EPISODE: Image of the Fendahl Part One
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 462
STORY NUMBER: 094
TRANSMITTED: 29 October 1977
WRITER: Chris Boucher
DIRECTOR: George Spenton-Foster
SCRIPT EDITOR: Robert Holmes
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Image of the Fendahl
A research team works on an incredibly ancient skull, older than humanity itself. As they subject it to tests it starts to glow. In nearby woods a hiker encounters a creature in nearby woods which kills him as one of the scientists, Thea Ransome, collapses. The Tardis finds itself dragged off course by a time scan in operation and when the Doctor traces the source to Earth he decides to investigate. The hiker's body is found by the research team who's head, Dr. Fendelman, summons a security team from London and orders Stael to perform an autopsy on the rapidly decomposing body, but no cause of death can be found, bar an odd blister on the neck. Leela & The Doctor encounter local Ted Moss who fills them in on the research establishment. Adam Colby & Thea Ransome object to the security restrictions placed on them and Adam takes the matter up with Dr. Fendelman, he explains his instrumentation can allow him to see into the past. Thea goes to look at the equipment and as she adjusts in the skull begins to glow. Outside the Doctor & Leela are attempting to enter the house the research team is based in. Leela enters the house and is shot at while outside the Doctor remains rooted to the spot as something advances on him.
Lots of dark woods and glowing skulls with people taking the law into their own hands plus a mysterious force diverting the Tardis off track. Can't really go wrong with that can you? The only fly in the ointment is that, for the second story in a row, we have a professor with a slightly dodgy foreign accent!
Even when I can't find an actor has been in Doctor Who before or since it's usually easy to find something about them. For example Security Team leader David Mitchell is played by Derek Martin who goes on to be Charlie Slater in Eastenders. But every so often you see an odd claim on Wikipedia that you can't be 100% sure is true. We have the hiker who appears in this episode, played by actor Graham Simpson, who's also in the Blake's 7 episode Weapon (with the same writer & director as this one). Wikipedia believes that this Graham Simpson later became a businessmanand went on to chair Watford football club! I've done some research and I'm not 100% convinced the Wikipedia entry is right but neither am I convinced that it's definitely wrong.
Location filming for this story once again takes place at Stargrove Manor, then the home of Mick Jagger. It had been used two years previously as the locations for Pyramids of Mars.