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Animals was the fifth episode of Series D it was first broadcast 26 October 1981.


From the VHS release:

Intent on recruiting experts in the fight against the Federation's pacification programme, Tarrant and Dayna set a course for Bucol 2 and Dayna's old lover and mentor Justin, renowned genetic engineer. Then the Scorpio comes under attack and Tarrant has to pull out, leaving Dayna down on the planet with Servalan on her way...


Tarrant and Dayna travel to the planet Bucol-2 aboard Scorpio, intending to contact Justin, Dayna's old tutor. Dayna teleports down to the surface and is attacked by a group of humanoid animals, before Justin gives her shelter in his bunker. Scorpio is attacked by Federation ships and Tarrant takes it out of orbit. With the ship damaged, he is ordered to return to Xenon for repairs. There, Vila is pressganged into entering the flooded engines to effect repairs.

Scorpio's unusual speed draws attention and a report reaches Servalan, who learns a classified Federation project took place on the planet during the Intergalactic War. She contacts her subordinate Borr and has him send Ardus, the only man left alive who knew about the project, to her in secret. Since Servalan is using her Sleer identity, when the blind Ardus mentions her name, she realises he has recognised her voice. After learning what little information Ardus has about the project, Servalan destroys his ship as it leaves in order to protect her identity.

Dayna tells Justin that Avon is hoping to recruit him against the Federation. Justin dismisses the possibility but is keen to spend more time with Dayna. He reveals he came to the planet as part of a Federation project to create radiation-proof soldiers by combining human and animal genes. The rest of the scientists were killed when their ship was shot down leaving the planet. Justin now hopes to complete the experiment and use the animals to rebuild areas contaminated by radiation.

Dayna attempts to convince the giant lead animal, Og, to submit to Justin's experiments but Og becomes enraged and throws her off a cliff. Unable to find her, Justin destroys his research in grief. Meanwhile, Servalan has arrived on the planet and Dayna is captured by her Mutoids. Servalan realises Dayna is in love with Justin and uses aversion therapy to convince her to hate him. As a result, Dayna lets Servalan and the Mutoids into Justin's bunker. Justin agrees to help Servalan gain control of the animals in return for Dayna being returned to normal, and Servalan sends the Mutoids to capture Og.

Avon, Tarrant and Soolin arrive at the bunker to find it wrecked. Avon attempts to contact Dayna and, with Servalan distracted reversing Dayna's conditioning, Justin is able to use her teleport bracelet to let Avon know the location of the Federation ship. The trio attack the ship and kill all three Mutoids in a gun battle, although Og is also killed by a stray shot. Dayna escapes the ship in the confusion but Servalan kills Justin when he tries to follow, dumping his body outside the ship as she departs. Dayna grieves for Justin's death.



  • Production Manager - Ralph Wilton
  • Production Associate - Frank Pendlebury
  • Production Assistant - Valerie Turner
  • Assistant Floor Manager - Josephine Ward
  • Film Cameraman - Fintan Sheehan
  • Film Sound - John Tellick
  • Film Editor - Sheila S. Tomlinson
  • Videotape Editor - Malcolm Banthorpe
  • Visual Effects Designer - Jim Francis, Andy Lazell
  • Video Effects - Robin Lobb
  • Graphic Designer - Dick Bailey
  • Properties Buyer - Francis Smith
  • Technical Manager - Terry Brett
  • Senior Cameraman - Dave White
  • Vision Mixer - Nigel Finnis
  • Studio Lighting - Warwick Fielding
  • Studio Sound - Malcolm Johnson
  • Special Sound - Elizabeth Parker
  • Costume Designer - Nicholas Rocker
  • Make Up Artist - Suzanne Jansen
  • Music By - Dudley Simpson
  • Series Created By - Terry Nation

Story notes[]

  • This was the last of five episodes written by Allan Prior, making him the show's third most prolific writer after Terry Nation and Chris Boucher.
  • Kevin Stoney, who appears as Ardus, was previously Joban in "Horizon".
  • Early drafts of the episode had Cally in the role given to Dayna, with Dayna in the role given to Soolin.
  • This is the only fourth season episode to feature Mutoids, last seen in "Moloch", who now have gold blonde wigs rather than the tight helmets seen before. The change in costume is not specified.
  • Several of the actors playing the animals had to be treated in a nearby hospital for facial burns, caused by a severe reaction to the spirit gum and latex masks used for the costumes.
  • Josette Simon injured her leg whilst riding one of the trikes. *edit: what trikes? The ones in Stardrve?
  • The episode was inspired by The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells.



Filming locations[]

Woodlands near Horley, Surrey

Production errors[]

To be added.


  • Servalan's new identity and her disposing of anyone who knew her before was established in "Traitor".
  • Scorpio's ability to outrun Federation pursuit ships at a reported speed of Time Distort 12 is a result of having had the photonic drive fitted in "Stardrive".


Vila: Why do I get all the dirty jobs?
Soolin: Typecasting?

Vila: This isn't fair, you know.
Avon: It's pretty foul, by the looks of it.

Home video releases[]

Series 4 DVD

DVD cover

  • Original BBC video release (Volume 22) in 1992.
  • Fabulous Films video reissue (Volume 22) on 6 September 1999.
  • DVD release as part of the Series 4 box set on 24 April 2006.

External links[]