Saturday, 26 March 2016

110 The Ark Episode 4: The Bomb

EPISODE: The Ark Episode 4: The Bomb
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 26 March 1966
WRITER: Paul Erickson & Lesley Scott
DIRECTOR: Michael Imison
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 7.3 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Ark

"You must travel with understanding as well as hope."

The loss of the launcher causes dissent in the Monoid ranks, led by 4 who opposes 1's rule. The Monoids leave the Ark for Refusis taking with them their own shrunken race. Finding the wreckage of the capsule causes a battle to erupt between the two Monoid factions. The Refusian travels back to the Ark in one of the Launchers and when the Doctor learns that the bomb is in the statue he uses his great powers to throw the statue off the ship out of the airlock. 4's forces win the battle and return to the Ark with the Doctor & Dodo. The Refusian welcomes both Monoids and Humans to his planet but only if they can live together in peace. The Tardis crew leave, but shortly after the Doctor vanishes from the console room...

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This is one of those episodes that's growing on me as time goes by. Having encountered the Monoids and Humans the Refusian is starting to have concerns about sharing his planet with them

REFUSIAN: Doctor, we are, as you know, concerned about the arrival of the Ark and what it will mean to this planet.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, I can quite understand that. That is why you destroyed the Launcher?
REFUSIAN: Here, we've always known peace. Never war or conflict.
DODO: You're not the only ones like that. The Guardians, you know the humans who travel in the spaceship, they have used to have your ideas too.
DOCTOR: Yes, that's true my dear but, you mustn't think they were perfect. Oh, no. Sometimes they were extremely intolerant and selfish.
REFUSIAN: Is that why they were conquered by the Monoids?
DOCTOR: Exactly.
DODO: Yes, I know. But there are some of them left who wouldn't mind rising up against the Monoids and trying to do better.
REFUSIAN: Then we will allow them time to make their attempt. We will wait for the passing of one day before we think in terms of employing defensive measures.

The Monoids then are divided and fall on each other wiping most of them out. That then leaves just the bomb on The Ark, which still holds the miniaturised Human & Monoid populations so must be found and destroyed. Fortunately the Refusian is willing to help and moves the statue out of the ship. How does he do it? He's small enough to fit into the capsule yet moves that huge statue? Can he change size? Has super strength? Telepathy?

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It's then left to the Doctor to remind the Guardians of their responsibilities to their co-travellers:

DODO: Do you think you'll be able to get everything down onto Refusis now?
DASSUK: We'll manage, especially if the Refusians help us.
REFUSIAN: We'll do everything we can to assist you in settling on our planet.
DASSUK: Thank you.
REFUSIAN: But one thing you must do.
VENUSSA: What's that?
REFUSIAN: Make peace with the Monoids.
DOCTOR: He's right. A long time ago, your ancestors accepted responsibility for the welfare of these Monoids. They were treated like slaves. So no wonder when they got the chance, they repaid you in kind.
REFUSIAN: Unless you learn to live together, there is no future for you on Refusis.
DASSUK: We understand.
DOCTOR: Yes, you must travel with understanding as well as hope. You know, I once said that to one of your ancestors, a long time ago. However, we must be going. Goodbye.
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As a whole I'm not wildly enthusiastic about the Ark as a story. There's some nice background ideas being thrown around and I like the idea of returning to the scene of an earlier adventure to examine the consequence. But both are done better later: notably Curse & Monster of Peladon return to the same place 50 years later and we get human populations being shipped to new homes on Spaceships in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Frontios and, notably, Ark in Space.

But my appreciation for the technical aspects knows no grounds. Knowing the limitations of how Doctor Who was made in the sixties this episode is a wonder being recorded out of scene order and then assembled in the editing suite featuring a pitched battle shot on film and several effects shots of the launcher travelling. Seriously, watch this with the production subtitles on, you'll be amazed at what they managed and appreciate the effort even if the story doesn't do it for you. What's more amazing is that Michael Imison was no longer required as a director by the BBC after masterminding this story: his superiors handed him notice terminating his directorial contract as the final episode went before the cameras. Given the technical accomplishments here that's criminal. He would go on to script edit the second season of Out of the Unknown later in 1966, 4 examples of which survive to this day and can be seen as part of the Out of the Unknown 7-Disc DVD Set.

