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"Thank you Doctor, I'd love to."
Delta and the Bannermen
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 24
Story Number: 147
Doctor: Seventh Doctor
Companions: Mel
Enemy: Bannermen
Setting: Earth, 1959
Writer: Malcolm Kohll
Director: Chris Clough
Broadcast: 2nd November - 16th November 1987
Format: 3 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: Paradise Towers
Following Story: Dragonfire



In a Welsh holiday camp, the Doctor and Mel protect the Chimeron queen Delta and her newly-hatched princess from the pursuit of Gavrok and the evil Bannermen.


On the planet of the Chimerons, the population has been wiped out by the brutal Bannermen invaders, led by Gavrok. The last survivor is the Queen, Delta, who escapes in a Bannerman spaceship with an unhatched Chimeron egg. Gavrok and the Bannermen pursue.

The Doctor and Mel arrive at intergalactic toll port G715, where the Tollmaster informs them that by being the 10,000,000,000th customer, they've won a trip to Disneyland in the year 1959 with an intergalactic travel company Nostalgia Tours. They join a party of Navarinos, who undergo a transformation to look human. Mel joins them on their vessel, a rickety bus fitted with warp engines, but the dubious Doctor elects to follow in his TARDIS. Delta lands nearby and slips on board the bus shortly before takeoff.

In orbit, the bus collides with an American satellite and plummets toward Earth. The Doctor envelops the bus in a gravitational field so they land safely; not in Disneyland however but in a holiday camp in Wales called Shangri-La. Burton, the camp leader, greets them warmly, mistaking them for a scheduled party. Burton enlists his camp mechanic, Billy, and his adoring assistant Ray to assist the Doctor and busdriver Murray in repairs. Gavrok and the Bannermen, however, are in hot pursuit. A bounty hunter named Keillor has infiltrated the tourists, spotted Delta, and contacted Gavrok with their location.

That night the campers enjoy a dance, with Billy leading his band. Ray, however, is heartbroken when he dedicates a song not to her, but to Delta, with whom he has fallen in love. The Doctor finds Ray crying in a linen room and comforts her, but they are confronted by Keillor. He recognizes the Doctor, and raises his gun...

Once Gavrok has pinpointed the location of the camp, they no longer need Keillor and dispatch him with an ionic pulse. Mel and Delta watch as the egg hatches. Billy arrives with flowers and discovers that his new girlfriend is an alien, as well as mother of a rapidly growing newborn.

The next morning, Billy and Delta slip away with the baby for a motorcycle tour of the countryside while the Doctor informs the rest of the party of the oncoming Bannermen. Mel and Murray complete the repairs of the bus while the Doctor and Ray search for Billy and Delta. Mel stays behind to wait for the Doctor as the others board, but the Bannermen arrive and destroy the bus, killing the entire tour group. The horrified Mel convinces Gavrok -- at first -- that Delta was aboard. The Doctor and Ray catch up with Billy, Delta and the young princess, and they find shelter with a kindly beekeeper Goronwy. As the Bannermen close in, the princess repels them with a high-pitched shriek, which also causes Goronwy's bees to assist and attack.

With the help of Billy's amplified speakers (and some extra jiggery-pokery by the Doctor), the young princess's shrieks subdue the remaining Bannermen, and Gavrok is killed by a trap he had set for the Doctor. Billy is discovered to have ingested some of Delta's food supply, which is transforming him into a Chimeron. He elects to leave with Delta and the princess, but Ray's heartbreak is eased when he leaves his beloved Vincent motorcycle with her.




  • The Navarinos are squat, wrinkly purple creatures who can shapechange and time travel.
  • Chimeron males and infants are green. They've been nearly wiped out by the Bannermen in some undisclosed conflict.
  • The bus lands outside the Shangri-La holiday camp, Wales near Llandrudnod Wells, 1959.
  • The Doctor uses a sonic cone, which he says will destroy everyone, but doesn't.
  • The American satellite resembles the Russian satellite, Sputnik.

