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Doctor Who (season 12)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Doctor Who
Season 12
Doctor Who Season 12 Blu-ray.jpg
Cover art of the Blu-ray release for the complete season
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of stories5
No. of episodes20
Original networkBBC1
Original release28 December 1974 (1974-12-28) –
10 May 1975 (1975-05-10)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 11
Next →
Season 13
List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

The twelfth season of the British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 28 December 1974 with Tom Baker's first serial Robot, and ended with Revenge of the Cybermen on 10 May 1975.

This is the first season to feature Tom Baker as the fourth incarnation of the Doctor, an alien Time Lord who travels through time and space in his TARDIS, which appears to be a British police box on the outside. He is accompanied by companions Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen), continuing from season eleven, and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter), who joins in this season.


Main cast

During production of season eleven, it was known that Jon Pertwee would be leaving his role as the Third Doctor and that a new Fourth Doctor would need to be cast for the part.[1] Tom Baker was an out-of-work actor, working in construction at the time.[2][3] Baker had been a television and film actor, having major parts in several films including The Vault of Horror (1973) and as the main antagonist in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad the same year. He had written to Bill Slater, the Head of Serials at the BBC, asking for work.[3] Slater suggested Baker to Doctor Who producer Barry Letts who had been looking to fill the part.[2][3] Letts had been the producer of the series since the early Pertwee serials in 1970. He had seen Baker's work in The Golden Voyage of Sinbad and hired him for the part.[4] Baker would continue in his role as the Doctor for seven seasons, longer than any other actor to play the part.[5]

Elisabeth Sladen returned to play the role of companion Sarah Jane Smith throughout the season. Ian Marter joined the cast as Harry Sullivan. The character was created before Baker was cast; there had been discussion of casting an older actor as the Doctor, and so Harry was created as a younger character to handle the action scenes.[citation needed]

Recurring cast

Nicholas Courtney and John Levene reprised their roles as the Brigadier and Sergeant Benton respectively in the first serial, Robot.[6] Courtney had begun his role in the Second Doctor story The Web of Fear (1968), where the character was a colonel. Levene had begun in Second Doctor story The Invasion (1968), replacing another actor. Both were members of the military organization United Nations Intelligence Taskforce (UNIT). They, along with Sladen, would be the transition cast to carry through from the Third Doctor to the Fourth Doctor, though Robot is the only UNIT story for the twelfth season.


After Robot, all the serials in this season continue directly one after the other, tracing one single problematic voyage of the TARDIS crew. Despite the continuity, each serial is considered its own standalone story.

The season was initially formatted as the previous Pertwee season had been with three six-part stories and two four-part stories. To this end, the initial structure was to open with the four-part Robot and the four-part Space Station by Christopher Langley followed by three six-parters – Genesis of Terror (later retitled Genesis of the Daleks), Loch Ness, and another six-part story to be determined. Script editor Robert Holmes discussed with Philip Hinchcliffe the possibility of replacing the as-yet undecided six-parter with a four-part story and a two-parter, both with the same production team. The season structure later became two four-part stories (Robot and a replacement for Space Station, The Ark in Space), the new two-parter The Destructors (later retitled The Sontaran Experiment), the six-part Genesis of Terror, and a four-part version of Loch Ness (later retitled Terror of the Zygons and held over for season 13).[7] This decision made The Sontaran Experiment the first two-part story since Season 2's The Rescue. It was also the first to be shot entirely on location since Jon Pertwee's opening story Spearhead from Space in Season 7, and the first to be shot entirely on videotape instead of 16mm film, as was usual for location shooting.[8] As a means of saving money, The Ark in Space and Revenge of the Cybermen were shot on the same sets.

