The Keys Of Marinus: Doctor Who: Season 1








The Keys Of Marinus SYNOPSIS:

The travellers land on the planet Marinus and there meet Arbitan, keeper of the conscience of Marinus, a huge computer which acts as a justice machine eliminating all evil thoughts. However the Voord have managed to resist it's impulses and want control of the conscience machine. Having captured their TARDIS, Arbitan Coerces the travellers into retrieving the four remaining keys needed to reset the machine so it can control the Voord.

Given travel dials to take them direct to each keys location the travellers set off on their quest. First to the advanced city of Morphorton inhabited by a pacifist race, Barbara breaks the conditioning placed on them by the inhabitants and finds the population is hypnotically enslaved by brain creatures and retrieves the key. The Doctor goes on alone to the city of Millenius for the final key while the others continue the quest.

Aided by former slaves Sabetha and Altos, the Ian and Barbara manage to retrieve the next key from a booby trapped temple in the screaming jungle and then manage to rescue Susan and the others from Ice soliders in a frozen wasteland finding the nest key. However when they get to Millenius, Ian is found with a dead body. Accused of murder, the sentence is death. The Doctor is forced to act as his defence attorney to find the final key.

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The Keys Of Marinus DETAILS:

Episode Broadcast Run Time Viewership (In Millions)
Episode One: The Sea Of Death 11-Apr-64 23:20 9.9
Episode Two: The Velvet Web 18-Apr-64 25:37 9.4
Episode Three: The Screaming Jungle 25-Apr-64 23:45 9.9
Episode Four: The Snows Of Terror 2-May-64 24:54 10.4
Episode Five: The Sentence Of Death 9-May-64 25:03 7.9
Episode Six: The Keys Of Marinus 16-May-64 25:11 6.9

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The Keys Of Marinus CAST & CREW

The Doctor:
William Hartnell (First Doctor)

Carole Ann Ford (Susan Foreman)
William Russell (Ian Chesterton)
Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright)

Guest Stars:
George Coulouris — Arbitan
Martin Cort — Voord / Warrior / Ice Soldier / Aydan
Peter Stenson — Voord / Ice Soldier / Second Judge
Gordon Wales — Voord
Robin Phillips — Altos
Katherine Schofield — Sabetha
Heron Carvic — Voice of Morpho
Edmund Warwick — Darrius
Francis de Wolff — Vasor
Michael Allaby — Ice Soldier / Larn
Alan James — Ice Soldier / First Judge / Guard
Anthony Verner — Ice Soldier
Henley Thomas — Tarron
Raf de la Torre — Senior Judge
Fiona Walker — Kala
Donald Pickering — Eyesen
Stephen Dartnell — Yartek
Dougie Dean — Eprin

Production Staff for Serial E:
Writer - Terry Nation
Directors - John Gorrie
Script editor - David Whitaker
Producer - Verity Lambert
Associate producer - Mervyn Pinfield

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The Keys Of Marinus REVIEWS


The Keys Of Marinus

These early six part stories really take it out of you and this was the very first six parter.

The first Dr Who where the star takes a blatant holiday for the middle two episodes and gets away with it. Wasn't prepared for that and felt ripped off. Mind you was feeling pretty ripped off for the whole story. Bad enough these early Who's are B & W but it really wheezes in parts, especially as some of the supporting artists appear to have been people pulled off the street and told to act in it (let's call them Streeties) it's almost watchable...but only once. Maybe it was the let down feeling of it not being like the novella I read as a kid too? The Voord appear creepy, even though they're just guys in wet suits with triangles on their heads, big come down from the Daleks. And the episode of the brains in jars controlling the characters' will was a great idea for early Who, pity it's ruined by the eyestalks...

Nice attempt in trying to do a story featuring heaps of different characters and locales but also a bad attempt as it was too ambitious for it's time and it shows. Can't remember much more though, fell asleep during the trial scene. The only good thing is the Tardis crew is really gelling and in their groove now and they've noticeably softened Hartnell's character to make him more approachable. Susan is actually being overly stupid in the best teenage tradition too. Pity the budget constraints show for the story remember the Marinus machine blowing up was just a big bit of cardboard falling over and two bags of sand being pouring through the roof. 3/10.

