The Valley of Death was originally a story idea by producer Philip Hinchcliffe, thinking he'd like to do a story set in the Amazon. He had mentioned this story idea to a few writers including Robert Holmes, but he and none of the other writers were either particularly taken to the idea or understood it and it was quietly forgotten about. (DOC: Moving On)
About 35 years later, Big Finish Productions resurrected the original idea from Hinchcliffe and adapted it to audio using a script written by Jonathan Morris. It was then released as a four-part adventure starring Tom Baker and Louise Jameson.
A century after his great-grandfather Cornelius vanished in the Amazon rainforest, Edward Perkins is journeying to the depths of the jungle to find out what became of his ancestor's lost expedition. Intrigued by what appears to be a description of a crashed spacecraft in the diaries of that first voyage, the Doctor and Leela join him on his quest. But when their plane runs into trouble and ends up crash landing, everyone gets more than they bargained for.
The jungle is filled with giant creatures and angry tribesmen, all ready to attack. But in the famed lost city of the Maygor tribe, something far, far worse is lurking. Something with an offer to make to mankind. Who are the Lurons and can they be trusted? Will the Doctor defeat the plans of the malevolent Godrin or will he become just another victim of the legendary Valley of Death?
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- The Doctor - Tom Baker
- Leela - Louise Jameson
- Emissary Godrin/ Dr. Summersby/ Announcer - Nigel Carrington
- Overlord Saldor/ Newsreader - Delia Lindsay
- Valerie Carlton - Jane Slavin
- Edward Perkins - Anthony Howell
- Professor Cornelius Perkins - David Killick
- General Hemmings/ Valcon/ Taxi Driver - Richard Bremmer
- According to his diary, Professor Cornelius Perkins and his expedition discovered "a frog the size of a rhinoceros" with the leg of one of the natives in its mouth while searching for the city of the Maygor tribe, the legendary Lost City of Gold, in the Valley of Death in the Amazon on 1 May 1873.
- The Doctor is still officially UNIT's scientific adviser. At the insistence of UNIT, he and Leela join Edward Perkins' expedition to the Amazon to learn the fate of his great-grandfather as scientific observers. From the evidence presented in his diary, UNIT HQ believes that Professor Perkins discovered a crashed alien spaceship in 1873.
- At the time of his disappearance in 1873, Professor Perkins had a wife and at least two children, one of whom went on to become Edward's paternal grandfather.
- The Valley of Death is also known as the Second Bermuda Triangle as planes passing over it frequently experience problems with their equipment and occasionally even crash.
- The Doctor, Leela, Edward and Valerie find the remnants of a Ford Trimotor aeroplane known as a Tin Goose from the 1930s and a Douglas D-C4 aeroplane from the 1950s in the rainforest.
- In the Valley of Death, time passes at a considerably slower rate than elsewhere on Earth and throughout the universe as it exists within a time bubble. Although 104 years have passed in the outside world, only a month has gone by from Professor Perkins' perspective since he discovered the alien spacecraft. Consequently, once the time dilation device is deactivated and the Doctor, Leela, Edward, and Valerie return to London in the company of Godrin, they find that more than two years have passed since their departure and that it is now 1979. From their perspectives, however, they had only spent a day or so in the Valley of Death.
- Godrin's ship is equipped with a gravity inversion drive.
- The Doctor accuses Godrin as "doing the Wizard of Oz number" as he pretended to be the god of the Maygor tribe.
- The Luron mothership is in orbit of Jupiter in 1979.
- A taxi driver brings Godrin to the BBC Television Centre. Given his yellow skin and pointed ears, he believes that Godrin is a method actor working on a science fiction television series who is wearing prosthetic make-up.
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is at a conference involving fishing stocks in Oslo, Norway. In his absence, General Reginald Hemmings is the acting commander of the British division of UNIT.
- Godrin interrupts the third episode of a serial being broadcast on BBC1 in order to contact the Luron mothership using a radio telescope.
- When the Luron mothership is detected approaching Earth, the Soviet Union places its entire nuclear weapons' arsenal at UNIT's disposal.
- The Luron mothership is more than a mile across. After entering Earth's atmosphere, it hovers above Windsor Castle. According to a BBC newscaster, Elizabeth II is not in residence.
- The Doctor refers to the 1956 science fiction film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, claiming the Lurons' plot is essentially the film's storyline in fast forward as a result of the effects of the Luron time dilation field.
- After AUDIO: Hexagora and AUDIO: The Foe from the Future, this is the third Lost Story to feature scenes set in 1977.
- As the British Prime Minister is repeatedly referred to as "she", the third and fourth episodes must take place after Margaret Thatcher achieved that position on 4 May 1979.
- This audio drama was recorded on 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 September 2011.
- The Doctor previously encountered giant spiders, namely the Eight Legs, on their home planet of Metebelis III towards the end of his third incarnation. (TV: Planet of the Spiders) He encountered them once again in London in 2015 during his eighth incarnation. (AUDIO: The Eight Truths, AUDIO: Worldwide Web)
- Leela and Edward are incapacitated through the use of a poison dart tipped with a paralysing agent which she erroneously believes to be a janis thorn. After regaining consciousness, she tells Edward that the face of Xoanon was carved into a mountain on her native planet. Furthermore, she mentions that she is easily at home in a jungle as she comes from one. (TV: The Face of Evil)
- The Fourth Doctor was previously duplicated by the Kraals, who created an android copy of him as part of their attempted invasion of Earth. (TV: The Android Invasion)
- Leela refers to her temporary blindness, which resulted from witnessing the destruction of the Rutan Host's mothership over Fang Rock in the 1900s. (TV: Horror of Fang Rock) She would be blinded once again, for a considerably longer period, during the Gallifreyan Civil War (AUDIO: Fractures) but her sight was eventually restored through the transfusion of Vampire blood on the Gallifrey of an alternative timeline (AUDIO: Annihilation).
- Official The Valley of Death page at bigfinish.com
- DisContinuity for The Valley of Death at Tetrapyriarbus - The DisContinuity Guide