6F. Mawdryn Undead

Season Twenty - 1983

Script Editor: Eric Saward
Produced by: John Nathan-Turner
Writer: Peter Grimwade
Director: Peter Moffat
Designer: Stephen Scott
Incidental Music: Paddy Kingsland


At a public school in England, 1983, a school-boy prank goes drastically wrong: Two boys take the Brigadier's classic car for a spin, but end up driving it off the road to avoid a collision. Both are thrown clear. It is at this time that the Black Guardian takes the opportunity to recruit Turlough to the task of killing the Doctor.

Meanwhile the Doctor quickly materialises the TARDIS on board a ship stuck in warp drive to avoid a collision. The Doctor finds a transmat device, and beams down to Earth whilst Nyssa and Tegan follow in the TARDIS. However, whilst the Doctor arrives in 1983, Tegan and Nyssa arrive in 1977.

In 1977 they find a person with serious injuries in the transmat capsule and believe it to be the Doctor suffering from a regeneration. Tegan seeks help, and finds Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. At the person's behest they return to the warp craft. In 1983 the Doctor finds Turlough, and a later version of the Brigadier. He tells the Doctor what happened during 1977, but something made him lose his memory. The Doctor, along with Turlough and the later Brigadier, returns to the warp craft.

There they find seven people who tried to turn themselves into Time Lords and have condemned themselves to eternal agony. The Doctor reluctantly offers to help, although it would mean he could no longer regenerate as each remaining regeneration would be used to end a life. However, at the point of transference of energy the energy didn't come from the Doctor, but from the two Brigadiers when they met. The people finally die, the Brigadiers are returned to their time streams. The ship explodes, and everyone wonders where Turlough is, until they find him in the TARDIS.

Regular Cast

  • Nyssa: Sarah Sutton
  • Tegan Jovanka: Janet Fielding
  • Vislor Turlough: Mark Strickson

Guest Cast

  • Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart: Nicholas Courtney
  • The Black Guardian: Valentine Dyall
  • Hippo Ibbotson: Stephen Garlick (1-2)
  • Headmaster: Angus MacKay (1-2)
  • Doctor Runciman: Roger Hammond (1,4)
  • Matron (Miss Cassidy): Sheila Gill (1)
  • Mawdryn: David Collings (2-4)
  • First Mutant: Peter Walmsley (3-4)
  • Second Mutant: Brian Darnley (3-4)
  • Mutants: (all 3-4) David Cole, Ian Craig, Mitchell Horner, Michael Leader, Richard Olley
  • Child Nyssa: Lucy Baker (1)
  • Child Tegan: Sam Pattenden (4)
  • Double for the Brigadier: Richard Sheeker (4)

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 588. Part One Tuesday, February 1, 1983 6:50 PM - 7:15 PM 6.5M 67%
BBC 1 589. Part Two Wednesday, February 2, 1983 6:45 PM - 7:10 PM 7.5M 70%
BBC 1 590. Part Three Tuesday, February 8, 1983 6:50 PM - 7:15 PM 7.4M 67%
BBC 1 591. Part Four Wednesday, February 9, 1983 6:45 PM - 7:10 PM 7.7M 66%


  • Television Centre Studio 8

Outside Locations

  • Middlesex Polytechnic and obelisx, Trent Park, Cockfosters


Part 1: When the Doctor and Turlough are about to leave the TARDIS to disable the T-Mat signal on Earth, the Doctor has to hold the red door lever up, because it wouldn't stay in the "door open" position. Every time Peter Davison tried to move his hand away, it would start sliding back, and he'd have to hold it again.


Part Two features another flashback sequence; the clips are: the Brigadier (The Three Doctors 2), a Yeti (The Web of Fear 1), a Cyberman (The Invasion 5), The Second Doctor (The Three Doctors 2), an Axon (The Claws of Axos 4), a Dalek (Day of the Daleks 4), The Third Doctor (Spearhead from Space 3), The First Doctor (The Three Doctors 2), the K-1 Robot (Robot 2), a Zygon (Terror of the Zygons 2), The Fourth Doctor (Terror of the Zygons 4) and the Brigadier (The Three Doctors 2).