7th Doctor
The Curse of Fenric
Serial 7M

John Nathan-Turner

Script Editor
Andrew Cartmel

David Laskey

Stunt Arranger
Tip Tipping [2-4]

Written by Ian Briggs
Directed by Nicholas Mallett
Incidental Music by Mark Ayres

Sylvester McCoy (The Doctor), Sophie Aldred (Ace), Dinsdale Landen (Dr Judson), Alfred Lynch (Commander Millington), Nicholas Parsons (The Rev. Mr Wainwright) [1-3], Janet Henfrey (Miss Hardaker) [1-2], Tomek Bork (Captain Sorin), Peter Czajkowski (Sgt Prozorov) [1-3], Marek Anton (Vershinin), Mark Conrad (Petrossian) [1], Joann Kenny (Jean), Joanne Bell (Phyllis), Anne Reid (Nurse Crane), Cory Pulman (Kathleen Dudman), Aaron Hanley (Baby) [1,3-4]*, Stevan Rimkus (Captain Bates), Marcus Hutton (Sgt Leigh), Christien Anholt (Perkins) [1-3], Raymond Trickett (Ancient Haemovore) [4].

* Also in Part Two, uncredited.

The Doctor and Ace are put to the ultimate test when the TARDIS dematerializes in Second World War England at a top secret naval base.

The army church, built on Viking graves, bears inscriptions calling for the wolves of Fenric to return for their treasure. Thereafter evil will reign... Even as the Doctor translates the words hideous corpses rise up from the sea, the evil Fenric now free to summon his wolves to a killing rampage.

In the stand against Fenric, only the Doctor can play the final moves...

Original Broadcast (UK) 
Part One		      25th October, 1989		7h35pm - 8h00pm
Part Two		      1st November, 1989		7h35pm - 8h00pm
Part Three		      8th November, 1989		7h35pm - 8h00pm
Part Four		      15th November, 1989		7h35pm - 8h00pm
  • Released on video and DVD in episodic format. [+/-]

    U.K. Video Release U.S. Video Release


    • U.K. Release: February 1991 / U.S. Release: January 1992
      PAL - BBC video BBCV4453
      NTSC - CBS/FOX Video 3404
      NTSC - Warner Video E1099

      The video release includes 6'22" of extra material.

      U.S. DVD Release
    • U.K. Release: October 2003 / U.S. Release: June 2004
      PAL Region 2 - BBCDVD1154  (2 DVD)
      NTSC Region 1 - Warner DVD E1993  (2 DVD)

      • Commentary by Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Nicholas Parsons.
      • Brand new movie-lenght version of the film with new footage, new CGI effects and remixed soundtrack.
      • Nebula 90 footage from the 1990 Doctor Who Convention.
      • Behind the scenes with the children's show Take Two.
      • 'Modelling The Dead' - How to make a Haemovore mask.
      • 'Claws And Effects' - Production recce and visual effects tests. U.K. DVD Release
      • 'Shattering The Chains' - Interview with author Ian Briggs.
      • 'Recutting The Runes' - Behind the scenes of this DVD.
      • Costume design.
      • Music only option.
      • Clean title sequences of the 1987-1989 version.
      • Photo Gallery.
      • Production Information Subtitles.
      • Who's Who (Region 1 only).

  • The music soundtrack has been released on CD by Silver Screen. [+/-]

