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Sylvester McCoy
Battlefield
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Synopsis


Battlefield
Battlefield
 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?

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Twenty Six
Production Code: 7N
Story Number: 152
Episode Numbers:682 - 685
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Working Titles:"Nightfall" and "Storm Over Avallion"
Production Dates: May - June 1989
Broadcast Started: 06 September 1989
Broadcast Finished: 27 September 1989
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Television Centre (TC3)
Location: Buckinghamshire: Fulmer Plant Park (Cherry Tree Lane, Fulmer), Black Park (Black Park Road, Fulmer) and Little Paston (Fulmer Common Road, Fulmer).
Leicestershire: Barnsdale (Rutland), Hambleton (Rutland) and Hambleton Woods (Rutland).
Lincolnshire: Castle Cement Quarry (Ketton), Wothorpe Towers (St Martin's Without, Stamford) and Twyford Wood (Colsterworth).
Writer:Ben Aaronovitch
Director:Michael Kerrigan
Producer:John Nathan-Turner
Script Editor:Andrew Cartmel
Production Assistant:Rosemary Parsons
Production Associate:June Collins
Assistant Floor Managers:Julian Herne and Matthew Purves
Designer:Martin Collins
Costume Designer:Anushia Nieradzik
Make-Up Designer:Juliette Mayer
Cameramen:Alan Jessop (Outside Broadcast) and Paul Harding (Outside Broadcast)
Incidental Music:Keff McCulloch
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Dick Mills
Studio Sounds:Scott Talbott
Lighting:David Lock
Visual Effects:Dave Bezkorowajny
Title Sequence:Oliver Elmes
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Keff McCulloch
Stunt Arranger: Alf Joint
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Sylvester McCoy (The Seventh Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier) (Rejoins and Departs) and Sophie Aldred (Ace) Guest Cast: Jean Marsh (Morgaine), Angela Bruce (Brigadier Winifred Bambera) Additional Cast: Christopher Bowen (Mordred), Marcus Gilbert (Ancelyn), Angela Douglas (Doris Lethbridge-Stewart), Ling Tai (Shou Yuing), James Ellis (Peter Warmsly), Noel Collins (Pat Rowlinson), June Bland (Elizabeth Rowlinson), Robert Jezek (Sergeant Zbrigniev), Dorota Rae (Flight Lieutenant Lavel), Stefan Schwartz (Knight Commander), Paul Tomany (Major Husak), Marek Anton (The Destroyer)Setting: Carbury, England (circa 1997) Villains: Morgraine Le Fay and The Destroyer

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
682Part 106 September 198924'06"3.1PAL 1" colour videotape
683Part 213 September 198924'07"3.9PAL 1" colour videotape
684Part 320 September 198924'13"3.6PAL 1" colour videotape
685Part 427 September 198924'14"4.0PAL 1" colour videotape

Total Duration 1 Hour 37 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 3.6
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)65.24%  (Position = 97 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)62.80% Lower (Position = 146 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)66.86% Higher (Position = 159 out of 241)


Archives


 All four episodes exist as PAL 1” colour videotapes, A 71-edit scratch print of all episodes also exists.



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Notes


"Battlefield" was the first story of Season Twenty Six - which would ultimately be the last season of the original run of the show.

With this story Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (who is better known as The Brigadier) returns after a six year absence, with Nicholas Courtney reprising this famous Doctor Who role. He is also accompanied, for the first time in the show, by his long-mentioned sweetheart (now wife) Doris - played by Angela Douglas.

The working titles for this story were "Nightfall" and "Storm over Avallion" (possibly a misprint of ‘Avalon’ or a way to keep the story’s true theme hidden).

This story was written by Ben Aaronovitch who used numerous Arthurian sources. Prior to writing for Season Twenty Five’s "Remembrance of the Daleks", Ben Aaronovitch had devised a storyline called "Storm Over Avallion", which drew heavily on Arthurian myths. Because "Silver Nemesis" also contained medieval elements his storyline was held over to Season Twenty Six.

