Doctor Who (season 12)
|Doctor Who (season 12)|
Cover art of the Blu-ray release for the complete season
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of stories||5|
|No. of episodes||20|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Original release||28 December 1974– 10 May 1975|
This is the first season to feature Tom Baker as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside. He is accompanied by companions Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), continuing from season eleven, and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter), who joins in this season.
When producing season twelve, it was known that Jon Pertwee would be leaving his role as the Third Doctor and that a new Fourth Doctor would need to be cast for the part. Tom Baker was an out-of-work actor, working in construction at the time. Baker had been a television and film actor, having major parts in several films including The Vault of Horror (1973) and as the main antagonist in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad the same year. He had written to Bill Slater, the Head of Serials at the BBC, asking for work. Slater suggested Baker to Doctor Who producer Barry Letts who had been looking to fill the part. Letts had been the producer of the series since the early Pertwee serials in 1970. He had seen Baker's work in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and hired him for the part. Baker would continue in his role as the Doctor for seven seasons, longer than any other actor to play the part.
Elisabeth Sladen had renewed her contract to play Sarah Jane Smith during the previous season. Ian Marter joined the cast as Harry Sullivan. The character was created before Baker was cast; there had been discussion of casting an older actor as the Doctor, and so Harry was created as a younger character to handle the action scenes.
Nicholas Courtney and John Levene reprised their roles as the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton respectively in the first serial, Robot. Courtney had begun his role in the Second Doctor story The Web of Fear (1968), where the character was a colonel. Levene had begun in Second Doctor story The Invasion (1968), replacing another actor. Both were members of the military organization United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT). They, along with Sladen, would be the transition cast to carry through from the Third Doctor to the Fourth Doctor, though Robot is the only UNIT story for the twelfth season.
After Robot, all the serials in this season continue directly one after the other, tracing one single problematic voyage of the TARDIS crew. Despite the continuity, each serial is considered its own standalone story.
The season was initially formatted as the previous Pertwee season had been with three six-part stories and two four-part stories. To this end, the initial structure was to open with the four-part Robot and the four-part Space Station by Christopher Langley followed by three six-parters – Genesis of Terror (later retitled Genesis of the Daleks), Loch Ness, and another six-part story to be determined. Script editor Robert Holmes discussed with Philip Hinchcliffe the possibility of replacing the as-yet undecided six-parter with a four-part story and a two-parter, both with the same production team. The season structure later became two four-part stories (Robot and a replacement for Space Station, The Ark in Space), the new two-parter The Destructors (later retitled The Sontaran Experiment), the six-part Genesis of Terror, and a four-part version of Loch Ness (later retitled Terror of the Zygons and held over for season 13). This decision made The Sontaran Experiment the first two-part story since Season 2's The Rescue. It was also the first to be shot entirely on location since Jon Pertwee's opening story Spearhead from Space in Season 7, and the first to be shot entirely on videotape instead of 16mm film, as was usual for location shooting. As a means of saving money, The Ark in Space and Revenge of the Cybermen were shot on the same sets.