      The Curse of Fenric

    • Released: 1991
    • Silva Screen FILMCD 087
    • Running time: 72:09
      • 1. Introduction: Doctor Who (0:40)
        2. The Boats (0:47)
        3. Beach-head and Rat-Trap (2:06)
        4. Sealed Orders (1:21)
        5. Eyes Watching (1:03)
        6. Commander Millington (0:47)
        7. Viking Graves (0:54)
        8. Maidens' Point (1:17)
        9. The Translations (3:23)
        10. Audrey and Millington's Office (2:13)
        11. The Curse of Fenric (2:32)
        12. High Stakes (0:34)
        13. The Crypt (1:21)
        14. The Ambush (0:42)
        15. The Well of Vergelmir (1:16)
        16. The Ultima Machine (2:00)
        17. Dangerous Undercurrents (1:02)
        18. The Seduction of Prozorov (1:54)
        19. Half-Time Score (0:40)
        20. Exit Miss Hardaker/The Vicar and the Vampires (2:25)
        21. Stop the Machine! (2:25)
        22. The Haemovores (1:49)
        23. The Battle for St. Jude's (4:27)
        24. The Mineshaft (1:51)
        25. Sealing the Hatch (1:55)
        26. House Guests (1:35)
        27. The Letter (0:50)
        28. Evil From the Dawn of Time (1:10)
        29. The Storm Breaks (3:33)
        30. Ancient Enemies (3:46)
        31. Shadow Dimensions (1:10)
        32. Chemical Grenade (1:00)
        33. The Great Serpent (0:40)
        34. Pawns in the Game (3:16)
        35. Kathleen's Escape (2:08)
        36. The Wolves of Fenric (3:08)
        37. Black Wins, Time Lord! (2:22)
        38. The Final Battle (2:48)
        39. Epilogue: Doctor Who (2:12)

      The Best of Doctor Who - Volume 2

    • Released: 1992
    • Silva America SSD 1042
    • Running time: 79:25
      • 1. Doctor Who (Main Title Theme) (0:54)

        The Greatest Show in the Galaxy
        2. Invitation to Segonax (3:46)
        3. Bellboy and Flowerchild/Fellow Explorers (2:22)
        4. The Robot Attacks (1:04)
        5. Something Sinister (1:38)
        6. The Circus Ring/Eavesdropping (2:15)
        7. Stone Archway (1:45)
        8. The Well (1:04)
        9. Bellboy's Sacrifice (2:56)
        10. The Werewolf/`Request Stop'(5:49)
        11. Playing for Time (4:56)

        Ghost Light
        12. The Madhouse (3:26)
        13. Uncharted Territory (1:37)
        14. Heart of the Interior/Nimrod Observed (1:48)
        15. Time to Emerge (1:19)
        16. Burnt Toast/Ace's Adventures Underground (1:51)
        17. The Memory Teller (1:34)
        18. Homo Victorianus Ineptus (1:18)
        19. Out of the Shadows (2:37)
        20. Tricks of the Light (1:31)
        21. Judgement in Stone (2:14)
        22. Requiem/Passing Thoughts (3:42)

        The Curse of Fenric
        23. The Boats (0:43)
        24. Rat-trap (1:02)
        25. Sealed Orders (1:19)
        26. Commander Millington (0:46)
        27. Maiden's Point (1:16)
        28. The Translations (1:36)
        29. The Well of Vergelmir (1:15)
        30. The Ultima Machine (1:27)
        31. Stop the Machine! (2:23)
        32. Vampire City! (5:14)
        33. The Telegram (0:49)
        34. Evil from the Dawn of Time (1:10)
        35. Shadow Dimensions/The Great Serpent (1:02)
        36. Pawns in the Game (1:12)
        37. Black Wins, Time Lord! (2:18)
        38. The Final Battle (2:46)

        39. Doctor Who (End Title Theme) (1:12)

  • Novelised as Doctor Who - The Curse of Fenric by Ian Briggs. [+/-]

    Virgin Edition

    • Paperback Edition - Virgin Publishing Ltd.
      First Edition: November 1990.
      ISBN: 0 426 20348 8.
      Cover by Alister Pearson.
      Price: 2.50.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Archive: #225.
Part One
(drn: 24'23"; VT drn: 26'40")

Britain, 1942. The TARDIS materializes in a naval base in Yorkshire, and the Doctor and Ace manage to get quite far into the camp before being confronted by marines. The Doctor bluffs his way past them and takes Ace to meet the paralysed Dr Judson, who has developed the ULTIMA code-breaking computer. While Ace distracts Judson and his caregiver Nurse Crane, the Doctor forges documents from the War Office in order to provide himself and Ace with credentials. He sends Ace to the barracks to sleep while he wanders the grounds, pondering what's to happen next.

