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The Dæmons was the fifth and final serial of season 8 of Doctor Who. It concluded a series-long succession of stories featuring the Master, ending with his incarceration. However, the character continued to appear on an occasional basis during season 9 and season 10.

As of 2024, this was the last ever five-part Doctor Who television story, following only The Dominators and The Mind Robber from Season 6.


The Master, posing as a rural vicar, summons a cloven-hoofed demon-like creature named Azal in a church crypt. Seeking to gain the ancient titan's demonic power, he gathers a cult and then corrupts or controls the residents of Devil's End to bow to his will. Dark elemental forces begin to disturb the village on the eve of May Day: unexplained murders, a stone gargoyle come to life, and a nigh-impenetrable infernal energy dome. With the Master fully prepared to destroy the Earth, the Doctor and UNIT — aided by a benevolent practitioner of witchcraft — battle the wicked rites of a secret science wielded by an alien from another world.


Episode one[]

During a stormy night in a sleepy village, a man leaves a pub with his dog. His dog runs away into a graveyard, where he sees something that causes him to fall to the ground, dead.

Early the next morning, Miss Olive Hawthorne tries to convince the village GP, Dr. Reeves, that the man died of fright but Reeves is having none of it; saying it was a simple heart attack. Hawthorne says she cast the runes this morning and knew that something bad was going to happen. As Reeves drives off she implores him not to open the barrow.

Outside a large hill, a TV crew is setting up a live broadcast, fronted by Alastair Fergus, where Professor Gilbert Horner is going to open the barrow.

In a UNIT garage, Jo talks to the Doctor about the occult whilst he tampers with Bessie. The Doctor is exasperated saying that anything that seems magic or occult can be explained by science. As he talks to her, Jo is surprised to see Bessie seemingly drive off around the yard by itself and even honk in communication with the Doctor. Mike Yates emerges and says that it must be magic, but the Doctor shows a remote control he had in his pocket. Yates has come to pick Jo up so they can watch the broadcast of the opening of the barrow together. When Yates mentions it is in a village called Devil's End, the name sparks curiosity in the Doctor's mind and he agrees to watch the programme with them.

In a piece to camera, Fergus talks about the cavern under the church which is shrouded in stories of curses, pagans and witches and led to the barrow's name — the Devil's Hump. Yates, Benton, the Doctor and Jo watch. Horner begins to show the camera the site of the excavation. He explains that he believes there to be Anglo-Saxon treasure on the other side and that the viewers will find out at midnight. When questioned as to why midnight; Horner explains that midnight is the start of the occult festival of Beltane. When further pushed he explains it is a publicity stunt to advertise his new book, which is coming out tomorrow.

The Doctor is very concerned and thinks there must be a link to all this. Outside the site of the excavation, Horner is confronted, on air, by Hawthorne. She says that they are dealing with forces they don't understand and that they will bring about death and disaster. When asked how she knows this she says it is because she is a witch. Both Horner and Fergus laugh and dismiss her message. As they move off she warns that the Devil is coming. The Doctor heads off. When asked where he is going he says he is going to Devil's End as he believes that Hawthorne is right. Fergus signs off his live broadcast.

In the pub, Bert the landlord, Tom Girton and Reeves are scornful of Hawthorne. The village squire, Winstanley, does speak up and say that there have been some very odd occurrences since the barrow started to be excavated. He cites that the weather has been extreme and that the cows have dried up. They all laugh him off. The village constable, Groom, congratulates Hawthorne on her TV appearance. As she walks off a huge gust of wind stops her in her tracks. She begins to chant a spell. Unseen behind her the policeman, in a trance, picks up a large rock and goes to strike her. The spell seems to stop the wind and the policeman comes to, not understanding why he has a rock in his hand.

The Doctor and Jo approach Devil's End, but a gust of wind turns a signpost up ahead and sends them in the wrong direction. Hawthorne goes to the church and encounters Garvin, the verger, in the cemetery. She says she wishes to see the vicar, but Garvin says that Mr Magister is busy. Hawthorne says she wishes to see the old vicar, Canon Smallwood, but Garvin says that he was taken ill and had to retire. Hawthorne does not believe that, as Smallwood left overnight without saying goodbye to anyone, and says she will see the new vicar, but Garvin will not let her pass. There is an argument that is stopped by the new vicar — who is revealed to be the Master.

The Brigadier is heading out to a function, leaving Yates and Benton stuck at base. Hawthorne asks for Magister's help. He tries to placate her and says she has nothing to be worried about. When this fails, he tries to hypnotise her, but to no avail. When she leaves, the Master sends Garvin after her. Night approaches and the Doctor and Jo are lost. The production team are putting the final touches to the live broadcast. Horner is keen to ensure that Hawthorne is not around.

Yates and Benton are meanwhile distracted from the dig by the rugby highlights. The Doctor and Jo enter the pub to ask for directions to the Devil's Hump. Bert says to them there's no need to go up there, as the excavation is on television; he has set up a black-and-white TV set on the bar so the customers can watch. The Doctor is questioned by the locals who think that he is in league with Hawthorne. Eventually, Jo manages to get directions from Winstanley and they move on. One of the customers in the pub, Girton, finishes his drink and exits the pub soon after the Doctor and Jo. Girton has gone to the Master and tells him of the Doctor's arrival. The Master tells him to prepare for a ceremony. The Master puts on a red robe and goes into the cavern with other robed minions.

