The Creature from the Pit


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The Creature from the Pit

Serial Code


First Transmitted

27 October 1979

Final Ratings






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Regular Cast

Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Lalla Ward (Romana), David Brierley (K9)

Guest Cast

Myra Frances (Adrasta), Eileen Way (Karela), John Bryans (Torvin), Edward Kelsey (Edu), Tim Munro (Ainu), David Telfer (Huntsman) [1, 4]*, Terry Walsh (Doran) [1], Morris Barry (Tollund) [1], Geoffrey Bayldon (Organon) [2-4], Tommy Wright (Guardsmaster) [2-3], Philip Denyer [2-3], David Redgrave [3] (Guards).


Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Ken Grieve
Produced by Graham Williams


On the planet Chloris, metal is scarce. Without metal to make the tools needed to keep the jungle under control, lush plant life dominates. The Lady Adrasta controls the planet’s very last metal mine, holding on to power through the Huntsmen and the Wolfweeds. Making a forced landing on Chloris, The Doctor, Romana and K9 soon find themselves caught up in dangerous events… The Doctor is captured by the power-hungry Lady Adrasta, who needs his scientific skills. Romana is taken prisoner by rebel bandits, looking for ways of getting their hands on Adrasta’s wealth. K9 is made of metal & a valuable commodity indeed…


  • This story guest stars Geoffrey Bayldon. Bayldon had been a candidate on previous occasions for the role of the Doctor, and later voiced an alternate version of the Doctor for the Auld Mortality and A Storm of Angels in The Doctor Who Unbound audio series. Bayldon was also a close personal friend of Jon Pertwee.
  • Lalla Ward disliked how her dress echoed that worn by Mary Tamm in The Ribos Operation and felt that the story was tailored for that incarnation.
  • This was the first story for Season 17 to be produced, though it was the third to be broadcast. This technically makes it the first story to feature Lalla Ward as Romana II, replacing Mary Tamm, and to have David Brierly providing the voice for K9, replacing John Leeson.
  • In David Fisher’s original script, Lady Adrasta was Queen Adastra, whose name meant “to the stars” in Latin. This was changed by Douglas Adams.
  • Christopher Barry is said to have had differences of opinion with both Tom Baker and Lalla Ward regarding their characters and dialogue during filming of this story. These plus frequent technical problems led to his departure from directing on Doctor Who.
  • Morris Barry, who played Tollund, had directed Doctor Who stories in the 1960s.
  • This story is one of few that does not challenge The Doctor to decide the fate of the Earth or the universe. The events concern the politics of a single planet.
  • A clip of this story was used in the documentary “Synth Britannia”, first broadcast on BBC 4 on Friday 16th October 2009. (The clip seems to be from episode 2 or 3.)
  • The Fourth Doctor jokingly claims that Time Lords have ninety lives (and that he has used one hundred and thirty of his).
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