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Episode Guide
Production Code: 5Z
Season 19, Story Number 117
Directed by Fiona Cumming

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

Part One
04 January 1982 | 24'14" | 9.1
Part Two
05 January 1982 | 24'13" | 8.6
Part Three
11 January 1982 | 23'35" | 10.2
Part Four
12 January 1982 | 24'12" | 10.4
Archive Status: All four episodes exist as PAL 2” colour videotape, always held by the BBC’s Film and Videotape Library.
Peter Davison (The Doctor), Matthew Waterhouse (Adric), Sarah Sutton (Nyssa), Janet Fielding (Tegan Jovanka), Anthony Ainley (The Master / Portreeve), Frank Wylie (Ruther), Derek Waring (Shardovan), Michael Sheard (Mergrave), Dallas Cavell (Head of Security), Souska John (Child)
Chased by the Pharos Project’s security chief (Dallas Cavell) and two guards (Harry Fielder, Kenneth Lawrie), Nyssa, Tegan and Adric help the newly regenerated Doctor towards the TARDIS. The Doctor collapses and they are caught as a Sussex Area Health Authority ambulance drives up. The ambulancemen (David Ellis [not seen on screen], Derek Matt, Peter Roy) load the Doctor into the back of the vehicle. While Adric distracts the guards, Tegan and Nyssa drive off in the ambulance. They arrive at the TARDIS and get the Doctor inside. Watching on the TARDIS’s monitor, Nyssa sees the Master’s TARDIS appear, still in the shape of an ionic column. Force rays are emitted from it which knock everyone out. Then it dematerialises leaving Adric behind. Nyssa and Tegan help Adric into the Doctor’s TARDIS.

The Doctor is wandering the TARDIS’s corridors and comes across a room full of cricket paraphernalia. He changes his clothes into cricketing whites and an Edwardian beige coat and a hat that he finds hanging by a mirror outside the room. His regeneration is, however, failing and he enlists Nyssa’s and Tegan’s help to find the zero room, described as a neutral environment cut off from the rest of the universe.

Once inside the zero room, the Doctor levitates and settles down to sleep. Suddenly an image of Adric appears on the wall. He warns Nyssa and Tegan that they are plunging into a trap.

The trap has been set by the Master who is holding the real Adric captive while a false image of the boy is loose on the TARDIS. The image has sent the ship plunging back to Event One – the hydrogen in-rush that preceded the big bang at the creation of the universe. The Doctor recovers sufficiently to show Tegan how to eject rooms from the TARDIS and thus create thrust which will push them away from the explosion. She jettisons the rooms and they escape unscathed. Unfortunately, one of the jettisoned rooms was the zero room and all that remain of the stable environment are the doors. Nyssa fashions these into a coffin-like casket in which to carry the Doctor.

Tegan meanwhile has found an entry in the TARDIS data bank describing the ‘dwellings of simplicity’ on Castrovalva, a place that has properties similar to those of the missing zero room. It is a small planet of the Phylox Series in Andromeda.

Arriving on the planet, Nyssa and Tegan transport the Doctor towards the dwellings, which are on top of a massive cliff. There they meet Ruther (Frank Wylie), Mergrave (Michael Sheard) and Shardovan (Derek Waring) who offer them rooms and hospitality. They also meet the Portreeve, a person of importance and wisdom who seems to know who the Doctor is, despite the fact that the Doctor isn’t sure himself.

The Portreeve is, in fact, the Master (Anthony Ainley), who has engineered Castrovalva using Adric’s skill at mathematics and the power of block transfer computations. The entire place is a trap for the Doctor, who eventually realises the deception through study of the Castrovalvan history books, which are 500 years old but tell the planet’s history up to the present day.

The Doctor reveals the trapped Adric behind an apparently magical tapestry which shows changing images. The boy is held in a web of hadron power lines but Shardovan, exercising his free will, swings down on a chandelier and smashes the web. As Castrovalva starts to fold in on itself, the Master tries to escape in his TARDIS, now disguised as an ornamental fireplace, but cannot. The Doctor, Nyssa and Tegan are led to safety by a recovered Adric who, as the creator of the world, can see the way out. Mergrave stays behind to impede the Master’s escape.

The doors close behind the Doctor, Tegan, Nyssa and Adric, trapping the Master beneath a pile of fighting, struggling Castrovalvans.

The quartet of time travellers return to the TARDIS where the Doctor places a stick of Castrovalvan celery on his coat lapel.

