The Fourth Dimension

Colony in Space

FAST LANDING

Normally the TARDIS would be seen to gradually materialise, fading in from nothing to its solid form. Here though, both the Doctor’s and the Master’s TARDIS are seen to immediately appear and disappear.

FOR WHAT IT’S WORTH

The character of Mary Ashe is played by Helen Worth who is now best known for her role as Gail in the long running soap opera, Coronation Street. Helen joined Coronation Street in 1974, three years after her appearance in Colony in Space, and has remained with the series ever since.

BRAVE NEW WORLD

The barren world of Uxarieus was the first alien planet that we had seen the Third Doctor visit in the TARDIS. Doctor Who had a reputation for using old quarries as alien planets and this is a classic example. Location filming took place at Old Baal clay pit near Plymouth.

INSIDE THE SPACESHIP

In this story, the Master’s TARDIS is disguised as an adjudicator’s spaceship. We get to see inside it for the first time. The walls and console are the same as the Doctor’s TARDIS but there are also two clear plastic cylinders in which the Master is able to imprison people. There’s also a set of old fashioned filing cabinets in which the Master no doubt keeps all his stolen files.

RING RINGHAM

The colonist leader, Ashe, is portrayed by John Ringham (1928 – 2008) who played the troublesome Tlotoxl in The Aztecs and Josiah Blake in The Smugglers. He became a stalwart of British sitcoms appearing in Dad’s Army, Just Good Friends (as Penny’s father) and The Piglet Files as well as serious dramas including Dennis Potter’s Pennies from Heaven and Wallander.

KEY TO MY ENEMY

The Doctor is able to gain access to the Master’s TARDIS by using a key that he stole from the Master in Terror of the Autons. The Master must have a spare or he’d have been locked out all this time!

BERNARD’S BACK FOR MORE

Returning to Doctor Who for his fourth and final role to date is Bernard Kay as the IMC officer, Caldwell. Kay had previously appeared in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Crusade and The Faceless Ones. Shortly before Colony in Space, Kay had starred opposite Joan Crawford in her last film, Trog.

LORDS OF TIME

For the the first time since their original appearance in The War Games we briefly see the Time Lords on their home planet. They discuss the Master’s theft of their secret files and decide to send the Doctor after him. One of the Time Lords is played by Graham Lehman who will return again as a Time Lord (presumably the same one) in The Three Doctors.

MARAUDING MONSTER

To scare the colonists, the IMC project an image of a giant lizard. What we actually see is an iguana which was specially filmed for the sequence and was borrowed from London Zoo.

IN THE ARCHIVES

All six episodes of Colony in Space are held in the BBC archives.

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