HHH. Colony In Space

Season Eight - 1971

Script Editor: Terrance Dicks
Writer: Malcolm Hulke
Produced by: Barry Letts
Director: Michael Briant
Designer: Tim Gleeson
Incidental Music: Dudley Simpson


On Gallifrey the Time Lords have discovered a file on the Doomsday Weapon is missing, and they think only one person could have taken it: the Master. The Doctor, still in exile on Earth, is given the chance to travel in time and space to retrieve the file from the Master. In his laboratory on Earth the Doctor makes a new TARDIS de-materialisation circuit. He invites Jo inside the TARDIS as he installs the new circuit, and moments later the TARDIS de-materialises. The Doctor soon realises the TARDIS is being flown by remote control - by the Time Lords.

On the scanner the Doctor recognises the planet Uxarieus and the TARDIS materialises in a what looks like a quarry. It's Jo's first trip in the TARDIS, and asks the Doctor to take her back, but he can't. In the ground there are machine tracks, so the planet is inhabited. On the horizon are several small buildings. The Doctor wants to investigate, but Jo wants to go back to the TARDIS. Then she sees a man pointing a gun at them.

The man, Leeson, takes the Doctor and Jo back to his colony's main dome. Leeson thinks the Doctor and Jo are from a rival group who want to mine the planet, instead of colonise it. On a wall the Doctor notices poor crop records, and realises the colony is close to starvation.

Jo is taken to the dining area and offered a meal by Leeson's wife, Jane. Whilst there Jo meets Ashe's daughter, and learns that the colonists left Earth in 2471. The colony had been established for just over a year. Morale is low in the colony as more crops fail.

In their quarters the Leesons hear a roaring from outside. At first Eric thinks it is the wind, but they they investigate they find a giant lizard. When Ashe hears about the Leesons' dome being attacked the Doctor goes with him to help. When they arrive they find the bodies of Eric and his wife. The Doctor isn't convinced a 20 foot lizard killed the Leesons. There are scratch marks on a wall - and there is no way a 20ft lizard could get through the door.

In the main dome the colonists are divided. Ashe wants them to stay, but some want to move on to another planet. Whilst they are arguing a severely dehydrated man is brought it who tells them he is from another colony on the planet, and has been wandering for months on the surface. The man, Norton, says all the other colonists are dead - killed by giant lizards.

Returning to the Leeson's dome the Doctor and Ashe find two natives of the planet, primitives, taking stuff. Although they don't speak they understand when Ashe tells them to leave the things behind and go. Leeson leaves the Doctor collecting samples, and shortly afterwards the Doctor is attacked by an IMC robot, followed by an armed IMC (Interplanetary Mining Corporation) guard, Caldwell, who tells the Doctor they recently arrived to do a mineral survey. Caldwell takes the Doctor back to his spaceship. Whilst the Doctor and the guard go back in a vehicle the robot - Charlie - is programmed to return by itself. On the way the Doctor notices the TARDIS has gone.

Caldwell learns from the Doctor that the Leesons were killed. He leaves the Doctor in a room and confronts the leader - Captain Dent - about the deaths. The First Officer, Morgan, was only supposed to scare the colonists, but when he was seen he had to kill them. Dent goes to see the Doctor to learn about the colonists. Dent tells the Doctor that the IMC has the mining rights for the planet. Earth needs duralinium for the 100,000 million people that live there. When the Doctor tells Dent that he is just a visitor Dent asks Morgan to return the Doctor to the ruins and make it look like an animal attacked him. At Leesons' dome the Doctor tells Morgan about his suspicions, and Morgan shows the Doctor an IMC robot with fake claws on its arms. The Doctor overpowers Morgan and manages to get hold of the remote control for the robot.

Norton is recovering well, and is given a tour of the colony by Winton. Jo notices he is recovering quickly, and is asking some curious questions such as enquiring about the power junction box. Winton leaves Norton to go back to his bed, but instead Norton attacks Holden and a primitive in the power room and causes a power cut.

