Doctor Who (1963–1989)
5 user 1 critic

The Deadly Assassin: Part One 

A mysterious evil is at work on Gallifrey. The President of the Time Lords has been assassinated and the Doctor caught red-handed. An inexorable master plan has been set in motion. There can be no escape




On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode complete credited cast:
Llewellyn Rees ...
Angus MacKay ...
Peter Pratt ...
Hugh Walters ...
Erik Chitty ...
Derek Seaton ...
Maurice Quick ...
John Dawson ...
Michael Bilton ...


The President of the High Council of the Time Lords is assassinated, and the Doctor, newly returned to Gallifrey, is the prime suspect. But the Doctor knows someone is framing him, and must rely on the help of the reluctant Castellan Kelner to unveil a traitor in the High Council. Ultimately, the trail leads to the dying, vengeful Master, who wishes to harness the powers of Rassilon's greatest discovery, the mythical Eye of Harmony. But to do so would mean the destruction of Gallifrey, and to prevent this, the Doctor must risk his life in the surreal landscape of the Matrix Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »




Release Date:

30 October 1976 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Bernard Horsfall guest stars as Chancellor Goth. He had previously appeared as an unnamed Time Lord (credited as 'Time Lord 1') in Doctor Who: The War Games: Episode Ten (1969) prompting some speculation that they were the same character. Other parts played by Horsfall in Doctor Who (1963) were Gulliver in The Mind Robber and Taron in Planet of the Daleks, all of which were directed by David Maloney. See more »


The Doctor: Runcible, my dear chap, how nice to see you.
Commentator Runcible: What? Oh, I don't believe we've, um... Oh, I say. Weren't you expelled or something? Some scandal?
The Doctor: Oh, it's all been forgotten about now, old boy.
Commentator Runcible: Oh, really? Well, where've you been all these years?
The Doctor: Oh, here and there, you know. Round and about.
[he bends over to hide his face from some passing guards]
Commentator Runcible: Is there something the matter?
The Doctor: No, no, just a twinge in the knee.
Commentator Runcible: Well, if you will lead such a rackety life. Have you had a facelift?
The Doctor: Several, so far.
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Lords and Masters (2009) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Master-ful and Magnificent!
6 December 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review of all 4 episodes:

Many fans rate this as one of the best and they are correct to recognise the huge quality of this story as well as its importance in building (and changing) the folklore of the Time Lords and The Doctor. It has everything, Tom Baker on top form, a classic villain, sparkling dialogue, humour, action, material which is important in the history of the series as well as some fresh and unnerving ideas. All this is done with brilliance in direction, acting and writing.

The Doctor has been called back home to Gallifrey. On his way there he has a pre-cognitive dream in which he appears to assassinate the Time Lord President. When he arrives he has to go on the run as he is presumed to be a criminal. He then tries to prevent the President's assassination but instead is made to look like the assassin himself. Behind all this, it turns out, is his old arch- enemy The Master. Now at an end to his cycle of regenerations (we are told Time Lords have a maximum of 12) his body is extremely emaciated but his evil and cunning are as strong as ever.

The Master, played now by Peter Pratt, looks and sounds great and his dialogue and Pratt's acting are excellent. There is also a host of superb and perfectly acted guest characters. The wonderful Borusa, Spandrell, Goth, Runcible and Engin are all fabulous. This adventure is also somewhat unique in that there is no companion for The Doctor.

The section of the story where The Doctor enters 'the matrix', a technically created world which seems real and has real dangers (sound like a forerunner of the film The Matrix to anyone?) is surreal and extremely innovative and clever in its different and interesting creativity.

A real all time classic story. 10/10

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page