Doctor Who: Season 24, Episode 12

Dragonfire: Part One (23 Nov. 1987)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Reviews: 1 user | 6 critic

In Iceworld, a trading port on the dark side of planet Svartos, the Doctor chances across Sabalom Glitz and joins him on a treasure hunt in the frozen caverns of the planet where a dragon ... See full summary »



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Title: Dragonfire: Part One (23 Nov 1987)

Dragonfire: Part One (23 Nov 1987) on IMDb 6.8/10

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bonnie Langford ...
Tony Selby ...
Edward Peel ...
Ian MacKenzie ...
Stuart Organ ...
Sean Blowers ...
Nigel Miles-Thomas ...
Leslie Meadows ...
Lynn Gardner ...
Announcer (voice)


In Iceworld, a trading port on the dark side of planet Svartos, the Doctor chances across Sabalom Glitz and joins him on a treasure hunt in the frozen caverns of the planet where a dragon is rumored to resides. Meanwhile Mel and a recently fired waitress named Ace run afoul of Kane, the icy director of Iceworld, whose frozen touch means death. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

23 November 1987 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The literal cliffhanger in which the Doctor lowers himself over a guard rail to dangle over an abyss from his umbrella for no apparent reason comes under frequent criticism for its seeming absurdity. As scripted, the Doctor did have a logical motivation for his actions. According to Andrew Cartmel in a later interview, the passage leading to the cliff was meant to be a dead end, leaving the Doctor no option but to scale the cliff face. As shot, however, this reasoning became unclear. See more »


Kane: You stupid girl. Think it's that easy to walk away form me?
Ace: Do you feel like arguing with a can of deodorant that registers nine on the Richter scale?
See more »


References Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) See more »

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User Reviews

"This milkshake, it isn't adequately shaken." Totally crap pantomime.

Doctor Who: Dragonfire: Part 1 starts as the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) & his companion Mel (Bonnie Langford) arrive on Iceworld in the TARDIS, an intergalactic trading colony on the dark side of the planet Svartos. There they meet up with Sabalom Glitz (Tony Selby) last seen by the Doctors previous incarnation during The Trial of a Time Lord (1986) & he has a treasure map which he & the Doctor decide to follow, meanwhile Mel has hooked with with disgruntled waitress Ace (Sophie Aldred) who both promptly get arrested for blowing things up & taken to the evil ice blooded Kane (Edward Peel), back with the Doctor & he's become separated from Glitz & left quite literally 'hanging' around on his own...

Episode 12 from season 24 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during November 1987 & was the fourth & final story from Sylvester McCoy's first season as the Doctor, directed by Chris Clough this is really bad & despite being named the seasons best story in both the Doctor Who Magazine & by the Doctor Who Appreciation Society I thought it was almost unwatchable crap. This three part story was written by Ian Briggs & is even worse than Delta and the Benermen because at least that was sort of fun while this tries to be more serious & ends up being just plain embarrassing. The dialogue here is terrible especially Ace's who goes around saying things like 'wicked' & 'ace' & they really make me cringe, she of course would become the Doctors permanent companion & I think she's awful but then so was Bonnie Langford as Mel, talk about jumping out of the frying pan into the fire! Then there's that hilariously crap literal cliffhanger where the Doctor just decides to climb down an ice cliff with his umbrella for no apparent reason! There was meant to be a shot of him reaching a dead end but the show by this point was so poorly put together & edited that no one seemed to care that it made no sense on screen whatsoever. The character's are awful, the dialogue is terrible, virtually nothing has happened at all & the humour is just lame like an Iceworld that has a fridge freezer section, please.

Director Clough has to be blamed for what is maybe the worst cliffhanger ending in the entire series & there's no imagination here at all. There's no style, there's no energy & the whole thing is just so poorly made from the sets to the costumes to the special effects. This is just totally lifeless & not much fun at all.

Dragonfire: Part 1 is an embarrassment as there is only so much you can forgive. The whole story sucks, the character's are awful with two of Doctor Who's most irritating companions Ace & Mel in the same story (aaaarrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!!!!!) & it has the production values of a cheap end of season pantomime. So far one for die hard fans only I'm afraid.

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