152) BATTLEFIELD 

6 - 27 September 1989

Average Viewing Figure: 3.7M

Plot

A mysterious message pulls, The Doctor and Ace to Earth, and Queen Morgaine identifies The Doctor as the legendary Merlin

Cast

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Jean Marsh (Morgaine), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart)

James Ellis (Peter Warmsly), Angela Bruce (Brigadier Winifred Bambera), Christopher Bowen (Mordred), Marcus Gilbert (Ancelyn)

Angela Douglas (Doris), Noel Collins (Pat Rowlinson), June Bland (Elizabeth Rowlinson), Ling Tai (Shou Yuing)

Robert Jezek (Sergeant Zbrigniev), Dorota Rae (Flight Lieutenant Lavel), Stefan Schwartz (Knight Commander)

Marek Anton (The Destroyer)

Uncredited Cast

Steven Woodhouse, Laurie Goode, Howard Buttriss, Paul Gorman, Craig Gilman, Mark Tony (British UNIT Troops)

Martin Kennedy, Danny Lawrence, Mark Jardine, Kevin Ashford, Ken Barker, Mark Anthony Newman, Rod Woodruff (Grey Knights)

Ken Lee (Czech UNIT Sergeant), Paul Tomany (Major Husak), David Spicer, Andrew Jones, Phil Player, Wilson Dubois (Czech UNIT Soldiers)

Crew

Ben Aaronovitch (Writer), Alf Joint (Stunt Arranger), Ron Grainer (Theme Music), Keff McCulloch (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Ritta Lynn (Production Manager), Rosemary Parsons (Production Assistant), Matthew Purves, Julian Herne (Assistant Floor Manager)

Ian Dow (OB Lighting), Brian Jones (Engineering Manager), Martin Broadfoot (OB Sound), Paul Harding, Alan Jessop (OB Cameramen)

Dave Bezkorowajny (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects), Dinah Long (Vision Mixer), Oliver Elmes (Graphic Designer)

Richard Wilson (Technical Co-ordinator), Geoff Clark (Camera Supervisor), Hugh Parson (Videotape Editor), Sara Richardson (Properties Buyer)

David Lock (Studio Lighting), Scott Talbott (Studio Sound), Anushia Nieradzik (Costume Designer), Juliette Mayer (Make-Up Designer)

Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor), June Collins (Production Associate), Martin Collins (Designer), John Nathan-Turner (Producer)

Michael Kerrigan (Director)

Plot

Filming Locations

  • Fulmer Plant Park, Fulmer, Bucks

  • Little Paston, Fulmer, Bucks

  • Black Park, Fulmer, Bucks

  • Dowager House, St Martin's Without, Leics

  • Hambleton Excavation Site

  • Twyford Woods, nr Colsterworth, Lincs

  • Castle Cement Quarry, Ketton, Lincs

  • Hambleton Ridge, Hambleton

  • St Andrew's Church, Hambleton

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

Deaths

  • Lavel [killed by Morgaine when she steals her memories]

  • Knight Commander [killed during the battle with UNIT]

  • The Destroyer [shot by The Brigadier with silver bullets]

  • Grey Knights [others are possibly killed during the story]​

  • UNIT Soldiers [possibly killed during the story]​

Production Days

  •  12 days between Saturday 6 May -  Thursday 1 June 1989

Production Errors

  1. During part one, the scabbard is given such emphasis, and is introduced as an important plot device, but its quickly forgotten about and hardly appears

  2. Despite drinking four pints of real ale, Mordred isn't affected in the slightest. Unless of course humans from Mordred's earth are different biologically

Working Titles

  • Storm over Avallion

Verdict

A serial which should be easily liked but at the same time is very hard to fully enjoy. The story is another good script from Ben Aaronovitch incorporating another mixed society of primitive and technology. The story does drag with another forced love relationship which is lame, pointless, and unnecessary. The aesthetic feel of the story is fine – the Knights are robust and the Destroyer in a very expressive monster who is painfully tucked away at the end. The fight sequences have improved but are all of the place and look ridiculous. The whole affair is a mixed bag with questionable moments, tiny inconsistencies and a few one-dimension characters and a resolution best suited for a Hollywood Action Movie starring James Bond. ***​