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Synopsis


The Malus
The Malus
 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...

Source: BBC VHS Video


General Information

Season: Twenty One
Production Code: 6M
Story Number: 131
Episode Numbers:607 - 608
Number of Episodes: 2
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"War Game" and "Poltergeist"
Production Dates: July - August 1983
Broadcast Started: 19 January 1984
Broadcast Finished: 20 January 1984
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Television Centre (TC6)
Location: Dorset: Tarrant Monkton; Shapwick, St Bartholomew's Church, Shapwick and Bishops Court Farm.
Hampshire: Martin; Damer’s Farm, Martin Cross and Martin Down.
Writer:Eric Pringle
Director:Michael Owen Morris
Producer:John Nathan-Turner
Script Editor:Eric Saward
Editor:M A C Adams
Production Assistant:Rosemary Parsons
Production Associate:June Collins
Assistant Floor Manager:Marcus D F White
Designer:Barry Newbery
Costume Designer:Jackie Southern
Make-Up Designer:Ann Ailes
Cameraman:Paul Wheeler
Incidental Music:Peter Howell
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Dick Mills
Studio Sounds:Martin Ridout
Lighting:Peter Catlett
Visual Effects:Tony Harding
Title Sequence:Sid Sutton
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Peter Howell
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Peter Davison (The Fifth Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka) and Mark Strickson (Turlough) Additional 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)Setting: Little Hodcombe, England (1984) Villains:Sir George Hutchinson and The Malus

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
607Part 119 January 198425'18"7.9PAL 1" colour videotape and PAL D3 Restoration
608Part 220 January 198424'47"6.6PAL 1" colour videotape

Total Duration 50 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.2
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)66.64%  (Position = 91 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)69.17% Higher (Position = 110 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)67.43% Lower (Position = 155 out of 241)


Archives


 Both episodes exist as PAL 1" colour videotapes. Part 1 also held as a PAL D3 Restoration



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Notes


In 1975, Eric Pringle was commissioned by then-Doctor Who Script Editor Robert Holmes to write a four-part story entitled "The Angarath" for Season Thirteen. This however, was eventually abandoned, but in 1981, Eric Pringle - whose credits were largely in radio - was encouraged by his agent, and former Doctor Who producer Peter Bryant, to submit new material for the show. This resulted in Eric Pringle submitting a four-part story entitled "War Game" (as well as a different four-parter, "The Darkness," possibly featuring the Daleks) to script editor Eric Saward.

As Eric Pringle worked on the storyline for "War Game" (renamed "Poltergeist" and then finally "The Awakening") it was soon realised that his idea might not have sufficient incident to sustain four episodes and so Eric Pringle was asked to condense it down to fit the two-part slot for Season Twenty One. Pringle concurred and completed the necessary rewrites.

However, when the scripts were finally delivered Eric Saward was still not satisfied with Eric Pringle’s modifications, in particular he felt that the scripts were overlength. Consequently, he elected to heavily rewrite "The Awakening". Eric Pringle however, was not particularly pleased with Eric Saward’s rewrites, believing they made the story confusing and rushed. "The Awakening" therefore became his only contribution to Doctor Who.

During the modifications, Eric Saward added a new scene featuring the robotic companion Kamelion, who had been introduced in the Season Twenty finale, "The King's Demons". In this scene, Tegan Jovanka was to encounter Kamelion interfacing with the TARDIS computer via a corridor roundel, and Kamelion claiming he was learning about the time machine. Due to the logistical problems involved in operating the prop and to avoid the need to rehire Gerald Flood, who had provided Kamelion’s voice in "The King's Demons", Eric Saward had the robot imitate The Doctor and Vislor Turlough. However this scene was never used as in post-production, episode one was found to be badly overrunning - resulting in Kamelion’s complete removal from this story. This would have been the Kamelion's first appearance since "The King's Demons". Like previous stories, no explanation is given for his absence. Ultimately the character would not appear again until "Planet of Fire".

The director assigned to this story was Michael Owen Morris. This was his first time he directed a Doctor Who story. Michael Owen Morris however, had earlier worked on the show as a Production Assistant for the 1978 Fourth Doctor story "The Pirate Planet". Morris would be considered to direct the 1985 Sixth Doctor story "Vengeance on Varos", but "The Awakening" would turn out to be his lone Doctor Who director credit.

