May Day is approaching in the English village of Little Hodcombe, scene of an ancient Civil War battle. When the TARDIS arrives, The Doctor’s companion, Tegan, is hoping to visit her grandfather. Yet the travellers learn that he has mysteriously disappeared, and the planned re-enactment of the battle has taken on a menacing tone. Local schoolteacher Jane Hampden knows how the county squire plans to celebrate May Day: with the May Queen meeting a grisly end. Can Jane make the villagers see sense, or are they all under the influence of some unseen force? The village church holds the clues to what is happening in Little Hodcombe, and soon The Doctor is facing an ancient alien foe. Can he and his friends triumph against it? Eric Pringle’s novelisation of his own serial is read by Nerys Hughes, who played Todd in the Doctor Who episode ‘Kinda’. ‘
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- The Awakening was the second story of season 21 of Doctor Who. It was the third and final two-parter of the Peter Davison era. It was, indeed, the final two-parter in the traditional twenty-five-minute format. From this point forward in Doctor Who history, any two-parter would be at least forty-five minutes per episode.
- This story had the working titles of War Game and Poltergeist.
- A scene involving Tegan and The Doctor’s robotic companion Kamelion in a corridor in the TARDIS was filmed for this serial, but cut before transmission. It would have been the character’s first appearance since The King’s Demons. The character would not appear again until Planet of Fire.
- Will Chandler was considered for a new companion, but Eric Saward and John Nathan-Turner felt viewers might become tired of him. When directly questioned about this in about 2010, however, Saward remarked that he knew nothing of any plans to make Will a companion. (The Awakening)
- Compared with his long odyssey to return Tegan to Heathrow Airport in the early 1980s,
Fifth Doctor is apparently much better at landing in her grandfather’s village. Part one suggests he got it right on the first go.
- This story also exists in the BBC Archives as the 50-minute compliation repeat broadcast on Friday 20 July 1984. It is fortunate indeed that the compliation version was made and still exists on 625 line PAL colour videotape to this day, as the master 625 line PAL colour videotape of part one was accidentally badly scratched during a duplication session in 1987 and is now no longer broadcastable. No actual material has been lost; a completely new undamaged transmission master 625 line PAL colour videotape of part one has been made using the still existing 16mm colour film of the location sequences and the compliation repeat.