The live broadcast begins as the Doctor and Jo approach in Bessie. The Master begins a ceremony summoning "the Dark One". A tree falls on the road, stopping the Doctor and Jo. Unable to move it, they leave Bessie and continue on foot. Horner begins the excavation. The robed minions begin to chant as the Master casts a spell. Horner gets deeper into the barrow. As the Doctor runs towards the barrow he shouts for the dig to stop. The Master reaches the end of his spell.

Horner pulls a stone. There is a roaring noise and the ground starts to tremble as icy wind and ash rushes from the barrow. People are forced to the ground by the power of the wind. The Master laughs as the church begins to shake. The gargoyles come alive. Jo watches as the Doctor and Horner fall to the ground as the excavation site caves in.

Episode two[]

Yates and Benton have finished watching the rugby and turn over to see how the dig went. They see Jo weeping over the body of the Doctor before the transmission breaks down. A hastily assembled caption slide reading DEVIL'S END / TEMPORARY FAULT / BBC-3 TV is displayed and a continuity announcer says all contact has been lost with Devil's End, but transmission will be resumed as soon as possible: "In the meantime, here is some music..."

Yates and Benton go to find out what happened and try to make contact with the Brigadier. Jo and the TV crew at the dig try to unearth the Doctor and Horner.

The Master talks to "the Devil", whom he calls Azal. He agrees to meet him later at the site of a stone in the cavern. He sends the hooded disciples away. Harry, one of the TV crew, says that the Doctor has been frozen through and is dead. Jo is distraught and begs someone to find a doctor. Harry sends another of the crew to find one.

Benton and Yates can get no information from the BBC and can't contact the Brigadier, who went on somewhere else after the dinner. The continuity announcer says they still can't get through to the outside broadcast unit and the dig. Yates says he has a good mind to go down to Devil's End himself and find out what's going on. Benton points out that the Brigadier would go spare, and they might get news at any minute. Yates says that might be the case, and asks what's happening to Jo and the Doctor.

The Doctor and Horner are both pronounced dead by Dr. Reeves. Jo is distraught, but Reeves says he is a solid block of ice. As Jo weeps, Reeves is astounded to hear a pulse and sends Bert for blankets and hot water bottles. Reeves is confused when he thinks he hears two hearts. Jo ask Bert if she can use his phone. She rings Yates, asking him to come and help; he says he and Benton will come in the morning in the helicopter. Suddenly, the line goes dead as the cable is cut by an unseen someone using wire-cutters.

The Devil's Hump is evacuated, leaving PC Groom to guard the site. Unbeknownst to him, red eyes glow behind him. The next day, Jo watches over the Doctor as he rests. The Master begins an incantation at the altar. The ground shakes at the Devil's Hump and a huge figure emerges from the barrow. Groom turns around and sees the figure.


Yates and Benton fly to Devil's End in the UNIT helicopter.

Yates and Benton approach Devil's End by helicopter. As they approach, they see a line of huge hoofprints. The pair land to investigate and estimate that the creature must have been thirty feet high. They head off in the helicopter to the village to find Jo and the Doctor.

The Daemons Hoof prints

Huge hoofprints seen by Yates and Benton from the helicopter.

Jo hears the helicopter approaching and rushes out to meet Yates and Benton. She says that something devilish is going on. Benton heads off to look at the tracks whilst Yates is reminded that the Brigadier is yet to have been told about the events. The Brigadier, however, has already found out about the disappearance of Yates, Benton and his helicopter. He calls for a staff car to take him to Devil's End.

While walking in the churchyard, Benton hears cries for help from within the church, where he finds Hawthorne who was tied up and put in a chest by Garvin. As they go to leave, they see Garvin approach and head down into the cavern to elude him. As they hide, Garvin comes in and looks around, before leaving again. Hawthorne tells Benton of her suspicions regarding Mr Magister. She sees the altar and says that this is the scene of a black magic cult. Garvin enters with a shotgun. Benton tries to disarm him and a long fight ensues. Benton ends up standing on a strangely carved stone and is attacked by a force which renders him unconscious. Hawthorne helps him up.

Yates tries to wake the Doctor. Garvin, Hawthorne and Benton leave the church and discover huge gusts of wind and blindingly bright lights. Hawthorne and Benton escape whilst the creature bears down on Garvin. Garvin tries to shoot the creature and is killed in a fireball. The whole village shakes and succumbs to the bright light. The creature walks to the stone in the cavern.

The Doctor awakens with a shout of "Eureka!" The Master welcomes Azal. A roaring noise forces the driver of a baker's van out of his vehicle eight miles away from Devil's End; the van then bursts into flames. The Doctor assures Jo and Yates that everything is alright. He says he knows what is causing the issues. Hawthorne enters with Benton who is suffering from the effects of the fight. The Master is told of the survival of Hawthorne and Benton by a source in the pub.

Hawthorne blames the elementals — creatures of the devil. She also says that she saw the devil. When pressed she says it was thirty feet high and horned. The Doctor says she must have been mistaken but Hawthorne is insistent. She says that an occult ceremony held by the new vicar Mr Magister caused this event. The Doctor notes to Jo that Magister is Latin for Master.

The baker's man stops the Brigadier's staff car and tells him of the explosion of his van. As the Brigadier and his driver are investigating, he asks the baker's man if the village they are heading for is Devil's End, using his swagger stick to indicate the way; as he does so, the end of the stick suddenly catches fire. The Brigadier pulls the stick back, and then brings it up again, whereupon it once more ignites. The Brigadier says they will try and approach from a different direction, the south, leaving the baker's man at the scene. The Doctor and Jo clear the tree away and drive up to the Devil's Hump.

