Doctor Who: Season 25, Episode 5

The Happiness Patrol: Part 1 (2 Nov. 1988)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
6.8
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The Doctor and Ace arrive on the earth colony of Terra Alpha, a colony that is under the misguided dictatorship of Helen A. On Terra Alpha, sadness and misery are capital crimes, and "... See full summary »

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Title: The Happiness Patrol: Part 1 (02 Nov 1988)

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Cast

Episode credited cast:
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Sophie Aldred ...
Ace
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Tim Barker ...
Rachel Bell ...
Jonathan Burn ...
Chris Clough ...
Fifi (voice)
...
...
Georgina Hale ...
...
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Harold Innocent ...
John Normington ...
David John Pope ...
Richard D. Sharp ...
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The Doctor and Ace arrive on the earth colony of Terra Alpha, a colony that is under the misguided dictatorship of Helen A. On Terra Alpha, sadness and misery are capital crimes, and "killjoys' (anyone who does not adhere to these strict laws) are executed on the spot by Helen A's secret police, a motley crew of female assassins known only as "The Happiness Patrol". The Doctor and Ace make it their mission to put a stop to Helen A's harsh regime, but that's all easier said than done. What with The Happiness Patrol, undercover snoop Silas P, and Helen A's carnivorous little pet Fifi to contend with, they can do with all the help they can get, joining forces with Earl Sigma, rogue Happiness Patrol member Susan Q and the native inhabitants of Terra Alpha who were driven into the pipes and sewers of the colony. There is one threat that the Doctor hasn't banked on - Helen A's prized chief executioner, a crazed android and creator of killer confectionery. This robotic menace is known only ... Written by Robert Mcelwaine

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2 November 1988 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode was watched by 5.3 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »

Quotes

Helen A: Did you hear about the killjoy who won an outing with the Happiness Patrol? He was tickled to death.
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Connections

Featured in The 50 Greatest Television Dramas (2007) See more »

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User Reviews

 
"Something very nasty's happening here..." A camp classic.

Doctor Who: The Happiness Patrol: Part One is set some centuries in the future & starts as the TARDIS materialises on the Earth colonised planet Terra Alpha, the Doctor (Sylvester McCoy) wanting to investigate the planet having heard rumours of something evil going on. The Doctor & Ace (Sophie Aldred) quickly discover that being sad is against the law, punishable by death. The planet's leader Helen A (Sheila Hancock) has set up the happiness patrol, a patrol of women dressed in pink who travel around Terra Alpha killing anyone who is found guilty of being unhappy. The Doctor decides he has to help the population of Terra Alpha overthrow Helen A & her monstrous executioner the Kandyman (David John Pope) so they can be unhappy whenever they want in total safety...

Episode 5 from season 25 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during November 1988 & was the second story from Sylvester McCoy's second season playing the Doctor, this three part story was directed by Chris Clough & has a bad reputation which in all fairness it probably deserves but I must admit I rather liked it if not for the right reasons. The script by Graeme Curry is at heart a morality tale of a repressed society fighting back against an oppressive Government regime, in this case a Government who kills it's citizens for being sad. It's a rather daft sounding idea & it is but I have to say I found it quite enjoyable in a silly sort of way, it certainly moves along at a nice pace & isn't boring with enough incident to keep one entertained. I'm not sure if The Happiness Patrol was meant to be a serious story or that the makers tongues were firmly in their cheeks & it is silly but it's also fun & it made me smile, so while not the serious sci-fi many Doctor Who fans were hoping for I don't think The Happiness Patrol is a total waste of time. There's a nice reference to the Jon Pertwee story Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974) & while I openly criticise a lot of the McCoy era against all the odds I liked The Happiness Patrol for it's imagination, it's campness & it's bizarreness.

I have to say straight away that I love the Kandyman, he has to be one of the best Doctor Who monsters ever & I'm being serious, the costume looks pretty good & the fact he is made out of giant sweets & liquorice all-sorts is just a great idea & is well realised on screen. In fact the chairman of a well known sweets company contacted the BBC complaining that the Kandyman infringed the copyright on his companies advertising icon Bertie Bassett & one has to say the similarities are there for all to see although nothing became of the complaint other than the Knadyman would not be used again in another story. All three episodes of The Happiness Patrol overran & apparently one scene which was cut from Part One was when the Knadyman cut one of his own fingers off & stuck it back on! I also loved Helen A's mutant pet poodle dog Fifi that she keeps in a cage which looks sort of cute in a freakish way with it's white fluffy fur yet deformed face & sharp fanged teeth! The sets are a bit limited & aren't great but they are OK & are fairly nicely lit as the entire story takes place over the course of a single night.

The Happiness Patrol: Part One is one of the few Doctor Who stories that I can actually remember watching on it's original transmission, call me weird but I actually liked it & I loved the Kandyman. I think they should have released a toy figure of him with movable limbs!


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