88) THE DEADLY ASSASSIN

30 October - 20 November 1976

Average Viewing Figure: 12.2M

88) THE DEADLY ASSASSIN

Plot

When The Doctor is framed for the Time Lord President's assassination he has limited time to find the true Assassin

76) THE ARK IN SPACE

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Bernard Horsfall (Chancellor Goth), George Pravda (Castellan Spandrell), Angus Mackay (Cardinal Borusa)

Peter Pratt (The Master), Hugh Walters (Commentator Runcible), Eric Chitty (Co-ordinator Engin), Derek Seaton (Commander Hildred)

Llewellyn Rees (The President), Maurice Quick (Gold Usher), John Dawson, Michael Bilton (Time Lords), Peter Mayock (Solis)

Helen Blatch (Voice)

Uncredited Cast

Pat Gorman, Harry Fielder, Steve Ismay, Michael Lomax (Guards), Willie Bowman, Ronald Mayer, Reg Cranfield, Geoff Witherick

George Romanov, Christopher Woods, Terry Sartaine, James Linten, Walter Henry, Jim Delaney, Alf Coster, Michael Earl, Sonnie Willis

Richard King, Garth Watkins, Leslie Bates (Time Lords), Brian Nolan (Cameraman), Dave Goody (Horseman Gas Mask)

David Smith (Train Driver), Tony Bianchi (Pilot)

Crew

Robert Holmes (Writer), Terry Walsh (Fight Arranger), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Bernard Lodge (Title Sequence)

Ron Grainer (Title Music), Nicholas Howard John (Production Assistant), Christopher D'Oyly-John (Production Unit Manager)

Fred Hamilton (Film Cameraman), Graham Bedwell (Film Recordist), Ian McKendrick (Film Editor)

Peter Day, Len Hutton (Visual Effects Designers), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Brian Clemett (Studio Lighting), Clive Gifford (Studio Sound)

James Acheson, Joan Ellacott (Costume Designers), Jean Williams (Make-Up Artist), Roger Murray-Leach (Designer)

Philip Hinchcliffe (Producer), David Maloney (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Linda Graeme (Assistant Floor Manager), Carol Atterbury, John Holland (Booking Assistants), Nansi Davies (Contracts Assistant)

Brian Hoyle (Costume Assistant), John Price Jones (Design Assistant), Joan Elliott (Director's Assistant), A.J. Mitchell (Electronic Effects)

Jennie Betts, Carol Vigurs (Facilities Assistants), Albert Crush, Bob Johnson (Film Operatives), Terry Elms (Film Sound Assistant)

Philip Livingstone (Floor Assistant), James Cadnam (Grams Operator), Stan Swetman (Grips), Brian Casey (Location Chef)

Hadsera Coouadia, Judith Dalton (Make-Up Assistants), Robert Holmes (Script Editor), Peter Granger (Senior Cameraman)

Peter Valentine (Technical Manager), Dave Bezkorowajny, Steven Drewett (Visual Effects Assistants)

Broadcast

Number of Production Days: 10

Filming Locations

  • Betchworth Quarry,  Betchworth, Surrey

  • Royal Alexandra & Albert School, Merstham, Surrey

  • Wycombe Air Park, High Wycombe, Bucks

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Number of Production Days: 5

Deaths

  • Chancellor Goth [killed while murdering The Master]

  • Commentator Runcible [stabbed in the neck by The Master]

  • Commander Hildred [killed by The Master]

  • The President [murdered by Chancellor Goth]

  • Solis [shot dead by Castellan Spandrell]

  • Cameraman [killed by The Master]​

Production Days

  • 10 Days between Monday 26 July - Thursday 2 September 1976

Production Errors

  1. The Guard killed by The Master in part one begins to fall before The Master has used his laser. The Guard in question is seen alive and well in part two  

  2. The corpse of the Technician is clearly an action figure, and not the actor playing the Technician  

  3. After Hildred unlock one of the Tardis doors, the second guard to enter the ship bumps into the other door 

Working Titles

  • The Dangerous Assassin

Verdict

The Deadly Assassin marks the first time where Gallifrey and Time Lord society become the focus of the story. For the most part the whole affair is basically a whodunnit and guess what? The mysterious killer is so obvious but then again all Doctor Who killers expose themselves at some point so what is new here? Impressive costumes, sets, lighting, and direction make the Time Lords to be a thriving race where class and order are the key to success. There is also a darker side to the Time Lords where they are willing to harm members of their own race for the greater good. Some of the best cliffhangers can be seen here opting for freeze-frames to up the tension which shows a lot of intelligence from Holmes on his behalf. There is a creative approach here; nonlinear storytelling, POV shots, flashbacks and brief voiceovers are used to keep the dangers The Doctor faces throughout. The Master meanwhile acts a sort of secondary villain who pulls all the strings to get what he wants through others and only leaps into action when others have failed him. Episode two and three contain some of the finest and most creative moments mainly the various disguises used by the Killer. The Deadly Assassin is beloved by many Doctor Who fans of all ages, with its satirically political humour and dark gothic qualities firmly places it as a highlight in Renaissance era. *****​