"Storm Over Avallion" had originally been planned as a three-part, location-only story, but Script Editor Andrew Cartmel asked Ben Aaronovitch to expand it to four episodes, including some studio material.

Jean Marsh, who played Morgaine, makes her third Doctor Who appearance. She first appeared as Princess Joanna in the 1965 First Doctor story "The Crusade". She then played the part of companion Sara Kingdom in the 1965/66 First Doctor story "The Daleks' Master Plan". Jean Marsh was also the former wife of Jon Pertwee.

James Ellis, who played archaeologist Peter Warmsly, is better known for his role as Lynch in Z Cars.

June Bland, who played the part of Elizabeth Rowlinson, previously appeared in the 1982 Fifth Doctor story "Earthshock".

Marc Warren, who appeared as an uncredited extra, later returned to the show playing the part of Elton Pope in the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "Love & Monsters".

Robert Jezek, who played the part of Sergeant Zbrigniev, later returned to Doctor Who in the Big Finish Productions audios, playing several roles including Brigadier Dashwood and Frobisher.

Angela Bruce reprised the role of Brigadier Winifred Bambera in the Big Finish Productions’ audio story "Animal".

Director Nicholas Mallett was originally due to direct this story but had to pull out when the recording dates were changed due to Nicholas Courtney not being available. Instead this story and "The Curse of Fenric" swapped places. As a result, "Battlefield" was directed by Michael Kerrigan - who had originally been assigned to direct "The Curse of Fenric". This was Michael Kerrigan’s first and only Doctor Who story.

Location filming for this story took place in May 1989 but unfortunately, the production was hit by a strike forcing the scheduling of two additional days. Cast and crew then returned to the studio for three days at the end of May/beginning of June 1989.

It was on the 1st June 1989 that Sophie Aldred was injured, while recording a scene inside a water tank being filled with water, when a glass partition in the tank fractured. Fortunately, Sylvester McCoy was able to alert stagehands to the danger, and Sophie Aldred was pulled clear. The studio was hurriedly evacuated just moments before the water reached electrical cables covering the studio floor. Except for a few glass splinters in her hands, Sophie Aldred was unhurt. This incident would be sensationalised and receive considerable coverage in the tabloid press and it is commonly believed by cast and crew that Sophie Aldred may have died if Sylvester McCoy had not noticed in time. Fortunately it was possible to use part of this sequence (when Ace becomes trapped in the water tank) and the rest was used in a studio safety video used within the BBC. On the DVD release of this story a camera image of part of the incident can be seen.

In Ben Aaronovitch’s original script, the knights were to have worn futuristic equipment which looked like armour only superficially. It was felt though that this would be too costly to realise. Similarly, Ben Aaronovitch’s vision of The Destroyer had to be scaled back. The writer wanted The Destroyer to start off as merely a man in a business suit, who gradually became more demonic as the story progressed. This would have been both too expensive and too time consuming to achieve, and so The Destroyer appeared in his monstrous form throughout.

It is implied that Merlin is, or will be, a future incarnation of The Doctor. It is also possible that Merlin is an alternate Doctor from the same parallel universe that Morgaine and the rest of the knights are from. The ‘Merlin Doctor’ appears in the prologue of the Target novelisation, written by Marc Platt, and is described as wearing a floppy hat and an Afghan coat. This character also makes a cameo in the Virgin Books’ The New Adventures novel "Transit" written by Ben Aaronavitch. He is also described as having red hair, something which the Tenth Doctor and the Eleventh Doctor have both expressed a desire to have. Another possible Merlin Doctor is the character Muldwych (from Virgin Books’ The New Adventures novel "Birthright" written by Nigel Robinson) who is strongly implied to be a future incarnation of The Doctor.