The Brigadier approaches Devil's End and hears the roaring noise again. He stops the car and throws a branch ahead of him, where it bursts into flames. He contacts Yates to tell him about the heat barrier. Yates tells him all that has happened in the village and the Brigadier is very sceptical with regards to the protestations of the occult. Yates also tells the Brigadier about the Master's involvement.

The Master begins an incantation. There is a noise above and the Master goes to the window and looks. The Doctor and Jo return to the Devil's Hump and find Groom’s lifeless corpse. They head into the excavation site. Unknown to them, one of the gargoyles from the church has come alive and is watching them. The Doctor looks around the excavation site and the gargoyle approaches.

The Doctor finds a metal model of a spaceship in the ground that is the exact same dimensions as the tomb that they are in. He begins to explain his theory when the gargoyle enters. Jo screams as it advances on them.

Episode three[]

The Doctor brandishes something at the gargoyle and mutters some incomprehensible words: "Klokeda partha mennin klatch!" The gargoyle is repelled.

The Master senses the issue and urges the gargoyle on before bidding it to return. The Doctor explains that he brandished the iron trowel and muttered the first line to a Venusian lullaby to trick the gargoyle into thinking he was doing magic. The gargoyle believes in magic even if the Doctor doesn't.

The Master has gone to Winstanley and urges him to call a meeting of the villagers. When he refuses, the Master hypnotizes him into agreeing. The Master says he has power which will conserve the world and says he can control the forces raised. He admits to Winstanley that it was he who caused what happened at Devil's Hump. Winstanley rubbishes the Master's claims and the Master summons up a furious wind which rushes through the house as proof. Winstanley begs him to stop and then agrees.

Hawthorne presents the Doctor with books on the occult saying that she believes the situation to have been caused by the supernatural and magic. The Doctor thinks this is rubbish and says it is science. The Doctor begins a briefing where he will lay out his plan when he is interrupted by the Brigadier who is radioing for Yates. The Brigadier informs them that the heat barrier is 10 miles around the village with its centre being the church. The Doctor asks if they can go over it. As he says this the RAF, having performed tests, report that the barrier goes a mile above the village too. The Doctor hangs up and begins his briefing. He shows the people assembled slides of Egyptian gods, Hindu demons and the Devil, and points out that they are all similar in appearance. He says that these are all the same creatures which came from another world that are far older and more dangerous than any other alien life form that UNIT have ever dealt with. He says they are called Dæmons and they come from Dæmos 60,000 light years away on the other side of the galaxy. He explains that they first came to Earth 100,000 years ago.

At the town hall, the villagers are assembled. Winstanley brings the meeting to order and introduces the Master.

The Doctor explains that the ship and the Dæmons diminish and expand in size which explains the severe heat and cold that the village keeps experiencing. He goes on to say that the first time the Dæmons helped humans was when they helped the Homo sapiens kick out Neanderthal man, and that they returned to help the Greeks start their civilisation and contributed to the Renaissance and the Industrial Revolution. Hawthorne is confused as to why the Dæmons are dangerous if they have helped humankind for so long. The Doctor explains that, whilst they are not evil, they are amoral and that they see the Earth as a scientific experiment. As they have been called here by the Master, their experiment may fail which could lead to the total annihilation of the Earth or domination by the Master.

The Master exposes all the secrets he knows about the people at the meeting. Once he shows that he has this control over them he says that if they do what he says they can have whatever they want.

The Doctor explains that the Dæmon that has been summoned will appear three times - the third time they will learn their fate. He says that the Dæmon must be in the cavern with the Master but, at the moment, it is so small it is practically invisible. While they talk Bert busies himself nearby. The Brigadier contacts Yates and tells him they intend to blast their way in and that they should evacuate to the cellar. The Doctor blocks this and says that the energy release will strengthen the heat barrier and will cause huge reprisals. He says he has a better idea. He asks if they have a Condenser Unit in the Mobile HQ. They do. The Doctor advises them to build a dyothermic energy exchanger. He tells them how to build it but Sergeant Osgood, the UNIT technical officer, doesn't know where to begin. The Doctor says he will come to the edge of the heat barrier and explain it himself. Bert, having overheard all this, sneaks out. Jo complains about the Brigadier and the Doctor tells her that he is her superior.

The Master is still persuading the villagers when Bert comes in and whispers something to him. The Master summons Girton from the crowd and whispers orders to him. Finished with Girton, the Master tells the villagers that they must submit to him and show obedience. Winstanley interrupts, objecting, but the Master says he doesn't need them and says they are like dust beneath his feet and that they should obey or be destroyed. Winstanley says the villagers will hear no more of this and begins to lead them out. The Master summons the gargoyle which kills Winstanley. The villagers coil back and, promising to do what the Master says, leave.


The Master sends Bok on a mission of death.

In the pub, Yates sees Girton getting into the helicopter. Yates runs out and tries to stop him, but Girton is too strong and knocks him out. As it flies off, Yates recovers and shoots at the helicopter but to no avail. He takes off in pursuit on a motorbike.

As the Doctor and Jo make their way to the edge of the heat shield they see the helicopter which tries to force them into driving into the heat barrier. They see Yates approach on the motorbike, who says he will draw Girton off, but the Doctor tells him to keep back. The Doctor drives Bessie directly towards the heat barrier but, just at the last moment, turns off and skids to a halt. The helicopter crashes into the heat shield and explodes but Jo is thrown from the car and knocked out. Yates helps Jo up and takes her back to the village whilst the Doctor heads off to meet the Brigadier on the motorbike.

