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Serial Code


First Transmitted

6 September 1989

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Guest Cast

Marek Anton (The Destroyer), June Bland (Elizabeth Rawlinson), Christopher Bowen (Mordred), Angela Bruce (Brigadier Bambera), Noel Collins (Patrick Rawlinson), Angela Douglas (Doris Lethbridge-Stewart), James Ellis (Peter Warmsley), Marcus Gilbert (Ancelyn), Jean Marsh (Morgaine), Ling Tai (Shou Yuing), Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier).


Written by Ben Aaronovitch
Directed by Michael Kerrigan
Produced by John Nathan Turner


The Doctor and Ace receive a mysterious distress signal and land in the Earth village of Carbury, where a nuclear convoy has halted. The Doctor’s concern is heightened when knights from another dimension begin to land in the area.

Nearby is Lake Voortigen, the mythical resting-place of Excalibur, King Arthur’s mystical sword…

But the lake holds a more sinister secret. A spaceship from the same alien dimension lurks under the lake – but does it really contain Arthur’s corpse?

And what is it that the Witch Queen, Morgaine, is really after? The Doctor’s old friend the Brigadier is sent in to investigate, but The Doctor’s happiness is short-lived. It seems his friend must take on the might of the deadly Destroyer, a horned demon intent on bringing about the end of the world…


  • Ace again escapes from an alien spaceship stuck underwater in Relative Dementias.
  • Nicholas Courtney reprises his role as the Brigadier for another time since 1983.
  • While talking to Bambera, The Doctor mentions previous encounters with Yetis (The Web of Fear), Autons (Spearhead from Space), Daleks (Day of the Daleks), Cybermen (The Invasion) and Silurians (Doctor Who and the Silurians).
  • The version of the Doctor that will be Merlin could be Muldwych, a friend of the Doctor’s who appears in Birthright and Happy Endings.
  • The Eighth Doctor encounters other versions of Morgraine and Mordred in Wolfsbane, although then he has amnesia and doesn’t know about this encounter anyway.
  • This is the last serial in the classic series to feature the TARDIS console room, as well as being the only TARDIS interior scene of Season 26. The sequence in part one, where The Doctor and Ace receive a mysterious distress signal from sideways in Time, was recorded on a hastily contructed set – the shortcomings of which were disguised by having the console room in semi-darkness – as the regular TARDIS scenery wall flats had been mistakenly junked after recording of The Greatest Show in the Galaxy

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