On Wednesday night we will continue the E Space trilogy with the superb vampire story State of Decay. Written by Terrance Dicks in 1977 it was originally known as The Vampire Mutations, but was withdrawn due to a big production of Count Dracula by the BBC that year.
My first encounter with this story was not by video, but by audio cassette (remember those?) Read by Tom Baker from the novelisation by Dicks. The talk of how vampire legends were past down “Cabbages and Kings/The TARDIS is on strings!” has stuck with me as one of my favourite quotes from the series.
The story caused clashes between the new production team who favourite hard science, and Hammer Horror-esqe fantasy which was more familiar to the previous producers and writers. But thankfully in the end it’s the fantasy element that wins out and makes this story special.
The magnificent costumes and make up, which the BBC is so good at is helped, unusually for Doctor Who, by dim lighting, which really does add much needed atmosphere to the story.
If Tom Baker seems quite morose during this story, as he does during the rest of this season, it was due to an illness that he contracted whilst filming "The Curse of King Tut's Tomb" earlier that year. He had lost a lot of weight and his hair flattened, so he had to have it permed every day, to achieve the Doctor’s familiar look.
If you don’t own a copy, in the UK you can watch via the BBC’s YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0w17BEALiHU&feature=sh_e_sl&list=SL
*DISCLAIMER* We do not support illegal downloads or streaming, unless they're from a site officially sanctioned by the BBC . We don’t wish to get in trouble with the BBC. We prefer to promote the official DVD’s as the restoration team do a fantastic job restoring the old adventures.
So if you have the DVD stacked on your shelf, the classic VHS tucked away in a box then be prepared for 7-30pm GMT. Have a drink and some food and get ready to join in with the @TheDoctorWhoBar from 7pm GMT. On Wednesday 6th July 2011. Remember to press Play on your DVD, VCR, or online at 7-30pm GMT so we can all stay in sync and discuss via Twitter.