27 September 1975
Frederick Jaeger (Sorenson), Ewen Solon (Vishinsky), Prentis Hancock (Salamar), Graham Weston (De Haan) [1-3], Louis Mahoney (Ponti) [1-2], Michael Wisher (Morelli) [1-3], Terence Brook (Braun) , Tony McEwan (Baldwin) , Haydn Wood (O’Hara) [1-2], Melvyn Bedford (Reig) [3-4].
|Written by||Louis Marks|
|Directed by||David Maloney|
|Produced by||Philip Hinchcliffe|
The Doctor and Sarah land on Zeta Minor, at the very edge of the universe. A scientific team led by Professor Sorenson is being terrified by an anti-matter monster, a situation which deteriorates when Sorenson takes a sample of anti-matter off-planet.
The Doctor must stop Sorenson, who has begun mutating into a Jekyll-and-Hyde-like anti-man, and restore the balance on Zeta Minor before death comes calling for them all.
- The Fifth Doctorreturns to Zeta Minor in Zeta Major.
- From a certain point of view, this is the first story of the Philip Hinchcliffe era. The stories of Hinchcliffe’s first year — which from a production standpoint included every story from The Ark in Space to Terror of the Zygons — were commissioned by Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks.
- Philip Hinchcliffe has remarked that he approached Roger Murray-Leach to find out what sort of landscape he could do best in a studio. Murray-Leach remarked that he could “always do a good jungle.” Despite the jungle setting of this serial, Leach built an intricately detailed jungle set and the shoot was entirely studio-bound. The BBC was so impressed with it that they kept photographs of it — which were also included in an internal BBC training manual — for several years as an example of excellent set design.
- This is one of the few stories in which the <Fourth Doctor removes his scarf for any extended period of time. He does not wear it for most of the third and fourth episodes.
- This was the first story to feature the Fourth Doctor behind the console of the TARDIS. The TARDIS console room had not been seen on-screen since the Third Doctor serial Death to the Daleks. A new TARDIS console makes its television debut in this story, although it was first used in Pyramids of Mars which was filmed before Planet of Evil. However, due to an oversight the TARDIS console room — as seen in this story and Pyramids of Mars — did not include a scanner screen.
- The story was inspired by the movie Forbidden Planet and Robert Louis Stevenson’s novel The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Forbidden Planet was itself inspired by William Shakespeare’s play The Tempest, and The Doctor quotes Shakespeare at one point in the story.
- Ewen Solon (Vishinsky) and Frederick Jaeger (Sorenson) had both previously appeared in The Savages, in which they played Chal and Jano respectively. Jaeger would later play Professor Marius, the creator of K9 Mark I, in The Invisible Enemy.
- Michael Wisher plays Morelli in his final Doctor Who appearance. Wisher appeared in several Doctor Who stories in a variety of roles, but is best known for his portrayal of Davros in Genesis of the Daleks.
- Prentis Hancock (Salamar) is perhaps best known for playing Paul Morrow in Space: 1999. He previously played Jimmy in Spearhead from Space and Vaber in Planet of the Daleks and would later play the Shrieve Captain in The Ribos Operation.
- Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith) considered this her favourite serial.
- Louis Mahoney (Ponti) previously played a 26th century newscaster in Frontier in Space and would later play the elderly Billy Shipton in Blink..
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