5th Doctor
The King's Demons
Serial 6J

John Nathan-Turner

Script Editor
Eric Saward

Ken Ledsham

Lute Player
Jacob Lindberg

Fight Arranger
John Waller

Written by Terence Dudley
Directed by Tony Virgo
Incidental Music by Jonathan Gibbs and Peter Howell

Peter Davison (The Doctor), Janet Fielding (Tegan), Mark Strickson (Turlough), Anthony Ainley (The Master), Frank Windsor (Ranulf), Gerald Flood (King John)*, Isla Blair (Isabella), Christopher Villiers (Hugh), Michael J. Jackson (Sir Geoffrey), Peter Burroughs (Jester) [1].

* Also Voice of Kamelion in Part Two, uncredited.

It is 13th Century England and King John is visiting the castle stronghold of Sir Ranulph Fitzwilliam. Ranulf's personal fortune has dwindled away, freely donated to King John to help fund the Crusade.

When the TARDIS materialises and disturbs a jousting duel, the Doctor's party are proclaimed friendly demons by the King, who seems strangely interested in their 'blue engine'. Before long the Doctor becomes embroiled in court politics, and he realises that there is far more to the situation than a simple battle of honour between nobles.

Ranulf's cousin, Sir Geoffrey de Lacey, arrives at the castle and is astonished to find the King present. He has just left His Majesty in London preparing to sign Magna Carta, a document that will shape the future of democracy in the western world. The Doctor learns that neither the King nor Sir Gilles Estram are exactly who they claim, and that their true identities involve a battle-ravaged alien planet light-years away, and one of the Doctor's oldest and deadliest enemies...

Original Broadcast (UK)

Part One15th March, 19836h55pm - 7h20pm
Part Two16th March, 19836h45pm - 7h10pm

  • Released on video in episodic format. [+/-]

    U.S. Release

    • U.K. Release: November 1995 / U.S. Release: February 1997
      PAL - BBC video BBCV5737 (boxed Set); BBCV5733 (Single tape)
      NTSC - CBS/FOX video 8455
      NTSC - Warner Video E1347

      Released as a double tape set with The Five Doctors.

  • Novelised as Doctor Who - The King's Demons by Terence Dudley. [+/-]

    Paperback Edition

    • Hardcover Edition - W.H. Allen.
      First Edition: February 1986.
      ISBN: 0 491 03642 6.
      Cover by David McAllister.
      Price: 6.50.

    • Paperback Edition - W.H. Allen.
      First Edition: July 1986.
      ISBN: 0 426 20227 9.
      Cover by David McAllister.
      Price: 1.60.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Archive: Issue #269.
Part One
(drn: 24'48")

March 1215: King John has paid an unexpected visit to the castle of Sir Ranulf Fitzwilliam, demanding more tribute for his Crusades. Fitzwilliam is unable to provide any more money -- he's already willingly given his entire fortune to the King -- and the King claims to be insulted. His champion, the French knight Sir Gilles Estram, challenges Fitzwilliam's honour, and Fitzwilliam is shocked when his hot-headed young son Hugh picks up the gage and agrees to face Estram on the morrow. The fourth of March dawns with the local serfs and Fitzwilliam's servants gathered to witness the jousting match, but the match is interrupted when the TARDIS materializes, startling everybody -- except the King.

The Doctor, Tegan and Turlough emerge from the TARDIS and are taken aback when the King loudly welcomes them as "his" demons and Estram seems to imply that the King has summoned aid from Lucifer so he can win the match. The King invites them to sit by him, and most everybody else shuffles back to avoid them as they take their seats. The match is rejoined and Estram easily defeats young Hugh, but as he approaches to deliver the killing blow, the Doctor begs the King to spare the young man's life. The King agrees to do so, much to Fitzwilliam's relief... but Hugh is shamed, feeling that he has been dishonoured.

The Doctor and his companions are welcomed into the castle, but Hugh, determined to learn who the new arrivals really are, kidnaps Turlough and takes him to the dungeons to be tortured. Sir Gilles has Ranulf's wife Isabella taken to the dungeons as a hostage to ensure his continued good behaviour, and the furious Ranulf decides to seek answers from the king's demons. The Doctor and Tegan are settling into the guest quarters, where the Doctor informs her that on 4 March 1215, King John was in London taking the Crusader's Oath -- and the date is too well documented to be in error. Fitzwilliam confronts the Doctor and Tegan, who try to assure him that they mean him no harm. The Doctor learns that Fitzwilliam's cousin, Sir Geoffrey de Lacy, was summoned to London a week ago by the King to take the Crusader's Oath, but the King hasn't mentioned him since he arrived. The Doctor suggests that the King may be an impostor, but Ranulf doesn't know what to make of this suggestion and isn't entirely convinced that the Doctor and Tegan are friendly...

