top of page


21 March - 2 May 1970

Average Viewing Figure: 7.3M


The Doctor must go into space without The Tardis if he is to solve the mystery behind Mars Probe 7


Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Caroline John (Liz Shaw), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Ronald Allen (Ralph Cornish)

Robert Cawdron (Taltalian), John Abineri (General Carrington), William Dysart (Reegan), Cyril Shaps (Lennox)

Dallas Cavell (Quinlan), Gordon Sterne (Heldorf), Ric Felgate (Van Lyden), Michael Wisher (John Wakefield)

Cheryl Molineaux (Miss Rutherford)Ray Armstrong (Grey), Robert Robertson (Collinson), Bernard Martin, Joanna Ross,

Carl Conway (Control Room Assistants), Juan Moreno (Dobson), James Haswell (Corporal Champion), Derek Ware (UNIT Sergeant)

Max Faulkner (UNIT Soldier), John Lord (Masters), Ric Felgate, Steve Peters, Neville Simons (Astronauts), Tony Harwood (Flynn)

Geoffrey Beevers (Private Johnson), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), James Clayton (Private Parker), Roy Scammell (Technician)

Peter Noel Cook (Alien Space Captain), Peter Halliday (Alien Voices), Steve Peters (Lefee), Neville Simons (Michaels)

Uncredited Cast

Max Diamond, Les Clark (Military Policemen), Steve Smart, Geoffrey Brighty, Rod Peers, Clive Rogers, Keith Simons, Tom Laird

Roger Minnis, Eric Kent, Stuart Myers, Crawford Lyall, Doug Roe, Roy Brent, Jo Santos, David Aldridge, Max Faulkner

Keith Goodman, Mike Stevens, Brian Justice, Dixie Dean, Steve Kelly, Derek Chafer, Ron Gregory, David Pixie, Terry Walsh

Derek Ware (UNIT Soldiers), Billy Horrigan, Alan Chuntz, Ray Emmins, Vernon Preston, Les Shannon, Garth Watkins (Collinson's Men)

Dinny Powell, Gordon Stothard, Tony Bradburne, Paul Warren (Reegan's Heavies)

Dinny Powell, Derek Martin, Barry Kennington, Charles Pickless, Mike Horsburgh (Heavies) 


David Whitaker (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), AA Englander, Tony Leggo (Film Cameramen)

Don Godden, Chris Wimble (Film Editors), HAVOC (Action), Peter Day, Ian Scoones (Visual Effects), Christine Rawlins (Costumes)

Marion Richards (Make-Up), Geoff Shaw, Dave Sydenham, Ralph Walton (Studio Lighting), Gordon Mackie (Sound)

Brian Hodgson (Special Sound), Terrance Dicks (Script Editor), David Myerscough-Jones (Designer), Barry Letts (Producer)

Michael Ferguson (Director)

Uncredited Cast

Margot Hayhoe (Assistant Floor Manager), Trevor Ray, Malcolm Hulke (Writers), Brian Hiles (Studio Sound), Delia Derbyshire (Title Music)

Andy Stacey, Tony Philpott (Grams Operators), Roger Twyman, Nigel Walters (Film Camera Assistants), Bernard Fox (Technical Manager)

Teresa Wright (Location Make-Up), Jeff Higgs, Ron Bowman (Videotape Editors), Dick Coles (Design Assistant)

Sandra Brenholz (Production Secretary), Kate Nemet, Pauline Silcock (Director's Assistants), Nicholas John (Production Assistant)

Doug Mawson (Sound Recordist), Mervin Broadway (Assistant Sound Recordist), Alan Gomery, A.J. Mitchell (Inlay Operators)

Barbara Buchanan (Artists Booker), John Barclay (Vision Mixer), John Turner (Floor Assistant), Rhys Jones (Visual Effects Assistant)

Arthur Funge (Jon Pertwee's Dresser), Jean Holder (Caroline John's Dresser)


Filming Locations

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Wycombe RDC Sewage Works, Little Marlow, Bucks

