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Dr Who

Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

Series: Doctor Who - TV Stories
Season Number: Season 26
Story Number: 156
Doctor: Seventh Doctor
Companions: Ace
Enemy: The Master
Setting: Perivale c.1989
Cheetah World c.1989
Writer: Rona Munro
Director: Alan Wareing
Broadcast: 22nd November - 6th December 1989
Format: 3 25-minute episodes
Previous Story: The Curse of Fenric
Following Story: Doctor Who
"If we fight like animals, we'll die like animals!"
The Doctor

Survival was the fourth and final story of Season 26 of Doctor Who, and ultimately the final story to be aired (although it was not the final classic series television story to be produced). It marks the final televised appearance of Sophie Aldred as Ace, and it was also the last time Anthony Ainley appeared as the Master in a regular televised story (he appeared one last time in the video game Destiny of the Doctors). Sylvester McCoy would return as the Doctor in the 1996 television film. It was the last Doctor Who story to be completely broadcast in a videotape format (when the series returned in 2005, it was still shot on videotape, but this was processed to give a film-like look, something that was not done in 1989).



The Seventh Doctor brings Ace back to her home town of Perivale. However, her old friends are being kidnapped by a race of alien hunters called the Cheetah People, who were shown the way to Earth by the Doctor's old enemy the Master.


The Doctor is in search of a special kind of cat

Part 1

The Doctor brings Ace back to her home town of Perivale in the suburbs of North West London. The suburb is not as it should be: a mysterious black cat is wandering around, somehow creating a situation in which humans are hunted down and made to disappear to another world. Ace becomes worried when most of her old friends seem to have disappeared, but the Doctor is more preoccupied with the behaviour of the strange cat. It becomes apparent the black cat is being controlled by a strange being in the other world, viewing the scenes in Perivale through the cat's eyes and choosing which humans to chase and transport. An unhappy young man called Stuart becomes his next victim. Ace follows soon afterwards, hunted down by a Cheetah Person on horseback, which seems to have a hunting affinity with the curious cat. Later the Doctor and a keep-fit instructor called Paterson are chosen and teleported to another world, bathed in a blood-red sky, where the Doctor finds his nemesis the Master who greets him.

Ace and Karra on the Cheetah World

Part 2

The renegade is evidently unwell, his eyes and mouth displaying feline characteristics, and is using the black cat (or kitling) to create a dimensional bridge for the Cheetah People to hunt prey on Earth. Quite why he is doing this is unclear, other than he seems keen to keep the Cheetah People occupied somehow. He tells the Doctor that the planet is alive and has a bewitching influence; the indigenous population bred the kitlings and had a great civilisation, but they regressed into animals through the power of the planet. He too is beginning to show changes and needs the Doctor's help to escape from the planet.

Ace has meanwhile made contact with some of her friends, Shreela and Midge, who are hiding in some woods with a young man called Derek. The planet is evidently dangerous as both Stuart and a terrified milkman find out when a Cheetah Person hunts him to the death. Ace and her friends soon find the Doctor and Paterson, and the Time Lord has deduced they are on a very ancient planet which is dying. A Cheetah pack then attacks and during the fight Midge kills one Cheetah while Ace injures another, called Karra. She begins to form an attachment to Karra and nurses her, tending her injuries, which worries the Doctor greatly. In time Ace's eyes change and she begins to transform into a Cheetah herself.

"If we fight like animals, we'll die like animals!"

Part 3

Ace abandons the Doctor to go hunting with Karra but he eventually wins her around. Midge has meanwhile completely fallen to the power of the planet and is turning into an animal. The Master seizes on this and uses Midge to teleport them both back to Earth and away from the dying world. The Master possesses Midge and then goes with him to the youth club, using his hypnotic powers to enslave Paterson's students. The Doctor persuades Ace to help him get back to Perivale and she does so, also enabling Paterson, Derek and Shreela to flee the strange planet. Patterson denies anything amiss has taken place, falling back on his "survival of the fittest" mantras and his self defence classes. The Doctor and Ace now head around Perivale in search for Midge and the Master. They eventually find them at the youth club, where they have killed Paterson for sport, and Midge too is killed in the Master's machinations. Karra's arrival brings comfort to Ace, whose transformation is continuing, but the Master kills Karra too.

