Wednesday, 1 February 2023

594 Mawdryn Undead Part One

EPISODE: Mawdryn Undead: Part One
TRANSMITTED: Tuesday 01 February 1983
WRITER: Peter Grimwade
DIRECTOR: Peter Moffatt
PRODUCER: John Nathan-Turner
RATINGS: 6.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Black Guardian Trilogy: Mawdryn Undead / Terminus / Enlightenment

"In thirty years of soldiering, I've never encountered such destructive power as I have seen displayed here and now by the British schoolboy!"

Schoolboys Turlough & Ibbotson "borrow" a vintage Humber belonging to one of their Schoolmasters' and take it for a spin becoming involved in a road accident. Turlough gazes down on the scene in a dream like state where he is joined by the Black Guardian, who bargains with him. For Turlough to achieve his desire and leave Earth he must kill the Doctor..... The damage to the car is surveyed by it's owner, an ex-army officer Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart. Turlough is taken to Brandon School's sickbay where he finds a crystal in his jacket pocket. The Tardis is drawn off course by a warp ellipse and in order to avoid collision with a huge spaceship the Doctor is forced to materialise inside it and the Tardis crew explore their opulent surroundings. Turlough escapes from the sickbay and, directed by the Black Guardian through the crystal, walks towards the obelisk on a nearby hill accompanied by Ibbotson where he finds a disguised Transmat capsule that takes him to the ship where he finds his way to the Tardis and meets the Doctor, Nyssa & Tegan. Ibbotson fetches the Brigadier, who is dismissive of the story saying that "a solid object just can't de-materialise!" The Doctor has determined that the Transmit is interfering with the Tardis' ability to leave so he & Turlough journey to Earth in the Transmat capsule to deactivate the Transmat link there and sets the Tardis to follow them when it is free. As he works Turlough seizes a stone and prepares to strike the Doctor's head with it.....

Ah that's much more like it. A mysterious spaceship, a schoolboy who wants to leave Earth to get home in league with the Black Guardian and a Brigadier claiming that things don't just dematerialise. And if anyone knows that they do it should be this Brigadier, yes our old friend Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is back for the first time since 1975's Terror of the Zygons and teaching in a boy's public school, not in itself an unusual role for an ex army officer. Judging by his choice of car, his time spent with the Doctor had some effect on him. Of course if you'd not seen the Brigadier all those years ago you'd have probably seen him a year and a bit previously when The Three Doctors was repeated as part of the Five Faces of Doctor Who. It's funny how that one repeat has so much influence over Doctor Who at this point, that's the third time I've cited it in two weeks! We ain't done with it yet either oh no..... Back too is the Black Guardian who we last saw swearing vengeance on the Doctor at the end of 1979's The Armageddon Factor for preventing the Key To Time from falling into th Black Guardian's hands. Judging by the out of body experience that Turlough has, he's now running a rave party! Though why he has a dead bird on his head is never revealed.....

Thankfully Nyssa gets a new costume this episode. Yes it looks like something that the female crew members might have worn in Blake's 7 season 4, but it's a big improvement on the previous one!

Reprising their roles as the Brigadier & Black Guardian are Nicholas Courtney and Valentine Dyall respectively.

1a Brigadier 1b Black Guardian

We've seen two of the school staff before as well. Angus MacKay, playing the Headmaster, was the first Borusa in The Deadly Assassin. His diaries are available online at and make a very interesting read in places!

1c Headmaster 1d Runciman

Roger Hammond, Dr Runciman, was Francis Bacon in The Chase.

Mark Strickson, introduced here as Turlough, is another Who actor with hospital soap Angels as prior form on his CV. Born in 1959, so aged 23 at the time of filming, he's possibly slightly too old to be playing a schoolboy. However I suppose he could be a particularly old looking sixth former.

