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SERIES MAIN | SYNOPSIS | PRODUCTION NOTES | TRIVIA | PRESS | QUOTES | KIM NEWMAN ARCHIVE | MEDIA

Doctor Who: The Ark (1966)

Country of Origin: UK
Dates of Original Broadcast:
5 March 1966-26 March 1966
Number of Episodes: 4
Average Episode Running Times: 25m
Format: videotape
Colour Format: black and white
Aspect Ratio: 4:3
Sound: mono


DIRECTION

Directed by: Michael Imison


CREW

PRODUCTION
Copyright: [not given]
Production Company: BBC TV
Producer: John Wiles

SCRIPT
Written by: Paul Erickson & Lesley Scott (only credited on The Steel Sky and The Bomb)
Story Editor: Gerry Davis

PHOTOGRAPHY
Lighting: Howard King (only credited on The Bomb)
Film Cameraman: Tony Leggo (only credited on The Bomb)

EDITING AND POST-PRODUCTION
Film Editor: Noel Chanan (only credited on The Bomb)

MUSIC
Title Music by: Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Title Music Arranger: Delia Derbyshire [uncredited]
Incidental Music by: Tristram Cary (from stock)

SOUND
Sound: Ray Angel (only credited on The Bomb)
Special Sounds: Brian Hodgson [uncredited]

COSTUMES AND MAKE-UP
Make up by: Sonia Markham (only credited on The Bomb)
Costume Designed by: Daphne Dare (only credited on The Bomb)

DESIGN AND SET CONSTRUCTION
Designer: Barry Newbery

OTHER CREW
Production Assistant: David Maloney [uncredited]
Assistant Floor Manager: Chris D'Oyly John [uncredited]


CAST

1. The Steel Sky
William Hartnell (Dr Who)
Jackie Lane (Dodo)
Peter Purves (Steven)
Eric Elliott (commander)
Inigo Jackson (Zentos)
Roy Spencer (Manyak)
Kate Newman (Mellium)
Edmund Coulter (1st Monoid)
Frank George (2nd Monoid)

2. The Plague
William Hartnell (Dr Who)
Inigo Jackson (Zentos)
Peter Purves (Steven)
Jackie Lane (Dodo)
Kate Newman (Mellium)
Eric Elliott (commander)
Roy Spencer (Manyak)
Michael Sheard (Rhos)
Ian Frost (Baccu)
Stephanie Heesom (1st Guardian)
Paul Greenhalgh (2nd Guardian)
Edmund Coulter (1st Monoid)
Frank George (2nd Monoid)

3. The Return
William Hartnell (Dr Who)
Jackie Lane (Dodo)
Peter Purves (Steven)
Terence Woodfield (Maharis)
Ralph Carrigan (Monoid two)
Terence Bayler (Yendom)
Edmund Coulter (Monoid one)
Brian Wright (Dassuk)
Eileen Helsby (Venussa)
Frank George (Monoid three)
Roy Skelton, John Halstead (Monoid voices)
Richard Beale (Refusian voice)

4. The Bomb
William Hartnell (Dr Who)
Peter Purves (Steven)
Edmund Coulter (Monoid one)
Jackie Lane (Dodo)
Frank George (Monoid three)
John Caesar (Monoid four)
Eileen Helsby (Venussa)
Brian Wright (Dassuk)
Terence Woodfield (Maharis)
Richard Beale (Refusian voice)
Roy Skelton, John Halstead (Monoid voices)


UNCREDITED CAST

Mark Allington, Andrea Beddows, Raymond Byron, Terry Cashfield, Rosemary Chalmers, Diane Chapman, Roy Douglas, Jackie Duval, Royston Farrell, Deryn Fisher, Iris Fry, George Gibbs, Hazel Graham, Paul Greenhalgh, Ron Gregory, David Greneay, Trevor Griffiths, Philip Harris, Stephanie Heeson, Bill Hunter, Paul Johnson, Tony Kemp, Jacqueline Lewis, Paul Linley, Rosemary Lloyd, Sheila McGrath, John Moyce, Victor Munt, Sara Negus, Alan Norburn, Michael Osborn, Jackie Salt, Judith Webb, Gloria Williams, Jan Williams (Guardians)
Bernard Barnsley, Eric Blackburn, Denis Marlow, Bill Richards, Chris Webb (Monoids)


EPISODES

1. The Steel Sky (5 March 1966)
2. The Plague (12 March 1966)
3. The Return (19 March 1966)
4. The Bomb (26 March 1966)


PLOT SUMMARY

The TARDIS materialises in a gigantic space ark in the far distant future carrying Mankind from a ruined Earth to a new home on the planet Refusis. But the common cold brought aboard the ark by Dodo has a devestating effect on the humans and their alien servants, the Monoids, an effect that The Doctor must counter when he travels further into the future and witnesses the impact the disease has had.


CAPSULE REVIEW

Some good ideas - the generation starship, the split time frame - and impressive production are rather undone by an underwhelming set of scripts. The aliens and humans are never really developed properly and the whole thing has a rushed feel to it - a little longer in both time periods would have been welcome. Good looking and entertaining, but ultimately disappointing.


AVAILABILITY

UK
Television Distributor: BBC
Video Distributor: BBC Video (6609)

USA
Video Distributor: Warner Bros. Home Video (E1046)

ARCHIVE HOLDINGS
The original 405-line PAL videotape recordings were destroyed by the BBC in the early 1970s. A 16mm telecine recording of The Return was retained and the remaining episodes were returned to the archive as 16mm recordings in 1978.


TIMELINE

1966
March

5: UK - The Steel Sky television broadcast (on BBC1)
12: UK - The Plague television broadcast (on BBC1)
19: UK - The Return television broadcast (on BBC1)
26: UK - The Bomb television broadcast (on BBC1)

1998
September

19: UK - television broadcast (on UK Gold)


ALTERNATIVE TITLES

The Space Ark


REFERENCES

PERIODICALS

Doctor Who Magazine no.228 (August 1995) (UK)
illustrated credits, article (Archive by Andrew Pixley)

Dreamwatch no.50 p.76 (UK)
review

BOOKS

Doctor Who: The Television Companion pp.82-85
credits, synopsis, review (by David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker)

OTHER SOURCES

screen
credits


KEYWORDS

aliens, generation starships, plagues, time travel

 


Last Updated: 21 January, 2010

 

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