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9 May - 20 June 1970

Average Viewing Figure: 5.5M


The Doctor becomes trapped on a parallel world and witnesses what is to come for a drilling project back home


Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Caroline John (Liz Shaw/Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw)

Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart/Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart), Olaf Pooley (Professor Stahlman/Director Stahlman)

Christopher Benjamin (Sir Keith Gold), Derek Newark (Greg Sutton), Sheila Dunn (Petra Williams/Dr Petra Williams)

John Levene (Sergeant Benton/Platoon Under Leader Benton), David Simeon (Private Latimer), Derek Ware (Private Wyatt)

Walter Randall (Harry Slocum), Ian Fairbairn (Bromley, Roy Scammell (RSF Sentry), Keith James (Patterson)

Dave Carter, Pat Gorman, Philip Ryan, Peter Thompson, Walter Henry (Primords)


Don Houghton (Writer), HAVOC (Action), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Len Hutton (Visual Effects), Christine Rawlins (Costumes)

Marion Richards (Make-Up), Fred Hamilton (Film Cameraman), Graham Hare (Film Sound), Martyn Day (Film Editor)

John Green (Studio Lighting), John Staple (Sound), Brian Hodgson (Special Sound), Terrance Dicks (Script Editor)

Jeremy Davies (Designer), Barry Letts (Producer), Douglas Camfield (Director)

Uncredited Cast

Peter Logan, Ian Scoones (Effects Assistant), Frank Mullan (Floor Assistant), Judy Cain, Sue Duckworth, Irene Walls (Make-Up Assistants) 

Colin Bowles (Designer Construction Organiser), Sandra Brenholz (Producer's Secretary), Ray Hider, Lance Wood (Technical Managers)

Jack Curtis (Film Sound Assistant), Sue Upton (Director's Assistant), Hugh Miles (Film Camera Assistant), Tony Philpott, Gerry Borrows (Grams)

Terry Styles, Pat Trigger (Costumes Assistants), John Gorman (Vision Mixer), Mike Wilson (Lighting Cameraman)


Filming Locations

  • Berry Wiggins & Co Ltd, nr Rochester, Kent

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 2

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 6


  • Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw [killed by a huge flow of lava]

  • Brigade Leader Lethbridge-Stewart [shot and killed by Section Leader Elizabeth Shaw]

    • Platoon Under-Leader Benton [possibly killed in Primord form]

  • Professor Stahlman [killed in Primord form]

  • Director Stahlman [killed in Primord form]

  • Dr Williams [killed by a huge flow of lava]

  • Greg Sutton [Parallel World] [killed by a huge flow of lava]

  • Private Wyatt [falls to his death after mutating into a Primord]

  • Harry Slocum [shot through the heart twice by Private Wyatt]

  • Bromley [killed in Primord form]

  • RSF Sentry [killed by Bromley in his Primord form]

  • Primords [other Primords on both worlds]

  • Parallel World Population [many when lava pours over the world]

Production Days

  • 13 Days between Tuesday 31 March - Friday 29 May 1970

Production Errors

  1. A sign in The Doctor's workshop is misspelt, Mega-Volts is spelled as "Megga Volts" 

  2. Some shots of Sutton holding the Primords off with coolant from a fire extinguisher have a distinct lack of anything coming out of the nozzle - so what is stopping the Primords from attack?

  3. Why on Earth would a highly trained technician, working on a high budget scientific project, touch an unknown substance with his bare hand? Its surprising he didn't fail science class at school. 

  4. The dead Stahlman Primord still has a small trace of his human self, some of Stahlman's human skin can be seen on the neck of his Primord self 

  5. Whilst The Doctor is stopping the drill project in 'our world', a floor-marker for Caroline John can be seen

Working Titles

  • Doctor Who and the Mo-Hole Project

  • Operation: Mole-Bore

  • Project Inferno


​Characters shout and argue back-and-forth between one and other, klaxons blaze in the background, there’s a lot of running back and forth between locations, too much time is spent standing around talking and doing nothing, and there’s a forced love story with little chemistry that has no business within an apocalyptic-Earth narrative. The writing is sadly poor, (although there are some witty lines), and almost unoriginal, and recycles too many clichés from b-movie disaster movies (a drilling project heading for disaster, a technician who turns into a ferocious monster, and a project director who fails to listen to cold-hearted logic and reason). The story is a mess, and what’s worse is, the most promising element, the parallel world, commits an even worse offence – it’s boring. There are some nice subtle differences between The Doctor’s world, and the parallel world, but everything else which would have been far more exciting is expositional. Parallel worlds are, and were, nothing new to science-fiction, and sadly Doctor Who failed to create a compelling world, which the audience would be sad to see totally destroyed within four short episodes.
   The direction is overall fine, and you would expect nothing less from Douglas Camfield, but the story falls into constant repetition, and has to deal with two unbearably slow episodes at the beginning. The cliffhangers sadly fall into the same category, and The Doctor’s escape from the parallel world is perhaps one of the laziest cop-outs ever; we don’t see The Doctor leaving, and the audience are denied a hold-your-breath moment where we wonder if  The Doctor will successfully return home.
   The story is saved by some memorable and thought-out moments. The Primords provide a fresh take on the classic werewolf creature, but for some reason they continually break the fourth wall (looking straight at the camera and we the audience), which is confusing and downright distracting. The tension and danger that both versions of Earth face are relatively well realised, and the production values are commendable (even though they are recycled for two different versions of the same location), a clever idea when one thinks about it. Aside from the bare minimal, everything sadly falls apart towards the end; the parallel-world characters dissolve into hysterics when facing the rage of the Inferno, and the final resolution sadly occurs off-screen, which almost punishes audiences for sticking with a story for two-and-a-half hours.**

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