‘Logopolis’ (TV)

logopolis dvd new beginnings


Please feel free to comment on my review.

Logopolitans – A New Beginning For ‘Doctor Who’


This is another enjoyable DVD experience. It’s the first story to feature Janet Fielding as Tegan Jovanka; the second story for Sarah Sutton as Nyssa and the last to feature Tom Baker as the Doctor.

Tom Baker had played the Doctor for seven years and is still loved by fans. But the clock chimed for Tom’s era to come to end. Tom did not want to go, but due production changes he decided to leave.

The last story for Tom Baker’s Doctor is by script-editor Christopher H. Bidmead. ‘Logopolis’ is a very complex story and I had to re-watch this more than once in order to follow and understand the plot.


Meaning no disrespect to Chris Bidmead, but this story doesn’t really define or conclude the Tom Baker era as a whole. It doesn’t suit Tom Baker’s Doctor, but it’s an intriguing, decent end to his era.

Janet Fielding stars as Tegan for the first time. Tegan is an air stewardess on her way to Heathrow Airport. She stumbles into the TARDIS by accident and gets caught up in an adventure of high stakes.

It was great to see Sarah Sutton as Nyssa again. She doesn’t appear until the last five minutes of ‘Part Two’, but it was great to see her and Chris Bidmead re-introduces Nyssa well at the last minute.


I found it so heartbreaking when Nyssa faced the Master and realises her father was killed by him. I also found it heartbreaking when Nyssa sees her home planet Traken destroyed by an entropy field.

Anthony Ainley returns as the Master. He stole Nyssa’s dad from Traken and is walking inside his body. Anthony Ainley is my favourite Master as he’s cool and calculating and I do like his elegant evil.

The Logopolitans are an interesting bunch of people. They are led by John Frazer as the Monitor, who looks like Noel Edmonds to me. He hides a secret about Logopolis that is a ‘key’ to the universe.


I imagine that life on Logopolis would be pretty boring, since all they do is mutter numbers and sit with abacus beads. One imagines what Logopolitans would daily talk about, as it would be all maths.

In this story, there’s a mysterious character called the Watcher. He’s a ghostly figure in white who turns out to be the Doctor from the future that is watching the Fourth Doctor before he regenerates.

I enjoyed the regeneration from Tom Baker into Peter Davison. It’s impressive and heart-breaking for its time. I like how Tom Baker’s Doctor’s life flashes before his eyes as he regenerates into Peter.


The DVD special features are as follows. There’s the ‘A New Body At Last’ documentary detailing the end of Tom Baker’s era and the beginning of Peter Davison’s era. There are two ‘Nationwide’ interviews with Tom Baker and Peter Davison; as well as a ‘Pebble Mill at One’ interview with Peter.

There are some news items on Tom Baker’s exit from the series and Peter Davison’s announcement as the Doctor. There’s also some continuities; a photo gallery of the story; an info-text commentary option to enjoy; a ‘Radio Times Listings’ PDF of the story and a ‘Doctor Who Annual 1982’ PDF.

There are two audio options. There’s an interesting commentary with Tom Baker, Janet Fielding and writer Christopher H. Bidmead to enjoy. There is also an isolated music option by Paddy Kingsland.

Logopolis - Gallery

I enjoyed ‘Logopolis’ very much. It’s not the best Tom Baker ‘Doctor Who’ story and it doesn’t define his era as a whole. But it is a decent end to a ‘Doctor Who’ era and it does focus on all about change.

It’s where a new ‘Doctor Who’ era begins with three companions Nyssa, Tegan and Adric. It also sees the return of the Master and this has a memorable regeneration from Tom Baker into Peter Davison.

‘Logopolis’ rating – 7/10

logopolis novel  logopolis novel logopolis audiobook


Please feel free to comment on my review.

‘Events cast shadows…’ – Doctor Who – Logopolis, Chapter 1

This is ‘The Last Adventure for the Fourth Doctor’, according to the CD cover.

I enjoyed this audiobook/novelisation of ‘Doctor Who – Logopolis’ very much! This is a unique listening experience, as the novelization/audiobook provides more depth and detail to an unusual TV story that closed off the Tom Baker era of ‘Doctor Who’ in 1981. This is an audiobook you can’t miss!

‘Logopolis’ was novelised by Christopher H. Bidmead and was published in 1982, a year after the TV story’s original transmission in 1981. This is Chris Bidmead’s first contribution to the Target range of ‘Doctor Who’ novelizations. He provides a richer depth to the story that he wrote to end Season 18.

