Doctor Who: State of Decay (Story #112)

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

Vampires are fun!

Not an Adric fan


Let’s Do the Time Warp Again!!!

Landing on a planet menaced by strange lords, the Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Lalla Ward) find the people living in fear of their masters in their dark tower.  Unknown to the Doctor and Romana, Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) is a stowaway aboard the TARDIS and has become of a target of the lords Zargo (William Lindsay), Camilla (Rachel Davies), and Aukon (Emrys James) who see them as a possible future lord.  As the Doctor and Romana study the lords, they uncover that it could be a darker evil that only the Time Lords could stop in the past.

Doctor Who:  State of Decay is part of season eighteen of Doctor Who and aired in four parts from November 22, 1980 to December 13, 1980.  Following Doctor Who:  Full Circle, Doctor Who:  State of Decay has been collected as part of The Tom Baker Years as Story #113 and is sold as part of The E-Space Trilogy which also includes Story #112 and #114 (depending on how you count Shada).


Romana…I think time is closing in…

This second story in this E-Space Trilogy is better than the first.  Adric (who was introduced in Doctor Who:  Full Circle) develops more here and officially joins the Doctor as a companion.  I like that this Doctor Who episode is one of the dark side of Doctor Who with a bit creepier story and enemies.

The story mostly revolves around the legend of vampires and how they develop on all worlds.  The vampire idea is a fun one and often more topical now than probably when it was made.  These vampires are established to be the vampires of the old legends but later in Doctor Who—Season 5, the eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) encounters the “Vampires of Venice” and kind of dismisses vampires (they’re just a type of alien)…I realize continuity is difficult on a large scale show like Doctor Who, but I kind of wish that the new episode had referenced this story since these vampires were kind of creepy too.  I have to say however, I did want to see that big vampire god thing…of course in true Doctor Who fashion…no go.


And Doctor if we go out in the sun we sparkle…

Half of Doctor Who’s fun is the relationship between Doctor Who and his companions.  Here, Adric is just being introduced…and not winning any fan club with me, and Romana continues to struggle to find direction.  Both companions don’t have enough personality to really sell me on the series, but fortunately, this is a stronger story in the season.

Doctor Who:  State of Decay is a fun entry in the late Tom Baker episodes which are sometimes hit or miss.  I love Tom Baker but later episodes of his series are not the best.  With weaker companions and so-so stories, Doctor Who:  State of Decay at least is a memorable episode.  Doctor Who:  State of Decay is followed by Doctor Who:  Warriors’ Gate.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Full Circle (Story #111)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Warriors’ Gate (Story #113)

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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