Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Space Pirates: Episode 5 

Madeleine is revealed to be working with Caven, who comes up with a way to kill the Doctor and his friends whilst framing them for the piracy.


Michael Hart


Robert Holmes

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Episode cast overview:
Patrick Troughton ... Dr. Who
Lisa Daniely ... Madeleine Issigri
Gordon Gostelow Gordon Gostelow ... Milo Clancey
Frazer Hines ... Jamie
Wendy Padbury ... Zoe
Nick Zaran Nick Zaran ... Lieutenant Joe Sorba
Dudley Foster Dudley Foster ... Maurice Caven
Steve Peters Steve Peters ... Pirate Guard
Jack May Jack May ... General Nicolai Hermack
Donald Gee Donald Gee ... Major Ian Warne
George Layton George Layton ... Technician Penn
Esmond Knight ... Dom Issigri
Brian Peck ... Dervish


Madeleine is revealed to be working with Caven, who comes up with a way to kill the Doctor and his friends whilst framing them for the piracy.

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Release Date:

5 April 1969 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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User Reviews

Star Trek type western in space: One of the less successful Doctor Who adventures in my opinion.
19 September 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review of all 6 episodes:

This story is one of the lower points of Doctor Who for me. It does not have a reputation as a great story but according to many commentators it is reasonably OK. In my opinion though it is surely one of the 10-15 weakest entries in the series first 50 years. Bear in mind that I am comparing it to the immensely high standards of what I think is one of the finest TV series of all time. This story is not terrible compared to the bad TV shows out there or even the bad science fiction shows (e.g. 10.5 Apocalypse or Flash Gordon 2007), compared to a lot of dross on TV this is reasonably acceptable. For Doctor Who though this is very disappointing with cheesy delivery of dialogue, often unimpressive American accents and weak performances. As well as that the story lacks any real excitement or cleverness. I was a bit bored at times.

This is a 'space opera' similar to some 60s Star Trek, based around Western motifs. It has 'Space Pirates' who are like bandits, a mining company and an old prospector type, 'Milo Clancey', who some fans see as a fun and interesting character. I see him as an embarrassment with his dodgy accent, over the top acting and poor, sometimes laughable delivery of strange Western style dialogue. There is nothing of great quality or interest in any of the guest characters, the acting or the direction. One thing which is of good quality according to what evidence remains is the special effects. Almost Gerry Anderson style space ships and space stations all done very well giving some great visuals going by reviews of the original production and sequences in reconstructions. The story and script are OK, if unexceptional. It is nowhere near writer Robert Holmes later classics, but the direction (by Michael Hart) and delivery by the actors is what makes it dull and really cheesy.

Apart from the good effects, this is in my opinion one of the weaker stories in the series' rich history.

My Ratings: Episodes 1, 4 and 6 - 5/10, Episodes 2 & 5 - 5.5/10, Episode 3 - 4/10

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