  • Spade Oak Quarries, Bucks

  • Southall Gas Works, Southall, Middx

  • White Street, Southall, Middx

  • TCC Condensers, Ealing

  • Wycombe Air Park, High Wycombe, Bucks

  • Gossmore Lane, Marlow, Bucks

  • Marlow Weir, Marlow, Bucks

  • Claycart Bottom, nr Farnborough, Hants

  • Puckeridge Hill Road Bridge, Aldershot

  • Royal Engineers Driving Circuit, Franborough, Hants

  • Beacon Hill, Ewshot, Hants

  • Blue Circle Cement Works, Northfleet, Kent

  • Television Centre: Studio 4

  • Television Centre: Studio 1


  • Taltalian [killed after a bomb explodes]

  • Quinlan [murdered by one of the Alien Astronauts]

  • Lennox [killed by a radioactive isotope]

  • Heldorf [shot and killed under Reegan's orders]

    • Unit Soldier [apparently killed by one of the Alien Astronauts]

  • Technician [knocked off a gantry by Reegan]

  • UNIT Soldier [killed by one of the Alien Astronauts]

  • Heavies [two are killed by radiation from the Alien Astronauts]

  • UNIT Soldiers [killed during a gun-fight]

  • Heavies [killed during a gun-fight]

Production Days

  • 18 Days between Saturday 3 January - Friday 27 March 1970

Production Errors

  1. During a close-up shot on the Brigadier, Caroline John can be seen standing in the background waiting for her cue to walk on set.  

  2. The climax of episode one involves Taltalian pulling out a gun on The Doctor and Liz, and is also wearing glasses. However at the reprise of episode two, Taltalian's glasses are nowhere to be seen and he doesn't pull his gun out at all. He has it in his hands from the beginning of the scene

  3. The office walls of Quinlan's office shake about at one point when the Brigadier attempts to open the door 

  4. The Doctor notably has a plaster after surviving the explosion which killed Taltalian. However by episode five the plaster has disappeared and no one seem to notice

  5. Taltalian's accent switches from French and British between studio and location work 

  6. The nose of Recovery 7 changes colour between prop and model shots

  7. During four, Max Faulkner plays a UNIT Soldier who dies (his character was scripted as such). However during episode six, he is alive and well, with no explanation of his miraculous recovery

  8. Despite being held prisoner, and the narrative taking place over a short period, Liz's tights change colour from episode to episode, did she have a few pairs on her possession when captured?​​

Working Titles

  • Invaders from Mars

  • The Carriers of Death

  • The Invaders from Mars


An overly ambitious action-packed thriller, and possibly ‘the’ most visually impressive Doctor Who provides an ingenious, if unoriginal scenario where The Doctor doesn’t battle against invading aliens, rather he comes up against several human antagonists. The entire plot, which is responsibly held together, suffers from padding issues, silly little set pieces, the same basic plot points (The Brigadier falls for two obvious traps (basically the same trap) within 2 episodes), and relies on the stupidity and gullibility of the cut-out henchmen characters just so the plot can have a sting within a certain episode. The plot also suffers from repetition where every episode includes a mini set-piece (a gun battle, an ambush and hijack, a car chase, a heist, an act of sabotage, a robbery, and the capture of Space Control in the final moments), but at the same time they all feel necessary for the plot to naturally progress. The main plot for The Ambassadors of Death is however, rather circumstantial and relies on too many coincidences where everyone involved within the alien ambassador conspiracy only knows a small percentage of the overall truth, which means their involvement in the plot amounts to very little screen time, resulting in some unnecessary detours, and longueurs of characters double-double-crossing each other. Despite the messy and incoherent plot, the direction is first-class and perhaps the best effort from Michael Ferguson (a constant director for the show). The budget accommodates an extensive location shot, a full size space capsule, a large-than-life set of secondary characters, and impressive production designs which make for some visually stimulating viewing. The alien ambassadors are perhaps the stars of the show, eerily brought to life largely by costume and sound effects alone, something very rare in the entirety of the show. Aside from a story which continually accelerates, stalls, and labours The Ambassadors of Death is remarkable for its effort and ambition and is perhaps ‘the’ Third Doctor serial which started the show’s newly founded path.****

bottom of page