Doctor Who: The Creature from the Pit (Story #106)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 5/10

Tom Baker's Doctor is a fan favorite

Typical story, drawn out and unsatisfying ending


Uh, Mr. Creature, I’m feeling a bit violated by your, uh, nose?

The Doctor (Tom Baker), Romana (Lalia Ward), and K-9 (voiced by David Brierley) are drawn to the world of Chloris by an emergency call.  There the Doctor and Romana find a strange egg sending out the signal and encounter a ruler named Lady Adrasta (Myra Frances) who, using her soldiers and wolf-weeds, forces those opposed to her into a pit containing a monster.  When the Doctor throws himself into the pit, he uncovers a mystery involving the creature named Erato (from the planet Tythonus) and a peace treaty gone wrong that could end up costing the planet Chloris its life.

Doctor Who:  The Creature from the Pit falls in the Tom Baker years in season 17.  It followed Doctor Who:  City of Death and was a four episode story arc running from October 27, 1979 to November 17, 1979.  It was the first film directed by Christopher Barry who later went on to become one of Doctor Who‘s more prolific directors.  It has been released as part of The Tom Baker Years collection on DVD and it is listed as Story #106.


These brussel sprouts are going to kill us…great

The story is very typical Dr. Who but like most Tom Baker (and Dr. Who episodes in general), an average story is boosted by the energy and fun of the Doctor’s sense of curiosity.  Just when you think the story is over it continues to take twists that take it in different directions than you’d expect.  Many feel the solution to the story is pretty unrealistic and foolish.

The whole Lady Adrasta and her crew with their goofy wolf-weeds are fun, but the “rebel” group fighting against Lady Adrasta (who briefly kidnap Romana and then steal the component needed for Erato’s ship to function), don’t really work and just prolong the plot.  It isn’t as if these guys will hold any threat to Doctor.  Once Adrasta is killed, the story just flounders a bit and feels drawn out.


Touch my knob…please?

I’m not a huge fan of Romana as the Doctor’s companion.  Her acting style is too stage-like and overdone.  In Lalia Ward’s defense, Doctor Who:  The Creature from the Pit was shot out of order and her character wasn’t very developed in this series.  In other episode (some of which aired before this collection) were shot afterwards, and Ward had done a better job of fleshing out the character.

Doctor Who:  The Creature from the Pit is a typical Doctor Who story.  With rabid fans however, it doesn’t matter if a story is average or great.  Check out The Creature from the Pit, it is one of the shorter series and can be knocked out in an easy afternoon.  Doctor Who:  The Creature from the Pit was followed by Doctor Who:  Nightmare of Eden.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  City of Death (Story #105)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Nightmare of Eden (Story #107)

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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