BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014

BBC Homepage

Entertainment Cult

Contact Us

Season 20

Regular cast:
The Doctor (Peter Davison)
Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) until Terminus Part Four
Tegan (Janet Fielding) from Arc of Infinity Part Two onwards
Turlough (Mark Strickson) from Mawdryn Undead Part One onwards

Regular crew:
Producer: John Nathan-Turner.
Script Editor: Eric Saward.
Production Associate: June Collins on all stories, but uncredited on Snakedance, Angela Smith on Snakedance.
Title Music: Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, arranged by Peter Howell.
Special Sounds: Dick Mills.

The twice weekly transmission pattern introduced for season nineteen was retained for season twenty. Parts One and Two of the opening story went out on the Monday and Wednesday evenings respectively of the first week of January 1983 and then, in a late change of plan, the remaining episodes of the season followed on consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.

In terms of its content, the new season maintained the generally high standard of production seen the previous year, although again many reviewers expressed reservations that style was tending to be given precedence over substance. This season as a whole also drew much more heavily than had previous ones on established Doctor Who mythology. There was indeed at least one element from the Doctor's past in every story - a fact that, after it was pointed out to him by fan Ian Levine, John Nathan-Turner used as part of his promotion of the series in its twentieth anniversary year. The celebratory tone was apparent right from the outset as the season got under way with a story that had strong links to the series' tenth anniversary back in 1973.

Production of the latter half of the twentieth season had been badly affected by industrial action on the part of BBC electricians. This had disrupted a planned remount day for Terminus and the studio sessions for Enlightenment, necessitating rescheduling in order to complete them. The original intention of the production team had been that the season should conclude with an Eric Saward-written four-part anniversary story entitled The Return, featuring the Daleks and Davros. The net effect of all these earlier problems, however, was that there was no longer any studio time available for this story to be recorded.

Consequently it had to be temporarily shelved (eventually to be revamped as Resurrection of the Daleks the following year), leaving the season to close prematurely with The King's Demons. This was not quite the end of Doctor Who's twentieth anniversary celebrations on air, however, as later in the year it would be back again for a one-off special.

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy