But for this particular story, you need not know that Doctor Who is a Time Lord who travels the cosmos in a spacecraft called the TARDIS, an interplanetary time machine that looks like a police call box, or that Tom Baker, who portrays him here, is the fourth and perhaps most popular incarnation of the good Doctor.
Horror of Fang Rock is as much ghost story as science fiction. The TARDIS has deposited the vacation-bound Doctor and his companion, Leela, on Fang Rock ("You told me I would like Brighton," an unimpressed Leela remarks about the desolate surroundings), just after a strange light was witnessed plummeting from the sky into the sea. A mysterious fog envelopes the lighthouse, and one of its inhabitants is mysteriously killed. When a ship runs aground, its passengers take refuge in the lighthouse and find themselves stalked as well. Is it the mythical Beast of Fang Rock or, as the Doctor suspects, an alien menace?
The cheesy mid-1970s-vintage special effects are part of this show's charm. Like Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoons, what Doctor Who lacks in production values, it more than makes up for in verbal ingenuity. "Are you in charge?" someone asks the Doctor. "No," he responds, "but I'm full of ideas." --Donald Liebenson