|The Ambassadors of Death|
|Companion(s):||Elizabeth Shaw, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart, Sergeant Benton|
|Setting:||London, Earth, 1970|
|Written by:||David Whitaker, Malcolm Hulke & Trevor Ray|
|Directed by||Michael Ferguson|
|Produced by:||Barry Letts|
|Script Editor:||Terrance Dicks|
|Average Viewership:||7.34 million|
|Broadcast Date:||21 March - 2 May 1970|
|Previous Story:||Doctor Who and the Silurians|
The Ambassadors of Death is the third story Season 7 of Doctor Who and the third to feature Jon Pertwee as the Third Doctor. It was a collaboration story, written by original series script editor, David Whitaker, Malcolm Hulke and Trevor Ray. For a long period of time, the story in colour was lost along with many First Doctor and Second Doctor serials. However, a colour-version was created and it was finally released on DVD in August 2012.
Recovery 7 returns to Earth, however, inside is something far more sinister. As they try to free the lost three astronauts, the Doctor, Elizabeth Shaw and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart find that there is much more at stake and there are many other groups of people who are trying to use the astronauts as fighting machines.
Inside the space shuttle, Charles Van Lyden prepares to meet up with the lost shuttle, which had lost contact with Earth recently. On Earth base, they listen to what he describes. Linking up with the Mars Probe 7, he enters the shuttle, however is attacked.
From the TARDIS console, the Doctor watches everything and becomes intrigued. Racing over to the complex, the Doctor begins to take charge of the operation to Ralph Cornish's irritation. He uses a computer and maps to pinpoint a location of a signal, which is being broadcast from space and another subsequently from Earth. With the help of the Brigadier, the Doctor locates the signal in London in an abandoned warehouse.
In the warehouse, General Carrington and Grey are sending the signals and know that UNIT are coming to fight them. He sent Reegan to build up the gang and to fight and restrain the UNIT soldiers for as long as possible. A shooting match began, which ended with Reegan being captured and the General and Grey escaping the building.
The Doctor is angry that he has not been supplied with enough resources to support his work. He is sent by Cornish to speak with Taltalian. Arriving in the Professor's office, the Doctor and Liz are pointed at with a gun by the Professor himself.
The Professor manages to escape, but the Brigadier chases after him.
At the holding bay, the Doctor and Brigadier question Collinson and with some trickery from the Doctor, they discover that he is a soldier.
In the control room, they have realised the shuttle has now unclipped from the Mars Probe and is travelling back to Earth. It quickens its pace and the Doctor and the Brigadier, following a map, try to discover where the shuttle was going to land. They claim South England.
Arriving at the landing point, Cornish and the Doctor try to reach contact inside the shuttle, however, nobody answers. They are forced to load the shuttle onto the back of a lorry and return it to Space Control. However, the Brigadier and his men are ambushed by a helicopter. The soldiers are thrown and shot everywhere, until finally, the lorry is stolen. The Doctor follows behind and pretend to think that his car has broken down. Using his Anti-Thief device, the Doctor manages to stick the men's hands to Bessie. He then take the lorry himself.
The Brigadier is surprised to discover the Recovery Seven shuttle has returned to the base, and finds the Doctor. They try to reach Charles inside, nobody answers.
The Doctor and the Brigadier speak with Sir James who proposes that what they're saying is ludicrous. However, he does promise he will try to employ more into the scientific enquiry and how this ambush happened. As the Doctor and Brigadier leave, he allows Taltalian out of the cupboard.
Back at Space Control, with no contact inside, Charles finally answers, but is repeating what he says. The Doctor says they need to cut the shuttle open.
They finally manage to cut the shuttle open and discover that there is no one there except for a tape recorder reciting the message over and over.
The Ambassadors have actually been taken by General Carrington to a special laboratory where Professor Heldorf is analysing them and discovers that they feed off radiation. Intent on taking the Ambassadors for themselves, Reegan and a couple of his men kill both Heldorf and his assistant and take the Ambassadors in a van. The Ambassadors kill the accomplices and Reegan hides there bodies in a heavy-duty factory location and then takes the Ambassadors to a new laboratory where they are examined by Lennox.
The Doctor and Liz discover that the shuttle has been exposed to high-radiation, meaning that the astronauts inside should have been killed easily. The Brigadier, Doctor and Liz visit Sir James again to ask him further questions. He calls General Carrington, who explains their motive in the matters. When returning to the laboratory though, he is shocked to fin the Professor killed.
