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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"I don't believe it...!"
―Peri Brown
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 22
Story Number: 142
Doctor: Sixth Doctor
Companions: Peri Brown
Writer: Glen McCoy
Director: Pennant Roberts
Broadcast: 9th March - 16th March 1985
Format: 2 45-minute episodes
Previous Story: The Two Doctors
Following Story: Revelation of the Daleks

Timelash was the fifth story of Season 22.



On the planet Karfel and in 1885 Scotland, the Sixth Doctor and Peri together with a young man named Herbert become entangled with the machinations of the despotic Borad.



Part 1

The Doctor and Peri are arguing between themselves as to their next destination, when the TARDIS is ensnared by a Kontron corridor, a time corridor in space. After the Doctor tries unsuccessfully to free the ship, he and Peri strap themselves in, bracing themselves for the potentially disastrous occurrences. The TARDIS approaches the corridor, and is nearly torn apart by the impact but stabilises once it has entered the corridor, and is navigated to the source of the disturbance, the planet Karfel, a world which the Doctor has visited before.

On the planet Karfel the small population is ruled in a rigid hierarchy, at the apex of which is the Borad, a sadistic and despotic ruler. The Borad has never shown himself in person, only via security monitors which reveal him to be a dignified old man, but something in his manner does not ring true. Fear is enforced rigidly through the policing of androids. Rebels such as Aram, Gazak and Tyheer are dealt with either by summary execution or despatch and death via the Timelash - a permanent, and ultimately fatal, exile down a corridor of Time and Space. Below the Borad is the Maylin, in effect a proxy mayor figure, who is the most senior of the five Councilors of Karfel. These Councilors act more as ciphers than people of true council, and one of them, Mykros, has grown unhappy with the rule of the Borad. Since the Borad came to power their people have become disillusioned, rebellious and miserable, and their former allies, the Bandrils, are posed to invade. The Bandrils threaten war after the Borad rescinds the grain supply treaty which underpinned the relationship between the two civilisations.

Mykros determines to discover the truth and follows the Maylin, Renis, into the Borad’s power chamber. The unhappy Maylin is transferring the power supplies of the Karfelons into the Borad’s personal system, despite the danger to his own wife, who is recovering from hospital surgery. Renis finds Mykros and gives him his blessing in rebellion. However, the Borad finds out and metes out the usual punishment: the Maylin is aged to death in a deadly beam while Mykros is sentenced to the Timelash. Before he can be sent in, however, Vena, Renis’ daughter and Mykros’ lover, intervenes to plead for his life. When this fails, she steals an amulet conferring the power to pervert the energy supply from the new Maylin, the sycophantic Tekker, and accidentally falls into the web of the Timelash herself.

The arrival of the TARDIS presents Tekker with an opportunity to try and retrieve the amulet. The clever Maylin greets the Doctor and Peri as favoured guests, but the Doctor is suspicious of a Karfelon society that has made huge scientific leaps in a short space of time and that does not permit mirrors. When the Doctor refuses to venture into the Timelash again, Tekker explains that Peri has been taken hostage to ensure his co-operation in retrieving the amulet. She has been taken to the caves of the Morlox, large lizards indigenous to Karfel, where her captors hope she will die. Yet luck is as ever on her side - as well as some Karfelon rebels, Katz and Sezon, who kill one of the creatures threatening her and take her into their company. However, they are soon attacked and captured by a patrol of guards.

To protect Peri the Doctor returns the TARDIS into the Timelash and calculates the normal path of the Timelash would be to 1179 on Earth, but the interference of the TARDIS caused her instead to end up in Scotland in 1885. When the Doctor arrives he finds Vena, the amulet and a justifiably agitated young man named Herbert. All three depart on their return journey to return the amulet – which is all Tekker cares about when the TARDIS arrives back in the Council Chamber.

Part 2

The Doctor, Vena and Herbert are rounded up with the rebels Mykros, Sezon and Katz and condemned to the Timelash. They fight back, killing the toadying Councillor Brunner, and seal the doors of the Chamber, determined to hold out in a siege. This buys the Doctor enough time to hoist into the Timelash on a rope and take two Kontron Crystals from the wall of the Time Corridor. He uses this to create a time ruse allowing him to slip out of the Chamber, and Herbert follows.

Tekker has meanwhile fled to the Borad, and blames the setback on the last remaining loyal Counsellor, Kendron, whom the Borad executes. Tekker remains at the side of the Borad, now revealed to be a hideous amalgam of human and Morlox. Together they watch on a screen as Peri is brought into a cave and strapped down while Morlox gather to feed. A canister of the chemical Mustakozene-80 is placed nearby, which has the ability to fuse together different tissue as one creature. It seems the Borad has taken a liking to Peri and wishes to mutate her like himself. The Doctor arrives to confront Tekker and the Borad, recognising the latter as Megelen, a crazed scientist he encountered on his previous visit to Karfel and exposed to the Counsel for unethical experiments on Morloxes. It seems one of those experiments has now gone wrong, and Megelen wishes to replicate its effect to create a partner. His plan has been to provoke a war with the Bandrils that will result in their use of bendalypse warheads which will wipe out all the Karfelons – but leave the Morlox and himself alive, allowing him to repopulate the world in his own image. This revelation prompts Tekker too to rebel, but he is swiftly aged to death. The Doctor then uses a Kontron Crystal to deflect Megelen’s beam back at him, killing the mutant in his wheelchair.

