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Episode Guide
Full Circle
Production Code: 5R
Season 18, Story Number 112
Written by Andrew Smith
Directed by Peter Grimwade
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
25 October 1980 | 24'23" | 5.9
Part Two
01 November 1980 | 22'11" | 3.7
Part Three
08 November 1980 | 22'00" | 5.9
Part Four
15 November 1980 | 24'16" | 5.5
Archive Status: All four episodes exist as PAL 2” colour videotape, always held by the BBC’s Film and Videotape Library.
Tom Baker (Doctor Who), Lalla Ward (Romana), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), John Leeson (K9), Richard Willis (Varsh), George Baker (Decider Login), Tony Calvin (Dexeter), Leonard Maguire (Decider Draith), James Bree (Decider Nefred), June Page (Keara), Alan Rowe (Garif), Bernard Padden (Tylos), Andrew Forbes (Omril), Adrian Gibbs (Rysik), Barney Lawrence (Marshman), Norman Bacon (Marshchild)
The TARDIS becomes caught in a Charged Vacuum Emboitment, a hole in the fabric of space, and is drawn into E-Space, a smaller universe which coexists with our own.

The first planet the Doctor and Romana arrive on is Alzarius, a seemingly idyllic world of flora and fauna supporting a happy and contented people. The Terradonians are misplaced from their own world as their Starliner crashed on Alzarius fifty years before. They live on the planet now, whilst all the time making repairs to the ship in readiness to leave.

The colony is run by three Deciders - Exmon Draith, Ragen Nefred and Jaynis Garif - who periodically check on the people living outside the ship. There is also a small group of Outlers, youngsters led by Varsh who have rebelled against the elders of the colony and who live apart from the others in a cave, stealing what little they need.

The arrival of the Doctor and Romana coincides with Mistfall, a periodic event spoken about in the Terradonians' history, when the normally harmless river-fruit they harvest hatch venomous spiders and misshapen monsters rise from the misty marshes to attack the colony.

The Deciders evacuate everyone back to the Starliner as the Marshmen arise and begin to advance on the colony.

It is the Doctor who works out the truth: the Terradonians all died when they first arrived, and the people who now think of themselves as Terradonians are in fact evolved Marshmen. Mistfall is just a part of the planet's ecological process, and the spiders and attacking Marshmen will eventually evolve into the humanoids who now run the ship. He further deduces that the ship has been ready for take off for years; the problem is that none of the Deciders will face up to the awful knowledge that they simply don't know how to leave.

With the Doctor's help, the humanoid Alzarians leave the planet in the Starliner. Adric, one of the Outlers, stows away on board the TARDIS rather than leave with his people.

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.

Production Team
Alex Bridcut (Assistant Floor Manager), Lynn Richards (Assistant Floor Manager), Amy Roberts (Costumes), Janet Budden (Designer), Barry Letts (Executive Producer), Max Samett (Film Cameraman), Mike Houghton (Film Editor), Paddy Kingsland (Incidental Music), Frances Needham (Make-Up), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Susan Box (Production Assistant), Angela Smith (Production Unit Manager), Christopher H. Bidmead (Script Editor), Dick Mills (Special Sounds), Mike Jefferies (Studio Lighting), John Holmes (Studio Sound), Peter Howell (Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer (Title Music), John Brace (Visual Effects)
Story Notes
Full Circle kicked off what was to be a trilogy of stories set in E-Space. The story introduced the character of Adric, played by Matthew Waterhouse, who also was a Doctor Who fan; Waterhouse taped "State of Decay" prior to this, though the character is introduced here. The writer, Andrew Smith, was a 19-year old fan of Doctor Who who finally got the opportunity to write for it. The working title was "The Planet that Slept." There is no voice credit for K9 on Part Three as he does not speak in this episode. Adric's name was suggested by script editor Christopher H Bidmead as an anagram of that of eminent physicist P.A.M. Dirac, who in 1930 was the first to predict the existence of antimatter.
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 "Full Circle" as part of “The E-Space Trilogy Boxed Set” (along with "State of Decay" and "Warriors' Gate") in the UK [October 1997] and Australia/New Zealand [November 1997] (boxed set: BBC catalog #6229; individual tape: BBC catalog #6230), US/Canada [July 1998] (WHV catalog #E1421), episodic format, photomontage cover. Story images were released as a set of three Viewmaster reels by the Gaf Corporation.
Audio release
A music suite from the story was released on "Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop Volume 4: Meglos and Full Circle" arranged by Mark Ayres, released by BBC Music (2002).
In Print
Novelised as “Doctor Who – Full Circle” by Andrew Smith (Target #26), first released in 1982 with cover art by Andrew Skilleter. Released in hardcover in 1982. Original version included as part of the “Second Doctor Who Gift Set” released in 1982.
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.