StorySerialSerial titleEpisode titlesDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
UK viewers
(millions) [9]
751Robot"Part One"Christopher BarryTerrance Dicks28 December 1974 (1974-12-28)4A10.853
"Part Two"Christopher BarryTerrance Dicks4 January 1975 (1975-01-04)4A10.753
"Part Three"Christopher BarryTerrance Dicks11 January 1975 (1975-01-11)4A10.1
"Part Four"Christopher BarryTerrance Dicks18 January 1975 (1975-01-18)4A9.051
A giant robot steals the plans for a disintegrator gun and the launch codes for nuclear weapons.
762The Ark in Space"Part One"Rodney BennettRobert Holmes25 January 1975 (1975-01-25)4C9.4
"Part Two"Rodney BennettRobert Holmes1 February 1975 (1975-02-01)4C13.6
"Part Three"Rodney BennettRobert Holmes8 February 1975 (1975-02-08)4C11.2
"Part Four"Rodney BennettRobert Holmes15 February 1975 (1975-02-15)4C10.2
Thousands of years in the future, an insectoid alien race known as the Wirrn intend to absorb the humans on board Space Station Nerva.
773The Sontaran Experiment"Part One"Rodney BennettBob Baker and Dave Martin22 February 1975 (1975-02-22)4B11.0
"Part Two"Rodney BennettBob Baker and Dave Martin1 March 1975 (1975-03-01)4B10.555
On a future Earth, the Sontaran Field Major Styre experiments on humans he trapped there.
784Genesis of the Daleks"Part One"David MaloneyTerry Nation8 March 1975 (1975-03-08)4E10.7
"Part Two"David MaloneyTerry Nation15 March 1975 (1975-03-15)4E10.557
"Part Three"David MaloneyTerry Nation22 March 1975 (1975-03-22)4E8.5
"Part Four"David MaloneyTerry Nation29 March 1975 (1975-03-29)4E8.858
"Part Five"David MaloneyTerry Nation5 April 1975 (1975-04-05)4E9.857
"Part Six"David MaloneyTerry Nation12 April 1975 (1975-04-12)4E9.156
The Fourth Doctor, Sarah Jane, and Harry are sent on a mission to Skaro just as the Daleks are being created to try to change their history to prevent them from becoming the dominant race.
795Revenge of the Cybermen"Part One"Michael E. BriantGerry Davis19 April 1975 (1975-04-19)4D9.557
"Part Two"Michael E. BriantGerry Davis26 April 1975 (1975-04-26)4D8.3
"Part Three"Michael E. BriantGerry Davis3 May 1975 (1975-05-03)4D8.9
"Part Four"Michael E. BriantGerry Davis10 May 1975 (1975-05-10)4D9.458
The Doctor, Harry and Sarah Jane find themselves on Space Station Nerva but millennia earlier when it was just a beacon for incoming and outgoing space ships, where a lethal infection is spreading through the crew.


Barry Letts served as producer for Robot, after which he was succeeded by Philip Hinchcliffe. Robert Holmes took over from Terrance Dicks as script editor.[10]

Robot was written by Dicks, who cited King Kong as an influence for the serial.[11] Dicks incorporated several familiar elements from the Third Doctor's first story Spearhead from Space (1970), which helped the audience transition between actors.[12][13] The Ark in Space was written by Robert Holmes from a story by John Lucarotti that was considered unusable.[14][15] Letts and Dicks were eager to have Terry Nation return to write the Daleks, but initially found his script too similar to past Dalek adventures. They suggested that he write a Dalek origin story instead, which became Genesis of the Daleks.[16] However, under Hinchcliffe, the serial gained a darker tone.[16]

The sets of The Ark in Space were reused for Revenge of the Cybermen.[17] Genesis of the Daleks was the last serial of the season to be filmed, after Revenge of the Cybermen.[18] This took place in January and February 1975.[19]


The entire season was broadcast from 28 December 1974 to 10 May 1975.

The title sequence for Part One of The Ark in Space was tinted sepia as an experiment, but was not repeated for subsequent episodes.[20]

Home media

VHS releases

Season Story no. Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
12 075 Robot 4 × 25 min. February 1992[21][22] July 1992[22] May 1994[22]
076 The Ark in Space 1 × 100 min.
4 x 25min.
June 1989[23][24]
April 1994[24][25] (Unedited)
January 1989[24] April 1991[24]
The Sontaran Experiment
Genesis of the Daleks
8 × 25 min. October 1991[26][27]
(2 x VHS released only in UK as part of a boxset "The Sontaran Experiment / The Genesis of the Daleks")
July 1992 [27]
(2 x VHS released only in AU as part of a boxset "The Sontaran Experiment / The Genesis of the Daleks")
February 1994 [27]
(2 x VHS released only in US as part of a boxset "The Sontaran Experiment / The Genesis of the Daleks")
079 Revenge of the Cybermen 1 × 100 min.
4 x 25 min.
October 1983[28][29]
May 1984[29] (Edited 2nd)
April 1999[29] (Unedited)
January 1987[29]
December 1999[29] (Unedited)
December 1986[29]

