Doctor Who (1963)

Season 16 Episode 1

The Ribos Operation, Part One

Aired Saturday 5:15 PM Sep 02, 1978 on BBC
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Episode Summary

The Magellanic Clouds, the planet Ribos, an unknown time. Ordered by the White Guardian to collect the pieces of the omnipotent Key to Time, The Doctor, K-9 and his new assistant Romana arrive. Collecting the first segment is not going to be easy…

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    Cyril Luckham

    Cyril Luckham

    The Guardian

    Guest Star

    Iain Cuthbertson

    Iain Cuthbertson


    Guest Star

    Nigel Plaskitt

    Nigel Plaskitt


    Guest Star

    John Leeson

    John Leeson

    Voice of K9

    Recurring Role

    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (4)

    • QUOTES (8)

      • Romana: What would you like me to do?
        The Doctor: Well… I'd like you to stay out of my way as much as possible and try and keep out of trouble. I don't suppose you can make tea?
        Romana: Tea?
        The Doctor: No, I don't suppose you can. They don't teach you anything useful at the Academy, do they? Gadgets and gimmicky. Never touch, never trust gimmicky gadgets!

      • Unstoffe: Why is it always me? Why do I always get these jobs?
        Garron: You're young. I'm too old to go down there.
        Unstoffe: I want a chance to be old, too.
        Garron: Unstoffe, do you think at your age I would have climbed down there without the ladder? I would have gone. I loved danger.
        Unstoffe: Hah! Now you admit it. It is dangerous!

      • Romana: You're sulking.
        The Doctor: I'm not sulking.
        Romana: That's ridiculous for someone as old as you are.
        The Doctor: I'm not old. What?
        Romana: 759.
        The Doctor: 756! That's not old! Just mature.
        Romana: You've lost count somewhere.
        The Doctor: Well, I ought to know my age!
        Romana: Yes, but after the first few centuries, I expect things got a bit foggy, didn't they?

      • Romana: Of course, now I realize that you're behaviour simply derives from a sub-transitory experiential hypertoid-induced condition aggravated by multi-encephalogical tensions.
        The Doctor: What is that supposed to mean?
        Romana: Well, to put it very simply, Doctor, you're suffering from a massive compensation syndrome.
        The Doctor: Is that the sort of rubbish they're pouring into your head at the Academy?
        Romana: Do you know, I might even use your case in my thesis when I…
        The Doctor: I'll show you whether I'm suffering from a massive compensation syndrome. And you're not going back to Gallifrey, not for a long time yet, I regret to say!

      • Romana: Very exciting, isn't it?
        The Doctor: Yes, I suppose it must be, for someone as young and inexperienced as you are.
        Romana: I may be inexperienced, but I did graduate from the Academy with a triple first.
        The Doctor: I suppose you think we should be impressed by that too?
        Romana: Well, It's better than scraping through with 51% at the second attempt.
        The Doctor: That information is confidential! That President! I should have thrown him to the Sontarans when I had the chance!

      • Romana: My name is Romanadvoratrelundar.
        The Doctor: I'm so sorry about that. Is there anything we can do?

      • The Doctor: Look, I'm sure there are plenty of Time Lords who would…
        The Guardian: I have chosen you.
        The Doctor: Yes, I was afraid you would say something like that. Ah, you want me to volunteer. Isn't that it?
        The Guardian: Precisely.
        The Doctor: And if I don't.
        The Guardian: Nothing.
        The Doctor: Nothing? You mean nothing will happen to me?
        The Guardian: Nothing at all. Ever.

      • The Doctor: One more thing. Your name.
        Romanadvoratrelundar: What about my name?
        The Doctor: It's too long. By the time I've called out, "Look out... " What's your name?
        Romanadvoratrelundar: [slowly] Romanadvoratrelundar.
        The Doctor: By the time I've called that out, you could be dead. I'll call you "Romana".
        Romanadvoratrelundar: But I don't like "Romana".
        The Doctor: It's either "Romana" or "Fred".
        Romanadvoratrelundar: All right, call me "Fred".
        The Doctor: Good. Come on, Romana.

    • NOTES (5)

      • DVD: Doctor Who: The Ribos Operation released in U.S.A./Canada (Warner Home Video E1692) in September 2002. Released as part of the Doctor Who: The Key to Time box set (BBCDVD 2335) (limited edition) in September 2007 and re-released (BBCDVD 2754) in November 2009.

        Video: Doctor Who: The Ribos Operation (BBCV 5607) released in April 1995. Released in U.S.A./Canada (Warner Home Video E1336) in September 1996.

      • Novelisation: Doctor Who and the Ribos Operation by Ian Marter (ISBN 0 426 20092 6) first published by W H Allen in 1979.

      • The Doctor is 759 (or 756) years old in this episode.

      • Producer Graham Williams initally wanted the Doctor to be assisted by Sarah Jane Smith in his quest. But Elizabeth Sladen had other commitments.

      • First appearance of Mary Tamm as Romanadvoratrelundar.

    • ALLUSIONS (0)