The Ark


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The Ark

Serial Code


First Transmitted

5 March 1966

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

William Hartnell (Dr Who), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor), Jackie Lane (Dodo Chaplet)

Guest Cast

Eric Elliott (Commander), Inigo Jackson (Zentos), Roy Spencer (Manyak), Kate Newman (Mellium), Edmund Coulter (1st Monoid), Frank George (2nd Monoid), Michael Sheard (Rhos), Ian Frost (Baccu), Stephanie Heesom (1st Guardian), Paul Greenhalgh (2nd Guardian), Terence Woodfield (Maharis), Ralph Carrigan (Monoid Two), Terence Bayler (Yendom), Edmund Coulter (Monoid One), Brian Wright (Dassuk), Eileen Helsby (Venussa), Frank George (Monoid Three), Roy Skelton (Monoid Voice), John Halstead (Monoid Voice), Richard Beale (Refusian Voice), John Caeser (Monoid Four)


Written by Paul Erickson/Lesley Scott
Directed by Michael Imison
Produced by John Wiles


Materialising in what appears to be a jungle on Earth, The Doctor, Steven and Dodo soon realise that things are not what they seem: the sky is made of steel, and the jungle merely a colossal life chamber in a craft that has embarked on the most important expedition in the history of mankind.

It is ten million years in the future, and the Earth is soon to be engulfed by the Sun in a catastrophic explosion. A gigantic space ark has been launched, taking the last humans to a new life on the distant planet of Refusis, serving the Guardians of Earth are the Monoids, mute reptilian aliens.

But the Ark’s mission of deliverance is threatened by the arrival of the time travellers, Dodo inadvertently passes her cold to the Guardians – to them, it is a long-forgotten virus against which they have no defence. It is not long before people start to die and the TARDIS crew are on trial for their own lives.


  • Although Lesley Scottis credits as a co-writer, she did very little actual work on the scripts. She was attempting to break into screenwriting, and Erickson gave her a cr to fill out her resume.
  • The Monoids were played by actors, each holding a ping-pong ball in his mouth to represent the alien’s single eye. The upper portion of the actor’s face was hidden by a ‘Beatle’ wig.
  • This was the first story in which Michael Sheard, a frequent and favourite guest star on Doctor Who, appeared.
  • Future Dalek voice Roy Skelton did his first work on Doctor Who, voicing the Monoids in Episodes 3 & 4.
  • There are occasional lapses by Jackie Lane into the Cockney accent in which she rehearsed the story, before the production team were instructed by their superiors that it was unacceptable for a regular character in Doctor Who to speak in anything other than ‘BBC English’. Strangely, companion Ben Jackson (introduced four stories later) was allowed to keep his Cockney accent.
  • Thanks to Shillpages for last photo and TARDIS.wikia for others.
  • Order the Ark DVD via the BBC DVD Page
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