A couple of new Monoid extras are added to the throng this episode: John Caesar has been the 2nd Man in Market in The Romans 1: All Roads Lead to Rome and an Egyptian Warrior in Dalek Masterplan 9: Golden Death. He returns as a Cowboy in all four episodes of The Gunfighters, a guard in all four episodes of the Macra Terror and even gets an onscreen credit in the fourth episode, a Pirate Guard in The Space Pirates episode 1 and a pirate in episodes 4 & 5 of the same story, C.P.O. Myers in The Sea Devils episode six and the R/T Soldier in Invasion Of The Dinosaurs part one. Bill Richards was previously a Sailor in The Chase 3: Flight Through Eternity and returns as a Pirate in The Space Pirates episodes 1 & 4, an Alien Guard/Union Recruit in The War Games episode three and an 1862 Union Soldier in The War Games episode four.

We've been on DVD for our first complete story this season, but next episode we're back to Audio. In fact from here on in Hartnell's reign there's almost an odd exists/missing pattern to the stories:

The ArkExists
Celestial ToymakerMissing (bar part 4)
The GunfightersExists
The SavagesMissing
The War MachinesExists
The SmugglersMissing
The Tenth PlanetExists (bar, annoyingly, part 4)

Officially producer John Wiles departs as of the end of this episode, but with the departed Donald Tosh his influence will be felt for a while yet. Lurking in the background of the production staff of this series are a couple of names that will be familiar later on: Chris D'Oyly-John, the AFM, will be a production assistant and production unit manager on many forthcoming Doctor Who stories while Production Assistant David Maloney, who has already served in the same role on The Rescue & The Romans, will return many times as a director before becoming producer of Blake's 7

Paul Erickson's sole further contribution to Doctor Who was to novelise this story for Target books in 1986. It was released on video in 1998 and on DVD on 14th February 2011 just before I first blogged about this story.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

109 The Ark Episode 3: The Return

EPISODE: The Ark Episode 3: The Return
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 19 March 1966
WRITER: Paul Erickson & Lesley Scott
DIRECTOR: Michael Imison
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 6.2 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Ark

"Take them away to the security kitchen"

The Monoids have taken over the Ark, enslaving the Guardians who were left weakened by the virus, and creating a technology to allow them to speak. Steven is imprisoned in the security kitchen and put to work while The Doctor & Dodo are sent with Monoid 2 and a Guardian on the landing party to Refusis.The Doctor & Dodo are befriended by an invisible but powerful Refusian who inhabits a castle that was built for the expected human visitors. Monoid 2 flees the castle, kills the Guardian and is killed when the landing pod explodes. Meanwhile the Monoids plan to abandon the humans on the Ark and then destroy it using a bomb built into the statue.

While the pace of the story is little pedestrian in places this episode, watching it with the production subtitles on makes me realise what a technical achievement these episodes are with lots of clever camerawork, effects & model sequences.

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One thing this episode does is for the first time the Doctor is confronted with the consequences of his actions on a previous visit:

DOCTOR: Well, er, yes. But when we were here some time ago we also were friends of your forebears. They were called Monoids. Things were very different then.
YENDOM: These strangers, they
MONOID 2: You speak of the distant past. Following the recent revolution we are now the masters.
DOCTOR: I see, and the human beings?
MONOID 2: They work for us. Is that not true, Yendom?
MONOID 2: We conquered and you obey. And these strangers, they will also obey. Now you will come with us.
STEVEN: Where?
MONOID 2: To our leader
So whatever happened is actually quite a recent occurrence.
MONOID 1: According to the history scan you brought a strange fever that killed many of our ancestors.
DODO: But we also helped to find a cure, didn't we? I mean, the Doctor did.
MONOID 1: He thought he did.
DOCTOR: And what do you mean by that?
MONOID 1: You controlled the immediate impact of the fever, but a mutation of it developed later on that sapped the will of the humans.
DODO: You mean that it was our fault that you took over because of the fever?
MONOID 1: In part.
STEVEN: There were other reasons?
MONOID 1: The main reason was the Guardians themselves. They were a simple people. They actually encouraged the research from which we developed our voice boxes and heat prods. They were totally unprepared for the conflict when it came.
DODO: What happened to them?
MONOID 1: Many were killed. The rest are prisoners. A fact that you will shortly see for yourselves! Two, take them away to the security kitchen and then call a Grand Council.
So what happened to the Monoids to encourage them to revolt? Did their treatment become harsher as the journey progresses? Or did they merely sense and opportunity and grab it? They evidently want to blame the Doctor for the fever so maybe some grudge has been harboured in the Monoids community all these years for the deaths 700 years ago.

