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Doctor Who (season 18)

The eighteenth season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 30 August 1980 with the serial The Leisure Hive, and ended with Tom Baker's last story Logopolis.

Doctor Who (season 18)
Doctor Who Season 18 Blu-ray.jpg
Cover art of the Blu-ray release for the complete season
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of stories7
No. of episodes28
Release
Original networkBBC One
Original release30 August 1980 (1980-08-30) –
21 March 1981 (1981-03-21)
Season chronology
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Season 17
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Season 19
List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

CastingEdit

Main castEdit

Season 18 sees the swan song of Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, ending his time after seven years on the program. New companions Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), and Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding) make their introductions in Full Circle, The Keeper of Traken, and Logopolis, respectively. Romana, played by Lalla Ward, departs from the series in Warriors' Gate, along with John Leeson who returns to voice the robot K9. With the arrival of Adric, this season marks the first time since 1967 that the show has given the Doctor a party of three travelling companions.

Guest starsEdit

The Master returned to the show, this time played by Geoffrey Beevers, in The Keeper of Traken. After the events of Traken the Master was thereafter played by Anthony Ainley, who would continue in the part for the rest of the classic series' run.

Jacqueline Hill, who had played the First Doctor's companion Barbara Wright, returned in Meglos, although this time playing a different character, the alien priestess Lexa.

SerialsEdit

For Season 18 John Nathan-Turner replaces Graham Williams as producer. Barry Letts returns as executive producer, for just this season. Christopher H. Bidmead also replaces Douglas Adams as script editor. In a return to the format of early seasons, virtually all serials from Seasons 18 through 20 are linked together, often running directly into each other. Three serials – Full Circle, State of Decay, and Warriors' Gate – are part of a trilogy within the season. These three serials include the arrival of Adric and the departure of Romana and K9.

Over the period of Christmas 1980, the season took a two-week transmission break between the broadcasts of State of Decay and Warriors' Gate.

StorySerialSerial titleEpisode titlesDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
UK viewers
(millions) [1]
AI[1]
1091The Leisure Hive"Part One"Lovett BickfordDavid Fisher30 August 1980 (1980-08-30)5N5.9
"Part Two"Lovett BickfordDavid Fisher6 September 1980 (1980-09-06)5N5.0
"Part Three"Lovett BickfordDavid Fisher13 September 1980 (1980-09-13)5N5.0
"Part Four"Lovett BickfordDavid Fisher20 September 1980 (1980-09-20)5N4.565
In search of a holiday, the Doctor and Romana travel to the famous Leisure Hive on Argolis, a planet ravaged by a nuclear war with the reptilian Foamasi years earlier. The main attraction of the Hive is a device called the Tachyon Recreation Generator, but when things start to go mysteriously wrong with the machine, the Doctor realises that evil is afoot in the Hive. He and Romana begin to unearth a tangled conspiracy which may lead to a new, deadlier war between the Argolins and the Foamasi.
1102Meglos"Part One"Terence DudleyJohn Flanagan & Andrew McCulloch27 September 1980 (1980-09-27)5Q5.061
"Part Two"Terence DudleyJohn Flanagan & Andrew McCulloch4 October 1980 (1980-10-04)5Q4.264
"Part Three"Terence DudleyJohn Flanagan & Andrew McCulloch11 October 1980 (1980-10-11)5Q4.7
"Part Four"Terence DudleyJohn Flanagan & Andrew McCulloch18 October 1980 (1980-10-18)5Q4.763
The Doctor is summoned back to the planet Tigella, where the population is divided along religious and scientific lines. Something is going terribly wrong with Tigella's main power source, the Dodecahedron, but the Savants are prevented from investigating by the zealous Deons. To make matters worse, before the Doctor can solve the problem with the Dodecahedron, he is accused of its theft. The true culprit is Meglos, a shapeshifting Zolfa-Thuran, who intends to unleash the full might of the Dodecahedron upon the universe.
1113Full Circle"Part One"Peter GrimwadeAndrew Smith25 October 1980 (1980-10-25)5R5.9
"Part Two"Peter GrimwadeAndrew Smith1 November 1980 (1980-11-01)5R3.7
"Part Three"Peter GrimwadeAndrew Smith8 November 1980 (1980-11-08)5R5.9
"Part Four"Peter GrimwadeAndrew Smith15 November 1980 (1980-11-15)5R5.465
Romana is recalled to Gallifrey, but en route the TARDIS is drawn through a Charged Vacuum Emboitment into another universe, called E-Space. Landing on the planet Alzarius, the Doctor meets a group of humans who are trying to rebuild their spacecraft which crashlanded generations ago. When Marshmen begin rising from the swamps during the dreaded time of Mistfall, however, the Doctor realises that there is something amiss on Alzarius, and begins to unravel a genetic riddle which stretches back centuries.
1124State of Decay"Part One"Peter MoffattTerrance Dicks22 November 1980 (1980-11-22)5P5.8
"Part Two"Peter MoffattTerrance Dicks29 November 1980 (1980-11-29)5P5.3
"Part Three"Peter MoffattTerrance Dicks6 December 1980 (1980-12-06)5P4.4
"Part Four"Peter MoffattTerrance Dicks13 December 1980 (1980-12-13)5P5.469
Still trapped in E-Space, the TARDIS materialises on a medieval planet. The townsfolk live in fear of the Three Who Rule, who govern from their mighty castle. Investigating, the Doctor discovers that the Three Who Rule are ancient astronauts who were turned into vampires long ago, and their castle is actually their spaceship. When Romana and Adric are kidnapped, the Doctor must ally himself with a band of renegade peasants to stop the resurrection of one of Gallifrey's greatest enemies: the Great Vampire itself.
1135Warriors' Gate"Part One"Paul Joyce & Graeme Harper (uncredited)Stephen Gallagher3 January 1981 (1981-01-03)5S7.159
"Part Two"Paul Joyce & Graeme Harper (uncredited)Stephen Gallagher10 January 1981 (1981-01-10)5S6.7
"Part Three"Paul Joyce & Graeme Harper (uncredited)Stephen Gallagher17 January 1981 (1981-01-17)5S8.3
"Part Four"Paul Joyce & Graeme Harper (uncredited)Stephen Gallagher24 January 1981 (1981-01-24)5S7.859
Trying to escape from E-Space, the Doctor, Romana, Adric and K9 instead land in an eerie white void whose only feature is a crumbling old keep. Also trapped in the void is a slave ship captained by the cruel Rorvik, whose time sensitive pilot, the leonine Tharil Biroc, escapes and lures the Doctor into the keep and the mirror gateway beyond. There, the Doctor witnesses the rise and fall of the once-mighty Tharil Empire. He realises that he must free the Tharils enslaved on the ship and escape through the gateway, before Rorvik's vengeful actions destroy them all.
1146The Keeper of Traken"Part One"John BlackJohnny Byrne31 January 1981 (1981-01-31)5T7.6
"Part Two"John BlackJohnny Byrne7 February 1981 (1981-02-07)5T6.1
"Part Three"John BlackJohnny Byrne14 February 1981 (1981-02-14)5T5.2
"Part Four"John BlackJohnny Byrne21 February 1981 (1981-02-21)5T6.163
The Union of Traken is governed by a Keeper gifted with the powers of the Source. The current Keeper is nearing the end of his thousand-year tenure, however, and asks the Doctor and Adric – who have escaped from E-Space – to go to Traken and stop an evil he believes is plotting to destroy the Union. But the source of the evil, the Melkur, has already infiltrated the Consuls of Traken, and has the Doctor declared a criminal. Allying himself with Consul Tremas and his daughter, Nyssa, the Time Lord must uncover the true power behind the Melkur – someone who knows the Doctor of old.
1157Logopolis"Part One"Peter GrimwadeChristopher H. Bidmead28 February 1981 (1981-02-28)5V7.7
"Part Two"Peter GrimwadeChristopher H. Bidmead7 March 1981 (1981-03-07)5V7.761
"Part Three"Peter GrimwadeChristopher H. Bidmead14 March 1981 (1981-03-14)5V5.8
"Part Four"Peter GrimwadeChristopher H. Bidmead21 March 1981 (1981-03-21)5V6.165
After her aunt is murdered by the Master, an airline stewardess named Tegan Jovanka becomes an unwitting stowaway aboard the TARDIS as it travels to the planet Logopolis. There, the Doctor discovers that the Master's interference with the Logopolitans' advanced mathematics has unleashed a wave of entropy which threatens to consume the entire universe. The two Time Lords enter into an uneasy alliance. Their only hope lies on Earth... but then, in the moment of greatest crisis, the Master plays his ultimate trump card.

