The Doctor - Sylvester McCoy
Mel - Bonnie Langford
Caretaker - Clive Merrison
Tabby - Elizabeth Spriggs
Tilda - Brenda Bruce
Maddy - Judy Cornwell
Pex - Howard Cooke
Fire Escape - Julie Brennon
Bin Liner - Annabel Yuresha
Blue Kang Leader - Catherine Cusack
Yellow Kang - Astra Sheridan
Red Kang - Nisha Nayar
Young Caretaker - Joseph Young
Video Commentary - Simon Coady
Manager - Val McCrimmon
Costumes - Janet Tharby
Designer - Martin Collins
Incidental Music - Keff McCulloch
Make-Up - Shaunna Harrison
OB Cameraman - Alastair Mitchell, David
Producer - John Nathan-Turner
Production Assistant - Frances Graham
Production Associate - Anne Faggetter
Script Editor - Andrew Cartmel
Special Sounds - Dick Mills
Studio Lighting - Henry Barber
Studio Sound - Brian Clark
Theme Arrangement - Keff McCulloch
Title Music - Ron Grainer
Visual Effects - Simon Taylor
According to the
sales brochure, Paradise Towers is a utopian blueprint for
community living, with its fabulous architecture and
state-of-the-art facilities: the perfect place for Mel to take a
However, when the TARDIS arrives, the Seventh Doctor and she
discover that the futuristic tower block has fallen into ruin
and a series of unexplained disappearances have the tenants
As gangs of teenage girls run wild in the hallways, a squad of
bureaucratic Caretakers struggle to retain control. To keep the
citizens of Paradise Towers safe, the Doctor must confront the
resident evil lurking in the basement...
A teenage girl hides in a corridor, while the voices of her
pursuers announce they have given up looking. Relieved, she
turns to find something bearing down on her and screams. In the
TARDIS, Mel looks longingly at the swimming pool displayed on
the TARDIS scanner. They've arrived at Paradise Towers and Mel
is looking forward to taking a dip. However, upon leaving the
TARDIS, they find the place in disarray. The surfaces are filthy
and rats scuttle around underfoot.
Caretaker 345/12, subsection 3 reports in to the Chief
Caretaker, telling him he has found evidence of "wallscrawlers"
on Potassium Street. As he continues his inspection, he finds a
bloodied rag and tells the Chief that he is scared. Meanwhile,
the Doctor and Mel find themselves threatened by a group of
teenage girls calling themselves the Red Kangs. The Doctor
placates them and they take a liking to him. Two of their number
introduce themselves as Fire Escape and Bin Liner. They tell the
Doctor that they are rivals of the Blue Kangs and the Yellow
Kangs, though only one of the latter is still alive.
A Blue Kang is following Caretaker 345/12, subsection 3 and uses
a telephone to report that the Yellow Kangs are no more. After
she leaves, a robot drives past with the leg of the last of
their number sticking out of a rubbish container trailing behind
it. Back with the Red Kangs, the Doctor is asking questions. He
finds that there are three types of people present in Paradise
Towers: the Kangs, the old ones and the Caretakers. There seems
to be more, but before Fire Escape can tell the Doctor of these
group, Bin Liner gestures to her with a warning to keep silent
regarding such things. With that they take the Doctor and Mel
captive, having become interested in them after hearing their
conversation about "the pool in the sky".
Caretaker 345/12, subsection 3 finds himself facing one of the
robots, with a second sneaking up behind him. He gets through to
the chief, who tells him not to panic. One of the robot grabs
him with a mechanical claw and kills him. The Caretaker watches
on a screen as one of the robots takes the body away and says "a
nice little present coming up for you my beauty". He puts out a
message for all Caretakers to seize every "red wallscrawler" in
Fountain of Happiness Square. As the Red Kangs are taking Mel
and the Doctor to a new location, the Caretakers move in. The
group flees but the Doctor falls and is taken prisoner.
Separated from the Doctor and the Red Kangs, Mel comes across
Tilda and her friend Tabby and is welcomed into their home. Mel
asks them what group they belong to and they tell her they're
Rezzies. They ply Mel with tea and cakes and invite her to dine.
The Doctor is being escorted by the Caretakers, including the
Deputy Chief Caretaker, who allow him a short rest. He finds a
"wallscrawl" depicting a Kang being attacked by a mechanical
claw, with other mechanical objects surrounding this
centrepiece. The Deputy shrugs it off as made-up imagery. One of
the robots turns the corner as they chat and the Doctor
identifies it as "some sort of robotic Cleaner". As it readies
its claw, they run away from it.
