7E. Paradise Towers

Season Twenty Four - 1987

Script Editor: Andrew Cartmel
Produced by: John Nathan-Turner
Writer: Stephen Wyatt
Director: Nicholas Mallett
Designer: Martin Collins
Incidental Music: Keff McCulloch
Stunt Arranger: Roy Scammel (uncredited)


After jettisoning the TARDIS swimming pool after it started leaking, the Doctor promises to take Mel to Paradise Towers. The promotional video shows a modern building with plenty of modern living space, and an outdoor swimming pool on the roof. Mel is enthusiastic at the prospect of the pool, but the Doctor is less so. He would rather explore than sit by a pool all day.

Paradise Towers has seen better days. Instead of the clean modern spaces that Mel and the Doctor saw on a video the corridors are dark, dilapidated and the walls are covered in graffiti. Gangs - Kangs - have sprung up. The last of one of these groups - the Yellow Kangs - is being chased. She relaxes when she hears that the other Kangs have stopped chasing, only to hear them say they are leaving her for the cleaners.

Mel is a disappointed at the state of Paradise Towers, especially when the Doctor kicks a cardboard box and rat run out. She asks the Doctor is he knows of another planet with a swimming pool. The Doctor suggests the planet Griophos, although the pool is for the exclusive use of the Golmarees - breed of flesh eating octopi.

Elsewhere in the towers caretaker number 345/12 subsection 3, is in Potassium Street, corridor 5673, section 201, opposite door 782 on floor 35. There is evidence of wallscrawls, and on the floor he notices blood, and a piece of yellow clothing. He is scared, but proceeds to section 301 as ordered. On the way he sees one of the robotic cleaners, but it turns down a corridor. What he doesn't see, until the last moment, is the robotic cleaner behind him.

It doesn't take long for the Doctor and Mel to be found by a group of Kangs - the Red Kangs - led by Bin Liner and Fire Escape. Mel is wearing blue, leading Bin Liner to ask if Mel is one of the Blue Kangs. When the Doctor tells them he is peaceful the Kangs introduce themselves using a complicated welcoming ritual. When the Doctor repeats it he is welcomed into the group, but Mel is shunned.

The Doctor tells the Kangs that he and Mel are vistors to Paradise Towers, and Bin Liner tells the Doctor visitors are not allowed, and they never have been. When the Doctor and Mel head towards the TARDIS to leave they are instead taken to the Kangs' hide-in. Before they go Bin Liner, via an internal telephone, hears from another Kang that the Blue Kangs are lurking, and that the Yellow Kangs are believed to be all un-alive. When the Doctor enquires about this Fire Escape tells him that one of the Kang rules, upheld by other Kang groups, is no wipe-outs. The Kangs are concerned about who killed the Yellow Kangs.

The Deputy Caretaker has seen the Red Kangs, and after reporting this the Chief Caretaker orders all caretakers to seize all the Red wallscrawlers in Happiness Square. The Red Kangs all scatter, along with Mel and the Doctor who have their arms tied. Whilst Mel escapes the Doctor trips, and is captured by caretakers.

The Red Kangs flee, leaving Mel alone. From one of the doors in a corridor a woman, Tilda, invites Mel inside for tea and cakes. Inside the flat Tabby quickly tidies a table before Mel arrives. Tabby unties Mel as Tabby puts the kettle on. Tabby tells Mel that her and Tilda are classed as the Rezzies who have lived in the Towers for a very long time. Tabby tells Mel that they had been there from the beginning, just after the Great Architect finished Paradise Towers. At that time the Youngsters and Oldsters were moved into the Paradise Towers. When Mel asked about the inbetweens Tabby says she can't quite remember, but thinks they went off to fight a war. A few moments later the door to the flat is broken down by a man, Pex, asking if Mel is being annoyed by the old ladies, or if the ladies are being annoyed by Mel. It is the third time that week that he has needlessly broken down Tabby and Tilda's door. As Mel leaves to look for the Doctor, and the pool, and Pex is told to leave, Pex offers his services as a guide to Mel, and she reluctantly agrees. However, when they are later caught by the Blue Kangs Mel learns who the real Pex is. When the Inbetweeners went to flight Pex snuck on board the ship bound for Paradise Towers. The Blue Kanks allow Mel to continue alone, without Pex.

