Doctor Who: The Ark in Space (Story #76)

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6.5 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 4/10

First Tom Baker TARDIS adventure

Should have been about the infected man or the Wirrn instead of both

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Wow, thanks Doctor…I leave Earth and you take me here…great

The new Doctor (Tom Baker), Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen), and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) travel by TARDIS into the future to discover themselves on a space station that appears abandoned.  When the travelers learn that Space Station Nerva is being used as a way to save humanity, the future of mankind is threatened by a space insect called the Wirrn which has taken residence on the ship.  When the ship’s pilot Noah (Kenton Moore) begins to be infected by the Wirrn, will he destroy Space Station Nerva or save it?

Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space is falls in the twelfth season of Doctor Who.  It was a four part serial running from January 25, 1975 to February 15, 1975.  It followed Tom Baker’s first adventure Doctor Who:  Robot and had the Doctor’s first TARDIS adventure.  It was collected in The Tom Baker Years collection as Story #76.

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My Moss-Man from Masters of the Universe costume just isn’t working

Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space is Tom Baker’s first TARDIS adventure and Harry’s first trip into time.  It a pretty developed story with almost an Alien theme (or maybe It!  The Terror from Beyond Space since this was before Alien).  The characters are trapped on the ship with the Wirrn and the ill-prepared crew is forced to find ways to kill them.  It should be a bit scarier than it is, but the Wirrn puppets are not very intimidating.

The scarier aspect is the infected Noah character.  He doesn’t make much sense however.  I wish they had either had the infected Noah character and develop his slow transformation or focused on the puppet slugs traveling around the space station.  In the end, Noah was a necessary way to get rid of the Wirrn, but it seems like he could have been cooler (the Anti-Man in the Planet of Evil was a similar story).

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Oh no! Raid!!!!

Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space is pretty typical Doctor Who.  This little run is interesting in that it really flows from one series to the next with plotlines.  It is fun to see Tom Baker slowly grow into the character.  Tom Baker is the Doctor that I most associate with the role and it is nice to see his early adventures.  I wanted this episode to be a little better but it feels like a good story that is drawn out too long.  Doctor Who:  The Ark in Space directly leads into Doctor Who:  The Sontaran Experiment.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Robot (Story #75)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Sontaran Experiment (Story #77)

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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