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Episode Guide
The Happiness Patrol
Production Code: 7L
Season 25, Story Number 153
Written by Graeme Curry
Directed by Chris Clough
No episode stills are currently available for this story.

Each episode is identified with date of transmission, duration, ratings in millions, and (for 1963-1974 only) archive status.

Part One
02 November 1988 | 24'51" | 5.3
Part Two
09 November 1988 | 24'48" | 4.6
Part Three
16 November 1988 | 24'25" | 5.3
Archive Status: All three episodes exist as PAL 1” colour videotape, always held by the BBC’s Film and Videotape Library; a 71-edit scratch print of all episodes also exists, as does 72-edits of episodes 1 and 3.
Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Sheila Hancock (Helen A.), Ronald Fraser (Joseph C.), Georgina Hale (Daisy K.), Rachel Bell (Priscilla P.), Harold Innocent (Gilbert M.), John Normington (Trevor Sigma), Lesley Dunlop (Susan Q.), Richard D. Sharp (Earl Sigma), Tim Barker (Harold V.), Jonathan Burn (Silas P.), David John Pope (Kandy Man), Mary Healey (Killjoy), Tim Scott (Forum Doorman), Steve Swinscoe (Sniper), Mark Carroll (Sniper), Philip Neve (Wences), Ryan Freedman (Wulfric), Annie Hulley (Newscaster)
The Doctor and Ace arrive on the Earth colony planet Terra Alpha. The Doctor has heard disturbing rumours of something evil on the planet and intends to get to the bottom of them. They meet Trevor Sigma (John Normington), an official from Galactic Centre who is on the planet conducting a census of the populace.

The Doctor intends to start his investigation by getting himself arrested, so when some members of the planet’s pink-garbed Happiness Patrol (Argie Alaime, Olwyn Atkinson, Heather Downham, June Easther, Selina Gilbert, Julie Lawrence, Carole Mudie) arrive and start painting the TARDIS pink, he points out that he and Ace are without official off-worlder badges. The leader, Daisy K (Georgina Hale), has them arrested. They are taken to a holding zone controlled by Priscilla P (Rachel Bell), where they meet Harold V (Tim Barker) who used to be Harold F and whose brother (Cy Town) has been sentenced to death for a display of public grief. Harold V tells the Doctor and Ace of Helen A (Sheila Hancock), the ruler of Terra Alpha, and her executioner the Kandy Man (David John Pope).

Harold V is killed by an electric shock from a fruit machine and the Doctor and Ace escape from the holding zone in a motorised go-cart after the Doctor first disarms a bomb that has been planted on it.

Ace is re-arrested, but is allowed to escape by Susan Q (Lesley Dunlop), a disaffected Happiness Patrol member. The Doctor meanwhile narrowly avoids being re-arrested by Happiness Patrol spy Silas P (Jonathan Burn), who is knocked unconscious by a man named Earl Sigma (Richard D Sharp). When Silas P comes to, he is killed by a Happiness Patrol as he is unhappy.

Earl explains that he is a holidaying medical student who has got stuck on Terra Alpha. He also plays blues music on a mouth organ. He and the Doctor head for the Kandy Kitchen where they are captured by the Kandy Man, who plans to use them in its experiments. They escape when the Doctor verbally confuses the Kandy Man and gets it to spill some lemonade, which sticks it firmly to the floor.

The Doctor and Earl run into a network of pipes and tunnels under the Kitchen where they meet up with a group of Pipe People (Wences: Phillip Neve; Wulfric: Ryan Freedman; other Pipe People: Bilent Hassan, Charles Martin, Steve Martin, Lee Pearse), the original inhabitants of Terra Alpha. On learning from the Kandy Man what has happened, Helen sends Fifi, her pet Stigorax, a vicious dog-like creature, into the pipes to flush them out.

Ace is re-arrested once more and taken to a holding zone with Susan Q. She is rescued by one of the Pipe People, but Susan Q is taken off for a ‘routine disappearance’.

The Doctor emerges from the pipes and again meets Trevor Sigma, whom he persuades to take him to see Helen A. They arrive at her office and she tells Trevor that she has managed the population down by seventeen percent. The Doctor takes a fire extinguisher from the inner office and a lemonade siphon from the outer.

Fifi chases Ace and a Pipe Person down the tunnels. Ace uses a can of nitro-9 to blow up the pipe behind her but then falls down another pipe and emerges to join Susan Q on the execution platform. The Pipe Person scurries off and escapes.

The Doctor returns to the Kandy Kitchen – on the way persuading a sniper to lay down his weapon, thus saving some striking factory workers from death – where the Kandy Man is still stuck firm. The Doctor unsticks him with a blast from the fire extinguisher in return for the Kandy Man’s agreement to divert a flow of boiling candy destined for the execution platform. With Ace and Susan Q thus saved, the Doctor uses the lemonade to re-attach the Kandy Man to the floor.

Helen A, furious that the execution failed, enrols Ace to appear at the forum – her death is to take place in five minutes’ time. The Doctor tells Earl to bring the demonstrating factory workers to the forum square. He then persuades a couple of snipers (Mark Carroll, Steve Swinscoe) to stand down. Helen A, undaunted, orders the Happiness Patrol to wipe out the demonstrators.