The Master transports the Doctor with him back to the Cheetah Planet for a final conflict but the Doctor resists the pull of the planet, turning away from violence, and is transported away from the dying world. However, the Master looks doomed on the planet as it begins to break up. The Doctor has gone back to the TARDIS and Earth, where he finds Ace, whose metamorphosis has reversed, and tells her she will have grown through the experience: the element of the Cheetah Planet, however, will remain within her forever. Ace is glad because it gave her a wonderful feeling. The two walk off into the distance.


Production Crew


  • During the scenes in Midge's flat, Ace grabs War, a gramophone record by pop group U2, and says "are they still going?" as the group apparently had been around for eleven years at the time Ace left Earth in 1987.
  • The Doctor can stun with one finger, juggle, ride both horse and motorcycle, has a calculator/scanner fob watch (and regards Earth or the TARDIS as his home).
  • The Doctor knows of the Cheetah People, but nothing about them.
  • The Doctor buys (with Ace's money) cat food to attempt to tempt the kitlings.

Story Notes

  • Working titles for this story included Cat-Flap, Blood Hunt and The Survival.
  • Survival was one of only three Doctor Who serials to be recorded completely on BBC Outside Broadcast video, instead of the mix of OB and studio video that was more usual during the late 1980s, and the mix of film and video that was usual before them. This was probably possible because Ghost Light, the next story in production, was filmed completely in the studio. The other stories to be recorded solely on OB video were The Sontaran Experiment and The Curse of Fenric.
  • The part of Karra in this serial is played by Lisa Bowerman, who is now more familiar to fans as the voice of Bernice Summerfield in the Big Finish Productions audio dramas.
  • This serial features guest appearances of the comedians Gareth Hale and Norman Pace, and actress Adele Silva (as an 8-year old, in her first television role). Hale and Pace swapped roles shortly before recording - Hale was originally to have played Harvey and Pace was originally to have played Len.
  • Stunt legend Eddie Kidd doubles for William Barton in a motorcycle crash scene in Part 3. This led to the series' regular stunt arranger Tip Tipping walking off the production, as Kidd was apparently not a member of the actors' union Equity.
  • This story was the last to feature the face of the current Doctor in the title sequence, a tradition dating back to The Macra Terror. Both the TV Movie that followed this, and the revived series of 2005, had title sequences featuring a "time tunnel" effect without the Doctor's face (the TV movie did, however, include an extreme close-up of the Master's cat's eyes in the opening sequence). It is also the last Doctor Who story in which the lead actors are not credited at the opening, a practice assumed by the TV movie and later used in the 2005 revival.
  • In the novelisation, Derek escapes the planet but is later killed by Midge in Cheetah form, and Len and Harvey are both transported to the Cheetah World.
  • Survival was the last ever episode until the series revival in 2005.


Ace and the Seventh Doctor walk as the classic series' final episode comes to an end.
Having already surmised that episode three of Survival was likely to at least be the last episode of Doctor Who for some time, and possibly the last ever, the programme's producer John Nathan-Turner decided close to transmission that a more suitable conclusion should be given to the final episode. To this end, script editor Andrew Cartmel wrote a short, melancholic closing monologue for actor Sylvester McCoy, which McCoy recorded on 23rd November, 1989 - by coincidence, the show's twenty-sixth anniversary.
"There are worlds out there where the sky is burning, and the sea's asleep, and the rivers dream. People made of smoke, and cities made of song. Somewhere there's danger, somewhere there's injustice, and somewhere else the tea's getting cold! Come on, Ace - we've got work to do!"

This was dubbed over the closing scene as the Doctor and Ace walked off into the distance, apparently to further adventures. The Doctor Who production office at the BBC finally closed down, for the first time since 1963, in August 1990.

Although Survival was the last Doctor Who serial of the original series to be transmitted, it was not the last to have been produced; that was Ghost Light, which had been broadcast some weeks earlier.