A squadron of Soviet soldiers establishes a beach-head on the coast at Maidens' Point, but one of the two dinghies vanishes in a fog bank and the sole survivor, Gayev, washes up on the beach, babbling incoherently. Captain Sorin sends a nervous soldier, Petrossian, to the beach to search for the missing sealed orders which the second dinghy was carrying. Petrossian finds a waterproof bag containing instructions and a photograph of Dr Judson, but before he can get it to the others something rises up from the waves and kills him...

The next morning, the Doctor and Ace visit the local church, where Judson is copying ancient Viking inscriptions in order to translate them with the ULTIMA machine. Ace meets two young East End evacuees, Jean and Phyllis, and arranges to meet them later at Maidens' Point. In the crypt she hears machinery behind the walls, but the Doctor ignores her, concentrating instead on a gravestone with the names of ancient families, descendents of the Viking settlers. He takes Ace to Maidens' Point to meet her friends, but finds the abandoned Soviet orders and realizes that the staff at the naval base are already aware of the Soviets' presence. He returns to the church, telling Ace not to go into the water.

Jean and Phyllis' billet, the acrid old Miss Hardaker, refuses to allow them to go to Maidens' Point, but they ignore her and set off anyway. Ace gives up on them when they taunt her for not swimming with them, unaware that something under the water is watching their every move.

The Doctor meets Reverend Wainwright and questions him about some of his earlier remarks, and Wainwright reluctantly admits that his father had already translated the Viking inscriptions and learned that evil was once buried beneath the church. The Doctor notices certain parallels between the Vikings' story and the Soviets' sealed orders, and takes the translations to Judson to stop him from using the ULTIMA machine to complete the translation.

While exploring the naval base, the Doctor and Ace meet WRNs who are transcribing German coded messages, and watch in disgust as Commander Millington orders young mother Kathleen Dudman to get her baby daughter off the base or be expelled from the service. Ace is upset on Kathleen's behalf even though the baby is named Audrey, just like Ace's hated mother. The Doctor and Ace enter Millington's office and find that it's a perfect copy of the German cipher room in Berlin; Millington is trying to understand how the Nazis think. Two things are out of place: a school photograph which indicates Millington knew Judson before his accident, and a chess set.

Millington reads the translation of the Viking inscription and concludes that the final battle of the gods is at hand. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Ace, searching for more clues at the beach, find Petrossian's body and are confronted by the surviving Soviet soldiers...

Part Two
(drn: 24'09"; VT drn: 24'50")

The Doctor and Ace quote from the Soviet sealed orders to convince the Soviets that they know what's really going on, and are taken back to Sorin for questioning. The Doctor manages to calm the babbling Gayev, who hands over a strangely-shaped metal object similar to one the Doctor found in Petrossian's hand earlier, and then lapses back into delirium. Sorin decides to let the Doctor and Ace free to investigate.

The Doctor and Ace return to the church, where they find more inscriptions -- ancient Viking runes which suddenly burned themselves into the walls of the crypt that morning. The Doctor remembers Ace's comment about machinery noises and begins searching for a secret passageway, only to be captured by Millington. Beneath the crypt is a sub-chamber where soldiers and technicians from the naval base are tapping into a natural source of lethal toxins, which they intend to use as weapons against the Nazis. The Doctor quotes Norse mythology, convincing Millington that they're on the same side, and Millington agrees to show him everything -- but orders Ace to remain behind. Ace tries to find out what's bothering Reverend Wainwright, who confesses that the war is causing him to question his preconceptions about right and wrong.

The Doctor learns that the apparently poor security at the naval base is a deliberate lure; the Soviets are here to steal the ULTIMA machine, but following orders from Whitehall, Millington has planted a toxic bomb in the heart of the ULTIMA machine. The Soviets will be allowed to steal it and will use it to decipher British transmissions -- but when the political climate is appropriate, a code word will be included which will cause the ULTIMA machine to self-destruct and destroy Moscow.

