The Face of Evil


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The Face of Evil

Serial Code


First Transmitted

1 January 1977

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Louise Jameson (Leela)

Guest Cast

David Garfield (Neeva), Victor Lucas (Andor) [1-2], Brendan Price (Tomas), Leslie Schofield (Calib), Colin Thomas (Sole) [1], Lloyd McGuire (Lugo) [1], Tom Kelly [1], Brett Forrest [2] (Guards), Rob Edwards [2-3], Pamela Salem [3], Anthony Frieze [3], Roy Herrick [4] (Xoanon)*, Leon Eagles (Jabel) [3-4], Mike Elles (Gentek) [3-4], Peter Baldock (Acolyte) [4].


Written by Chris Boucher
Directed by Pennant Roberts
Produced by Philip Hinchcliffe


The TARDIS lands on a planet The Doctor doesn’t recognise – but its inhabitants seem to know him. They think he’s the Evil One and aren’t pleased to see him. Two warring tribes occupy the planet: the savage Sevateem and the reclusive Tesh, separated from each other by a deadly energy field. When the Sevateem believe their God, Xoanon, to be a captive of the Tesh, they decide to break through the barrier and rescue him. The Tesh, however, have other ideas.

Befriended by Leela, a Sevateem girl who dares to question the mighty Xoanon, The Doctor sets out to discover exactly what’s happening on this planet. Has he been here before? Is he responsible for the tribal wars? And can it possibly be that Xoanon, the mad God, is really The Doctor?


  • This story had the working titles, The Tower of Imelo and The Day God Went Mad.
  • The Face of Evil introduces Louise Jameson as Leela, who was inspired by Emma Peel of “The Avengers” and Palestinian terrorist Leila Khalid as well as Eliza Doolittle.
  • The story was written with two endings penned, one with Leela going off with The Doctor and one where she didn’t.
  • The TARDIS displays nexial discontinuity. The Doctor suggests that it may be a fault in the TARDIS tracers.
  • The story does not explicitly explain when the Fourth Doctor repaired the Starfall Seven’s computer. The novelisation suggests that the earlier visit to the planet of the Sevateem took place during the story ‘Robot’, in the moment when Sarah sees him begin to leave in the TARDIS (but was apparently a much longer time for The Doctor himself).
  • Pamela Salem and Rob Edwards provide two of the voices of Xoanon. Both actors were at the time rehearsing for the following story, The Robots of Death.
    Anthony Frieze, credits as one of the voices of Xoanon, was the young winner of a competition to visit The Doctor Who studios. Philip Hinchcliffe arranged for a recording of his voice to be made shouting ‘Who am I?’ for the climax to Part Three.
  • Leela is the only female member of the Sevateem. (Another female warrior is seen as the tribe prepares to attack the Wall.)
  • Leela’s costume was leotard-based, and designed by John Bloomfield.
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