Wednesday 15 December 2021

On This Day... 15th December

Season 11 got underway on this day in 1973, with Part One of The Time Warrior. This episode was notable for a number of reasons. We were introduced to new companion Sarah Jane Smith, as played by Elisabeth Sladen. It was the first story to feature a Sontaran, in the form of Commander Linx (Kevin Lindsay). And it was the first time the opening titles featured the "time tunnel" effect.
The part of Sarah was already cast with another actress - April Walker - but this was later vetoed by Jon Pertwee as she was too tall, and rather statuesque. He wanted the companion role to always be someone smaller than himself, so he could act as the protector figure. Walker had already been paid for the whole season, so had to work gratis for the BBC for the next few months until they had got their money's worth (including a regular role alongside The Two Ronnies).
Also first shown today was the fourth episode of Nightmare of Eden. It was the final recording session of this story where Tom Baker's criticisms of the director resulted in the latter being dismissed and replaced by producer Graham Williams. Who was that director? Why, it was Alan Bromly - who had previously directed... The Time Warrior.


  1. Time Warrior was also the first story to name the doctors home planet as Gallifrey