34) THE MACRA TERROR

11 March - 1 April 1967

Average Viewing Figure: 7.4M

Plot

Arriving at a human colony, The Doctor discovers an evil presence is controlling things in the background

Cast

Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), Anneke Wills (Polly), Michael Craze (Ben), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), Peter Jeffrey (Pilot)

Graham Armitage (Barney), Ian Fairbairn (Questa), Jane Enshawe (Sunnaa), Sandra Bryant (Chicki), Maureen Lane (Drum Majorette)

Terence Lodge (Medok), Gertan Klauber (Ola), Graham Leaman (Controller), Anthony Gardner (Alvis), John Harvey (Officia)

John Caesar, Steve Emerson, Danny Rae (Guards), Roger Jerome, Terry Wright, Ralph Carrigan (Cheerleaders), Karol Keyes (Chicki)

Denis Goacher (Control Voice), Richard Beale (Broadcast/Propaganda Voices), Robert Jewell (Macra)

Crew

Ian Stuart Black (Writer), Dudley Simpson (Music), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Gerry Davis (Story Editor), Vanessa Clarke (Costumes)

Gillian James (Make-Up), Frank Cresswell (Lighting), Gordon Mackie (Sound), Kenneth Sharp (Designer), Innes Lloyd (Producer)

John Davies (Director)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • APC, Dunstable, Bedforshire

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 3

  • Lime Grove: Studio D

Deaths

  • Medok [killed by a Macra when he tries to escape]

  • Controller [killed by a Macra]

Production Days

  • 6 days between Wednesday 15 February - Saturday 25 March 1967

Production Errors

  1. When a Marac attacks Polly, Ben tries his best to free Polly from the Marca's grip. The shot clearly shows that Polly's foot is trapped in the Macra's grip, however, in the next shot, her foot is free

  2. The Marca's top claw is evidently longer than the bottom one. However, when a Macra grabs The Controller by the neck both claws are the same length

  3. When Medok is brought forward to confirm The Doctor's alibi, why would The Doctor tell The Pilot not to believe anything Medok is about say?

  4. Many characters incorrectly describe The Macra as insects, when so evidently resemble crabs. ​​

Working Titles

  • Doctor Who and the Insect - Men

  • Dr Who & the Spidermen

  • Dr Who and the Macras

  • The Spidermen 

Verdict

The Macra Terror is very impressive as a colony ruled under strict guidance and rules narrative. It’s not as intelligent or energetic compared to Ian Stuart Black’s other work and it shows in the endless padding and filler which is abundant in episodes three and four. There some good stuff in the padding – mind control, mysterious monsters which people claim do not exist, and an underground lair where all of the evil planning takes place. There is an annoying plot point where various character claim the Macra look like insects then proceed to say they look like Crabs. Which is it Insects or Crabs? There are some atmospheric moments helped along by the animation used to resurrect the missing story. The regulars are finally all given something to do with Troughton giving his all as always. ***