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William Hartnell
The Ark
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Synopsis


Dodo and a Monoid
Dodo and a Monoid
 Materialising in what appears to be a jungle on Earth, The Doctor, Steven and Dodo soon realise that things are not what they seem: the sky is made of steel, and the jungle merely a colossal life chamber in a craft that has embarked on the most important expedition in the history of mankind…

 It is ten million years in the future, and the Earth is soon to be engulfed by the Sun in a catastrophic explosion. A gigantic space ark has been launched, taking the last humans to a new life on the distant planet of Refusis, serving the Guardians of Earth are the Monoids, mute reptilian aliens.

 But the Ark's mission of deliverance is threatened by the arrival of the time travellers; Dodo inadvertently passes her cold to the Guardians - to them, it is a long-forgotten virus against which they have no defence. It is not long before people start to die and the TARDIS crew are on trial for their own lives…

Source: BBC VHS Video


General Information

Season: Three
Production Code: X
Story Number: 23
Episode Numbers:107 - 110
Number of Episodes: 4
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: January - March 1966
Broadcast Started: 05 March 1966
Broadcast Finished: 26 March 1966
Colour Status: B&W
Studio: Ealing Television Film Studios and Riverside (Studio 1)
Location: None
Writers:Lesley Scott and Paul Erickson
Director:Michael Imison
Producer:John Wiles
Story Editor:Gerry Davis
Editor:Noel Chapman
Production Assistant:David Maloney
Assistant Floor Manager:Chris D'Oyly John
Designer:Barry Newbery
Costume Designer:Daphne Dare
Make-Up Designer:Sonia Markham
Cameraman:Tony Leggo
Incidental Music:Tristram Cary
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Brian Hodgson
Studio Sounds:Ray Angel
Lighting:Howard King
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: William Hartnell (The First Doctor)
Number of Companions: 2The Companions: Peter Purves (Steven Taylor) and Jackie Lane (Dodo) Guest Cast: Michael Sheard (Rhos) Additional Cast: Eric Elliott (Commander), Inigo Jackson (Zentos), Roy Spencer (Manyak), Kate Newman (Mellium), Edmund Coulter (1st Monoid), Frank George (2nd Monoid), Ian Frost (Baccu), Stephanie Heesom (1st Guardian), Paul Greenhalgh (2nd Guardian), Terence Woodfield (Maharis), Ralph Carrigan (Monoid Two), Terence Bayler (Yendom), Edmund Coulter (Monoid One), Brian Wright (Dassuk), Eileen Helsby (Venussa), Frank George (Monoid Three), Roy Skelton (Monoid Voice), John Halstead (Monoid Voice), Richard Beale (Refusian Voice), John Caeser (Monoid Four)Setting: The Ark, ten millions years in the future and the planet Refusis II Villain: The Monoids

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
107The Steel Sky05 March 196624'00"5.516mm telerecording
108The Plague12 March 196625'00"6.916mm telerecording
109The Return19 March 196624'19"6.216mm telerecording
110The Bomb26 March 196624'37"7.316mm telerecording

Total Duration 1 Hour 38 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 6.5
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)60.29%  (Position = 120 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)60.80% Higher (Position = 154 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)61.78% Higher (Position = 184 out of 241)


Archives


 All episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings.



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Notes


"The Ark" actually tells two stories, the beginning and end of the journey, separated into the first two and last two episodes.

Both Paul Erickson and his wife Lesley Scott received credit for writing the story, though Scott actually did not contribute to the scripts.

"The Ark" is Jackie Lane's first full Doctor Who story as Dodo after her character debuted in the final episode of "The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve ".

Jackie Lane played the role of Dodo with alternating accents, as producer John Wiles was instructed that she not use a Cockney accent by BBC Executives.

This story features a guest appearance by Michael Sheard - Later in the popular children’s programme Grange Hill and also in the Star Wars film "The Empire Strikes Back".

The Monoids were played by actors, each holding a ping-pong ball in his mouth to represent the alien's single eye. The upper portion of the actor's face was hidden by a Beatle wig.

The Monoids also feature in the Big Finish Productions Bernice Summerfield audio story "The Kingdom of the Blind".

The Monoids were depicted as a mute, subservient race who seem to be more than willing to tend to all the human crew’s needs – and who seem to be exploited because of this. The Tenth Doctor, in his travels gets to meet a race with very similar traits – the Ood. The Ood though did not have single eyes but they did use devices to communicate.

It is revealed that this story is set in the 57th Segment of Time, which The Doctor calculates to be approximately AD 10,000,000.

During the story Nero ("The Romans"), the Trojan wars ("The Myth Makers") and the Daleks are mentioned by The Doctor - The Commander confirms that he has heard of them all, and places them in the first segment of time.

On seeing the animals Dodo announces that she once went to Whipsnade Zoo on a school trip.

This was the final story on which John Wiles served as producer.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first trip in the TARDIS for new companion Dodo played by Jackie Lane.

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by Paul Erickson and Lesley Scott.

