Doctor Who (season 18)

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Doctor Who (season 18)
Doctor Who Season 18 DVD.jpg
Cover art of the Region 2 DVD release for first serial of the season
Country of origin United Kingdom
No. of stories 7
No. of episodes 28
Original network BBC One
Original release 30 August 1980 (1980-08-30) – 21 March 1981 (1981-03-21)
Season chronology
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Season 17
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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 last story Logopolis.


Main cast[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 Serial Title Directed by Written by Original air date Prod.
UK viewers
(millions) [1]
AI [1]
109 1 The Leisure Hive Lovett Bickford David Fisher 30 August 1980 (1980-08-30)
6 September 1980
13 September 1980
20 September 1980
5N 5.9

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
27 September 1980 (1980-09-27)
4 October 1980
11 October 1980
18 October 1980
5Q 5.0

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 25 October 1980 (1980-10-25)
1 November 1980
8 November 1980
15 November 1980
5R 5.9

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 Emboîtement) and ends up in an alternative universe called E-Space.
112 4 State of Decay Peter Moffatt Terrance Dicks 22 November 1980 (1980-11-22)
29 November 1980
6 December 1980
13 December 1980
5P 5.8

After the events of Full Circle, the Doctor's adventures in E-Space continue with his arrival on a medieval planet. Villagers live under the thrall of three lords who dwell in a shadowy Tower.
113 5 Warriors' Gate Paul Joyce
& Graeme Harper
Stephen Gallagher 3 January 1981 (1981-01-03)
10 January 1981
17 January 1981
24 January 1981
5S 7.1

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 31 January 1981 (1981-01-31)
7 February 1981
14 February 1981
21 February 1981
5T 7.6

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 28 February 1981 (1981-02-28)
7 March 1981
14 March 1981
21 March 1981
5V 7.7


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. ^ a b "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.