Doctor Who - The Visitation : Part 3
Doctor Who – The Visitation: Part 3

The Visitation: Part 3

Broadcast on February 22nd 1982 @ 5.55pm (10.1 million viewers)

‘The Visitation’ is absolutely classic Doctor Who. Few television programmes can combine historical events with alien creatures from another world and Eric Saward’s excellent story quickly elevated him to script editor.

Doctor Who - The Visitation : Part 3
Doctor Who – The Visitation: Part 3

After failing to get Tegan back to Heathrow of the 1980’s, the TARDIS crew stumble into an environment full of the Plague, the infamous Black Death which would decimate Europe. The grim spectre of death was haunting civilians and this would prove literal with an android taking the sythe in hand to strike further fear and terror. For those lucky enough to see that android on display at exhibitions over the years will testify how beautiful a creation it was and it is a tragedy that it would be irreparably damaged in the fire of Longleat, ironic given the story’s conclusion. The Terileptils are also fantastic new additions to the Doctor Who universe and interestingly features one sporting graphic scars which would never have been seen by on a human character.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler warning)

I feel as if you’ve just killed an old friend.

Doctor Who - The Visitation : Part 3
Doctor Who – The Visitation: Part 3

Producer John Nathan-Turner disliked the sonic screwdriver, like K9 he believed it to be an all too convenient tool at times, an issue which still continues to this day. As a result, the destruction of the prop towards the end of this episode was the last time it would feature until the show would return in 1996. However, the Sixth Doctor would utilise a Sonic Lance in ‘Attack of the Cybermen’, a development of the screwdriver as this item would also be used as a weapon. The sonic screwdriver is often associated with the Third and Fourth Doctors since first appearing in ‘Fury of the Deep’ with Patrick Troughton. It is therefore with great sadness that the screwdriver prop bows out, summed up by the Doctor’s response.


The Doctor – Peter Davison
Adric – Matthew Waterhouse
Nyssa – Sarah Sutton
Tegan – Janet Fielding
Richard Mace – Michael Robbins
Terileptil – Michael Melia


Director Peter Moffatt
Producer John Nathan-Turner
Writer Eric Saward

Also first aired On This Day…

  • Marco Polo: The Roof of the World
  • The Seeds of Death: Episode 5
  • The Sontaran Experiment: Part 1
  • Terminus: Part 3


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