Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Trial of a Time Lord: Part One 

The Doctor is put on trail by the Time Lords again. The first of two events from his resent past is presented as evidence of his interference in the affairs of other worlds. In particular, his actions on planet Ravalox.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Lynda Bellingham ...
Joan Sims ...
Tony Selby ...
Roger Brierley ...
Drathro (voice)
David Rodigan ...
Broken Tooth
Adam Blackwood ...
Timothy Walker ...


The Doctor is pulled out of his time stream and summoned to a Time Lord space station above Gallifrey. On his arrival it is announced by the Inquisitor that the Doctor will stand trial. Accused of conduct unbecoming a Time Lord, the Doctor refutes the allegations made against him and chooses to mount his own defense rather than entrust his fate to a fellow Time Lord. Opposing the Doctor and appearing for the prosecution is the Valeyard, an enigmatic figure who is clearly out for the Doctor. Suffering from short term memory loss as a result being taken out of time, and puzzled as to the absence of his companion Peri, the Doctor can only sit back and watch as the Valeyard mounts his case against the eccentric time traveler. The first piece of evidence is taken from the Matrix, the repository of all Time Lord knowledge. It chronicles the Doctor's interference in affairs of the planet Ravalox, a planet very similar to Earth and which was partly decimated by a fireball several centuries ... Written by Robert McElwaine

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Release Date:

6 September 1986 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The first appearance of Giltz. See more »


Sabalom Glitz: You know, Dibber, I'm the product of a broken home.
Dibber: Um, you have mentioned it on occasion, Mr. Glitz.
Sabalom Glitz: Which sort of unbalanced me. Made me selfish to the point where I cannot stand competition.
Dibber: Know the feeling only too well, Mr. Glitz.
Sabalom Glitz: Whereas yours is a simple case of sociopathy, Dibber, my malaise is much more complex - "A deep-rooted maladjustment," my psychiatrist said, "brought on by a infantile inability to come to terms with the more pertinent, concrete aspects of life."
Dibber: Well, that ...
See more »


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

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User Reviews

Far from what it could have been, but enjoyable
12 April 2015 | by (Hereford, England) – See all my reviews

I am only reviewing the first serial- the Mysterious planet- which consists of parts 1 to 4.

We're off to a good start, with darker title music and a CGI effect of the TARDIS being pulled into a court (unfortunately it seems to have absorbed most the programme's budget). Colin and Peri are no longer bickering all the time and the war on what was once planet Earth is intriguing.

Unfortunately the court scenes end up becoming far too intrusive, yanking you by the hair out of a story just as you start to get into it. Colin's outbursts of anger are a little too theatrical for my tastes and some of the characters- such as the blonde servants of "the immortal"- are utterly dull, with the exception of the merchant Sabalom Glitz.

However, there is some humour; Colin was given a chance to shine and the story was interesting enough to be enjoyable. After watching the four episodes that make up "the Mysterious planet" my first thought was "yeah that was pretty good". That's more that can be said for most of mid-late 80's Doctor Who. A well deserved 6 or 7 out of 10.

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