Doctor Who
Season 17
Doctor Who Season 17 Blu-ray.jpg
Cover art of the Blu-ray release for the complete season
Starring
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of stories5 (+1 unaired)
No. of episodes20 (+6 unaired)
Release
Original networkBBC1
Original release1 September 1979 (1979-09-01) –
12 January 1980 (1980-01-12)
Season chronology
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Season 16
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Season 18
List of episodes

The seventeenth season of British science fiction television series Doctor Who began on 1 September 1979 with the story Destiny of the Daleks, and ended with The Horns of Nimon. This was Graham Williams' final series producing Doctor Who. The script writer was Douglas Adams.

Casting

See also: List of Doctor Who cast members

Main cast

Tom Baker continued as the Fourth Doctor. Lalla Ward, who played Princess Astra in the season 16 finale The Armageddon Factor, returned to the series as the newly regenerated Romana, replacing Mary Tamm in the role. After John Leeson declined to return as K9, David Brierly replaced him in the part for the season's final four serials, including Shada.

Guest stars

Davros returns in Destiny of the Daleks, this time played by David Gooderson.

Serials

See also: List of Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

Season 17 was intended to follow the same format as had every season since Season 13, with five 4-part serials and a 6-parter closing the season out. However, the planned final serial of the season, Shada, was affected by an industrial dispute involving the BBC's technicians; while the location filming and the first studio recording session were completed, strike action by staff meant that the planned second studio session had to be cancelled. Although the dispute was resolved and plans were put in place to continue work on the story, it was eventually shelved, as the BBC was concerned that its Christmas productions might be affected. A BBC historian has suggested that by cancelling completely instead of finishing what little was required, the management could demonstrate that the strikes had consequences.[1] Ironically, the viewer ratings of Season 17 were also affected by a strike, with the BBC's main rival, ITV, off air due to a dispute.

No.
story
No. in
season
Serial titleEpisode titlesDirected byWritten byOriginal air dateProd.
code
UK viewers
(millions) [2]
AI[2]
1041Destiny of the Daleks"Episode One"Ken GrieveTerry Nation1 September 1979 (1979-09-01)5J13.067
"Episode Two"Ken GrieveTerry Nation8 September 1979 (1979-09-08)5J12.7
"Episode Three"Ken GrieveTerry Nation15 September 1979 (1979-09-15)5J13.863
"Episode Four"Ken GrieveTerry Nation22 September 1979 (1979-09-22)5J14.464
The TARDIS lands the Fourth Doctor and Romana on a strangely familiar planet. There, they meet the android Movellans, who are locked in a war with the Daleks. The planet is Skaro, and in a bunker sits an enemy long thought dead — Davros, creator of the Daleks.
1052City of Death"Part One"Michael Hayes"David Agnew" (Douglas Adams,
Graham Williams, and David Fisher)
29 September 1979 (1979-09-29)5H12.4
"Part Two"Michael Hayes"David Agnew"6 October 1979 (1979-10-06)5H14.164
"Part Three"Michael Hayes"David Agnew"13 October 1979 (1979-10-13)5H15.4
"Part Four"Michael Hayes"David Agnew"20 October 1979 (1979-10-20)5H16.164
In 1979 Paris, the alien Scaroth intends to erase human history by saving his fellow Jagaroth 400 million years in the past.
1063The Creature from the Pit"Part One"Christopher BarryDavid Fisher27 October 1979 (1979-10-27)5G9.3
"Part Two"Christopher BarryDavid Fisher3 November 1979 (1979-11-03)5G10.867
"Part Three"Christopher BarryDavid Fisher10 November 1979 (1979-11-10)5G10.2
"Part Four"Christopher BarryDavid Fisher17 November 1979 (1979-11-17)5G9.6
On the planet Chloris, the Doctor and Romana soon find themselves caught up in a long and secret enmity between the Lady Adrasta, who rules the planet in fear, and the mysterious Creature that she keeps in a Pit.
1074Nightmare of Eden"Part One"Alan BromlyBob Baker24 November 1979 (1979-11-24)5K8.7
"Part Two"Alan BromlyBob Baker1 December 1979 (1979-12-01)5K9.6
"Part Three"Alan BromlyBob Baker8 December 1979 (1979-12-08)5K9.6
"Part Four"Alan BromlyBob Baker15 December 1979 (1979-12-15)5K9.465
The TARDIS lands at the site of a hyperspatial collision between two spacecraft – as a result of which, neither ship is dimensionally stable, risking the lives of all those aboard.
1085The Horns of Nimon"Part One"Kenny McBainAnthony Read22 December 1979 (1979-12-22)5L6.0
"Part Two"Kenny McBainAnthony Read29 December 1979 (1979-12-29)5L8.8
"Part Three"Kenny McBainAnthony Read5 January 1980 (1980-01-05)5L9.8
"Part Four"Kenny McBainAnthony Read12 January 1980 (1980-01-12)5L10.467
After colliding with a spaceship, the Doctor, Romana and K9 learn that young natives from a peaceful planet called Aneth are being transported into a great labyrinth called the "Power Complex".
108.5[3]6ShadaN/APennant RobertsDouglas AdamsUnaired[note 1] (Unaired[note 1])5M
The story revolves around the lost planet Shada, on which the Time Lords built a prison for defeated would-be conquerors of the universe. Skagra, an up-and-coming would-be conqueror of the universe, needs the assistance of one of the prison's inmates, but finds that nobody knows where Shada is anymore except one aged Time Lord who has retired to Earth.

