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Jon Pertwee
The Green Death
Third Doctor Logo


Synopsis


A Giant Maggot
A Giant Maggot
 The Doctor and UNIT are called in to investigate a series of mysterious deaths at a disused mine in South Wales, where all the victims were found with their skin glowing green…

 As The Doctor becomes suspicious of the nearby Global Chemicals factory and its mysterious ‘Boss’, his assistant, Jo Grant, becomes trapped underground - in an abandoned mine infested with deadly giant maggots!

Source: BBC DVD


General Information

Season: Ten
Production Code: TTT
Story Number: 69
Episode Numbers:350 - 355
Number of Episodes: 6
Percentage of Episodes Held:100%
Production Dates: March - April 1973
Broadcast Started: 19 May 1973
Broadcast Finished: 23 June 1973
Colour Status: Colour
Studio: BBC Television Centre (TC3)
Location: Troed-y-Rhiw Jestyn, Ogilvie Colliery, Colliery Quarry Deri, Mid-Glamorgan) and RCA International Factory (Bryn-Mawr, Powys).
Writers:Robert Sloman and Barry Letts (Uncredited)
Director:Michael Briant
Producer:Barry Letts
Script Editor:Terrance Dicks
Editor:Alastair Mackay
Production Assistants:John Harris and Michael McDermott
Assistant Floor Manager:Karilyn Collier
Designer:John Burrowes
Costume Designer:Barbara Kidd
Make-Up Designer:Ann Rayment
Cameramen:Ken Lowe and Bill Matthews (Episode 2)
Incidental Music:Dudley Simpson
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Dick Mills
Studio Sounds:Richard Chubb
Lighting:Mike Jefferies
Visual Effects:Colin Mapson, Richard Conway and Ron Oates
Fights Arranged By:Terry Walsh
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge and Ben Palmer
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Jon Pertwee (The Third Doctor)
Number of Companions: 4The Companions: Nicholas Courtney (The Brigadier), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Katy Manning (Jo Grant) (Departs) and Richard Franklin (Captain Mike Yates) Additional Cast: Stewart Bevan (Clifford Jones), Jerome Willis (Stevens), Tony Adams (Elgin), Ben Howard (Hinks), Mostyn Evans (Dai Evans), Talfryn Thomas (Dave), Roy Evans (Bert), Mitzi McKenzie (Nancy), Ray Handy (Milkman), John Scott Martin (Hughes), John Rolfe (Fell), John Dearth (Voice of BOSS), Richard Beale (Minister of Ecology), Jean Burgess (Cleaner), Brian Justice (Yates Guard), Terry Walsh (Guard), Roy Skelton (James)Setting: Llanfairfach, Wales (1970s) and Planet Metebelis 3 Villain: BOSS

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
350Episode 119 May 197325'55"9.2PAL 2" colour videotape
351Episode 226 May 197325'56"7.2PAL 2" colour videotape
352Episode 302 June 197325'12"7.8PAL 2" colour videotape
353Episode 409 June 197325'47"6.8PAL 2" colour videotape
354Episode 516 June 197325'20"8.3PAL 2" colour videotape
355Episode 623 June 197326'06"7.0PAL 2" colour videotape

Total Duration 2 Hours 34 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.7
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)75.67%  (Position = 36 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2003)617 Points (Position = 22 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)80.13% Higher (Position = 39 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)83.25% Higher (Position = 30 out of 241)


Archives


 All six episodes exist PAL 2" colour videotapes. Episode 5 also exists as an earlier version than the final transmitted version.



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Notes


"The Green Death" is the final story of Season Ten and saw the departure of Katy Manning, who played popular companion Jo Grant. This story actually includes the only farewell scene between the Third Doctor and one of his companions. Liz Shaw's actual departure was never seen on screen and Sarah Jane Smith remained a companion beyond The Doctor's third incarnation, departing from the TARDIS crew during The Doctor's fourth incarnation.

After leaving the show Katy Manning worked mainly in theatre before moving to Australia with her two children in 1982. She has still maintained her connection with Doctor Who, appearing in the video "Lust in Space" and providing the voice of erratic Time Lady Iris Wildthyme in several audio dramas from Big Finish Productions in this range of audio stories. Katy Manning however, returned to the role of Jo Grant in the 2008 Big Finish Productions Companion Chronicles audio story "The Doll of Death" and then in the 2009 free download story "The Mists of Time".

The departure of Katy Manning marked the beginning of the end for the so-called UNIT family, which had been together since the start of Season Eight two and a half years earlier. Coupled with the death of Roger Delgado (who played The Master) and the announced departure of producer Barry Letts, her departure became a major motivation in Jon Pertwee's decision to also leave the show the following year.

