Friday, 12 September 2014

042 The Reign of Terror Episode 6: Prisoners of Conciergerie

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Episode 6: Prisoners of Conciergerie
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 042
STORY NUMBER: 008
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 12 September 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror

"The events will happen, just as they are written. I'm afraid so and we can't stem the tide. But at least we can stop being carried away with the flood!"

LeMaitre tells Jules & the Tardis travellers that he arranged Ian's release: he is James Stirling. He promises no harm will come to Susan but wants their assistance. Ian passes the message from Webster on to him and tells him to return to England. Robespierre has ordered Lemaitre/Stirling to follow a Paul Barras: Ian recognises the name: Webster had mentioned the name in conjunction with a meeting at the Sinking Ship, which is an Inn on the Calais road. Ian & Barbara, along with Jules, agree to attend the meeting for Stirling and obtain the information. They lock the Inn Keeper in the cellar and substitute for him. Barras arrives, wondering where the Inn Keeper is but Ian tells him that he's sick. He is expecting one guest for the meeting. The guest arrives after the inn empties, he and Barras meet in the back room. The guest is General Napoleon Bonaparte. They discuss arresting Robespierre at the meeting the next day and using Bonaparte as a leader. Bonaparte accepts Barras' plan. Ian & Barbara pass the information to an astonished Stirling and The Doctor & Barbara go to rescue Ian while Stirling & Ian go to warn Robespierre. Soldiers have come to arrest Robespierre who is shot & wounded trying to escape: Ian & Stirling have arrived too late and history takes its course as The Doctor & Barbara knew it would. The Doctor confronts the perpetually intoxicated jailer spinning him a story which he falls for, again, claiming that LeMaitre was shot in the removal of Robespierre and was in league with the Jailer He has the jailer seized by his own guards and coerces him into releasing Susan to him. The Doctor sees Robespierre being delivered to the prison. Ian tells Jules that Bonaparte will be the next ruler of France. The travellers escape Paris together, leaving Stirling & Jules speculating where they are bound for. They return to the TARDIS and depart Earth.

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DOCTOR: Well, it's hardly fair to speculate, is it? No, I'm afraid you belittle things. Our lives are important, at least to us. But as we see, so we learn.

IAN: And what are we going to see and learn next, Doctor?

DOCTOR: Well, unlike the old adage, my boy, our destiny is in the stars, so let's go and search for it.

vlcsnap-2014-06-07-08h55m57s67 There's a jarring moment at the start of this episode where everyone stands still in the middle of a dramatic scene while the episode title and writer credit are displayed! A production device much of it's time!

The episode then takes a turn into subterfuge and almost spy drama territory as Ian & Barbara disguise themselves in the Inn to observe Barras and his guest, with the stormy weather acting as a dramatic backdrop to the importance of the meeting taking place....

Both of the characters meeting in the Inn are known historical figures:

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The more famous one is General Napoleon Bonaparte, on the left, played by Tony Wall. The Doctor's not present for this encounter but later claims to have met Napoleon in Day of the Daleks.

The man on the right is Paul Barras, a lesser known figure but one who was known to be involved in the downfall of Robespierre. Their encounter at the Inn is a fictional invention, but the use of the name The Sinking Ship is a nice metaphor for the Robespierre administration at this point!. Barras is played by John Law who, like Jules' actor Donald Morley, has a Doomwatch appearance to his name as Pegg in The Devil's Sweets.

vlcsnap-2014-06-07-09h13m09s148 Thanks to certain events in this episode this is the first episode, and thus story, we can accurately date with any certainty. At the Inn Barras mentions that

"Robespierre will be arrested after tomorrow's convention meeting."

We know the date of Robespierre's arrest: it's 27th July 1794 So the events of this serial must all occur in the run up to that day. In fact we see the arrest on screen, which becomes the first documented historical event shown in the series.

This then provokes some discussion between The Doctor & Barbara:

DOCTOR: What is it? What do you find so amusing, hmm?
BARBARA: Oh, I don't know. Yes, I do. It's this feverish activity to try and stop something that we know is going to happen. Robespierre will be guillotined whatever we do.
DOCTOR: I've told you of our position so often.
BARBARA: Yes, I know. You can't influence or change history. I learnt that lesson with the Aztecs.
DOCTOR: The events will happen, just as they are written. I'm afraid so and we can't stem the tide. But at least we can stop being carried away with the flood! Now, Susan and the prison.
A nice little call back to the Aztecs there!

vlcsnap-2014-06-07-09h19m19s238 As the episode progresses we're treated to a final encounter between between The Doctor and the Prison Warder

Hartnell's disguise as an authority figure and his encounters with the Jailer have been one of the highlights of this serial!

