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Dragonfire (TV story): Misc


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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"...his days like crazy paving..."
―The Doctor
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 24
Story Number: 148
Doctor: Seventh Doctor
Companions: Mel (Departure)
Ace (Introduction, Joins)
Enemy: Kane
Setting: Iceworld
Writer: Ian Briggs
Director: Chris Clough
Broadcast: 23rd November - 7th December 1987
Format: 3 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: Delta and the Bannermen
Following Story: Remembrance of the Daleks

Dragonfire was the fourth and final story of Season 24. It marked the final appearances of Mel and Sabalom Glitz, and featured the debut of Sophie Aldred as Ace.



The TARDIS materialises in Iceworld, a space trading colony on the dark side of the planet Svartos. The Doctor and Mel encounter Glitz and learn that he has come here to search for a supposed treasure guarded by a dragon. Also on Svartos is Kane, a - literally - cold-blooded criminal who has been imprisoned here by his own people from the planet Proamon.

The Doctor and Mel, aided by Ace, a disaffected waitress, discover that the 'dragon' is a biomechanoid and the 'treasure' a power crystal held within its head. Kane is desperate to obtain the crystal and the Doctor uses it to bargain with him for Ace's freedom. It turns out that Iceworld is a huge spacecraft and the crystal the key that Kane needs in order to activate it.

Iceworld takes off and Kane determines to return to Proamon and take revenge on his people. The Doctor however reveals that Proamon no longer exists. Kane despairingly opens a viewing port, allowing bright light to flood into the control room and causing himself to melt.


The Doctor and Melanie travel to the future, where they spot Glitz, and meet Ace, who becomes the Doctor's new assistant.




  • The Dragonfire is the power source for the Iceworld space craft.
  • There are Ice Gardens below Iceworld.
  • Someone who looks like an Argolin can be seen on Iceworld.
  • The TARDIS contains star charts


  • Ace's real name is Dorothy, she's 16 years old.

Story Notes

  • Working titles for this story included; Absolute Zero, Pyramid In Space, The Pyramid's Treasure.
  • Part One ends on a 'literal cliff hanger' with the Doctor hanging onto his umbrella in a seemingly pointless act.
  • Script editor Andrew Cartmel encouraged his writers to read the academic media studies textbook Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text by John Tulloch and Manuel Alvarado to help acquaint themselves with the series.
  • Ian Briggs actually used some short passages from Doctor Who: The Unfolding Text in the dialogue of Dragonfire.
  • At one point, the character Kane would have been called Hess, but that was changed due to the news that Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess was petitioning for his release from prison.
  • Although Ace is 16, the actress Sophie Aldred, who played her is in fact nearly 10 years older at the time.
  • The melting of Kane is reminiscent of the melting of the villain in the original Raiders of the Lost Ark film.
  • Tony Osoba previously appeared in DW: Destiny of the Daleks
  • This is the second story in a row to feature a full vehicle exploding, killing everyone on it. In Delta and the Bannermen it was a bus; in this it's Glitz's ship.


  • Part 1 - 5.5 million viewers
  • Part 2 - 5.0 million viewers
  • Part 3 - 4.7 million viewers


  • This is the 150th Doctor Who story. (It is the 147th broadcast, although the BBC promoted it as the 150th. The production team apparently arrived at the total by counting the four segments of season twenty-three's The Trial of a Time Lord as four separate stories. Additionally this is listed as the 148th as Shada (TV version) is counted as a story, making this the 148th produced and the 147th broadcast. The 2009 DVD release of Delta and the Bannermen indicates it as the 150th story.

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • At the end of part one, the Doctor looks down an almost bottomless cliff of ice. By the start of the next part a little ledge has appeared, onto which Glitz is able to pull the Doctor.
  • In part two, when Ace throws Nitro 9 at the 'zombies', the 'rock face' behind her is a billowing white curtain.
  • It's unclear why the Doctor, went out on the ledge.



DVD and Video Releases

to be added


Main article: Dragonfire (novelisation)

External Links

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

This article uses material from the "Dragonfire (TV story)" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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