Many years later, BBC audio decided to do an audiobook on Chris Bidmead’s novelization of ‘Logopolis’. They also invited him to read it. Chris readily agreed and he provides a compelling and interesting reading of his ‘Logopolis’ novel. I’m surprised Tom Baker wasn’t asked to read this story.

I had the ‘Logopolis’ audiobook for my birthday back in May 2010. This is a 4-disc CD set with the book divided into 12 chapters. Each of the four discs has 3 chapters that comprise one out of the four episodes from the TV story. So 3 chapters; times 4; equals the 12 chapters found in this book.

I remember watching ‘Logopolis’ from seeing the ‘New Beginnings’ DVD trilogy box set. I had to re-watch ‘Logopolis’ on DVD more than once as I wanted to understand it, due to my interest in Nyssa and having read ‘The Fact of Faction’ article about ‘Logopolis’ in an issue of ‘Doctor Who Magazine’.

I was delighted to have had the audiobook on my birthday, as I was easily captivated into Chris Bidmead’s reading of the story. I listened to the audiobook during the summer of 2010. When I was at the ‘Regenerations 2010’ convention in Swansea in September 2010, I purchased the novelization.

This is Chris Bidmead’s show, as he both wrote the story and reads it using his acting skills from being at RADA for this audiobook. Chris knows the story inside and out. To hear him provide the voices for every character in the story is mesmerising and it helps guide his ‘target’ audience – no pun intended.

In terms of the actual writing of the novel, the plot isn’t very different to the TV story. Chris adds more depth and detail to the story, characters and places. He describes the world of Logopolis in greater detail and goes deeper into the mind-sets of Tegan, Adric, Nyssa, the Doctor and the Master.

Certain changes to the action sequences are made here, including Tegan nearly crashing her aunt’s car into a lorry on the Barnet Bypass and Adric throwing a bicycle at policemen to rescue the Doctor. I wondered if Matthew Waterhouse as Adric could have thrown a bicycle from the top of the TARDIS.

One thing that I liked about the ‘Logopolis’ novelization is the dynamic dialogue and not having too many truncated scenes as they were extended. These included the Doctor attempting to drown the TARDIS in the Thames as well as the Doctor holding Adric back in the TARDIS within a TARDIS scene.

I like how the characters are developed, including the companions. Adric’s more useful and less annoying; Tegan’s abrasive nature is explored as Bidmead strikes a balance and Nyssa’s inclusion is enhanced compared to the TV story, especially as she faces the Master and sees Traken destroyed.

A notable scene that I liked is where Adric meets up with Nyssa when trying to find the Master. She reveals to Adric that she saw her father. I would’ve loved to have heard those pieces of dialogue between Nyssa and Adric in the TV story and see how Sarah and Matthew would have played them out.

Chris utilises the use of mathematics to dramatic effect in the novel. Maths is described in detail as a language and is an important element in the story and how it’s key to Logopolis’ existence. John Milton also gets referenced when describing the Master as well as Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

As a narrator, Chris Bidmead reads his ‘Logopolis’ novel very well. I liked listening to him voicing Tegan and doing her “Oh rabbits!” swearing. Chris is engaging to listen to and if you’ve seen ‘Logopolis’ more than once and know the story off by heart, you know what’s going to come up next.

You have to be pretty IT literate to know what’s going on with the Logopolitan mathematics and Block Transfer Computation. Chris delves into real science and writes for scientific journalism. He understands the theory of entropy far more than anyone else. I don’t think I can match to his level.

I found that Chris Bidmead hasn’t summed up the Fourth Doctor era as a whole in the book. I say this because the presence of the Fourth Doctor doesn’t seem reassuring and the montage sequences of monsters and companions from his era don’t feature in this book, which I found disappointing.

One interesting thing is that the Fifth Doctor gets to say something after he’s regenerated. This didn’t happen in the TV story. I found it interesting that Peter Davison’s Doctor says something before his new life begins. It’s something that the new series Doctors have done after they’ve regenerated.

I found the background music and the sound effects of the ‘Logopolis’ audiobook good, especially at the beginning when Chris Bidmead begins reading the story. It introduces a darker, harrowing tone to the story compared to what was on TV. These cues are used for the regeneration scene at the end.