Captain Dent uses the IMC spaceship to visit the colony. He tells the colonists that as both have a claim to the planet and that they will need to call for and Adjudicator. The Doctor accuses Dent being behind the fake monsters. When the Doctor goes to help fix the power supply Norton tells Winton that the Doctor is crazy and that the monsters are real; he was chased by them. Jo tells Winton the best way to get evidence is to search the IMC spaceship. After they have gone Norton secretly radios Dent to let him know, and they are caught in the communication deck.

The Doctor is able to get the power back up and running, and receives a message that Jo has been arrested. The Doctor goes to see Dent, and Dent tells him Jo and Winton have been locked in some primitive ruins with a bomb. Winton is able to escape, helped by Caldwell, but Jo is re-captured but freed by some primitives. The Doctor, realising Caldwell may be able to help, asks him to try to free Jo before Winton attacks the following morning.

The Doctor and Ashe go to the ruins to look for Jo and find the body of Allen, but no sign of Jo, who has been taken underground to the city of the primitives. In the primitives' city the Doctor is captured and taken to Jo. Jo tells the Doctor that there is a different creature that may lead the primitives. and the room in which they are kept if covered in drawings. The Doctor and Jo are taken to see an alien priest - different from the primitives. The priest tells the Doctor that the city is forbidden to all but the natives. When the Doctor points out that Jo was brought here by the natives the priest tells them they can go, but must never return or they will be destroyed.

Whilst the Doctor is away the Adjudicator's ship arrives, and the Adjudicator demands a meeting between the colonists and the IMC crew, and immediately starts work on the adjudication. When the Doctor and Jo return to the colony the recognise the Adjudicator - the Master. The Doctor cannot immediately expose the Master as he has the powers of the Adjudicator and could have the Doctor arrested. Instead the Doctor waits to see what the Master is up to.

The Master rules that colonisation is unsuitable, and rules in favour of the IMC. Ashe plans to appeal, and talks to the Master, and tells him there was once a great civilisation on the planet, and about the ruins. Winton has more direct plans to break away from Earth and form a republic and tries to lead Dent into an ambush and the IMC crew into a trap. When Winton manages to beat the IMC crew the Master offers his help to adjudicate on their behalf with Earth. The Master tells Winton that he wants to go to the primitive city.

Winton tells the IMC crew to leave the planet, and they move into orbit where Dent learns that the Master is not the Adjudicator. Dent lands the spaceship 50km from the colonists' main dome. As night falls IMC guards start to take over the colony. Dent tells Ashe that the colonists must leave the planet or face execution. The colonists have one hour to leave, and as the rocket takes off it explodes.

The Doctor has a key to the Master's TARDIS. Searching the console room the Doctor finds the Master has been searching for something on a number of planets. Unbeknown to the Doctor or Jo the Master has a remote camera link to his TARDIS and can watch them. He can also activate gas jets that knock out the Doctor and Jo. The Master returns to his TARDIS and tells the Doctor to take him to the primitive city. When it is light they both set off, leaving Jo trapped in cylinder that can be flooded with lethal gas by the Master's remote control.

Dent wants to speak to the Master, and sends two guards to break into the Adjudicator's spaceship. Outside they find a key that has been dropped, and inside the TARDIS they find and rescue Jo. She tells the guards the Doctor and the Master have gone to the primitives' city.

In the city the Master tells the Doctor that files from the Time Lords say that this planet one had a super race, and that they built a doomsday weapon. The Master plans to hold the galaxy, and the Universe, to ransom. The Master takes the Doctor to a control room in the city, and explains that the weapon could cause Earth's sun to expand and explode. The Master asks the Doctor to join him in ruling the Universe. The alien priest appears, and the Master tries to get control of the machine. The priest says the Master is not fit to have control, and asks the Doctor to operate the self destruct mechanism. The Doctor and the Master manage to escape before the city is destroyed.

