Doctor Who (season 17)
|Doctor Who (season 17)|
Cover art of the Region 2 DVD release for first serial of the season
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of stories||5 (+1 unaired)|
|No. of episodes||20 (+6 unaired)|
|Original network||BBC One|
|Original release||1 September 1979 –|
12 January 1980
Tom Baker continued as the Fourth Doctor. Lalla Ward, who played Princess Astra in the season 16 finale The Armageddon Factor, returned to the series as the newly regenerated Romana, replacing Mary Tamm in the role. After John Leeson declined to voice K9 in this season, David Brierley replaced him in the final three serials (and Shada).
Season 17 was intended to follow the same format as had every season since Season 13, with five 4-part serials and a 6-parter closing the season out. However, the planned final serial of the season, Shada, was affected by an industrial dispute involving the BBC's technicians; while the location filming and the first studio recording session were completed, strike action by staff meant that the planned second studio session had to be cancelled. Although the dispute was resolved and plans were put in place to continue work on the story, it was eventually shelved, as the BBC was concerned that its Christmas productions might be affected. A BBC historian has suggested that by cancelling completely instead of finishing what little was required the management could demonstrate that the strikes had consequences
|Story||Serial||Serial title||Episode titles||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||Prod.|
|104||1||Destiny of the Daleks||"Episode One"||Ken Grieve||Terry Nation||1 September 1979||5J||13.0||67|
|"Episode Two"||Ken Grieve||Terry Nation||8 September 1979||5J||12.7||—|
|"Episode Three"||Ken Grieve||Terry Nation||15 September 1979||5J||13.8||63|
|"Episode Four"||Ken Grieve||Terry Nation||22 September 1979||5J||14.4||64|
|The TARDIS lands the Fourth Doctor and Romana on a strangely familiar planet. There, they meet the android Movellans, who are locked in a war with the Daleks. The planet is Skaro, and in a bunker sits an enemy long thought dead — Davros, creator of the Daleks.|
|105||2||City of Death||"Part One"||Michael Hayes||David Agnew (Douglas Adams, Graham Williams and David Fisher)||29 September 1979||5H||12.4||—|
|"Part Two"||Michael Hayes||David Agnew (Douglas Adams, Graham Williams and David Fisher)||6 October 1979||5H||14.1||64|
|"Part Three"||Michael Hayes||David Agnew (Douglas Adams, Graham Williams and David Fisher)||13 October 1979||5H||15.4||—|
|"Part Four"||Michael Hayes||David Agnew (Douglas Adams, Graham Williams and David Fisher)||20 October 1979||5H||16.1||64|
|In 1979 Paris, the alien Scaroth intends to erase human history by saving his fellow Jagaroth 400 million years in the past.|
|106||3||The Creature from the Pit||"Part One"||Christopher Barry||David Fisher||27 October 1979||5G||9.3||—|
|"Part Two"||Christopher Barry||David Fisher||3 November 1979||5G||10.8||67|
|"Part Three"||Christopher Barry||David Fisher||10 November 1979||5G||10.2||—|
|"Part Four"||Christopher Barry||David Fisher||17 November 1979||5G||9.6||—|
|On the planet Chloris, the Doctor and Romana soon find themselves caught up in a long and secret enmity between the Lady Adrasta, who rules the planet in fear, and the mysterious Creature that she keeps in a Pit.|
|107||4||Nightmare of Eden||"Part One"||Alan Bromly||Bob Baker||24 November 1979||5K||8.7||—|
|"Part Two"||Alan Bromly||Bob Baker||1 December 1979||5K||9.6||—|
|"Part Three"||Alan Bromly||Bob Baker||8 December 1979||5K||9.6||—|
|"Part Four"||Alan Bromly||Bob Baker||15 December 1979||5K||9.4||65|
|The TARDIS lands at the site of a hyperspatial collision between two spacecraft – as a result of which, neither ship is dimensionally stable, risking the lives of all those aboard.|
|108||5||The Horns of Nimon||"Part One"||Kenny McBain||Anthony Read||22 December 1979||5L||6.0||—|
|"Part Two"||Kenny McBain||Anthony Read||29 December 1979||5L||8.8||—|
|"Part Three"||Kenny McBain||Anthony Read||5 January 1980||5L||9.8||—|
|"Part Four"||Kenny McBain||Anthony Read||12 January 1980||5L||10.4||67|
|After colliding with a spaceship, the Doctor, Romana and K9 learn that young natives from a peaceful planet called Aneth are being transported into a great labyrinth called the "Power Complex".|
|—||6||Shada||N/A||Pennant Roberts||Douglas Adams||Unaired[note 1]||5M||—||—|
|The story revolves around the lost planet Shada, on which the Time Lords built a prison for defeated would-be conquerors of the universe. Skagra, an up-and-coming would-be conqueror of the universe, needs the assistance of one of the prison's inmates, but finds that nobody knows where Shada is anymore except one aged Time Lord who has retired to Earth.|
Part 4 of The Horns of Nimon saw the last appearance of the diamond-shaped logo that had been used since The Time Warrior in 1973.
The entire season was broadcast from 1 September 1979 to 12 January 1980.
Home video releases
All serials of season 17 were released individually on both DVD and Blu-ray between 2005 and 2017.
|Serial name||Number and duration
|R2 release date||R4 release date||R1 release date|
|Destiny of the Daleks
Available individually or in The Complete Davros Collection box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
|4 × 25 min.||26 November 2007||6 February 2008||4 March 2008|
|City of Death||4 × 25 min.||7 November 2005||1 December 2005||8 November 2005|
|The Creature from the Pit||4 × 25 min.||3 May 2010||1 July 2010||7 September 2010|
|Nightmare of Eden||4 × 25 min.||2 April 2012||3 May 2012||8 May 2012|
|The Horns of Nimon
Only available as part of the Myths and Legends box set in Regions 2 and 4.
Only available individually in Region 1.
|4 × 25 min.||29 March 2010||3 June 2010||6 July 2010|
Only available as part of The Legacy Box set
|1 × 25 min.
4 × 18 min.
1 × 14 min.
|7 January 2013||9 January 2013||8 January 2013|
|Shada – Animated Edition||1 x 138 min.||4 December 2017
|10 January 2018
|4 September 2018|
|Serial name||Novelisation title||Author||First published|
|Destiny of the Daleks||Doctor Who and the Destiny of the Daleks||Terrance Dicks||20 November 1979|
|City of Death||City of Death||James Goss||21 May 2015|
|The Creature from the Pit||Doctor Who and the Creature from the Pit||David Fisher||15 January 1981|
|Nightmare of Eden||Doctor Who and the Nightmare of Eden||Terrance Dicks||21 August 1980|
|The Horns of Nimon||Doctor Who and the Horns of Nimon||Terrance Dicks||16 October 1980|
|Shada||Shada||Gareth Roberts||15 March 2012|
- Shada was left unfinished due to a strike. Its recorded footage was later released on home video using linking narration by Tom Baker to complete the story. It is not included in the episode or story counts as it was not broadcast.
- Ley, Shaun (12 December 2009). "Shelved". BBC Radio 4. BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
- "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
- "The Doctor Who News Page: DVD Schedule Update". Doctorwhonews.net. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- McEwan, Cameron (10 October 2017). "UNFINISHED FOURTH DOCTOR CLASSIC 'SHADA' TO BE FINALLY COMPLETED!". Doctor Who. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
- "Doctor Who : Shada – Amazon.ca". Retrieved 4 December 2017 – via Amazon.
- "Doctor Who: City of Death: Amazon.co.uk: Douglas Adams, James Goss: Books". Retrieved 2 November 2014.