Doctor Who: The Ambassadors of Death (1970)

UK, 21 March 1970-2 May 1970
7 episodes, average 25m each
videotape, colour, 4:3
mono, English
Previous Serial: Doctor Who: Doctor Who and the Silurians (1970)
Next Serial: Doctor Who: Inferno (1970)
Series: Doctor Who (1963-1989) – series 7, episodes 12-18

A British television science fiction serial directed by Michael Ferguson. The scripts are credited to David Whitaker but he only wrote episodes 1-3, the remaining having been writer by Malcolm Hulke with Trevor Ray rewriting the first episode.

Plot Summary

Mars Probe 7 returning from Mars has lost contact with Space Control on Earth. A recovery ship sent to find it is also lost but when tracked and returned to Earth the astronauts are kidnapped. The Doctor and Liz discover than the astronauts had been replaced by ambassadors of an alien race and the Doctor pilots the recovery ship on a mission to find Mars Probe 7.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Michael Ferguson [episodes 1-7]
© [not given on screen] [episodes 1-7]
BBC TV [episodes 1-7]
Producer: Barry Letts [episodes 1-7]
[Written] By: David Whitaker [episodes 1-7]; Malcolm Hulke [uncredited writer of episodes 4-7], Trevor Ray [uncredited rewriet of episode 1]
Script Editor: Terrance Dicks [episodes 1-7]
Assistant Script Editor: Trevor Ray *
Film Cameramen: A.A. Englander [episodes 1-7], Tony Leggo [episodes 3, 4, 6, 7]
Studio Lighting: Geoff Shaw [episode 7], Dave Sydenham [episode 7], Ralph Walton [episode 7]
Film Editors: Don Godden [episodes 1, 3, 5, 6, 7], Chris Wimble [episodes 2, 4]
Title Music by: Ron Grainer and BBC Radiophonic Workshop [episodes 1-7]
Title Music Arranged by: Delia Derbyshire *
Incidental Music: Dudley Simpson [episodes 1-7]
Sound: Gordon Mackie [episode 7]
Special Sounds: Brian Hodgson and BBC Radiophonic Workshop [episode 7]
Costumes: Christine Rawlins [episodes 1, 7]
Make-up: Marion Richards [episodes 1, 7]
Visual Effects: Peter Day [episodes 1-7], Ian Scoones [episode 7]
Designer: David Myerscough-Jones [episodes 1-7]
Production Assistant: Nick John
Assistant Floor Manager: Margot Heyhoe
Action by: Havoc [episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7]

Cast
Episode 1
Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who)
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)
Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier [Alistair] Lethbridge Stewart)
Ronald Allen ([Professor] Ralph Cornish)
Robert Cawdron ([Dr Bruno] Taltalian)
John Abineri ([General] Carrington)
Ric Felgate ([Charles] Van Lyden)
Michael Wisher (John Wakefield)
Cheryl Molineaux (Miss Rutherford)
Ray Armstrong (Grey)
Robert Robertson (Collinson)

Episode 2
Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who)
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)
Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier [Alistair] Lethbridge Stewart)
Robert Cawdron ([Dr Bruno] Taltalian)
Ronald Allen ([Professor] Ralph Cornish)
John Abineri ([General] Carrington)
Dallas Cavell ([Sir James] Quinlan)
Robert Robertson (Collinson)
Ray Armstrong (Grey)
Michael Wisher (John Wakefield)
Ric Felgate ([Charles] Van Lyden)
Cheryl Molineaux (Miss Rutherford)
Bernard Martin (control room assistant)
Juan Moren (Dobson)
James Haswell (Corporal Champion)
Derek Ware (UNIT Sergeant)

Episode 3
Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who)
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)
Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier [Alistair] Lethbridge Stewart)
Ronald Allen ([Professor] Ralph Cornish)
John Abineri ([General] Carrington)
William Dysart (Reegan)
Cyril Shaps ([Dr] Lennox)
Dallas Cavell ([Sir James] Quinlan)
Gordon Sterne ([Professor] Heldorf)
Ric Felgate ([Charles] Van Lyden)
Steve Peters, Neville Simons (astronauts)

