147) DRAGONFIRE

23 November - 7 December 1987

Average Viewing Figure: 5.1M

Plot

On Svartos the mercenary, Kane is planning his revenge on his own people who imprisoned him on the planet in the first place

Cast

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Bonnie Langford (Melanie), Tony Selby (Glitz), Edward Peel (Kane), Patricia Quinn (Belazs)

Tony Osoba (Kracauer), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Shirin Taylor (Customer), Ian Mackenzie (Anderson), Stephanie Fayerman (McLuhan)

Stuart Organ (Bazin), Sean Blowers (Zed), Daphne Oxenford (Archivist), Chris MacDonnell (Arnheim), Nigel Miles-Thomas (Pudovkin)

Leslie Meadows (The Creature), Lynn Gardner (Announcer), Miranda Borman (Stellar)

Uncredited Cast

Chris Andrews, John Baker, Simon Brown, Keith Harvie (Guards), Ian Bodenham, Ross Murray, Ray Knight, Sue Somerset (Glitz's Crew)

Larry Bishop (Sculptor), Miles Ambrose, Olwyn Atkinson, Carolyn Christie, Julie Ann Wood, Linda Kent, Harry Klein, Eric Lindsay

Maggie Lynton, Bill Malin, Stuart Myers, Denise Powell (Refreshment Bar Customers), Belinda Lee (Xana)

Crew

Ian Briggs (Writer), Ron Grainer (Theme Music), Keff McCulloch (Theme Arrangement), Dominic Glynn (Incidental Music)

Dick Mills (Special Sound), Gary Downie (Production Manager), Ann Faggetter (Production Associate)

Rosemary Parsons, Karen King (Production Assistants), Christopher Sandeman (Assistant Floor Manager)

Andy McVean (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Richard Wilson (Technical Co-ordinator)

Alec Wheal (Camera Supervisor), Shirley Coward (Vision Mixer), Hugh Parson (Video-Tape Editor)

William Dudman (Film Cameraman), Don Babbage (Lighting Director), Brian Clark (Sound), Richard Croft (Costume Designer)

Gillian Thomas (Make-Up Designer), Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor), Oliver Elmes (Graphic Designer)

CAL Video (Computer Animation), John Asbridge (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Chris Clough (Director)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

Deaths

  • Kane [melts away in sunlight]

  • Belazs [killed by Kane]

  • Kracauer [killed by Kane]

  • Anderson [shot by one of Kane's mercenaries]

  • McLuhan [shot by the Dragon]

  • Bazin [shot by the Dragon]

  • Zed [killed by Kane's deadly touch]

  • Sculptor [killed by Kane's deadly touch]

  • Refreshment Bar Customers [killed when Kane blows up the spacecraft they borded]

    • [some are shot dead by Kane's mercenaries]

Production Days

  • 5 days between Tuesday 28 July - Thursday 13 August 1987

Production Errors

  1. The cliffhanger to episode one - just what exactly was The Doctor trying to achieve? 

  2. At the end of episode one, The Doctor clearly stares down what is clearly a seemingly bottomless cliff. At the start of episode two a small ledge appears out of nowhere for Glitz to stand on

  3. The ice which appears in the episode is clearly not made of ice. This is because various character including The Doctor and Glitz brush against the ice landscapes, only to have their clothes remains dry and ice free

  4. Why is the dragonfire put on Svartos in the first place? Isn't there a great risk that Kane could find it? He does and heads back to his home planet to take his revenge. This is like giving your enemies the secret on how to destroy you or hiding a deadly weapon somewhere in their headquarters.

  5. Stella's mother is surprisingly calm considering numerous people were shot and killed and blown-up just a short while ago. The bar would be filled with corpses right?​​

Working Titles

  • The Pyramid's Treasure

Verdict

A tightly written tale by newcomer Ian Briggs incorporating many plot points – lost treasure, a legendary creature who guards the said treasure, a ruthless cold-hearted villain and an outer space bar reminiscent of many big budget American science fiction shows and movies. Ace is one of the best written companions incorporating the rebellious, moody, and sarcastic personality many teenagers can relate to. Fine performances from everyone involved Edward Peel, Sophie Aldred, Tony Selby all thanks to a witty script, imaginative ideas, a steady pace, admirable production values, a cold sounding soundtrack, a realistic monster and a few stranger looking aliens makes for good entertainment all around. Just ignore episode one’s baffling cliffhanger. ****