Doctor Who: Season 17, Episode 13

Nightmare of Eden: Part One (24 Nov. 1979)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
7.4
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A cruise ship loaded with passengers to the planet Azure collides with a trade ship as it comes out of warp, leaving the two ships merged but unstable. The Doctor, Romana and K-9 arrive to ... See full summary »

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Title: Nightmare of Eden: Part One (24 Nov 1979)

Nightmare of Eden: Part One (24 Nov 1979) on IMDb 7.4/10

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Cast

Episode cast overview:
...
...
Lewis Fiander ...
Tryst
David Daker ...
Rigg
Geoffrey Bateman ...
Dymond
Jennifer Lonsdale ...
Della
Stephen Jenn ...
Secker
Richard Barnes ...
Crewman
David Brierly ...
Voice of K9 (voice) (as David Brierley)
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Storyline

A cruise ship loaded with passengers to the planet Azure collides with a trade ship as it comes out of warp, leaving the two ships merged but unstable. The Doctor, Romana and K-9 arrive to help out but discover there's also a problem with unidentified smugglers running a cargo of vraxoin, a forbidden organic drug that's as highly addictive as it is fatal. It instills the user with warm complacency and total apathy - the very qualities currently displayed by the cruise ship's bemused co-pilot. Written by Daniel Williamson

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robot dog


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24 November 1979 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

It is has been claimed that Alan Bromly quit because of Tom Baker behavior. See more »

Quotes

Tryst: Doctor, this is important scientific research. I am helping to conserve endangered species.
Doctor Who: By putting them in this machine?
Tryst: Oh, yes.
Doctor Who: Ah, yes, of course. Just in the same way a jam maker conserves raspberries, ha-ha.
Romana: [after the Doctor leaves] Oh, don't mind him. He just likes to irritate people.
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Connections

Referenced in 'Doctor Who': The Hartnell Years (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Shockingly Serious But Let Down By The Execution
14 January 2014 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Refers To All Four Episodes

A collision in space between the liner The Empress and private ship The Hecate leaves both ships locked together . The Tardis materialises aboard The Empress and the Doctor with the help of K9 tries to separate the two craft at the collision site . As he does so he sees a fearsome savage creature

This is certainly a strange tale and one with a very strong subtext rarely seen in the show of that era - one revolving around drugs which makes one sit up and take notice in something all too easily dismissed as a silly children's show . Okay we're not talking REQUIEM FOR A DREAM type horror but even adult dramas in the late 1970s didn't dwell too much upon the danger of addictive drugs . What makes it even more shocking is the intellectually salient point made by the villain of the piece that people have a choice of taking drugs . If someone becomes an addict then it's not the fault of the dealer but the fault of the individual . From the real life nicotine addict slowly eroding their respiratory system via cigarettes to the fictional scenario of made up drugs in DOCTOR WHO there's no escaping the fact that a dealer is merely supplying a market and it's the user him or herself who is behind the market

Alas however this debate gets quickly lost amongst the flaws of season 17 DOCTOR WHO . The Mandrells are amongst the very worst monsters to have graced the show and are totally laughable . Are they supposed to have cloven hoofs ? They look like men dressed up in flares and their on screen realisation is made worse , much worse by the Doctor leading them on a walk via dog whistle . I challenge anyone to watch this scene without bursting in to fits of laughter . One suspects this as meant to be laugh inducing as the scene ends with one of the most infamous scenes from the classic series of " My arms . My legs . My everything " . To be fair Tom Baker is probably better suited to comedy than any other Doctor but at this point of the show's development Pythonesque/post modernist comedy was the series selling point which often failed to work

This is a great pity because Nightmare Of Eden with it's subtext of drugs , animal welfare and other intriguing concepts such as the CET machine is constantly undermined by hit and miss humour . That said it is a fairly entertaining story and one wonders if its entertainment value is down to its element of humour rather in spite of it ?


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