This story marked the final involvement in the show for Barry Newbury, its longest-serving designer, who had worked on the show since the very first story, "An Unearthly Child", back in 1963. His most recent contribution had been on the 1977 Fourth Doctor story "The Invisible Enemy". After completing "The Awakening", Barry Newbury took early retirement from the BBC.

This story featured extensive location shooting along the border between Dorset and Hampshire. This included the famous scene where The Doctor and his companions arrive outside the church in a horse-drawn carriage but the horse decided to follow the actors through a lych gate (a prop) destroying it in the process. Fortunately, the take up to that point was fine and could be used.

Caught on tape, this incident proved to be a popular inclusion on many television ‘outtake’ and ‘blooper’ programmes including an edition of Noel Edmonds’ Late, Late Breakfast Show in December 1984. It even made its way into the international market, featuring on the American show Television Bloopers and Practical Jokes.

Polly James, who played the part of Jane Hampden, was one of the stars of The Liver Birds.

From this story onwards Peter Davison wore a slightly redesigned costume. This was the first story to feature alterations to the Fifth Doctor’s costume. The Doctor wears a lighter-coloured frock coat, and 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. The shirt is also altered with green lining on the collar and where the shirt is buttoned, instead of red. The Doctor disposed of his original costume in the second episode of the previous story, "Warriors of the Deep", in which he disguised himself in the uniform of a Sea Base 4 guard (it is possible he never retrieved his costume from the base before he left).

The Fifth Doctor would wear this revised version of his costume for the remainder of the season, save for most of "Planet of Fire". The newly regenerated Sixth Doctor would also be seen wearing it during the first episode of his debut story "The Twin Dilemma" - before choosing his own costume.

It is revealed that The Doctor is fond of tea.

This story involves another member of Tegan’s cursed family - her grandfather Andrew Verney (see also "Logopolis" and "Arc of Infinity"). This implies that it would seem to be that Tegan’s mother - Andrew Verney’s daughter - is therefore English.

A mention is made of the Terileptils mining the mineral tinclavic, on the planet Raaga, for the almost exclusive use of the inhabitants of Harkol in the star system of Rifta. Script Editor Eric Saward added this in the script as a reference to his own story "The Visitation" shown in 1982. He had hoped that the monsters he introduced in that story, the Terileptils, might make a return appearance in Doctor Who, and wanted to make sure the audience remembered who they were. But as events worked out, Eric Saward never wrote their planned return.

It is revealed that the Malus, the occupant of a Harkol computer controlled reconnaissance probe, came to Earth in 1643 as the spearhead of an invasion fleet which never followed.

The Malus, and its companion probe craft hinted at in the dialogue of this story, are reintroduced later in the BBC Books’ The Past Doctors Stories novels "The Hollow Men" (where The Seventh Doctor encounters the other half of the Hakolian war machine that became the Malus) and "Last of the Gaderene".

This story contains a number of errors. Namely regarding the costumes as during the Civil War, the clothing worn by both sides was identical; the different sides did not have different ‘uniforms’, as such. Identification was accomplished by field signs such oak leaves, or more commonly coloured sashes. Also The Doctor nearly says ‘1543’ (instead of ‘1643’), but corrects himself halfway.

At the end of this story The Doctor is heard saying that he will take Will Chandler home in the TARDIS. As this character does not appear in the following story it would seem that this had been accomplished by the start of "Frontios".

It has been revealed that John Nathan-Turner liked the youthful character of Will Chandler, played by Keith Jayne, a great deal and seriously considered keeping him on as a companion. However, it was eventually decided that Will Chandler’s youthful character would quickly wear thin and lacked any clear path of development - and so viewers would quickly tire of him. Therefore this idea was not pursued any further. Many fans have since suggested that Will Chandler as being one of the most convincing and memorable companions The Doctor never had.

This story was repeated on BBC One in July 1984 as a 46 minute compilation.

The master tape for the first episode was found to have some scratch damage when the 1984 compilation version was being mastered, no protection copy was made at that time so the original tx master continued to deteriorate, the tape was checked in the early 1990’s and the scratch damage found to be far more intrusive than it had been in 1984, fortunately the original film sequences were kept and using these, the compilation copy and the reprise from the second episode, a new master PAL D3 restoration was made in 1997 by the Doctor Who Restoration Team. This was used for the VHS release.

The recovery of an early edit of episode one on video (in the personal archive of the late producer John Nathan-Turner) means that the scene with Kamelion, that was cut due to the episode over-running and which had previously been thought as lost, may now be included on a DVD release of this story. A small part of this scene has appeared in the documentary "Kamelion: Metal Man" which featured on the DVD release of "The King's Demons".