This story was co-written by Producer Barry Letts. However, he received no on-screen credit, as writer, as BBC regulations at the time prevented any person from being credited for more than one production role.

The director assigned to this story was Michael Briant, who had last worked on "The Sea Devils" the previous year.

The role of Clifford Jones was played by Stewart Bevan - then Katy Manning's real-life boyfriend.

Tony Adams (better known for his role as Adam Chance in Crossroads), played Elgin. Unfortunately he was taken ill during the recording of the final two episodes and so Roy Skelton was brought in to play a new character called Mr James who was given the lines originally written for Elgin.

Fight Arranger Terry Walsh is also seen as an uncredited Guard in episodes one, two and six.

This main setting for this story was Llanfairfach in Wales in February 1972 – a calendar is visible on the Global Chemicals security gate, which is for a 29 day month, with the first and last days being a Tuesday. The only relevant leap year February that this can refer to is February 1972. Unless of course it is an old calendar.

This story has been much criticised due to the look of the maggot creatures and the stereotypical portrayal of the Welsh occupants.

The Doctor finally gets to visit Metebelis 3. This was a running theme during Season Ten which he first indicated an intention to do in "Carnival of Monsters", is finally realised – but 'the famous blue planet of the Acteon group' does not turn out to be exactly the way The Doctor described it in previous stories.

The consequences of The Doctor's journey to Metebelis 3, and the blue crystal he obtained there which he then gave as a wedding present to Jo and Clifford - are followed up in "Planet of the Spiders".

This story gave Jon Pertwee the opportunity to engage in a bit of creative costuming as both a cleaning woman and a Welsh milkman.

Sets from the Gerry Anderson series UFO were used to create BOSS. BOSS was also mentioned in passing in the Virgin Books' The New Adventures novel "Original Sin", written by Andy Lane.

Look out for the scene where The Doctor temporarily stumps BOSS by asking ‘If I were to tell you that the next thing I say would be true, but the last thing I said was a lie, would you believe me?’ This is a variation on a line from the Star Trek episode "I, Mudd". The question is an example of the liar paradox, which dates back to at least the fourth century BC. In a twist on the concept though, BOSS initially dismisses the question as nonsense before being goaded into trying to answer it by The Doctor.

Supposedly to save time during recording the title sequence film over which the closing credits were superimposed, for episodes two, five and six, was played backwards and upside-down.

This story marks the final appearance of the howlaround title sequence introduced in 1970. It also is the last appearance of the logo introduced in "Spearhead From Space" until the 1996 television movie "Doctor Who: The Movie". The 1996 version of this logo has been used for marketing purposes by the BBC since that time, and is still used for merchandise relating to the pre-2005 stories.

A novelisation of this story, written by Malcolm Hulke, was published by Target Books in August 1975. The company Global Chemicals had to be changed to Panorama Chemicals because a real Global Chemicals was found to exist. Malcolm Hulke tells the story from several points of view including the possessed Stevens, the psychotic Hinks and even a hungry maggot. This was the last book to feature interior illustrations.

The story was repeated on BBC One as an omnibus over Christmas 1973. It was repeated again, in its original episodic format, on BBC Two in 1993 and again, as 3 compilation episodes, as part of ‘1973 Week’ on BBC Four in 2006.

The Green Death came out on VHS in October 1996 as a two-tape set. On the back of the VHS box, BBC Video presented this story's release as a tribute to Jon Pertwee, who died a few months earlier in May 1996, aged 76. The United Kingdom release, rushed in memory of the death of Jon Pertwee, featured a unique logo/titling scheme on the cover that was not used again for any subsequent Doctor Who VHS releases afterward.

The DVD release of this story, in May 2004, features a fictitious documentary, "Global Conspiracy", starring Mark Gatiss as investigative reporter Terry Scanlon, following up the events surrounding the incident at Global Chemicals. Several actors from "The Green Death" briefly reprise their roles, and it is revealed that Stevens and BOSS survived.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first time The Doctor visits Metebelis 3 - the famous blue planet of the Acteon group.

 The first time The Doctor engages in a bit of creative costuming - as both a cleaning woman and a Welsh milkman.

 The first (and only) farewell scene between the Third Doctor and one of his companions.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 The last story of Season Ten.

 Katy Manning's last story as regular companion Jo Grant.

 The last appearance of the logo introduced in "Spearhead from Space" until the 1996 television movie.


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The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The Green Death
The Green Death

Near the Welsh village of Llanfairfach, a miner, Ted Hughes, returns to the surface after inspecting the local disused coal mine and sounds the alarm. When he is found, he is dead, and glowing bright green. UNIT are therefore called in to investigate. They have also been asked to provide protection for Global Chemicals, a local factory which is being blamed for the closure of the colliery and so the loss of jobs in the area.