DVD and Blu-ray releases

Season Story no. Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
12 075 Robot 4 × 25 min. 4 June 2007[30] 4 July 2007[31] 14 August 2007[32]
076 The Ark in Space 4 × 25 min. 8 April 2002[33] 3 June 2002[34] 6 August 2002[35]
The Ark in Space (Special Edition) 4 × 25 min. 25 February 2013[36] 27 February 2013[37] 12 March 2013[38]
077 The Sontaran Experiment[a] 2 × 25 min. 9 October 2006[39] 7 August 2008[40] 6 March 2007[41]
078 Genesis of the Daleks[b] 6 × 25 min. 10 April 2006[42] 4 May 2006[43] 6 June 2006[44]
079 Revenge of the Cybermen[c] 4 × 25 min. 9 August 2010[45] 7 October 2010[46] 2 November 2010[47]
075–079 Complete Season 12[d] 20 × 25 min. 2 July 2018(B)[48] 1 August 2018(B)[49] 19 June 2018(B)[50]
  1. ^ Available individually or in the Bred for War box set in Regions 2 and 4. Only available individually in Region 1.
  2. ^ Available individually or in The Complete Davros Collection box set in Regions 2 and 4. Only available individually in Region 1.
  3. ^ Only available as part of the Cybermen box set in Regions 2 and 4. Only available individually in Region 1.
  4. ^ Released as Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 12 in Region B. Released as Doctor Who – Tom Baker: Complete Season One in Region A.

The entire season will be released on Blu-ray on 31 May 2021 relegating the previous release as a standard edition[51]

In print

Serial name Novelisation title Author First published
Robot Doctor Who and the Giant Robot Terrance Dicks 13 March 1975
The Ark in Space Doctor Who and the Ark in Space Ian Marter 21 April 1977
The Sontaran Experiment Doctor Who and the Sontaran Experiment Ian Marter 7 December 1978
Genesis of the Daleks Doctor Who and the Genesis of the Daleks Terrance Dicks 22 July 1976
Revenge of the Cybermen Doctor Who and the Revenge of the Cybermen Terrance Dicks 20 May 1976