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THE SECURITY KITCHEN ?????? WHAT ????? Secure kitchen maybe but Security Kitchen? Mad!

Note the upside down Phone Hood on the Security Kitchen's wall ! Then we have the invisible Refusians. Was it so wise to attempt an invisible monster so soon after the Visians in episodes 5 & 6 of the Dalek Masterplan, just 12 weeks previously. The are given marvellous presence by the booming voice of Richard Beale later to return as Bat Masterson in all four episodes of The Gunfighters, the Broadcaster/Propaganda Seller in The Macra Terror and the Minister of Ecology in The Green Death episode three.

DOCTOR: And that was their aim, to land there and recreate life on this planet.
REFUSIAN: Yes. We've known for some time of the journey of the vessel you call the Ark and we welcomed it. That is why we built places like this.
DOCTOR: I see. Just to make us comfortable? I didn't think you needed places like this for yourselves.
REFUSIAN: No. Once we had a shape and form something like you. Then there was a galaxy accident. A giant solar flare. Now, we no longer have a being that you can see or recognise.
DOCTOR: But can you see each other?
REFUSIAN: Not even that. Oh, we can sense one other but that is all. That is why it would have been good for Refusis to be inhabited again by life and the signs of life, provided that the beings that come to take our place are peaceful. Child, you are worried.
Still, unlike the Visians on Mira, the Refusians do seem to be friendly and welcoming, even going to the trouble of constructing dwellings for those that will soon share our world. It's a big contrast from the hostile attitude that Zentos was expecting in the first two episodes.

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Last episode we had one of who's most frequent Guest Stars appear for the first time. Here we get the first appearance of arguable Doctor Who's best, certainly most prolific, voice artist: Roy Skelton makes his debut as some of the Monoid voices. He'll be back in a short while for The Tenth Planet, providing probably the best version of the Cybermen voices, which is a role he repeats in Wheel in Space. He provides voices during The Ice Warriors (Computer voice) & The Krotons (Kroton voices), appears in front of camera in Colony in Space (as Norton), Planet of the Daleks (briefly as Wester who he also supplies the voice for), in The Green Death (as James - a role taken on in an emergency as we'll see later) and under make-up in The Android Invasion (as Chedaki) and The Hand of Fear (as King Rokon). His most famous Who role is a recurring one voicing the Daleks in (deep breath) The Evil of the Daleks, Planet of the Daleks, Genesis of the Daleks, Destiny of the Daleks, The Five Doctors, Revelation of the Daleks & Remembrance of the Daleks plus the Children in Need special The Curse of Fatal Death. But beating even that for fame, he's the voice of Zippy & George in Rainbow, which he demonstrates to great effect on the Doctor Who - The Cybermen - The Early Years Video.

The ill fated Monoid Two is played by Ralph Carrigan, previously an Extra in The Myth Makers 4: Horse of Destruction. He'll be back as a Cheerleader in The Macra Terror episode 4, a Robot in episode 1, 4 & 5 of The Mind Robber episode 1 and a Cyberman in The Invasion episodes 6-8.

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We've seen, or rather should have seen, the actor playing Maharis before: Terence Woodfield was the second Celation in The Dalek Masterplan appearing in episode 8 Volcano and episode 11 The Abandoned Planet.

Terence Bayler, who appears as Yendom, returns as Major Barrington in The War Games Episode One but has cinema immortality for his role in the Monty Python film Life of Brian where he gifts us the following gems:

Gregory: I'm Brian, and so's my wife!

Brian: Please, please, please listen! I've got one or two things to say.
The Crowd: Tell us! Tell us both of them!
Brian: Look, you've got it all wrong! You don't NEED to follow ME, You don't NEED to follow ANYBODY! You've got to think for your selves! You're ALL individuals!
The Crowd: Yes! We're all individuals!
Brian: You're all different!
The Crowd: Yes, we ARE all different!
Man in crowd: I'm not...

I saw him in the Polanski version of Macbeth, where he played Macduff. This film greatly amused my class because we clocked Keith Chegwin playing Banquo's son! Toby Hadoke interviews Bayler for Who's Round 74 which is well worth a listen.