This story is the last to feature Anthony Ainley as the Master. Ainley was not asked to return as the Master for the 1996 Doctor Who television movie. Instead, Gordon Tipple was cast as the Master for the prologue and Eric Roberts played the Master for the rest of the movie. Ainley reprised the role of the Master for the 1997 computer game Destiny of the Doctors. He continued to be active in Doctor Who, attending conventions and recording a commentary track for the DVD of the 1981 serial The Keeper of Traken. Ainley died in May 2004. A sound-clip of his voice was later used (along with one of Roger Delgado) for the 2007 episode Utopia.

This story was also the last to entirely feature Sylvester McCoy as the Doctor. McCoy returned briefly to the role in 1996 at the beginning of the American television movie continuation of the series, Doctor Who, to regenerate into the Eighth Doctor.

Finally, this story was the last to feature Sophie Aldred as Ace. Aldred would have continued in her role had the series been renewed for Season 27; however, Aldred's contract was set to expire at the middle part of that season. As a result, the character of Ace was set to be written out of the series in an Ice Warrior story called Ice Time by Marc Platt. According to various interviews with the production team, the new companion would have been a female safecracker whom the Doctor would have taken under his wing, with her gangster father as a recurring character.

Doctor Who eventually returned to production as a BBC television series in 2004, produced by BBC Wales. Rose, the first episode of the new series, aired on 26th March, 2005. As the new series is produced as 45-minute episodes, this makes Survival the final serial to date to be produced in 25-minute instalments, which had been the standard for the series (except for a one-season experiment with 45-minute episodes in 1985) since 1963. A spinoff series, The Sarah Jane Adventures, which debuted in 2007, returned to the 25-minute, serialized episode format.


  • Part 1 - 5.0 million viewers
  • Part 2 - 4.8 million viewers
  • Part 3 - 5.0 million viewers

Filming Locations

  • The battle at the climax of the story was recorded and is set on the site of the ancient hill fort at Horsenden Hill, Perivale. The majority of location recording was done in and around Perivale, with small sections shot at nearby Ealing, outside and near The Drayton Court pub.
  • Medway Drive, Perivale, London
  • Medway Parade, Perivale, London
  • Medway Estate, Perivale, London
  • Bleasdale Avenue, Perivale, London
  • Colwyn Avenue, Perivale, London
  • Alley (between Colwyn Avenue and Woodhouse Avenue), Perivale, London
  • Horsenden Hill, Horsenden Lane North, Perivale, Middlesex
  • The Avenue, West Ealing, London
  • Ealing Central Sports Ground, Horsenden Lane South, Perivale, London
  • Woodhouse Avenue, Perivale, London
  • EYJ Martial Arts Centre (now known as David Lloyd Centre (creche)), Greenford, Middlesex
  • Warmwell Quarry, Warmwell, Dorset

Discontinuity, Plot holes and errors

  • Why doesn't the Master, as much a Cheetah Person as Ace was, just teleport off the planet? The Master doesn't realise that to use the teleportation powers does not necessarily mean becoming a full Cheetah Person. It is equally possible that the Master has never had a place that he truly considers home.


  • The gap between Survival and the Doctor Who television movie was filled by British publisher Virgin Publishing, who from 1991 onwards produced the Virgin New Adventures range of novels, carrying on the adventures of the Doctor and Ace following the end of Survival.
  • The Master rids himself of the Cheetah virus and gains a new body in NA: First Frontier; a Kitling also appears in that story.
  • However at the start of the 1996 TV movie, the Master is shown still sporting cat's eyes (and apparently in the same body), indicating he mustn't have completely overcome the virus. By the time of his next appearance after that, however, in DW: Utopia, there is no longer any visible sign of the affliction. He has since been "resurrected" by the Time Lords.
  • The Doctor also meets cat-like aliens in MA: Invasion of the Cat-People, DW: New Earth and Gridlock.
  • Shreela Govindia (one of Ace's friends) appears in NA: Cat's Cradle: Warhead.
  • There is a (very brief) explanation of the mattress the Doctor lands on (and how it got there) in DWM: Emperor of the Daleks!.