The Master and the gargoyle make their way into the cavern.

The Doctor stops just short of the heat barrier, where the Brigadier is waiting for him. Disregarding the Brigadier’s madness at the loss of the helicopter, the Doctor says they will need to harness the electricity from some nearby pylons to create 10,000 volts to kick-start the dyothermic energy exchanger. He begins to explain to Osgood what to do.

The Master begins to summon Azal.

Jo is feverish and mumbles about something going on in the cavern. Yates tries to calm her and Dr Reeves gives her an injection which sends her to sleep.

Azal arrives and towers hugely above the Master. Tremors are felt throughout the village. The Master begs Azal to stop before he destroys him.

Episode four[]

After the tremors have subsided, the Doctor continues to explain to Osgood how to set up the exchanger.

The Master implores Azal back.

Jo awakes and says she must go to the cavern. She hears people outside her door but finds a ladder at her window and climbs down.

Yates wants to investigate the village but Benton stops him.

The Doctor orders Sergeant Osgood to reverse the polarity on the exchanger. The Brigadier tells Osgood to hurry and says he has absolute trust in the Doctor.

Azal asks the Master why he was called. The Master says he has knowledge and power to rule over the Primitives due to the fact that he is superior to them but needs Azal's help. Azal says that there is another of the Master's race on the planet and wishes to speak to him. The Master blocks this but Azal gets cross and says that he is not the Master's slave and notes that the Master is not immortal. The Master apologises. Azal notes that the Master's will is strong and his mind great and he will consider an alliance with him. He says he will call once more but warns the Master that his race detests failure and implores him to remember Atlantis. He adds that he is the last of the Dæmons and it is his responsibility to destroy any failure. The Master still says he wishes Azal to return. Azal orders the Master to leave. The Master runs, laughing as tremors rush through the village.

Jo approaches the cavern as the tremors take hold.

The Doctor sees the village shaking and rushes Osgood saying he wants to leave. Osgood still doesn't understand what is being asked of him so the Doctor runs through it one last time.

Yates pulls himself together after the tremors and goes to look for Jo and finds her gone with the window open. He tells Benton and leaves to go after her.

The Master is giving orders to Bert to deal with the Doctor. He also tells him that next time he summons Azal he will need the power of the whole coven to control him. Bert leaves and Yates, who has been outside, rushes to hide. As the man drives off, Yates enters the church. Unbeknownst to him Jo falls out of a hedge unconscious.

The Doctor finishes his explanation to Osgood and rushes off.

Jo awakes and enters the church - going straight into the cavern. She is scared by a gargoyle and her scream brings her to the attention of Yates who berates her for leaving the pub. He warns her that the cavern is filled with booby traps, spells, elementals and force-fields. To prove his point, he throws a book onto the same carved stone that Benton inadvertently stood on earlier, and the book is torn to pieces. They head off to leave but have to hide as a member of the coven enters, putting a dagger down on the altar.

Bert takes potshots at the Doctor with a rifle. The Doctor falls off his motorbike and runs into the woods.

The Master begins the ceremony.

Benton tries to get in touch with the Brigadier but can't.

Osgood tells the Brigadier that the exchanger is blocking the radio signals but Osgood explains it should do its job in a couple of minutes. As he says this, the machine explodes and Osgood says he will need at least another half an hour.

Bert reports to the Master that the Doctor got away. The Master says he will need to be welcomed back to the village. Bert smiles and departs.

Benton and the Brigadier take advantage of the exchanger not working to talk. They are worried about the whereabouts of the Doctor. The Brigadier tells Benton to let the Doctor know that they are having issues with the exchanger when he returns. Benton goes to look out the window and sees the arrival of Morris Dancers. The Doctor arrives during their display and the dancers integrate him into their dance. Soon enough they have captured him and their leader, Bert, pulls out a gun. The Doctors is tied to the maypole.

Benton wants to go out an help but as soon as he opens the door he is attacked by a Morris dancer. They fight and it looks like the dancer has the better of Benton when Hawthorne knocks him out using her crystal ball. Before Benton goes steaming out Hawthorne gives him some advice on how they could go forward more effectively.

The Doctor tries to turn the villagers against the Master but Bert tells the assembled villagers that he is a black witch and should be burned.

The Master begins his ceremony and the eyes of the gargoyle light up.

The villagers are preparing the pyre but Hawthorne stops them just before they set it alight. She tells the villagers that the Doctor is a Great Wizard and offers salvation. The Doctor plays along. Hawthorne implores the Doctor to show a sign of great power and suggests he shatters the lamp in a nearby lamppost. The Doctor orders the lamp to shatter - and it does. He then shouts "Now!" to a weathercock on the church steeple, and it spins round, Unbeknownst to the villagers, it is Benton shooting these things with a pellet gun. Bert doesn't believe it and again threatens the Doctor with his gun. Benton cannot get a clear shot on the man. The Doctor, in his last spell of wizardry moves Bessie of her own volition. Bert refuses to turn around and gets knocked over by the car. Benton comes out and disarms Bert whilst Hawthorne unties the Doctor.

The Master intends to summon Azal with the sacrifice of a chicken but Jo stops him - however it is too late. Jo looks on as the Dæmon grows large before her eyes.


Azal reveals his horrible countenance to everyone in the church.

