Doctor Who: Season 14, Episode 15

The Face of Evil: Part Three (15 Jan. 1977)

TV Episode  -   -  Adventure | Drama | Horror
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The Doctor and Leela encounter the placid and mind-powerful Tesh, the complete opposite of the savage Saveteem. They recognize the Doctor, too, but to them he is Lord; however, when it ... See full summary »



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Title: The Face of Evil: Part Three (15 Jan 1977)

The Face of Evil: Part Three (15 Jan 1977) on IMDb 7.9/10

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Episode complete credited cast:
Brendan Price ...
Leslie Schofield ...
David Garfield ...
Leon Eagles ...
Xoanon (voice)
Rob Edwards ...
Xoanon (voice)
Anthony Frieze ...
Xoanon (voice)


The Doctor and Leela encounter the placid and mind-powerful Tesh, the complete opposite of the savage Saveteem. They recognize the Doctor, too, but to them he is Lord; however, when it becomes evident the Doctor threatens their living god, Xoanon, the Doctor becomes a marked man. Written by statmanjeff

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Release Date:

15 January 1977 (UK)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


This episode was watched by 11.3 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »


The Doctor attributes the verse "Be thankful you're livin', and trust to your luck. And march to your front like a soldier." to Gertrude Stein when in fact it's from Rudyard Kipling's 'The Young British Soldier'. See more »


Doctor Who: When I was here before, I programmed Xoanon for the Mordee. Unfortunately, I forgot to wipe my personality print from the data core... Or did I really forget? I forget if I forgot.
See more »

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A change of location & pace.

Doctor Who: The Face of Evil: Part Three starts as the Doctor (Tom Baker) & Leela (Louise Jameson) discover a way past the time barrier through the huge carved face in the cliff, there they find a way to the spaceship of the Mordee Expedition which crashed on the planet sometime in the distant past. Inside the spaceship live the Tesh tribe who are descended from the ship's original technicians while the Sevateem outside were descended from the ship's original survey team. The Doctor realises that he has been on the planet before to help the original ship's crew repair the ship's computer using his own mind imprint but forget to erase it afterwards & as such the computer which both tribes now worship as a God called Xoanon now has a dangerously unbalanced schizophrenic split personality...

Episode 15 from season 14 this Doctor Who adventure originally aired here in the UK during January 1977, directed by Pennant Roberts this episodes sees a change of location & the plot goes in a different direction too. The script by Chris Boucher almost totally abandons the jungle surface & moves to inside a very 70's sci-fi spaceship setting with computers that are the size of an average shed & tiny little monitors & the revelation that all the planets problems are in fact down to the Doctor making a mistake in the past. This is quite a good idea & at least tries to show that the Doctor isn't always infallible, just usually. Here we are introduced to the Tesh tribe & much like the Sevateem they are given very little little characterisation over they worship Xoanon, they just aren't a very interesting bunch of people. Also gone is the superstitious religion of the Sevateem replaced by the largely factual Tesh tribe. I also feel The Face of Evil is lacking a villain, apart from Xoanon who hasn't actually done anything overly wrong there isn't anyone or anything to dislike. The two tribes are a bit stupid as well, I mean I'm not being funny but wouldn't they develop & actually move on as people? We are talking generations here & you know people, civilisations & cultures do move on & progress. If they are all really that dumb maybe they should just be left alone to kill each other.

After the first two episodes were largely set in the jungle Part Three sees the action switch to a spaceship, a somewhat dated 70's looking spaceship to boot. I am not sure about the arm restraints that hold Leela to the table, I might be wrong but they look very flimsy & I think I saw them wobble & move on several occasions. The jungle set was much more impressive than the spaceship one anyway. There's a very surreal cliffhanger ending to Part Three which is strange but not in the slightest bit gripping.

The Face of Evil: Part Three is a good solid Doctor Who episode in a good solid Doctor Who story, it's certainly not the best Tom Baker story but it's not the worst either.

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