134) PLANET OF FIRE

23 February - 2 March 1984

Average Viewing Figure: 6.98M

Plot

The Doctor discovers someone is manipulating Kamelion when they arrive on Earth and then the planet Sarn

Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Peter Wyngarde (Timanov), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Nicola Bryant (Peri)

Barbara Shelley (Sorasta), James Bate (Amyand), Dallas Adams (Professor Howard Foster), Gerald Flood (Voice of Kamelion)

Edward Highmore (Malkon), Jonathan Caplan (Roskal), Michael Bangerter (Curt), Simon Sutton (Lookout), Max Arthur (Zuko)

John Alkin (Lomand)

Crew

Peter Grimwade (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Peter Howell (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Corinne Hollingworth (Production Manager), June Collins (Production Associate), Claire Hughes-Smith (Production Assistant)

Rob Evans (Assistant Floor Manager), John Walker (Film Cameraman), John Tellick (Film Sound), Alastair Mitchell (Film Editor)

Christopher Lawson (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Dinah Long (Vision Mixer), Alan Arbuthnott (Technical Co-ordinator)

Alec Wheal, Geoff Clark (Camera Supervisors), Hugh Parson (Videotape Editor), John Summers (Lighting Director), Scott Talbott (Sound)

John Peacock (Costume Designer), Elizabeth Powell (Make-Up Designer), Eric Saward (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence)

Malcolm Thornton (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Fiona Cumming (Director)

Uncredited Crew

John Barrott (Film Lighting), Paul Woods (Props Buyer), Judy Grimshaw (Location Liason), Christina McMillan (Production Manager)

Graham Richmond (Film Operations Manager), Laurence Miller, John McElroy (Film Ops), Frances Miles, Ron Simpson (Dressers)

Tony Bragg (Film Camera Assistant), Don Lee (Film Sound Assistant), John Phillips (Grips), Ted Coates (Show Working Supervisor)

Anna Campbell (Floor Assistant), Dennis Leach, John Morin (Lighting Chargehands), Elizabeth Hardiment (Make-Up Assistant)

Roger Turner (Visual Effects Assistant), Dinah Walker (Design Assistant), Sarah Lee (Production Secretary), Sarah Bird (Contracts Assistant)

Bill Waugh, Jim Kernick, Ron Frith, John Billett (Senior Studio Engineers) 

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Lanzarote, Playa Papagayo

  • Lanzarote, High Observation Point, Mirador del Rio

  • Lanzarote, Quay and Cafe, Orzola

  • Lanzarote, Monanas del Fuego

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Deaths

  • Timanov [dies on Sarn]

  • Kamelion [asks to be killed]

  • Zuko [shot and killed by an Elder]

Production Days

  • 10 Days between Friday 14 October - Friday 11 November 1983

Production Errors

  1. There are inconsistencies between the location and studio scenes where Turlough saves Peri from drowning. When Turlough and Peri reach the Tardis, Peri is soaking wet, and when they reach the bedroom, Peri is totally dry

  2. At one moment The Doctor asks Amyand and Sorasta about their God Logar. However The Doctor hasn't heard Logar's name yet, so how does he know who he is?

  3. For some reason Peri is able to override The Master's control over Kamelion, but The Doctor cant. 

  4. Peri's passport doesn't actually belong to her. The passport belongs to a man called Sydney. The passport prop was previously used by Dallas Adams in a previous production.​​

Working Titles

  • Planet of Fear

Verdict

A decent penultimate episode for The Fifth Doctor which starts off well but loses some momentum as it progresses. Great filming location work, cinematography, and costumes and a brilliantly crafted first episode. However, the story does not do Turlough service for his final episodes as the character reverts back to his nervous and boring personality. The script is intelligent combining a mixed society of technology and primitive, science and superstition, religion and belief, something that has been done many times before’ but Planet of Fire seems to refine those ideas. The incoming companion, Peri makes her mark, in unexpected ways and Turlough’s exit it decently handled, there have been worse. The plot point of The Master seems unfitting and out of place but Ainley is top notch as always, much better than his two previous appearances. A tightly produced production with everything going for it, just ignore Kamelion, he is not in it for that long. ****​