Doctor Who: Inferno (Story #54)

8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Fun parallel world story that despite being long ties in well

A very long serial


Did someone say there was a nacho bar in here!!!

The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) is at “The Inferno”, an experiment meant to puncture the center of the Earth.  When a strange infection from the pit takes over the already obsessed head scientist Professor Stahlman (Olaf Pooley), the Doctor tries to stop him.  Accidentally jaunted to a parallel dimension by the TARDIS, the Doctor encounters darker versions of Liz (Caroline John) and the Brigadier (Nicholas Courtney) who are working on an identical experiment.  When the experiment goes horribly wrong, the Doctor’s only hope is to reach the other Earth and stop the drilling in time to save the world.

Doctor Who:  Inferno was the final storyline of Doctor Who’s seventh season and aired in seven parts from May 9, 1970 to June 20, 1970.  Following Doctor Who:  The Ambassadors of Death, Doctor Who:  Inferno has been collected in The Jon Pertwee Years as Story #54.


Nice Nick Fury imitation Brigadier

Doctor Who:  Inferno is frequently listed as one of the best Jon Pertwee Doctor Who episodes and one of the best older episodes.  The series is a long one with seven parts, but as opposed to many other Doctor Who serials, this one does have a lot of distance to cover.  It occasionally feels like repetition with the Doctor’s capture, release, and capture, but it isn’t as bad as other Doctor Who series that seem to drag out the events.  It probably could have been accomplished in 5 or 6 parts, but I can forgive the seven episode plan.

The series is one of the creepier ones with the threat to the Earth feeling pretty intense.  Essentially, the one Earth is doomed with all the characters (including the alternate versions of the Brigadier and Liz).  The show lets you see the apocalypse and that is great since usually the Doctor averts disaster and you never know what would happen if he hadn’t.  The Doctor often seems out of his element in stories and this story he actually fails…something new and different.  It almost becomes a time loop aspect since he gets a second chance to get it right and events come close to matching.


Great Clips $6.99 sale?!? Hell yah!

The episode also looks a lot better than many of the Doctor Who episodes (especially later ones).  The sets are somewhat generic, but I always like it when they leave the sets and there is some frequent running around the experiment grounds.  I also like the wolfman style enemies that occur when they come in contact with the ooze from the pit (of course the ooze or what is really going on isn’t explained).

Doctor Who:  Inferno is a great older Doctor Who episode.  It feels more serious and more hardcore sci-fi.  In today’s world where everyone talks about parallel universes like the new Star Trek movie, I find it ironic that many act like the idea is new.  Doctor Who:  Inferno is followed by Doctor Who:  Terror of the Autons.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Ambassadors of Death (Story #53)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Terror of the Autons (Story #55)

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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