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"Doctor Who" The Dæmons: Episode One (1971)

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TV Series:
Original Air Date:
22 May 1971 (Season 8, Episode 21)
The Master raises the Devil. The Doctor becomes a wizard. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
"A rationalist, existentialist priest indeed!" Excellent opening episode. See more (2 total) »


 (Episode Cast) (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Jon Pertwee ... Doctor Who
Nicholas Courtney ... Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart
Roger Delgado ... The Master
Katy Manning ... Jo Grant
Richard Franklin ... Captain Mike Yates

John Levene ... Sergeant Benton
Damaris Hayman ... Miss Hawthorne
Don McKillop ... Bert the Landlord
Rollo Gamble ... Winstanley
Robin Wentworth ... Prof. Horner
David Simeon ... Alastair Fergus
James Snell ... Harry
John Joyce ... Garvin
Eric Hillyard ... Dr. Reeves
Jon Croft ... Tom Girton
Christopher Wray ... PC Groom
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michael Earl ... Villager (uncredited)
Charles Finch ... Villager (uncredited)
David J. Grahame ... Villager (uncredited)
Lily Harold ... Woman in Cloven Hoof (uncredited)
John Holmes ... Jim (uncredited)
Bruce Humble ... BBC3 TV Crewmember (uncredited)
Richard Lawrence ... Villager (uncredited)
Alan Lenoir ... Villager (uncredited)
Jimmy Mac ... Villager (uncredited)
Simon Malloy ... BBC3 TV Crewmember (uncredited)
Ronald Mayer ... Villager (uncredited)
Bill McClaren ... Rugby Commentator (archive sound) (voice) (uncredited)
Patrick Milner ... UNIT Corporal (uncredited)
Roy Oliver ... BBC3 TV Crewmember (uncredited)
Roy Pearce ... Villager (uncredited)
Mo Race ... Woman in Cloven Hoof (uncredited)
Robin Squire ... BBC3 TV Cameraman (uncredited)
John Tatum ... Villager (uncredited)
Vic Taylor ... Villager (uncredited)
Sonnie Willis ... BBC3 TV Crewmember (uncredited)

Episode Crew
Directed by
Christopher Barry 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Barry Letts  by (as Guy Leopold)
Sydney Newman  creator (uncredited)
Robert Sloman  by (as Guy Leopold)

Produced by
Barry Letts .... producer
Film Editing by
Chris Wimble 
Production Design by
Roger Ford 
Costume Design by
Barbara Lane 
Makeup Department
Jan Harrison Shell .... makeup (as Jan Harrison)
Sound Department
Brian Hodgson .... special sound
Richard Manton .... film sound (as Dick Manton)
Tony Millier .... sound: studio
Visual Effects by
Peter Day .... visual effects
Camera and Electrical Department
Fred Hamilton .... film cameraman
Ralph Walton .... studio lighting
Music Department
Ron Grainer .... composer: title music
Dudley Simpson .... composer: incidental music
Other crew
Terrance Dicks .... script editor
Peter Grimwade .... production assistant (uncredited)
Crew believed to be complete

Other Companies

Additional Details

UK:25 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
UK:PG (DVD rating)

Did You Know?

The colour master videotape of this episode was erased by the BBC in the 1970s and the BBC only held a 16mm black and white telerecording. A poor quality colour NTSC version taped on a home recorder also existed. The episode remained only in black in white until the 1990s, when the colour signal from the NTSC version and the black and white telerecording were used to create a new colour master on D3 digital tape. The restoration of colour to this serial was considered a major innovation and was featured in "Tomorrow's World" (1965). In 1992, shortly after its restoration to colour, the serial was repeated by the BBC.See more »
Brig. Alastair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart:Jenkins... chap with wings, there. Five rounds rapid.See more »
Movie Connections:
Referenced in Christopher Barry: Director (2010) (V)See more »


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8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
"A rationalist, existentialist priest indeed!" Excellent opening episode., 21 January 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Doctor Who: The Dæmons: Episode One starts as the Doctor (Jon Pertwee) is told that an archaeological dig at a small English village called Devil's End is to be screened live on BBC television, the Doctor becomes worried when he recognises the name Devil's End & that the dig is taking place at a local barrow called the Devil's Hump & the fact that the date is 30th April, or Beltane the greatest occult festival of the year next to Halloween. The Doctor & his assistant Jo Grant (Katy Manning) leave for Devil's End straight away, meanwhile Professor Horner (Robin Wentworth) plans to break open the barrow at precisely midnight believing that a warrior chief is buried inside. Can the Doctor make it in time to stop him & why is the Master (Roger Delgado) posing as a local vicar & holding satanic rituals in the cavern under Devil's End church?

Episode 21 from season 8 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during May 1971 & was the fifth & final story from Jon Pertwee's second season playing the Doctor, directed by Christopher Barry one has to say The Dæmons: Episode One is one of the very best opening episodes to a story & sets things up brilliantly. Originally just called The Demons rather than The Dæmons the script was written by producer Barry Letts & Robert Sloman under the pseudonym Guy Leopold & is one of those religious themed sci-fi tales where some sort of scientific rationale is given to the unexplained, belief, legend & magic. Having said that the BBC apparently gave Letts & Sloman restrictions, for instance they were to call the crypt under the church a cavern, they had to move the actual satanic rituals performed by the Master from inside the church itself to the underground cavern & they weren't to mention God by name but references to the Devil were perfectly acceptable! The Dæmons: Episode One really builds up the story, it hooks you straight away & feels like a cross between the Hammer horror film The Devil Rides Out (1967) & the Quatermass films which is no bad thing. This is one opening episode which really grabs you from the offset & it's great. Like every other story from season eight The Dæmons features the Master but unlike the previous story Colony in Space (1971) his inclusion in The Dæmons is not hidden & his presence is revealed very early on. This is just a great opening episode to a great Pertwee five parter, most Doctor Who fans should love it.

Besides having a great story The Dæmons is one of the most impressive Doctor Who stories production wise, there's some terrific location filming including a wonderfully atmospheric opening set at night in Devil's End during a torrential thunderstorm that looks like it could grace any horror film out there. There hasn't really been any special effects so far apart from the use of a wind machine & certainly nothing you could criticise. Unfortunately the BBC didn't seem to like it as much as the fans & during the junking's & wiping's that took place in the 70's all but Episode Four was wiped considered of no further use. Luckily they made 16mm black and white film prints & using an off-air recording a fan made during the late 70's from an American broadcast Episodes One, Two, Three & Five were recoloured with tremendous results. I know I brought the VHS when it was released over here in the 90's & the way technology has moved on the DVD will almost certainly look amazing, maybe even better than the original tapes the way film & video can be remastered to such a high standard these days. Interestingly there is talk of BBC 3 during this episode which of course didn't exist at the time but does now!

The Dæmons: Episode One is a fantastic opening episode that comes across more like a horror film than a sci-fi show but I'll happily take that all day long! If your a fan all I can say is find a copy now & watch it as soon as you can.

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