Production Code: 5P
Season 18, Story Number 113
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.
22 November 1980 | 22'24" | 5.8
29 November 1980 | 23'16" | 5.3
06 December 1980 | 24'13" | 4.4
13 December 1980 | 24'54" | 5.4
Archive Status: All four episodes exist as PAL 2” colour videotape, always held by the BBC’s Film and Videotape Library.
(Doctor Who), Lalla Ward
(Romana), Matthew Waterhouse
(Adric), John Leeson
(K9), Emrys James
(Aukon), Rachel Davies
(Camilla), William Lindsay
(Zargo), Clinton Greyn
(Ivo), Rhoda Lewis
(Marta), Thane Bettany
(Tarak), Iain Rattray
(Habris), Arthur Hewlett
(Kalmar), Stacy Davies
(Veros), Dean Allen
(Karl), Stuart Fell
(Roga), Stuart Blake
The next port of call in E-Space is another habitable world. Here the people live in fear of 'the three who rule', who live in a high tower overlooking their village. The rulers demand humans whom their guards select from the village and take to the tower never to be seen again. They also keep the villagers in ignorance although there is a small secret group of scientists who are struggling to rediscover and keep alive the knowledge of electricity and technology.
The three who rule, Queen Camilla, King Zargo and Councillor Aukon, are in fact vampires, the surviving crew of the Hydrax, a spacecraft sucked like the TARDIS into a CVE, who have been vampirised by the Great Vampire, the last of a race exterminated by the Time Lords, who is now asleep underground awaiting his next summons.
The Doctor discovers that the tower is the shell of the original spacecraft and arranges for one of the shuttles to lift off and then to plummet to the ground, staking the awakening Great Vampire through the heart. With their controlling influence removed, Camilla, Zargo and Aukon crumble to dust.
Synopsis from Doctor Who: The Fourth Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted.
(Assistant Floor Manager), Amy Roberts
(Costumes), Christine Ruscoe
(Designer), Barry Letts
(Executive Producer), Stuart Fell
(Fight Arranger), Fintan Sheehan
(Film Cameraman), John Lee
(Film Editor), Paddy Kingsland
(Incidental Music), Norma Hill
(Make-Up), John Nathan-Turner
(Producer), Rosalind Wolfes
(Production Assistant), Angela Smith
(Production Unit Manager), Christopher H. Bidmead
(Script Editor), Dick Mills
(Special Sounds), Bert Postlethwaite
(Studio Lighting), John Howell
(Studio Sound), Peter Howell
(Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer
(Title Music), Tony Harding
State of Decay started life as early as 1977, when Terrance Dicks' vampire story, "The Vampire Mutations" (also known as "The Witch Lords") was put on hold due to the BBC's own production of Dracula; the script was reworked from previous drafts that included Leela. This was the first script worked on by new series script editor Christopher H. Bidmead, as the previous production team had not left any scripts for the new team in any sort of preparation for another year. Only two days of location footage in Buckinghamshire were used for this story. The working titles for the story were "The Wasting" and the aforementioned "The Vampire Mutations" and "The Witch Lords". There is no voice credit for K9 on Part Two as he does not speak in this episode. For the only time during his era as the Doctor, Tom Baker had to have his hair permed before filming commenced. It had lost its natural curl due to the actor being in ill health.
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
Released as "State of Decay" as part of “The E-Space Trilogy Boxed Set” (along with "Full Circle" and "Warriors' Gate") in the UK [October 1997] and Australia/New Zealand [November 1997] (boxed set: BBC catalog #6229; individual tape: BBC catalog #6231), US/Canada [July 1998] (WHV catalog #E1421), episodic format, photomontage cover.
Released by Pickwick as a spoken-word reading of the story by Tom Baker, written and abridged by Terrance Dicks, by Pickwick in 1981, single cassette. Re-released in 1985 by Ditto as a double cassette.
Novelised as “Doctor Who and the State of Decay” by Terrance Dicks (Target #58), first released in 1981 with cover art by Andrew Skilleter. Released in hardcover in 1982. Included as part of both the “Doctor Who Gift Set” released in 1982 and "The Fourth Doctor Who Gift Set" in 1983.
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