In the Virgin Books’ The New Adventures novel "Happy Endings", written by Paul Cornell, the origins of Excalibur are discussed. The ‘Merlin paradox’ is later resolved in the short story "One Fateful Knight" (published in the Big Finish Productions book "Short Trips 24: The Quality of Leadership") which acts as a prequel to this story, when it is revealed that the Eighth Doctor ‘shares’ the title of Merlin with a renegade Time Lord, the other Merlin giving Arthur and his people advanced technology for his own motives before he is sealed in the ice caves by Morgaine, while the Eighth Doctor leaves the various relevant clues for his past self to find.

This was the first story to feature UNIT since the 1976 Fourth Doctor story "The Seeds of Doom" (bar a brief appearance in the 1983 Twentieth Anniversary Special "The Five Doctors"). Mention is also made of Sergeant Benton.

The current head of the British division of UNIT is Brigadier Winifred Bambera, who seemingly replaced Colonel Charles Crichton (see "The Five Doctors").

The UNIT insignia is now a winged globe, and Czech, French and Polish soldiers serve under it. This was an intentional act by Ben Aaronovitch to emphasise that UNIT was an international group (confirmed in the behind-the-scenes features of this stories DVD release). Even though we never met any international UNIT troops, during previous UNIT stories, Sergeant Zbrigniev confirms that they were always present.

It is revealed that UNIT has access to a variety of anti-alien weaponry. These include: silver bullets, teflon anti-Dalek shells, high explosives for Yeti, armour piercing for robots, and ‘gold tipped bullets for you know what’. This quip suggests that at some point The Doctor has told The Brigadier about the Cybermen’s weakness to gold which was first referenced in the 1975 Fourth Doctor story "Revenge of the Cybermen". The Doctor’s suggestion that UNIT acquires silver bullets because ‘Well, you never know’, is acted upon immediately by The Brigadier – so demonstrating who much The Brigadier heeds The Doctor’s advice.

Silver bullets are traditionally associated with defeating werewolves. The Doctor encountered werewolves in the 1988/89 story "The Greatest Show in the Galaxy" and the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "Tooth and Claw".

The Doctor gives Ace a UNIT identity card which once belonged to former companion Liz Shaw. Ace remarks that she does not even look like the ID photo, and is heard to ask ‘Who is Elizabeth Shaw?’.

As well as carrying Liz Shaw’s UNIT pass (in his hat) The Doctor carries his own UNIT pass. Also in his pockets he has a catapult and a variety of alien coinage.

The Doctor, when trying to show Brigadier Bambera that he was indeed a member of UNIT, mentions the Yeti ("The Web of Fear"), Autons ("Spearhead From Space" and "Terror of the Autons"), Daleks ("Day of the Daleks"), Cybermen ("The Invasion") and Silurians ("Doctor Who and the Silurians").

The Doctor refers to one of Clarke’s three laws - telling Ace that sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic - to explain the various forms of ‘black magic’ attacks used against them by Morgaine, and also that King Arthur’s trans-dimensional spaceship was grown, not built, and adds that the reverse of Clarke’s Law is also true.

This story takes place near Lake Vortigern, Carbury, (possibly in Wiltshire). The year though is never specified. The Doctor mentions that they are several years in Ace's future, a King sits on the throne, road signs are in kilometres, a £5 coin is in common circulation, a round of vodka and coke, lemonade and water costs £5 and the telephone in the hotel is apparently voice operated. The Target novelisation of this story also mentions that sea levels have risen and places the date sometime after 1995. Events in the Virgin Books’ The New Adventures novel "The Dying Days", which features Brigadier Bambera and is set in 1997, occurs some months after this story. Brigadier Bambera also appears in the Virgin Books’ The New Adventures novel "Head Games".

It is revealed that The Doctor can hypnotise humans with just his voice.

The Doctor is heard to state that a voice control is what he would use. He said the same of Borusa in the 1978 Fourth Doctor story "The Invasion of Time".

