25 November 1978
Peter Jeffrey (Count Grendel), Simon Lack (Zadek), Neville Jason (Prince Reynart), Paul Lavers (Farrah), Lois Baxter (Lamia), Declan Mulholland (Till), Cyril Shaps (Archimandrite) [2-4], Martin Matthews (Kurster) [2-4].
|Written by||David Fisher|
|Directed by||Michael Hayes|
|Produced by||Graham Williams|
The Doctor, Romana and K-9 continue their search for the six disguised segments that make up the powerful Key to Time. The TARDIS lands on Earth close to the Nine Travellers, an ancient stone circle. Professor Amelia Rumford and her associate Vivien Fay, who are studying the stones, explain that every time the circle has been surveyed, the number of stones has changed. Also interested in the circle are a group of druids – dedicated followers of the Cailleach, the Celtic goddess of war, death and magic – who are prepared to perform human sacrifice to satisfy her demands for blood.
The Doctor soon learns that there is more to the Nine Travellers, the Cailleach and the druids than meets the eye. How can the stones apparently move around the countryside? And why has the area around the circle always been owned by a woman? After Romana discovers the true identity of the evil Cailleach, The Doctor finds that he must travel into hyperspace to solve the mystery of the Nine Travellers and save his companion from the blood-hungry alien life-forms known as the Ogr
- The cells on the ship in hyperspace in Part Three contain a dead Wirrn (The Ark in Space) and what appears to be the ‘skeleton’ of a Kraal android (The Android Invasion).
- Romana gives the TARDIS wardrobe a workout in this episode, appearing in three different outfits during the story (if one includes her costume held over from The Pirate Planet). During her audio commentary, Mary Tamm mentions that at least one scene had to be shot twice because she was wearing the wrong outfit the first time round.
- It is implied that Cessair of Diplos is an agent of the Black Guardian because at the beginning of Part One, the White Guardian sends a warning to The Doctor to ‘beware the Black Guardian’. Also, Cessair knows what the Key segment is, and tells The Doctor in the closing stages of Part Four that if he lets the Megara turn her into stone, he will never find what he is looking for.
- This story had the working titles of The Nine Maidens and The Stones of Time.
- Exteriors in this serial were videotaped rather than filmed, which is something that occurred only rarely before 1986. According to comments on the 2007 DVD release, director Darrol Blake made the decision to use only one medium because of a dislike of the discontinuity created by the constant switch between filmed exteriors and videotaped interiors. Although not discussed, the fact “exteriors” taking place at night were actually shot in the studio probably made it necessary from a practical point of view, too.
- The ogri may eventually become members of the Galactic Federation, or at least be used by it, since a modified ogri is being employed at Federation Headquarters in Legacy.
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