As Millington demonstrates the toxin's lethal effects to the horrified Doctor by slaughtering a cage full of doves, a British squadron patrolling the beach is set upon and killed by the Soviets. Sergeant Prozorov, sickened by the "necessary" slaughter, wanders off down the beach to collect himself. Jean and Phyllis, harshly chastised by Miss Hardaker for disobeying her orders, have disobeyed her yet again and returned to Maidens' Point, but this time the creatures beneath the water rise to collect their prey. Prozorov sees Jean and Phyllis floating in the water, seductively beckoning to him -- but when he enters the water the creatures attack him and pull him under. Meanwhile, the operations beneath the church shut up shop, and the soldiers abandon an ancient flask which they find near a hole in the wall -- unaware that the flask itself knocked the hole in the wall in order to reach the open air...

Millington, obsessively sketching pictures of flasks, orders his soldiers to destroy all chess sets in the camp. Judson translates the "final" inscription as LET THE CHAINS OF FENRIC SHATTER. The Doctor, worried, decides to warn Jean and Phyllis of the danger at the beach, but while he is busy requisitioning transport, Ace points out to Judson that the final inscription also matches the pattern of a complex logic diagram, complex enough to be run as a computer programme. Judson excitedly sets off to run the programme on the ULTIMA machine.

The Doctor and Ace visit Miss Hardaker's cottage, only to find that Jean and Phyllis have already returned and killed her, draining the blood out of her body. They rush to the church to save Wainwright from the two vampires, who reveal that Wainwright has lost his faith due to the British government's brutal tactics in the war. The Doctor's strength of will drives the girls away but they vow to return. He assures Wainwright that all will be under control as long as Judson doesn't realize that the final Viking inscriptions are a computer programme. When he realizes what Ace has done he rushes to the naval base to stop Judson, but he's too late; the ULTIMA machine has begun printing out the names of Viking settlers, and vampire mutations are rising from the waves at Maidens' Point and storming the beach. By the time the Doctor arrives, the ULTIMA machine is running at four times maximum speed and can't be shut off...

Part Three
(drn: 24'11"; VT drn: 24'40")

Millington orders that the ULTIMA machine be protected until the programme has finished running, but the Doctor points out that he's weakened the base's defenses so the Soviets can steal the machine. What's worse, he knows that the Haemovores -- vampire mutations from millions of years in the future -- are on their way. He and Wainwright return to the church to find out who the descendents of the Viking settlers are, while Ace pauses to check that Kathleen and her baby are all right and finds Kathleen packing up, preparing to leave. Ace continues on to the church to help the Doctor, who's searching for the Oriental treasures buried with the Vikings. Ace finds the flask and keeps it, unaware of its significance.

Sorin and his men see the Haemovores rise and follow them to the church, where they save Ace from two Haemovores and retreat into the vestry with the Doctor and Wainwright. The Doctor uses his faith in his old companions to drive the Haemovores back, telling the others that strong faith generates a psychic barrier which Haemovores can't penetrate. Sorin uses his faith in the Communist revolution to walk unharmed through the Haemovores and return to his troops on the beach, while two soldiers remain to help the Doctor, Ace and Wainwright escape to the naval base through the secret passage. But once they arrive, Millington confiscates the flask and seals the passage, trapping the Soviet soldiers inside with the Haemovores.

Sorin enters the base and tries to contact Millington, to convince him to join forces against the real enemy, but Millington simply locks him up and puts the flask into the ULTIMA machine, waiting for the dark powers of Fenric to arise; he blames himself for Judson's paralysis (as does Judson) and has promised him power over everything in return. Ace, meanwhile, finds Kathleen in a state of shock over a telegram informing him that her husband Frank has been killed in action. Frustrated and furious, Ace confronts the Doctor and demands to know what's going on, and he reluctantly explains that flask contains a primal force of pure evil which existed before the creation of the Universe -- and it's about to break free.

Ace seductively lures Sorin's guard away from his cells, giving the Doctor the opportunity to break Sorin free. They rush to the ULTIMA machine to recover the flask, but are too late. The Haemovores break into the naval base, led by Jean and Phyllis, and Wainwright tries to use his faith to hold them back -- but ultimately fails. The ULTIMA machine completes its programme and Judson is blasted with all the power in the flask. As a thunderstorm breaks over the naval base and the Haemovores enter, the Doctor, Ace and Sorin enter the computer room to find the paralysed Judson standing on his own two feet, waiting for the Doctor. "We play the contest again...Time Lord."