While The Doctor makes a trip to Metebelis 3 alone, Jo decides to join Professor Clifford Jones, a Nobel prize winning ecologist, and his group at The Wholeweal Community - known locally as 'the Nuthutch'. As The Brigadier is visiting Stevens, the chief of Global Chemicals, he offers Jo Grant a lift.

Professor Clifford Jones is concerned about the pollution that Global Chemicals' processes are creating – despite their claims to the contrary. Stevens explains to The Brigadier that their processes create no pollution or waste, but Clifford Jones tells Jo that this cannot be the case. Jo guesses that they must be pumping the waste down into the old mine-shaft and so decides to investigate. After the strange death of their colleague a miner, Dai Evans, also decides to investigate the mine. However, he shortly calls for help as his hand is glowing green. Jo arrives and descends into the mine with another miner called Bert.

Metebelis 3
Metebelis 3

The Doctor, who has just arrived after a harrowing trip to Metebelis 3, and The Brigadier are too late to stop them. They then discover that the lift has been sabotaged and the brake does not work. They manage to halt the cage before it reaches the bottom of the shaft – leaving Jo and Bert trapped in the shaft. In order to get down into the shaft themselves, they need to cut the cable. This they eventually do but only after obtaining some cutting equipment from a nearby garage as Global Chemicals, who they approach first, claim not to have any. When the cable has been cut, so releasing the other cage, The Doctor and Dave Davies, another miner, descend down the shaft.

Meanwhile, Jo and Bert have decided not to wait when they realise that they are very close to the bottom of the shaft. They therefore decide to try and find another way out. They come across a flow of slime down a wall, which Bert touches with his hand. This causes his fingers to start glowing green. His condition soon worsens so Jo goes on alone. The Doctor and Dave Davies soon arrive and find Bert. While Dave Davies takes him back to the surface The Doctor goes on until he finds Jo. However, they become trapped when the roof falls in. They then discover a large pool of slime, in which can be seen hundreds of giant white maggots and so have to use an abandoned mine cart to reach the other side. They then make their way up an old disused shaft which emerges in Global Chemicals' factory. On their way up the shaft, The Doctor finds a giant egg which he takes with him. They emerge in a room to discover that Global Chemicals are flushing their waste down into the mine and so are the cause of the green slime and the giant maggots.

Jo with Professor Clifford Jones
Jo with Professor Clifford Jones

On returning to the Nuthutch, The Doctor and Jo inform The Brigadier of what they have discovered. After an evening meal they all, except for Jo, retire to bed. However, the egg The Doctor found hatches and a large maggot approaches Jo, who is alone reading in the living room. She is saved by the sudden arrival of Hinks from Global Chemicals, who has been ordered by Stevens to retrieve the egg. The maggot attacks him before escaping into the garden.

This convinces The Brigadier to summon UNIT troops to the area and to bomb the mine workings and seal them. Even with the mine shafts sealed, the maggots start to emerge via other routes: the shaft leading to Global Chemicals and the slag heaps surrounding the colliery. When it is discovered that bullets have no effect The Doctor realises that a biological weapon is needed. To create one he needs to get some oil waste from the factory and so poses as a milkman and a cleaning lady to get inside. Once inside the factory he meets Captain Mike Yates, who under the orders of The Brigadier, has infiltrated Global Chemicals as a visitor from The Ministry. He tells The Doctor about a special lift to the top floor.

When The Doctor reaches the upper floor of the factory he discovers that it contains a large and powerful computer calling itself BOSS (short for ‘Bimorphic Organisational Systems Supervisor’) which is linked to Stevens' brain and which is totally self sufficient. The Doctor finds himself trapped and being brainwashed. But this does not work and so Stevens has him locked up. Captain Mike Yates though releases him so allowing him to escape. Captain Mike Yates stays on so that he can learn more about what Stevens is up to.

A Giant Maggot
A Giant Maggot

Meanwhile at the Nuthutch Clifford Jones is trying to find something to kill the green infection. But Jo accidentally spills some fungus powder on Clifford Jones’ microscope slides – ruining them. As she feels that she is just in the way Jo decides to get a maggot for Cliff's experiments and heads for the slag heaps. When she has gone, Clifford Jones realises that the fungus powder Jo spilt has neutralised the green infection. He then realises where Jo has gone and, with The Brigadier calling for an RAF strike on the area to try and kill the maggots, Clifford Jones rushes to the slag heaps to stop Jo. He eventually finds her just as the bombing starts. They are forced to head for an old mine entrance to escape from the bombing and the maggots all around them. But when the Professor is caught in an explosion he is knocked unconscious.