Since we're now 700 hundred years in the future we've got a new crop of Guardians in the background for the next two episode: Royston Farrell is back as an Elder in The Savages episode 1, a Technician in The Seeds of Death episodes one & two, another technician in The Claws of Axos episode four and a Guard in The Curse of Peladon episode one. Alan Norburn & Victor Munt are both Inferno Customers in War Machines One (good lord, there's gonna be a lot of extras to list when we get to that episode) plus Munt returns as UNIT in Doctor Who and the Silurians episode 3. Michael Osborne was an extra in Small Prophet, Quick Return and returns in the speaking role of Sorak in The Horns of Nimon.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

108 The Ark Episode 2: The Plague

EPISODE: The Ark Episode 2: The Plague
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 12 March 1966
WRITER: Paul Erickson & Lesley Scott
DIRECTOR: Michael Imison
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 6.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Ark`

"The nature of man, even in this day and age, hasn't altered at all. You still fear the unknown, like everyone else before you."

The Tardis crew are imprisoned while Steven represents them at their trial where he pleads for the Doctor to be allowed to investigate before Steven succumbs to it as well. The Guardians are ready to execute them before their ailing commander intervenes. The Doctor comes up with a treatment and synthesises a vaccine. The Tardis crew watch the Earth destroyed and then leave, re materialising on exactly the same spot to find the Guardians gone and the statue completed but sporting the head of a Monoid.

Most of this episode is a little pedestrian with the trial and treatment scenes confined to the main body of the Ark, but we get the Jungle back in the closing minutes.

ZENTOS: That's another victim. Another death. And more human Guardians have also been taken ill. Thank heaven none of them has died yet.
MANYAK: What will happen if one does?
ZENTOS: It'll be disaster. Each man has his allotted task. No one had reckoned on this eventuality.
Is there no redundancy in roles on the ark? What happens if someone is killed? And if the voyage does take 700 people will die and need replacing. They've got the idea that this is a generational mission illustrated to us by having Children present in many of the crowd scenes so there's got to be some forward planning and training for the voyage going on.

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Mind you Zentos is quick to step into the breach left by the ailing commander and obviously wants the job!

The main thrust of this episode is xenophobic attitudes on display by most of the Ark's inhabitants and command staff.

BACCU: My contention is that it was no accident that this disaster has happened. I say that you came here intentionally to spread the disease.
STEVEN: But that's utter nonsense. I mean how can you possibly
BACCU: And that you are agents of the planet towards which this spaceship is proceeding. That you came here to destroy us.
STEVEN: Why? We're human beings like you are. Why should we?
ZENTOS: There is the crux of the matter. Do you expect us to believe that nonsense, that you manage in that ridiculous machine called the Tardis, have managed to travel through time? Guardians, Monoids, these beings, whatever they are, place a heavy strain on our credulity.
STEVEN: Well that's not very difficult! If your medical records are anything to go by, this segment of time, far from being one of the most advanced in knowledge, is one of the worst!
ZENTOS: We can cope with all things known to the fifty seventh segment of Earth life, but not with strange diseases brought by you as agents of the intelligences that inhabit Refusis!
STEVEN: Are you still on about that? I've told you before. We know nothing of that planet.
ZENTOS: My instinct, every fibre of my being, tells me differently.
STEVEN: And that, unfortunately, tells me only one thing.
ZENTOS: What's that?
STEVEN: That the nature of man, even in this day and age, hasn't altered at all. You still fear the unknown, like everyone else before you.
This attitude even seems to extend to the being they share a ship with:
MANYAK: Steven, prove to us your good faith. Would your friend, the Doctor, have any knowledge how to deal with this fever?
STEVEN: Yes, he probably would if you'd let him out of that cell so that he had a chance to experiment.
ZENTOS: Yes, of course he would. He would love that and by such means spread the fever even further and faster. Perhaps even kill one of the Guardians.
So it's bad if the Monoids are dying but much worse if one of the Guardians does. which of course they do shortly after
BACCU: Guardians, listen to me! I've just had news of another disaster. One of our kind, one of the Guardians has died from the fever.
It's only the commander rising from his sick bed to order the Doctor be allowed to find a cure that save the situation. But to his credit Zentos does apologise to the Doctor as they prepare to depart:
ZENTOS: Doctor, for the fact that I mistrusted you, misjudged you, I'm sorry.
DOCTOR: Remember your journey is very important, young man, therefore you must travel with understanding as well as hope. Goodbye, Zentos.
ZENTOS: Goodbye Doctor.
One of the more striking images inside the Ark is that of the Monoid funeral party, hinting at spiritual beliefs for the mute creatures. Even though they have no voice they can sign to communicate, are seen operating machinery, driving the little car, tending to the animals and even assisting the Doctor in his experiments which leads the Doctor to conclude there's more to them than initially meets the eye
DOCTOR: Ah, thank you, thank you. You know, you're far more knowledgeable than most people realise, aren't you?

