138) VENGEANCE ON VAROS

19 - 26 January 1985

Average Viewing Figure: 7.1M

Plot

The Doctor requires Zeiton-7 to repair, The Tardis and becomes entangled with horrible events on the planet Varos

Cast

Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Martin Jarvis (Governor), Nabil Shaban (Sil), Nicolas Chagrin (Quillam)

Jason Connery (Jondar), Forbes Collins (Chief Officer), Stephen Yardley (Arak), Sheila Reid (Etta), Geraldine Alexander (Areta)

Graham Cull (Bax), Owen Teale (Maldak), Keith Skinner (Rondel), Hugh Martin (Priest)

Uncredited Cast

Trevor Wedlock, Peter Dukes (Technicians), Gareth Milne, Roy Alon (Mortuary Attendants), Jack McGuire, Alan Troy (Mad Men

 Sam Scott, Charles Rayford (Monks), Bob Tarff (Executioner), David Wilde (Body)

Crew

Philip Martin (Writer), Jonathan Gibbs (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Margot Eavis (Production Manager)

Sue Anstruther (Production Associate), Jane Whittaker, Pat Greenland (Production Assistants)

Sophie Neville (Assistant Floor Manager), Charles Jeanes (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects)

Alan Arbuthnott (Technical Co-ordinator), Alec Wheal (Camera Supervisor), Nigel Finnis, Jayne Beckett (Vision Mixers)

Hugh Parson (Videotape Editor), Dennis Channon (Lighting Director), Andy Stacey (Studio Sound)

Anne Hardinge (Costume Designer), Cecile Hay-Arthur, Dorka Nieradzik (Make-Up Designers), Eric Saward (Script Editor)

Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), Tony Snoaden (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Ron Jones (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Julian Fullalove (Assistant Visual Effects Designer), Brenda Thomas (Floor Assistant), John Downes (Deputy Sound Supervisor)

Juliette Mayer, David Myers (Make-Up Assistants), Camilla Gavin (Properties Buyer), June Collins (Production Associate)

Sarah Lee (Production Secretary), David Markie, John Cavell, John Billett (Senior Studio Engineers), Bob Lewis (Production Operative Manager)

Jill Taylor (Assistant Costume Designer), Rod McLean (Design Assistant), Joanna Dawn, Alan Hatchman, Paul Mayo, Anthony Moore (Dressers)

Sarah Bird (Booker), Sheila Hodges (Assistant Booker)

Broadcast: 19-26 January 1985

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Deaths

  • Quillam [killed by deadly vines in the punishment dome]

  • Chief Officer [killed by deadly vines in the punishment dome]

  • Rondel [shot and killed by a Guard]

  • Mortuary Attendants [killed in a bath filled with acid]

  • Mad Man [killed by a deadly vine]

Production Days

  •  6 days between Wednesday 18 July - Thursday 2 August 1984

Production Errors

  1. At the end of part one, Peri looses her American accent when Peri shouts "Doctor"

  2. During part two, the green light which flashes whenever Sil speaks, also flashes when the Chief Officer speaks ​​

Working Titles

  • Domain

  • Planet of Fear

Verdict

The first proper story in Colin Baker era which incorporates many themes and issues – dictatorship, money, greed, and power. On the whole the production is very pleasing looking – dark lighting, impressive sets and a lack of ambient music all make for some eerily crafted scenes. One of very few adventures in the next few years where money was well spent. Colin Baker gives one of his best performance although a crude remark after a couple of gruesome deaths does make one raises their eyebrows. Nabil Shaban clearly loves working on the show playing a surprisingly expressive, little alien with so much power in his hands. The story has a hard time getting The Doctor and Sil into one room and any supposedly history for the sequel Mindwarp does not really happen. The plot while full of colourful characters does slag at certain points while a forced plot point of an impending invasion is squeezed in at the end. An excellent cliffhanger to part one remains as one the all-time best all thanks to incredible visual, camerawork and editing. Some of the extras are also top notch especially the two mentally, mistreated Mad Men and Martin Jarvis is an absolute joy. A well-executed production which puts the much hated Sixth Doctor into new light. ****