The Doctor discourages Ace from drinking alcohol - she ends up drinking lemonade.

Mordred drinks at least four pints of Pat Rowlinson’s home-brewed beer without apparent effect.

The return of The Brigadier - whose last appearance had been in the Twentieth Anniversary special "The Five Doctors", in 1983 - was planned all along, although initially he had been promoted to General.

The Seventh Doctor actually meets The Brigadier for the 'first time' (from The Brigadier's perspective) in the Virgin Books’ The New Adventures novel "No Future". The Doctor then wipes his memory of the event so he could meet him for the first time in this story.

Sometime after the 1983 Fifth Doctor story "Mawdryn Undead" The Brigadier has married Doris and has given up teaching. Doris, is apparently the same woman mentioned in the 1974 Third Doctor story "Planet of the Spiders".

The Doctor is heard to state that The Brigadier was ‘supposed to die in bed’, which is either an insight into his future or The Doctor speaking metaphorically. Perhaps, thankfully, The Brigadier did not seam to hear The Doctor.

It had been seriously contemplated that The Brigadier would be killed at this story’s climax, but ultimately it was decided to have him survive. After the remembrance ceremony in the second episode Morgaine is heard to say that she will kill him the next time they meet. During the "The Daleks' Master Plan", Sara Kingdom, played by Jean Marsh, kills Bret Vyon, played by Nicholas Courtney.

Just as companion Rose Tyler did not appreciate the implication that she was ‘the latest’ companion (see the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "School Reunion"), Ace bristles when The Brigadier refers to her as such.

Bessie appears for the first time since "The Five Doctors", with the number plate WHO 7, though the actual car used is a different model from that featured earlier. In The Doctor’s personal chronology, he was last seen using the vehicle soon after his regeneration in the 1974/75 Fourth Doctor story "Robot" (in "The Five Doctors" the vehicle is only used by the Third Doctor). For "The Five Doctors" Bessie was taken out of time during The Doctor’s third incarnation so we can assume that Rassilon returned it to Earth and The Brigadier has just got it out of mothballs so that the Seventh Doctor can use it in this story. At some point before this story the number plate changed from its original number WHO 1.

This story marks the last appearance of the TARDIS Console Room in the original run of the show. The set itself, which had been in use since "The Five Doctors", had been destroyed in between seasons so a cheap mock-up (with a curtain standing in for the wall) was used in this story. The lighting in this scene is very low to disguise this – On screen the low light is stated to be the result of The Doctor turning down power to better follow a signal. The console itself survived and was used.

A rumour existed at the time, when this story was being recorded, that the incidental music would be composed by rock band Hawkwind. This rumour though was never true.

This story contains a number of errors. Namely: The scabbard is given huge emphasis, then ignored; When Morgaine strikes The Brigadier’s helicopter, the smoke box used for this effect can clearly be seen attached to the back of the left landing skid; Although the mock-up helicopter for the explosion effect is only briefly seen intact (as The Brigadier and Flight Lieutenant Lavel run away from it), it has very little resemblance to the actual helicopter; When The Destroyer rips his shirt open, his chest is normal skin colour as opposed to blue; The Brigadier is seen giving The Doctor a rather listless karate chop while Mordred’s breastplate bends considerably when he chants.

Originally "The Curse of Fenric" was due to be the first story of Season Twenty Six but it was later decided to have this story start this season.

This story marks a costume change for the Seventh Doctor. (Initially, because "The Curse of Fenric" was meant as the first story of this season an outfit reveal was built in partway through that story). Most of his clothing is darker, most notably his coat which is now dark brown as opposed to the beige in previous seasons. This was to represent his darker, more manipulative character. This costume would continue until the end of the original run of the show. When the Seventh Doctor next appears in the 1996 Eighth Doctor film "Doctor Who: The Movie", he would be seen wearing a completely re-designed outfit with only his hat remaining (which was owned by Sylvester McCoy).