DOCTOR: Oh, thank you, thank you, yes. You know, I don't know what I would do without you.

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And in the middle of all the action we get to see the Earth die, burnt up and trailing smoke in it's orbit, a theme the new series returns to in it's second episode, End of the World, where various dignitaries gather to watch the Earth's demise.

The very end of the episode is superb, subverting form by having the Tardis return to where it's left when you think the story is over. We saw the statue's feet, and plans, briefly in the last episode where it appeared as background details m("Hang the gun on the wall") Here' it serves to tell us that some amount of time has passed and that something has happened on voyage for it to acquire the head of a Monoid in place of the planned human head.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, on Doctor Who debut in this episode: Mr Michael Sheard. Famous to people of my age as teacher Mr Bronson in Grange Hill he's a frequent Doctor Who guest artist appearing here as Rhos, one of the Ark's medics, and then in The Mind of Evil (as Dr. Roland Summers), Pyramids of Mars (as Laurence Scarman), The Invisible Enemy (as Lowe), Castrovalva (as Mergrave) and finally, with more than a little bit of an in-joke, in Remembrance of the Daleks as the Headmaster. If you don't know who from any of these then you'll have seen him as Admiral Ozzel in the Empire Strikes Back and Hitler in Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade, one of five times that he plays the Nazi dictator.

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The only other new speaking role this episode is Ian Frost as the prosecutor Baccu, a character who displays very similar traits to his superior Zentos. Frost returns for Frontier in Space Episode Five as the Draconian Messenger and can be seen in the partially surviving Out of the Unknown third season episode The Little Black Bag as Johnny which you can find on the Out of the Unknown

Both director Michael Imison and writer Paul Erickson are also making their Doctor Who debuts here. Erickson requested that the episode be jointly credited to his then wife Lesley Scott but I believe that there's little evidence to suggest she actually wrote any of it which is a shame because she's the first credited female writer on the show.

Saturday, 5 March 2016

107 The Ark Episode 1: The Steel Sky

EPISODE: The Ark Episode 1: The Steel Sky
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 05 March 1966
WRITER: Paul Erickson & Lesley Scott
DIRECTOR: Michael Imison
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 5.5 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Ark

"The Earth also is dying. We have left it for the last time."

The Tardis lands in a jungle containing animals from many areas of Earth. Dodo, who has a cold, thinks they are in Whipsnade Zoo until the Doctor points out the steel roof and they meet the one eyes shaggy haired reptiles the Monoids. The mute Monoids serve the Guardians, humans who have left a doomed Earth behind that will shortly be destroyed by the sun. The Ark they are travelling in journeys to the far off planet of Refusis. The rest of the population of the Earth is stored in a shrunken state on the ship as are any Guardian punished for neglect of their duties. Although most are welcoming, showing the travellers the massive statue being constructed by hand during their 700 year voyage, some of the Guardians are hostile, and this increases when first the Monoids and then the humans are affected by a fever. They have caught Dodo's cold and as the cold virus was eradicated on Earth centuries ago they have no defence. When a Monoid dies from the fever and the expedition's commander is taken ill the travellers are imprisoned.

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That wasn't bad at all.

There's some cracking concepts being thrown around here: the jungle in a spaceship, the signing aliens, Earth to be destroyed by the sun and the shrunken populace of the planet being transported to a new home in a massive starship. The scale of the Ark is emphasised by the large main set complete with an electric car moving round it.

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Having wussed on doing a real Cyclops in the Myth Makers this story opens with one fully visible on screen and goes on to show us a decent Jungle set with the background of some music reused from The Daleks.

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The Jungle set is partially pre filmed at Ealing, where our friend the Elephant puts in it's appearance and is presumably where the cracking shots from some height were filmed too:

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Of course our expectations of the Monoids as a threat are some what under mined by seeing them working with the humans early on, maybe that could have been saved until after they'd captured the Tardis crew.

Steven's judgement on them is a little odd:

DOCTOR: What do they look like, dear boy?
STEVEN: Terrifying. Is this is Earth, it's no longer inhabited by human beings.
DOCTOR: Shh. You'll frighten the child. Come on.
Has he so quickly forgotten the events of Galaxy Four a few stories previously?