1e Turlough 1f Ibbotson

The actor playing Ibbotson, Stephen Garlick, was also born in 6th April 1959 so the illusion works while they're on screen together but unfortunately several of the background artists are obviously of proper school age and that breaks the illusion somewhat. Garlick is most famous for playing Dan, one of the two human children, in the 1971 Look and Read story "The Boy from Space". He seemed to have got stuck playing schoolboys: here he is playing John Standen in the 1982 Minder episode The Son Also Rises:! He'd also been in The Tomorrow People playing Kwann in all four episodes of the fifth season story Into The Unknown and voices Jen in The Dark Crystal.

Public schoolboys driving vintage cars around. Ring bells from anywhere? Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy contains a sequence of the schoolboys driving Jim Prideaux's Alvis at the prep school where Prideaux is teaching. Writer Peter Grimwade worked on the BBC TV Version as a Production Assistant. It may well have influenced his casting of both Beryl Reid & Alec Sabin in Earthshock: could it now be influencing the script of this story?

Both Turlough and Ibbotson are stunt doubled during this episode in I suspect the sequence where the car is being driven Mark Strickson/Turlough was stunt doubled by Nick Gillard, the stunt arranger on this story, who also joint stunt arranges Silver Nemesis with .... we'll come onto who with in a moment! In a long career he worked on The Professionals, Agatha Christie's Poirot, and the 1990s version of The Tomorrow People. In film he worked on the Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me, For Your Eyes Only, The Living Daylights, GoldenEye & Tomorrow Never Dies, Aliens & Alien 3, Superman, Superman II & Superman III, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Krull, Legend, Labyrinth & Willow, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, Interview with the Vampire, the 1990s Judge Dredd film, Waterworld, Notting Hill and Sleepy Hollow. But he's probably best known for his sword and stunt work on Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace, Star Wars: Episode IIL Attack of the Clones & Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

The Stunt Double for Ibbotson/Stephen Garlick is Paul Heasman who was a Kinda in Kinda & a Plasmaton in Time Flight. He returns as Stunt Double for The Doctor & Stuntman/Cyberman in Silver Nemesis, which he was the other Stunt Arranger for along with Nick Gillard, Stuntmen/Haemovores in Curse of Fenric and was Stunt Arranger for Ghost Light & Survival. In Blake's 7 he was a Guard in Traitor and in Red Dwarf he did stunts on Backwards and Terrorform.

Stuntmen1 cDriver

The very briefly seen Van Driver is also a stuntman: Mark McBride. He'd worked as a stunt double on The Avengers episodes My Wildest Dream & You'll Catch Your Death, was a Man in Pub and did stunts for Regan, the Armchair Cinema pilot for The Sweeney. He also did stunts on The Pink Panther Strikes Again, Curse of the Pink Panther & Son of the Pink Panther, The Spy Who Loved Me & A View to a Kill, The Professionals Hunter/Hunted, Superman & Superman II, Willow, Batman and The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles

Stuntmen as both drivers and the passenger: I wonder if something more elaborate was intended to be shown onscreen for the crash?

And speaking of elaborate.... The aftermath of the crash caught my eye. We've got two vehicles, one a vintage car on it's side and the other a police car which is only in this scene. There's an aerial shot. Plus a large portion of the extras for this episode are only in this scene and at most a couple of shots!


Playing the Police Sergeant is our old friend John Cannon. In the aerial shot you can see the Sergeant's stripes on his arm, he's the police officer by the car. Cannon had been a Miner in Monster of Peladon, Elgin in Hand of Fear, a Passerby in Talons of Weng Chiang, a member of the Audience/Stagehands/Doorman (Fred) in Talons of Weng Chiang, a Trog in Underworld, a Technician in the Pirate Planet, a Guard in The Armageddon Factor, a Guard in Creature from the Pit, would have been the Executioner in Shada and was a Security Guard in Timeflight. He returns as the Shadow Helmsman in Enlightenment and a Retainer in King's Demons. In Blake's 7 he's a Federation Trooper in Project Avalon, Cevedic's Heavy in Gambit, a Labourer in The Harvest of Kairos and a Federation Trooper in Children of Auron. In Moonbase 3 he's a Technician in Castor and Pollux and in I, Claudius he's the Cake Ship slave in - A Touch of Murder. He's in Porridge twice: he's a Prisoner in A Night In and No Way Out. In The Sweeney he's in Supersnout as a Constable and Thou Shalt Not Kill as a Policeman while in The Professionals he's Huey in It's Only a Beautiful Picture. In The Empire Strikes Back he's a Holographic Imperial Officer while in Beau Geste he played a Legionnaire.