Fifi survived the nitro-9 blast in the tunnel and, tended by Helen A, has now recovered completely. Helen A sends it back down into the pipes to wipe out the ‘vermin’ therein.

Ace and the Happiness Patrol arrive at the forum square to be greeted by the Doctor, who seems ecstatically happy to see them – which means that the Patrol cannot touch him. The demonstrators also appear happy, as do Ace and Susan Q. This leaves only the Patrol themselves who are unhappy. Priscilla P therefore arrests the Patrol. Helen A is furious and orders her to let them go.

The Doctor, Ace, Susan, Earl and the Pipe People are chased through the pipes by Fifi. They arrive at a section of pipe encrusted with sugar and the Doctor gets Earl to play an ‘A flat’ on his mouth organ in the hope that this will create a resonance and cause the sugar to collapse. This fails, so Earl tries a ‘C’ instead. Fifi approaches closer and howls, which brings the sugar crashing down on the creature.

A radio announcer (Anne Hulley) reports that the Nirvana Sugar Beet plant has fallen to the guards and drones. Helen A is calm, reasoning that this is just one factory out of the thousand she has set up. She confers with Daisy K about who to send to quell the riots. Daisy K suggests Priscilla P. Priscilla P, however, is tied up and held at gunpoint by Susan Q in the holding zone.

The Doctor and Ace head for the Kandy Kitchen, where they threaten the Kandy Man with a red hot poker and the heat from the oven. The Kandy Man escapes into the pipes but is engulfed and dissolved by a flow of boiling candy started by the Pipe People. Only a metal skeleton and some sweet remains emerge onto the execution platform.

Helen A is packing to leave Terra Alpha when the radio announcer reports that one hundred and twelve factories have fallen to the rebels. Helen A’s private shuttle takes off, but she is not on board. Instead it is piloted by Gilbert M (Harold Innocent), who constructed the Kandy Man and acted as its assistant, and Joseph C (Ronald Frazer), Helen A’s husband. They bid her farewell via a video screen.

Helen A makes her way through the city and meets the Doctor. She is still convinced that she was right and that unhappiness and love were unnecessary. She plans to leave on a scheduled flight. She sees Fifi, now injured and dying, and breaks down in tears. The Doctor is joined by Ace and they watch her cry. Their task is done.

Priscilla P and Daisy K have been put to work repainting the city as the Doctor and Ace bid farewell to Susan Q and Earl Sigma. The TARDIS has been mostly repainted blue, and Ace finishes the job before they leave.

Synopsis from Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted.

Production Team
Lynn Grant (Assistant Floor Manager), Richard Croft (Costumes), John Asbridge (Designer), Dominic Glynn (Incidental Music), Dorka Nieradzik (Make-Up), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Jane Wellesley (Production Assistant), June Collins (Production Associate), Andrew Cartmel (Script Editor), Dick Mills (Special Sounds), Don Babbage (Studio Lighting), Scott Talbott (Studio Sound), Trevor Webster (Studio Sound), Keff McCulloch (Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Perry Brahan (Visual Effects)
Story Notes
An atypical, anarchistic Doctor Who tale, "The Happiness Patrol" was filmed entirely in studio and raised the ire of a candy company after the Kandyman was seen on television. The working title was "The Crooked Smile." Among the actresses considered for the role of Helen A were Jill Bennett and "Keeping Up Appearances'" Patricia Routledge; Prunella Ransome and Rosalind Ayres were amongst those considered for the role of Susan Q. Part three of the serial was NEVER intended to be filmed with animation, a popular rumor from the time. Although identified only as ‘Killjoy' in the closing credits to Part One, the character played by Mary Healey is named Daphne S, as confirmed by the poster at the conclusion of Part Two; the snipers were billed in Radio Times, but not on screen, as David S and Alex S. The mouth organ was played not by Earl Sigma actor Richard D Sharp but, from out of vision, by musician Adam Burney. In the scenes set in the underground tunnels in Part Three the Kandy Man has no metal brace around his mouth. This was added to the costume following these initial recordings to try to disguise the features of the actor inside. The howl of Helen A's pet Stigorax Fifi was actually the modulated sound of director Chris Clough's own voice.
For more in-depth information about the contents of this story, a complete episode-by-episode detailed breakdown can be found at the Doctor Who Reference Guide.
Additional, more detailed information about the production of this story can be found at Shannon Patrick Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel).
Video release
Released as "The Happiness Patrol" in the UK [August 1997] and Australia/New Zealand [March 1998] (BBC catalog #5803), US/Canada [May 1998] (WHV catalog #E1081); episodic format, combined photomontage/art cover with painting by Colin Howard.
In Print
Novelised as "Doctor Who - The Happiness Patrol" by Graeme Curry (Target #146), first released in 1990 with cover art by Alister Pearson.
For more details on the various novelizations of this story, with additional background material, artwork and details of both UK and foreign releases, visit On Target.