Sunday, 9 May 2010

A Matter of Time: Inferno


Forty years ago today, the third Doctor arrived at the ‘Inferno’ project, which aimed to penetrate the Earth’s crust in order to abstract energy from the centre of the planet. However, he soon realises that not all is well at the project, as the drilling machinery overloads and the staff begin to mutate. This story starred Jon Pertwee as the third Doctor, Nicholas Courtney as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, and Caroline John as Liz Shaw.

Don Houghton came to Terrence Dicks with an idea for the story, based on the real life Project Mohole, which was abandoned due to an unknown reason when drilling down into the Earth. Although Douglas Camfield was credited as being the director to all episodes, Barry Letts directed Episodes 3-7, after Camfield had a minor heart attack during filming.

Derek Ware did not actually perform the scene where his mutated character is shot, and then falls to his death from the top of one of the cooling towers, as he was also needed for studio recording. His place was taken by Roy Scammell, who had ironically also played the man who fires the shot. At the time it was filmed, the fall was the highest fall ever performed by a British stuntman.

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