Carnival of Monsters


Ian Marter plays John Andrews, one of the crew on the SS Bernice. Marter will be back in the regular role of Harry Sullivan, joining the Fourth Doctor in his travels for a while from Robot onwards. Marter had originally been considered for the role of UNIT officer, Mike Yates.


The Miniscope is said to contain a wide variety of interesting and entertaining life-forms. As well as the SS Bernice and the Drashigs, we briefly see a Cyberman and an Ogron on the scope’s screen.


Peter Halliday plays fussy Minoran bureaucrat, Pletrac. Halliday had previously appeared as Packer in The Invasion and had provided the voices of the Silurians in Doctor Who and the Silurians and the aliens in The Ambassadors of Death. He would later return to Doctor Who in City of Death and Remembrance of the Daleks.


Kalik is played by Michael Wisher (1935 - 1995) who previously appeared in The Ambassadors of Death and Terror of the Autons. He returned for the Fourth Doctor adventures Revenge of the Cybermen and Planet of Evil but is probably best remembered for playing Davros in that character’s debut story, Genesis of the Daleks.


The Doctor mentions the planet Metebelis 3 for the first time. It’s a planet that the Doctor has visited in the past and is particularly keen for Jo to see it with him. He’ll eventually get there in The Green Death, but on his own. And it won’t be his last visit as he journeys there in Planet of the Spiders... Metebelis 3 is also mentioned in the Eleventh Doctor adventure, Hide.


Author Robert Holmes originally titled the story, Peepshow. However, picking up from a line of Vorg’s dialogue, script editor Terrance Dicks thought Carnival of Monsters was much better.


Major Daly is played by Tenniel Evans who had starred with Jon Pertwee in The Navy Lark radio series. Back in 1969, Evans had suggested to Pertwee that he should put himself forward to replace Patrick Troughton as the Doctor. Neither Evans or Pertwee were aware at the time that the Doctor Who production team already had Pertwee down as a potential candidate.


After ten years, it was decided to revisit the Doctor Who theme music and to produce a new, synthesiser version. The Radiophone Workshop came up with what is now known as the ‘Delaware’ version of the theme – taking its name from Delaware Road in London where the Radiophonic Workshop was based. Unfortunately, it was not considered to be a success and the original theme was reinstated. However, a version of episode two of Carnival of Monsters that included the Delaware theme music was accidentally sold to Australia. This alternative version of the theme is included as one of the Special Features on the DVD release of this story.


Set designer Roger Liminton based his set for the interior of the miniscope on a circuit board which the ‘miniaturised’ Doctor and Jo could climb on, under and over. It was designed to be shot at different angles to make the set appear much larger than it actually was.


Leslie Dwyer and Cheryl Hall, who played Vorg and Shirna, both went on to star in two highly successful sitcoms. Dwyer was grumpy Punch and Judy man, Mr Partridge in Hi-de-Hi and Hall was Robert Lindsay’s girlfriend in Citizen Smith. Incidentally, Andrew Staines who played the captain in this story appeared in Terror of the Autons and returned to the show in Planet of the Spiders.


All four episodes of Carnival of Monsters have been restored and remastered and are available on DVD. The episodes are accompanied by a commentary from actor Katy Manning (Jo Grant) and producer and director Barry Letts. Also included on the disc are extended and deleted scenes; behind-the-scenes footage; visual effects test sequences; and a demonstration of the use of CSO by Barry Letts.

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