The Doctor Who
adventure "Underworld" finds Tom Baker's incarnation of the Doctor, accompanied by Leela (Louise Jameson) and faithful robot dog K9, materializing on a Minyan spaceship, one of two surviving vessels from a world destroyed 100,000 years before. The crew is on a quest to find the lost gene banks of their race, which were placed on a second ship around which a young planet has since formed. In a similar scenario to the previous season's "The Face of Evil," the descendants of the crew of this second ship have degenerated into superstitious primitivism ruled by a malfunctioning computer and, as in so many Doctor Who
adventures, including the immediately proceeding "The Sun Makers" (1977), they are dominated by a brutal, self-serving elite.
The story is one of revolution in a series of underground tunnels, which are achieved with less than convincing "blue screen" process work, while the costumes and action clearly influenced by both Logan's Run (1976) and Star Wars (1977). The latter was in the theaters as "Underworld" aired and its influence resulted in the introduction of post-production SFX work to produce the quite impressive ray-gun effects seen here. A fairly standard late-1970s addition to the show, "Underworld" is nevertheless an exciting and fast-moving action melodrama. --Gary S. Dalkin