128) THE KING'S DEMONS

15 - 16 March 1983

Average Viewing Figure: 6.5M

Plot

Arriving in 1215, The Doctor discovers The Master plans to change the course of history of democracy 

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Anthony Ainley (Sir Gilles/The Master)

Frank Windsor (Ranulf), Gerald Flood (King John/Voice of Kamelion), Isla Blair (Isabella), Christopher Villiers (Hugh)

Michael J Jackson (Sir Geoffrey), Peter Burroughs (Jester)

Crew

Terence Dudley (Writer), John Waller (Fight Arranger), Lute Player: Jakob Lindberg, Jonathan Gibba, Peter Howell (Incidental Music)

Dick Mills (Special Sound), Jeremy Silberton (Production Manager), June Collins (Production Associate)

Sue Upton (Production Assistant), Sue Hedden (Assistant Floor Manager), Remi Adefarasin (Film Cameraman)

Simon Wilson (Film Sound), Mike Robotham (Film Editor), Anthony Harding (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects)

Nigel Finnis (Vision Mixer), Tony Troughton (Technical Manager), Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman), Rod Waldron (Videotape Editor)

Peter Smee (Studio Lighting), Martin Ridout (Studio Sound), Colin Lavers (Costume Designer), Elizabeth Rowell (Make-Up Artist)

Eric Saward (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), Ken Ledsham (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Ron Jones (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Nick Squries, Adrian Smith (Film Camera Assistants), Steve Garland (Film Sound Assistant), Crew 11 (Camera Crew)

John Downes (Grams Operator), Roz Stock, Stephen Moore (Floor Assistants), Gilly Page (Design Assistant), Jane Judge (Producer's Secretary) 

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Bodiam Castle, Bodiam, E Sussex

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

Deaths

  • Sir Geoffrey [shot with a crossbow]

Production Days

  • 6 Days between Sunday 5 December 1982 - Sunday 16 January 1983

Production Errors

  1. When Sir Geoffrey dies, his left arm twitches and he blinks a few times

  2. During the 13th century, French was the official language of the court, so why is Sir Gilles the only person who speaks French? 

  3. The Iron Maiden which turns out to be The Master's Tardis has an Elizabethan aesthetic feel to it 

  4. The Historical basis of the serial is a little inaccurate, the Magna Carter did very little good in the 13th century ​​

Working Titles

  • Demons Keeper

  • The Android

Verdict

The level of not caring in the serial from both cast and crew members alike is so apparent that the end result is a boring, abysmal effort that makes even the worst of Doctor Who stories looks like cinematic masterpieces. The plot just seems to start has very little care about plotting. We begin at a castle and suddenly were thrown into a jousting fight, The Tardis appears and a plot about the Magna Carter materialises. No thought, no effort, this happens and then this happens and finally this must happen. The plot is full of bad, nonsensical stuff, The Master being in disguise, his worst yet, listen closely you can hear Anthony Ainley as Sir Gilles. His big reveal seems out of the blue, The Doctor ‘wins’ the swordfight and The Master shows himself – why? Not even the extras react at the ‘sorcery’. The Doctor being knighted makes no sense whatsoever and Turlough is separated for some reason. The mind battle is choppy and uninteresting and has no substance to it and The Doctor’s get away is bad. The story just ends literally, The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough run into The Tardis and the fly away and then the credits rolls after a scene in the Tardis. The direction is flat with cast members just roaming about the place little knowing what to do, repetitive dialogue which sucks everything dry. When the only highlights of the story are the robot who fails to appear again for some time due to technical issues and an unfunny jester you know your in trouble. As King John says, ‘come what is this discourse?’ all you can do is nod your head in agreement. *