shown to regenerate at the end of The Deadly Assassin. So why is he still in his decaying form here? Maybe there's an incarnation that we don't know about

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles] 

Verdict

Baker’s penultimate story is a slow-moving affair with plenty of nice designs, costume and sets and has a plot which moves along gradually with no sense of hurrying up when things get a little stale. The story has time to displays a sort of everyday realism – The Doctor sitting down to eat breakfast, Nyssa putting down flowers as a sign of respect and the Councillors talking about what else, politics. It is interesting that Nyssa is introduced as a well behaved, respectful daughter rather than a smart, science person she later becomes. This is probably because at the time of writing, Nyssa was not conceived as a companion until Sutton impressed the crew during rehearsals and recording. The rest of the cast are genuinely okay, Sheila Ruskin has energy but is far too over-the-top. Melkur is well realised and opens up a lot of creativity and makes for a formidable villain. The writing has a nice flow to it and adds up a surprisingly enjoyable watch. ****

Number of Production Days: 5