It's left to the commander to explain what they're doing there:

STEVEN: Look, who are you and these creatures that serve you?
COMMANDER: Like you, we come from the Earth. The origin of the Monoids is obscure. They came to Earth many years ago, apparently from their own planet which was dying. They offered us their invaluable services for being allowed to come on this joint voyage.
STEVEN: And where you are going?
COMMANDER: To Refusis Two. The Earth also is dying. We have left it for the last time.
STEVEN: The last time?
COMMANDER: Yes. In a short time it will burn and be swallowed in the pull of the Sun.
STEVEN: Then we must have journeyed forward millions of years.
When the Doctor tells him of their travels through time he is able to narrow it down slightly as to how far they've travelled:
DOCTOR: Including the Daleks.
COMMANDER: Nero, the Trojan wars, the Daleks. But all that happened in the first segment of time.
DOCTOR: Segment? To use your phrase, sir, what segment are we in now?
COMMANDER: The fifty seventh.
DOCTOR: Good gracious! We must have jumped at least ten million years.

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The unnamed Commander, Eric Elliott, is in charge of the expedition but Zentos, Inigo Jackson, is swift to taker control when he's taken ill. By this point I'd already taken against him. He's prosecuted a man earlier in the episode who's involved with Mellium, the commanders daughter played by Kate Newman, and from the look he gives her he's obviously got designs on her. He then shows a suspicious almost paranoidly xenophobic attitude towards the new arrivals and any potential inhabitants of the planet they're journeying to:

ZENTOS: You yourself, I take it, are human?
STEVEN: Why yes, of course.
COMMANDER: Why do you doubt him?
ZENTOS: They could be Refusians sent here to intercept us, to sabotage our mission.
STEVEN: Refusians? From the planet you're headed for?
ZENTOS: We only know them as intelligence's that inhabit that planet. They might have a way of assuming human bodies, of using them to pass, to mingle amongst us!
As soon as the cold virus takes hold he's quick to have the travellers arrested!
ZENTOS: Seize them! All of you listen! The success of all we stand for, everything aboard this spaceship is suddenly endangered by the strange fever. A fever brought by these strangers in our midst! I invoke the special Galactic law against them. Hold them, take them into custody, and later they will be made to suffer for the crime that they have committed!

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Only one other human is named in this episode: Manyak, the chief controller who shows the Doctor the control deck is played by Roy Spencer who later returns in the currently missing Troughton serial Fury from the Deep as Frank Harris.

There's several people, both those credited on the episode, and uncredited, appearing as Monoids. Eric Blackburn had been an extra in Myth Makers 1: Small Prophet, Quick Return, as was David Greneau, the Defendant as the trial, while Monoids Bernard Barnsley and Chris Webb would return as a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians Episode 2 and a guard Curse of Peladon episode 1 respectively. All the Monoids we mention appear in all four episodes of this tale.

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As you can see there were a lot people cast as Guardians, the Ark's crew. Roy Douglas was an Extra in Myth Makers 4: Horse of Destruction while Mark Allington is a Lynch Mob Member in Don't Shoot the Pianist & Johnny Ringo, the second and third episodes of the Gunfighters later this series before appearing sixteen years later as a Man in Market in Snakedance part one. Most of the Guardians, for reasons which will become obvious, only appear in the first two episodes of this serial but Iris Fry who's only in this episode later returns as a slave in Day of the Daleks Episode Three. When I originally watched this for the blog this entry went up Wednesday, 9 March 2011 and I said

A brand new DVD of the Ark awaits me: It's been a while since I saw this story so I'm approaching it almost new.
The DVD was released 14th February 2011 about three weeks before the original blog entries for this story went up!

This is only the second time the Tardis has landed in a Space vehicle (1964's The Sensorites is the first) but it will become a staple of the series. Troughton does it in Wheel in Space & The Space Pirates, Pertwee in The Mutants and Frontier in Space, Tom Baker in Ark In Space, The Invisible Enemy, Underworld, Nightmare of Eden and would have done in Shada. Peter Davison visits Spaceships via the Tardis in Four to Doomsday, Mawdryn Undead, Terminus & Enlightenment, Colin Baker does it in the Terror of the Vervoids section of Trial of a Timelord leaving McCoy & McGann as the only original Doctors not to visit a space vehicle using the Tardis.