Doctor Who: Vengeance on Varos (1985)

UK, 19 January -26 January 1985
2 episodes, average 45m
videotape, colour, 4:3
mono, English
Previous serial: Attack of the Cybermen (1985)
Next serial: The Mark of the Rani (1985)
Series: Doctor Who (1963-1989) – series 22, episodes 3-4

A British television science fiction serial directed by Ron Jones from scripts by Philip Martin. It proved to be a controversial story, viewers and critics alike complaining about the levels of violence, particularly about a scene in which two guards are thrown into an acid bath.


needs an oil found on the planet Varos for the . The oil is the centre of a bitter dispute over price between the Varos governor and a representative of a mining corporation. is captured and is to be turned into a non-human creature.


* = uncredited

Director: Ron Jones [parts 1-2]
© BBC MCMLXXXIV [1984] [parts 1-2]
Producer: John Nathan-Turner [parts 1-2]
Production Manager: Margot Eavis [parts 1-2]
[Written] By: Philip Martin [parts 1-2]
Script Editor: Eric Saward [parts 1-2]
Lighting Director: Dennis Channon [parts 1-2]
Camera Supervisor: Alec Wheal [parts 1-2]
Technical Co-Ordinator: Alan Arbuthnott [parts 1-2]
Vision Mixers: Nigel Finnis [parts 1-2], Jayne Beckett [parts 1-2]
Videotape Editor: Hugh Parson [parts 1-2]
Title Music Composed by: Ron Grainer *
Title Music Arranged by: Peter Howell (I)|Peter Howell *
Incidental Music: Jonathan Gibbs [parts 1-2]
Studio Sound: Andy Stacey [parts 1-2]
Special Sound: Dick Mills [parts 1-2], BBC Radiophonic Workshop [parts 1-2]
Costume Designer: Anne Hardinge [parts 1-2]
Make-up: Cecile Hay-Arthur [parts 1-2], Dorka Nieradzik [parts 1-2]
Visual Effects: Charles Jeanes [parts 1-2]
Video Effects: Dave Chapman [parts 1-2]
Title Sequence: Sid Sutton [parts 1-2]
Designer: Tony Snoaden [parts 1-2]
Production Associate: Sue Anstruther [parts 1-2]
Production Assistant: Jane Whittaker [parts 1-2]
Assistant Floor Manager: Sophie Neville [parts 1-2]

Part One
Colin Baker (The Doctor)
Nicola Bryant (Peri)
Martin Jarvis (governor)
Nabil Shaban (Sil)
Nicholas Chagrin (Quillam)
Jason Connery (Jondar)
Forbes Collins (chief officer)
Stephen Yardley (Arak)
Sheila Reid (Etta)
Geraldine Alexander (Areta)
Graham Cull (Bax)
Owen Teale (Maldak)
Keith Skinner (Rondel)

Part Two
Colin Baker (The Doctor)
Nicola Bryant (Peri)
Martin Jarvis (governor)
Nabil Shaban (Sil)
Jason Connery (Jondar)
Forbes Collins (chief officer)
Stephen Yardley (Arak)
Sheila Reid (Etta)
Geraldine Alexander (Areta)
Owen Teale (Maldak)
Graham Cull (Bax)
Nicholas Chagrin (Quillam)
Hugh Martin (priest)

Bon Tarff [executioner]
Jack McGuire, Alan Troy [madmen]
Roy Alon, Gareth Milne [mortuary attendants]
David Wilde [body]
Charles Rayford, Sam Scott [monks]
Peter Dukes, Trevor Wedlock [technicians]
Ronnie Cash, Kwabena Monso [Sil's attendants]
Les Conrad, Peter Garvie-Adams, Ray Knight, Robert Smythe, Bob Tarff, Wayne Thistleton

Alternative Titles

Domain – working title
Planet of Fear – working title


Starburst no.102 (February 1987) p.35
Drab and heavy-handed […] [A] leaden warning about the perils of a society hooked on video-based violence. – from a review by Paul Mount



  • Radio Times vol.246 no.3195 (9 February 1985) p.80 – letter complaining about the violence
  • Starburst no.102 (February 1987) p.35 (UK) – review (by Paul Mount)
  • Starburst no.280 (December 2001) p.66 – DVD review (: Vengeance on Varos by Ian Atkins)


  • Doctor Who: The Television Companion by David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker pp.471-474 – credits, synopsis, review