Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Pirate Planet: Part Four 

The Doctor reveals the truth about the real power on Zanak and must try and stop the Captain and Xanxia before Earth becomes their next victim.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Bruce Purchase ...
David Warwick ...
Primi Townsend ...
David Sibley ...
Bernard Finch ...
K9 (voice)


Romana leads the Mentiad assault of the Bridge just as Mr. Fibuli broadcasts his psychic interference transmitter, nullifying their telepathic powers. Queen Xanxia targets Earth for the next jump in order to gather rare minerals and reach full corporeal status, but the Doctor jumps the TARDIS in her way, initiating a battle to see who's power gives out first. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

21 October 1978 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The DVD release of this episode differs from the transmitted version. The Doctor Who (1963) Restoration Team were unhappy with the scene in which the spanner is engulfed by a blast. Due to failings of 1970s vision mixing, the spanner is suspended in front of the blast for a few frames and then disappears. For the DVD release, the Restoration Team took the liberty of adding additional frames so that the spanner is blasted back towards the camera to help sell the effect better. See more »


Mr. Fibuli: The psychic interference transmitter, sir. There seems to be something counter-jamming it.
Captain: What? We dematerialize in three minutes!
Captain: [activating the P.A. system] All guards on alert! Someone is using a counter-jamming frequency projector! Find it and destroy it immediately!
Mr. Fibuli: Captain, do you suppose any of the guards know what a counter-jamming frequency projector looks like?
[the Captain considers for a moment, then... ]
Captain: [into the P.A. system] Destroy everything!
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User Reviews

S16: The Pirate Planet: Distracting but not satisfying
29 March 2017 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The hunt for the segments of the Key to Time leads the Doctor and Romana to a planet which turns out not to be what they expected. Exploring the place they have ended up, they find some sort of mining planet where the people are kept controlled but wealthy, a mysterious group called the Mentiads threaten the norms, and the whole shebang is overseen by the flamboyantly evil Pirate Captain.

It feels like ages since I watched the previous serial in this season, and I wondered if there was a reason for that other than being busy. Anyway, coming into The Pirate Planet doesn't do a great deal to inspire me to race into the next serial. It is not 'bad' per se, but rather it seems to be a very broad affair which has lots of ideas but no will to turn them into something cohesive. The family- family element sees a tyrannical villain transformed into a pantomime actor; this is actually quite fun in some ways, but it sits oddly with his actions, and clashes with the very colorless supporting characters. The plot is pretty interesting as it sees planets stripped of their mineral value at no consideration to those living there. It doesn't do a great deal with this, and the opposing characters (the Mentiads and the normal people) are very bland and uninteresting – robbing the drama somewhat.

There is some good humor throughout, which sits well with the colorful elements, but doesn't in itself make for a great serial. The performances are good from the lead two (or three if you include K9) but otherwise they range from the excessively colorful, down to the drably invisible. It all still moves along with some degree of interest, action, and humor, but it isn't really particularly engaging or entertaining.

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