Back in Tilda and Tabby's house, Mel is encouraged to stay a
while and eat to her heart's content. Just as Tabby comments on
the peacefulness of her home, the door is broken open and a man
steps in, asking if Mel is either in or causing trouble. When he
finds she is not, he introduces himself as Pex, telling her he
"puts the world of Paradise Towers to rights". Mel stands amazed
at his immodesty. Elsewhere, the Doctor and his Caretaker
accompaniment escape the Cleaner by taking a lift.
Mel decides to leave Tilda and Tabby. Once outside, Pex tells
her he will be her guide and help her find the Doctor. They come
across some Blue Kangs engaged in worship. Meanwhile, the Doctor
is brought before the Chief Caretaker who takes him for the
original architect of Paradise Towers. The Deputy asks what is
to be done with him and the Chief orders that the Doctor killed.
The Doctor tries to convince the Chief that he is not the "Great
Architect", but to no avail. The Chief orders his deputy to
organise the execution. He gets a phone call from Caretaker
579/14, subsection 8, about the death of 345/12, subsection 3,
and is required elsewhere. Until his return, the sentence is
postponed. Elsewhere, Mel and Pex are still looking for the
Doctor and the Red Kangs find one of their number, No Exit, has
been killed by the Cleaners.
The Deputy and another Caretaker are guarding the Doctor, he
asks to see the rulebook by which the run their lives and they
oblige, treating it as his last request. Pretending he is
reading rules from the book, the Doctor tells them to step away
from him, close their eyes and put their hands on their heads.
They do so and he takes the key card from the Deputy and
escapes. Mel and Pex narrowly miss the Doctor. They find
themselves back at the Fountain of Happiness Square. Mel asks
Pex who he really is and he replies he had power invested in him
by those he cannot name. As they move out of the square, they
are followed by the Blue Kangs.
The Doctor comes across a wallscrawl while looking for Mel,
takes out pen and paper and makes notes. Elsewhere, the Chief
Caretaker is reassuring his team. He tries to quell any fears
they have that the Caretakes are responsible. In their home,
Tabby and Tilda are visited by Maddy, who tells them about the
death of yet another Caretaker. She tells them that people
cannot simply be disappearing and the agree, covering up their
Meanwhile, the Doctor comes across and telephone and breaks it.
Money floods out. As he collects it in his hat, two Cleaners
move in on him and he is forced down a hole. He wakes to find
himself in the Red Kangs' "brainquarters". He confronts them
about the Cleaners, but they know less than he, nor do they know
what the creature their own wallscrawls depict is. The Doctor
tries to use another phone, but it is no in use. He turns the
cabinet attached to it around to reveal that it is a vending
machine. He buys a can of Fizzade and shares it out amongst the
The Chief Caretaker visits the creature. He refers to it as "my
pet" and himself as its "daddy". He asks the creature if it
enjoyed its Caretaker snack and asks it who else has been
feeding it. It replies that it is hungry. The Chief leaves,
promising to feed it the Great Architect. Meanwhile, Mel and Pex
find themselves prisoners of the Blue Kangs. Mel asks them if
they know who Pex is and they tell her he's the "musclebrain",
an inbetween - a term for those who are middle aged - who went
with the Kangs by hiding aboard their ship, rather than fight in
a war with all the other inbetweens. Mel is allowed to leave.
The Kangs call Pex a "scaredy-cat".
The Chief declares it is time to seek the Great Architect and
teach the Kangs a lesson for their recent defiance of Caretaker
authority. Elsewhere, Mel finds herself back in Tilda and
Tabby's company when she is invited in for tea.
In their brainquarters, he Red Kangs are all drinking Fizzade
now. The Doctor tries to side with them. However, an alarm
blares and Bin Liner warns the Caretakers are moving in. On the
other side of the door, the Caretakers begin to break it down.
Back in their house, Tabby and Tilda agree that they can't
afford to miss this opportunity. They throw a net over Mel and
Tabby brandishes a toasting fork at her throat.
The Doctor buys the Red Kangs time and encourages them to make
their escape. Meanwhile, Mel warns Tabby that there is something
wrong with the waste disposal unit. As she inspects it, a claw
bursts out of it, grabs Tabby and pulls her through. Tilda
blames Mel and throws a knife at her. Pex bursts through the
door and Tilda runs to get a knife, but as she does so, the claw
again emerges and pulls her through too. In the corridor, a
cleaner drives past with Tilda's foot sticking out of it.
The Caretakers break down the door to the Red Kang brainquarters
to capture the Doctor. They find that he is the only one there.
