Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Keeper of Traken: Part One 

Returning to N-Space, The Doctor and Adric are summoned to Traken, a planet of peace and harmony. The Keeper of Traken is nearing the end of his 1000-year-old reign and one of the Traken ... See full summary »


John Black


Johnny Byrne (by)

On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
Tom Baker ... Doctor Who
Matthew Waterhouse ... Adric
Anthony Ainley ... Tremas
Sheila Ruskin Sheila Ruskin ... Kassia
Denis Carey Denis Carey ... The Keeper
John Woodnutt ... Seron
Sarah Sutton ... Nyssa
Margot Van der Burgh Margot Van der Burgh ... Katura
Robin Soans ... Luvic
Roland Oliver Roland Oliver ... Neman
Geoffrey Beevers Geoffrey Beevers ... Melkur (voice)


Returning to N-Space, The Doctor and Adric are summoned to Traken, a planet of peace and harmony. The Keeper of Traken is nearing the end of his 1000-year-old reign and one of the Traken consuls is to become the next Keeper. The Doctor, Adric, Tremas (the Keeper Nominate) and Nyssa (his daughter) set about to stop the Melkur, a calcified figure believed to be a "Source of Evil" trying to destroy the Traken Union, only to later discover it is the guise of a old enemy of the Doctor - The Master - who plans to take control of The Source (the keystone of Union) so he can regenerate into a new body. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

31 January 1981 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


The story was originally set in a mediaeval-type society, divided between the scientific Greys and the zealous Blacks, led by Hellas and Zorca, respectively. Zorca summons a being called Mogen he believes is a demon, but whom the Doctor later realises is the last survivor of a race of super-beings with fantastic mental abilities. Mogen wants to take control of the powerful Source in order to use Traken as the launching pad for galactic conquest. Zorca frames Adric for murder, and the cliffhanger for episode two originally involved the Doctor, Adric and Hellas on the brink of execution, about to be crushed between blocks of steel. A key element of part four was a stolen component from the TARDIS, which Mogen uses to construct a time disintegrator with which he plans to kill the Doctor. Byrne also introduced Hellas' daughter, Nyssa, whom he named for a friend of his called Nerissa. See more »


[first lines]
Adric: So, this is N-Space?
The Doctor: Yes, the old home universe. It's many times larger than anything you're used to.
Adric: All those stars.
The Doctor: Yes.
Adric: Do you know them all?
The Doctor: Well, just the interesting ones.
Adric: How can you tell which is which?
The Doctor: Well, law of probability, that sort of thing, you know. Anyway, we're supposed to be on our way back to Gallifrey.
Adric: I don't see what the law of probability's got to do with it.
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Referenced in Doctor Who: The Hartnell Years (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the Very Best Doctor Who Stories Ever
26 May 2006 | by DarkStar84See all my reviews

"I once knew a cure for mad dogs, I must look it up for you."

Airing in 1981, this the 2nd to last story for Tom Baker as the Doctor. And brings a lot of things full circle in regards to his era in the show. It's well-written and chilling. The allusion to Shakespeare and fantasy is perfect.

When it aired, the story must have been incredibly shocking for the audience- the Doctor and the Audience realize that the Master is behind it all. The Doctor is forced to stop his arch enemy (not seen in the series since 1977)

Tom Baker give an excellent performance, along with Mathew Waterhouse as the new companion "Adric". Anthony Ainley is excellent as Tremas and Sarah Sutton is spot-on as Nyssa.

Anf finally, Goeffry Beavers is chilling as Melkur/The Master. His creeping, skulking mannerism add a chilling aspect to the dying arch-villain.

"What is in a name, especially with Kassia is as good a name as Tremas."

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