His Police Constable Robert Smythe had been a Guard in Invasion of Time, a Guard in Creature from the Pit, a Citizen in Full Circle and one of the crowd in the Caves in Snakedance. He returns as a Citizen/Unbeliever in Planet of Fire, a Gunruner in Caves of Androzani, a Jacondan Guard in The Twin Dilemma, a Guard in Vengeance on Varos, He'd been in Blake's 7 as a Federation Trooper in Weapon, a Crimo in Hostage, a Albian Rebel / Federation Trooper in Countdown, a Federation Trooper in Voice from the Past, a Customer / Gambler in Gambit and a Federation Trooper / Rebel in Rumours of Death. In Red Dwarf he plays Hermann Goering in Meltdown. There's a pair of Farm Labourers at the bottom right of the overhead shot. I can't find Bill Felton elsewhere in Doctor Who but Bill Hughes had been a Prison Guard & Prisoner in The War Games, a UNIT Soldier in Claws of Axos, a Passerby & Audience Member/Stagehand in Talons of Weng Chiang, a Guard in The Pirate Planet and a Technician in the Armageddon Factor.

Accident 2

Being interviewed by the Police Constable to the left of both shots of the accident is a Middle-aged Lady played Judy Roger. A Middle-aged Man played by Dennis Jennings can be seen to the right of the overhead shot talking to one of the two schoolmasters present.

One of the School Masters is Mark Allington who had worked on the show since the sixties first appearing as a Male Guardian in The Ark then a Settler in The Gunfighters and, after a considerable gap, a Unit Soldier in The Android Invasion then after another smaller gap a Castrovalvan Warrior in Castrovalva and one of the Marketplace Crowd in Snakedance. In Blake's 7 he is a Star One Technician in Star One and in Fawlty Towers he's a Hotel Guest in The Wedding Party.

The other teacher is long time extra Les Conrad who had been a Tavern Customer in The Massacre, a Unit Soldier in The Invasion, a Pirate in The Space Pirates, a 1862 Union Soldier and an Alien Guard in The War Games, a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians, a UNIT Soldier, Control Room Assistant & Policeman in The Ambassadors of Death, a RSF soldier in Inferno, a UNIT soldier again in Terror of the Autons, a Prisoner & Military Policeman in The Mind of Evil, a Colonist in The Colony in Space, a UNIT Soldier in Time Monster, a Technician/Guard/Citizen in Pirate Planet and a Policeman in Timeflight. He goes on to play a Gunrunner in Caves of Androzani, a Jacondan Guard in The Twin Dilemma, which also features his twin sons as the Sylvest twins, and a guard in Vengeance on Varos. He'd been a British Soldier in The Andromeda Breakthrough: Gale Warning, a man in Doomwatch: Burial at Sea, appears in the Blake's 7 episode Gold as a Space Princess Guard/Passenger, is a soldier in The Day of the Triffids and is a Legionnaire in the Douglas Camfield helmed classic serial of Beau Geste.

The other member of school staff seen in this episode is the Matron played by Sheila Gill.