Episode five[]

The Brigadier observes the tremors and orders Osgood to hurry up.

The villagers pick themselves up. Benton wants to go straight to the church to investigate but the Doctor blocks him. Bert says that this proves the Doctor is afraid, but the Doctor says everyone should be afraid.

The Master welcomes Azal. Jo runs but the gargoyle stops her. Yates tries to shoot it but the gargoyle blasts the gun out of his hand, disarming him. Yates is tied up and Jo is dragged away.

The Doctor admits he is not a wizard. Bert begins to gloat but the villagers have turned against him. He shows the villagers how he moved Bessie through his remote control and says that it is science and not magic that is explaining the goings on in the village. He goes on to say that the Master is using Time Lord and Daemon science. The man asks how the Master could have called Azal without the use of magic and the Doctor explains that it is through the channelling of negative emotions to create a psychokinetic energy. Benton is still itching to get to the church but the Doctor says they should wait for the energy exchanger.

The Master demands power from Azal, who says he will listen to the Master’s demands. The Master says that everyone in the universe is subservient to him with the exception of Azal. Jo is brought in, wearing a white robe. The Master says that he will offer Jo to him as a sacrifice. Yates manages to escape and reports to the Doctor. The Doctor radios the Brigadier and orders the machine to come through now. The Brigadier orders Osgood to operate the machine. As he does the machine starts to smoke. The Brigadier orders Osgood to keep trying.

The Doctor marshals the villagers to surround the church.

One of the coven warns the Master that the villagers are approaching and he orders the gargoyle to guard the door of the church.

Seeing the gargoyle, the villagers run. Bert tries to approach the gargoyle but he is vaporised by a blast from Bok's claw.

The exchanger is at maximum. The Doctor tells the Brigadier to use the booster. The Brigadier orders Osgood to use it, but he is reluctant so the Brigadier activates it himself.

The Master begins the sacrificial ceremony. Some of his coven begin to question his orders.

The exchanger starts to work. It creates a tunnel in the heat barrier which is still warm but passable. The UNIT vehicles begin to drive through.

Azal is in pain, affected by the energy exchanger.

The Brigadier tells the Doctor that everything is through bar the machine. The Doctor says he needs it. The Brigadier orders Osgood through. As soon as the machine makes it through it explodes. The Doctor hears the explosion and the Brigadier confirms the news. The Doctor says he is going to go in when the creature is weak. He dodges the gargoyle and runs in. He enters the cavern and is shocked to see the size of Azal. The Master welcomes him.

The UNIT vehicles arrive outside the church. The Brigadier wants to go after the Doctor but Yates shows him the gargoyle and his ability. The Brigadier orders one of his men to shoot it, but to no avail.

The Doctor tells the Master that he knows he is going to die now he is in the cavern. The Master tells Azal to kill the Doctor. Azal refuses as he senses that the Doctor is not of this planet. The Master says he is a meddler and a fool. Azal disagrees and says he has just done a foolish thing by coming into the cavern. The Doctor explains that he came in to talk but will only do so if Azal frees Jo. He does so. The Doctor warns Azal that he should leave while he still can - telling him of the energy exchanger. Azal says he knows that it is destroyed. The Doctor says he has two but Azal knows this is a lie. The Master says Azal should kill him for lying. Azal agrees. The Doctor says that if Azal kills him he'll wander through eternity wishing he'd listened.

The whole of the UNIT force fire at the gargoyle. One soldier tries to sneak into the church but is vaporised by Bok. Yates orders Benton to fetch the bazooka.

Azal hesitates. The Master tells him to kill the Doctor. Azal says that he does not obey the Master's orders and goes on to say that it is time for completion of the Dæmons' experiment on Earth. The Master says that the experiment will be completed when he hands power to him. The Doctor says that this level of power is similar to Adolf Hitler or Genghis Khan. Azal is not convinced. The Doctor says that he should leave humanity alone. Azal is reluctant to do so as he says that the Dæmons imbued knowledge to man. The Doctor rebuts this and says that man has used that knowledge to create weapons, poisons and pollution. Azal says that if humanity is such a failure, then they should be destroyed. The Master says that all Earth needs is a strong leader to force them to learn. Azal agrees and says he intends to hand his power over.... to the Doctor. The Doctor says he doesn't want it.

The gargoyle runs towards the UNIT forces. Yates uses the bazooka on him which destroys him but he soon re-forms.

The Doctor begs Azal to leave but he says he can't; he must either bequeath his power or destroy the Earth. The Master says he can bequeath it to him and Azal agrees. The Master asks what will happen to the Doctor. Azal says he is not rational and should be eliminated. He fires bolts of energy at the Doctor. Jo stands in the way and says that the Doctor is a good man and that she would rather die than him. This affects Azal and the bolts fire back off Jo into him. Azal is in pain and says that the actions Jo has carried out do not relate. He stumbles backwards.

Azal defeated

Azal wracked in agony.

Outside the church, the gargoyle stops and turns into stone. The Doctor and Jo emerge form the church and tell the UNIT soldiers to run. The Master emerges with his coven just as the church explodes. The villagers all come out and watch. Benton captures the Master and holds a gun to his head.

The Brigadier asks the Doctor what happened, and he explains that Jo saved everyone. Azal didn't understand the irrational and illogical act of Jo trying to save the Doctor and all his power turned against himself. They hear a distant explosion. The Doctor says it was the spaceship at Devil's Hump triggering its automatic self-destruct. This is confirmed when a soldier stationed at the barrow says it has exploded.