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


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 John Wiles' last involvement in the show as Producer.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Inhabitants of the Ark Watch the Uninvited Guests
The Inhabitants of the Ark Watch the Uninvited Guests

The TARDIS materialises on a giant spaceship some ten million years in the future at a time when the Earth is about to plunge into the Sun.

As they explore the time travellers are unaware at first that they are onboard a spaceship carrying all the Earth's surviving plant, animal and human life (much of it miniaturised and in suspended animation) and when they do, Dodo names the ship The Ark.

They learn that The Ark is on a 700 year voyage to colonise the planet Refusis II so as to start a new home for the human race. The also realise that as well as humans, on board The Ark are the Monoids – a mute, subservient race who have a single eye. The Monoids seem to be more than willing to tend to all the human crew’s needs. And to help pass the time during the journey they are being used to create a vast statue depicting a human being.

Dodo Sneezes
Dodo Sneezes

However, Dodo is suffering from a cold - an unknown affliction in this era - and as the human Guardians of the ship and the Monoids have no resistance to this ancient virus and despite the efforts of their medical staff, led by Rhos, a plague soon breaks out.

Things though get far worse when the Commander of The Ark collapses the whole ship is placed on alert. The Deputy Commander is suspicious of the travellers and believes they have deliberately infected the ship. Then the first Monoid dies and there is little The Doctor can say to pacify the angry Guardians.

The Commander of the Ark
The Commander of the Ark

Placed on trial for their crimes The Doctor, Steven Taylor and Dodo try to defend themselves but the trial is going against them. It is only when Steven himself succumbs to the infection the ailing Commander intervenes to protect the three travellers and permits them access to medical equipment to devise a cure to the cold. The Doctor is fortunately able to develop one, and so he and his companions are allowed to return to the TARDIS and leave.

This seems to be the end of this particular adventure, but a surprise is in store as the TARDIS immediately re-materialises in what appears to be almost exactly the same place. However, The Doctor, Steven and Dodo soon discover that they have in fact returned to the ship at the end of its voyage.

Things though have changed - partly as a result of the earlier plague, the Monoids, have now grown strong, staged a coup during the long journey, have voice communicators and have enslaved all the humans. The Monoids have also completed the statue but instead of depicting a human being it is now in the image of themselves.

Doctor Searches for a Cure
Doctor Searches for a Cure

When The Ark arrives at Refusis II The Doctor discovers that the Monoid leaders plan to colonise the planet just with themselves with none of the humans. But not all of the Monoids are happy about this and the switch in roles - and so a revolt between the Monoids takes place. It is then that The Doctor learns of a bomb that has been placed inside the statue that the Monoids plan to use to destroy The Ark and all of the humans.

The humans begin to land on Refusis II and, along with the remaining Monoids are offered peaceful settlement - having been offered support on peaceful terms by the Refusians.

The TARDIS then departs. But Steven and Vicki are shocked when The Doctor simply vanishes from the TARDIS control room…

 
Zentos and Manyak
Zentos and Manyak
Number One Monoid
Number One Monoid
The Monoid Statue Seen From Below
The Monoid Statue Seen From Below
The Doctor and Dodo Thinking
The Doctor and Dodo Thinking
 
Yendom with a Monoid
Yendom with a Monoid
Two Monoids
Two Monoids
Steven
Steven
Dodo
Dodo




Quote of the Story


 'We can cope with all things known to the fifty-seventh segment of time, but not with strange diseases brought by you as agents of the intelligences that inhabit Refusis.'

Zentos



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
VHS
The ArkOctober 1998BBCV 6609Photo-montage
Audio
CD
The ArkAugust 2006Photo-montageNarrated by Peter Purves (Steven Taylor)
Video
DVD
The ArkFebruary 2011BBCDVD 2957Photo-montage
Audio
CD
The ArkSeptember 2013Photo-montagePart of the "Doctor Who: The TV Episodes: Collection Six" Box Set Narrated by Peter Purves (Steven Taylor)


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
The ArkMarch 1987Target No. 114Paul EricksonDavid McAllisterISBN: 0-426-20253-8
Novel
Novel
The ArkDecember 1992Target No. 114Paul EricksonAlister PearsonVirgin new cover reprint.
ISBN: 0-426-20253-8
CD
CD
The ArkMarch 2018Target No. 114Paul EricksonAlister PearsonAudio version of the Target Novel read by Peter Purves (Steven Taylor).
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time)Issue 23
Doctor Who Monthly - ArchiveIssue 55 (Released: August 1981)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 228 (Released: August 1995)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 294 (Released: August 2000)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 512 (Released: June 2017)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
William Hartnell
The First Doctor

   

Peter Purves
Steven Taylor
 
Jackie Lane
Dodo
   




On Release

VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Soundtrack CD Cover
Soundtrack CD Cover

BBC
AUDIO
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
The TV Episodes: Collection Six CD Cover
The TV Episodes: Collection Six CD Cover

BBC
AUDIO
   



In Print

Original Target Book Cover
Original Target Book Cover

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 (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 23
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 23

CMS
Doctor Who Monthly - Archive: Issue 55
Doctor Who Monthly - Archive: Issue 55

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 228
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 228

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 294
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 294

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 512
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 512

Marvel Comics


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