154 The Deadly Assassin

This is the one where the Doctor has a vision about himself killing the president, kills the president, but doesn’t and then he gets stuck in the matrix and totally dies for a second but who cares. Plus they destroy half of Gallifrey.

Live from Master Closet Studios, you’re listening to the only podcast on the internet that’s stuck on a mall-train tracks: It’s the Noobs and the Whovian! 

This is the podcast that introduces a whole new generation to Doctor Who by watching an episode each week and discussing it from the perspective of a dad who’s seen it before, and two sons who haven’t.

Welcome to Episode 154 covering season 14 serial number 3, The Deadly Assassin.

Super-short Recap

This is the one where the Doctor has a vision about himself killing the president, kills the president, but doesn’t and then he gets stuck in the matrix and totally dies for a second but who cares. Plus they destroy half of Gallifrey.

Production notes

  • Directed by: David Maloney

Misc Trivia 

  • As Jared mentioned in his primer episode, this was the only episode in Classic Who that didn’t have a companion
    • However, if you take into account the brief cameos of Donna at the beginning and end of Midnight, Clara’s “appearance” in the Doctor’s mind TARDIS, and the occasional companions-that-never-were (I’m looking at you, Lady de Souza!), this is still the only story that doesn’t feature a companion AT ALL.
  • It’s also the only story that features only one race (Gallifreyans) and the first story where no human appears.
  • The biplane that appears in the Matrix was also used in filming Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.


  • Castellan Spandrell – George Pravda
    • He was Austrian
  • The Master – Peter Pratt
    • He was more well-known as a stage actor, particularly for his portrayals in Gilbert & Sullivan operettas. 
    • He only appeared in Doctor Who for this single story, and that shot at the end is the closest we ever got to actually seeing his face!


  • Name of the episode spoken in dialogue?
    • nope!
  • Creature of the week
    • The Master – more on him later
  • Jiggery Pokery
    • TARDIS
      • Holy wood paneling 
      • It’s a Type 40, out of commission, obsolete
      • The barrier is a double curtain trimonic so you will need a cypher-indent key to get in.
      • Type 40 TT capsules
      • It doesn’t have an uppy-downy thingy!
      • It’s appearance was infinitely variable (sooooo, not true of ALL TARDIS?)
    • Sonic
      • Was there no sonic screwdriver in this whole story?
    • Misc
      • Set your stasers!
      • You have no idea of the complexity of applied excitonics!
      • Using the scarf like Indiana Jones’ whip was amazing!

Other stuff we noticed 

  • Celestial Intervention Agency!
  • The Transduction effect was pretty awesome… 
  • The chalk outline of the President was hilarious!
  • The Doctor is gonna get killed by a shopping mall train!
    • BTW, his foot was NOT between those rails!
  • I reject this reality!
  • The Time Lords are garbage people
    • At least, those in charge are.
    • The Cardinal just makes up crap as history!
  • Resistance is futile now! (The Master)
  • Why do they talk about Rassilon in the past tense?

Who’s Who?

  • Who are the Time Lords?
    • Apparently they have local news?
    • They didn’t wear the headdresses often, they were ceremonial
    • Somehow they recognize each other even post-regeneration
      • Runcible recognized the Doctor but said “have you had a facelift?”
    • This is the first mention of Rassilon and apparently we never truly meet him in Classic Who. There is a brief encounter with an apparition of him (from beyond the grave, possibly?), but it’s not until The End of Time that we see him on screen, making that a MUCH bigger reveal than I ever realized.
  • Who is the Fourth Doctor?
    • He’s a Slytherin, I mean, Prydonian
    • Why did he get a vision?!
    • His hair curls when it’s about to rain, or when he’s onto something
  • Who is the Master?
    • It seems like he’s wearing a mask. Tripp was actually confused about this saying “What’s he wearing?”
    • He can shrink people
    • He’s utterly unknown by the Time Lords. There’s no record of him (the Master deleted it)
    • Hatred is his weakness. He’d delay an execution to pull the wings off a fly!
    • Even in extremis, I wear the Sash of Rasillon.
      • Dang, did he just silently fall off that cliff?
    • Wait, literally NO ONE saw him fall?! Why do they think he fell at all?
    • His TARDIS was a grandfather clock!
      • Wait, Timelords have grandfather clocks?!

Overall impressions

  • Overall rating out of 10 – 
    • Jared – 9 missing sonic screwdrivers
    • Austin – 7 face socks
    • Corbin – 7 halloween city masks
    • Tripp –  6 doctors stuck on a train track 

Can we talk about the Master’s skull?

  • They had a very similar situation to Hartnell on their hands. They tragically lost an actor playing a key recurring role. When they faced something like this with Hartnell, they INVENTED regeneration! Why didn’t they embrace that with the Master?

The Game Plan

  • Next we cover Series 10 episode 9, Empress of Mars.


Noobs and the Whovian is a production of Master Closet Studios, where it’s always smaller on the inside. Your Senior Producer is Austin Reason. Our Audio Engineer is Thing One: Tripp Reason. Our Production Editor is the Other One: Corbin Reason. Special thanks to tardis.fandom.com for the trivia, and to Jared for the Classic Who Connection. Shout outs to Victor and Jared for their Patreon support.

You can find us at Facebook or Twitter or email us. Consider supporting us. Please subscribe and leave a rating wherever you found us, and share us with a friend not because we’re a great show but because we watch one.

Until next time, be safe if you can. But always. Be. Amazing.