Broadcast: 9 May-20 June 1970

Average Viewing Figure: 5.5M

54) INFERNO

9 May - 20 June 1970

Average Viewing Figure: 5.5M

Plot

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

Cast

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)

Crew

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)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Berry Wiggins & Co Ltd, nr Rochester, Kent

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 2

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Deaths

  • 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

Verdict

Maybe a classic must-watch for some but at its heart its very lazy, boring, poorly put together and downright unbearable at times. The story reuses elements from Doctor Who and the Silurians and The Ambassadors of Death but fails to do anything new and original with them. Everything seems so cliched – a project director who fails to listen to reason and logic, a Technician who does something so unbelievably stupid which results in his death, a countdown clock until doomsday, the list goes on and on. The cliffhangers are some of the worst ranging from pretty bad to mouth opening to the floor bad. There is a forced love relationship thrown and a missed opportunity to do a parallel world story – where everything is a lot more violent and volatile. The Brigadier continually fails to listen to The Doctor who has saved the day what three times know? Why The Brigadier so stubborn is anybody’s guess. There is not much going on which deserve a seven-part narrative nor is there any sense of urgency from the characters when things literally explode in their faces. Numerous plot holes, inconsistencies and mistakes make for a trouble viewing. The final episode is just a repeat of episode six and the ending is abysmal and one of all time worst. There is a great idea hidden behind these layers of heated confrontations, unnecessary violence  and pull your hair out moments but at the heart of it Inferno is no more than one big hot boiling mess and not the good kind.*​