Doctor Who: Season 7, Episode 19

Inferno: Episode 1 (9 May 1970)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 218 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 3 critic

A dangerous experiment throws the Doctor into a doomed dimension

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Title: Inferno: Episode 1 (09 May 1970)

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Episode complete credited cast:
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Olaf Pooley ...
Christopher Benjamin ...
Derek Newark ...
Sheila Dunn ...
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David Simeon ...
Derek Ware ...
Walter Randall ...
Ian Fairbairn ...
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Storyline

Project Inferno is designed to drill down to the center of the Earth, where it will release a wonderful new energy source called Stahlman's Gas named after the project's director. But the Doctor realizes that unleashing Stahlman's Gas will have horrible consequences from the planet, fears confirmed when a power surge in the TARDIS console sends him to a hostile parallel universe where the project is nearing completion. Written by Anonymous

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9 May 1970 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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A delay in production meant that some scenes had to be abandoned, including Benton and other UNIT troops searching for Slocum and the Primord murdering a UNIT soldier named Collins. See more »

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User Reviews

Brilliant in every way, a nearly flawless, truly classic story (#54, Inferno)
18 January 2008 | by (prejudicemadeplausible.wordpress.com) – See all my reviews

"Inferno" is widely regarded as a great story, though some will argue that it is very padded. I couldn't disagree more with those who do. I find "Inferno" to be a perfect seven-parter, perhaps the best argument for the format in Doctor Who. Douglas Houghton's script is wonderful, making nearly three full hours seem like a mere 90 minute story. It's a wonderful concept that makes "Inferno" as good as it is, as the Doctor finds himself thrown into a parallel universe where he meets a British Republic and military forces far less amiable than U.N.I.T., the Brigadier who is ruthless and wears an eyepatch (and no mustache), and the parallel universe Liz Shaw who is dressed in a fetishistic Nazi-type uniform complete with boots and a short skirt.

The plot is good and includes a good science fiction concept, which for one of the most highly-regarded (and best) science fiction programmes in history is certainly quite the rare occurrence. This Doctor Who story does not attempt to be scary and feels sophisticated and smart in the vein of a well-written low budget 70's science fiction thriller.

The writing is fantastic across the seven episodes, with wonderful dashes of humor and clever dialogue throughout. The story is also very well-directed. It must be noted that Nicholas Courtney as the Brigadier and Caroline John as Liz Shaw are fantastic in their rather difficult double roles. Jon Pertwee gives one of his most memorable turns as the Doctor here.

Did I mention that the final wrap-up scene is handled better here than in probably any other Doctor Who story? Excellent writing for that final scene, absolutely unforgettable.

Episode Ratings:

Episode 1: 9/10 Episode 2: 9/10 Episode 3: 10/10 Episode 4: 9/10 Episode 5: 10/10 Episode 6: 10/10 Episode 7: 10/10

Overall: Average rating amounts to 9.57/10

Impression of season 7: Average rating based on all stories amounts to 8.2/10 but I will raise that to an 9 out of 10 for the entire season. A brilliant season which is undoubtedly one of the best Doctor Who has to offer.


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