"Inferno" is the fourth story of the seventh season of Doctor Who.

Season 7 (1970), Episode 19 to Episode 25
Air date 9 May - 20 June 1970
Written by Don Houghton
Directed by Douglas Camfield
Episode guide
The Ambassadors of Death
Terror of the Autons


Episode 1Edit

Episode 2Edit

Episode 3Edit

Episode 4Edit

Episode 5Edit

Episode 6Edit

Episode 7Edit

Background informationEdit

  • The script describes Harry Slocum as "a cheerful, friendly man."
  • The script describes Professor Eric Stahlman as "an aggressive and domineering man" who is "constantly on the go."
  • Sir Keith Gold is the very opposite: "a benign, scholarly person." In the draft, he was named Sir Keith Mulvaney. After casting, he was briefly Sir Keith Rose, before they settled on Gold.
  • Stahlman, in the draft, puts Greg Sutton in his place by calling him "Mr Oilman."
  • Immediately following the professor's denunciation of him as part of an over-abundance of advisers, the draft has the Doctor offering Stahlman a dose of "Sister Pickersgill's Herbal Tonic Water," which is "especially good for the gripes."
  • Don Houghton and Terrance Dicks had a friendly disagreement about what the project should be called. Houghton was very attached to his original idea: "Operation Mole-Bore." Dicks was equally determined not to offer critics a free hit by having the word "bore" in the title. Instead he referred to it provisionally as the "Mo-Hole project," after the real-life project which had been Houghton's inspiration. They compromised on "Project Inferno," but Houghton made sure it was not the project's "official" title, just a technicians' joke.
  • The draft also explains that the output pipes funnel the powdered rock and minerals up to laboratories for analysis.
  • In the draft, Slocum's victim is a UNIT sentry, attacked just outside the entrance to the main building.
  • In earlier versions, Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart has been at the project for some time: UNIT has been assigned to handle routine security. The Doctor has been at the project for about a month, at Sir Keith's personal invitation. It is a more formal arrangement than in the final version of the serial: as Sir Keith puts it, "We offer him facilities - in return for his services."
  • Greg Sutton is loosely based on Peter Thornton, the oil drilling expert in The Troubleshooters, played by Ray Barrett. The script calls him a "troubleshooter type", "a nuggety, tough-looking, rugged individual", and he is even more patronising to Petra than on screen, calling her "girlie."
  • Sir Keith and Harry Slocum both sport the actors' own moustaches, but they are the only real ones to be seen. Like Nicholas Courtney in his portrayal of the Brigadier, Olaf Pooley was a wearer of fake facial hair in his role as the main universe's Eric Stahlman. His beard and moustache, together consisting of two separate pieces, were stuck on with spirit gum.
  • The script calls Petra Williams "starchy, but attractive" and "rather austere." This even more apparent in the draft, where she answers the telephone by impersonally giving her surname.


Links and referencesEdit


Uncredited performersEdit



1883; 1943; 1971

Arabia; asbestos; assistant director; Batman; Bessie; British Army; car; Central Records; chauffeur; civil servant; CO2; cocoa; computer; Defence of the Republic Act 1943; dentist; dictator; dimensional paradox; "Doc"; doctor; drill rig; Earth; earthquake; Eastchester drilling project; Eastchester drilling project (parallel space-time continuum); Edward VII; Elizabeth II; executive director; ferrous concrete; Financial Times; fire extinguisher; Gold, Keith; green substance; gun; Krakatoa; Kuwait; labour camp; La donna è mobile; Leeds; London; mariner; mathematician; medal; medical doctor; Mediterranean; microcircuit; Midlands; Minister of Energy and Power; Ministry of Energy and Power; Ministry of Energy and Resource; North Sea; nuclear power; nuclear reactor; oilman; oil rig; Old Nick; Order of the Bath; parallel space-time continuum; Paris; personal assistant; physics; Primord; professor; radiation suit; Republican Security Forces; rigger; robot; rocket; Royal Artillery; Royal Family; section leader; security officer; sergeant; Shine On, Martian Moons; Slocum, Harry; Smith, John; sonic screwdriver; space-time continuum; Stahlman's gas; steel; Sundra Straits; swagger stick; tea; telephone; typist; United Kingdom; United Nations Intelligence Taskforce; Venusian karate; wrench; zombie

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