Doctor Who: Underworld (Story #96)

4.5 Overall Score
Story: 5/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 4/10

Liked the gods aspect

Worse than normal effects, too long and dragging


Oh yeah?! The Time Lords didn’t want you lame-o’s as followers anyway!

The Doctor (Tom Baker) and Leela (Louise Jameson) arrive on a ship belonging to the Minyans.  There they discover the Minyans are on a quest to retrieve their race banks that were lost when they fled Minyos at its destruction.  The Minyans had previously worshipped the Time Lords as gods before the civil war broke out and had since rejected them.  The search takes them to a mining colony ruled by a group called the Seers and overseen by a computer called the Oracle.  Will the Doctor and Leela be able to save the Minyans and rescue their genetic race bank from the Oracle?

Doctor Who:  Underworld was part of the fifteenth season of Doctor Who.  It aired in four episodes from January 7, 1978 to January 28, 1978.  It followed Doctor Who:  The Sun Makers and has been collected in The Tom Baker Years as Story #96.


We look like some modern techno-band

The collection is kind of dull, but it does have a bit of important information.  It shows the Time Lords as pro-active.  They were considered gods by Minyans and the Minyans and the Time Lords went their separate ways forcing the Time Lords to begin a “no-influence” policy among their people.  This obviously is continuously broken by the Doctor, but it does show its origin.

The problem with this serial is that it drags and drags.  There is a nice ancient myth aspect to the film (the Doctor compares the Minyans to Jason’s search for the Golden Fleece).  They are seeking the origin of life essentially and facing off against the gods to claim it (kind of like the 2012 Prometheus movie).


Nothing like an exciting stand off with a super-computer

Doctor Who:  Underworld is even cheesier than most Doctor Who specials because instead of the bad sets, the cave scenes (of which there are far too many of them) are often chromakeyed.  It looks really bad and that is saying something when you consider some of Doctor Who’s special effects.

Doctor Who:  Underworld is a very miss-able entry in the series.  It was fun to see the Doctor pull his prank on the Oracle and avenge the Minyans at the end, but it was a long time coming for the simple (and obvious) switch.  Doctor Who:  Underworld was followed by Doctor Who:  The Invasion of Time.

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Sun Makers (Story #95)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Invasion of Time (Story #97)

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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