119) THE VISITATION

15 - 23 February 1982

Average Viewing Figure: 9.6M

Plot

In 1666,The Terileptils have arrived on Earth to wipe out humanity with a virulent plague carried by Rats

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Janet Fielding (Tegan)

Michael Robbins (Richard Mace), Michael Melia (Terileptil Leader), Peter Van Dissel (Android), John Savident (The Squire)

Anthony Calf (Charles), John Baker (Ralph), Valerie Fyfer (Elizabeth), Richard Hampton (Villager), Eric Dodson (Headman)

Neil West (Poacher), James Charlton (Miller)

Uncredited Cast

Stuart Fell, Alan Chuntz, Charles-Adey Grey, Keith Guest, Jeff Wayne (Masked Villagers), Thomas Knox (Woodcutter), James Tye (Farmhand)

Jeff Wayne (Scytheman), Don Paul (Nightwatchman), Tom Gandl, Victor Croxford, Bill Whitehead (Villagers)

David Sumner, Michael Leader (Terileptils)

Crew

Eric Saward (Writer), Paddy Kingsland (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Roselyn Parker (Production Manager)

Angela Smith (Production Associate), Julia Randall (Production Assistant), Alison Symington (Assistant Floor Manager)

Peter Chapman (Film Cameraman), Stan Nightingale (Film Sound), Ken Bilton (Film Editor), Peter Wragg (Visual Effects Designer)

Dave Jervis (Video Effects), Carol Johnson (Vision Mixer), Derek Martin (Technical Manager), Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman)

Rod Waldron (Videotape Editor), Henry Barber (Studio Lighting), Alan Machin (Studio Sound)

Odile Dicks-Mireaux (Costume Designer), Carolyn Perry (Make-Up Artist), Antony Root (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence)

Ken Starkey (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Peter Moffatt (Director)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 2

  • Black Park Country Park, Iver

  • Tithe Barn, Hurley

  • Monk's Barn, Hurley

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

Deaths

  • The Squire [killed by the Terileptil Android]

  • Charles [killed by the Terileptil Android]

  • Ralph [killed by a Terileptil]

  • Elizabeth [killed by the Terileptil Android]

  • Terileptil Leader [killed as the Great Fire of London starts]

  • Terileptils [killed as the Great Fire of London starts]

Production Days

  • 10 Days between Friday 1 May - Friday 6 June 1981

Production Errors

  1. Sarah Sutton fluffs a line. Instead of saying 'We should go and get Adric and Tegan', she calls Adric - Andrid

  2. When The Doctor pulls the bracelet off the wrist of the Village Leader, the following shot clearly show that the Village Leader is still wearing it

  3. The camera briefly loses focus during the scene when The Doctor takes the arrow out of the Terileptil Escape Pod

  4. Before Nyssa switches on the machine to destroy the Terileptil Android the room begins to shake early

  5. The archaeologists that Nyssa refers to in episode four are far more likely to be confused with the Terileptil ship and secret base. These aren't destroyed and are left behind for anyone to find  ​​

Working Titles

  • The Plague Rats

Verdict

The Visitation returns Doctor Who to its routes, a period drama set during a period of Earth history, a narrative which can entertain and educate the kids and a break away from contemporary or present-day Earth settings. While the Doctor does not meet a historical figure, the story has the chance to create other notable appearances – um, the story has one –it’s not the swashbuckling countryman. A fantastically, eerie opening albeit an annoying daughter who only has one level of vocal expressions help put the story into second gear. A notable shift in the production values is the animatronic mask for the Terileptil Leader which in turn creates an original monster for The Doctor to face, something not seen in the programme since The Horns of Nimon. A race of creatures who combine beauty and destruction are represented through the Android. More toss and catch dialogue at times, plain sets, some obvious ‘surprising’ plot twists, and another terrible fight scene which supposedly injures a companion is ridiculous. With great filming locations, good ideas from Eric Saward and overall decent production values The Visitation could have been so much more but is still worth a watch. In terms of first-class entertainment, it is better to settle for second-class. ***​