4M. Masque Of Mandragora

Season Fourteen - 1976/1977

Script Editor: Robert Holmes
Writer: Louis Marks
Produced by: Philip Hinchcliffe
Director: Rodney Bennett
Designer: Barry Newbery
Incidental Music: Dudley Simpson


The TARDIS is drawn of course and materialises in a void, and the Doctor identifies the cause as the Mandragora Helix. Unbeknown to either the Doctor or Sarah the TARDIS dematerialises with a portion of the Mandragora Helix.

The Mandragora Helix draws the TARDIS to 15th century San Martino. After the Doctor and Sarah have left the TARDIS the Mandragora energy leaves, and causes a series of deaths in its wake before eventually allying itself with the leader of a cult.

Heironymous, leader of the cult and astrologer, is being used by Count Frederico to invent false prophecies in a plan to usurp his nephew, Guiliano, who's accession to Dukedom is to be celebrated with a celebratory Masque.

The Mandragora Helix, controlling Hieronymous, plans to kill the nobles invited to the masque and plunge Earth back into the Dark Ages. The Doctor confronts Hieronymous in the underground Brethren temple and manages to draw off all the Mandragora energy before Sarah is sacrificed.

When Sarah asks if that is the end the Doctor says that the Mandragora's constellation would be in a position to act in around five hundred years time - the end of the twentieth century.

Regular Cast

  • Sarah Jane Smith: Elisabeth Sladen

Guest Cast

  • Giuliano: Gareth Armstrong
  • Marco: Tim Piggot-Smith
  • Hieronymous: Norman Jones
  • Captain Rossini: Anthony Carrick
  • High Priest: Robert James
  • Brother: Brian Ellis
  • Count Frederico: John Laurimore (1-3)
  • Soldier: Pat Gorman (1)
  • Mandragora Voice: Peter Tuddenham (2)
  • Guards: James Appleby (2), John Clamp (2)
  • Pikemen: Jay Neill (2), Peter Walshe (2)
  • Entertainer: Stuart Fell (4)
  • Dancers: (all 4) Peggy Dixon, Jack Edwards, Alistair Fullarton, Michael Reid, Kathy Wolff
  • Pikemen: Cy Town (1-2), Leslie Weekes (1-2)
  • Brethren: Keith Ashley (2-4), Pat Gorman (2-4), Walter Henry (1,3,4), James Muir (3-4), Keith Norrish (2-4), Dennis Plenty (1,3,4), Roy Pearce (1,3,4), Clive Rogers (3-4), Terry Sartain (2-4), Cy Town (3-4), Leslie Weekes
  • Extras: George Ballantine (1-2), Paul Barton (1), Barbara Bernell (4), Jean Channon (4), Derek Chafer (3-4), Martin Clarke (2-4), Jill Goldstone (4), Martin Grant (3-4), Christopher Holmes, Colin Janson (1), Penny Lambirth (1,4), Kevin Moran (3-4), Clinton Morris (1-2), Michael Mulcaster (1), Maurice Quick (1), Mary Rennie (1), David Glynn Rogers (1), David Rolfe (1), Eddie Sommer (3), Lionel Taylor (1), Ken Tracey (1-2), Sheila Vivian (4); Neville Ward (3-4), David Wilde (1), Jess Willard (3-4), Lincoln Wright (1)
  • Stuntmen: Tex Fuller (3-4), Stuart Fell (1-3), Billy Horrigan (3), Bruno McLoughlin (3), Peter Pocock (3-4), Paddy Ryan (3-4); Roy Street (3-4), Terry Walsh (3)

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 428. Part One Saturday, September 4, 1976 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 8.3M 58%
BBC 1 429. Part Two Saturday, September 11, 1976 6:05 PM - 6:30 PM 9.8M 56%
BBC 1 430. Part Three Saturday, September 18, 1976 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 9.2M
BBC 1 431. Part Four Saturday, September 25, 1976 6:10 PM - 6:35 PM 10.6M 56%


  • Television Centre Studio 3

Outside Locations

  • Portmeirion, Gwynedd, North Wales

Working Titles

Catacombs of Death

The Curse of Mandragora


A new lettering for the opening and closing credits makes its first appearance with this story.