For this season Doctor Who was once again aired on Wednesday evenings and so the show was still up against ITV’s soap opera Coronation Street.

This story received Doctor Who’s lowest ratings in its history with only 3.1 million people watching the first episode.

This story features the last appearance of The Brigadier in the show, after 21 years since his first appearance in the 1968 Second Doctor story "The Web of Fear", and his last television appearance in The Doctor Who universe (apart from the Thirtieth-Anniversary Children In Need special "Dimensions in Time", in 1993) until The Sarah Jane Adventures story, "Enemy of the Bane" in 2008. ‘The Brig or ‘Sir Alistair’ is mentioned as being still affiliated with UNIT in the 2007 The Sarah Jane Adventures stories "Revenge of the Slitheen", "The Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith, and "Death of The Doctor" as well as the 2008 Doctor Who story "The Sontaran Stratagem/The Poison Sky". The Brigadier has appeared in several of the spin-off stories (including short stories and novels). He can also be heard in a number of Big Finish Productions audio stories – including: "The Spectre of Lanyon Moor", "Minuet in Hell" and the UNIT series, thus resulting in Nicholas Courtney being the only actor to have appeared with all of the first eight Doctors, appearing with Colin Baker and Paul McGann as the Sixth Doctor and the Eighth Doctor respectively in the aforementioned audios. The Brigadier also appears in the 1995 spin-off video "Downtime".

This is the last time UNIT appears on a broadcast story of Doctor Who until the 2005 Ninth Doctor story "Aliens of London/World War Three", after which it would be seen in the Tenth Doctor’s first story, the 2005 Christmas special "The Christmas Invasion", and several subsequent stories. UNIT did appear on video in the independent film productions "Downtime" and also BBV’s "Auton", "Auton 2: Sentinel" and "Auton 3: Awakening". The organisation was also referred to in the spin-off The Sarah Jane Adventures and represented by its medical officer, Martha Jones - the former companion of the Tenth Doctor -, in the spin-off series Torchwood.

This was Ben Aaronovitch’s final broadcast Doctor Who story, although he continued to assist Andrew Cartmel in planning the remainder of the season, and had a story called "Earth Aid", featuring Samurai-like insectoid aliens called Metatraxi, that was under strong consideration for what would have been Season Twenty Seven. Ben Aaronovitch was also viewed as a strong contender to eventually replace Andrew Cartmel as the show’s Script Editor. Ultimately, due to the show’s cancellation this did not happen. With Andrew Cartmel, Ben Aaronovitch wrote an early script for the 1989 "Doctor Who: The Ultimate Adventure" stage play. He also contributed three novels to Virgin Books’ The New Adventures series of original Doctor Who fiction. These being "Transit", "The Also People" and "So Vile a Sin" – the latter which was co-written with Kate Orman. Ben Aaronovitch also wrote for other television programmes including episodes of Casualty and Jupiter Moon.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first story of Season Twenty Six.

 The first re-appearance of The Brigadier (played by Nicholas Courtney) since the 1983 Twentieth Anniversary special "The Five Doctors".

 Jean Marsh's first story playing a character other than former companion (since playing Sara Kingdom in the 1965/66 First Doctor story "The Daleks' Master Plan").

 The first appearance of Bessie since the 1983 Twentieth Anniversary special "The Five Doctors".

 The first story to feature UNIT since the 1976 Fourth Doctor story "The Seeds of Doom" (bar a brief appearance in the 1983 Twentieth Anniversary Special "The Five Doctors").

 The first appearance of the Seventh Doctor's 'Darker' costume.

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by Michael Kerrigan.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 Nicholas Courtney's last Doctor Who story as The Brigadier.

 The last appearance of the TARDIS console room in the original run of the show.

 The last story to feature UNIT until the 2005 Ninth Doctor story "Aliens of London/World War Three".

 The last Doctor Who story to be written by Ben Aaronovitch.

