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6 - 27 September 1986

Average Viewing Figure: 4.4M


The Doctor is put on trial for interfering with affairs of other planets, one such case occurs on the planet Ravalox


Colin Baker (The Doctor), Nicola Bryant (Peri), Michael Jayston (The Valeyard), Lynda Bellingham (The Inquisitor), Joan Sims (Katryca)

Tony Selby (Glitz), Roger Brierley (Voice of Drathro), Tom Chadbon (Merdeen), David Rodigan (Broken Tooth), Glen Murphy (Dibber)

Adam Blackwood (Balazar), Billy McColl (Humker), Sion Tudor Owen (Tandrell), Timothy Walker (Grell)

Uncredited Cast

Geoff Whitestone (Court Clerk), Guy Matthews, Ken Pritchard, Kenneth Thomas, Lew Hooper, Derek Hunt, David Enyon, David Bache

Bob Hargreaves, Jack Horton, Leslie Weekes, John Buckmaster, Leslie Fry, James Delaney, Llewellyn Williams, Roy Seeley (Time Lords)

Johnny Lee Harris, Rodney Cardiff, David Wild, Peter Gates-Fleming, John Capper, Gary Forecast (Red Guards), Kathleen Bidmead

Muriel Wellesley, Barry Lindsay, John Lewery (Elders), Andrew Bopitt, Derek Thompson, Dave Carson, Gordon Williams, Richard Olley

Alex Reid, Steve Butler, T Melbourne, Ray Bennett, Neville Denton, Ralph Harvey, John Jones (Tribesmen)

Jane Thorne, Beryl Lindsay (Tribeswomen), Ray Cresswell, Cindy Locke, Alys Dyer, Lucy Dyer (Children), Oscar Peck, Paul Ellison

Rhett Stevens, Eric Corlett, Derek Holt, Ian Johns, Tony McEvoy, David Wild, Laurie Goode, Dave Harrison, Barry Jacobs

Wilbert Johnson (Workers), Paul McGuinness (Drathro Operator), John Emms, Mark Kirby, Glen McLaughlan (Train Guards)

Stuart Newton (Train Driver), Mike Ellis (L1 Service Robot Operator)


Robert Holmes (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Dominic Glynn (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Clare Graham (Production Manager), Angela Smith (Production Associate), Joy Sinclair (Production Assistant)

Stephen Jeffrey-Poulter (Assistant Floor Manager), John Wiggins (OB Lighting), Bill Whiston (OB Sound)

Mike Pelt (Visual Effects Designer), Danny Popkin (Video Effects), Jim Stephens (Vision Mixer)

Alan Arbuthnott (Technical Co-ordinator), Alec Wheal (Studio Camera Supervisor), Stephen Newnham (Videotape Editor)

Mike Jefferies (Studio Lighting), Brian Clark (Studio Soundman), Ken Trew (Costume Designer), Denise Baron (Make-Up Designer)

Eric Saward (Script Editor), Sid Sutton (Title Sequence), John Anderson (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Nicholas Mallett (Director)


Filming Locations

  • Queen Elizabeth Country Park, Horndean, Hants

  • Butser Ancient Farm Project, Pidham Hill, Hants

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 6


  • Katryca [killed by Drathro]

  • Drathro [killed when his converter is destroyed]

  • Broken Tooth [killed by Drathro]

  • Grell [shot and killed by Merdeen]

Production Days

  • 10 days between Tuesday 8 April - Friday 13 June 1986

Production Errors

  1. After being killed in part four, Grell can be seen breathing afterwards.

  2. The Doctor's trousers continually change design without any explanation.

Working Titles

  • The Mysterious Planet

  • The Robots of Ravolox

  • Wasteland


The most apparent thing about the first installment of the Trial of a Time Lord season is Colin Baker begins to lose his love for the role. Who can blame him? His second season is cancelled, his character can be seriously dislikeable at times due to bad writing and he spends most of his time sitting in a chair. Baker really looks out of place at times. It is clearly the beginning of the end where not much will improve. The opening shot of the space station, the most expensive prop spent on the show at the time is great but is seriously restricted by various close-ups. An impressive robot spends most of his time in a locked room with a subtle Romulus and Remus from The Twin Dilemma. The plot starts off well but falls short on creating anything mysterious. The courtroom scenes are continuously annoying in which The Doctor calls The Valeyard various childish names which gets old very quickly. The direction is a little flat at times which is a shame because the story is surprisingly good, not the best from Holmes but still a good effort. A misused opportunity where the great Joan Sims gives her all where her character is nothing more than a dull primitive, tribe leader. As a stand-alone adventure without the courtrooms it would have been great but as it is, it is passable. ***

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