In their new laboratory, the Ambassadors become restless and try to kill both Reegan and Lennox, because they need more radiation. Lennox is confused by this statement.
While working on the shuttle, Liz receives a false call from the Brigadier. As she takes Bessie, she is chased by another car and forced to exit. Travelling across a river, she is attacked by the men and begins to fall into the river.
Liz is capture by the men chasing her and is taken to Reegan's secret laboratory and forced to work with Lennox.
At the Space Centre, the Doctor is still suspicious of Taltalian, however, believes that he could help with special experiments. He receives a phone call from a mysterious man threatening him to stop production otherwise they will kill Liz.
Liz manages to escape with the help of Lennox. However, as she crosses a field and tries to catch a lift with someone, Taltalian points a gun at her to head back to the laboratory.
The Doctor, still confident that the astronauts remain in space, tells Cornish that he wishes to pilot his own space shuttle into space in order to investigate further. Cornish is sceptical about the decision, however complies.
At the laboratory, Taltalian is worried about being found out. Reegan, in conclusion supplies him with a special bomb in order to kill the Doctor, however, he changes the time of the bomb setting in order to "kill two birds with one stone".
Taltalian returns to Space Centre and sets the bomb, however kills himself. The Doctor is injured slightly, however survives and deduces that the bomb was the hand of Reegan.
Reegan, now able to communicate with the Ambassadors asks Lennox to release them from their enclosed room. The Ambassadors are released across the country. One enters Space Centre, killing one soldier and two scientists before destroying some special documents. A second Ambassador enters Sir James Quinlan's office and kills him. The Doctor finds Sir James lying dead across his desk, and while checking his pulse, the Ambassadors sneaks up behind.
The Doctor is saved by the Brigadier, who's bullets don't scratch the Ambassador. The creature escapes, leaving behind the remnants of its destruction.
Back at Reegan's headquarters, Liz is not pleased with the use of the Ambassadors and Reegan explains that they are very useful to him as a killing machine. Liz wants to escape again, but this time asks Professor Lennox to attempt it this time. He is sceptical over the idea.
General Carrington at Space Centre isn't pleased with the decision to launch Recovery 7 with the Doctor inside and suggests a bomb instead. Cornish explains that he will need someone high-up to abort lift off.
Lennox and Liz trick one of Reegan's henchmen into believing that the Ambassadors are weakening. He claims that Reegan is in London and finally allows Lennox to leave, thinking that he is only leaving for scientific purposes.
At Space Centre, they are preparing for Launch. The Brigadier says goodbye and good luck to the Doctor. At the main engineering site, Reegan arrives to sabotage the equipment. He increases the M3 variant intake in order to cause a quick rise in heat inside the rocket. The lift off sequence begins and the Doctor receives a lot of G-force as he climbs into the air and out of the Earth atmosphere.
Sergeant Benton locks up Lennox, who has arrived to give the Brigadier a message, for his own safety. Someone brings him some food, and when he lifts the lid off of the top, he realises that it is a bomb. He calls for help.
The Doctor arrives inside Recovery 7 and links up with Mars Probe 7. However, Cornish and his assistants have found that an unidentified object is flying towards the Doctor.
The Doctor is asked to leave his ship by an alien voice. The much larger ship has hijacked him and after he walks through an odd walkway, into the new spaceship, he discovers the three missing astronauts, out of their suits, watching a screen and laughing. They are obviously confused as they claim to be at Space Centre. The Doctor then hears from the Alien Captain who wants the Doctor to find the Ambassadors on Earth and return them. Then they will release the astronauts.
On Earth, the Brigadier and Cornish want to hear from the Doctor. However, as he prepares to return to Earth, he is very stubborn about revealing anything. General Carrington is still against everything.
Reegan, returning to Space Centre, has hatched another plan to kill the Doctor. Taking some equipment with him, he ties a long wire into the decontamination unit where the Doctor has arrived. The Doctor is knocked out as a lethal gas enters the room.
General Carrington becomes even more suspicious of the Doctor after his disappearance. The Brigadier tries to protect him, however, his appearance is mysterious even to him.
Reegan has transported the Doctor to his laboratory, where the Doctor is happy to find Liz again. He is forced to make a two-way translator using as much equipment as he likes. Suddenly, Carrington arrives, intent on killing the Doctor.
Reegan stops Carrington from shooting the Doctor, claiming him to be very useful in creating a translation device. Carrington takes one of the Ambassadors to Space Centre while the other two are taken by Reegan to an Isotope Factory.
