Doctor Who: The Leisure Hive (Story #109)

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

Old Doctor, Fun Brighton intro

Series changes don't improve the series


Now I’m a grumpy old man!

The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Lalla Ward) are headed off to the Leisure Hive of Argolin.  When tourists start dying, the Doctor is framed for murder.  In an attempt to prove himself innocent, the Doctor is accidentally aged.  Now Romana must find a way to restore the Doctor and uncover who is behind the evil occurring on Argolin.

Doctor Who:  The Leisure Hive is the first serial of eighteenth season of Doctor Who.  The series originally aired in four parts from August 20, 1980 to September 20, 1980.  Doctor Who:  The Leisure Hive followed Doctor Who:  The Horns of Nimon but that is due to the fact that the Doctor Who:  Shada was partially shot but not finished due to a writers’ strike at the BBC.  It has been collected in The Tom Baker Years as Story #109 (or #110 depending on how you consider Shada).


Just sunning here in lovely Brighton

The Leisure Hive is kind of a fun Doctor Who story.  I love seeing Doctor Who “out of place” and this series has a great opening with he and Romana on the beach in Birmingham.  It provides a way to get rid of the troubling K-9 and a means to send them off to the Leisure Hive, but it is fun to see him in another location.  The Leisure Hive section of the story is long (like most Doctor Who episodes) and the whole basic concept of the plot with the aging, etc. is a bit confusing.  Still, it is a fun series with the Doctor also playing out of character by being aged to an old man…It’s almost like a bonus regeneration.


Hey guys, I found Doctor Fate’s helmet in a box of Crackerjack!

The series also had some changes with the start of this season.  John Nathan-Turner took over as producer and wanted to modernize the series.  This meant some of the cheesy aspects like K-9 and others were “out” (K-9 is written out in the Warriors’ Gate).  There is a new opening with different music which I don’t like (and from all reports Tom Baker and Lalla Ward also disliked).  Nathan-Turner changed the Doctor’s trademark scarf and jacket and added a question mark motif to his costumes (I guess that is supposed to indicate the “Who” aspect of the Doctor).

Despite the changes and overly confusing plot, Doctor Who:  The Leisure Hive is still a fun story.  I don’t like what the Doctor really evolved to in the 1980s, but I do still enjoy Tom Baker’s take on it.  Doctor Who:  The Leisure Hive was followed by Doctor Who:  Meglos.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Horns of Nimon (Story #108)

Doctor Who:  Shada (Unaired)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Meglos (Story #110)

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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