Many Doctor Who episodes have taken us to some of the hottest places in the universe. Here’s our rundown of some of the most memorable…
As the heat turns up across Europe, with the occasional storm to liven things up between the bouts of dead heat, it’s worth remembering it could always be hotter. In almost 60 years the Doctor has been nearly everywhere and everywhen, and their adventures have taken them to the furthest reaches of space and the deepest hidden places of the Earth. Along the way, they’ve touched down in some sweltering locations. Here’s just a few of the hottest…
Aridius (‘The Chase’)
1965’s ‘The Chase’ saw time travelling Daleks pursue the First Doctor, Barbara, Ian and Vicki all over the cosmos and all through history for six Doctor Who episodes. But their hunt begins on the aptly-named desert planet Aridius. Like Star Wars‘ Tattooine, its sands burn beneath the heat of twin suns, leaving it a world of shifting dunes. Ironically, a thousand years before the Doctor’s visit, it was a water planet teeming with aquatic life. But the climate changed when the distance between Aridius and its suns shifted.
With all life on the surface wiped out, and only the fishmen Aridians and the deadly octopus-like Mire Beasts surviving in the subterranean caverns, life on Aridius is hard. Even the Daleks find it tough going, with sand storms that batter the planet and bury them overnight, leaving them to dig their way out next morning.
Dulkis (‘The Dominators’)
For most of the Second Doctor, Jamie and Zoe’s visit to Dulkis in ‘The Dominators,’ it’s simply pleasantly warm. At least it seems so, judging by the floaty sun-dress / swimsuit combinations the locals wear. But that’s before the Dominators’ so-called ‘seed bomb’ explodes and triggers a gigantic volcanic eruption which engulfs the entire island with lava.
On the plus side, the Doctor has meddled with the Dominators’ plans so that it won’t destroy the whole planet. On the negative side, the Doctor and his friends are still on the island… The lava even engulfs the TARDIS, causing the machine to overheat. To escape, the Doctor has to do something he’s never done before, and remove the TARDIS from our reality entirely. But that’s another story (specifically ‘The Mind Robber!’)
Parallel Earth (‘Inferno’)
The Doctor encounters lava again in the seven Doctor Who episodes which make up the following year’s ‘Inferno.’ But this time, the Third Doctor’s found himself trapped on a parallel Earth where the Inferno drilling project has unleashed the planet’s fury (and the werewolf-like Primords.) The scenes of the doomed Earth counting down to its destruction are some of the grimmest in all of Doctor Who. As the pressure builds below the surface, the atmosphere becomes thick with heat, and the sweat and desperation of our little band of survivors mix together.
Fortunately, the Doctor is able to return to our own universe and prevent the same calamity befalling us.
Sarn (‘Planet of Fire’)
The planet Sarn appears in a run of Doctor Who episodes literally called ‘Planet of Fire,’ so it’s no wonder it makes our list. The Fifth Doctor, Turlough and new friend Peri are brought to the volcanically-active planet by the Master‘s machinations. It’s so hot on Sarn – or rather on the island of Lanzarote where filming took place – that the Doctor even does the unthinkable… and changes into more comfortable clothes!
As with ‘The Dominators’ and ‘Inferno,’ volcanoes and total planetary destruction go hand-in-hand. This time, however, the story takes a middle course between the Doctor saving the planet and armageddon. The planet’s imminent firey destruction can’t be averted, but rescue ships are summoned to evacuate the population.
The Punishment Dome (‘Vengeance on Varos’)
The Doctor finds himself in another hot spot when he visits the former penal colony of Varos in 1985’s ‘Vengeance on Varos.’ This time though there’s a little twist. The Sixth Doctor seems to stumble along a corridor in the heat of a blistering sun, until he collapses and dies of heat exhaustion in a bleak cliffhanger. But it’s all an illusion crafted as one of the sadistic tricks of Varos’ punishment dome.
In fact, the heat is all in the Doctor’s head, and as the second of the two Doctor Who episodes reveals, his supposed death is simply temporary, as he’s actually much too head-strong to let a fake heatwave finish him off.
Satellite Five (‘The Long Game’)
When Russell T Davies brought the show back for 13 Doctor Who episodes in 2005, it didn’t take the Ninth Doctor long to find himself in hot water again. When he, Rose and Adam visit the news space station Satellite Five in the year 200,000 in ‘The Long Game,’ the Doctor quickly notices something odd about the plumbing. It’s much, much warmer than expected, and it’s down to the excess heat from something on Floor 500. The cause turns out to the massive, fleshy monstrosity known as the Mighty Jagrafess of the Holy Hadrojassic Maxarodenfoe (or ‘Max’ for short.)
An alien so vast that it stretches across the entire ceiling of Floor 500, the Mighty Jagrafess has been manipulating the news to control mankind for almost a century. With the aid of an ambitious newswoman called Cathica, the Doctor reverses the flow of heat back to the icebound Floor 500. The build-up of temperature causes the Mighty Jagrafess to die into a gory explosion of flesh and blood, essentially boiling its right hand man, the Editor, alive. Nasty.
Pompeii (‘The Fires of Pompeii’)
The Tenth Doctor and Donna land in one of the most famous infernos in history when the TARDIS brings them to Pompeii in 49AD for ‘The Fires of Pompeii.’ The town lives in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano. But the townsfolk of this Roman city don’t even know what a volcano is, and have no idea of the danger they’re in.
Previous Doctor Who episodes have featured volcanoes, but this is the first time the Doctor has actually gone inside one, as he and his companion struggle to uncover the truth. Together, they discover that the alien Pyrovilles, creatures of flame and stone, are using the volcano’s power to try and conquer the Earth.
Sabotaging their plans puts history back on track, and the Doctor and Donna are ejected in an escape pod as the eruption finally occurs. Soon, they’re dashing back to the TARDIS as a blanket of fire and ash falls from the sky to bury Pompeii for nearly 2,000 years.
There are plenty of other Doctor Who episodes which have gotten our heroes a little hot under the collar! Which one is your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Fourth Doctor tie – order now from the Lovarzi shop!