In the dungeons, Sir Gilles finds Hugh preparing to place Turlough in an Iron Maiden, and has Hugh chained up along with his mother and Turlough. He then leaves the castle to arrange for the TARDIS to be brought inside its walls, and confronts a new arrival -- Sir Geoffrey de Lacy, who just left the King in London two days ago and is startled to hear Sir Gilles claim that the King is here. Sir Gilles accuses Sir Geoffrey of lying and has him arrested.

The Doctor and Tegan attend a banquet with Fitzwilliam and the King, at which the King sings a very pointed song about the glory of holy war and the importance of giving up all one's money for the Crusades. Sir Gilles then brings in the Iron Maiden and Sir Geoffrey, and, to Fitzwilliam's horror, accuses Sir Geoffrey of disobeying the King's order to travel to London and prepares to execute him. The Doctor intervenes and challenges Sir Gilles' lack of good taste in following the King's performance with an entertainment of his own. Sir Gilles challenges the Doctor to a duel, and the Doctor bests him at swordplay, much to the King's amusement. But Sir Gilles pulls out a Tissue Compression Eliminator from beneath his armour, and the Doctor realizes that he is in fact the Master...

Part Two
(drn: 24'27")

Tegan recognizes the Tissue Compression Eliminator and throws a knife at the Master's head, but he catches it in mid-flight. He gives the Doctor a choice of weapons -- the knife or the TCE? The Doctor takes the TCE, but the Master knows he will never use it. The King demands that the Doctor finish off "Sir Gilles", and when the Doctor refuses, orders the guards to put him in the Iron Maiden. The Doctor objects but the King demands blood -- either Sir Gilles or Sir Geoffrey. The Doctor has no choice but to stand by as the Master is placed in the Iron Maiden, the door is closed... and the Iron Maiden dematerializes with the sound of a TARDIS, revealing the Doctor's final mistake.

The King knights the Doctor as his new champion, and the Doctor's first act is to arrest Sir Geoffrey and take him to the dungeons -- to Ranulf's fury, as he'd just started to trust the Doctor. In fact, the Doctor just wants access to the Master's TARDIS, which he believes will be kept out of way in the dungeons. He's quite right; the Master has appeared and released Isabella and Hugh, claiming that he is attempting to stop the Doctor's evil schemes. The Doctor, Tegan and Geoffrey arrive and release Turlough, and the Doctor explains the truth to Geoffrey and asks for his help. They intend to use the TARDIS to take Geoffrey and the impostor to London, but before the Doctor leaves the dungeon he activates the TCE and affixes it to the Master's TARDIS.

The Master reunites Isabella and Hugh with a grateful Ranulf, who places his men-at-arms in the Master's charge. The Doctor and his companions discover that the Master has moved the Doctor's TARDIS, and Sir Geoffrey decides to ride to London alone rather than wait to find it. Turlough helps Geoffrey to get to a horse, but the Master is waiting, and as soon as Geoffrey has cleared the castle walls he is brought down by a crossbow bolt. Turlough is captured as soon as he re-enters the castle.

The Doctor and Tegan are captured and taken to the dining hall, where Ranulf shows them the TARDIS, found in the King's chambers, and accuses them of trying to kidnap the King. Tegan manages to get inside the TARDIS and dematerialize, hoping to get back to the King's chambers, but she is stuck in mid-transit when an alarm she doesn't recognize begins sounding on the console. The Doctor takes advantage of the distraction to escape, and eventually locates the King's chambers -- where the Master is standing proudly next to a gleaming metallic robot. This is Kamelion, a souvenir from Xeriphas -- an infinitely adaptable decoy capable of changing its form and personality depending upon the will of its operator. Disguised as King John, Kamelion will provoke a rebellion and topple the real King from his throne, thus robbing the world of Magna Carta, the foundation of parliamentary democracy. And now the Doctor has unwittingly helped the Master to prove that the King is in league with demons. From here the Master will go on to undermine the key civilisations of the Universe, spreading chaos and paving the way for his own rule...

Sir Geoffrey is brought into the castle, but dies before he can explain what happened. Ranulf takes Turlough to face the King and the Master, only to find the Doctor there as well. "King John" orders Ranulf to boil the Doctor alive in oil, and the Doctor, in response, attempts to use his own willpower to break Kamelion free of the Master's control. Ranulf, seeing the King in torment, is about to kill the Doctor, but at that moment Tegan thumps the TARDIS console in frustration and the TARDIS materializes in the King's chambers. The distraction enables the Doctor to overcome the Master's will, and Kamelion transforms into the image of Tegan. The Doctor bundles the confused robot into the TARDIS and Turlough breaks free of his startled guards and follows.

As the TARDIS dematerializes, the furious Master heads for his own TARDIS to follow -- but thanks to the Doctor's use of the TCE, his dimensional circuits are out of alignment and he could end up anywhere but where he wants to go. Kamelion transforms into his robotic form again and thanks the Doctor for releasing him from the Master's thrall. The Doctor decides to allow him to remain on board, and talks Tegan out of her objections. The argument resolved, he sets the co-ordinates to take them all to the Eye of Orion, one of the wonders of the Universe.

Source: Cameron Dixon
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