Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Mutants: Episode One 

The Doctor and Jo arrive on the planet Solos, on a assignment by the Time Lords. Where the Doctor and Jo learn that the native Solonians are mutating into ant-like mutant creatures and they... See full summary »


Christopher Barry


Bob Baker (by), Dave Martin (by)

On Disc

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Episode cast overview:
Jon Pertwee ... Dr. Who
Katy Manning ... Jo Grant
Paul Whitsun-Jones Paul Whitsun-Jones ... Marshal
James Mellor James Mellor ... Varan
Garrick Hagon ... Ky
Geoffrey Palmer ... Administrator
Christopher Coll Christopher Coll ... Stubbs
Rick James Rick James ... Cotton
Jonathan Sherwood Jonathan Sherwood ... Varan's Son


The Doctor and Jo arrive on the planet Solos, on a assignment by the Time Lords. Where the Doctor and Jo learn that the native Solonians are mutating into ant-like mutant creatures and they uncover a conspiracy, where the evil Marshal of the Earth Empire plots to rule Solos for himself and plans to convert Solos atmosphere, since the planet's atmosphere is poisonous, so the planet can be colonized by the humans and he plans to wipe out all the mutated Solonians, who are evolving into a advanced super race. Written by Daniel Williamson

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Plot Keywords:

third doctor | dandy | See All (2) »


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Release Date:

8 April 1972 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Bluewater, Kent, England, 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 opening shot of the story features a bedraggled, hermit-like bearded figure (Sidney Johnson) shambling out of the mist towards the camera. Both fans and Jon Pertwee alike have compared the scene to the "It's" man at the start of most episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969). The DVD release of the story also references this in the information text commentary. See more »


Featured in When Worlds Collide (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

EVIL Colonial Bureaucrat!
14 April 2009 | by profh-1See all my reviews

Just watched THE MUTANTS. Can you believe Paul Whitsun-Jones was once one of John Steed's ministry contacts? Here's he's completely over-the top nasty, a power-mad murderous genocidal sociopath who will stop at nothing to prevent the loss of his government post (and plots the assassination of a fellow government man who tells him, "Don't worry, we'll find something for you-- maybe in records." I hope it doesn't blow it for anyone if I say it takes 6 whole episodes before this raving lunatic sonofaB**** gets what's coming to him!

What a surprise to see Geoffrey Palmer (my favorite character on AS TIME GOES BY) turn up as another well-meaning bureaucrat. Just like in THE SILURIANS, he gets killed before he can do any good, but this time, it happens in the very 1st episode. Palmer says he has "no memory" or this project at all. I'm not surprised. Not only was he on screen such a short time, between the costume, hairstyle & even the accent he used and his delivery, he didn't seem like himself at all!

John Hollis (who some may remember as Lando's right-hand man from THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK) gets the best role I've ever seen him have as Professor Sondergard, a well-meaning scientist who's been hiding out on this alien planet for years after he tried to inform the authorities on the Marshal's improprieties. Here he helps The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) puzzle out the strange "mutation" and effectively save the planet (especially when he makes it onto the orbiting space platform, followed by several "mutants").

The flip side of the science end is provided by George Pravda, the Polish actor who helped Emilio Largo with his stolen atomic bomb in THUNDERBALL. He gets a huge part in this story, as a totally amoral scientist who doesn't seem to care what happens to the natives, but is all the same frustrated by The Marshall, who keeps ordering him about and expecting miracles at the drop of a hat. Pravda returned to DW years later in my favorite role of his, as the canny chief of security in "THE DEADLY ASSASSIN" who told Tom Baker, "All right-- convince me!"

Jo Grant is once more in top form here. It takes awhile for her to get started, but in the latter part of the story, she helps lead an escape of several prisoners and gets her hands on a laser gun, and later convincingly lies to The Marshall about exactly what she & The Doctor are doing on his space station in the first place. Sarah Jane will always be my favorite WHO girl, but if I met someone like Jo I'd have a hard time NOT falling for her.

The other stand-outs in the story are Stubbs & Cotton (Christopher Coll & Rick James), a pair of guards who, unlike most guards, are two of the most level-headed and nicest characters in the story, who have more sense and decency than most. Unfortunately, they're not so long on brains, as when they're talking with the fugitive Doctor and FORGETTING that The Marshall can hear every word they're saying on their communicators. Also, there's the warrior chief Varan (James Mellor) who looks like he stepped right out of a Frank Frazetta CONAN painting (it's the look on his face!) and his rival Ky (Garrick Hagon) who saves Jo from poison gas before teaming up with The Doctor as the nominal hero of the piece.

NOT my favorite story (like just about every Pertwee 6-parter, it just feels too long) but not bad to watch, once in a while. The design of the space platform corridors tends to make no sense at all (they did a MUCH better job years later on the one used in THE ARK IN SPACE and REVENGE OF THE CYBERMEN). After being stuck on Earth so much, this feels a lot more like a Patrick Troughton story-- or a Tom Baker! Lots of socio-political commentary about empires, colonialism, slavery, ecology, genocide, and granting independence to places that never should have had anything other in the first place.

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