Doctor Who (1963–1989)
6 user 3 critic

The Trial of a Time Lord: Part One 

The Doctor is put on trail by the Time Lords again. The first of two events from his resent past is presented as evidence of his interference in the affairs of other worlds. In particular, his actions on planet Ravalox.


Nicholas Mallett


Robert Holmes (by)

On Disc

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Episode complete credited cast:
Colin Baker ... The Doctor
Nicola Bryant ... Peri
Michael Jayston ... The Valeyard
Lynda Bellingham ... The Inquisitor
Joan Sims ... Katryca
Tony Selby Tony Selby ... Glitz
Glen Murphy Glen Murphy ... Dibber
Tom Chadbon ... Merdeen
Roger Brierley Roger Brierley ... Drathro (voice)
David Rodigan David Rodigan ... Broken Tooth
Adam Blackwood Adam Blackwood ... Balazar
Timothy Walker Timothy Walker ... Grell


The Doctor is pulled out of his time stream and summoned to a Time Lord space station above Gallifrey. On his arrival it is announced by the Inquisitor that the Doctor will stand trial. Accused of conduct unbecoming a Time Lord, the Doctor refutes the allegations made against him and chooses to mount his own defense rather than entrust his fate to a fellow Time Lord. Opposing the Doctor and appearing for the prosecution is the Valeyard, an enigmatic figure who is clearly out for the Doctor. Suffering from short term memory loss as a result being taken out of time, and puzzled as to the absence of his companion Peri, the Doctor can only sit back and watch as the Valeyard mounts his case against the eccentric time traveler. The first piece of evidence is taken from the Matrix, the repository of all Time Lord knowledge. It chronicles the Doctor's interference in affairs of the planet Ravalox, a planet very similar to Earth and which was partly decimated by a fireball several centuries ... Written by Robert McElwaine

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


TV-G | See all certifications »






Release Date:

6 September 1986 (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?


Adam Blackwood and Tom Chadbon found if difficult to look at each other because they thought their costumes were amusing. See more »


The Doctor: [to Peri] Planets come and go. Stars perish. Matter disperses, coalesces, reforms into other patterns, other worlds. Nothing can be eternal.
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Confidential: Lords and Masters (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

It's enjoyable
13 April 2018 | by hazzadhgwSee all my reviews

This episode is about Peri and the Doctor landing on a planet that looks like Earth and the Doctor is determined to find out what the planet. It has a good element of mystery which made me want to find out what the planet was.

The reason it's called A Trial of a Time Lord is because the Doctor is put on Trial for breaking the first Gallifreyan law.

The shot of the model of the court is brilliant so I'd recommend you watching it.

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