154) THE CURSE OF FENRIC

25 October - 15 November 1989

Average Viewing Figure: 4.1M

Plot

At a World War II Naval base a evil being is beginning to stir as a deadly trap unfolds 

Cast

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Dinsdale Landen (Dr Judson), Alfred Lynch (Commander Millington)

Nicholas Parsons (Reverend Wainwright), Janet Henfrey (Miss Hardaker), Tomek Bork (Captain Sorin)

Peter Czajkowski (Sgt. Prozorov), Marek Anton (Vershinin), Mark Conrad (Petrossian), Joann Kenny (Jean), Joanne Bell (Phyllis)

Anne Reid (Nurse Crane), Cory Pulman (Kathleen Dudman),m Aaron Hanley (Baby Audrey), Stevan Rimkus (Captain Bates)

Marcus Hutton (Sgt Leigh), Christien Anholt (Perkins), Raymond Trickett (Ancient Haemovore)

Uncredited Cast

Stephen Fitzalan (Gayev), David Foster, Mark Ponsford, Vince Sears, Nigel Parke Davies, Martin Dew, Andy Combs, Derek Van Weenan

Damon Jeffrey, Ken Dee (Russian Commandos), John van der Pool (Dead Russian Commando), Ian Elliott, Jennifer Crome

Graham Stagg, Perry Evans, Raymond Martin, Tony Ryan, Cy Town, Ann Graham, Jacqui Nolan, Ian Collins, Sam Kent Smith

Joe Kent Smith (Haemovores), Alan Marshall, Graham Brown (Haemovores at Window), Tracey Eddon (Stunt Double for Ace)

Tip Tipping, Paul Heasman (Stunt Haemovores)

Crew

Ian Briggs (Writer), Tip Tipping (Stunt Arranger), Ron Grainer (Theme Music), Mark Ayres (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound)

Ian Fraser (Production Manager), Winifred Hopkins (Production Assistant), Judy Corry (Assistant Floor Manager), Ian Dow (OB Lighting)

Brian Jones (Engineering Manager), John Nottage, Scott Talbott (Sound), Graham Brown (Visual Effects Designer), Dave Chapman (Video Effects)

Dinah Long (Vision Mixer), Oliver Elmes (Graphic Designer), Paul Harding, Alan Jessop (OB Cameramen)

Hugh Parson (Videotape Editor), Yvonne Alfret (Properties Buyer), Ken Trew (Costume Designer), Denise Baron (Make-Up Designer)

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

Nicholas Mallett (Director)

Uncredited Crew

John van der Pool, Alan Marshall, Andy Fraser, Mike Tucker, Steve Bland, Russell Pritchett, Dave Visalls (Visual Effects Assistants)

Ken Bond (Armourer), Des Stewart (Safety Officer), Vic Young (Production Operatives Supervisor), Stan Cresswell, Alan Bennett

Neville Quhne (Production Operatives), Jim Russell (Lighting Chargehand), Dave Potter (VT Engineer), Dave Jennings (Vision Supervisor)

Dave Thwaites, Anthony Kemp (Vision Assistants), Clare Kinmont (Producer's Secretary), Denis Adoo, Cathy George, Ray Greenhill

Michael Purcell, Sara Wilkinson (Dressers), Kathy Harris, Wendy Harrison, Helen Johnson, Lyn Somerville (Make-Up Assistants)

Peter Hales, Ken Osborne (Sound Assistant), Julia Gresty (Assistant Designer)

Plot

Filming Locations

  • Crowborough Training Camp, Crowborough, E Sussex

  • St Laurence's Church, Hawkhurst, Kent

  • Bedgebury Lower School, Hawkhurst, Kent

  • Roses Farm, Hawkhurst, Kent

  • Yee Tree Farm, Cranbrook, Kent

  • Lulworth Cove, Weld Estate, Dorset

Deaths

  • Dr Judson [killed by an electrical charge]

  • Commander Millington [shot and killed by Vershinin]​

  • Sgt Leigh [killed by WRNS Haemovores]

  • Perkins [killed by Haemovores]

  • Sorin [killed when Fenric takes over his body]

  • Prozorov [killed by Haemovores]

  • Petrossian [killed by a Haemovore]

  • Reverend Wainwright [killed by Jean and Phyllis]

  • Miss Hardaker [killed by Jean and Phyllis]

  • Jean [turned into a Haemovore and later melts into a slimy substance]

  • Phyllis [turned into a Haemovore and later melts into a slimy substance]

  • Nurse Crane [killed by two Haemovores]

  • Ancient Haemovore [killed when a poison is released into an isolation chamber]

  • Haemovores [killed by the Ancient Haemovore via thought]

  • WRNS Women [turned into Haemovores and later destroyed]

Production Days

  •  14 days between Monday 3 April - Thursday 20 April 1989

Production Errors

  1. The Russians speaks Russian at the very beginning of the serials, but slip into speaking English for the rest 

  2. How do the Russians expect to escape with the Ultima Machine when they arrive in small dinghy boats? The machine is likely to cause them to sink. Unless of course the boats are stronger than they look. Not a chance

  3. The Doctor's hand go from pretty dirty to immaculately clean during episode four

  4. The canisters of poison which are kept in the Army Base arsenal are obviously moulded pieces of plastic rather than constructed set pieces or set props

  5. The Haemovores drop out of character at one point during the fight at the top of the church. They make humanlike grunting and gasping noises compared to inhuman screams they emit at various points in the serial ​​

Working Titles

  • The Wolves of Fenric

  • Wolf Time

Verdict

A wonderfully crafted gothic horror story filled with themes and issues of war, Good vs. Evil, faith, mythology, science and even death. The cast of characters represents many anxieties faced by everyone in the war – the stern talking Commander Millington just wants to win the war, the strict, no-nonsense Miss Hardaker just wants to keep the vulnerable Jean and Phyllis safe from the savage war but in doing so makes them rebel against her and Reverend Wainwright faces a moral dilemma where his faith in God is threatened. The script is intelligent with wonderful eerie crafted scenes – the disappearing boat at the beginning, Phyllis and Jean disappearing in mist, the Haemovores emerging from the water, the ancient Haemovore pushing his master into a gas tank which calls back to the successful directors of the Philip Hinchcliffe era. Movie quality camera work and editing - the Doctor reading the inscription whilst the shot transitions back to the crypt. The Haemovores are one of the most original villains to date with their wide range of costumes over many time periods. A rare treat is evident in the underwater scenes with the Viking ship, the claw sliding into the frame and the unfortunate soldier who is hauntingly alive. Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred continue to shine, Aldred still plays Ace with a sense of vulnerability who must face one final fear before becoming a fully developed young lady and The Doctor faces another dilemma that has been following him through his last few adventures. The soundtrack is brilliant, one of the best, again from Ayres, two brilliant soundtracks in a row are remarkable on par with Dudley Simpson. Nothing more can be said about this classic tale well maybe one – see it if you have not already. *****