Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Temple of Evil 

The TARDIS arrives on Earth landing in 16th century Aztec society. Barbara goes off exploring - despite the Doctor's orders not to wander off - and is taken away by the high priest Autloc ... See full summary »


John Crockett


John Lucarotti




Episode complete credited cast:
William Hartnell ... Dr. Who
William Russell ... Ian Chesterton
Jacqueline Hill ... Barbara Wright
Carole Ann Ford ... Susan Foreman
Keith Pyott ... Autloc
John Ringham ... Tlotoxl
Ian Cullen ... Ixta
Margot Van der Burgh Margot Van der Burgh ... Cameca
Tom Booth Tom Booth ... First Victim
Dave Anderson Dave Anderson ... Aztec Captain (as David Anderson)


The TARDIS arrives on Earth landing in 16th century Aztec society. Barbara goes off exploring - despite the Doctor's orders not to wander off - and is taken away by the high priest Autloc who believes she is the reincarnation of the goddess Yetaxa. They believe it is a sign that the rains - which are late - will now come. The high priest of sacrifice Tlotoxl recruits Ian to lead their army but he finds he has a rival in Ixta. Ian is less than comfortable with his role when he learns that they are to deliver the human sacrifice to the high priest at the rain ceremony. The Doctor emphasizes that they must not interfere with Aztec rituals, something that does not sit well with Barbara. Written by garykmcd

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


This story is on Netflix and is the only First Doctor story available. See more »


William Hartnell oversteps his mark during the first scene in the temple's main chamber after Barbara is deemed to be the spirit of Yetaxa. He delivers his subsequent dialogue with almost all of his face obscured by Barbara's headdress. See more »


[first lines]
Barbara Wright: Look at that!
Susan Foreman: I am.
Barbara Wright: It's an Aztec mask. He must have been a priest.
Susan Foreman: Oh, the Aztecs were Mexicans. We must be on Earth again. I wonder what year it is?
Barbara Wright: He must have died around 1430 I should think.
Susan Foreman: How do you know that?
Barbara Wright: All these things belong to the Aztecs' early period.
Susan Foreman: Now that's what I call really knowing your subject!
Barbara Wright: Ah well, that was one of my specialties, Susan.
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Featured in Tales of Isop (2005) See more »

User Reviews

The Temple of Evil
15 May 2020 | by guswhovianSee all my reviews

The TARDIS arrives in early 16th century Mexico. The travelers are soon cut off from the TARDIS, but Barbara is mistaken for the reincarnation of the goddess Yetaxa.

The Aztecs has a deservedly high reputation among Doctor Who fans, and "The Temple of Evil" is a fantastic opening episode. As the only one of John Lucarotti's three episodes for the series to survive, it's a treat. His writing is great, and the main cast are all on top form. Keith Pyott gives a touching performance as Autloc and John Ringham a suitably Shakespearean one as Tlotoxl. Then there's Barry Newberry's sumptuous set design, Daphne Dare's excellent costumes and Richard Rodney Bennett's exquisite incidental music.

However, the direction is terrible and there's a really bad fight scene. The camera work is incredibly bad; the camera actually bumps into a piece of scenery towards the end of the episode and the director seems to have trouble keeping the actors in frame occasionally.

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Release Date:

23 May 1964 (UK) See more »

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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