Doctor Who: Planet of Fire (Story #134)

5.0 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 4/10
Visuals: 6/10

Shrunken Master, Kamelion

Peri Brown introduced


I want a mini-Master!

The discovery of a strange item on the ocean floor leads the Doctor (Peter Davison), Turlough (Mark Strickson), and Kamelion (voiced by Gerald Flood) to encounter a young American girl named Perpugilliam Brown (Nicola Bryant).  When Turlough uncovers that the device has ties to his people and the Master (Anthony Ainley) returns to take control of Kamelion, the Doctor and his companions finds themselves on the volcanic planet of Sarn and facing religious zealots.  Unfortunately, Sarn is on the brink of destruction and the Master has a reason to draw the Doctor to Sarn!

Doctor Who:  Planet of Fire aired during the twenty-first season of the long running BBC series.  The serial aired in four episodes from February 23, 1984 to March 2, 1984.  Following Doctor Who:  Resurrection of the Daleks, the serial featured the first appearance of the Doctor’s companion Peri Brown and the final full episode appearances of both Vislor Turlough and Kamelion.  The serial has been collected as part of The Peter Davison Years as Story #135 (or Story #134 depending if you don’t count the unaired Shada).


I’m having a bit of an identity crisis

I have never been that into Peter Davison as the Doctor.  He isn’t a bad Doctor but I never felt he had much personality, especially following one of the best Doctors in Tom Baker.  It doesn’t help that Davison’s “less fun” personality was coupled with poor writing and weaker storylines.  This adventure is another one of those stories that just dragged.

The series does have a couple of moments.  I think Kamelion is kind of interesting and his battle for control of himself also is interesting.  I like the tiny Master, but Anthony Ainley just is a pale comparison to the original Master Roger Delgado…I wish that the writers had just decided to go for an altogether different Master instead of trying to recreate Delgado.


Please…throw her back. Catch & Release!

This story introduces one of the elements of the later years I hated…Peri Brown.  The annoying “American” companion is bad from the get-go and so irritating you wish that Turlough had just let her drown.  Not only is Nicola Bryant a poor actor, but her character of the “bad American” was a stereotype that Bryant and the writers never really seemed to move past.  Bryant’s accent is awful, but I do know that much like American’s can’t always tell regional English accents, British viewers probably weren’t able to recognize that Peri’s accent was all over the place.

Doctor Who:  Planet of Fire wasn’t a very good entry in the series which was in a slump.  Doctor Who:  Planet of Fire was the penultimate story for Peter Davison who left the Doctor role in the next serial, but I still would rather watch this entry over many of the serials of the next Doctor Colin Baker.  Doctor Who:  Planet of Fire was followed by Doctor Who:  The Caves of Androzani.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Resurrection of the Daleks (Story #133)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Caves of Androzani (Story #134)

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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