Doctor Who: Meglos (Story #110)

6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 7/10

Creepy spiky Doctor, Jacqueline Hill returns

Too long, Meglos as a cactus is not threatening whatsoever



I don’t know what I ate!

The Dodecahedron is the power system for the people of Tigella who are divided into two societies the Savants and the Deons.  When the Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Lalla Ward) are summoned to Tigella by Zastor (Edward Underdown), Romana and the Doctor are targeted by a cactus creature named Meglos intent on capturing the Dodecahedron with the help of space pirates named Gaztaks.  The Doctor and Romana find themselves trapped in a time loop while Meglos impersonating the Doctor in an attempt to go after the Dodecahedron.  The Doctor must find a way to stop Meglos and rescue the Dodecahedron.

Doctor Who:  Meglos aired during the eighteenth season of the popular British series Doctor Who.  The series aired in four parts from September 27, 1980 to October 18, 1980.  Following Doctor Who:  The Leisure Hive, Doctor Who:  Meglos has been collected as part of The Tom Baker Years as Story #111 (or #110 depending on how Doctor Who:  Shada is counted).


You look familiar…have we met?

Doctor Who:  Meglos is a fun entry in the later Tom Baker Doctor Who years.  Baker is “my Doctor” and the Doctor I grew up seeing and the image of him as Meglos is a famous image of the series.  It also led to two Tom Baker models in Madame Tussauds when they did a Doctor Who exhibit.

The adventure (like most Doctor Who adventures) is overly complex and drawn out.  The four parts could have been three parts, but I do admit that I like the repeating time on the TARDIS between Romana and the Doctor and their attempts to break free.  I always love when a Doctor gets to play an evil version of themselves…and here you get him covered in spikes.


Sir, I just want to make sure…we’re really taking orders from this cactus?

It was also nice to see the return of the Doctor’s original companion Jacqueline Hill who journeyed with the first Doctor as Barbara Wright (she left in Doctor Who:  The Chase in which was Story #16).  I love that Doctor Who history can kind of layer itself like this and classic actors can return in later series and within the context of the story, it kind of still makes sense…even if they play different characters; the timelessness of the series allows them to return.

Meglos also shows how ridiculous the ’70s/’80s Doctor Who still could be.  I love the scenes where the talking cactus is controlling and manipulating the Gaztaks…it isn’t even an evil looking cactus.  I also like how there just happens to be a random human which Meglos possesses…I guess trying to move around a giant cactus would be difficult for the plot.

Doctor Who:  Meglos is a bright spot in a rather dark part of Baker’s run.  It is goofy and fun and worth seeking out for fans if nothing else just to see the cactus Baker and the return of Hill.  Doctor Who:  Meglos also sets the stage for the leaving of Romana with the summoning back to Gallifrey.  Doctor Who:  Meglos was followed by Doctor Who:  Full Circle (the first part of The E-Space Trilogy).

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Leisure Hive (Story #109)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Full Circle (Story #111)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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