This is officially the final story of the show to consist of two 25-minute episodes. All two episode stories since then have been around 45 minutes long per episode, including most of Season Twenty Two and several stories of the revived show. The 1986 Sixth Doctor story "The Ultimate Foe", the concluding part of "The Trial of a Time Lord" season, is numbered on screen as ‘Part Thirteen’ and ‘Part Fourteen’ - furthermore, they share the same BBC production code, 7C, with the preceding four-part story arc, " Terror of the Vervoids", even though they have their own separate novelisation and feature compilation.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Eric Pringle.

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by Michael Owen Morris.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 The last two-part Doctor Who story with 25-minute episodes.

 The last Doctor Who story to be written by Eric Pringle.

 Barry Newbury's last involvement in the show as Designer.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough
The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough

In the village of Little Hodcombe in 1984, schoolteacher Jane Hampden is being tormented by Colonel Ben Woolsey, Captain Joseph Willow and their leader, Sir George Hutchinson, who are on horseback and dressed as roundheads. Sir George Hutchinson has organised a series of war games to celebrate the English Civil War, which came to the village on 13th July 1643. Jane Hampden though wants him to stop the games but he refuses.

Meanwhile the TARDIS arrives in the crypt of a nearby disused church after experiencing some time distortion and an energy field. The Doctor and his companions, Tegan Jovanka and Vislor Turlough, check the scanner and they observe that the crypt is full of broken masonry, and as they watch, more falls from the ceiling. The Doctor then spots a fleeing figure and dashes out to help, but he is too late as the figure has now vanished. The Doctor and his companions therefore leave the church to investigate, unaware of the smoke that starts to billow from a crack in a wall.

The three travellers are soon captured and taken to Sir George Hutchinson. Tegan explains that they have come to this village to see her grandfather, Andrew Verney. When informed that her grandfather is missing she runs off in disgust. The Doctor follows but loses her as she has become trapped in a barn in which she sees the ghost of an old man.

Outside the Church
Outside the Church

Returning to the church, The Doctor meets Will Chandler who breaks through the wall. He has been hidden in a priest hole and believes the year to be 1643. They are joined by The Doctor’s two companions (Tegan having been rescued from the barn by Turlough). While The Doctor and Will Chandler investigate the church, Tegan and Turlough wait in the TARDIS, where they see a sparkly projection on one of the walls. They go to tell The Doctor but are re-captured. Turlough is locked in an outbuilding with Andrew Verney while Tegan is forced to change into a May Queen costume by Joseph Willow.

While investigate the church The Doctor finds a secret passage that leads back to Ben Woolsey’s living room under a slab marked with a picture of a creature that Will Chandler identifies as the Malus. The Doctor and Will Chandler meet Jane Hampden coming the other way through the passage - she was locked in the house by Joseph Willow and found the passage’s other end by accident. They avoid Sir George Hutchinson, who has followed Jane Hampden down the passage, and The Doctor finds a small ball of metal with which the man has been playing. The Doctor recognises it is tinclavic, a metal mined by the Terileptils on the planet Raaga for the almost exclusive use of the people of Hakol, a planet in the star system Rifta, where psychic energy is a force to be harnessed.

The Doctor is Arrested
The Doctor is Arrested

Returning to the church, The Doctor and Jane Hampden are astonished when a massive alien face pushes its way through the crack on the wall, roaring and spewing smoke. They manage to escape from the psychic projection of a cavalier, and head back to the house via the tunnel. The Doctor realises that the Malus in the church was found by Andrew Verney and then exploited by Sir George Hutchinson. The psychic energy released by the war games will feed the Malus. Having realised the danger they are all in The Doctor and Jane Hampden again try to persuade Sir George Hutchinson to stop the games, as the final battle will be for real. But he refuses to listen to them. Ben Woolsey however, joins forces with The Doctor.

Tegan, dressed as the Queen of the May, is taken in a horse-drawn cart towards the village green, where she is to be burned. When the cart arrives, however, a straw dummy has been put in her place by Ben Woolsey. Sir George Hutchinson is furious, but Will Chandler causes a distraction which allows The Doctor, Jane Hampden, Ben Woolsey, Tegan and Will Chandler himself to get back to the church, where they enter the TARDIS. The Doctor locks the signal conversion unit on the frequency of the psychic energy feeding the Malus, hoping to be able to direct it. Ben Willow and a trooper try in vain to break their way into the TARDIS, and Turlough and Andrew Verney knock them unconscious with lumps of masonry. The Doctor succeeds in blocking the energy, and the projection of the Malus in the TARDIS dies.