Broadcast

Part 4 of The Horns of Nimon saw the last appearance of the diamond-shaped logo that had been used since The Time Warrior in 1973.

The entire season was broadcast from 1 September 1979 to 12 January 1980.

Home media

See also: List of Doctor Who videotape releases and List of Doctor Who home video releases

VHS releases

Season Story no. Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
UK release date Australia release date USA/Canada release date
17 104 Destiny of the Daleks 4 x 25 min July 1994 August 1994 May 1997
105 City of Death 4 x 25 min April 1991 September 1991 May 1994
106 The Creature from the Pit 4 x 25 min July 2002 October 2002 October 2003
107 Nightmare of Eden 4 x 25 min. December 1998 March 1999 May 1999
108 The Horns of Nimon 4 x 25 min. June 2003 September 2003 October 2003
108.5[4] Shada July 1992 February 1993 October 1992

DVD and Blu-ray releases

Season Story no. Serial name Number and duration
of episodes
R2 release date R4 release date R1 release date
17 104 Destiny of the Daleks[a] 4 × 25 min. 26 November 2007[5] 6 February 2008[6] 4 March 2008[7]
105 City of Death 4 × 25 min. 7 November 2005[8] 1 December 2005[9] 8 November 2005[10]
106 The Creature from the Pit 4 × 25 min. 3 May 2010[11] 1 July 2010[12] 7 September 2010[13]
107 Nightmare of Eden 4 × 25 min. 2 April 2012[14] 3 May 2012[15] 8 May 2012[16]
108 The Horns of Nimon[b] 4 × 25 min. 29 March 2010[17] 3 June 2010[18][19][20] 6 July 2010[21]
108.5[22] Shada[c] 1 × 25 min.
4 × 18 min.
1 × 14 min.
7 January 2013[23] 9 January 2013[24] 8 January 2013[25]
Shada (Animated Edition) 1 × 138 min. 4 December 2017(D,B)[26] 10 January 2018(D,B)[27] 4 September 2018[28][29]
104–108.5 Complete Season 17[d] 27 × 25 min.
1 x 138 min.
4 x 18 min.
1 x 14 min.
20 December 2021(D,B)[30] 16 February 2022(D,B)[31] 5 April 2022(D,B)[32]
  1. ^ Available individually or in The Complete Davros Collection box set in Regions 2 and 4. Only available individually in Region 1.
  2. ^ Only available as part of the Myths and Legends box set in Regions 2 and 4. Only available individually in Region 1.
  3. ^ Only available as part of The Legacy Box set (Regions 2 and 4). Released with the same materials in the box set as Shada in Region 1.
  4. ^ Released as Doctor Who: The Collection – Season 17 in Region B. Released as Doctor Who – Tom Baker: Complete Season Six in Region A.