The Master uses this distraction to throw his cloak over Benton and try to escape in Bessie. The Doctor tells UNIT not to fire and uses the remote control to return a resigned Master back to them. The Brigadier orders that the Master is to be kept under maximum security guard. The Doctor tells them to look after him, as he wants to deal with him later. As the Master is driven away in a UNIT Land Rover, the villagers boo him. As everyone celebrates, they all begin to dance around the maypole - except the Brigadier and Yates, who decide to go to the pub for a pint.


Uncredited Cast[]


Uncredited crew[]




  • Sergeant Benton compares the Dæmons to the Axons and the Cybermen.


  • The Doctor states that "Magister" is the Latin word for "Master".


  • The story came about from Barry Letts's interest in black magic after reading The Devil Rides Out. As such, when he needed an audition piece for the roles of Jo Grant and Mike Yates, he devised a scene in which they were confronted by the Devil in a church.
  • Barry Letts and Robert Sloman were inspired by Chariots of the Gods, as well as a BBC-sponsored dig at Silbury Hill, a mound near Avebury, Wiltshire with strong folkloric associations.

Story notes[]

  • This story had the working title The Demons. It was Christopher Barry who suggested The Daemons, arguing that the archaic spelling lent additional atmosphere.
  • "Guy Leopold" (the writer) is a pen name for Robert Sloman and Barry Letts.
  • The Radio Times programme listing for episode one was accompanied by a black-and-white illustration by Frank Bellamy depicting Miss Hawthorne, along with the Doctor and Jo driving towards Devil's End in Bessie, with the accompanying caption "Dr. Who drives into a new adventure: 6.15". That for the omnibus rerun of the story on 28 December 1971 was accompanied by another black-and-white illustration by Bellamy depicting the Doctor with the Master in the background, with the accompanying caption "Dr. Who meets The Master in the Daemons: 6.20". (original published text)
  • Although the filming location, the village of Aldbourne, is in the county of Wiltshire, there is no indication in the on-screen dialogue as to which county Devil's End is situated in. However, there is an in-joke reference in episode one to "the third Lord Aldbourne", during Alastair Fergus's television news report about the archaeological dig being conducted in the village by Professor Horner.
  • The shot of the exploding helicopter is actually an unused shot from the James Bond film From Russia With Love (1963). The same shot was earlier used, in black-and-white, in The Enemy of the World. The sequence looked so convincing on-screen that a popular myth persists that a helicopter was actually destroyed during the filming.
  • The area under the church is always referred to as "the cavern", never "the crypt". This was a BBC directive given to producer Barry Letts, to avoid potentially offending religious sensibilities. Similarly, much to director Christopher Barry's amazement, no mention of God was permitted to be made in the story's dialogue, in case this was considered to be blasphemous (blasphemy was still a criminal offence at the time) — although references to the Devil were acceptable.
  • The incantation used by the Master to summon Azal is the nursery rhyme "Mary Had a Little Lamb" spoken backwards. It was originally going to be either the Lord's Prayer or The Ballad of Eskimo Nell spoken backwards, but BBC bosses objected.
  • In the DVD featurette Terrance Dicks: Fact & Fiction (included on the DVD of Horror of Fang Rock), Dicks confesses that in the script he originally cut the Brigadier's famous "Chap with wings there. Five rounds rapid!" line, but it was reinstated at writer Barry Letts's request.
  • It was believed by many viewers that the model of the church blown up in the final episode – a replica of the actual church in Aldbourne – was real, because the sequence looked so convincing on-screen. Complaints were received by the BBC deploring its destruction.
  • When the signpost pointing to Devil's End is shown in episode two, another part of the sign is seen pointing to a village named "Satanhall".
  • This is the only story to end an episode on a cliffhanger – namely episode three – showing the Master in peril.
  • The archaeological dig is broadcast on BBC3. In the real-world at the time there was much discussion over whether the fourth UK UHF television network would be awarded to the BBC or the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), ultimately resulting in the establishment of Channel 4 in 1982. At the time The Dæmons was made it was plausible that there could be a third BBC channel in existence by the end of the decade, fitting with the intention that the UNIT stories were set in the near future. The real-world BBC Three was launched on 9 February 2003.
  • The symbols on the collar of the Master's ceremonial robe are from the sixteenth century occult alphabet known as Theban, and from left to right they translate to "Master".
  • Barry Letts's brief from the BBC's head of serials was to produce a 26-episode season for broadcast during 1971. To meet this requirement, The Dæmons should have been a six-part serial; but because of production difficulties it was shortened to five.
  • This is the only televised story of Doctor Who to contain a typographic ligature in its title: æ.
  • Episode two of the story marks the 300th episode of Doctor Who.
  • In the DVD featurette Directing Who with Barry Letts (included on the DVD of Planet of the Spiders), Letts confessed that he would have very much liked to have directed The Dæmons, due to his ambition to direct a story that he had written. He later achieved this with Planet of the Spiders.
  • Although Barry Letts requested during his time as producer that The Dæmons be retained complete in the BBC Archives as an example of 1970s Doctor Who, the 625 line PAL colour videotapes of episodes one, two, three and five were either erased for reuse or junked, with only episode four surviving in this format. 16mm black-and-white film telerecordings of the story, made for overseas sales to countries not yet broadcasting in colour, were retained for the other episodes.
  • This story was chosen by fans to represent the Jon Pertwee era, to be rebroadcast for Doctor Who @40.
  • Miss Hawthorne calls the Doctor "the great wizard Quiquaequod." Qui, quae, and quod are all versions of the Latin for "who."
  • This is one of only eleven televised stories in the history of Doctor Who not to feature the TARDIS at all, along with Mission to the Unknown, Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Mind of Evil, The Sea Devils, The Sontaran Experiment, Genesis of the Daleks, Midnight, The Lie of the Land, The Woman Who Fell to Earth and Ascension of the Cybermen. This is also the only season finale not to feature the TARDIS.
  • Damaris Hayman had an interest in the supernatural and helped out during production as an unofficial adviser. A friend of hers was a practising witch, who had commended the scripts for their accuracy.
  • Jon Pertwee named this as his favourite serial, while Nicholas Courtney named it his second favourite after Inferno.
  • Christopher Barry wasn't particularly keen to return, as he preferred to concentrate on less genre-specific productions. However, he liked the script due to the rural setting and his interest in archaeology. He would go on to direct for the show a number of times again, but still listed this as his favourite, saying it was "a damn good script".
