Tuesday 22 May 2012

547 State of Decay Part Four

EPISODE: State of Decay Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 13 December 1980
WRITER: Terrance Dicks
DIRECTOR: Peter Moffatt
SCRIPT EDITOR: Christopher H. Bidmead
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 5.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The E-Space Trilogy (Full Circle / State of Decay / Warrior's Gate)

Aukon restrains Zargo & Camilla from drinking Adric & Romana's blood. The Doctor persuades the rebels to help him and with K-9 they storm the castle. As the three who rule prepare to sacrifice Romana, The Doctor launches one of the castle's scoutships which falls back to the ground, piercing the great vampire through the heart and killing it. Zargo, Camilla & Aukon, freed from their master's powers, age rapidly and crumble away into dust. The Doctor promises to take Adric home to Starliner.

Lots of Tom, lots of the Vampires hamming it up. Not a bad episode at all..... with the big exception of the Scout Ship model sequence: you watch it turning round and you hold your head in your hands and weep.

Over the years I've struggled a bit with State of Decay but watching it now it's easily the most improved Tom Baker story over my expectations. It's quite interesting watching it as it's effectively a Holmes era script but done in the 80s. You sit there thinking "What would be different if it was filmed three years earlier and with Leela instead of K-9 & Romana"?

State of Decay was novelised in 1982 by it's author Terrance Dicks. Uniquely State of Decay was released on audio cassette as a story read by Tom Baker. I got a copy of it as a youngster and was very disappointed that it wasn't the audio of the story (which I didn't see) and didn't have the Doctor Who theme on it. The E-Space Trilogy, containing Full Circle, State of Decay & Warriors' Gate, was released on video in 1997 and on DVD on 26th January 2009.

Following this episode's broadcast we get 2 weeks without Doctor Who over the Christmas period with the show returning on 3rd January 1981.

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