30th August – 20th September 1980

Evidence? You couldn’t hang a hat on that!

The Doctor to the Argolin council, episode 2

Tom as the Doctor on Brighton beach during the filming of The Leisure Hive. Picture © BBC

With K-9 waterlogged after an unexpected dip in the English Channel, the Doctor takes Romana for a holiday at the Argolin Leisure Hive: an artificial environment created on a planet laid waste by war. Here travellers and businessmen of the 23rd century can relax in sumptuous style.

Rendered sterile by the war, the part-animal, part-plant Argolins are a dying people, and their Hive appears to be dying too as rival planets compete with more modern attractions to tempt tourists.

Just as the Doctor and Romana arrive a malfunction occurs in the Tachyon Recreation Generator, killing one of the visitors. The machine is an Argolin invention that uses sub-atomic tachyons to create temporary solid, multiple images of a visitor for amusement purposes. There is a suspicion the accident may have something to do with the Argolins’ former enemies, the lizard-like Foamasi, who are offering to buy Argolis. Brock (John Collin), an agent from Earth, is brokering the deal with the Argolin leader, Mena (Adrienne Corri).

Mena is rapidly ageing but Hardin (Nigel Lambert), an Earth scientist, claims his development of tachyonics will make rejuvenation as well as permanent replication possible. Mena’s son, Pangol (David Haig), maintains these claims are fraudulent, which seems likely when Hardin’s assistant dies horribly in another experiment involving the Generator. Pangol believes there is foul play at work too, probably perpetrated by the Foamasi who seem to have gained access to the sealed Hive.

As illegal entrants, the Doctor and Romana are arrested for murder, but Hardin helps them escape. Pangol announces marshal law and begins altering the Generator in an attempt to clone himself and create a new army to crush the Foamasi.

The Doctor foils Pangol’s scheme by connecting the randomiser unit of his TARDIS (see The Armageddon Factor synopsis), to the Generator and causing the new army of troops to literally fade into random nothingness. A panicked Pangol drags his mother and himself into the Generator – only to emerge as a youthful Mena with a bawling baby in arms. The remaining Argolins and their Foamasi neighbours can now live in peace.

Video © BBC

The Leisure Hive is available on Region 2 DVD

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The Leisure Hive is available on Region 1 DVD

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The Leisure Hive is available on CD

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