5P. State Of Decay

Season Eighteen - 1980/1981

Script Editor: Christopher H. Bidmead
Writer: Terrance Dicks
Produced by: John Nathan-Turner
Director: Peter Moffat
Designer: Christine Ruscoe
Incidental Music: Paddy Kingsland
Fight Arranger: Stuart Fell (4)


Trying to find a way out of E-space the TARDIS materialises on an unknown planet where the inhabitants are ruled by the Lords, otherwise referred to as the Three Who Rule.

The natives appear to be primitive, and the Doctor learns that the Lords have outlawed all technology and knowledge, although there are some rebel factions.

Overlooking the settlement is a great tower which houses the Lords. The Doctor learns that the Lords are in fact from Earth, brought to the planet by the Great One. The tower is in fact the spacecraft in which they arrived.

The Great One is in fact a vampire, the survivor of a war with the Time Lords. The Lords have been converted to vampires and feed of the natives.

The Doctor manages to destroy the Great One by using the spacecraft to go into orbit, and come straight down into the Great One's heart. With the Great One dead the Lords die also.

Regular Cast

  • Voice of K-9: John Leeson
  • Romana: Lalla Ward
  • Adric: Matthew Waterhouse

Guest Cast

  • Aukon (Science Officer Anthony O'Connor): Emrys James
  • Camilla (Navigation Officer Lauren MacMillan):: Rachel Davies
  • Zargo (Captain Miles Sharkey): William Lindsay
  • Ivo: Clinton Greyn
  • Tarak: Thane Bettany
  • Veros: Stacy Davis
  • Habris: Iain Rattray (1-2,4)
  • Kalmar: Arthur Hewlett (1-2,4)
  • Marta: Rhoda Lewis (1-2)
  • Karl: Dean Allen (1)
  • Roga: Stuart Fell (3)
  • Zoldaz: Stuart Blake (3)
  • Guard: Alan Chuntz

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 538. Part One Saturday, November 22, 1980 5:40 PM - 6:05 PM 5.8M
BBC 1 539. Part Two Saturday, November 29, 1980 5:40 PM - 6:05 PM 5.3M
BBC 1 540. Part Three Saturday, December 6, 1980 5:40 PM - 6:05 PM 4.4M
BBC 1 541. Part Four Saturday, December 13, 1980 5:40 PM - 6:05 PM 5.4M 69%


  • Ealing Film Studios
  • Television Centre Studio 3
  • Television Centre Studio 6

Outside Locations

  • Black Park, nr. Iver B470, Bucks
  • Burnham Beeches, Bucks

Working Titles

The Waiting

The Witch Lords

The Vampire Mutations


John Leeson does not provide his K-9 voice for Part Two.