Production Code: 7P

First Transmitted

1 - 22/11/1989 19:35
2 - 29/11/1989 19:35
3 - 06/12/1989 19:35

Ratings (Million)

Part one - 5.0 million
Part two - 4.8 million
Part three - 5.0 million






















The Doctor takes Ace to present day Perivale so that she can revisit old friends. Most of them however have been transported by cat-like Kitlings to the planet of the Cheetah People, a race with the power to teleport through space. Ace is transported and joins up with two of her friends, Midge and Shreela, and a boy named Derek.

The Doctor follows and encounters the Master, who has drawn him into a trap to try to gain his help. This planet gradually transforms its inhabitants into Cheetah People - an influence to which the Master himself has fallen victim - while they in turn, through the savagery of their actions, cause the planet to move ever closer to total destruction.

Midge is overcome by the planet's influence, and the Master uses him to teleport to Perivale. Ace, who has developed an affinity with a Cheetah woman called Karra, gains the same ability and takes the Doctor and the others back as well. The Master causes Midge's death and kills Karra, who has followed them all to Earth. Then, succumbing to the influence of the now-disintegrating Cheetah planet, he drags the Doctor back there.

The Doctor refuses to fight him, however, and is transported back to Earth. He rejoins Ace, and they head off for new adventures.



















Regular Cast

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace)

Guest Cast

Anthony Ainley (The Master), Julian Holloway (Paterson), Lisa Bowerman (Karra), Norman Pace (Harvey) [1], Gareth Hale (Len) [1], William Barton (Midge), Sakuntala Ramanee (Shreela), David John (Derek), Sean Oliver (Stuart) [1], Kate Eaton (Ange) [1], Kathleen Bidmead (Woman) [1], Adele Silva (Squeak) [3], Michelle Martin (Neighbour) [3]., Adele Silva (the girl)


Writer - Rona Munro, Director - Alan Wareing ,Assistant Floor Manager -Stephen Garwood, Assistant Floor Manager - Leigh Poole Costumes, Ken Trew Designer - Nick Somerville Incidental Music - Dominic Glynn Make-Up - Joan Stribling OB Cameraman - Paul Harding OB Cameraman - Alan Jessop Producer - John Nathan-Turner Production Assistant - Valerie Whiston Production Associate - June Collins Script Editor - Andrew Cartmel Special Sounds - Dick Mills Stunt Arranger - Paul Heasman Stunt Arranger - Tip Tipping Title Music - Ron GrainerĀ and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, arranged by Keff McCulloch Visual Effects - Malcolm James



















GALLERY (click on images to enlarge)


Survival Survival Survival Survival Survival
Survival Survival Survival Survival Survival
Survival Survival Survival Survival Survival
Survival Survival Survival Survival Survival















































  1. Working titles for this story included Cat-Flap, Blood Hunt and The Survival.
  2. Survival was one of only three Doctor Who serials to be recorded completely on BBC Outside Broadcast video, instead of the mix of OB and studio video that was more usual during the late 1980s, and the mix of film and video before them. This was probably possible because Ghost Light, the next story in production, was filmed completely in the studio.
  3. The other stories to be recorded solely on OB video were The Sontaran Experiment and The Curse of Fenric.
  4. The part of Karra in this serial is played by Lisa Bowerman, now more familiar to fans as the voice of Bernice Summerfield in the Big Finish Productions audio dramas.
  5. This serial features guest appearances of the comedians Gareth Hale and Norman Pace and actress Adele Silva (as an eight-year old, in her first television role). Hale and Pace swapped roles soon before recording; Hale was to have played Harvey and Pace Len.
  6. Stunt legend Eddie Kidd doubles for William Barton in a motorcycle crash scene in Part 3. This led to the series' regular stunt arranger Tip Tipping walking off the production, as Kidd was apparently not a member of the actors' union Equity. Tipping's anger was arguably misplaced, however. Margaret Thatcher's government had abolished the requirement of performers to be Equity members earlier in 1988. In other words, Doctor Who was not in violation of any then-current union regulations. Tipping's beef was really with the changes Thatcher — and not John Nathan-Turner — had brought in.
  7. This story was the last to feature the face of the current Doctor in the title sequence, a tradition dating back to The Macra Terror until The Snowmen in 2012. The TV Movie that followed this and the first six and a half series of the 2005 revival had title sequences featuring a "time tunnel" effect with the TARDIS, but without the Doctor's face. The TV movie did include an extreme close-up of the Master's cat's eyes in the opening sequence, harkening back to this story. It is also the last Doctor Who story in which the lead actors are not credited at the opening, a practice used in the TV movie and later in the 2005 revival.
  8. In the novelisation, Derek escapes the planet but is later killed by Midge in Cheetah form. Len and Harvey are both transported to the Cheetah World.
  9. The three lead actors in this story - Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Anthony Ainley - were all born on 20 August in 1932, 1962 and 1943 respectively.
  10. David John (Derek) would play Ace's younger brother Liam McShane in The Rapture.

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