Doctor Who (1963)

Season 25 Episode 11

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, Part One

Aired Saturday 5:15 PM Dec 14, 1988 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
21 votes

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Episode Summary

The Greatest Show in the Galaxy, Part One
The Doctor and Ace visit the Psychic Circus on the planet Segonax. But the Circus is not all it appears. Dark forces are at work…

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  • A Creepy Classc

    It’s probably around this point in the classic show’s history that the Doctor-companion relationship grew strongest. In this episode, and others, Sophie Aldred and Sylvester McCoy perfect their on-screen chemistry, making them, in my opinion, the most watch-able team, certainly up until Rose and the Doctor in 2005.

    As it is, this episode is mainly a set-up for the following three, but it’s still very very good. The clowns are creepy, the silent hearse is a great idea, and the robots and effects are surprisingly well done. Also the cliff-hanger is one sure to have had viewers screaming at their TVs. The only negative points are Nord, the Viking look-alike biker, and Whizzkid, the very unsubtle parody of a geeky fan, who are both nothing short of plain embarrassing.moreless
T. P. McKenna

T. P. McKenna

Captain Cook

Guest Star

Jessica Martin

Jessica Martin


Guest Star

Ricco Ross

Ricco Ross


Guest Star

Dean Hollingsworth

Dean Hollingsworth

Bus Conductor

Recurring Role

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Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (1)

  • QUOTES (2)

    • The Conductor: Any more fares?
      The Doctor [ rapidly ]: I would like a ticket, actually. I'd like a there-and-back off-beat weekend rate super saver senior citizen bimonthly season with optional luggage facilities. A free cup of coffee in a plastic glass. A crocodile sandwich. And make it snappy, you metallic moron!

    • Stallholder: All the riff-raff go [to the circus], all the infernal extraterrestrials like him. Monopods from Leelex. Doctors…

  • NOTES (4)

    • Video: Doctor Who: The Greatest Show in the Galaxy (BBCV 6798) released in January 2000. Released in U.S.A./Canada (Warner Home Video E1494) in November 1999.

    • Novelisation: Doctor Who - The Greatest Show in the Galaxy by Stephen Wyatt (ISBN 0 426 20341 0) first published by W H Allen in 1989.

    • This episode was initially cancelled due to the discovery of asbestos in the BBC studios. At the last minute, the production crew hit on the idea of erecting an actual tent in the BBC parking lot and shooting inside it. Although this created a tight schedule and immense problems with background noise, it worked remarkably well and the episode was finished on time.

    • This was intended to be the second story broadcast second in season 25, but it was swapped with The Happiness Patrol, causing a few continuity errors.