BroadcastEdit

The entire season was broadcast from 30 August 1980 to 21 March 1981.

Home media releasesEdit

All serials of season 18 were released individually in between 2004 and 2011, and the complete season was released as a Blu-ray boxset in 2019.

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
The Leisure Hive 4 × 25 min. 5 July 2004 7 October 2004 7 June 2005
Meglos 4 × 25 min. 10 January 2011 20 January 2011 11 January 2011
The E-Space Trilogy:
Full Circle (4 episodes)
State of Decay (4 episodes)
Warriors' Gate (4 episodes)
12 × 25 min. 26 January 2009 5 March 2009 5 May 2009
The Keeper of Traken
Only available as part of the New Beginnings box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Available individually or in the box set in Region 1.
4 × 25 min. 29 January 2007 7 March 2007 5 June 2007
Logopolis
Only available as part of the New Beginnings box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Available individually or in the box set in Region 1.
4 × 25 min. 29 January 2007 7 March 2007 5 June 2007
Complete Season
Released as Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 18 in Region B.
Released as Doctor Who – Tom Baker: Complete Season Seven in Region A.
28 × 25 min. 18 March 2019(B)[2] 17 April 2019(B)[3] 19 March 2019(B)[4]

In printEdit

Serial name Novelisation title Author First published
The Leisure Hive Doctor Who and the Leisure Hive David Fisher 22 July 1982
Meglos Meglos Terrance Dicks 5 May 1983
Full Circle Full Circle Andrew Smith 16 September 1982
State of Decay Doctor Who and the State of Decay Terrance Dicks 17 September 1981
Warriors' Gate Doctor Who and Warriors' Gate John Lydecker 15 April 1982
The Keeper of Traken Doctor Who and the Keeper of Traken Terrance Dicks 20 May 1982
Logopolis Logopolis Christopher H. Bidmead 21 October 1982

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Spelt "K.9" in the credits of Meglos and Full Circle

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  2. ^ "Doctor Who - The Collection - Season 18 - Limited Edition Packaging [Blu-ray] [2019]". Retrieved 27 November 2018 – via Amazon.
  3. ^ "Doctor Who: Classic Season 18. JB Hi-Fi". Retrieved 16 April 2019.
  4. ^ "Doctor Who - Tom Baker: Complete Season Seven [Blu-ray] [2019]". Retrieved 7 December 2018 – via Amazon.