Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Horror of Fang Rock: Part One 

The TARDIS lands near an isolated rocky island lighthouse just after a comet strikes the nearby sea and a sudden chilling fog rolls in. Soon after, electrical problems take hold of the generator and one of the keepers dies mysteriously. Rueben, the eldest keeper, thinks it's the return of the legendary Beast of Fang Rock, but the Doctor suspects it's something worse that a legend.




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Episode credited cast:
Colin Douglas ...
John Abbott ...
Ralph Watson ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Sean Caffrey ...
Lord Palderdale (voice)
Annette Woollett ...
Adelaide Lesage (voice)


In Victorian times, the Doctor and Leela arrive on Fang Rock, an isolated crag where something starts killing the local lighthouse keepers. Simple, dark and very atmospheric drama, perhaps inspired by fanciful stories which followed the tragic loss of three lighthouse workers in 1900, on Eilean Mor in the remote Flannan Isles of Northwest Scotland. Written by no2-10

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Release Date:

3 September 1977 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Paddy Russell cast John Abbott as Vince Hawkins after seeing him play Snoopy in a play in the Edinburgh Fringe. See more »


The Doctor: That's odd.
Leela: What is?
The Doctor: A lighthouse without a light.
See more »


Featured in A Matter of Time (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Story #92: Horror of Fang Rock
28 August 2007 | by ( – See all my reviews

A creepy old lighthouse out in the country, a legendary 'beast'... Pretty much all you could want from a Gothic horror, which is what "Horror of Fang Rock" is- the remnants of the Hinchcliffe horror story. It's a little odd that Graham Williams went for such a risk free approach to his first story, changing little from the 'norm' at the time and depending on writer Terrence Dicks and director Paddy Russel ("Pyramids of Mars", "Invasion of the Dinosaurs"), both veterans of the show. Many producers went for drastically different approaches when presenting their debut story (JNT with the hard sci-fi, Hinchcliffe with the horror story).

"Horror of Fang Rock" is a simple story: something is killing people on the cursed island of Fang Rock and the Doctor shows up with Leela... yada yada yada. The reason this story is so well-regarded, and deservedly so, is in its execution. Stylishly directed by Paddy Russel, who keeps the atmosphere and pace going, and well-written by Terrence Dicks, this is a great example of the Doctor Who horror story. At four episodes in length, it doesn't overstay its welcome and remains thoroughly entertaining throughout. Very enjoyable indeed.

Letter Grade: A

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