‘Doctor Who – Logopolis’, as a novel and a book, is very good indeed. I enjoyed reading and listening to Chris Bidmead’s deeper and extended version of Tom Baker’s final adventure as the Fourth Doctor. You definitely need to get this novelization/audiobook to understand the TV story of ‘Logopolis’ properly.

‘Doctor Who – Logopolis’ rating – 8/10

The previous story

For the Fourth Doctor was

For Nyssa was

For Adric was

The next story

For the Fifth Doctor is

For Tegan is

For Nyssa is

For Adric is

Return to The Fourth Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Tegan’s Timeline
Return to Nyssa’s Timeline
Return to Adric’s Timeline

4 thoughts on “‘Logopolis’ (TV)

  1. While Logopolis is not a favorite of mine, I do enjoy it. I agree that it doesn’t really represent the 4th Doctor era much, but it’s still a decent end to it.

    I also think it’s a good introducton for Tegan. She is presented well, in the beginning and, while she does whine later, I think it’s entirely justified in her cirkumstances and, in the end, she does what she can to solve the problems/conflicts that occur.
    I also LOVE her reaction to the TARDIS, when she first enters it. She doesn’t disbelieve her own eyes or think it’s a trick. She instantly accept that it’s some kind of space ship (“there must be intelligent life behind this lot”) and tries to act accordingly.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Elinor.

    Thanks for your kind comments on my ‘Logopolis’ review. I enjoyed reading your thoughts on this story.

    ‘Logopolis’ is a good story by Chris H. Bidmead, but it’s the wrong story to end the Tom Baker era. I think Tom Baker’s swansong would have been great if it was written by writers like Robert Holmes and Douglas Adams’ who knew the Fourth Doctor inside-out.

    Yes, this story is a good introduction to Tegan as a new companion in the series. I like how she’s written in her first two opening stories by Chris Bidmead, as he’s able to grasp her character well in both ‘Logopolis’ and ‘Castrovalva’. I agree, it’s a shame that she whined a lot later on when the Doctor was trying to get her back to Heathrow Airport on Earth.

    Yes Tegan’s reaction to the TARDIS is interesting. It’s amazing she can take it in so well being bigger on the inside than the outside. I wonder how she came to the conclusion that the TARDIS is an alien space-ship so quickly. She must have watched plenty of sci-fi movies like ‘Alien’ to come to that conclusion. 😀

    I also liked how she meets the Doctor; Adric and Nyssa in this one. Whilst she distrusts the Doctor and Adric initially; she easily gets on well with Nyssa when she first meets her, doesn’t she? 😀

    Thanks for your comments, Elinor. Much appreciated.

    Tim. 🙂


  3. Brilliant in-depth review Tim, i remember watching this story upon original transmission & at the time i didn’t know Tom was leaving.

    The story has a foreboding sense of doom throughout & the ghostly apparition of the watcher senses the Doctors death (the watcher terrified me as a 6 yr old).

    The regeneration made me cry & as I’ve mentioned before i went running to my mum to tell her Doctor Who had changed into the vet from All Creatures Great & Small.

    Again comparing the transmitted episodes to the Target audiobook & novel explains the additional scenes not seen on tv & I’d have liked the new Doctor to have spoken at the end like he does in the novel.

    Always a pleasure reading your review’s mate you pour your heart & soul into them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for your comments, Simon.

    Glad you enjoyed my review on ‘Logopolis’. Thanks for sharing your memories on watching this story when it was on TV back in 1981. I’m sure it must have been very strange for when Tom was leaving ‘Doctor Who’.

    I’m sure the Watcher did terrify you as a child. It must have been a well-kept secret before it was revealed at the end by Nyssa that the Watcher was the Doctor all the time. It was good to have that sense of doom with the Doctor seeing the Watcher watching him throughout the story.

    Yes I remember you saying that before that you were upset by the regeneration and that you told your mum that Tom Baker had changed into the vet Tristan Farnon from ‘All Creatures’. That must have been very strange for you as a six-year-old to see that for the first time.

    The novelization/audiobook of ‘Logopolis’ works well as a story compared to the TV version. I enjoyed the additional stuff put into the book by Chris Bidmead. It would have been nice for Peter to speak at the end as that’s what they’ve done lately with new series Doctors like David Tennant; Matt Smith and Peter Capaldi.

    Thanks for your kind comments on my ‘Doctor Who’ reviews, Simon. I enjoy writing them and posting them to my blog.

    Tim. 🙂


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