Sunday, 20 September 2020

535 The Leisure Hive: Part Four

EPISODE: The Leisure Hive: Part Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 20 September 1980
WRITER: David Fisher
DIRECTOR: Lovett Bickford
SCRIPT EDITOR: Christopher H. Bidmead
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Leisure Hive

"Guides of Argolis. According to our ancient laws, we, Pangol, declare ourselves your new leader. We are the future, guides of Argolis, for what is about to happen and for the eons that lie beyond, you will grant us your unquestioning obedience!"

The Foamasi with the Doctor unmasks Brock's assistant Klout as a Foamasi too then removes Brock's translation device and uses it to explain that "Brock & Klout" are agents of a Foamasi criminal organisation the West Lodge who have been sabotaging the Hive. The ailing Mena argues with Pangol and falls to the floor. The Doctor works out a way of overcoming the problems with the Generator using the Randomiser from the Tardis. Pangol seizes the Helmet of Theron, the legendary Argolin leader, and goes to the Generator. As he gives a speech The Doctor sneaks into the Tardis, and then the Generator. Hardin & Romana discover Mena is still alive and the Doctor has gone to the Generator. The Foamasi shuttle attempts to take off without permission and Pangol has it destroyed. Pangol dons the helmet and enters the shuttle, creating an army of duplicates of himself. Some of the duplicates take Romana away. Hardin finds Mena as Pangol orders her body disposed of. He takes her dying body to the Generator room. The duplicates reveal themselves to Romana to be duplicates of the de-aged Doctor as they start deteriorate and vanish, leaving Romana with the original. Pangol orders the experiment replicated but Hardin interrupts him placing Mena in Generator. Pangol tries to have her removed but becomes locked in the Generator with her as it runs in overdrive de-aging them. The Foamasi appears and reveals that it wasn't on the shuttle when it takes off and commences discussions with the youthful Mena as the Doctor & Romana leave in The Tardis without the discarded Randomiser.

4a 4b

This episode is a perfect summary of the entire production: it looks superb, it sounds fabulous and it's confusing rubbish. The Foamasi are completely underdeveloped, instead of being the gangster like aliens they were meant. For a plot line that came from almost nowhere last episode Pangol being the child of the generator takes centre stage just as he dives off the deep end!

4c 4e

The ending is rushed, yes you can see (just about) what's going on but there's a few real leaps needed. In the early 80s you'd have probably seen something once (this just about predates common VCR usage) and if you watch something and think "what on earth was going on there?" you're less likely to come back the next week.

4d 4f

I think I might have been tempted to structure the story a little differently, speeding up the slower first half and slowing down the rushed ending. I'd have the Doctor aged by accident at the end of the first episode, then at the end of the second reveal the Foamasi. To conclude the third have Pangol's proclamation that he's the child of the generator. It'd add more pace earlier on, which is too slow, and slow down the end which is rushed.

So at the end of this it's goodbye to David Fisher, who never wrote for Doctor Who again but did do some more writing with his old friend former script editor Anthony Read. This is also the only appearance for director Lovett Bickford rumoured to have hideously overspent on this serial. IMDB reckons he hasn't worked as a director since 1982.

The credited Foamasi is Andrew Lane you can see him in Yes Minister as the Topic Floor manager in Big Brother. He is not the same Andy Lane as wrote the Virgin New Adventures books.

c4F1 c4F2

Also appearing as a Foamasi is James Muir who had previously been a UNIT Soldier in The Time Monster, a UNIT Soldier in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, a Muto in Genesis of the Daleks, a UNIT Soldier in Terror of the Zygons, a Brother in The Masque of Mandragora, a Death Attendant in The Sun Makers, a Technician in The Pirate Planet, a Druid in The Stones of Blood, a Louvre Detective in City of Death and a Mandrel in Nightmare of Eden then would have been the Man Fishing and a Krarg in Shada.He returns as a Gaztak in Meglos and a Tharil in Warriors' Gate, a Police Driver in Black Orchid, a Policeman in Time Flight and an RAF Driver in Remembrance of the Daleks. He'd been in Blake's 7 as a Federation Trooper in Seek-Locate-Destroy, a Phibian in Orac, a Rebel in Pressure Point, a Monster in Dawn of the Gods, a Link in Rescue, a Helot in Traitor, a Pirate Guard in Assassin & a Federation Trooper in Blake. He was the Vl'Hurg Leader in episode 4 of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and was a technician in Moonbase 3: Castor and Pollux. He was in The Professionals as a Police Man in Stakeout and Rentaghost as a Party Guest in the third series' fourth episode.

c4F3 c4F4

Another Foamasi David Korff had been a Mandrel in Nightmare of Eden. while David Bulbeck returns as a Castrovalvan Man in Castrovalva and a Lazar in Terminus.