 The last Doctor Who story to be directed by Michael Kerrigan.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Doctor and Morgaine
The Doctor and Morgaine

In response to a distress signal the TARDIS arrives on Earth near Lake Vortigern in England in the near future. The Doctor and Ace, his travelling companion, discover by the lake an archaeological dig, headed by Peter Walmsley of the Carbury Trust. They also discover a UNIT convoy transporting a nuclear missile which has stopped near the dig due to technical problems. In charge of the UNIT convoy is Brigadier Winifred Bambera who is told, by Sergeant Zbrigniev, about The Doctor and his ability to change his appearance and personality. But she does not believe him.

Brigadier Bambera gives the two time travellers a lift to the Gore Crow Hotel, where Ace befriends a Chinese girl called Shou Yuing. In the hotel they discover a scabbard, which has been excavated from the battlefield, hanging above the mantelpiece in the hotel lounge. As The Doctor inspects the scabbard he discovers that it is hot to his touch. Elizabeth Rowlinson, the hotelier’s blind wife, also seems to sense something strange about it – as though it is waiting for something. Leaving The Doctor inside the hotel Ace and Shou Yuing retire to the garden to talk about explosives.

Nearby several armoured knights have crashed to Earth from space, and one of them finds the TARDIS. The knights though start to fight amongst themselves using both swords and futuristic guns. As they continue to clash a grenade is thrown and one of the knights is blown up in the air and through the roof of a brewery behind the hotel, startling Ace and Shou Yuing. The Doctor and the girls investigate and find inside the brewery a knight who introduces himself as Ancelyn. The knight also greets The Doctor as ‘Merlin’. Brigadier Bambera then arrives, her car having been damaged in the fighting. Finally Mordred enters, flanked by knights. The Doctor prevents Mordred and Ancelyn from fighting and, taking advantage of the fact that both believe him to be Merlin, he orders Mordred to leave. The knight complies, but tells The Doctor that his mother has waited twelve centuries to face him. Mordered then enters an abandoned church and summons his mother - a powerful sorceress called Morgaine. She appears and speaks to The Doctor through a mental link, warning him not to stand against her.

Lethbridge-Stewart and Doris
Lethbridge-Stewart and Doris

Meanwhile Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart (formerly known as The Brigadier) is enjoying his retirement from UNIT, with his wife Doris, when he receives a phone call and is directed, by UNIT commanders in Geneva, to go to London. On his way there he orders that an exclusion zone to be placed around Carbury. The next morning, The Brigadier travels from London to Carbury in a helicopter piloted by Flight Lieutenant Lavel. But they are unaware of Morgaine who is in a churchyard with her knights and, on seeing The Brigadier’s helicopter, she makes it crash. The Brigadier though is unharmed and he goes to fetch help for Flight Lieutenant Lavel, who is injured. He encounters Morgaine but they part with a mutual understanding. He then hurries to the hotel and commandeers Shou Yuing’s car from her.

At the archaeological site Peter Walmsley shows The Doctor and Ace where he uncovered the scabbard. They find a rune, written in The Doctor’s own handwriting, which he translates to read: ‘Dig hole here’. Using a canister of Nitro-9 explosives, Ace creates a large hole in the ground that reveals a tunnel leading downwards. They enter and eventually find themselves in a spacecraft under the lake. There they discover the slumped, armour-clad figure of King Arthur, lying next to a sword, which was apparently the source of the distress signal, and also lured Mordred and Morgaine. However, before The Doctor can stop her Ace pulls the sword from its mounting. In doing so she inadvertently unleashes a hostile, glowing, snake-like entity. This defence mechanism knocks The Doctor unconscious and Ace finds herself trapped in an airlock as it rapidly fills with water. The Doctor recovers just in time to eject Ace from the space ship, sending her shooting up through the waters to the surface of the lake. There Peter Walmsley and Ancelyn, who are standing at the shore discussing the Lady of the Lake, witness Ace emerge from the water still grasping the sword. Ancelyn immediately identifies it as Excalibur. The Brigadier then arrives, along with Shou Yuing, and he heads down the tunnel where he destroys the creature so rescuing The Doctor.