Herbert now helps the Doctor rescue Peri from the Morlox. They return to the Council Chamber where Mykros and Vena have identified a Bandril invasion fleet armed with bendalypse warheads which is close to Karfel. The Bandrils are suspicious of the Doctor’s attempts to intervene and prevent a missile strike, causing him to take drastic action. The Doctor materialises the TARDIS in the path of the incoming warhead, risking his own life to save Karfel. He does so successfully and returns to Karfel to find Megelen returned from the dead and threatening the Council Chamber – or, rather, the other one was a clone of this original. Megelen is made unbalanced by the image of himself in a boarded up mirror, revealing the reason he hid himself away, and in this state is thrown into the Timelash by the Doctor.

The epilogue sees the Doctor and Peri depart Karfel to return Herbert – or H.G. Wells, as he is known – to his own time.


Production Crew


  • The Third Doctor and Jo Grant have visited Karfel previous to this story.
  • The Kontron tunnel from Karfel leads to Earth (and the Highlands of Scotland, near Inverness) in the 12th century.
  • The Doctor tells Peri that the Kontron tunnel is a "time corridor in space" she asks "Didn't the Daleks have one of those?".
  • Bendalypse warheads are gas weapons that will kill anything with a central nervous system (but not the reptilian Morlox).
  • Mustakozene 80 is a chemical producing mutation on contact with human skin.
  • The Doctor's TARDIS has colour coded seat belts.
  • The Doctor tells Peri "You don't seem to realise the effect that time particles colliding within a multi-dimensional implosion field can have.".

Story Notes

  • Paul Darrow of Blake's 7 fame makes a guest appearance as Tekker, his second guest appearance in Doctor Who. He had previously appeared in Doctor Who and the Silurians as Captain Hawkins. Colin Baker had previously appeared in the Blake's 7 episode "City at the End of the World".
  • This serial makes several references to Wells's novels: The Time Machine, The War of the Worlds, The Invisible Man, and The Island of Doctor Moreau.
  • The music for this story was provided by Elizabeth Parker who had formerly contributed special sound for Blake's 7. A selection of this music is on track 64 of the CD 30 Years at the Radiophonic Workshop
  • Timelash was broadcast in four 25 minute episodes in the USA and in Australia and New Zealand.
  • This story was originally submitted as a Dalek adventure; it was rejected, but Eric Saward asked author Glen McCoy to resubmit it without them.


  • Part 1 - 6.7 million viewers
  • Part 2 - 7.4 million viewers

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes & Errors

  • At the end of this story, the Borad is thrown back in time (to 12th century Scotland); the Doctor speculates that the Borad will become the Loch Ness Monster. This would appear to contradict Terror of the Zygons, which established the legendary creature as a cyborg weapon of the Zygons.This is possibly not what the Doctor is implying, as he only mentions that the Borad will be seen "from time to time".
  • The sudden re-appearance of the Borad, and it's attribution to 'cloning' seems very tacked-on and unconvincing. It would still mean there are/were two distinct Borads running things to begin with. What happened if they disagreed about something? How do we know there were only two?'
  • The ruthless tyrant Borad being 'jeered' into falling into the Timelash seems vaguely ridiculous.
  • The way the Doctor dismisses his miraculous re-appearance for the climax after being moments away from death at the hands of the alien missile by simply saying it's a 'little trick' and that he'll 'explain later', is a total cop-out.
  • When the Doctor tells Peri that the Kontron tunnel is a 'time corridor in space' she asks 'Didn't the Daleks have one of those?', a reference to Resurrection of the Daleks. However, she wasn't around at the time, and in Revelation of the Daleks she doesn't recognise a Dalek by its appearance, indicating that the Doctor may have told her a tiny detail of a previous adventure but neglected to describe what the main adversary actually looked like.
  • In the power room, Maylin Renis, whilst adjusting some control dials, pulls one of them off and hurriedly replaces it.


  • In Part One, the Doctor says that he was contemplating on taking Peri to the constellation of Andromeda, which was last visited by the Doctor in DW: Castrovalva.
  • In MA: Speed of Flight it is mentioned that the Doctor and Jo are on their way to Karfel.


DVD and Video Releases

DVD Releases

Released as Doctor Who: Timelash.





VHS Releases

The story was released on VHS on 5th January 1998.


Main article: Timelash (novelisation)

External Links

  • BBC Episode Guide for Timelash
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - Timelash
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel): Timelash
  • — Doctor Who fan site named after this episode
Season 22
Attack of the Cybermen  • Vengeance on Varos  • The Mark of the Rani  • The Two Doctors  • Timelash  • Revelation of the Daleks
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Timelash. 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 "Timelash (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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