Pangol's Cloned Army is large and uses a lot of actors:

Leslie Weekes had been a Varga Plant in Mission to the Unknown, a Highlander in The Highlanders, a Prison officer & UNIT Soldier in The Mind of Evil, a UNIT stretcher bearer & SRS Bouncer/Officer/Audience in Robot, multiple Vogans in Revenge of the Cybermen, and a Peasant, a Pikeman, a Traveller, a Drummer & a Brethren Member in The Masque of Mandragora, He return as a Businessmen Passenger in Time-Flight and a Time Lord in Trial of a Time Lord: Mysterious Planet. In Blake's 7 he was a Scientist in Project Avalon and in Doomwatch he was a Man in The Islanders.

One of the actors presents a problem: we believe there are TWO David Coles who have worked on Doctor Who. There is a David Cole who played Billy Clanton in 1966's Gunfighters He was born on April 8, 1936 so, aged 43, is likely to have still been working at this time. During this period fro the late 70s through to the mid 80s there's a supporting artist under this name playing a Crewman in Nightmare of Eden, a Student in Shada, a member of the Pangol Army in The Leisure Hive, a Savant in Meglos, a Citizen in Full Circle, a Kinda in Kinda, a Student in Arc of Infinity, a Schoolboy in Mawdryn Undead, a Mutant in Mawdryn Undead, One of Ranulf's Knights, a Spectator & a Beggar in King's Demons and a Trooper in The Awakening. Some of those could well be the David Cole from the Gunfighters but The Students in Shada & in Arc of Infinity and the Schoolboy in Mawdryn Undead would seem to require a much younger actor and indicate that there is a second one so who knows quite how these roles are split!

Stuart Myers made his debut in the Silurians where he was a Plague Victim, UNIT Soldier & Technician. He then played a Unit Soldier in Ambassadors of Death, an Axon in Claws of Axos, a Draconian in Frontier in Space, the Photographer in Invasion of the Dinosaurs and a Titan Base Crewman in Invisible Enemy He returns as a Foster in Keeper of Traken, a Cricketer in Black Orchid, a Buccaneer Officer in Enlightenment, a Citizen/Unbeliever in Planet of Fire, a Resistance Fighter/Alphan in Trial of a Timelord 5-8 Mindwarp and a Customer/Mercenary in Dragonfire. In Blake's 7 he was a Crewman in Space Fall and in Moonbase 3 a Technician in Outsiders and Castor and Pollux. In Monty Python's Flying Circus he's a Water Rat in Spam and a Tour de France Man in Bed / Man in Computer Hamlet. He plays a briefly seen human Mos Eisley denizen in Star Wars: there's a picture on his Aveleyman entry which also lists an unnamed role in The Sweeney episode Payoff.

Mike Mungarvan had been a Mutant in The Mutants, a Guard in The Face of Evil, a Gallifreyan (IMDB says an Outsider/Outcast Time Lord) in The Invasion of Time, a Druid in The Stones of Blood, a Gracht Guard in The Androids of Tara, a Dalek Operator in Destiny of the Daleks and a Louvre Tourist & Plain Clothes Detective in the Louvre in City of Death He returns as a Citizen in Full Circle, Kilroy in Warriors' Gate, a Kinda Hostage in Kinda, one of Ranulf's Knights in The King's Demons, a Soldier in Resurrection of the Daleks, a Jacondan Guard in The Twin Dilemma, a Resistance Fighter in The Trial of a Time Lord: Mindwarp, the Duty Officer in The Trial of a Time Lord: Terror of the Vervoids, a Lakertyan / Tetrap / Genius in Time and the Rani and a Policeman in Silver Nemesis. He's also been in the new series once as a Passer By in The Christmas Invasion. He was in Blake's 7 as a Prisoner in The Way Back & Space Fall, an Alta Guard in Redemption, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit, a Helot in Traitor and a Rebel Technician / Federation Trooper in Blake, making him one of the few people to appear in the first and last episodes of that series. He was also in Fawlty Towers as a Hospital Orderly in The Germans, The Sweeney as a Constable in Victims and The Professionals as Will in Black Out.

Ray Knight was the UNIT Soldier in the bunker in Robot, a Sorenson Monster in Planet of Evil, a Man in Image of the Fendahl, and a Mentiad in Pirate Planet. He returns as one of Lexa's Deons in Meglos, The Policeman (with bicycle) in Logopolis, a Trion in Planet of Fire, a Guard in Vengeance on Varos, and one of Glitz's Crew in Dragonfire. He appears in Blake's 7 as a Federation Trooper in Countdown, a Rebel in Rumours of Death and a Federation Trooper in Warlord.

Harry Van Engel was a Scientist in Genesis of the Daleks & a Megro Guard in The Sunmakers. In Blake's 7 he was the Disintegrating Dorian in Rescue.