|Story||Serial||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|75||1||Robot||Christopher Barry||Terrance Dicks||28 December 1974|
4 January 1975
11 January 1975
18 January 1975
|A giant robot steals the plans for a disintegrator gun and the launch codes for nuclear weapons.|
|76||2||The Ark in Space||Rodney Bennett||Robert Holmes||25 January 1975|
1 February 1975
8 February 1975
15 February 1975
|Thousands of years in the future, an insectoid alien race known as the Wirrn intend to absorb the humans on board Space Station Nerva.|
|77||3||The Sontaran Experiment||Rodney Bennett||Bob Baker and Dave Martin||22 February 1975|
1 March 1975
|On a future Earth, the Sontaran Field Major Styre experiments on humans he trapped there.|
|78||4||Genesis of the Daleks||David Maloney||Terry Nation||8 March 1975|
15 March 1975
22 March 1975
29 March 1975
5 April 1975
12 April 1975
|The Fourth Doctor, Sarah, and Harry are sent on a mission to Skaro just as the Daleks are being created to try to change their history to prevent them from becoming the dominant race.|
|79||5||Revenge of the Cybermen||Michael E. Briant||Gerry Davis||19 April 1975|
26 April 1975
3 May 1975
10 May 1975
|The Doctor, Harry and Sarah find themselves on Space Station Nerva but millennia earlier when it was just a beacon for incoming and outgoing space ships, where a lethal infection is spreading through the crew.|
Robot was written by Dicks, who cited King Kong as an influence for the serial. Dicks incorporated several familiar elements from the Third Doctor's first story Spearhead from Space (1970), which helped the audience transition between actors. The Ark in Space was written by Robert Holmes from a story by John Lucarotti that was considered unusable. Letts and Dicks were eager to have Terry Nation return to write the Daleks, but initially found his script too similar to past Dalek adventures. They suggested that he write a Dalek origin story instead, which became Genesis of the Daleks. However, under Hinchcliffe, the serial gained a darker tone.
The sets of The Ark in Space were reused for Revenge of the Cybermen. Genesis of the Daleks was the last serial of the season to be filmed, after Revenge of the Cybermen. This took place in January and February 1975.
The entire season was broadcast from 28 December 1974 to 10 May 1975.
The season uses the same opening titles as the previous season, albeit with Baker's face instead of Pertwee's. However, the title sequence for Part One of The Ark in Space was tinted green as an experiment, but was not repeated for subsequent episodes.
Home media releases
The stories were released on DVD individually in between 2002 and 2010. The complete season was released on Blu-ray in 2018, and includes Existing special features from the individual releases, Tom Baker in Conversation, Behind the Sofa, New making-of documentaries for The Sontaran Experiment and Revenge of the Cybermen, 5.1 sound mixes for The Ark in Space and Genesis of the Daleks, New special effects for Revenge of the Cybermen, Genesis of the Daleks omnibus movie version, "The Doctor Who Times" an exploration of contemporary British television, The Tom Baker Years 1991 VHS feature, PDF files of production material.
|Serial name||Number and duration
|R2/B release date||R4/B release date||R1/A release date|
|Robot||4 × 25 min.||4 June 2007||4 July 2007||14 August 2007|
|The Ark in Space||4 × 25 min.||8 April 2002||3 June 2002||6 August 2002|
|The Ark in Space – Special Edition||4 × 25 min.||25 February 2013||27 February 2013||12 March 2013|
|The Sontaran Experiment
Available individually or in the Bred for War box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
|2 × 25 min.||9 October 2006||7 December 2006||6 March 2007|
|Genesis of the Daleks
Available individually or in The Complete Davros Collection box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
|6 × 25 min.||10 April 2006||4 May 2006||6 June 2006|
|Revenge of the Cybermen
Only available as part of the Cybermen box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
|4 × 25 min.||9 August 2010||7 October 2010||2 November 2010|
|Complete Season (Blu-ray)
Released as Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12 in Region B.
Released as Doctor Who – Tom Baker: Complete Season One in Region A.
|20 × 25 min.||2 July 2018||1 August 2018||19 June 2018|
|Serial name||Novelisation title||Author||First published|
|Robot||Doctor Who and the Giant Robot||Terrance Dicks||13 March 1975|
|The Ark in Space||Doctor Who and the Ark in Space||Ian Marter||21 April 1977|
|The Sontaran Experiment||Doctor Who and the Sontaran Experiment||Ian Marter||7 December 1978|
|Genesis of the Daleks||Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks||Terrance Dicks||22 July 1976|
|Revenge of the Cybermen||Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen||Terrance Dicks||20 May 1976|
- Sladen, Elisabeth (2012). Doctor Who Stories: Elizabeth Sladen Part 1 (DVD). Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs. London, England, UK: BBC Video. ISBN 9780780684416. OCLC 750279801.
