Underworld: Doctor Who: Season 15








Underworld SYNOPSIS:

The Tardis lands on the R1C a Minyan space ship whose crew are on an endless quest to find the ship containing their peoples race banks, the P7E. Jackson and the others have survived for centuries by Time Lord based regeneration equipment. The Doctor saves the R1C from being buried in a meteorite storm and it crashes into a newly formed planet.

The interior of the planet is a network of caves and at it's heart is the P7E. The P7E's computer, the Oracle was programmed to protect the race banks but has gone insane and with it's created robotic seers has subjugated the Minyan survivors and the descendants it had on board.

The Oracle allows Jackson and his crew to obtain the race banks but the Doctor and Leela can not convince them to free the Minyans trapped there. The Doctor realizes they have been given fisson grenades instead of race and the Tardis crew plead for them to assist in helping the Minyan survivors flee the planet if the Doctor can outwit the Oracle and free the trapped R1C.

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Episode Broadcast Run Time Viewership (In Millions)
Part One 7-Jan-78 22:36 8.9
Part Two 14-Jan-78 21:27 9.1
Part Three 21-Jan-78 22:21 8.9
Part Four 28-Jan-78 22:53 11.7

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Underworld CAST & CREW

The Doctor:
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Louise Jameson (Leela)
John Leeson (K-9 Mk. I)

Guest Stars:
James Maxwell — Jackson
Alan Lake — Herrick
Jonathan Newth — Orfe
Imogen Bickford-Smith — Tala
James Marcus — Rask
Godfrey James — Tarn
Jimmy Gardner — Idmon
Norman Tipton — Idas
Jay Neill — Klimt
Frank Jarvis — Ankh
Richard Shaw — Lakh
Stacey Tendeter — Naia
Christine Pollon — Voice of the Oracle

Production Staff for serial 4Y:
Writer - Bob Baker & Dave Martin
Director - Norman Stewart
Script editor - Anthony Read
Producer - Graham Williams

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Underworld REVIEWS


Underworld should have been called Doctor Down Under and had a snappy theme tune to accompany it. Yeah it was dull, mid numbingly dull. The first real low point for the TB era. Can sort of remember the stuff on the ship at the start, the characters were dull and everyone seemed bored with acting in the story, all staggering around bumping into each other mumbling the quest is the quest. Well train travel is train travel but who keeps repeatedly saying that?
There is nothing of interest here, so Underworld was a Jason and the Argonauts homage was it? Well it doesn't do much to interest any viewer in Greek mythology. We learn about the Timelord's policy of non interference but that's about it and a mad computer (which I think was the really good set where the budget for this one went) and the Seers - yes they do look like dustbins don't they? Guess the computer set is really why they couldn't go and film in some real caves.
Plus there's a lot of dull characters we meet in the Underworld itself and the entire CSO cave thing how did they honestly think they were going to fool the viewing public of 1978, especially the kids into thinking it was real caves? Yawn! getting sleepy just writing about this boring, stuffy and tedious story. Not even Baker's antics standout 2/10


"Whatever blows can be sucked!" Yep; that's a line from the Underworld. Pretty amazing, eh? Aside from that piece of Shakespearean writing I can't really think of anything positive to say about this story. It just looks and feels dull. Long and dull. Sensorites dull.
The script is a rip-off of Jason and the Argonauts with various names and places slightly changed accordingly and it just draaaaaaaaaaaaaags like wet cement. I really don't care about ANYONE in this story at all. And it looks so cheap and tatty and sad as if all the money had gone on.....well, WHAT exactly? Even the cliffhangers are dull - there is nothing to make you want to tune in next time. One cliffhanger ended on a shot of an air vent (wow) and another on a mining cart (gee...)
The sets are grey and clunky and the interior cave scenes are appallingly fake. CSO caves and rocks - how shocking is that? People run THROUGH rocks or the run ABOVE the ground, and the floor of the caves sounds like a studio floor. And the robotic masters; the Seers look like overturned dustbins. Even when I first watched this when I was eleven I was bored to tears. I vaguely remember some fairly interesting Time Lord back story about the Time Lords helping the Minyans and screwing it all up which resulted in their policy of non-interference.
I wish they went more with that that the whole bloody fake-cave thing. That's all I can say about it really. Although the first one to Google a proper photo of those aliens wins a Mars Bar. Or a copy of The War Games. 1/10


And we thought The Sunmakers was unmemorable.Underworld makes The Sunmakers look like Genesis of the Daleks! After reading the plot synopsis again, it actually doesn't seem like it's that bad. The start of it in particular is interesting - the whole Minyos back-story and the Time Lords intervention thing is great... and the visual of the spaceship attracting the meteors and becoming a planet, that's excellent stuff. I'm quite willing to say Part 1 works well.
The fact that the ship is named after the first cell in a spreadsheet should have been a giveaway that the rest was going to be crap. Then it becomes about the quest. The quest is the quest. Unfortunately, the quest is a little bit shit. Why do they need the data banks? Surely they can rebuild Minyos 2 with what they have already? Apparently Graham Williams' inspiration for this came from watching Star Wars... maybe he didn't like Star Wars. Even if you take into account the massive disparity in budget between the two (which resulted in all funds being spent on the R1C, and nothing left for the caves... which took up 3/4 of the story!), the story is nowhere near The Phantom Menace let alone A New Hope!!
And above all else, it seems like the way we can make Underworld a comedy is to use stupid names... R17... Minyos... OK, not as stupid as "The End of the World", but just as dumb. There was one other thing going for this - Underworld is the first episode that used post production effects for things like laser beams... that's the highlight of the last 3 parts. 2.5 for the first episode, and 0.5 for the frickin' laser beams.

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Screen Shots:

Underworld Titles

Underworld the Doctor

Underworld Tardis nears Nebula

Underworld k9

Underworld navigating nebula

Underworld Leela at console

Underworld R1C in trouble

Underworld Jackson on bridge

Underworld R1C hit by asteroids

Underworld Dr and Leela

Underworld Damaged R1C leaves planet

Underworld Orfe jackson and Talia

Underworld Damaged R1C

Underworld Guards

Underworld Edas and the Doctor

Underworld Herrick tortured

Underworld Seers

Underworld Dr and Leela in the Tardis 2