In print

See also: List of Doctor Who novelisations

Season Story no. Library no.[a] Novelisation title Author Hardcover
release date[b]
Paperback
release date[c]
Audiobook
release date[d]
17 104 21 Doctor Who and the Destiny of the Daleks Terrance Dicks 22 November 1979
105 City of Death (unabridged) James Goss 21 May 2015 11 February 2016[e] 21 May 2015
City of Death (abridged) 5 April 2018
106 11 Doctor Who and the Creature from the Pit David Fisher 15 January 1981 7 April 2008
107 45 Doctor Who and the Nightmare of Eden Terrance Dicks 18 September 1980 21 August 1980 6 October 2022
108 31 Doctor Who and the Horns of Nimon 16 October 1980
108.5 Shada Gareth Roberts 15 March 2012 31 January 2013[e] 15 March 2012
  1. ^ Number in Target's Doctor Who Library, if applicable
  2. ^ Published by Target's parent companies (Allen Wingate, W. H. Allen, BBC Books) unless otherwise indicated
  3. ^ Published by Target Books (or by BBC Books under the Target Collection umbrella) unless otherwise indicated
  4. ^ Unabridged from BBC Audio/AudioGo unless otherwise indicated
  5. ^ a b BBC Books

Notes

  1. ^ Shada was left unfinished due to a strike. Its recorded footage was later released on home video using linking narration by Tom Baker to complete the story. It is not included in the episode or story counts as it was not broadcast.

References

  1. ^ Ley, Shaun (12 December 2009). "Shelved". BBC Radio 4. BBC. Retrieved 1 April 2012.
  2. ^ a b "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 27 December 2014.
  3. ^ "Shada | Doctor Who". Archived from the original on 29 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Shada | Doctor Who".
  5. ^ Smith 2014, Destiny of the Daleks.
  6. ^ "Doctor Who Destiny of the Daleks by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  7. ^ "Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks". 4 March 2008. Archived from the original on 27 January 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  8. ^ Smith 2014, City of Death.
  9. ^ "Dr Who - City Of Death [2 Discs] by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Archived from the original on 17 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  10. ^ "Doctor Who: City of Death". 8 November 2005. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  11. ^ Smith 2014, The Creature from the Pit.
  12. ^ "Doctor Who The Creature from the Pit by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Doctor Who: The Creature from the Pit". 7 September 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  14. ^ Smith 2014, Nightmare of Eden.
  15. ^ "Doctor Who by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  16. ^ "Doctor Who: Nightmare of Eden". 8 May 2012. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  17. ^ Smith 2014, The Horns of Nimon.
  18. ^ "Doctor Who Myths and Legends (The Time Monster, Underworld, and The Horns Of Nimon)". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  19. ^ "Doctor Who Myths and Legends". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  20. ^ "Doctor Who Myths and Legends 3 DVD Set". BBC. Retrieved 29 November 2013.
  21. ^ "Doctor Who: The Horns of Nimon". 6 July 2010. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  22. ^ "Shada | Doctor Who | Doctor Who". Archived from the original on 2 November 2021. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  23. ^ Smith 2014, Shada.
  24. ^ "Doctor Who Legacy Box Set (Shada / More than 30 years in the Tardis) by Roadshow Entertainment - Shop Online for Movies, DVDs in Australia". Fishpond. Archived from the original on 16 November 2017. Retrieved 16 November 2017.
  25. ^ "Doctor Who: Shada". 8 January 2013. Archived from the original on 7 October 2021. Retrieved 16 November 2017 – via Amazon.
  26. ^ McEwan, Cameron (10 October 2017). "Unfinished Fourth Doctor Classic 'Shada' To Be Finally Completed!". Doctor Who. Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  27. ^ "Doctor Who - Shada". Doctor Who. Archived from the original on 5 December 2017. Retrieved 4 December 2017.
  28. ^ "Doctor Who: Shada - Amazon.ca". Retrieved 3 December 2017 – via Amazon.
  29. ^ Lambert, David (27 November 2017). "Doctor Who - We've Waited This Long For 'Shada,' So What's Another...Year?!?!?!?!?". TVShowsOnDVD. Archived from the original on 1 December 2017. Retrieved 28 November 2017.
  30. ^ "Season 17 announced as the next instalment in The Collection Blu-ray range". Doctor Who. 7 October 2021. Archived from the original on 7 October 2021. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  31. ^ "Doctor Who: Season 17 The Collection (Limited Edition)". Sanity. Retrieved 1 January 2022.
  32. ^ "Doctor Who: Tom Baker Complete Season Six (BD)". Amazon. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
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