Westthorp, Alex (24 April 2008). "Who could've been Who? An alternate history of Doctor Who". Den of Geek. London, England, UK: Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
Eventually a suggestion by the wife of BBC drama head Bill Slater was followed up and the production team found the wild-eyed and naturally eccentric Tom Baker mixing cement on a building site.
Westthorp, Alex (1 April 2010). "Top 10 Doctor Who producers: Part Two". Den of Geek. London, England, UK: Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
Letts found casting a new Doctor more difficult, however, until a tip-off from his boss Bill Slater. An unemployed actor, then working on a building site, called Tom Baker had written to Slater asking for work. In, arguably, one of the best decisions ever made on Doctor Who, Letts cast Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor.
Rawson-Jones, Ben (14 October 2009). "A tribute to 'Doctor Who' legend Barry Letts". Digital Spy. New York City, New York, USA: Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
Having seen unknown hod-carrier Baker in The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad, Letts took the goggle-eyed aspiring actor away from the building site and into the Tardis in 1974.
- AudioFile staff (July 2009). Whitten, Robin F., ed. "AudioFile audiobook review: DOCTOR WHO By Terrance Dicks, Read by Tom Baker". AudioFile. Portland, Maine, USA: AudioFile Publications. ISSN 1063-0244. OCLC 25844569. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Braxton, Mark (7 May 2010). Preston, Ben, ed. "Doctor Who: Robot – Radio Times". Radio Times. London, England, UK: Immediate Media Company. ISSN 0033-8060. OCLC 240905405. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
- Doctor Who: The Scripts – Tom Baker 1974/5. London: BBC Worldwide Limited. 2001. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0563538155.
- Roberts, Steve (12 August 2006). "The Sontaran Experiment". Doctor Who Restoration Team. Archived from the original on 1 June 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
- "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- Muir, John Kenneth (1999). A critical history of Doctor Who on television (illustrated ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina, USA: McFarland & Company. ISBN 9780786404421. OCLC 40926632. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
- Cornell, Day and Topping (2004)[page needed]
- Howe and Walker (2004)[page needed]
- Howe, Stammers & Walker 1992, p. 57
- Cornell, Day and Topping (2004) p. 168
- Baker, Tom, Terrance Dicks, Philip Hinchcliffe, Barry Letts, David Maloney, Elisabeth Sladen, Michael Wisher (10 April 2006). Genesis of a Classic (DVD). Genesis of the Daleks DVD: BBC Worldwide.
- Howe, Stammers & Walker 1992, pp. 58, 63, 64
- Richard Molesworth (compiler) (10 April 2006). Genesis of the Daleks with Information Text (DVD). Genesis of the Daleks DVD: BBC Worldwide.
- Braxton, Mark (14 June 2010). "Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
- Richards, Justin (2005) . Doctor Who: The Legend Continues – 5 decades of time travel (revised ed.). London: BBC Books. p. 199. ISBN 0-563-48640-6.
- "Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 12". Retrieved 7 March 2018 – via Amazon.
- "Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 12". Retrieved 7 March 2018 – via DVDLand AU.
- Lambert, David (16 March 2018). "Doctor Who - Early Package Art Arrives, Along With a Slight Date Change, for Blu-ray of 'Tom Baker: Season 1'". TVShowsOnDVD. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
- Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1 October 2004). The Discontinuity Guide: The Unofficial Doctor Who Companion (2nd ed.). Austin, Texas, USA: MonkeyBrain Books. ISBN 9781932265095. OCLC 56773449.
- Howe, David J.; Walker, Stephen James (30 October 2004). The Television Companion: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who. Tolworth, Surrey, England, UK: Telos Publishing. ISBN 9781903889527. OCLC 59332938.
- Howe, David J.; Stammers, Mark; Walker, Stephen James (1 November 1992). The Fourth Doctor Handbook: The Tom Baker Years 1974–1981. London, England, UK: Doctor Who Books. ISBN 9780426203698. OCLC 31709926.