Black Orchid


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Black Orchid

Serial Code


First Transmitted

1 March 1982

Final ratings







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Regular Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric)

Guest Cast

Barbara Murray (Lady Cranleigh), Moray Watson (Sir Robert Muir), Michael Cochrane (Lord Cranleigh), Brian Hawksley (Brewster), Timothy Block (Tanner) [1], Ahmed Khalil (Latoni), Gareth Milne (The Unknown / George Cranleigh)†, Ivor Salter (Sergeant Markham) [2], Andrew Tourell (Constable Cummings) [2].


Written by Terrence Dudley
Directed by Ron Jones
Produced by John Nathan Turner


Landing in Cranleigh Halt in England in 1925, The Doctor and his companions receive a warm reception from the local inhabitants and an invitation to a masked ball at the house of Lady Cranleigh and her son Charles. It is there that Nyssa discovers her startling resemblance to Charles’ fiancee Ann. Then events take a more sinister turn when Ann is attacked and two servants murdered.

Will The Doctor and his companions stand accused of murder?


  1. Ann, now Lady Ann Cranleigh, returns when The Doctor enlists her help to stop Nephthys in The Sands of Time.
  2. Tegan asks for a screwdriver (orange juice and vodka).
  3. Tegan learnt the Charleston for a play when she was in school.
  4. Nyssa references their recent part in the burning of London. (TVThe Visitation)
  5. Another companion meets her double in The Church and the Crown, where Peri is revealed to be the exact double of Queen Anne of France
  6. The working title for this story was The Beast. Producer John Nathan-Turner had originally considered directing this story himself, which would have made him the first producer to do so since Barry Letts during the early 1970s. However, due to time constraints, Nathan-Turner abandoned the idea and hired Ron Jones to direct.
  7. This serial was commissioned by John Nathan-Turner during a period when the series did not have a Script Editor.
  8. In the DVD commentary, Peter Davison and Janet Fielding revealed that Black Orchid is not a particular favourite episode of theirs, because they disliked the lack of a science fiction element and thought the script was generally trite.

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