149) THE HAPPINESS PATROL

2 - 16 November 1988

Average Viewing Figure: 5.1M

Plot

On the planet Terra Alpha, Helen A has outlawed sadness and controls the planet with, The Happiness Patrol

Plot

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Sheila Hancock (Helen A), Ronald Fraser (Joseph C), Georgina Hale (Daisy K)

Rachel Bell (Priscilla P), Harold Innocent (Gilbert M), John Normington (Trevor Sigma), Lesley Dunlop (Susan Q)

Richard D Sharp (Earl Sigma), Tim Baker (Harold V), Jonathan Burn (Silas P), David John Pope (Kandy Man), Mary Healey (Killjoy)

Tim Scott (Forum Doorman), Steve Swinscoe, Mark Carroll (Snipers), Philip Neve (Wences), Ryan Freedman (Wulfric)

Annie Hulley (Newscaster)

Uncredited Cast

Julie Lawrence, June Easther, Carole Mudie, Angie Alaimo, Heather Downham, Olwyn Atkinson, Selina Gilbert (Happiness Patrol)

Cy Town (Harold L [Execution Victim]), Chris Clough (Voice of Fifi), Barrie Wilkinson (Leading Drone)

Steven Martin, Charles Martin, Bilent Hassan, Lee Pearce (Pipe People)

Crew

Graeme Curry (Writer), Ron Grainer (Theme Music), Dominic Glynn (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Gary Downie (Production Manager), June Collins (Production Associate), Jane Wellesley (Production Assistant)

Lynn Grant (Assistant Floor Manager), Perry Brahan (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Shirley Coward (Vision Mixer)

Richard Wilson (Technical Co-ordinator), Alec Wheal, Geoff Clark (Camera Supervisors), Hugh Parson, Malcolm Warner (Videotape Editors)

John Charles (Property Buyer), Don Babbage (Lighting), Scott Talbott, Trevor Webster (Sound), Richard Croft (Costume Designer)

Dorka Nieradzik (Make-Up Designer), Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor), Oliver Elmes (Graphic Designer), John Asbridge (Designer)

John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Chris Clough (Director)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Deaths

  • Harold V [electrocued by Helen A]

  • Kandy Man [killed by strawberry fondant surprise]

  • Killjoy [executed by the Happiness Patrol]

  • Harold L [executed by the Happiness Patrol]

  • Fifi [crushed under an avalanche]

Production Days

  • 5 days between Tuesday 26 July - Thursday 11 August 1988

Production Errors

  1. Gilbert M at one point incorrectly refers Helen A as "Ellen Hay"

  2. The Kandyman's microphone picks up some of The Doctor's dialogue during episode two

  3. Whilst The Doctor repairs the buggy in episode one, one of the Happiness Patrol members runs into the camera shot early, realises her mistake, and walks off shot again

  4. There is one character who is so unhappy, who should be picked up by the Happiness Patrol, but isn't

Working Titles

  • The Crooked Smile

Verdict

The Happiness Patrol may appear to be a colourful tale with equally vibrant characters and big bold sets but the whole thing seem rather rushed and not well thought out at all. The bright popping sets often contrast with the harsh dark corners and equally dark lighting. The story is far too allegorical for its good that it ends up as commentary about a deluded society where people in power are never wrong and everything if fine and dandy. Naff and ridiculous villains and creatures – the Kandy Man and the Happiness Patrol downplay the threats and are more likely to bring smiles to the face. The Pipe People and Fifi probably worked well on paper but are poor on screen. Admirable camera movements and the main star Sheila Hancock has plenty of personality and charisma but works better when performing alone. Everyone else plays suppressed characters who live in fear of being executed and as such appear to be distracted as to what they can do with their characters. Not a bad production on the whole just really sad of what a missed opportunity it is. **​