81) PLANET OF EVIL

27 September - 18 October 1975

Average Viewing Figure: 9.9M

Plot

On a planet at the edge of the unknown Universe a creature made of anti-matter is stirring in the wilderness

76) THE ARK IN SPACE

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Frederick Jaeger (Sorenson), Ewen Solon (Vishinsky)

Prentis Hancock (Salamar), Graham Weston (De Haan), Louis Mahoney (Ponti), Michael Wisher (Morelli), Terence Brook (Braun)

Tony McEwan (Baldwin), Haydn Wood (O'Hara) Melvyn Bedford (Reig)

Uncredited Casy

Mike Lee Lane (Anti Matter Monster), David Rolfe, Alfred Costa, Julian Hudson (Astronauts), Richard Eden, Peter Dukes (Morestrans)

Ray Knight, Douglas Stark (Sorenson Monsters), Max Faulkner (Stunt Morestran) 

Crew

Louis Marks (Writer), Malachy Shaw Jones (Production Assistant), Janet Radenkovic (Production Unit Manager)

Bernard Lodge (Title Sequence), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Peter Howell (Special Sound), Andrew Rose (Costume Designer)

Jenny Shircore (Make-Up), Dave Havard (Visual Effects Designer), Brian Clemett (Studio Lighting), Tony Millier (Studio Sound)

Kenneth MacMillan, Stan Speel (Film Cameramen), Colin March (Film Sound), MAC Adams (Film Editor)

Robert Holmes (Script Editor), Roger Murray-Leach (Designer), Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer), David Maloney (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Andy Lazell (Visual Effects Assistant)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 2

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 3A

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Number of Production Days: 5

Deaths

  • Salamar [killed by the infected Sorenson]

  • De Haan [killed by the infected Sorenson]

  • Ponti [falls into a pit of anti-matter]

  • Morelli [killed by the infected Sorenson]

  • Braun [killed by the anti-matter Monster]

  • Baldwin [killed by the anti-matter Monster]

  • O'Hara [killed by the anti-matter Monster]

  • Reig [killed by the infected Sorenson]

  • Anti-Matter Monster [possibly killed but death unconfirmed]​

Production Days

  • 8 Days between Wednesday 11 June - Tuesday 15 July 1975

Production Errors

  1. The probe's visual camera changes colour continually throughout the serial. It goes from heat-vision to full colour to a red tint then to a purple tint

  2. When The Doctor leaves the ship during part two, he is wearing his usual orange tie. The tie changes to purple as The Doctor walks through the forest, then back to orange when he stands over the pit  

  3. When the crew watch Sarah Jane drag The Doctor back to the ship, the screen is clearly on. In the next shot, the screen is off, and no one turned it off 

  4. During part four, The Doctor opens the door from Sorenson's quarters before he doubles back. A man (possibly a crewmember) is standing behind the door whilst it is open ​​

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles]

Verdict

Planet of Evil opens with marvellous sets and lighting design which is shortly followed by the deaths of two minor characters within minutes of each other. What follows is a tightly directed affair where a small band of space explores battles a creature from a Universe where anti-matter reigns supreme. There is some horrific, gothic imagery – the husks of the dead crewmembers, the Sorenson monster, and the anti-matter creature and the Sorenson Monsters (both created through careful lighting work). There is some remarkable camerawork, an unsettling body count and edge-of-your-seat cliffhangers at the end of episode two and three. The script, which is very intelligent and full of original ideas, can be at times, childish. The crew members, mainly Vishinsky and Salamar continually bicker and act like School Boys in a playground which causes laborious and tedious moments. Underneath the banter is a continuous first-rate adventure with is anything but a fancy lightshow. *****