Doctor Who (season 18)

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Doctor Who season 18
Doctor Who logo 1980-1984.svg
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of episodes 28, 7 serials
Original channel BBC One
Original run 30 August 1980 (1980-08-30) – 21 March 1981 (1981-03-21)
Home video release
DVD release
Region 1 7 June 2005 -
11 January 2011 [1]
Region 2 5 July 2004 -
10 January 2011
Region 4 7 October 2004 -
20 January 2011
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 17
Next →
Season 19
List of Doctor Who serials

The eighteenth season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 30 August 1980 with the serial The Leisure Hive, and ended with Tom Baker's swan song Logopolis.


Main characters[edit]

Season 18 sees the swan song of Tom Baker as the Fourth Doctor, ending his time after seven years on the program. New companions Adric (Matthew Waterhouse), Nyssa (Sarah Sutton), and Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding) make their introductions in Full Circle, The Keeper of Traken, and Logopolis, respectively. Romana, played by Lalla Ward, departs from the series in Warriors' Gate, along with John Leeson who returns to voice the robot K9. With the arrival of Adric, this season marks the first time since 1967 that the show has given the Doctor a party of three travelling companions.

Guest stars[edit]

The Master returns to the show, this time played by Geoffrey Beevers, in The Keeper of Traken. After the events of Traken the Master is played by Anthony Ainley, who would continue to play the Master for the rest of the classic series run.

Jacqueline Hill, who plays the First Doctor's companion Barbara Wright, returns in Meglos, although this time playing the one-off character Lexa.


For Season 18 John Nathan-Turner replaces Graham Williams as producer. Barry Letts returns as executive producer, for just this season. Christopher H. Bidmead also replaces Douglas Adams as script editor. In a return to the format of early seasons, virtually all serials from Seasons 18 through 20 are linked together, often running directly into each other. Three serials – Full Circle, State of Decay, and Warriors' Gate – are part of a trilogy within the season. These three serials include the arrival of Adric and the departure of Romana and K9.

Over the period of Christmas 1980, the season took a two-week transmission break between the broadcasts of State of Decay and Warriors' Gate.

Story No. Serial Title Directed by Written by UK viewers
Original air date Production
109 1 The Leisure Hive Lovett Bickford David Fisher Ep.1: 5.9
Ep.2: 5.0
Ep.3: 5.0
Ep.4: 4.5[2]
Ep.4: 65[2]
30 August - 20 September 1980 5N
Finding out-of-season Brighton beach somewhat lacking, the Doctor and Romana travel to the leisure planet Argolis - but there strange experiments are taking place. NOTE: The Randomiser is removed in this episode, which ends the Doctor's running from the Black Guardian.
110 2 Meglos Terence Dudley John Flanagan
& Andrew McCulloch
Ep.1: 5.0
Ep.2: 4.2
Ep.3: 4.7
Ep.4: 4.7[3]
Ep.1: 61
Ep.2: 64
Ep.4: 63[3]
27 September - 18 October 1980 5Q
On Tigella, two opposing factions are irrevocably divided over one fundamental issue: the Dodecahedron, a mysterious object which provides the entire planet's energy. Note: Gallifrey sends a summons to recall Romana at the end of the episode.
111 3 Full Circle Peter Grimwade Andrew Smith Ep.1: 5.9
Ep.2: 3.7
Ep.3: 5.9
Ep.4: 5.4[4]
Ep.4: 65[4]
25 October - 15 November 1980 5R
En route to Gallifrey to return Romana to the High Council of Time Lords, the TARDIS passes through a strange phenomenon (a CVE or Charged Vacuum Emboidment) and ends up in an alternative universe called E-Space.
112 4 State of Decay Peter Moffatt Terrance Dicks Ep.1: 5.8
Ep.2: 5.3
Ep.3: 4.4
Ep.4: 5.4[5]
Ep.4: 69[5]
22 November - 13 December 1980 5P
After the events of Full Circle, the Doctor's adventures in E-Space arriving on a planet. The villagers live under the thrall of three lords who dwell in a shadowy Tower.
113 5 Warriors' Gate Paul Joyce
& Graeme Harper
Stephen Gallagher Ep.1: 7.1
Ep.2: 6.7
Ep.3: 8.3
Ep.4: 7.8[6]
Ep.1: 59
Ep.4: 59[6]
3–24 January 1981 5S
Time Winds strike the TARDIS, damaging it and K-9. Strangest of all, it allows Biroc, to enter, phased in time, sending the TARDIS into a milk-white void.
114 6 The Keeper of Traken John Black Johnny Byrne Ep.1: 7.6
Ep.2: 6.1
Ep.3: 5.2
Ep.4: 6.1[7]
Ep.4: 63[7]
31 January - 21 February 1981 5T
The Doctor and Adric arrive back in N-Space in an empire of peace and harmony. They are surprised when the elderly Keeper of Traken appears in the TARDIS to ask for their help in rescuing the Union from a secret evil growing in its midst.
115 7 Logopolis Peter Grimwade Christopher H. Bidmead Ep.1: 7.7
Ep.2: 7.7
Ep.3: 5.8
Ep.4: 6.1[8]
Ep.2: 61
Ep.4: 65[8]
28 February - 21 March 1981. 5V
The Doctor goes to Earth to take fresh measurements of a police box to repair the TARDIS. A figure in white observes. All the while, the Master lurks in the shadows, but what could he be planning?


The entire season was broadcast from 30 August 1980 to 21 March 1981.

DVD Release[edit]

All serials of season 18 were released individually in between 2004 and 2011.

Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
The Leisure Hive 4 × 25 min. 5 July 2004 7 October 2004 7 June 2005
Meglos 4 × 25 min. 10 January 2011 20 January 2011 11 January 2011
The E-Space Trilogy:
Full Circle (4 episodes)
State of Decay (4 episodes)
Warriors' Gate (4 episodes)
12 × 25 min. 26 January 2009 5 March 2009 5 May 2009
The Keeper of Traken
Only available as part of the New Beginnings box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Available individually or in the box set in Region 1.
4 × 25 min. 29 January 2007 7 March 2007 5 June 2007
Only available as part of the New Beginnings box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Available individually or in the box set in Region 1.
4 × 25 min. 29 January 2007 7 March 2007 5 June 2007

In print[edit]

Serial name Novelisation title Author First published
The Leisure Hive Doctor Who and the Leisure Hive David Fisher 1982
Meglos Meglos Terrance Dicks 1983
Full Circle Full Circle Andrew Smith 1982
State of Decay Doctor Who and the State of Decay Terrance Dicks 1982
Warriors' Gate Doctor Who and Warriors' Gate John Lydecker 1982
The Keeper of Traken Doctor Who and the Keeper of Traken Terrance Dicks 1982
Logopolis Logopolis Christopher H. Bidmead 1982


  1. ^ "List of Doctor Who DVD releases - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia". Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  2. ^ a b "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): The Leisure Hive". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  3. ^ a b "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): Meglos". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  4. ^ a b "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): Full Circle". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  5. ^ a b "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): State Of Decay". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  6. ^ a b "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): Warriors' Gate". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  7. ^ a b "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): The Keeper Of Traken". Retrieved 2012-07-20. 
  8. ^ a b "A Brief History Of Time (Travel): Logopolis". Retrieved 2012-07-20.