  • Christopher Barry was trying to shoot a sequence where an invisible heat barrier singes the ground, an effect hindered by the location being hit by a freak snowstorm in early May. After a series of delays, Barry announced it might not be possible to get the scenes in the can after all, at which point Jon Pertwee fired up the Doctor's motorbike and drove off in a huff. Pertwee recalled, "I hit the roof, using the most colourful language at my disposal, and generally behaved in the most unprofessional manner."
  • Relations between Jon Pertwee and Christopher Barry were already strained, after plans to film one Sunday had to be shelved as Pertwee was performing one of his regular cabaret engagements in Portsmouth on the Saturday night, and wanted the Sunday off to rest — despite Barry having missed his sister's wedding to be on the set. Barry sent a telegram, which was read out at the wedding reception by the best man, wishing his sister and brother-in-law best wishes; and explaining (a message with a double-meaning) "Doctor Who has prevented me from coming!"
  • Yates and the Brigadier's dialogue at the end, where the former cheekily asks his superior if he wants to dance and the Brig replies that he'd rather have a pint, was ad-libbed by Richard Franklin and Nicholas Courtney.
  • Nicholas Courtney suggested including the Brigadier's wife, whom he proposed might be called FionaTerrance Dicks was not in favour of this, however, and it was not included in the scripts. The character would eventually debut in the Past Doctor Adventures as the Brigadier's first wife, and the mother of Kate Stewart.
  • The scene in which Jo gets herself and the Doctor lost by holding a road map upside-down was inspired by a real-life incident when Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning were driving to a location shoot.
  • Olive Hawthorne had been called Olivia Featherstone at one stage.
  • Future television presenter and Sooty puppeteer Matthew Corbett had a brief role in the final episode as Jones, a hooded coven member who objects to the sacrifice of Jo Grant, and was suggested to the production team by friend Katy Manning.
  • David Simeon was from Wiltshire where the story was being filmed.
  • Filming for the serial caused great excitement in Aldbourne, with a lot of the village residents appearing as extras, as well as the Headington Quarry Morris dancers performing a routine in episode four.
  • The first week of filming saw pleasant, sunny weather for the first week, leading to sudden overnight snow in the second week – causing filming to be delayed. Some episode one scenes were filmed at night – a rarity for the show, although some of these scenes were filmed during daylight with a dark filter put over the camera lens.
  • The music that begins to play at the beginning of episode two, over BBC3's TEMPORARY FAULT notice, is "Off Broadway" by Werner Tautz, commonly heard in the hit U.S. sitcom It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
  • Barry Letts originally asked his friend Owen Holder to co-write the script, having worked together on episodes of Skyport. When he proved unavailable, Letts' wife suggested Robert Sloman, who was a friend's husband.
  • Devil's End was originally called Devil's Dyke, then Devil's Hump.
  • Barry Letts originally planned to direct the serial himself.
  • Nicholas Courtney also provided the voice of the BBC3 announcer, who apologizes for the breakdown in transmission from Devil's End.
  • Christopher Barry voiced the RAF pilot Red Zero-Four.
  • Stephen Thorne was originally supposed to just play Azal's physical form while mouthing to dialogue performed by Anthony Jackson. This was deemed unsuccessful in rehearsals, so Thorne played and voiced Azal himself.
  • Roger Delgado paid tribute to Damaris Hayman by saying her name backwards during one of the Master's chants.
  • The wind blowing the signpost around was achieved by tying a rope, which was attached to a drum, thus allowing the signpost to spin around. The production crew had slight difficulties when the rope broke.
  • Aldourne was scouted out by Production Assistant Peter Grimwade. The village had everything the script required, such as a village green, a churchyard and even a Bronze Age mound.
  • To capture some technical scenes, Barry Letts was allowed to take three cameras on location, which were set up in a multi-camera set-up, reducing the number of takes for any given scene.
  • The ivy which surrounded the church wall was provided by the special effects department, whilst the bush which ignited, which was timed to do so, was provided by the visual effects department.
  • Jim was originally going to be played by Sonnic Willis, an extra who had appeared in the series before. However, animal trained John Holmes was booked instead. He worked with Formakin Animal Centre, which supplied both the dog and the cat that appeared in the opening scene.
  • The opening scene was partially realised through the help of assistant floor manager Sue Hedden, who poured the water down the drain which was part of the gargoyle. It was also her personal black hat which played the part of the unknown creature that's seen scuttling in the churchyard. The rest of the water was supplied by a fire brigade from Ramsbury.
  • Bok was inspired by the gargoyles on Notre Dame de Paris.
  • The Bok costume was fitted with a firework mechanism for scenes recquiring Bok to fire energy bolts.
  • Production was hit by various delays, which angered Jon Pertwee, who was eventually calmed down by Nicholas Courtney. After cooling down, Pertwee became excessively bored and went for rides on a motorbike he was required to drive for several scenes.
  • Location filming provided happy memories for the citizens of Aldourne. Many villagers appeared as themselves in short scenes and Jon Pertwee took children for rides in Bessie.
  • For the scenes where Bok is blasted to pieces and re-assembles himself, a plaster model was blown up and the footage was reversed to create the illusion that Bok put himself together again.
  • Towards the end of location filming, Damaris Hayman developed a sore throat. Some feared that she had contracted mumps, which had broken out at the local school, but she was fine.
  • The seated Bok statue was a large polystyrene creation. The statue had fully operational red lights fitted into the head, which was fully flexible, allowing it to move. After production, Jon Pertwee kept the model in his garden.
  • Anthony Jackson originally provided the voice of Azal. He recorded his lines at Maida Vale. However, since Stephen Thorne worked extensively in radio, his deep, booming, distinctive voice meant that he wound up voicing Azal.
  • The costume and make-up for Azal was achievd with face and dental moulds. The mask had horns and a wig attached, whilst the teeth were supplied by an outside dental practice. Overall, the costume was very uncomfortable to wear.
  • After production wrapped on location, the Cloven Hoof sign constructed for the pub was presented to the real landlord of the pub, who kept it on display. When ownership of the pub changed, the sign was sold to a group of fans.
  • Terrance Dicks later admitted on The Devil Rides Out featurette that he disliked the ending, as he found Jo sacrifcing herself to the Daemons to be illogical.[1]