The Doctor has been taken by the Caretakers, who confirm to a strict code of conduct laid down in a rule book. One rule states the prisoner is allowed a 1 1/2 minute break for 3,000 steps, which means the Doctor is due a very long break. This gives the Doctor time to examine some of the wallscrawl the caretakers hate. One depicts a Red Kang being attacked by a claw, followed by a machine with a drill. The deputy Chief-Caretaker tells the Doctor that they are just silly pictures, but then a cleaning robot appears, complete with drill and claw. The Doctor and the caretakers run when the robot starts to attack. They escape into a lift, and the Doctor is taken to the Chief Caretaker, who mistakes the Doctor for the Great Architect who has returned to Paradise Towers, and the person who will restore Paradise Towers back to life. The Chief Caretaker then orders the Doctor to be killed.

Whilst the Doctor tries to convince the Chief Caretaker that he is not the Great Architect, and doesn't even know who he is, the Chief Caretaker orders his deputy to prepare a 327 Appendix 3 subsection 9 death. Before this can take place the Chief Caretaker is called to investigate an accident that has befallen caretaker 345/12 subsection 3, and tells the deputy to guard the Doctor until he returns. How the Doctor is guarded is in the rulebook, and when the Doctor asks to look at it the deputy lets him, as it is considered to be a last request. The Doctor pretends there is an odd rule about what happens after he has been guarded for 35 minutes, and the deputy tells the Doctor to read the rule; if it's in the book it must be true.

The Doctor tells the deputy and the second caretaker that after 35 minutes they must both stand up, and must move five paces away from the prisoner, close their eyes and put their hands above their heads. During this time the Doctor is able to pick the pockets of the deputy. The Doctor finds a key card to the door and escapes. The Doctor starts to look for Mel, and comes across two robotic cleaners. As they close in the Doctor leans against a door and falls backwards in to the Red Kangs' base.

When the Doctor tells the Kangs about the cleaners being outside their base Fire Escape checks. The Kangs are wary of the cleaners as they make Kangs un-alive, but it comes as news to them when the Doctor says that caretakers are being wiped out as well. The Doctor has seen wallscrawl depicting a room with gas belching out of it, and is curious. There are also some coins bearing the name Kroagnon.

In the lower levels the Chief Caretaker approaches the room the Doctor is curious about, and the door opens to let him in. Inside the Chief Caretaker refers to a huge vat as his "pet". A deep voice tells him it is hungry. The Chief Caretaker wants to know who has been giving the robotic cleaners orders, as he has not issued orders to kill caretakers, but the thing in the vat simply states it is hungry.

Mel, lost in the corridors, finds her way back to Tilda and Tabby's flat, where they offer her more tea and crumpets. But when she tries to leave they turn nasty, and tie her down in a chair saying she can never leave. As time goes on they continue their normal routine with Tabby making a meal. When Mel sees a claw in the waste disposal chute Tilda asks Tabby to look, and she is taken by the claw of one of the cleaners. Moments later Pex breaks through the door again, and this causes a distraction. Tilda moves into the kitchen area and she is also taken by the claw.

After Mel has been released by Pex she looks through the flat and finds a map of Paradise Towers. The building has 304 floors, and the flat is on floor 109. Pex is unnerved about the prospect of going to floor 304, as he has been told this is where the un-alive go. Mel is more disturbed by the map which says the basement is out of bounds to all residents on pain of death.

In the Red Kangs base an alarm sounds as Caretakers approach, looking for the Doctor. He offers to buy them time to escape by handing himself back to the Caretakers. The deputy is startled when he breaks open the door and the Doctor appears. He is taken back to the Chief Caretaker, and the deputy asks about the rumour that the cleaners are out of control. He also tells the Chief about the disappearance of Tilda and Tabby. Whilst the Chief Caretaker investigates the deputy is once again left alone with the Doctor. This time the Doctor does not have to try to escape as Fire Escape and Bin Liner come to his rescue.

The Doctor took a copy of the Paradise Towers prospectus from the caretakers, and using equipment the Kangs have is able to piece together what had happened. Whilst working on Paradise Towers Kroagnon, the Great Architect, didn't want people to move in. Instead, the original residents may have imprisoned him, which would explain his disappearance.

