The Ark in Space

TWO FOR ONE

To maximise the use of the show’s budget, it was decided that both this story and Revenge of the Cybermen from later in the season, would be set on the same space station but in different time periods. Both stories were made, back-to-back, using redressed versions of the same set.

WE’RE ON!

The giant insect Wirrn make their debut in this story. One of the creatures makes what could be called a brief cameo appearance in The Stones of Blood.

I HEAR VOICES

As Sarah is placed in suspended animation, the Ark’s systems play recorded messages to her. One of the voices is that of actor Peter Tuddenham who would later provide voices in The Masque of Mandragora and Time and the Rani. He is best known for being the voices of the computers Zen, Orac and Slave in the BBC series Blake’s 7.

MODE OF TRAVEL

At the end of the story, the Doctor offers to go down to Earth and repair the transmat device to allow the Ark’s population to return to their world and start a new life. Instead of using the TARDIS, the Doctor, Harry and Sarah use the transmat for their journey.

NOT FOR KIDS

A scene filmed for Part Three had the half-Wirrn Noah pleading with Vira to kill him. However, this scene was later considered too strong for a family audience and was removed during post-production.

BOWLED OVER

The Doctor produces a cricket ball from his pocket and gives it to Harry to help deactivate the Ark’s security system. Cricket would later become a dominant theme for the Fifth Doctor who would dress in cricket clothes and even played a match in Black Orchid.

UP AND DOWN

To test the station’s gravity, the Doctor uses a yellow yo-yo. We will see the Fourth Doctor using this toy on several occasions in future adventures.

KEEP WARM

The Doctor’s long, multi-coloured scarf gets a little shorter in this story when a bit of it is chopped off by the deadly ray from the Ark’s security system. The Doctor claims that the scarf was knitted for him by Madame Nostradamus who is presumably one of the wives of Michel de Nostradame, the well-known 16th Century Frenchman who many claim was a gifted prophet.

TEST YOUR METAL

The Doctor collects a piece of metal from the Ark and places it in his pocket. This same piece of metal will end up saving his life in the following story, The Sontaran Experiment.

DVD RELEASE

All four episodes have been restored and remastered and are available on DVD. The episodes are accompanied by a commentary from actors Tom Baker (the Doctor), Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah) and producer Philip Hinchcliffe. Also included are optional new CGI effects and an interview with set designer, Roger Murray-Leach.

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