Morgaine
Morgaine

Morgaine, aware of the Excalibur’s discovery sends her Knight Commander to retrieve the sword from Ace. Meanwhile Mordred is drinking at the hotel when Flight Lieutenant Lavel enters and holds him at gun-point. Morgaine arrives and forces Flight Lieutenant Lavel to lower her weapon and kneel at her feet - before killing her by draining the knowledge from her mind. When the hotelier Pat Rowlinson complains, she disintegrates the body and pays for the drinks by restoring Elizabeth Rowlinson’s sight.

The Doctor, Ace, Shou Yuing, Brigadier Bambera, The Brigadier, Ancelyn and Peter Walmsley all return to the hotel, trying to avoid Morgaine’s knights along the way. There, UNIT troops take steps to evacuate all the civilians. Major Husack though encounters resistance from Pat Rowlinson and Peter Walmsley, but The Doctor convinces the two men that they wish to leave and they do so with no further problem. The Brigadier has ordered up numerous weapons - and adds to the inventory, at The Doctor’s suggestion, silver bullets. He has also had Bessie, The Doctor’s yellow car, brought to the hotel. The Doctor then heads off for the missile convoy in order to prevent a battle there. He leaves Ace with some chalk, instructing her to draw a circle and stay inside it, with Shou Yuing and the sword, as it will protect them against Morgaine's sorcery. But soon afterwards a storm breaks outside the hotel and Morgaine, after having watched this exchange through her crystal ball, transports herself to the hotel, where she discovers Ace and Shou Yuing cowering in the circle. Unable to cross the chalk Morgaine attempts to obtain the sword by playing mental tricks on the young women and then, when this fails, she threatens them with the prospect of releasing a blue demon, whom she has bound with silver chains, that is known as the Destroyer of Worlds.

The Doctor manages to bring a temporary halt to the fighting at the convoy. Mordred is captured and reveals that The Destroyer has been summoned. The Doctor tries to get Morgaine to stop what she is doing by threatening Mordred’s life but, to Mordred’s horror, she is undeterred. Morgaine though is still unable to touch the sword so long as it is in the chalk circle. The Doctor hurries back to the hotel, but there is a massive explosion just before he arrives. Ace and Shou Yuing are unharmed, but Ace admits that she gave Morgaine the sword. But rather than being angry The Doctor is pleased to hear that Ace gave Excalibur to Morgaine, as doing so protected her. In the debris, The Doctor finds a curtain of light which is a portal to Morgaine's castle. The Doctor and The Brigadier pass through it and find Morgaine and The Destroyer waiting for them. The Destroyer reveals that it enabled The Doctor to come here in the hope that Morgaine would be forced to free it. The Brigadier attempts to shoot The Destroyer but is knocked through a window by the creature.

The Destroyer
The Destroyer

Ace has meanwhile realised that The Doctor may need the silver bullets and so bursts through the portal, ramming into Morgaine, and knocking Excalibur from her grasp. This gives The Doctor the chance to grab the sword but Morgaine frees The Destroyer and regains the sword. She and Mordred, who has arrived from the battlefield, then fade away, while The Doctor and Ace beat a hasty retreat with The Brigadier, who it is discovered is unharmed.

Outside, Ace tells The Doctor that Morgaine bound the Destroyer with silver chains and so he loads The Brigadier's revolver with the silver bullets that Ace brought with her. Although The Doctor wants to face The Destroyer himself, The Brigadier, realising that he is too valuable, knocks The Doctor out and on retrieving his gun he marches back in to the castle to face The Destroyer in The Doctor's place. After emptying the revolver into the monster's chest The Destroyer explodes. The Doctor then wakes to find the castle engulfed in flames. He then spots The Brigadier’s prostrate form, and begins to mourn his fallen friend. But it turns out however, that The Brigadier is not dead after all, only unconscious.