Episode 4
Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who)
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)
Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier [Alistair] Lethbridge Stewart)
William Dysart (Reegan)
Cyril Shaps ([Dr] Lennox)
John Abineri (General Carrington)
Robert Cawdron ([Dr Bruno] Taltalian)
Ronald Allen ([Professor] Ralph Cornish)
Dallas Cavell ([Sir James] Quinlan)
Max Faulkner (UNIT soldier)
John Lord (Masters)
Ric Felgate, Steve Peters, Neville Simons (astronauts)

Episode 5
Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who)
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)
Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier [Alistair] Lethbridge Stewart)
Dallas Cavell ([Sir James] Quinlan)
William Dysart (Reegan)
Ronald Allen ([Professor] Ralph Cornish)
John Abineri ([General] Carrington)
Cyril Shaps ([Dr] Lennox)
Ric Felgate, Steve Peters, Neville Simons (astronauts)
Tony Harwood ([Johnny] Flynn)
John Levene (Sergeant Benton)
James Clayton (Private Parker)
Joanna Ross, Carl Conway (control room assistants)
Roy Scammel (technician [Petersen])

Episode 6
Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who)
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)
Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier [Alistair] Lethbridge Stewart)
Ronald Allen ([Professor] Ralph Cornish)
John Abineri (General Carrington)
William Dysart (Reegan)
Peter Noel Cook (alien space captain)
Peter Halliday (alien’s voice)
Ric Felgate ([Charles] Van Lyden)
Steve Peters ([Joe] Lefee)
Neville Simons ([Frank] Michaels)
Joanna Ross, Carl Conway (control room assistants)

Episode 7
Jon Pertwee (Doctor Who)
Caroline John (Liz Shaw)
Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier [Alistair] Lethbridge Stewart)
John Abineri (General Carrington)
William Dysart (Reegan)
Ronald Allen ([Professor] Ralph Cornish)
Michael Wisher (John Wakefield)
Joanna Ross (control room assistant)
Ric Felgate, Steve Peters, Neville Simons (astronauts)
Geoffrey Beevers (Private Johnson)
John Levene (Sergeant Benton)
Peter Noel Cook (alien space captain)
Peter Halliday (aliens’ voices)

Uncredited
Sue Bourne [assistant]
Royston Farrell, Tom O’Leary [military policeman]
Roy Reeves, Les Shannon [cameramen]
Alf Joint, Barry Kennington, Dinny Powell, Gordon Stothard [heavies]
Sally Avory, Roy Brent, Derek Chafer, Les Conrad, Stella Conway, Barbara Faye, Paul Gilman, David J Graham, Dennis Haywood, Dianna Holt, Tony Laing, Roger Minnis, Caroline Mylon, Wilma Oswald, Rod Peers, Clive Rogers, Lindsey Scott, Keith Simon, Sheila Vivian [control room assistants]
David Aldridge, Roy Brent, Geoff Brighty, Derek Chafer, Alan Chuntz, Les Conrad, Ron Conrad, Ron Gregory, Steve Kelly, Tom Laird, Stewart Myers, Rod Peers, David Pike, Doug Rae, Clive Rogers, Jo Sentos, Keith Simons, Steve Smart, Terry Walsh [soldiers]
Max Diamond, Pat Gorman, Nick Hobbs, David Joyce [technicians]

Alternative Titles

The Ambassadors – working title
Carriers of Death – working title
The Invaders from Mars – working title

Extracts included in
Mars Probe 7: Making The Ambassadors of Death (2012)

References

Books
The Black Archive #3: The Ambassadors of Death by LM Myles
Doctor Who: The Television Companion by David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker pp.189-192 – credits, synopsis, review