Matron Boys

As it's a boys school there's a few younger extras playing schoolboys. We'll start with the two in the corridor later in the episode as The Brigadier approached the Headmaster's office. The one in the darker jacket closer the door is Wayne Norman, who's only in the studio sequences in this episode but appears in a different role next episode. His friend is Paul Ryan whose lighter coloured jacket makes him easy to spot when he also appears on location at the start of the episode. He returns as a retainer in The King's Demons.

Boys OutsideRunners

Right onto the Schoolboys who are outside on film either running, or gathered round the car.

Chris Bradshaw was a Kinda in Kinda and the Terileptil in Time Flight. He returns as a Lazar in Terminus and a Young Karfelon in Timelash. In Blake's 7 he is a Passenger in Gold.

Miles Ross was previously Trooper Jones in Earthshock. He returns as a 1983 Schoolboy in Mawdryn Undead, one of both Wrack's & Striker's Deck Crews in Enlightenment, a Retainer in King's Demons and an orderly in Frontios. His brother Adam Ross is also present and again returns as a a Retainer in King's Demons. They are both brothers of Jonathan Ross. There are two very similar looking blond haired boys, one wearing a hat, towards the back left of the group shots round the car: I suspect these are the Ross Brothers.

c Ross 2 c Ross1

John Hamilton Russell return as a Vanir in Terminus & an Orderly in Frontios.

Colin Forsyth is also, like the Ross brothers, a Retainer in King's Demons

Russell Brook come back as a Man at Arms in King's Demons, one of the Sea Base Personnel in Warriors of the Deep and a Lakertyan in Time and the Rani. Brook has a long list of credits of which I've seen nearly all of them! He was a Train Passenger in Chariots of Fire, a German Soldier in Raiders of the Lost Ark, a Red X-wing Pilot in Return of the Jedi, a Soviet Solider in Octopussy, Donald White in Superman III, a Red Slayer / Wedding Guest in Krull, a Man dancing at party in One Enchanted Evening, an episode of No Place Like Home which we looked at during Snakedance, a diner in A View to a Kill, the waiter in the Hi-de-Hi! episode Spaghetti Galore, a reporter in Little Shop of Horrors (film), a Punter in Bar in Who Framed Roger Rabbit, a British Solider in Goodbyeee, the final episode of Blackadder Goes Forth and a Police Officer in the One Foot in the Grave episode Alive and Buried.

Oscar Peck is making his Doctor Who debut but can be previously seen in the first Fawlty Towers episode A Touch of Class he plays Master Wareing. He returns as a worker/native in the first four episodes of Trial of a Timelord, a Court Guard in the last six episodes of Trial of a Timelord and a Lakertyan in Time and the Rani.

One of the Schoolboys on Film is a David Cole but the problem here is there are probably 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 45, is likely to have still been working at this time.

During the late 70s and early 80s period there's a supporting artist under this name playing a Crewman in Nightmare of Eden, a Student in Shada, a Pangol Army member in The Leisure Hive, a Savant in Meglos, a Citizen in Full Circle, a Kinda Tribesman in Kinda, a Student in Arc of Infinty, 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 Gunfghters but The Student in Arc of Infinity and 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!

I'm unable to find anything else Glen Paul, Paul Lawrence & Piers Keating have been in.

We mentioned that Stephen Garlick played Dan, one of the two human children, in the 1971 Look and Read story "The Boy from Outer Space" which I remember vividly seeing odd bits off when I was a child and off school ill. The cast list of this reveals several other who've been in Doctor Who: Dan's sister Helen was played by Sylvestra Le Touzel (b 1958) who was one of the children in The Mind Robber. The Thin Space Man was John Woodnutt (Spearhead from Space: Hibbert, Frontier in Space: Draconian Emperor, Terror of the Zygons:Broton/His Grace, the Duke of Forgill and The Keeper of Traken: Seron) while the Father of Peep Peep, the Boy from Outer Space of the title, was played by Gabriel Woolf (The Pyramids of Mars: Sutekh & The Impossible Planet/The Satan Pit: The Beast). The Boy From Space is now available on DVD.

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