For the Doctor:

For the Master:

DVD, video, and audio releases

DVD Releases

Released as Doctor Who: Survival (2 discs). Released:



  • Commentary by Sylvester McCoy, Sophie Aldred and Andrew Cartmel
  • Fan Commentary by the winners of a recent Doctor Who Magazine competition (Part 3 only).
  • Cat-Flap - A two-part documentary covering the making of Survival.
  • Out-takes
  • Continuities
  • Photo Gallery
  • Isolated Score
  • Radio Times Listings
  • Subtitle Production Notes
  • Endgame - A documentary delving into why Doctor Who was cancelled at the end of Season 26 and what might have been in store for the Doctor and Ace if the series had continued into Season 27.
  • Search Out Science - A schools programme featuring the Doctor and Ace, with Stephen Johnson and K-9.
  • Little Girl Lost - A retrospective look at the development of Sophie Aldred's character, Ace.
  • Destiny of the Doctors - Anthony Ainley's last appearance as the Master, in these links from the 1997 computer game.


VHS Releases - Released as Doctor Who: Survival

UK Release: October 1995 / US Release: ??
PAL - BBC Video BBCV????
NTSC - Warner Video E1335


Main article: Survival (novelisation)

Published 18 October 1990, Survival was novelised by the original script writer Rona Munro and was number 150 in the Target Books library. The cover artwork was painted by Alister Pearson and the book originally retailed for £2.50. The print run was 25,000 copies.

External Links

  • Official BBC Episode Guide for Survival
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - Survival
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel): Survival
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who - Survival
Season 26
Battlefield  • Ghost Light  • The Curse of Fenric  • Survival
The Master - TV Stories
Terror of the Autons  • The Mind of Evil  • The Claws of Axos  • Colony in Space  • The Dæmons  • The Sea Devils  • The Time Monster  • Frontier in Space  • The Deadly Assassin  • The Keeper of Traken  • Logopolis  • Castrovalva  • Time-Flight  • The King's Demons  • The Five Doctors  • Planet of Fire  • The Mark of the Rani  • The Ultimate Foe  • Survival  • Doctor Who: The TV Movie  •
Utopia/ The Sound of Drums/ Last of the Time LordsThe End of Time
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Survival_(Doctor_Who). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

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


Up to date as of February 02, 2010

Memory Beta, the wiki for licensed Star Trek content.

Series: TNG: Starfleet Academy, No. 3
Author(s): Peter David
Publication information
Published: Paperback - December 1993
Pages: 128
ISBN: ISBN 0671870866
Date: Unknown (2358)

While stranded on a dying planet, Cadet Worf and his friends discover they are not alone!


Introduction (blurb)

Rescue Overdue

Deadly space raiders have destroyed the colony on Dantar. Now stranded on this remote planet, surrounded by the burning fires of the abandoned colony, Worf, his friends from Starfleet Academy, and cadets from the Klingon Empire fight to survive. They face harsh weather, low supplies, and hidden dangers.

As suspicion between the Klingon and Starfleet cadets grows, the camp quickly becomes a battleground, with Worf right in the middle.

But Worf and the others soon realize they are not alone as they face a mysterious and dangerous alien warrior. Klingons and humans now must unite and work together before their first mission in deep space becomes their last....


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published order
Previous novel:
Line of Fire
TNG books Next novel:
Capture the Flag
chronological order
Previous Adventure:
Line of Fire
Pocket Next Adventure:
Chapter 3

This article uses material from the "Survival" article on the Memory-beta wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

DC Comics

Up to date as of February 01, 2010
(Redirected to Category:Survival article)

This article uses material from the "Category:Survival" article on the DC Comics wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


Up to date as of February 02, 2010

From Muppet Wiki

Written by  Kenneth Gamble and Leon Huff
Music by 
Lyrics by 
Date  1975
Source  Survival (The O'Jays album)

"Survival" is a 1975 funk song by the O'Jays.

The song played in the 1999 film Muppets From Space as Rizzo the Rat endured science experiments in the lab at C.O.V.N.E.T.

Audio releases

This article uses material from the "Survival" article on the Muppet wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

ST Expanded

Up to date as of February 07, 2010

The Star Trek Expanded Universe Database is for fanon and related content. See for the canon Star Trek wiki.

This article has a
real-world perspective.

Survival is the first episode of the third season of Star Trek: Abandoned, and the twenty-ninth episode overall.

External Link

Survival on The Omega Sector BBS

This article uses material from the "Survival" article on the ST Expanded wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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