Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield), Jack Watling (Edward Travers), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith), Beverley Cressman (Kate Lethbridge-Stewart), Mark Trotman (Daniel Hinton), Geoffrey Beevers (Harrod Haroldson), Peter Silverleef (Christopher Rice), John Leeson (Anthony), Miles Richardson (Captain Douglas Cavendish), James Bree (Lama), Kathy Coutler (Receptionist), Alexander Landen (Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart).
Many years after trying to take over the world, the Great Intelligence is back once more. Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, now retired, and Sarah Jane Smith have to stop it, but this time without The Doctor’s help. Victoria Waterfield and Professor Travers have also returned, but whose side are they really on?
The university campus scenes were shot at the University of East Anglia in Norwich. DWB Editor Anthony Brown, who had attended UEA, suggested the location after another had fallen through, as the distinctive Ziggurat-shaped student residences Norfolk and Suffolk Terrace echoed pyramid motifs in the script.
Production of some external scenes had to be rescheduled thanks to unseasonal spring snow storms – ironically, snow was conspicuously absent from the first Yeti story, The Abominable Snowmen.
The later Reeltime production Dæmos Rising followed up on some of the elements of this story.
Daniel Hinton is named after Craig Hinton, The Doctor Who fan and novelist.
Sarah is driving her MG, last seen in Robot. She had a different car in A Girl’s Best Friend.
Sarah tells the Brigadier that The Doctor (never mentioned by name) once mentioned Victoria to her as she once wore his former companion’s dress in Pyramids of Mars.
Sarah returned to Earth in The Hand of Fear.
The Brigadier last appeared chronologically in Mawdryn Undead. He will (within his own chronology) meet The Doctor in Battlefield. He would next meet Sarah Jane on-screen in a 2008 episode of The Sarah Jane Adventures, Enemy of the Bane.
Victoria Waterfield stopped travelling with The Doctor in Fury from the Deep.
Victoria’s mother, Edith Waterfield, is said to have died on 23 November 1863, exactly one hundred years before An Unearthly Child, the first episode of Doctor Who, was first broadcast.
By the early 21st century, Kate had become the head of Scientific Research at the British division of UNIT. (The Power of Three)
Before he passes out after being saved by Harrods, the Brigadier asks”Is it you? Have you changed again?” – a reference to the times he had seen The Doctor regenerate. (Spearhead from Space, Planet of the Spiders)
When Sarah Jane states that Victoria must have been very young to have been involved in the London Incident, Victoria asks if she looks good for a woman of 140, referring to her birth in Victorian England. (Evil of the Daleks)
The Sarah Jane Adventures planned to use footage from Downtime for a flashback sequence: Gary Russell told Starburst”it would literally have been a clip – of Sarah with the Brigadier, I think. And the people behind Downtime said no.”
Several actors (other than the lead cast) previously played roles in Doctor Who, John Leeson (voiced K9 and played Dugeen in The Power of Kroll), Geoffrey Beevers (played several roles including The Master in The Keeper of Traken).
James Bree (The Lama) previously played the Security Chief in The War Games, Nefred in Full Circle and the Keeperof the Matrix in The Ultimate Foe.
Additionally Miles Richardson went on to voice the character Irving Braxiatel in Big Finish Productions‘ range of audio dramas.
The next on-screen appearance of Sarah Jane occurred in 2006’s School Reunion, the Brigadier next appeared in Enemy of the Bane, a two-part story of The Sarah Jane Adventures broadcast in 2008. Kate first crossed over into the show for The Power of Three in 2012.
The chant used in the title sequence music, om mani padme hum, is a Buddhist mantra. In The Abominable Snowmen, The Doctor asked Thonmi to teach it to Victoria. It is also chanted by Lupton and his fellows in Planet of the Spiders.
The Brigadier and Sarah quote the codes “NN and QQ” when contacting UNIT. These are the production codes for The Abominable Snowmen and The Web of Fear, respectively.
A private reconstruction project by Ian Levine attempted to incorporate an older Seventh Doctor into the events of this story by having him meet a resurrected Padmasambhava by a chessboard at Det-Sen Monastery, his TARDIS having been pulled to the monastery. Padmasambhava was reanimated by the Great Intelligence and is much more mummified, having shriveled up from extreme age when he first perished.
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