Mel is still trying to get to the "pool in the sky" - as it is
known locally - where she arranged to meet the Doctor. Pex warns
her that only the "un-alive" go there but deems it his duty to
accompany her. The Doctor is brought before the Chief Caretaker,
who deems it necessary for them to have a chat. The Deputy
queries his leader as to the recent Caretaker fatalities,
breaking several regulations and resulting in him being sent out
of the room. The Chief tells the Doctor the "Great Architect"
disappeared under mysterious circumstances soon after the
completion of Paradise Towers. News of Tilda and Tabby's deaths
draws the Chief away and he leaves the Deputy to once again
guard the Doctor.
Elsewhere, Mel and Pex enter a lift but find themselves victims
of the cleaners who are pressing the buttons all up the shaft so
that they are constantly moving and stuck in the life. Bin Liner
and Fire Escape break into the Chief's office and tie up all the
guards. This leaves the Doctor free to leave. In Tilda and
Tabby's flat, the Chief is interviewing Maddy. He tells her
there is no cause for alarm and encourages her to keep news of
the incident quite. She does not want to do so, but the Chief
offers her the flat - which is much larger than hers - and she
agrees to say nothing.
In the lift, Mel and Pex are stuck moving up and down between
floors 173 and 174. Pex tries to fix the controls, but only
causes the life to descend fast. They find themselves in the
basement and hear a voice saying "soon, soon I shall be free".
In the Red Kang brainquarters, the Doctor is watching an
information video about Kroagnon, the "Great Architect". He
tells the Kangs of Miracle City, a place built by Kroagnon and
from which he refused to move out, or let anyone in. Eventually
he was forced out and those who moved in he killed. However,
nothing could be proven and so he walked free.
Pex gets the lift working again, and they start ascending. The
Chief finds himself facing cleaner 479, who forces him to
follow. At the brainquarters, the Doctor convinces the Red Kangs
they must go the basement. The Blue Kangs burst in and proclaim
victory over the Reds. The Doctor tries to convince them there
is no time for games and they must all work together. Mel and
Pex arrive at Floor 304 to find a serene, clean area of Paradise
Towers greeting them. Mel finds the pool and settles down to
rest in preparation for her swim. In the water, a water-bound
cleaner lurks below the surface and sights Mel on the edge.
The Chief is brought before "his pet" by a cleaner and asks him
why he has been killing so many people. He replies that he
needed a body to live in, but the ones the cleaners brought were
not satisfactory. Behind the Chief, the Doctor, Bin Liner, Fire
Escape and Drinking Fountain are sneaking up on them. The Chief
is forced into a container as the creature declares itself as
Kroagnon. The Doctor and his friends attack, but a cleaner grabs
the Doctor with its claw and begins to throttle him.
The Kangs pull the Doctor free. They all flee. The container the
Chief was placed in rises, leaving a silver-clothed Chief in its
wake. Kroagnon has taken his body and reveals he tried to stop
the use of Paradise Towers, leading to his imprisonment. He
declares that, with the cleaners, he will destroy everyone in
the Towers. The Doctor and the Kangs stop to rest with the
immediate danger gone. He thinks the parents of Paradise Towers'
current inhabitants must have imprisoned Kroagnon, but he
devised a means to perform corpoelectroscopy - a way to
transplant his brain to a host body.
On Floor 304, Mel is swimming. She encourages Pex to join her
but he just sits at the side. Suddenly, the water-bound cleaner
surfaces and attacks Mel. In the Red Kang brainquarters, the
Blues and the Reds have gathered. They wait for the Fire
Escape's arrival and plan to head for the "pool in the sky".
Back in the pool, Mel urges Pex to help her. She gets into the
shallows and, borrowing Pex's gun, shoots the cleaner. It sinks
below the surface, its casing blown open. In the Chief's office,
the Deputy puts out Regulation ZZZ - an order for Caretakers to
act with extreme caution and return to base.
Downstairs, Kroagnon leads a cleaner through the corridors as it
spurts out jets of poisonous gas. A nearby Caretaker falls and
dies and Kroagnon decides to return later to collect the
"rubbish". Meanwhile, the Doctor and the Kangs join Mel and Pex
on Floor 304. The Kangs start taunting Pex again and he moves to
leave, but his way is blocked by three Rezzies - including Maddy
- who propose an alliance.
Kroagnon enters the Chief's office and confronts the Deputy.
Realising that he is no longer the Chief Caretaker, the Deputy
runs away. After some discussion, the Kangs agree to work with
the (apologetic) Rezzies and Pax. They claim they will never
work with the Caretakers, but, as they do so, the Deputy arrives
and joins their alliance. In the Chief Caretaker's office,
Kroagnon is marking off floors that have been gassed. He notes
that everyone will head to Floor 304 and he will gas each floor
on the way up.