Realising where they are The Doctor and Sergeant Benton rescue Jo and the unconscious Clifford Jones from the slag heap. But back at the Nuthutch it is realised that the Professor has a glowing green stain on his neck. He mutters about serendipity, but no-one knows what he is referring to. While The Doctor tries to find an antidote to cure Clifford Jones. The answer comes from Nancy who finds a dead maggot by the fungus. The Doctor realises that it has been killed by eating it. Sergeant Benton and The Doctor distribute the fungus from Bessie and they start to die. However they soon discover that one of the maggots has pupated into a giant fly which attacks them until The Doctor uses his cloak to bring the creature out of the sky.

When Jo asks The Doctor what serendipity means he explains it to be a lucky accident; she recalls that she spilt fungus on Clifford Jones's slides. Realising that the fungus is the cure to the sickness as well, The Doctor leaves Nancy and Jo to look after Clifford Jones while he returns to Global Chemicals as he has just discovered, from Captain Mike Yates, that BOSS and Stevens plan link all the computers in the world together so that BOSS can then control them all. They will then be able to take over the whole world and so must be stopped. Using a blue crystal, obtained from Metebelis 3, The Doctor frees Stevens from BOSS' influence so allowing him to activate a self destruct sequence. The Doctor has just enough time to run from the factory before it explodes.

With BOSS destroyed, the threat of the giant maggots gone and with Clifford Jones recovering The Doctor finds that Jo wants to go with the Professor on a trip up the Amazon rather than return to UNIT with him. When Clifford Jones then asks Jo to marry him and she agrees The Doctor is saddened, but wishes her well and gives her the blue crystal as a wedding present. As a celebration party starts up, The Doctor is all alone and so departs in Bessie.

 
Trapped by Maggots
Trapped by Maggots
The Doctor in Disguise
The Doctor in Disguise
Captain Mike Yates and a Disguised Doctor
Captain Mike Yates and a Disguised Doctor
BOSS
BOSS
 
A Giant Fly
A Giant Fly
The Brigadier and The Doctor
The Brigadier and The Doctor
Jo Grant
Jo Grant
The Doctor Alone
The Doctor Alone




Quote of the Story


 'But Doctor, don't you understand? I've got to go. This Professor Jones, he's fighting for everything that's important. Well, everything that you've fought for. In a funny way, he reminds me of a sort of... younger you.'

Jo Grant



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Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
VHS
The Green DeathAugust 1996BBCV 5816Colin HowardDouble cassette release
Video
DVD
The Green DeathMay 2004BBCDVD 1142Clayton Hickman
Video
DVD
The Green DeathNovember 2006BBCDVD 1142Photo-montagePart of "The Third Doctor" box set (BBCDVD 2262) Exclusive to Amazon
Video
DVD
The Green DeathAugust 2013BBCDVD 3778Photo-montageSpecial Edition
Video
Blu-Ray
Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 10 (Limited Edition)July 2019BBCBD 0468Photo-montageBlu-Ray Limited Edition boxed set containing 5 specially restored stories


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
Doctor Who and the Green DeathAugust 1975Target No. 29Malcolm HulkePeter BrookesISBN: 0-426-10647-4
(1st Edition Target Cover)
Novel
Novel
Doctor Who and the Green DeathMarch 1979Target No. 29Malcolm HulkeAlun HoodISBN: 0-426-11543-0
(Reprinted Target Book Cover)
CD
CD
Doctor Who and the Green DeathSeptember 2008Target No. 29Malcolm HulkePeter BrookesAudio version of the Target Novel read by Katy Manning (Jo Grant).
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time)Issue 69
Doctor Who WeeklyIssue 43 (Released: August 1980)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 120 (Released: January 1987)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 320 (Released: August 2002)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 337 (Released: December 2003)
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of FictionIssue 447 (Released: May 2012)
Doctor Who DVD FilesVolume 48 (Released: November 2010)

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Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Jon Pertwee
The Third Doctor

   

Nicholas Courtney
The Brigadier
John Levene
Sergeant Benton
Katy Manning
Jo Grant
   
Richard Franklin
Captain Mike Yates





On Release

VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Third Doctor DVD Box Set
Third Doctor DVD Box Set

BBC
VIDEO
Special Edition DVD Cover
Special Edition DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
The Collection Season 10 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Cover
The Collection Season 10 Limited Edition Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO



In Print

Original Target Book Cover
Original Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
Reprinted Target Book Cover
Reprinted Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   


Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 69
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 69

CMS
Doctor Who Weekly: Issue 43
Doctor Who Weekly: Issue 43

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 120
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 120

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 320
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 320

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 337
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 337

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 447
Doctor Who Magazine - The Fact of Fiction: Issue 447

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 48
Doctor Who DVD Files: Volume 48

GE Fabbri


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