OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 542
STORY NUMBER: 112
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 08 November 1980
WRITER: Andrew Smith
DIRECTOR: Peter Grimwade
SCRIPT EDITOR: Christopher H. Bidmead
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 5.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy (Full Circle / State of Decay / Warrior's Gate)
The Marshmen advance on the Starliner. The Doctor becomes interested in the maintenance work being carried out there. The Tardis materialises on the Starliner bearing the missing outlers. The Doctor takes Adric and the Tardis back to the cave where they collect a dazed Romana, the damaged K-9 and a dead spider. Dexeter wishes to experiment on captured Marshman. The Outlers are put to work on maintenance duty. The Tardis returns to the Starliner just as Dexeter is about to dissect it. In the Tardis an infected Romana detects it's pain and screams as the creature breaks it's bonds going on a rampage and killing Dexeter before it is accidentally electrocuted. The enraged Doctor reveals to Login that the starliner is ready to take off but Nefred denies they have procrastinated: they are merely missing the knowledge of how to fly the ship. The Doctor & Login examine the spiders and the Doctor recognises the sample from somewhere. Romana escapes from the Tardis descending to the depths of the Starliner where she opens the escape hatches admitting the Marshmen to the ship.
Hmmmm, as a story this is progressing quite nicely but there's something not quite right about what's going on..... and I think it's the lack of Doctor. There's not much of him in the last two episodes. What there is is good but we keep cutting to the Outlers who I couldn't give a stuff about and Romana who's getting increasingly annoying!
Playing Login is George Baker who has been in absolutely everything you'll have ever seen, but this is his first and only Doctor Who appearance. Decider Nefred is James Bree who was the Security Chief in The War Games and will b the Keeper of the Matrix in Trial of a Time Lord 13 & 14: The Ultimate Foe. This is the last appearance in Doctor Who by Alan Rowe, who plays Garif: he was previously in The Moonbase as Dr. Evans and Space Control voice, The Time Warrior as Edward of Wessex and Horror of Fang Rock as James Skinsale. Adrian Gibbs, playing Rysik (who I assume is one of the humanoids living in the Starliner) will be the Watcher in Logopolis while one of the Marshmen, Barney Lawrence, is making his first appearance (and his only credited one) going on to play a guard in State of Decay (uncredited & filmed before this), a Foster in The Keeper of Traken (uncredited), an Android in Earthshock (uncredited) and a seabase guard in Warriors of the Deep (uncredited). Finally Richard Willis, Adric's older brother Varsh, has a link to another Doctor Who cast member: he was the third husband of Kate O'Mara (The Rani).