Part Four
(drn: 24'16"; VT drn: 27'11")

Fenric vanishes from the computer room and Millington orders Captain Bates to shoot the Doctor and his friends for treason. Bates forms a firing squad outside, but they are interrupted by the Soviet squadron, which opens fire on the British soldiers, allowing the Doctor and his friends to escape. While Sorin and his men hold off the British soldiers, the Doctor and Ace head for Millington's office to fetch a chess set so the Doctor can complete his ancient game with Fenric, but Millington has booby-trapped his chessboard with explosives and they barely escape with their lives. Ace remembers seeing a chess set in Kathleen's suitcase and she and the Doctor collect it, but Ace decides to stay and protect Kathleen while the Doctor sets up the trap for Fenric. Jean and Phyllis, meanwhile, summon the Ancient Haemovore, the eldest of them all, for his fated meeting with Fenric.

The British soldiers win the battle with the Soviets by using toxic chemical grenades, but the Haemovores then start killing the British, and Bates, trying to warn Millington, is horrified to hear Fenric telling Millington that the Ancient Haemovore will fulfil Viking prophecy by using the stored toxins at the naval base to poison the Earth's oceans forever. Bates throws in his lot with Sorin and the sole Soviet survivor, Vershinin, agreeing to help them fight the real enemy. The WRNs are transformed into Haemovores and turn on the soldiers, and Fenric allows the Haemovores to kill Nurse Crane as well in revenge for the humiliation Judson suffered under her care.

Ace and Kathleen are attacked by Haemovores, but Ace helps Kathleen and her daughter to get to safety and escape the naval base. Fenric, deciding that the Haemovores' use is over, orders the Ancient One to use its psychic link with the Haemovores to kill them all, and Ace watches, horrified, as Jean and Phyllis crumble to dust before her eyes.

The Doctor finishes setting up his chessboard trap, and challenges Fenric to find the solution; he's hoping that the metaphorical struggle will weaken Fenric and allow the Doctor to trap him as he did the last time they fought. While Fenric agonizes over the puzzle, the Doctor heads off to confront the Ancient One, and informs him that Fenric deliberately brought him back in time to poison the Earth's waters with chemicals -- because this act will set in motion the chain of events which leads to the future which creates the Ancient One himself, the last survivor of a polluted, dead Earth.

Millington shoots Vershinin when he tries to destroy the ULTIMA machine, and then tries to shoot Bates for treason, but Vershinin shoots Millington instead. Bates and Vershinin explain to the puzzled Ace that they're just pawns in the war but have learned to fight together, and Ace realizes that this is the winning move in the Doctor's chess puzzle. Sorin, meanwhile, goes to the chemical storage depot to confront Fenric, and when Ace arrives she finds him standing over Judson's dead body and proudly explains the solution to him. The Doctor arrives too late -- Ace has just realized that Sorin is dead, his body possessed by Fenric...

Fenric makes the winning move and gloats over his victory, telling the shocked Ace that Kathleen is her grandmother; by helping her to escape, Ace has created her own future. Everything that has unfolded here has been a part of Fenric's plan; all the pawns in his game were descendents of the Vikings who first buried the flask. He orders the Ancient One to kill the Doctor and Ace, but Ace's faith in the Doctor holds the Ancient One back -- until the Doctor callously tells Fenric to go ahead and kill her, since he's known since he met Ace on Iceworld that she was a pawn in Fenric's game, part of the trap being set for him. Ace collapses in tears, allowing the Ancient One to move forward -- and use the chemical weapons to kill both himself and Fenric.

The Doctor apologizes to Ace for his cruel remarks, explaining that he had to destroy her faith in him to let the Haemovore forward. Ace must now come to terms with her mixed feeling for her mother, and swims beneath the waters of Maidens' Point to emerge, at peace with herself.

Source: Cameron Dixon

Continuity Notes:
  • The Doctor meets Kathleen again, although she doesn't recognize him, in Ace of Hearts, when he apologises to baby Ace for everything he will do to her in her future.
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