Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Macra Terror: Episode 2 

The Doctor is unable to convince the colonists that the Macra exist and an attempt to brainwash his companions results in Ben betraying his friends.


John Davies




Episode credited cast:
Patrick Troughton ... Dr. Who
Frazer Hines ... Jamie
Michael Craze ... Ben
Anneke Wills ... Polly
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Richard Beale Richard Beale ... Broadcaster / Propaganda Seller (voice)
Denis Goacher Denis Goacher ... Control (voice)
Peter Jeffrey ... Pilot
Robert Jewell ... Macra
Gertan Klauber ... Ola
Graham Leaman Graham Leaman ... Controller
Terence Lodge Terence Lodge ... Medok


The Doctor is unable to convince the colonists that the Macra exist and an attempt to brainwash his companions results in Ben betraying his friends.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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This episode was watched by 7.9 million viewers on its original transmission. See more »


[first lines]
The Doctor: Right. Now!
Medok: No. Look out there.
The Doctor: I don't see anything.
Medok: In that patch of moonlight. I told you I'd seen them!
[in front of them is a hideous crab-like creature]
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Featured in Second Time Around: The Troughton Years (2012) See more »

User Reviews

Big brother is watching you .... and he is a crab!
21 August 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review for all 4 parts:

I have been able to reassess this story having seen the nice new animated reconstruction which allows me to find greater appreciation for the story and edit my earlier review.

This 4 part 'futuristic' story is set in an apparently idyllic world which has dark secrets underlying the society. It is enjoyable and interesting with strong ideas of a 'Big Brother is watching you' type society and political underlying themes about manipulation and control. The Macra creatures, often referred to as 'giant crabs' due to their claws and crustacean like forms are quite an unusual and interesting idea too, though obviously the low budget and age of this story limited their original realisation on screen. The animated version makes the Macra a good monster visually as well as conceptually.

Part 1 features the ultra cheesy musical number which I found slightly irritating along with the music throughout but to be fair it was meant to be irritating, as it represents the unthinking, unquestioning happiness of brainwashed people. All 4 parts are well written, well acted, fun and have deeper themes that add quality. The animation provides sufficiently good visuals to allow the story to be really appreciated. I always enjoyed parts 2 and 3 just as much as I did watching the animation but parts 1 and 4 went up in my estimation as the visuals enabled me to enjoy them better. Reviewing by judging an animated version which gives a fair idea of how it was intended (albeit adding colour which was unavailable to the makers in the first place but if it had been available I am sure they would have used it). I therefore think it only fair that I use the animation to help judge the original story.

Overall an entertaining if slightly unexceptional adventure with some interesting elements and some great scenes. The animated version has beautifully vibrant colour visuals.

My Ratings: Episodes 1 to 4 - 8/10.

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Release Date:

18 March 1967 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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