5R. Doctor Who - Full Circle

Season Eighteen

  • Script Editor: Christopher H. Bidmead
  • Writer: Andrew Smith
  • Produced by: John Nathan-Turner
  • Director: Peter Grimwade
  • Designer: Janet Budden
  • Incidental Music: Paddy Kingsland

5R. Doctor Who - Full Circle

Romana has received a summons from Gallifrey, and no summons can be disobeyed. During the journey the TARDIS hits some turbulence and ends up in the wrong Universe. When the TARDIS lands at co-ordinates 10,0,11,00 by 02 the picture on the scanner is of Gallifrey but the location is not, it is the planet Alzarius.

There are two settlements on the planet: One is a group of people living on the stranded Starliner, and the second is a group of rebels. It is the time of the mistfall, and everyone is ordered inside the Starliner. During the mistfall the air is said to be toxic and it is forbidden to go outside.

During the mistfall the Marshmen emerge from the lake, and spiders emerge from fruit. The Doctor finds that there is a startling connection, and evolution on the planet has turned full circle: The spiders turn into the Marshmen, and the Marshmen destroy the Terradonians, then evolve into a copy of the Terradonians. This happens every fifty years.

The Doctor also finds that the people are not repairing the ship - they are merely replacing good components with new components. The ship has been ready for centuries. The library on board held enough information to allow them to take the ship apart, but could not tell them how to fly the craft.

The Doctor manages to get the ship working and ready to fly. The ship leaves Alzaruis en route to Terradon, breaking the full circle.

Regular Cast

  • Voice of K-9: John Leeson
  • Romana: Lalla Ward
  • Adric: Matthew Waterhouse


  • Decider Login: George Baker
  • Decider Nefred: James Bree
  • Decider Graff: Alan Rowe
  • Varsh: Richard Willis
  • Keara: June Page
  • Tylos: Bernard Padden
  • Dexter: Tony Calvin (1-3)
  • Omril: Andrew Forbes (1-3)
  • Decider Draith: Leonard Maguire (1)
  • Rysik: Adrian Gibbs (1)
  • Marshman: Narney Lawrence (uncredited for 1)
  • Marshchild: Norman Bacon (2-3)
  • Marshmen: Stephen Calcutt, Graham Cole, Keith Guest, James Jackson, Steve Kelly, Stephen Watson
  • Outlers: Nick Staverson (1), Terry John Wood (1)

Showings on the BBC

First showing

Channel Episode Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 534 Part One Saturday, October 25, 1980 5:40 PM - 6:05 PM 5.9M
BBC 1 535 Part Two Saturday, November 1, 1980 5:40 PM - 6:05 PM 3.7M
BBC 1 536 Part Three Saturday, November 8, 1980 5:40 PM - 6:05 PM 5.9M
BBC 1 537 Part Four Saturday, November 15, 1980 5:40 PM - 6:05 PM 5.5M 65%

Repeat showings


Outside Locations

  • Black Park, nr. Iver B470, Bucks


  • Television Centre Studio 3
  • Television Centre Studio 6



No blooper details are available


  • John Leeson's K-9 voice is not heard in Part Three.
  • This was the first story in the E-Space Trilogy.
  • Tom Baker announced his departure from the show on the same day as Part One was transmitted.

Working titles

No working title details are available