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Dr Who

Series 15


January 1978

“The Quest is the Quest!”
Minyan astronauts to the Doctor, episode 1

The TARDIS travellers land aboard a spaceship piloted by four seemingly immortal astronauts from the planet Minyos, which disintegrated a hundred thousand years ago.  The team’s mission is to locate another Minyan ship, the P7E, which departed shortly before their own, but is now missing.  As well as fellow colonists the P7E was carrying the gene bank of their entire race.

Tom as the Doctor with Alan Lake, James Maxwell, and Louise Jameson on the flight deck.
Picture © BBC

The astronauts’ craft, still with the Doctor, Leela and K-9 aboard, is buffeted by a meteor storm that sends it hurtling, out of control, towards a small planet. But instead of crashing, the ship plunges through the soft outer crust and comes to rest a mile underground.

The planet has, in fact, formed around the hull of the missing P7E in the same way that an oyster forms a pearl around a piece of grit.  Descendants of the Minyans still live aboard their ship, serving the immortal Seers and the Oracle – the on-board computer built to house and protect the gene bank cylinders.  But over time the Oracle has grown and taken control of the planet, and now the original purpose of both ship and computer has been forgotten.

The arrival of the astronauts and the Doctor sparks off a violent conflict.  Fighting through mazes of underground caves and passages, they battle the Oracle and its servants to gain possession of the precious cylinders, before blasting off again, with some of their descendants aboard, to create a new life on a new planet of their choice.

The Invasion of Time >


Did you know..?

Underworld was a difficult story for the cast. All of the underground cave sets were produced as models to save costs, and then electronically merged with footage of the actors performing their moves and dialogue on blank, empty sets.

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