Other publications[]

  • In March 1971, the Daily Express newspaper reported on the location filming for this story as part of a feature article on Jon Pertwee, which included black-and-white photographs. This was one of a series of features they ran that month about well-known TV personalities.
  • The Countdown Annual 1972, published in October 1971, contains an article – with photographs in black-and-white – about the location filming in Aldbourne for this story. The article is listed on the contents page as "Filming Dr Who", but is actually entitled "A Day with Dr Who". The author was Countdown editor Dennis Hooper, who misspelled "Bessie" as "Betsy".


  • Episode one - 9.2 million viewers
  • Episode two - 8.0 million viewers
  • Episode three - 8.1 million viewers
  • Episode four - 8.1 million viewers
  • Episode five - 8.3 million viewers


  • There was a sixth episode planned, where the Master escaped UNIT. (This was an April Fools' joke in the fanzine DWB. The script release also featured a misprint in which it mentioned a sixth episode.)

Filming locations[]

  • Aldbourne, Wiltshire (Village)
  • Four Barrows, Wiltshire (Devils Hump)
  • Ady Godwin Car Repairs, Wiltshire (Bessie being fixed)
  • Membury Crossroads, Wiltshire (Doctor and Jo driving to the dig)
  • Oaken Coppice (Lane), Wiltshire (Tree falls in front of Bessie)
  • Ramsbury Airfield, Ramsbury, Wiltshire (Heat barrier stops UNIT)
  • BBC Television Centre (Studio 4), Shepherd's Bush, London

Production errors[]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • During the struggle between Benton and Garvin in episode two, Garvin's shotgun breaks in two — forcing actor John Joyce (Garvin) to hold the two pieces together.
  • In episode two, when the baker's van strikes the heat barrier and explodes in flames, a road sign identifies the village as being one mile away. But in episode three, the Brigadier says the energy barrier is circular and ten miles in diameter, centred on the village church.
  • When the Doctor runs into the church in episode five, he slams the door behind him, causing the wall to shake noticeably.
  • When the Brigadier's helicopter explodes after coming into contact with the heat barrier in episode three, its tail changes colour from white to orange as it does so.

BBC holiday repeat[]

On 28 December 1971, The Dæmons became the very first serial to be repeated by the BBC in omnibus form (as an edited 90 minute repeat, shown between 4:20pm and 5:50pm). Bearing the on-screen title Doctor Who and the Daemons, this was the first time a "complete adventure in one programme" — to quote the Radio Times programme listing — had been shown. Open to misinterpretation, it did not mean the serial was being shown complete, only that this was not part of a multi-episode broadcast. (In the 1960s, when Doctor Who was being broadcast 48 weeks a year, there had usually been no opportunity, or imperative, to show repeats between one season and the next.)

The repeat broadcast attracted 10.5 million viewers, the show's highest rating since 1965. This was such a huge audience that the experiment was adjudged a great success, and it led to a policy of showing at least one omnibus repeat from every subsequent season for many years afterwards, until well into the Tom Baker era.

The omnibus edition of The Dæmons was not retained by the BBC Archives, with the 625 line PAL colour videotape being erased for reuse around late May/early June 1974.


Home video and audio releases[]

DVD releases[]

The story was released on DVD on 19 March 2012.

Special Features[]

Digital releases[]

This story is available

  • for streaming through BritBox (Canada and US) as part of Season 8 of Classic Doctor Who.

VHS releases[]

Episode five was included in black-and-white on the video The Pertwee Years in 1992, as no broadcastable colour copy existed at the time of release.

The Dæmons was released on VHS in the UK and Australia in March and July 1993 respectively. This was an electronically restored colour version of the story completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.

Script book[]

External links[]