The Brigadier realises that Carrington is slowly taking over Space Centre and his men are being captured and held under arrest. Carrington also hopes to, with the help of John Wakefield, the reporter, releases information about an alien invasion to the world.
Reegan and his ambassadors kill and capture the Isotope Factory, a trick in order to persuade the situation to become far more serious and pretend that the aliens are doing the damage.
At Reegan's laboratory, the Doctor and Liz have created a communication unit, but have also added a morse code device in order to send a message to UNIT Headquarters. The guard is tricked.
John Wakefield prepares for a broadcast, with a struggling Ambassador held in custody in order to have an unveiling of its face. Cornish tries to reason with Carrington as the Ambassadors send a warning message from space. The Brigadier is arrested, but however escapes to his own headquarters.
Reegan has returned to his laboratory to test the communication device. They find out it works and that the Ambassadors only want to act in peace. The Brigadier arrives with his men and saves the Doctor and Liz and capture Reegan at the same time. They decide to use the Ambassadors as a way inside Space Centre.
Arriving outside the gates, they use the Ambassadors to forcefully enter the compound without killing anyone. The broadcast inside is interrupted and Carrington is finally captured before any serious information is released to the world and causes panic. The Doctor suggest that Liz send a message up to space in order to exchange the three Ambassadors for the three missing astronauts.
- Third Doctor - Jon Pertwee
- Elizabeth Shaw - Caroline John
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart - Nicholas Courtney
- Sergeant Benton - John Levene
- General Carrington - John Abineri
- Ralph Cornish - Ronald Allen
- Bruno Taltalian - Robert Cawdron
- Miss Rutherford - Cheryl Molineaux
- Collinson - Robert Robertson
- Grey - Ray Armstrong
- Sir James Quinlan - Dallas Cavell
- John Wakefield - Michael Wisher
- Reegan - William Dysart
- Lennox - Cyril Shaps
- Dobson - Juan Moreno
- Heldorf - Gordon Sterne
- Masters - John Lord
- Flynn - Tony Harwood
- Technician - Roy Scammell
- Control Room Assistant - Bernard Martin
- Control Room Assistant - Joanna Ross
- Control Room Assistant - Carl Conway
- UNIT Sergeant - Derek Ware
- Corporal Champion - James Haswell
- Private Parker - James Clayton
- Private Johnson - Geoffrey Beevers
- UNIT Soldier - Max Faulkner
- Alien Voices - Peter Halliday
- Alien Ambassador Captain - Peter Noel Cook
- Charles Van Lyden / Alien Ambassador - Ric Felgate
- Joe Lefee / Alien Ambassador - Steve Peters
- Frank Michaels / Alien Ambassador - Neville Simons
- Scientist 1 - Unknown
- Scientist 2 - Unknown
- Jim Daniels
- Assistant Floor Manager - Margot Hayhoe
- Costumes - Christine Rawlins
- Designer - David Myerscough-Jones
- Film Cameraman - A A Englander, Tony Leggo
- Film Editor - Don Goddard, Chris Wimble
- Incidental Music - Dudley Simpson
- Make-Up - Marion Richards, Teresa Wright
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Ralph Walton, Geoff Shaw, Dave Sydenham
- Studio Sound - Gordon Mackie, Brian Hiles
- Doctor Who theme|Title Music - Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
- Arranger - Delia Derbyshire
- Visual Effects - Peter Day, Ian Scoones
- Writer - David Whitaker, Trevor Ray, Malcolm Hulke
- Script Editor - Terrance Dicks
- Production Assistant - Nicholas John
- Director - Michael Ferguson
- Producer - Barry Letts
- Carrington mentions a Jim Daniels in a previous mission to Mars who was killed by the Alien Ambassadors. (The Ice Warriors)
- Brigadier is stationed at UNIT Headquarters.
- Carrington intends to broadcast the message across the world using space satellites to transport the signal.
- "Shoot to kill" becomes a UNIT policy. (The Three Doctors)
- The Brigadier can hold someone captive for a long time.
- Liz Shaw can speak French.
- Bessie is fitted with an Anti-theft device, which stopped Carrington and Collinson.
- The Brigadier is arrested by a superior for the second time in three stories. (Spearhead From Space)
- The aliens thrive on Radiation, around 2million rads.
The Doctor - "I don't know what came down in Recovery 7, but it certainly wasn't human!"
The Doctor - "The Man's a fool. How can I possibly tell who the message is from until I know what it says? Let me explais this to you in very simple terms!"