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15 December 1973 - 5 January 1974

Average Viewing Figure: 8.2M


When several Scientists from the Twentieth-Century disappear into thin air, The Doctor learns that a Sontaran who has crash-landed on Earth in the middle ages is responsible. Meanwhile, Irongron, a notorious baron, has been promised weapons that could make him King from the Sontaran (Linx) which could threaten the evolution of human progression, and The Doctor must stop him. 



Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)

Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Kevin Lindsay (Linx), David Daker (Irongron)

John J Carney (Bloodaxe), Jeremy Bulloch (Hal), June Brown (Eleanor), Alan Rowe (Edward of Wessex)

Donald Pelmear (Professor Rubeish), Sheila Fay (Meg), Gordon Pitt (Eric), Steve Brunswick (Sentry)

Uncredited Cast

Keith Norrish, Alan Thomas, Alan Lenoir, Jimmy Lyon, Bill Herbert, Emmett Hennessy, Tom Atkins, Dick Weable, Michael Ralph

Ray Dunbobbin, Brian Bowles, David Buswell, Michael Boone, Howard Williamson, Malcolm Stevens, David Carruthers, Jim Whelan

Sidney Tomas, Jon James, Andrew Greenwood, Alan Luxton, Bill Lodge (Irongron's Soldiers), Andrew Abrahams (Irongron's Sentry)

David Cleeve, Stephen Ismay (UNIT Soldiers),  Douglas Domingo, Robert Peters (Irongrons Men in Workshop)

Roger Marston, George Ballantine, David Enyon, Eden Fox, Paul Phillips (Scientists), Jacqueline Stanbury (Mary)

John Hughman (Robot), Dudley Long (Robot with Head), Bill Monks (Robot without Head), Ronald Nunnery (Wessex's Man)

Allan Deutrom, Clifford Kerhsaw (Wessex's Bowmen), Marc Boyle (Irongron's Man), Bella Emberg, Mary Rennie (Kitchen Hags)

Marc Boyle, Terry Walsh (Stuntmen), Terry Walsh (Double for Doctor Who)


Robert Holmes (Writer), Marc Boyle, Terry Walsh (Fight Arrangers), Ron Grainer (Title Music)

Bernard Lodge (Title Sequence), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music)

Dick Mills (Special Sound), James Acheson (Costume Designer), Sandra Exelby (Make-Up)

Max Semett (Film Cameraman), John Gatland (Film Sound), William Symon (Film Editor)

Mike Jefferies (Studio Lighting), Tony Millier (Studio Sound), Jim Ward (Visual Effects Designer)

Terrance Dicks (Script Editor), Keith Cheetham (Designer), Barry Letts (Producer)

Alan Bromly (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Peter Pegrum (Visual Effects Assistant)

Linx the sontaran.jpg


Filming Locations

  • Peckforton Castle, Peckforton, Cheshire

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Death the Constant Companion

  • Linx [killed when an arrow is shot into his probic vent]

  • Irongron [shot dead by Linx]

    • possibly many others who live in Irongron's castle     

Production Days

  • 8 Days between Monday 7 May - Tuesday 12 June 1973

Production Errors

  1. Irongron's gun goes off before he uses it, at one point during the story

  2. The eyes of the extra playing the robot can be seen through the eye holes 

  3. A crewmember can be heard shouting a cue when The Doctor, Sarah, and Hal enter the workshop

  4. Bloodaxe seems to have trouble controlling his horse before he discovers Linx's spaceship 

  5. There appear to be many people killed when Irongron's Castle explodes since nobody told certain people to get out

  6. Several characters appear to be eating potatoes which can't be the case since potatoes didn't arrive in the UK until 1585

  7. Irongron fails to notice that his mechanical robot has a fleshy neck 

  8. The term 'Wessex' would appear to be anachronistic if the story is set after the Norman Conquest

  9. Both Irongron and Bloodaxe looks off-screen for some reason after Linx declares Earth to be of Sontaran property. 

Working Titles

  • The Time Fugitive

  • The Time Survivor


Both entertaining and straight forward which proves that science-fiction does not need to be particularly sophisticated or dynamic to be realistic. There is a likeable simplicity to Linx’s time on Earth which simply involves him mending his crashed ship and unknowingly(?) changing the course of human industrial evolution. The plot is nothing special and doesn’t always takes itself seriously with several moments of pure silliness bringing a lightness to the serial: the Robot getting its head knocked off and walking around to The Doctor and Sarah posing as Monks, and the fight sequence which ends with The Doctor tripping over literally nothing. It’s nice to see a Doctor Who bring comedy into the show, without it being total slapstick. Linx is a brilliantly realised original monster for The Doctor to face, and it’s no surprise the Sontaran made multiple appearances over the years. Kevin Lindsay’s performance is also top notch. The rest of the aesthetics and production values are great and excellently recreate thirteenth-century England, and Alan Bromley’s direction is commendable and helps create a first-class product. The introduction of Sarah Jane is a breath of fresh air, and is a perfect antidote to the glamour girl template of several previous Doctor Who companions.*****​

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