The Awakening


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The Awakening

Serial Code


First Transmitted

19 January 1984

Final Ratings






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Regular Cast

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough)

Guest Cast

Polly James (Jane Hampden), Denis Lill (Sir George), Glyn Houston (Colonel Wolsey), Jack Galloway (Joseph Willow), Keith Jayne (Will Chandler), Christopher Saul (Trooper), Frederick Hall (Andrew Verney)


Written by Eric Pringle
Directed by Michael Owen Morris
Produced by John Nathan Turner


The TARDIS has brought The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough to the picture postcard English village of Little Hodcombe. Tegan has come to visit her grandfather – well known local historian Andrew Verney – but he seems to be missing. The residents of Little Hodcombe, led by the obsessive Sir George Hutchinson, are playing a vicious war game – an exact recreation of a battle of the English Civil War fought there in 1643.

As each of the TARDIS crew witnesses a terrifying apparition from the past, The Doctor realises that he faces a far greater menace than the unstable Hutchinson. An ancient and alien force for evil is at work – one which will glory in the slaughter of them all


  • No explanation is given for companion Kamelion’s absence from the final version of this story as a result of his scenes being cut. The Doctor mentions the Terileptils mining tinclavic on the planet Raaga. Script or Eric Saward added this in the script to create a reference to his own story The Visitation (1982). He had planned to write another story featuring the Terileptils, and wanted to make sure the audience remembered who they were. But as events worked out, Saward never wrote their planned return.
  • This was the first story to feature a small alteration to the Fifth Doctor’s costume. The Fifth Doctor wears a white “v-neck” cricketer’s sweater with thick red and black piping around the “v” and the lower waist, as opposed to the costume he wore during the previous two seasons where the “v-neck” piping was thin and coloured red, white and black and there was no piping around the waist.
  • Will Chandler was considered for a new companion, but Eric Saward and John Nathan-Turner felt viewers might become tired of him.  When directly questioned about this in about 2010, however, Saward remarked that he knew nothing of any plans to make Will a companion.
  • The Fifth Doctor would wear this version of his costume for the remainder of the season, save for most of Planet of Fire (1984). The newly regenerated Sixth Doctor would also be seen wearing it during the first episode of his debut story, The Twin Dilemma (1984). The shirt is also altered with green lining on the collar and where the shirt is buttoned, instead of red.
  • The Seventh Doctor encounters the other half of the Hakolian war machine that became the Malus in the Past Doctor Adventures novel The Hollow Men
  • The working titles of this story were War Game and Poltergeist. Pringle had submitted this story in the mid-1970s to then-script or Robert Holmes as a four-part story entitled War Game. In the 1980s he resubmitted his story (as well as a different four-parter, The Darkness, possibly featuring the Daleks) to script or Eric Saward. Realising the story did not have enough impact for four episodes, it was later pared down to two, renamed Poltergeist and then finally The Awakening.

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