Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Survival: Part Three 

Ace manages to transport the Doctor and the others back to Perivale but the Master is also there, preparing for a final showdown with the Doctor.




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Episode complete credited cast:
Anthony Ainley ...
Will Barton ...
David John ...
Adele Silva ...
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Michelle Martin ...


Ace manages to transport the Doctor and the others back to Perivale but the Master is also there, preparing for a final showdown with the Doctor.

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Release Date:

6 December 1989 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The Doctor's final monologue was recorded in post-production when it was clear that Doctor Who was cancelled. See more »


The Doctor: If we fight like animals, we'll die like animals!
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

"How fast can you run?"
15 November 2008 | by (Camden, NJ (The Forbidden Zone)) – See all my reviews

Ace casually comments that she'd like to know what her old mates are up to, but then finds The Doctor decides to take her back to visit her old town Perivale-- where "NOTHING ever happens." But true to form, no sooner does HE show up, and he walks into the middle of a mystery that's been building for at least a month involving people disappearing-- off the face of the Earth. Before long, they find themselves on the planet of the Cheetah People, and facing not only horse-riding carnivores, but his oldest, deadliest enemy as well-- The Master. "Don't you know any nice people?"


Just watched "SURVIVAL" again tonight. Wow. I've always loved this one. My best friend once commented that it "wasn't the kind of story you'd expect to end a series with", but that never bothered me. To me, it's one of the few Sylvester stories that they kept SIMPLE enough that it didn't feel like there was a lot missing, and it actually worked well in only 3 episodes. Following 2 stories of personal "trauma", Ace for the first time looks like she's all grown up. And for the first time, Anthony Ainley was allowed to act without going completely over-the-top. He FINALLY got to do The Master "right"! --and the guy isn't even completely himself, as he spends most of the story fighting off the "possession" of the cheetah planet.

There's so many great moments in here, like when Ace finds her friends on the cheetah planet, and says, "It's good I'm here to sort you out then!" They've been stuck there for weeks, falling to pieces, she's there one minute and already decides to take charge! Even better is when The Sergeant and The Doctor fall into their trap, and she sees him hanging upside-down. Her first words to him: "What KEPT you?" The smile on her face is so big right then, it speaks volumes. She has little use for most people, but him, she really cares about.

The 2nd half of the story, it only gets better, as The Doctor realizes the danger everyone faces of becoming possessed by the planet. Everyone's on edge, wondering who'll be next-- and when Karra rides up, Ace sees her and is so happy that she's alright-- then turns, and we see SHE's become possessed! Yikes!

The Doctor follows... Ace gets more and more into what's going on, without even realizing it, until she looks at her reflection in the water, and suddenly asks, "Where'd the Doctor?" --her link with who she really is. Sophie Aldred did such a great job on this story. When he arrives, and she torn between going off with Karra or staying, you can see the conflict building up in her face. When she regains her composure, and a sadness comes across her face, then she runs to him and they hug, it always tugs at me emotionally. While it could be seen that he's "using" her, it seems to me more like he sees her real potential, when nobody else ever did, and he's been able to direct her and guide her to use her particular skills in a positive way. And it's also clear, if it hasn't been before, that he really looks on her as if she were his daughter.

Back home, I thought the little girl who lost her cat was adorable. She's so upset about "the bad cat", but somehow immediately trusts Ace and the Doctor-- even when Ace "turns" again! I think a lot of parents these days would get hysterical about their kids trusting ANY strangers that way!

When Midge turns up in black leather, it hit me, The Master's got himself a protégé! But the difference is so clear, when he tosses the guy away at the first hint of trouble. What a B******!

More conflict when The Doctor has to tell Ace to fight every instinct within her, to STAY OUT of the fight, or it could mean her life (and soul). I love how after, the first thing The Master does is once again try to steal The Doctor's TARDIS. We never find out what happened to his! Maybe it was left on some other planet, and he wants to get back there? After spending the entire story fighting NOT to be possessed, he finally gives into it completely, eagerly, even if it means his own destruction, so insane is his hatred for The Doctor. And The Doctor falls victim to it, too... good thing, it was the only thing that got him back to Earth. Perhaps before the planet broke up, The Master was able to teleport back to his own TARDIS as well?

I love the ending as they walk away, and he says, "Come on, Ace, there's WORK to do!" This is no longer the aimless wanderer who kept accidentally finding himself in trouble spots-- this is a guy who actually lives up to his title, as "Doctor" for a sick universe who goes around deliberately helping people and stopping evil. It's CRIMINAL the BBC yanked the show off the air exactly at this point.

I loved the acoustic guitar music on the cheetah planet. Really set this apart from every other WHO story. Once again, I'd have liked if somebody had done a better sound mix. There's too much dialogue that's almost impossible to make out. How can anybody screw up something so basic as that??

Maybe you can tell-- this is my FAVORITE Ace story. She started out as a character who seemed to have no hope. By her 2nd story, I'd gotten to like her. By her 4th story, I'd gotten to REALLY like her. And here, I think I can say I finally fell for her. (sigh) She deserved a LOT more stories than she got-- as did McCoy's Doctor.

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