Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Return 

The Doctor, Steven and Dodo have traveled 700 years into the future and find that the Ark is now under the control of the Monoids as it approaches Refusis.



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Episode cast overview:
Terence Woodfield ...
Ralph Carrigan ...
Monoid Two
Edmund Coulter ...
Monoid One
Brian Wright ...
Eileen Helsby ...
Frank George ...
Monoid Three
Monoids (voice)
John Halstead ...
Monoids (voice)
Richard Beale ...
Refusian (voice)


The Doctor, Steven and Dodo have traveled 700 years into the future and find that the Ark is now under the control of the Monoids as it approaches Refusis.

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Release Date:

19 March 1966 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was watched by 6.2 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »


When the Refusian enters the landing pod, it is in much better condition, and is much cleaner, than when the Doctor's party had left it moments before - the door mechanism also appears to be working much better. See more »


[first lines]
Dodo: Doctor? Steven? Look!
Dr. Who: What is it, my dear? What have you found, hmm?
Dodo: The statue. They've finished the statue.
See more »


Featured in Riverside Story (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

The Ark: Part 3 - Interesting and entertaining trip to future times
19 August 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review for all 4 parts:

This is a 4 part story beginning with The Steel Sky.

Quite a fascinating story which features the TARDIS landing in a jungle which turns out to be aboard a huge spaceship which is dubbed by Dodo (the new companion) as an 'ark' because it preserves humans, animals and plants from Earth travelling into distant space in the far future. They also have alien servants called Monoids who are treated more like slaves. The first two episodes revolve around Dodo bringing the common cold on board the ship thus threatening the whole vessel with a plague as there is no resistance or cure. The Doctor and his companions are suspected of deliberately bringing the virus. This is a clever idea in itself and the production as a whole is good.

The Monoids are created well with the actors holding the eye in their mouth and moving it with their tongue. This is amazingly effective. The humans are not as interesting but there is sufficient interest in the story as a whole and there are one or two good human characters such as the Commander. The dialogue is good with the Doctor and Steven providing good performances as usual and Dodo is an adequate, if unexceptional, addition.

The twist that takes episode 3 and 4 into a further future time aboard the same ship now officially named the Ark is what maintains the strong interest for me as a viewer over the full 4 parts. It is a very clever plot device which changes the scenario and gives thoughtful developments such as the Monoids having taken over after years of servitude once the virus allows them to overcome their human masters. The fact this is shown not as an evil act as such but as an understandable reaction to their previous unfair treatment is intelligent writing.

Not among the best but mostly quite impressive despite its average reputation.

My Ratings: All 4 episodes 8.5/10

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