The Doctor wants to investigate the basement that the Kangs are scared of. Bin Liner, Fire Escape and Air Duct offer to go with him, but before they can do the base is invaded by the Blue Kangs. The Doctor convinces one of the Blue Kangs to go as well, as whatever is happening is affecting all Kangs. The Blue Kang leader tells the Doctor she has had word that the Chief Caretaker is on his way there as well.

The Chief Caretaker is not in the basement of his own accord - cleaner 479 is taking him there by force. The voice tells the Chief Caretaker that it is in fact Kroagnon, and it has been ordering the cleaners as previous bodies have not been suitable, but that the Chief Caretaker's body is right for Kroagnon to live in. Kroagnon, in the Chief Caretaker's body, orders the cleaners to kill all people.

Whilst all this has been happening Mel and Pex have made their way to floor 304, to the swimming pool. Pex is still nervous, but Mel is eager to try out the pool, where she is attacked by a robot living in the water. Pex is not sure what to do, and it is Mel who fires Pex's gun to destroy the robot.

Shortly afterwards the Doctor, along with the remaining Kangs, joins Mel at the pool. The remaining Rezzies also make their way to the pool, and eventually so do the remaining caretakers. Shortly all the remaining people in Paradise Towers are on the top floor. The Doctor is able to start uniting all the people together. The first problem is the robotic cleaners, and the deputy Chief Caretaker tells the Doctor about a secret supply of explosives.

The main problem is getting Kroagnon out of his office and into a trap. Pex, unusually, offers to lead Kroagnon into a trap. The Doctor appears on camera, and tells Kroagnon that he is a failure, an insult Kroagnon does not take kindly to. Pex then appears on camera and tells Kroagnon he can lead him to the Doctor. Pex leads Kroagnon to the Red Kangs' base where the door has been booby-trapped. The Doctor tells Kroagnon to look at the shoddy workmanship of the door, and when it's opened the Doctor tries to push Kroagnon inside. He is too strong, but Pex finally shows courage, pushes the Doctor out of the way, and lunges at Kroagnon. Both fall into the base as it explodes.

The Doctor and Mel silently slip away as the Kangs, blue and red, the Rezzies and the Caretakers are finally united, and all mourning the passing of Pex, who finally redeemed himself.

Regular Cast

  • Melanie Bush: Bonnie Langford

Guest Cast

  • Chief Caretaker: Richard Briers
  • Deputy Chief Caretaker: Clive Merrison
  • Bin Liner: Annabel Yuresha
  • Fire Escape: Julie Brennon
  • Blue Kang Leader: Catherine Cusack
  • Pex: Howard Cooke
  • Tilda: Brenda Bruce (1-3)
  • Tabby: Elisabeth Spriggs (1-3)
  • Yellow Kang: Astra Sheridan (1)
  • Young Caretaker: Joseph Young (1)
  • Maddy: Judy Cornwell (2-4)
  • Video Commentator: Simon Coady (3)
  • Red Kangs: Christine Clark, Louise Clifford, Helen Fung, Elizabeth Gardner, Nisha Nayar, Julietta Norde, Jennie Slade, Martha Stylianou. Roberta Wells, Lottie Winter
  • Blue Kangs: Suzanna Crdash, Iona Dean, Tanya Davidson-Jones, Harriet Eedle, Leigh Funnell, Heather Mair Thimas, Liz Wood; Ressies: Nancy Adams, Kathleen Bidmead, Shelana Marshal, Muriel Wellesley
  • Caretakers: Rupert Clive Barrimore, Andrew J. Bush, James Carrington, William Perrie, Don Weinstein
  • Double for Mel: Ellie Bertram

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 658. Part One Monday, October 5, 1987 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 4.5M 61%
BBC 1 659. Part Two Monday, October 12, 1987 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 5.2M 58%
BBC 1 660. Part Three Monday, October 19, 1987 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 5.0M 79th
BBC 1 661. Part Four Monday, October 26, 1987 7:35 PM - 8:00 PM 5.0M 57%


  • Television Centre Studio 1

Outside Locations

  • Elmswell House, Chalfont St. Giles, Bucks


When one of the Ressies throws a knife at Pex the line along which it travels is visible.