145) PARADISE TOWERS

5 - 26 October 1987

Average Viewing Figure: 4.9M

Plot

In a tower block, The Doctor is identified as the Great Architect and something sinister lurks in the basement

Cast

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Bonnie Langford (Melanie), Richard Briers (Chief Caretaker), Clive Merrison (Deputy Chief)

Brenda Bruce (Tilda), Elizabeth Spriggs (Tabby), Judy Cornwell (Maddy), Julie Brennon (Fire Escape), Annabel Yuresha (Bin Liner)

Howard Cooke (Pex), Catherine Cusack (Blue Kang Leader), Joseph Young (Young Caretaker), Astra Sheridan (Yellow Kang)

Simon Caddy (Video Commentary)

Uncredited Cast

Louise Clifford, Martha Stylianou, Jennie Slade, Juliette Norde, Roberta Wells

Elizabeth Gardner, Lottie Winter, Nisha Nayar, Helen Fung, Christina Clark (Red Kangs),  Rupert Clive, James Carrington

Andrew J Bush, Don Weinstein, William Perrie, Nick Santini, Sean Bowden (Caretakers), 

Leigh Funnell, Heather Mair Thomas, Liz Wood, Tanya Davidson-Jones, Harriet Eedle, Suzanna Cardash, Iona Dean (Blue Kangs)

Kathleen Bidmead, Muriel Wellesley, Nancy Adams, Shelena Marshall (Rezzies), Ellie Bertram (Stunt Double for Melanie)

Crew

Stephen Wyatt (Director), Ron Grainer (Theme Music), Keff McCulloch (Theme Arrangement/Incidental Music)

Dick Mills (Special Sound), Ian Fraser (Production Manager), Ann Faggetter (Production Associate)

Frances Graham (Production Assistant), Val McCrimmon (Assistant Floor Manager), Ian Dow (OB Lighting)

Doug Whittaker (OB Sound), Alastair Mitchell, David Hunter (OB Cameramen), Simon Tayler (Visual Effects Designer)

Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Richard Wilson (Technical Co-ordinator), Alec Wheal (Senior Cameraman)

Shirley Coward (Vision Mixer), Hugh Parson (Videotape Editor), Henry Barber (Lighting Director), Brian Clark (Studio Sound)

Janey Tharby (Costume Designer), Shaunna Harrison (Make-Up Designer), Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor)

Oliver Elmes (Graphic Designer), Martin Collins (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Nicholas Mallett (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Mark Collcutt (Visual Effects Assistant), Crew 11 (Camera Crew), Jane Litherland (Floor Assistant), Tony Redston (Production Manager)

Charlotte Palmer (Costume Assistant), Roy Scammell (Stunt Arranger), Phil Harvey (Design Assistant), Kate Esteal (Producer's Secretary) 

Lena Hansen, Belinda Peters, Lisa Pembroke, Tom Reeve, Leslie Bingham, Liz Scammell, Bob Springett (Dressers)

Wendy Holmes, Sharon Walsh, Carol Elms, Jules York-Moore (Make-Up Assistants), Bob Sutton, Steve Dolphin (Props Buyers)

Dan Shaw, Peter Brown (Senior Studio Engineers), Mike Weaver (Grams Operator), Derrick Perry, Len Hunt, Geoff Allen (Lighting Chargehands)

Stan Cresswell, Barry Du Pile, David Rogers (Production Operatives), CAL Video (Computer Animation)

Len Hutton, Les Runham (Production Operatives Supervisor), Peter Hales, Dave Roll (OB Sound Assistants), Barry Milne (OB Vision Supervisor)

Dave Lees (OB Videotape Engineer), Mick Keates (Rigger Supervisor)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Elmswell House, Chalfont St Giles, Bucks

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Deaths

  • Chief Caretaker [possesed by The Great Architect]

  • Tilda [killed by one of the Paradise Towers Cleaners]

  • Tabby [killed by one of the Paradise Towers Cleaners]

  • Pex [killed in an explosion]

    •  death can be debated

  • Yellow Kang [killed by one of the Paradise Towers Cleaners]

  • Young Caretaker [killed by one of the Paradise Towers Cleaners]

  • Red Kang [killed by one of the Paradise Towers Cleaners]

  • The Great Architect [killed by one of the Paradise Towers Cleaners]

    • possibly others as the Paradise Towers Cleaners unleash a deadly gas

Production Days

  • 7 days between Thursday 21 Mau - Friday 19 June 1987 

Production Errors

  1. After Kroagnon possesses the Chief Caretaker's body, the latter's moustache changes its style 

  2. There is a slight sync problem when during the scene in episode three when the Chief Caretaker scolds the Deputy Chief Caretaker. The Chief Caretaker opens his mouth but words fail to come out until a few seconds later

  3. A length of string can is clearly attached to the knife Tilda throws at Pex during episode three

  4. How exactly is the corridor leading up to Kroagnon's lair filled with discarded clothing? Do the cleaner robots leave them there after Kroagnon finishes his meals? Or is somebody else responsible .....

  5. How do the robot cleaners put their victims in the garbage containers? Their extendable arm is clearly not long enough to reach that fair. Or is somebody else responsible ....

  6. Why exactly does the Chief Caretaker think The Doctor is great architect? 

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles]

Verdict

The most impressively designed story of the Sylvester McCoy tenure with a strongly written script with hints and moments of genius – the Kang’s vocabulary and expressions, the Doctor using his smarts to escape, the delightfully cunning Tabby and Tilda, the robot cleaners and the grubby corridors sets depicting years of neglect. Memorable performances – Brenda Bruce, Elizabeth Spriggs, Richard Briers as a whole cast of characters each contributing something different to the story. Interesting symbolisms – Nazism, greed, obsession, and power are sometimes too in your faces but are remarkably subtle in others, something every good writer must learn to do. Nicholas Mallet’s direction manages to create a whole series of worlds in the tower block – the empty corridor shots with harsh dark lighting, the haunting basements scenes with discarding clothes all over the place, the brightly lit grandmotherly flat of the cannibalistic old ladies, the cleaner robots who lurk around every corner in a shroud of smoke and the swimming pool scene where another killer robots lurks just out of sight. McCoy begins to slip into the role with more ease while Mel has her moments of equal brilliance and stupidity, her signature scream now just annoyance. An instant classic of the 80s. ****