The Doctor and his friends all return to the main church, where they are confronted by three roundhead projections. The trooper in the crypt recovers but is beheaded by the roundheads when he enters the church. Sir George Hutchinson has been summoned by the Malus and now arrives, brandishing two pistols. Ben Woolsey tries to reason with him but he will not listen. The Malus also summons Joseph Willow and, in the confusion, Will Chandler pushes Sir George Hutchinson into the Malus’s face, killing him.

Sir George Hutchinson
Sir George Hutchinson

The Malus then goes wild as it attempts to fulfil its program and starts to destroy the church in its death throes. To escape, Will Chandler, Joseph Willow, Jane Hampden, Ben Woolsey, Tegan, Andrew Verney, The Doctor and Turlough all manage to enter the TARDIS. As the TARDIS dematerialises from the church it is consumed in a huge explosion and the Malus is finally destroyed.

Safely in the TARDIS, and with threat of the Malus gone, The Doctor promises to drop the villagers off home and return Will Chandler to his own time. Tegan however, objects and suggests staying to spend some time in Little Hodcombe to allow her some time to visit her grandfather. The Doctor is initially disgruntled but he is persuaded to stay for a while for a rest.

 
Jane Hampden
Jane Hampden
The Doctor Meets Will Chandler
The Doctor Meets Will Chandler
Will Chandler
Will Chandler
Colonel Wolsey
Colonel Wolsey
 
War Games
War Games
Captured
Captured
The Malus Breaks Free
The Malus Breaks Free
Protecting The Malus
Protecting The Malus




Quote of the Story


 'The Malus is pure evil. Given enough energy, it will not only destroy him but everything else.'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Audio
LP
Doctor Who: The Music II1985REC 552Music score
Audio
Tape
Doctor Who: The Music II1985Music score
Audio
CD
Doctor Who - The Five Doctors - Classic Music From The BBC Radiophonic Workshop Volume 21992FLMCD 710Alister PearsonMusic score
Video
VHS
The AwakeningMarch 1997BBCV 6120Colin HowardDouble cassette release Released along with "Frontios"
Video
DVD
The AwakeningJune 2011BBCDVD 3380Photo-montagePart of the "Earth Story" Box Set Released along with "The Gunfighters"


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
The AwakeningJune 1985Target No. 95Eric PringleAndrew SkilleterISBN: 0-426-20158-2
Novel
Novel
The Awakening1985Target No. 95Eric PringleBook: Andrew Skilleter
Box: Andrew Skilleter
Re-released as part of The Eighth Doctor Who Gift Set
ISBN: 0-426-20207-4
Novel
Novel
The AwakeningApril 1992Target No. 95Eric PringleAlister PearsonVirgin new cover reprint.
ISBN: 0-426-20158-2
CD
CD
The AwakeningAugust 2010Target No. 95Eric PringleAndrew SkilleterAudio version of the Target Novel read by Nerys Hughes.
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision)Issue 72 (Released: June 1997)
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 85 (Released: February 1984)
Doctor Who Magazine - ReviewIssue 89 (Released: June 1984)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 172 (Released: April 1991)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 282 (Released: September 1999)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 376 (Released: December 2006)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 384 (Released: July 2007)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Peter Davison
The Fifth Doctor

   

Janet Fielding
Tegan Jovanka
 
Mark Strickson
Turlough
   




On Release

Audio LP - Doctor Who: The Music II
Audio LP - Doctor Who: The Music II

BBC
AUDIO
Audio Tape - Doctor Who: The Music II
Audio Tape - Doctor Who: The Music II

BBC
AUDIO
Doctor Who - The Five Doctors CD Cover
Doctor Who - The Five Doctors CD Cover

Silva Screen
AUDIO
VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
Earth Story Box Set DVD Cover
Earth Story Box Set DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO



In Print

Target Book Cover
Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
The Eighth Doctor Who Gift Set
The Eighth Doctor Who Gift Set

Target
NOVEL
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover
Reprinted Virgin Book Cover

Virgin
NOVEL
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   



Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 72
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 72

CMS
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 85
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 85

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 89
Doctor Who Magazine - Review: Issue 89

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 172
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 172

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 282
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 282

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 376
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 376

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 384
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 384

Marvel Comics


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