Bruce Guest was a Control Room Technician in Hand of Fear. In Blake's 7 he was a Prisoner in Project Avalon, a Death Squad Trooper in Powerplay, a Technician in Dawn of the Gods, a Bidding Agent in Assassin, and a Mecronian in Games.

Douglas Auchterlonie was one of the Complex Personnel in Hand of Fear.

Bobby James was a a Gallifreyan in Invasion of Time, a Engineer in Creature from the Pit, He returns as a Citizen in Full Circle. He may or may not be the Bob James who was a Villager/Coven Member/UNIT Soldier in The Daemons.

Ray Lavender was the Taran Wood Beast & a Gracht Guard in Androids of Tara, and a Skonnan Elder in Horns of the Nimon. He returns a Snakedancer in Snakedance. In Blake's 7 he's a Guard in City in City at the Edge of the World.

Kevin O’Brien is making his Doctor Who debut. He returns as a Citizen in Full Circle. a Cricketer/Spectator in Black Orchid, Trooper Collis in Earthshock, the Photographer in Time Flight, a Guard in Arc of Infinity, a Vanir in Terminus, one of Ranulf's Knights in Kings Demons, a Crewmember & Soldier in Resurrection of the Daleks, a Guardolier in Timelash, a Resistance Fighter in Trial of a Timelord: Mindwarp and a Court Guard in Trial of a Timelord: Terror of the Vervoids & Ultimate Foe. In Blake's 7 he was a Technician in Dawn of the Gods and he plays a Hell's Angel in Red Dwarf: Meltdown.

Also on debut is Harry Payne He returns as a Citizen in Full Circle, Kinda in Kinda, and a Soldier in Caves of Androzani

Tim Goodings returns as a Citizen in Full Circle and a Crewmember in Earthshock. Attempts to identify him there make us think he has red hair.

Mark Middler returns as a Rebel in State of Decay and a Foster in Keeper of Traken.

Michael Leader. returns as a a Terileptil in The Visitation and a Mutant in Mawdryn Undead and a Man at Arms in King's Demons. In Blake's 7 he was a Technician in Dawn of the Gods and a Rebel in Rumours of Death. In Red Dwarf he's one of the Hooded Horde in Terrorform. He was an extra in Star Wars where he recalled playing a Stormtroooper. He had a recurring role in EastEnders as The Milkman and the 27th December 2016 episode carried an "in memory of" caption following his death.

Geoffrey Whitestone was a Tourist in the Louvre in City of Death He returns as a Tigellan in Meglos, one of the Crowd in the Marketplace in Snakedance and the Court Clerk in Trial of a Timelord: Mysterious Planet. In Blake's 7 he was a Star One Technician in Star One.

In addition to playing members of Pangol's cloned army here, Timothy Oldroyd, Douglas Roe and Reg Woods were all Pangol Body Parts in Part 1: you can see their other appearances listed there. I can't find Eric Hamilton on IMDB or elsewhere in Doctor Who.

Onto the Pangol-Doctors:

Jeff Wayne was a Mentiad in The Pirate Planet, He'll be back as as The Scytheman in The Visitation. a Cyberman in Earthshock and a Trooper in Resurrection of the Daleks. In Blake's 7 he's a Federation Trooper in Blake.

Ridgewell Hawkes had been a Mute in Armageddon Factor, a Bearer in Creature from the Pit and would have been a Space Monster in Shada (Dalek/Sontaran/Zygon) He returns as a Security Guard in Timeflight, a Seabase Guard in Warriors of the Deep and a Gastropod in Twin Dilemma. In Blake's 7 he's a Rebel in Pressure Point, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit, a Goth Guard in The Keeper, a Guard in Dawn of the Gods, a Menial in Ultraworld and a Hommik in Power. In The Professionals he's a Policeman in The Purging of Ci5.

Mike Handley had been a Bearer in Creature from the Pit, He returns as one of Wrack's Deck Crew and one of Striker's Deck Crew 1 in Enlightenment

In addition to playing Pangol Doctors in this episode Derek Chafer, David Rolfe and Roy Seeley all played Doctor Body parts in part 1: see there for their credits.

Finally Baby Pangol is played by Alys Dyer. She was booked for Full Circle but not used but returns as a Child in Trial of a Timelord: Mysterious Planet with Lucy Dyer - is that her sister?

The making of this story was covered in the book A Day in the Life of a TV Producer, which may not be a 100% accurate record of a day, showing location & studio filming on the same day plus the producer approving merchandise which had been out for several years previously!

The Leisure Hive was novelised by it's author in 1982. I can remember being given it as a present for either Christmas or Birthday and being decidedly unimpressed. I may give it another go to see if it's as bad as I remember. It was released on video in January 1997 and on DVD on 5th July 2004. The music has been released on CD, but there's an isolated score on the DVD that should now render this redundant. And the DVD is cheaper :-)

Doctor Who Season 18, including The Leisure Hive, was released on Blu-Ray on 18th March 2019.

No comments:

Post a Comment