Doctor Who: Season 16, Episode 13

The Androids of Tara: Part One (25 Nov. 1978)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Horror
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When Romana goes fishing for the fourth segment to the Key to Time, the Doctor just goes fishing. While on the planet of Tara, both are taken in (somewhat against their will) by two ... See full summary »



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Episode complete credited cast:
Peter Jeffrey ...
Simon Lack ...
Neville Jason ...
Paul Lavers ...
Lois Baxter ...
Declan Mulholland ...
John Leeson ...
K9 (voice)


When Romana goes fishing for the fourth segment to the Key to Time, the Doctor just goes fishing. While on the planet of Tara, both are taken in (somewhat against their will) by two factions, both trying to achieve the throne of Tara. While Romana is mistaken for an android by Count Grendel, the Doctor and the Prince are drugged after the Doctor agrees to help repair his android. Written by Moviedude1

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Release Date:

25 November 1978 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Writer David Fisher set his scripts on the planet Tara, after the ancestral seat of the kings of Ireland (and, according to mythology, of the supernatural Tuatha dé Danann). He had hoped that Tara might be populated by animals resembling creatures of legend, such as unicorns (which might be natural or mechanical). See more »


Featured in The Humans of Tara (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

Has Some Positive Points But Is It Doctor Who ?
12 January 2014 | by (Isle Of Bute , Scotland) – See all my reviews

Searching for the fourth segment of The Key To Time the Doctor and Romana land on the Planet Tara where Romana finds herself kidnapped and held prisoner by Count Grendal

After the previous traditional tale The Stones Of Blood we're back in the territory of the show paying homage/ripping off another source . This time it's THE PRISONER OF ZENDA . There's nothing wrong with paying homage to other films/books/TV shows and the previous regime under Hinchcliffe and Holmes quite happily ripped off Nigel Kneale , Mary Shelley amongst other pulp horror and sci-fi . The problem with taking the premise of Anthony Hope's 1894 novel is that it doesn't lend itself to science fiction and for much of the running time you don't really get the feeling you're watching DOCTOR WHO , more like something resembling dumbed down historical hokum featuring a plot involving dopplegangers and impostors

Of course the other train of thought is DOCTOR WHO can be exactly what ever it wants to be . It can be anything and for four Saturdays in the Autumn of 1978 it has earned the right to be historical adventure devoid of scary monsters creeping about an alien hinterland . Fair enough but it was the suspense laden atmosphere and horror elements that got this audience member addicted to the show in the first place and a Taran bear and political intrigue isn't really going to grab a child audience . Watching it as an adult it's nothing more than a runaround , dialogue driven and the very prolific actor Peter Jeffrey does manage to bring a slightly colourful turn as Count Grendal but like so many late 1970s Doctor Who it's mediocre for the most part and rather forgettable

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