Doctor Who: Season 23, Episode 10

The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Ten (8 Nov. 1986)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 122 users  
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A lethal booby-trap in the Hydroponic Center awakens the genetically engineered fruit pods in storage, and passengers and crewmen alike start disappearing without trace. There's a murderer ... See full summary »



(by) (as Pip and Jane Baker) , (by) (as Pip and Jane Baker) , 1 more credit »
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Title: The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Ten (08 Nov 1986)

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Bonnie Langford ...
Lynda Bellingham ...
Michael Craig ...
Denys Hawthorne ...
David Allister ...
Yolande Palfrey ...
Tony Scoggo ...
Arthur Hewlett ...
Sam Howard ...
Leon Davis ...
Mike Mungarvan ...
Duty Officer


A lethal booby-trap in the Hydroponic Center awakens the genetically engineered fruit pods in storage, and passengers and crewmen alike start disappearing without trace. There's a murderer on board and the Doctor means to find out who he or she is. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

8 November 1986 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Features two actors who later appeared in the 21st century series Extra Robert Goodman who has a speaking role in listen. Mike Mungaravan was a extra in David Tennant first story. See more »


Commodore Travers: How long have you known this woman?
The Doctor: Uh, time is a comparative concept, Commodore.
Melanie Bush: Not now, Doctor. Just answer the question.
See more »

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User Reviews

It's been a while coming but The Trial of a Time Lord is starting to get good.

Doctor Who: The Trial of Time Lord: Part Ten starts as Mel (Bonnie Langford) is taken to Commodore Travers (Michael Craig) after the death of crewman Edwardes (Simon Slater), the Doctor (Colin Baker) is also summoned to the bridge to vouch for her. Shortly after a Mogarian is poisoned & the Doctor reveals that it was in fact the supposedly murdered Grenville (Tony Scoggo) disguised as a Mogarian whose real name in fact was Hallet & was an undercover agent, the Doctor realises that it was Hallet who sent the mayday trying to warn him that something very sinister is going on aboard the Hyperion III...

Episode 10 from season 23 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during November 1986, the second part of the mini four part story Terror of the Vervoids this was directed by Chris Clough & is a definite improvement over both The Mysterious Palnet & Mindwarp while being the single most successful part of The Trial of a Time Lord season. The scripts by Pip & Jane Baker were late replacements for various other ideas which were abandoned although one does have to say they are pretty good, sure it's not overly deep or meaningful but Terror of the Vervoids is an entertaining mystery whodunit set aboard a huge space liner that at least manages to grip you. The character's are alright & a lot of them seem to have suspicious underlying motives, there's some OK red herrings & as a whole Terror of the Vervoids actually reminds me of the excellent Tom Baker story The Robots of Death (1977) from season fourteen. Basically I'm enjoying Terror of the Vervoids much more than either The Mysterious Planet or Mindwarp & I'm actually looking forward to the next episode.

I'm a little disappointed that Terror of the Vervoids is now half complete & we still haven't seen a Vervoid, sure we have seen one of their face's behind a ventilation grill & it's leafy hand but we haven't seen one in plain sight out in the open yet. There's a really good shock ending to this episode as well with the Doctor & Mel discovering a woman turning into a planet with pulsating vines & vegetation growing on her, it's a very effective moment with decent special make-up effects. The sets here have been alright, the spaceship interiors are a bit bland & looks a bit 80's with their colour schemes but they are suitably futuristic & serve their purpose well enough. There's some horrible CSO type special effects in this, a scene when the Doctor & Mel stand in front what what is supposed to be space looks awful as they appear to be paper cut outs with very awkward & harshly defined edges with this unfortunate side effect most apparent around their hair.

The Trial of a Time Lord: Part Ten, or Terror of the Vervoids Part Two, is coming along nicely & for my money is the main highlight of season twenty three.

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