Doctor Who: The Sun Makers (Story #95)

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

Decent story

Wish they had stuck more to the tax story, still not a K-9 fan


I knew if I kept talking about time travel and jelly-babies this would happen

The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson) find the TARDIS has landed on Pluto in the future but discover it inhabited.  After saving a man named Cordo (Roy Macready) from suicide, the Doctor and Leela learn that a taxation system to pay for the created suns has been set-up by “the Company” that keeps the people of Pluto as slaves.  Leela and the Doctor try to liberate the people of Pluto from the Company and stop Gatherer Hade (Richard Leech) and the mysterious Collector (Henry Woolf) who is hiding a secret of his own.

Doctor Who:  The Sun Makers aired during the fifteenth season of Doctor Who.  It was a four part series and aired from November 26, 1977 to December 17, 1977.  Following Doctor Who:  Image of the Fendahl, Doctor Who:  The Sun Makers has been collected in The Tom Baker Years as Story #95.


Hey Scrooge…give the people a break!

The story is fun but goofy.  It was originally meant to be more of a satire on the English tax system but it was toned down a bit.  It starts out really all about the taxes and how the people are oppressed by them, but then quickly switched to the revolution and the battle against the Collector.  Yes, taxes spawned it, but it feels like it gets a bit sidetracked by the Underground’s uprising against the Company.

The villains in this serial are the pompous Gatherer Hade and the squeaky Collector.  Hade is played as a complete blowhard.  It is rather amusing how callously he’s chucked off the roof at the end of this series (everyone just kind of laughs about murdering him).  The Collector is revealed to be a Usurian (a fun play on usurer since they only deal with money).  He is reverted back to his natural state by learning his profit level has fallen.  It is pretty light ending also for a series that had a point where Leela was going to be steamed to death.


Shut-up K-9…You’ll be useful when we need you to be useful.

K-9 is featured pretty prominently in the episode after not having any action in Image of the Fendahl.  Without having an “intelligent” companion with Leela who is more savage, the Doctor has someone to banter with.  It doesn’t really work, and it feels like the Doctor is saddled with K-9 now.  The writers have to have to keep thinking of plots to get him involved (or plots to keep him out of the story).

Doctor Who:  The Sun Makers is a decent serial in Tom Baker’s run of the series.  It doesn’t have any cool villains, it isn’t scary, but it is kind of fun.  K-9 continues to be a problem, and I don’t enjoy his humor.  Doctor Who:  The Sun Makers was followed by Doctor Who:  Underworld.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  Image of the Fendahl (Story #94)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  Underworld (Story #96)

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.

Leave A Response