95) THE SUN MAKERS

26 November - 17 December 1977

Average Viewing Figure: 8.8M

Plot

On Pluto the population enjoy heat from several small suns while being heavily taxed by the ruling Company

76) THE ARK IN SPACE

Cast

Tom Baker (The Doctor), Louise Jameson (Leela), Richard Leech (Gatherer Hade), Henry Woolf (The Collector), David Rowlands (Bisham)

Jonina Scott (Marn), Roy Macready (Cordo), William Simons (Mandrel), Michael Keating (Goudry), Adrienne Burgess (Veet)

Carole Hopkin (Nurse), Derek Crewe (Synge), Colin McCormack (Commander), Tom Kelly (Guard), John Leeson (K-9 Voice)

Uncredited Cast

John Dryden, Kelly Varney, Alan Crisp (Megro Guards (Gatherer's Office), David Enyon, Dave Holland (Executive Grades)

Jeff Waine, Andrew Lord (Megro Guards (Corridor)), Peter Roy (Guard), James Muir (Death Attendant), Patricia Gordino (Technic)

David Ludwig (Technic (Hakit)), Keith Norrish (Leela's Guard), John Leeson (Computer Voice), Cy Town (Gate Guard)

David Honeyball, Robert Lee, Harry van Engel, David Cleeve (Megro Guards), David Richens, Alan Thompson (Crusier Guards)

Chris Balcombe, Roy Brent, Ronald Goodale, Harold Sharples (Collector's Escort). Paul Barton (Marn's Attendant) 

Crew

Robert Holmes (Writer), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Leon Arnold (Production Assistant), John Nathan-Turner (Production Unit Manager)

John Tiley (Film Cameraman), Dave Brinicombe (Film Recordist), Tariq Anwar (Film Editor), Derek Slee (Lighting), Michael McCarthy (Sound)

Peter Day, Peter Logan (Visual Effects Designers), Paddy Kingsland (Special Sound), Christine Rawlins (Costume Designer)

Janis Gould (Make-Up Artist), Tony Snoaden (Designer), Graham Williams (Producer), Pennant Roberts (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Andrew Hunter (Grams), James Gould (Vision Mixer), Gwen Foyle (Director's Assistant), Barbara Simonin (Floor Assistant)

Peter Hider (Senior Cameraman), Lance Wood (Technical Manager), A.J. Mitchell (Electronic Effects), Archie Dawson (Film Lighting Supervisor)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • WD & HO Wills Tobacco Factory, Hartcliffe, Bristol

  • Camden Deep Tube Shelter, Camden Town, London

  • BBC Visual Effects Workshop

  • Television Centre: Studio 3

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

Number of Production Days: 5

Deaths

  • Gatherer Hade [thrown off a building]​

Production Days

  • 11 Days between Monday 13 June - Tuesday 19 July 1977

Production Errors

  1. The shadows of extras playing the Security Guards can be seen, waiting for their cue to enter 

  2. A car park insignia can be seen on the rooftop 

  3. The Doctor offers Hade a humbug at one point, but Hade actually takes out a jelly baby 

  4. A microphone enters the frame for a few seconds at one point during part three 

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles]

Verdict

The Sun Makers is satirical farce exploring the worlds of taxes and greedy  corporate companies who are only interested in profits, profits oh and profits. The scripts sadly do not have the same charisma, intelligence or enthusiasm from Holmes nor are the production values that spectacular. The humour is very repetitious and at time even pantomimish which just lends to moments of stupidity. The villains (played remarkably well by Richard Leech and Henry Woolf) are one-dimensional, cliched and very generic. There is very little development and the reveal that The Collector is actually a lump of seaweed is very rushed. It would have been much better to have a lump of seaweed controlling everything – how cool would that have been? The resistance group is one the worst inventions by Holmes, Mandrel complains about the life he leads, yet he chose to live the way he does whilst Veet is annoying and hyperactive. The disposal of Gatherer Hade is cringeworthy and their disposal of Guards and subsequent reactions are sporadic. The rebellion is poorly written and literally comes out of nowhere which suggests Holmes ran out of ideas near the end. The Sun Makers is far from downright terrible it is just not good and that’s that. **​