Story Notes

  • Working title for this story was: The Flight Of The Chimeron and Flight of the Chimeron. According to the 2009 DVD release, this was the title in place when the story was filmed; the final title wasn't decided upon until the fall of 1987. According to the DVD, the title was a play on the name of a popular musical group of the 1980s, Echo and the Bunnymen.
  • The Doctor's question mark umbrella makes its first appearance.
  • Sylvester McCoy can be seen wearing his glasses - normally removed before recording - in some long shots of him riding a motor bike.
  • Keillor, the alien bounty hunter, is never referred to by name in the story's dialogue; his name is given only in the closing credits.
  • At the time the episode was produced, Bonnie Langford was considering leaving the series midway through the season, and so the young girl Ray was intended to be her replacement. Langford ultimately chose to stay for the complete season, and the idea of having Ray join the TARDIS crew was dropped; elements of the character, however, later inspired the creation of Ace, who ultimately became Mel's replacement at the end of the series. Coincidentally, Sophie Aldred auditioned for the role of Ray but she did not get it but got the part of Ace instead.
  • This was the first 3-episode story (in the traditional 25-minute episode format) since Planet of Giants in 1964; each of McCoy's seasons would have serials of this length.
  • This was the first and only classic-series story to be extensively produced in Wales; (although The Green Death and The Five Doctors have had scenes filmed in Wales, in the case of The Green Death, it was set in Wales as well). When the series returned in 2005, it would be primarily produced in Wales, with a number of its earth-based stories also set there (as well as its spinoff, Torchwood). As noted below, the revived series even used some of the same locations as this story.
  • On several occasions, the Doctor is heard mangling earth idioms. According to the DVD production notes commentary, this aspect of the Doctor's personality was mostly abandoned after this story.
  • The final version of the story includes only one brief scene featuring the Doctor inside the TARDIS console room. The "first edit" of episode 1, included on the 2009 DVD, includes an additional console room scene with Mel (in which it was revealed the Doctor keeps petty cash in a jar secreted beneath the console!). According to the production notes commentary, the original script called for another console room scene with Burton and Ray, but this was cut otherwise the two actors would have had to have been brought to London to film the scene.
  • Again according to the DVD, another actress had been cast as Ray, but was injured during rehearsals with the motorbike. The actress nonetheless received full pay.
  • According to the DVD production notes commentary, it was during this story's broadcast that fan backlash against producer John Nathan-Turner began to pick up steam and receive media coverage.
  • In part 2 Billy entered Delta's room with flowers and is surprisd to see the baby. In the original edit for part 1 Billy entered before the egg hatched and is most surprised when he watches it hatching.


The story's setting in the late-1950s resulted in a number of vintage songs from the era being heard or performed (though all had to be rerecorded by series composer Keff McCulloch and the Lorells. The songs heard in the serial are:

McCulloch appears on screen with the band performing a few of these. According to the DVD commentary, his then-fiance was one of the backup singers on the recordings.


  • Part 1 - 5.3 million viewers
  • Part 2 - 5.1 million viewers
  • Part 3 - 5.4 million viewers


to be added

Filming Locations

  • Springwell Quarry, Springwell Lane, Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire
  • Majestic Holiday Camp on Barry Island, South Glamorgan, Wales (The camp no longer exists, but Barry Island would be the filming location for parts of the 2005 episodes The Empty Child and The Doctor Dances.)
  • Pyscodlyn Mawr Reservoir, Hensol Forest, Welsh St Donats, South Glamorgan
  • Sutton Farm, Fort Road, Penarth, South Glamorgan
  • Coed Y Wallas, Castle Upon Alun, Mid Glamorgan
  • British Tissues Hangar (Now known as Georgia Pacific GB Ltd), Llandow Trading Estate, Llandow, South Glamorgan
  • BBC Television Centre (TC3), Shepherd's Bush, London

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • In some of the motorcycle riding scenes, Sylvester McCoy can been seen wearing his glasses. This could just be the Seventh Doctor wearing glasses simply because he feels, like it just as the First, Fifth and Tenth Doctors, have and as the Tenth Doctor explained it makes him look clever. DW: Time Crash. However the glasses appear and reappear between shots. In real life, McCoy needed to see where he was riding.
  • By 1959, the idea of launching satellites shouldn't be a big secret anymore. Perhaps this particular satellite was a spy satellite? The DVD production notes suggest that, perhaps in the Whoniverse the US launched its first satellite later than in the real world. However ...
  • Why does the US satellite look exactly like the Russian satellite Sputnik? Maybe that is why the agents were assigned to retrieve it.



  • Delta and the Bannermen occurs after: BFA: Flip-Flop
  • Delta and the Bannermen occurs before: ST: Uranus

DVD and Video Releases

  • Delta and the Bannerman was released to DVD in the UK on 22nd June 2009, followed by a North American DVD release on 1st September.

Special features:

  • An alternate version of Episode 1, with additional scenes not in the broadcast version.
  • Stripped for Action - The Story of Doctor Who Comics.
  • But First This - archival on-location featurette featuring interviews with Sylvester McCoy, Bonnie Langford and Ken Dodd.
  • Raw footage of the interviews filmed for But First This.
  • Wales Today - A BBC News report on the making of the story
  • Hugh and Us - interview with Hugh Lloyd
  • Clown Court - A 1988 appearance by Sylvester McCoy on a segment of The Noel Edmunds Saturday Roadshow, during which bloopers from this story, along with bonus outtakes from Silver Nemesis (including Sophie Aldred) and The Visitation (including Peter Davison) are shown, followed by outtakes of McCoy's appearance in Clown Court.
  • Trails and continuity announcements
  • Audio commentary by Sylvester McCoy, Sara Griffiths, Chris Clough, and Andrew Cartmel.
  • Photo Gallery
  • Production note subtitles
  • PDF content: Radio Times listings
  • Exclusive trailer for the DVD release of The War Games (Region 1 only)


  • Remastering for DVD release completed by Doctor Who Restoration Team.
  • This is one of only a handful of Doctor Who DVD releases for which a "making of" documentary was not produced.


Main article: Delta and the Bannermen (novelisation)

External Links

  • Official BBC Episode Guide for Delta and the Bannermen
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - Delta and the Bannermen
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) entry for Delta and the Bannermen
Season 24
Time and the Rani  • Paradise Towers  • Delta and the Bannermen  • Dragonfire

This article uses material from the "Delta and the Bannermen" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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