OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 537
STORY NUMBER: 111
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 04 October 1980
WRITER: John Flanagan and Andrew McCulloch
DIRECTOR: Terence Dudley
SCRIPT EDITOR: Christopher H. Bidmead
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 4.2 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Meglos
"Oh blast, here we go again!"
While the Doctor is trapped in the Chronic Hysterisis, Meglos, impersonating the Doctor, is taken to Tigella by General Grugger & steals the Dodecahedron by shrinking it in size. The Doctor & Romana break out of the time loop by performing the actions in the loop early. They arrive on Tigella, but become separated with Romana attacked by the local plant life. The Doctor narrowly misses the departing Meglos and is arrested for stealing the Dodecahedron. Romana is captured by the Gaztaks and Lieutenant Brotadac orders her death.
Oh deary me, that was bad. The Doctor & Romana spend half the episode repeating the same actions which we saw a fair few time last episode! The escape from the chronic hysterisis makes no senses whatsoever. Then it's wander about in the jungle time and oh look the Doctor's been mistaken for his doppelgänger that's just stolen something.
My head is in my hands!
Bill Fraser plays General Grugger, reputedly only taking the role because he was allowed to kick K-9. He'll be back as Bill Pollock in K-9 & Company: A Girl's Best Friend where he doesn't get to kick the tin dog! He found fame on television playing CSM Claude Snudge in The Army Game, alongside First Doctor William Hartnell, and then reprised the character in the spin-off Bootsie and Snudge. Viewers of my age will remember him as Bert Baxter in The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole and it's sequel The Growing Pains of Adrian Mole. I've also seen him in The Professionals as Col. Summerville in Not a Very Civil Civil Servant.
Frederick Treves plays Lieutenant Brotadac. Oddly in the run up to writing this I'd spotted him on the TV twice in a few weeks in repeats of the Miss Marple mystery Sleeping Murder, where he plays Doctor James Kennedy, and the Inspector Morse story The Silent World of Nicholas Quinn where he's the Dean of Lonsdale College. But in a long career he's been regularly in work so seeing him is not really a surprise. He was in A for Andromeda as Captain Lovell in The Machine and The Andromeda Breakthrough as a RAF Officer in Cold Front. In Doomwatch he plays Dr. Henry Fane in The Inquest which you can see on The Doomwatch DVD. He was in The Sweeney TV series playing Beemax in Visiting Fireman and the Sweeney 2 film where he played McKyle, He has a recurring role as Guy Howard, Chief of Defence Staff in Yes Prime Minister where he can be seen in the episodes The Grand Design and Man Overboard.
The rest of the Gazteks are:
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 after which he was seen as a Foamasi in The Leisure Hive. He returns as 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.
Bruce Callender had previously been a Movellan/Slave in Destiny of the Daleks and a Louvre Guard in City of Death. He returns as an Aborigine in Four to Doomsday He'd been in Blake's 7 as an Adapted Helot in Traitor.
Ranjit Nakara was a Holidaymaker in The Leisure Hive. He returns as a Male Escapee & Duplication Body in Resurrection of the Daleks, and a Resistance Fighters/Alphan in Trial of a Timelord: Mindwarp.
Tony Alleff might be the Egyptian Labourers Tony Alless in Pyramids of Mars: I can see the ff and ss being an easily confused spelling. Neither has another appearance. He's in The Young Ones: Oil as Saudi King's aide and Never Say Never Again as the Auctioneer.
John Holland I can't find an IMDB credit for but he returns as an Edwardian Sailor in Enlightenment and a Patrons at Las Cadenas in The Two Doctors.
The poor unnamed Earthling possessed by Meglos is played by Christopher Owen who also voices Meglos' plant form. His first credited TV role on IMDB is as a Manservant in the missing Out of the Unknown episode Walk's End. He's in The Day of the Triffids as the Vicar in episode 5. He plays McKenzie in House of Cards and it's sequel To Play the King and is in the Inspector Morse episode Dead on Time as a Solicitor.
The Tigellan Guard that finds the Doctor is our old friend Harry Fielder. He had appeared twice with the Second Doctor Patrick Troughton as a Guards in the European Zone in Enemy of the World, returning as a Wheel Crewmember in Wheel in Space. His one appearance with Jon Pertwee is as a Guard in Pertwee's last story Planet of Spiders and He appears much more regularly with Tom Baker's Doctor starting a a Vogan in Revenge of the Cybermen after which he gets a run of credited appearances as a Guard in Seeds of Doom, a Guard in Deadly Assassin and the Second Assassin in Face of Evil, before returning to the supporting artists as a Titan Base Crewman in Invisible Enemy and a Leviathan Guard in Ribos Operation. He's credited again as a Guard in The Armageddon Factor. He returns as a Tigellan in Meglos and a Security Guard in Castrovalva. He was also a regular extra in Blake's 7 appearing as an Armed Crewman in Space Fall & Cygnus Alpha, a Scavenger in Deliverance and a Federation Trooper in Weapon, Trial, Voice from the Past, Children of Auron, Games, Warlord & Blake. From my youth I remember him as the security guard in CBTV but in a long career he's been in everything!
One of the actors playing a Savant 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 and indeed is probably the Savant here. But 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!