125) MAWDRYN UNDEAD

1 - 9 February 1983

Average Viewing Figure: 7.3M

Plot

Having stolen Time Lord technology a group of immortal mutants want to die and ask, The Doctor for help 

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), David Collings (Mawdryn), Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier)

Valentine Dyall (Thw Black Guardian), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Angus Mackay (Headmaster), Stephen Garlick (Ibbotson)

Roger Hammond (Doctor Runciman), Sheila Gill (Matron), Peter Walmsley (First Mutant), Brian Darnley (Second Mutant)

Uncredited Cast

Paul Ryan, John Hamilton Russell, Miles Ross, Adam Ross, Oscar Peck, Glen Paul, Paul Lawrence, Piers Keating, Colin Forsyth

Russell Brook, Chris Bradshaw, David Cole, Wayne Norman (Schoolboys: 1983), Bill Felton, Bill Hughes (Farm Labourers)

Mark Allington, Fred Haggerty, Les Conrad, Gerry Alexander (School Masters: 1983), Derek Chessor, Timothy Slender, Mitchell Homer

Wayne Norman, Stephen Kebell (Schoolboys: 1977), David Cole, Mitchell Homer, Ian Craig, Michael Leader, Richard Olley (Mutants)

Lucy Baker (Nyssa as a child), Sian Pattenden (Tegan as a child), Richard Sheekey (Double for The Brigadier)

Crew

Peter Grimwade (Writer), Paddy Kingsland (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Ann Aronsohn (Production Manager)

June Collins (Production Associate), Valerie Letley (Production Assistant), Ian D. Tootle (Assistant Floor Manager)

Godfrey Johnson (Film Cameraman), Ron Brown (Film Sound), Chris Woolley (Film Editor), Stuart Brisdon (Visual Effects Designer)

Roger Lobb (Video Effects), Carol Johnson (Vision Mixer), Alan Arbuthnott (Technical Manager), Robin Barnes (Senior Cameraman)

Rod Waldron (Videotape Editor), Don Babbage (Studio Lighting), Martin Ridout (Studio Sound), Amy Roberts (Costume Designer)

Sheelagh Wells (Make-Up Artist), Eric Saward (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), Stephen Scott (Designer)

John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Peter Moffatt (Director)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Middlesex Polytechnic, Trent Park, Barnet

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Deaths

  • Mawdryn [dies from a discharge of temporal energy]

  • First Mutant [dies from a discharge of temporal energy]

  • Second Mutant [dies from a discharge of temporal energy]

  • Mutants [die from a discharge of temporal energy]

Production Days

  • 9 Days between Tuesday 24 August - Friday 24 September 1982

Production Errors

  1. The Brigadier claims that he retired from UNIT in 1977 to become a Maths Teacher. This  contradicts the UNIT timeline as The Invasion is set in 1979 and the Brigadier was clearly still working for UNIT

  2. The Brigadier tells Nyssa and Tegan that he has seen The Doctor regenerate twice when pondering whether or not The Doctor has regenerated again. This is incorrect. The Brigadier has only seen The Doctor regenerate once when witnessing The Third Doctor regenerating into The Fourth Doctor. He did not witness The Second Doctor regenerating into The Third Doctor and was only informed on the matter. 

  3. When Tegan reverts to a young child in part four, she does not have an Australian accent

  4. During the shot when Turlough is about to crash into an approaching car, both sides of the road are evidently covered in a thick bush. However just as the cars are about to crash into each other, a gate appears to the side of the road for The Brigadier's car to crash through. ​​

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles]

Verdict

An interesting serial which should have been easy to get right but unfortunately things fall apart right from the get-go. The Black Guardian returns and has a great presence and domineering personality but at the time was probably forgotten about during the serial's initial broadcast. The last time fans saw him was over four years ago. Mawdryn takes forever to appear, and his attentions are so self-centred its quite hard to feel sorry for him and his cronies. The make-up on Mawdryn and his Mutants at least tries something new as do the sets, but it can be hit and miss at the best of times. The new companion Turlough leaves an impression of his own with a good performance from Mark Strickson. The music is a little different but again the production team were always experimenting with the show during the eighties and the soundtrack works well. For everything Mawdryn Undead gets right it gets a couple of things wrong all adding up to a disappointing start for one of the series most overlooked trilogies. **​