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Digital Subscriptions > Doctor Who Magazine > 535 > Full Circle

Full Circle

The Doctor, Romana and K9 travel to another universe where nothing is quite what it seems…

Exploring the hidden depths of Doctor Who’s greatest stories…

The Doctor (Tom Baker) and K9 watch…
… as Marshmen emerge from the river.
Kate Bush’s video for Breathing was, like Full Circle (1980), partly recorded on location in Black Park in Buckinghamshire.

At the beginning of the 1980s, Buckinghamshire’s Black Park had long been a familiar sight to cinemagoers of a ghoulish bent, having provided the backdrop for ghastly goingson in numerous Hammer horror films – among them The Curse of the Werewolf (1961), Dracula Prince of Darkness (1966) and Vampire Circus (1972, featuring Lalla Ward).

In 1980, however, the park was visited by something as uncanny and strange as any Hammer monster: the singer-songwriter Kate Bush, seen wading – with members of her band, all in matching overalls – from the waters of its great lake in the apocalyptic video for her single Breathing (see – beginning at 04m 23s). “We had scuba suits on underneath these overalls, it was February and it was freezing”, guitarist Brian Bath told Bush’s biographer Graeme Thomson.

Five months later, Full Circle’s Marshmen – played by actors wearing cunningly concealed wetsuits, too – were filmed emerging from the very same lake for a cliffhanger every bit the equal of the Dalek rising out of the Thames in The Dalek Invasion of Earth: World’s End (1964) or the eponymous amphibians staggering out of the surf in the third episode of The Sea Devils (1972). It’s not known whether or not director Peter Grimwade, or any of his team, had taken note of the Breathing video (shown on the 1 May edition of Top of the Pops) when the location was chosen… but it seems rather more plausible than the once-popular but long-since-debunked fan theory that Kate B herself wrote the next season’s Kinda under a pseudonym.

Where else have I seen…?

James Bree (Nefred) had been the Security Chief in The War Games (1969); he’d go on to play the Keeper of the Matrix in The Trial of a Time Lord (1986). Significantly, though, he’d appeared as broker’s man Bill in Full Circle producer John Nathan-Turner’s one-nightonly Drury Lane presentation of Cinderella in 1973, and as Mr Plenderleith in All Creatures Great and Small: Out of Practice (1978), an episode unit-managed by Nathan-Turner.

Alan Rowe (Garif) had also featured in Doctor Who before: as both Dr Evans and the Voice from Space Control in The Moonbase (1967), as Edward of Wessex in The Time Warrior (1973-74), and finally as Skinsale in Horror of Fang Rock (1977) – a serial that both Nathan-Turner and Full Circle director Peter Grimwade had worked on, as unit manager and production assistant respectively.

Richard Willis (Varsh) had played Guy Brassington in the first series of the cement-family saga Flesh and Blood (1980), another show unit-managed by Nathan- Turner. He later married June Page (Keara) and, later still, Kate O’Mara (the Rani in The Mark of the Rani/Time and the Rani/ Dimensions in Time, 1985/87/93).

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About Doctor Who Magazine

Contents include: • Resolution's director Wayne Yip tells DWM how he brought the 2019 New Year's Day Dalek story to life • An exclusive preview of the 'Doctor Who: The Collection - Season 18' Blu-ray box set - and a look behind Logopolis' new digital makeover • An exclusive interview with Season 18’s script editor Christopher H Bidmead • DWM investigates the story of the 1960s Doctor Who audio recordings which were discovered in a skip at the end of 2018 • A visit to one of the Doctor Who escape rooms which are opening across the UK • An interview with Feifei Ruan, the artist commissioned to create Chinese-inspired Doctor Who artwork for Shanghai Comic Con • Part One of 'Herald of Madness', a brand-new comic strip adventure featuring the Thirteenth Doctor and her friends • The Time Team watches 2006's Love & Monsters and explores what it means to be a Doctor Who fan • The Fact of Fiction delves into the 1980 Fourth Doctor story Full Circle • An in-depth look at how Resolution performed in the ratings • The Blogs of Doom, reviews, previews, news, prize-winning competitions and much, much more!