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

Production Team
Renny Tasker (Assistant Floor Manager), Odile Dicks-Mireaux (Costumes), Janet Budden (Designer), John Baker (Film Cameraman), Mike Houghton (Film Editor), Robin Jackman (Film Editor), Paddy Kingsland (Incidental Music), Marion Richards (Make-Up), John Nathan-Turner (Producer), Olivia Cripps (Production Assistant), Angela Smith (Production Associate), Eric Saward (Script Editor), Dick Mills (Special Sounds), Ron Bristow (Studio Lighting), Laurie Taylor (Studio Sound), Peter Howell (Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Simon McDonald (Visual Effects)
Story Notes
The rather sublime debut of new Doctor, Peter Davison, in the wake of the immensely popular Tom Baker, "Castrovalva" is actually a continuation of some storylines from "The Keeper of Traken" and "Logopolis," most notably the third part of a "Master trilogy" with Anthony Ainley. Some of the story was inspired by themes from artist M.C. Escher. This was the first time Doctor Who was not transmitted on a Saturday, but instead a twice-weekly, Monday and Tuesday schedule (later to be switched to other weekdays). It is also the first time that the main character receives the title "The Doctor" rather than "Doctor Who" (or "Dr. Who"). The story begins with a slightly revised version of the ending of "Logopolis" (a reprise of the regeneration sequence) prior to the opening credits; it then features the same version of the credits as in the final season of Tom Baker, with Davison's visage rather than his predecessor's. The story featured several continuity markers including mentions of the Brigadier, Romana and Jamie, the Daleks, the Ice Warriors and the Ogrons, the phrase "Reverse the Polarity of the Neutron Flow," and of course the unravelling of Tom Baker's trademark scarf as the Doctor uses the yarn to guide his way back to the console room. This is the first mention and view of the TARDIS Zero Room, the debut of the fifth Doctor's cricketing outfit, and at the end of the story the Doctor takes a piece of celery and puts it on his lapel (something that would go mostly unexplained until a rather unsatisfying explanation at the end of Davison's run.) Tegan mentions she is from Brisbane. Sound effects for the jungle/forest in parts two, three and four were taken from a BBC effects record and were of a jungle in Sri Lanka at dawn in the year 1945; other sound effects included a canary singing, a Tibetan horn, wind effects and an open fireplace. Anthony Ainley uses the credit "Neil Toynay" (an anagram) to prevent viewer knowledge of the Master's identity, the Portreeve. The working title for the story was "The Visitor," and it was itself a replacement for a story entitled "Project Zeta-Sigma" (or, earlier, Project 4G) by John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch; that story was abandoned late in the production schedule, which required reshuffling of production order so that "Castrovalva" was actually recorded fourth in the season.
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).
DVD release
Due for DVD release as part of "The Return of the Master Boxed Set" in January 2007 in the UK; US/Canada and Australia/New Zealand release dates and DVD details unknown. Boxed set will include "The Keeper of Traken," "Logopolis" and "Castrovalva"
Video release
Released as "Castrovalva" in the UK [March 1992] and Australia/New Zealand [September 1992] (BBC catalog #4737); US/Canada [October 1993] (WHV catalog #E1144); episodic format, cover illustration by Andrew Skilleter.
Audio release
Some incidental music was released on cassette on “The Corridor of Eternity,” by Julian Knott, in October 1990.
In Print
Novelised as "Doctor Who - Castrovalva" by Christopher H. Bidmead (Target #76), first released in 1983 with photomontage cover. Rereleased in 1991 with cover art by Alister Pearson. Also released as a set of three ViewMaster reels (with seven images each) by the Gaf Corporation, entitled “Castrovalva”.
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.
Screencap Descriptions
Descriptions of each story screen capture above right, top to bottom:
  • Peter Davisons debut as the Fifth Doctor
  • the city of Castrovalva
  • the Watcher metamorphoses into the fifth Doctor
  • Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) tries to pull a fast one on the Pharos Project security chief
  • Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) and Tegan (Janet Fielding) are incredulous
  • the Master (Anthony Ainley) revels in his latest plan
  • the Doctor attempts to recall his memories while Adric is confused
  • the Doctors change of wardrobe, to a cricketers outfit
  • the Doctor in the Zero Room, accompanied by Nyssa and Tegan
  • Shardovan (Derek Waring)
  • the city interior
  • Adric in the Masters web
  • Adric in the Masters web
  • Adric in the Masters web
  • Adric in the Masters web