116) CASTROVALVA

4 - 12 January 1982

Average Viewing Figure: 9.6M

Plot

The Doctor's regeneration is failing so he takes refuge in Castrovalva but nothing is what it seems as a dark plans unfolds

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Anthony Ainley (The Master/Portreeve)

Dallas Cavell (Head of Security), Frank Wylie (Ruther), Derek Waring (Shardovan), Michael Sheard (Mergrave), Souska John (Child)

Uncredited Cast

Harry Fielder, Kenneth Lawrie (Security Men), Peter Roy, Derek Matt (Ambulancemen), Cy Town, Mark Allington, Ernie Goodyear

Colin Cook, Dave Harrison, Ray Martin, Stuart Fell (Castrovalvan Warriors), Mark Allington, Ernie Goodyear, Colin Cook, Dave Harrison

Ray Martin, Mike Vinden, David Payne, George Ballantine, Malcolm Ross, David Bulbeck, Eric Corlett, Steve Griffiths

Giles Melville, James Gregory (Castrovalvan Men), Doreen Croft, Lucy Gwynn, Helen Hembrough, Jennie Piper, Sally Gardner

Maureen Stevens, June Parkhurst, Rosemary Smith, Dephine Auchterlonie, Lynn Austin, Sheila Vivian, Ilana Barry

Valerie Needham, Jean Channon, Dorothy Grumber (Castrovalvan Women)

Crew

Christopher H Bidmead (Writer), Paddyt Kingsland (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Margot Hayhoe (Production Manager)

Angela Smith (Production Associate), Olivia Cripps (Production Assistant), Renny Tasker (Assistant Floor Manager), John Baker (Film Cameraman)

Jim McAllister (Film Sound), Mike Houghton, Robin Jackman (Film Editors), Simon McDonald (Visual Effects Designer)

Dave Chapman (Visual Effects), Clive Gulliver (Technical Manager), Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman), Carol Johnson (Vision Mixer)

Rod Waldron (Videotape Editor), Ron Bristow (Studio Lighting), Laurie Taylor (Studio Sound), Odile Dicks-Mireaux (Costume Designer)

Marion Richards (Make-Up Designer), Eric Saward (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), Jane Budden (Designer)

John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Fiona Cumming (Director) 

Uncredited Cast

Ian Hewitt (Graphics), Sheila Hodges (Booking Assistant), Sarah Woodside (Floor Assistant), Paul Roy (Film Camera Assistant)

Malcolm James, Ron Thornton, George Reed (Visual Effects Assistants), Dan Shaw (Studio Engineer), Don Evans (Show Working Supervisor)

John Morin (Lighting Chargehand), Alison Cowles, Liz Dixon, Ray Greenhill, Tim Williamson (Dressers), Helen MacKenzie (Prop Buyer)

Graham Richmond (Film Operation Manager), John McEroy, Dick Norwood, Dicky-Rickes, John Shayer

Brian Simmons, Brian Walter (Film Ops), Jimmy Monks (Grips), Gordon Lester (Film Sound Assistant), Ted Turpin (Film Lighting)

John Downes (Grams Operator), Lesley Bond, Sula Loizou, Marilyn MacDonald, Charlotte Norman, Lucy Wiles (Make-Up Assistants)

Rod McLean (Design Assistant), Fiona Duncan, Jane Judge (Production Secretaries)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Crowborough Wireless Telegraph Station, Duddleswell, E Sussex

  • Buckhurst Park, Withyham, E Sussex

  • Harrison's Rocks, Groombridge E Sussex

  • Birchden Wood, Groombridge, E Sussex

  • Aytton's Wood, Groombridge, E Sussex

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Deaths

  • Shardovan [dies when he destroys The Master's Hadron Web]

  • Mergrave [sacrafices his life to keep The Master inside Castrovalva]

  • Ruther [possibly killed when The Master makes him disappear]

  • Child [killed when Castrovalva collapses]

  • Castrovalans [killed when Castrovalva collapses]

Production Days

  • 9 Days between Tuesday 1 September - Thursday 1 October 1981

Production Errors

  1. The Ambulance which arrives to take The Doctor to hospital is from the East Sussex Health Authority. However it has been hinted that the Pharos Project is located somewhere in Cambridgeshire 

  2. The Tardis is not in the same field it landed in during the last episode of Logopolis 

  3. The Pharos Project Guards change appearance since director Fiona Cumming hired different extras

  4. Both Nyssa and Tegan's handbag appear in the first interior shot of Tardis, despite the fact that they were not there in the final interior Tardis shot during Logopolis

  5. During the Zero Room scene when The Doctor levitates in mid-air, the question marks on his collar are noticeably reversed. This is because the image was flipped horizontally to make The Doctor float in mid-air

  6. When Tegan lands the Tardis in the second episode, she falls to the right to off the console room, whilst Nyssa falls to the left when she is with The Doctor

  7. The camera notably wobbles during the scene when Mergrave and Ruther find out what caused a noise

  8. During the last scene, a fence can be seen on the supposedly deserted planet

Working Titles

  •  The Visitor

Verdict

Castrovalva may not be the most memorable tale but it certainly deserves recognition for setting up the Peter Davison era in good stead for the next three years, Davison youthful appearance being a main ingredient for the show’s success. Bright direction and a vibrant script are coupled with admirable production values and notable performances throughout, especially Anthony Ainley as the Portreeve, his best performance under disguise who is later revealed to be The Master. The slow pacing in parts three and four match perfectly with the tranquillity of Castrovalva itself, although the first two episodes would have fared better with a faster pace, despite constant surprises and plot twists. Much like many of the subsequent serials the script just does not have enough material to accommodate three companions. Constant short lines and brief appearances highlight the problematic issues writers battled with whilst scripts their stories. The poor hated and mistreated Adric and sassy, smart mouthed Tegan are overshadowed by the resourceful and forethinking Nyssa. Whilst not the best or even a cult classic, Castrovalva deserve ever bit of attention as its counterparts and remains a little gem just waiting to be found. **** ​