OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 515
STORY NUMBER: 106
TRANSMITTED: 03 November 1979
WRITER: David Fisher
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Douglas Adams
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
RATINGS: 10.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Creature from the Pit
The Doctor survives by clinging to a ledge, breaking his fall, before falling the remaining way to the pit's floor. Adrasta plans to put Romana to work on the shell and to break K-9 up for the metal that forms his construction. The Doctor encounters the creature in the pit, a huge glowing green monster. Romana convinces Adrasta that the knowledge she needs is in K-9. In the Pit the Doctor encounters Organon, an astrologer that Adrasta threw into the pit for telling her that she would have visitors from beyond the stars, the Doctor deducing that Adrasta is a afraid of alien visitors. The Bandits plan to attack the palace to steal the metal contained within. Organon tells the Doctor how Adrasta owns the only metal mine on the planet and thus has a monopoly. Romana attempts to escape but gets no further than the throne room. The Doctor wonders how the creature got in the pit. Adrasta interrogates Romana and plans to use the Tardis to journey to the stars to get more metal. She then decides to use K-9 to kill something huge which is now superfluous. Assessing a secret corridor they enter the mines. The Doctor & Organon stumble into the huge chamber containing the creature which reaches out and consumes the Doctor.....
There's some good ideas bubbling away in the background of this one: the female dominated society and the metal shortage, but they're not quite making it onto the screen OK. Worst of all is the creature itself, a big green blob with an extremely phalic looking appendage. Wait till you see what Tom does to that later! Years later the special effects team still recall this story will a distinct lack of fondness as recounted in some detail on the Team Erato documentary on The Creature from the Pit DVD.
I note we have a failed escape attempt in this episode, as Romana discusses her escape plan with K-9 and then it fails. An obvious time waster!
This is Tom Baker's 134th episode of Doctor Who which brings him equal with William Hartnell.