Would've marked it 2 but 1 point is for Hartnell's hilarious guff "If you had forgotten to get your shoes you could lend her hers" (although bad that he's starting to fluff lines on a regular basis only 20 episodes in.)


When I was in grade six I read the Keys Of Marinus book so many times cos I thought it was unreal. When I finally saw it for the first time a few years ago - well, disappointment is one word for it. A waste of $29.95 was another thing that sprung to mind. Fortunately the Keys Of Marinus didn't cost me a relationship like the VHS copy of The Tenth Planet that I bought from Minotaur in 2003 did - but the feeling of "what the fuck have I done?" was still there.

Terry can't write for toffy and its probably better he just write corridor scenes that feature Daleks in them. Whatever he was smoking when he came up with the Keys Of Marinus still has the jury deciding but you gotta ask - one exotic location per episode - plus actors in major and minor speaking roles (and extras) - plus monsters - is really stretching the budget here. And it shows.

Its fun to spot the same extra that appeared as a handmaiden in episode 2 (the one with brains on stalks) turn up in episode 6 as a guard in a setting that is supposed to be on the other side of the planet. Or even the same set - just filmed from another angle with a bit cloth over it to make it look slightly different. Another game you can play is "spot the stagehand". So far I have spotted 6 different crew members walking accidentally into shot or disappearing behind some scenery somewhere - and I kid you not its ALL in episode one (the one with the giant pyramid with the revolving trap doors).

On the plus side for those who get their rocks off on this sort of thing - episode 4 (The Snows of Terror) features Dr Who's first attempted rape scene. Yes; grizzly old Vaber who's opening line is "My name is Vaber - most men fear me." He wants to slam dunk some sausage into Babs. On the other hand maybe there's another reason men fear him cos old Vaber stops paying attention to Babs and starts hightailing it after Ian when him and his gay mate Altos appear on the scene. So; its a rape scene and some man-on-man action in Dr Who's fifth adventure broadcast during dinner time for the kiddies.

Oh, I gotta mention the ice soldiers which are actors in white raincoats with bickets on their heads. Ingenious. Anything else? There's the revolving Buddha statue with human arms that grab Susan's breasts. There's Edmund Warwick's atrocious acting as Darrius in The Screaming Jungle - Edmund by the way went on to play the unconvincing robot double of the Doctor in "The Chase." I'm sure there are tonnes of other crappy things I've missed out like unconvincing model shots and missed cues but you get the picture by now.

The Keys Of Marinus is not just crap, but bad, overlong, badly written and shoddily directed crap. So just like the bowel movement I had this morning, its a big fat number 2 from me.


You know what... for someone who doesn't like many Hartnell stories... I quite enjoy the Keys Of Marinus!!

You probably need to look past some of the production values on these stories... they're all beyond crap really. Bad acting, bad sets, bad lots of stuff getting in the way that shouldn't!

But the difference between the Keys Of Marinus and others is that stuff actually happens! It's a bit drawn out, but the fact that it moves from place to place reasonably quickly really works for me... it's a good, traditional, Sci Fi quest - clearly defined early, and then well resolved in the end. Definitely has it's boring bits (the trial for one!), but it still shines more than a lot of the first 3 series... and maybe the absence of Billy for two episodes helped that!!

This was a bold story that worked... maybe because I hadn't read the book!


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Screen Shots:

Keys Of Marinus Titles

Keys Of Marinus the Tardis arrives

Keys Of Marinus the Keeper Of Marinus

Keys Of Marinus meeting the Keeper Of Marinus

Keys Of Marinus Morphoton brain creatures

Keys Of Marinus Inside the city of Morphoton

Keys Of Marinus Ian and Barbara with Morphoton Brain

Keys Of Marinus In the screaming jungle

Keys Of Marinus the idol

Keys Of Marinus Barbara and Susan

Keys Of Marinus Sabiitha and Ian

Keys Of Marinus finding the ice soldiers

Keys Of Marinus the ice soldiers

Keys Of Marinus message left

Keys Of Marinus security police

Keys Of Marinus the Doctor prepares for trial

Keys Of Marinus Security Chief

Keys Of Marinus Tribunal hearing

Keys Of Marinus Yartek interrogates

Keys Of Marinus the Voord take over

Keys Of Marinus Yartek has the keys

Keys Of Marinus the Doctor and Ian