On Floor 304, the Deputy reveals that on Floor 245, Sodium
Street, corridor 75, there is a secret emergency supply of
explosives kept for pests going out of control. They decide to
use this to set a trap for Kroagnon. The Rezzies plan to slow
the cleaners with the table cloths they make, while the Kangs
destroy them with explosives and the arrow guns they carry. Back
in the Chief's office, Kroagnon is still marking off floors as
they are gassed. He decides to check what is going on in "the
pool zone", but finds that the surveillance has been prevented
by "the Great Architect".
The Doctor outlines his plan to capture Kroagnon: he will offer
to meet their enemy. Someone will lead Kroagnon to him, where he
will be trapped. Pex offers to do this, to the amusement of the
Kangs. In the Chief's office, Kroagnon gets a message from the
Doctor who criticises his work as an architect. In a corridor, a
combined Rezzie and Kang effort sees a cleaner destroyed. On
Floor 304, the Kangs give Pex gifts as he prepares to leave and
he gives Mel his gun.
Pex goes to the Chief's office and uses a video screen to
communicate with Kroagnon. He agrees to accompany Pex to the
Doctor and they begin to make their way through the corridors.
However, contrary to the Doctor's order to travel slowly, Pex is
fearful of Kroagnon, so they make haste.
Soon they meet the Doctor and begin to converse. The Doctor
tries to push Kroagnon through a door, but cannot move him. Pex
grabs a stick of explosive, pushes the Doctor out of the way and
pulls Kroagnon and himself through the doorway. Both are killed
in the explosion.
The Kangs, Rezzie and Caretakers are holding a ceremony for Pex.
They honour his bravery and the Doctor comments that he helped
bring them all together. As a parting gift, the Kangs give the
Doctor a scarf with a red side and a blue side - making him an
honourary Kang. Mel and the Doctor return to the TARDIS and it
dematerialises. Behind it, some wallscrawl says "Pex lives".
[Source: TARDIS Wikia]
Things to look out for:
In successive drafts of the script, the planet on which Paradise
Towers was located was referred to as 'Kroagnon', and then as
'Griphos'. The world was eventually left unnamed on-screen, but
there does exist a possibility that it could be Earth - bearing
in mind that the programme listing for Part One in Radio
Times (cover dated: 3 - 9 October 1987) was accompanied
by a black and white head-and-shoulders shot of Richard
Briers as the Chief Caretaker, which bore the caption
"Paradise Towers, Earth. Chief Caretaker - Richard Briers".
All 4 episodes exist in the BBC Archives.
When Tilda throws a knife at Pex, a length of string is clearly
attached to it.
■ Episode 3 - When
the Chief Caretaker is scolding the Deputy's question, his mouth
starts moving yet no words come out until around three seconds
The Doctor says "going up" when the lift displays floor 3,
presumably meaning that they're going down.
Manufactured by: BBC DVD / 2|Entertain
Format: DVD -
Region 2 & 4 - PAL UK Episodic
18th July 2011
■ Commentary – with actress Judy Cornwell, writer
Stephen Wyatt, special sounds supervisor Dick Mills and
moderated by Mark Ayres.
■ Horror on the High Rise – Doctor Who composer Mark
Ayres presents a look at the making of Paradise Towers. With
actors Richard Briers, Howard Cooke and Catherine Cusack,
writer Stephen Wyatt, script editor Andrew Cartmel, original
score composer David Snell and replacement score composer Keff
■ Deleted and Extended Scenes – deleted and extended
scenes from the first edit of the story.
■ Continuity – continuity announcements from the story’s
■ Girls! Girls! Girls! – The Eighties – three actresses
who played companions in the 1980s – Sophie Aldred, Janet
Fielding and Sarah Sutton – discuss the trials and
tribulations of being a Doctor Who girl. Introduced by Peter
■ Casting Sylvester – Jigsaw producer Clive Doig
explains his relationship with Sylvester McCoy and his role in
the actor’s casting as the Seventh Doctor.
■ Photo Gallery – production, design and publicity
photos from the story.
■ Coming Soon – a trailer for a forthcoming DVD release.
■ Radio Times Listings in Adobe PDF format.
■ Programme subtitles.
■ Subtitle Production Notes.
Manufactured by: BBC Audio / AudioGO
5th April 2012
Complete and unabridged
novelisation, read by Bonnie Langford.
This is a 4 x CD set with a running time of 4 hours, 50
Manufactured by: Target
No.134 in the Target Doctor Who Library.