On leaving the city IMC guards capture the Doctor and the Master, but then colonists arrive. During a shoot-out between the IMC and the colonists the Master makes his escape. The colonists outnumber the guards and manage to win. Winton is in charge of the colony after Ashe took off in the doomed ship. The Doctor tells Winton that it was the radiation from the machine that was poisoning their crops. Winton is able to reunite the Doctor and Jo with the TARDIS, and watches as it fades away.

Regular Cast

  • Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Nicholas Courtney
  • Jo Grant: Katy Manning

Guest Cast

  • David Winton: Nicholas Pennell
  • Robert Ashe: John Ringham
  • Mary Ashe: Helen Worth
  • Robot: John Scott Martin
  • Wilfred Norton: Roy Skelton
  • Primitive: Pat Gorman (1-2,4-6)
  • Primitive Voice: Pat Gorman (1-2)
  • Eric Leeson: David Webb (1)
  • Jane Leeson: Sheila Grant (1)
  • Martin: John Line (1)
  • Mrs. Martin: Mitzi Webber (1)
  • Time Lords (all 1): John Baker, Peter Forbes-Robertson, Graham Leaman
  • Caldwell: Bernard Kay (2-6)
  • Captain Dent: Morris Percy (2-6)
  • First Officer Morgan: Tony Caunter (2-6)
  • Jim Holden: John Herrington (2)
  • Allen: Stanley McGeagh
  • Long: Pat Gorman (3)
  • The Master: Roger Delgado (4-6)
  • Guardian: Morman Atkyns (4,6)
  • Alien Priest: Roy Heymann (4,6)
  • Alec Leeson: John Tordoff (4)
  • Colonist: Pat Gorman (5)
  • Primitives: Derek Chafer, Les Clarke, Emmet Henessy, John McGrath, Alan Peters, Greg Powell
  • Alien Priests: Stanley Mason, Antonia Moss
  • Colonists: Bob Blaine, Monique Briant, John Caeser, Les Conrad, Ian Elliott, Charles Finch, Brian Gilmar, Ken Halliwell, Clay Hunter, Jay McGrath, Alan Peters, Charles Pickess
  • IMC Guards: Bob Blaine, Les Clarke, Brian Gilmar, Brian Justice, Keith Simon, Mike Stephens, Stewart Stephens, Terry Walsh
  • Extras: LW Clark, Max Diamond, Billy Horrigan, Mike Horsburgh, Alf Joint, Valentino Musetti, Jay Neill, Dinny Powell, Barry Stephens, Walter Turner, Terry Walsh

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 293. Episode One Saturday, April 10, 1971 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 7.6M
BBC 1 294. Episode Two Saturday, April 17, 1971 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 8.5M
BBC 1 295. Episode Three Saturday, April 24, 1971 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 9.5M
BBC 1 296. Episode Four Saturday, May 1, 1971 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 8.1M
BBC 1 297. Episode Five Saturday, May 8, 1971 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 8.8M
BBC 1 298. Episode Six Saturday, May 15, 1971 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 8.7M


  • Television Centre Studio 3
  • Television Centre Studio 4

Outside Locations

  • The Old Baal Pit China Clay Quarry, Plymoth, Devon


Part 2: In the scene where Dent is interrogating Caldwell, just after he first brought the Doctor back to the IMC mining ship, watch the monitor screen on the bridge. In some shots it's in place, but in others (especially close-ups on Caldwell), the CSO is missing and there's just a bright blue light!

There's one scene where a bunch of the colonists are standing around, listening to a speech, and abruptly as you're watching, two of the colonists in the group suddenly switch places!

There's a scene where the Doctor and Jo sneak into the Master's TARDIS to have a look around. There is an alarm beam across the door at about knee level, so they have to wiggle under the beam on their backs. A couple of times they accidentally bump into the massive internal doors of the TARDIS and the doors wobble.


All six episodes only survive as film prints and NTSC recordings.