Frontier in Space (1973)

Frontier in Space is a story that is one half of a mammoth twelve parter. Not only do we have the surprise return of the Daleks towards the end of Episode Six but it marks the final appearance of Roger Delgado as the Master. A war is breaking out between the humans and the Draconians. The very same that feature in Paper Cuts (2009).

The story looks like it’s a simple case of two races at war and the Doctor is going to try and stop it but then it soon becomes obvious that someone or something is trying to get these two forces to battle it out. The Ogrons (who last appeared the year before in Day of the Daleks) are being used and soon the humans are seeing them as Draconians and vice versa. Just when things look simple then the Master is thrown into the mix. He hadn’t been seen since The Time Monster (1972) and the end of the ninth season. It’s always good to have the Master but used a bit more sparingly than during the 1971 series. The story moves along at a very steady pace. It’s a habit and more of a rule that six parters start to sag between episodes three and four but surprisingly this doesn’t apply to Frontier.

The Draconians are a good creation. Their nobility mixed with their stubboness was well done. Along with the look of them it’s surprising that it took someone 37 years to bring them back. They had lots of potential and it’s a shocking waste that this was their only appearance. I remember watching a thing where Jon Pertwee say’s that the Draconians were his favourite monster because you could see their mouths move and their eyes.

Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning are on their usual good form. Their relationship has really become solid and it’s a shame that in a few stories time it would be broken up. Jo’s fashion is always a source of discussion and there was more to discuss with her Japanese inspired outfit. The same cant be said for Pertwee’s pyjama costume when he on the moon prison. Roger Delgado is brilliant in this, his appearance was a surprise and even though his involvement was pretty standard compared to his other stories it’s a testimant to the actor of how little I really care about the unoriginality of his involemtn and so glad to see him occupy the screen. It’s a shame that Roger Delgado didn’t get the send off he deserved. Admittadley no one knew he was going to die but even so it’s one of those things that as a fan you would wish that they could have done something. Apart from that I am quite a fan of Frontier, it has a nice tie into Planet of the Daleks. The surprise of appearance of the Daleks was well handled and tied up this half of the story well.


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