Morgaine and Mordred meanwhile, having returned to the UNIT convoy, plan to detonate the nuclear missile. The Doctor and Ace revisit the spacecraft under the lake where Ace replaces the sword in its mounting. The Doctor discovers that the suit of armour, in which Arthur is supposedly held in suspended animation, is empty but for a note - left for him by his own future self - explaining that Arthur died in the final battle and warning that Morgaine has taken control of the nuclear missile. As Ancelyn and Mordred fight, The Doctor goes to stop Morgaine. He convinces her that to use the nuclear missile is dishonourable. She realises that he is right and she hits the abort button. Morgaine then asks to fight King Arthur in single combat. The Doctor is forced to tell her of his discovery under the lake and that King Arthur died many years ago. This news distresses Morgaine who, along with Mordred, are imprisoned by Brigadier Bambera.

With Morgaine and Mordred defeated, and back at The Brigadier’s house, Ace, Shou Yuing, Brigadier Bambera (who has developed a relationship with Ancelyn) and Doris set off for a drive in Bessie. This leaves The Brigadier and Ancelyn to do the gardening and The Doctor to cook supper.

 
The Brigadier meets the Seventh Doctor
The Brigadier meets the Seventh Doctor
Under the Lake
Under the Lake
Ace Retrieves Excalibur from the Lake
Ace Retrieves Excalibur from the Lake
The Brigadier Encounters Morgaine
The Brigadier Encounters Morgaine
 
UNIT
UNIT
Ace and Shou Yuing
Ace and Shou Yuing
The Doctor and The Brigadier
The Doctor and The Brigadier
Mordred
Mordred




Quote of the Story


 'All over the world fools are poised, ready to let death fly. Machines of death, Morgaine, screaming from above. Light brighter than the sun. Not a war between armies, nor a war between nations, but just death. Death gone mad! A child looks up into the sky, his eyes turn to cinders. No more tears, only ashes. Is this Honour? Is this War? Are these the weapons you would use?'

The Doctor



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Audio
CD
The Worlds of Doctor Who1994FLMCD 715Photo-montageMusic score
Video
VHS
BattlefieldMarch 1998BBCV 6330Photo-montageIncludes two minutes of additional footage not shown in the original broadcast
Video
DVD
BattlefieldDecember 2008BBCDVD 2440Special Edition featuring the original televised story plus an extended version with new special effects
Audio
CD
The 50th Anniversary CollectionDecember 2013Photo-montageOriginal Television Soundtracks
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 26December 2019Photo-montageBlu-Ray boxed set containing 4 specially restored stories


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
BattlefieldJuly 1991Target No. 152Marc PlattAlister PearsonISBN: 0-426-20350-X
Novel
Novel
BattlefieldMay 2016Target No. 152Marc PlattBBC Reprint. ISBN: 978-1-78594-041-5
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision)Issue 101 (Released: April 2002)
Doctor Who Magazine - PreviewIssue 151 (Released: August 1989)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArticleIssue 159 (Released: April 1990)
Doctor Who Magazine - After ImageIssue 202 (Released: August 1993)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 317 (Released: May 2002)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 402 (Released: December 2008)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 410 (Released: July 2009)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 59 (Released: April 2011)

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Worlds of Doctor Who CD Cover

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DVD Cover

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The 50th Anniversary Collection Cover

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The Collection Season 26 Blu-Ray Cover

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Reprinted BBC Book Cover

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Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 101
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (In Vision): Issue 101

CMS
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 151
Doctor Who Magazine - Preview: Issue 151

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 159
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 159

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 202
Doctor Who Magazine - After Image: Issue 202

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 317
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 317

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 402
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 402

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 410
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 410

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 59
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 59

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