  1. ^ Sladen, Elisabeth (2012). Doctor Who Stories: Elizabeth Sladen Part 1 (DVD). Doctor Who: Invasion of the Dinosaurs. London, England, UK: BBC Video. ISBN 9780780684416. OCLC 750279801.
  2. ^ a b Westthorp, Alex (24 April 2008). "Who could've been Who? An alternate history of Doctor Who". Den of Geek. London, England, UK: Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 18 January 2013. Eventually a suggestion by the wife of BBC drama head Bill Slater was followed up and the production team found the wild-eyed and naturally eccentric Tom Baker mixing cement on a building site.
  3. ^ a b c Westthorp, Alex (1 April 2010). "Top 10 Doctor Who producers: Part Two". Den of Geek. London, England, UK: Dennis Publishing. Retrieved 18 January 2013. Letts found casting a new Doctor more difficult, however, until a tip-off from his boss Bill Slater. An unemployed actor, then working on a building site, called Tom Baker had written to Slater asking for work. In, arguably, one of the best decisions ever made on Doctor Who, Letts cast Tom Baker as the fourth Doctor.
  4. ^ Rawson-Jones, Ben (14 October 2009). "A tribute to 'Doctor Who' legend Barry Letts". Digital Spy. New York City, New York, USA: Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 18 January 2013. Having seen unknown hod-carrier Baker in The Golden Voyage Of Sinbad, Letts took the goggle-eyed aspiring actor away from the building site and into the Tardis in 1974.
  5. ^ AudioFile staff (July 2009). Whitten, Robin F. (ed.). "AudioFile audiobook review: DOCTOR WHO By Terrance Dicks, Read by Tom Baker". AudioFile. Portland, Maine, USA: AudioFile Publications. ISSN 1063-0244. OCLC 25844569. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  6. ^ Braxton, Mark (7 May 2010). Preston, Ben (ed.). "Doctor Who: Robot – Radio Times". Radio Times. London, England, UK: Immediate Media Company. ISSN 0033-8060. OCLC 240905405. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  7. ^ Doctor Who: The Scripts – Tom Baker 1974/5. London: BBC Worldwide Limited. 2001. pp. 22–23. ISBN 0563538155.
  8. ^ Roberts, Steve (12 August 2006). "The Sontaran Experiment". Doctor Who Restoration Team. Archived from the original on 1 June 2012. Retrieved 15 April 2013.
  9. ^ a b "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  10. ^ Howe & Walker 1998, p. 270.
  11. ^ Muir, John Kenneth (1999). A critical history of Doctor Who on television (illustrated ed.). Jefferson, North Carolina, USA: McFarland & Company. ISBN 9780786404421. OCLC 40926632. Retrieved 9 January 2013.
  12. ^ Cornell, Day and Topping (2004)[page needed]
  13. ^ Howe & Walker 1998, p. 272.
  14. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1992, p. 57
  15. ^ Cornell, Day and Topping (2004) p. 168
  16. ^ a b Baker, Tom, Terrance Dicks, Philip Hinchcliffe, Barry Letts, David Maloney, Elisabeth Sladen, Michael Wisher (10 April 2006). Genesis of a Classic (DVD). Genesis of the Daleks DVD: BBC Worldwide.
  17. ^ Howe, Stammers & Walker 1992, pp. 58, 63, 64
  18. ^ Richard Molesworth (compiler) (10 April 2006). Genesis of the Daleks with Information Text (DVD). Genesis of the Daleks DVD: BBC Worldwide.
  19. ^ Braxton, Mark (14 June 2010). "Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks". Radio Times. Retrieved 14 October 2012.
  20. ^ Richards, Justin (2005) [2003]. Doctor Who: The Legend Continues – 5 decades of time travel (revised ed.). London: BBC Books. p. 199. ISBN 0-563-48640-6.
  21. ^ "DOCTOR WHO - ROBOT".
  22. ^ a b c "Robot (VHS)". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
  24. ^ a b c d "The Ark in Space (VHS)". Archived from the original on 12 September 2015.
  27. ^ a b c "The Sontaran Experiment / The Genesis of the Daleks (VHS)". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
  29. ^ a b c d e f "Revenge of the Cybermen (VHS)". Archived from the original on 22 December 2015.
  30. ^ "Doctor Who: Robot". 4 June 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  31. ^ "Doctor Who Robot by BBC - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  32. ^ "Doctor Who: Robot". 14 August 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  33. ^ "Doctor Who - The Ark In Space". 8 April 2002. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  34. ^ "Doctor Who The Ark in Space by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  35. ^ "Doctor Who: The Ark In Space". 6 September 2005. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  36. ^ "Doctor Who: The Ark In Space - Special Edition". 25 February 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  37. ^ "Doctor Who The Ark in Space [by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  38. ^ "Doctor Who: The Ark in Space". 12 March 2013. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  39. ^ "Doctor Who: The Sontaran Experiment". 9 October 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  40. ^ "Doctor Who Bred for War - The Sontaran Collection by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  41. ^ "Doctor Who: The Sontaran Experiment". 6 March 2007. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  42. ^ "Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks". 10 April 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  43. ^ "Dr Who - Genesis Of The Daleks Bonus Disc [2 Discs] by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  44. ^ "Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks". 6 June 2006. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  45. ^ "Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen / Silver Nemesis". 9 August 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  46. ^ "Doctor Who Cybermen Boxset by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  47. ^ "Doctor Who: Revenge of the Cybermen". 2 November 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  48. ^ "Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 12". Retrieved 7 March 2018 – via Amazon.
  49. ^ "Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 12". Archived from the original on 10 July 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018 – via DVDLand AU.
  50. ^ Lambert, David (16 March 2018). "Doctor Who - Early Package Art Arrives, Along With a Slight Date Change, for Blu-ray of 'Tom Baker: Season 1'". TVShowsOnDVD. Retrieved 16 March 2018.
  51. ^


External links

This page was last edited on 28 June 2021, at 08:08
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