Towards the end Jules talks about finding Jean: there's no mention of his sister Danielle who disappears without trace mid serial not to be seen or mentioned again!

It really is another cracking episode this, neatly rounding off the story and resolving all the outstanding plot points. Dennis Spooner's experience & talent in writing for Television is obvious here, and Hartnell has obviously risen to the script and the opportunity for comedy presented to him with the chain gang master and the drunkard jailer. An Unearthly Child remains my favourite episode this season but I think Reign of Terror may be my favourite story. It gets better every time I see it!

This is the first story that the Doctor visits Paris in, but he'd be back several times making Paris the Doctor's second most visited place on Earth. He would return in The Massacre, set in 1572 as opposed to Reign of Terror's 1794, but a few years later for the Doctor. At some point he meets Napoleon, or at least he claims to have in Day of the Daleks ("Do you know, I remember saying to old Napoleon. Boney, I said, always remember an army marches on its stomach." Presumably this encounter, if it took place is also in Paris. He returns to Paris in 1979 to foil the plot of Scaroth, the last of the Jagaroth in City of Death and has various visits from 1727 onwards during the course of the new series story The Girl in the Fireplace.

There's a little gem tucked away in this story that will raise a giggle with latter day Doctor Who fans. James Sterling, the British Spy (echoes of James Bond?) has adopted the alias LeMaitre which in French means The Master!

Reign of Terror marks the close of Doctor Who's first season. 33 of it's 42 episodes still exist for us to watch. By the time the series ended it was an obvious success. But the Doctor Who team didn't stop filming here, two more stories were filmed for the start of to the next series. One was an idea that had been on the table since day 1 of the series, and indeed had originally been intended to launch Doctor Who. The other would bring back a favourite villain from the first year of Doctor Who and in the process change the show forever.

I had it in my head that the first season was the longest in Doctor Who's history: It isn't:

Season Episodes Missing Remaining
1 42 9 33
2 39 2 37
3 45 28 17
4 43 33 10
5 40 18 22
6 44 7 37

It's the fourth longest behind Series 3, 6 & 4.

Season 7 onwards has a drastic reduction in the number of episodes. It's also the point where the series starts to be made in colour and from where we have all the episodes.

On the missing episodes front, Season 1 is missing just 9 episodes, behind the 7 of Season 6 and just 2 of series 2.

Green=Complete
Orange=Partial/Some episodes exist
RED=Missing

SEASON 1 1963-1964 EPISODES
(STORIES Stories)
IN ARCHIVE MISSING IN ARCHIVE MISSING STATUS
An Unearthly Child 4 1,2,3,4 - 4 0 COMPLETE
The Daleks 7 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 - 7 0 COMPLETE
The Edge of Destruction 2 1,2 - 2 0 COMPLETE
Marco Polo 7 - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7 0 7 MISSING
The Keys of Marinus 6 1,2,3,4,5,6 - 6 0 COMPLETE
The Aztecs 4 1,2,3,4 - 4 0 COMPLETE
The Sensorites 6 1,2,3,4,5,6 - 6 0 COMPLETE
The Reign of Terror 6 1,2,3,6 4,5 4 2 PARTIAL
SEASON 1 TOTAL 42
(8 Stories)
    33 9 78.58%

Following the broadcast of this episode Doctor Who was off the air for the next six weeks returning on 31st October 1964 with Planet of Giants part 1.

Episode 6 of the Reign of Terror was missing from the archives but was recovered from an unnamed film collector by Ian Levine & collector Bruce Campbell in May 1982. The copy they recovered is a stored field recording. Some years later in 1984 a second copy of episode 6 along with the then missing episodes 1-3 was recovered from a TV station in Cyprus. These prints were found to be lesser quality suppressed field recordings. Following these recoveries the film collector made contact again because he was now in possession of a copy of episode three that, while damaged, was again a superior stored field recording. So although six episodes of the Reign of Terror have been returned to the BBC, sadly two of these are duplicates and two episodes - four and five - remain missing to this day.

Reign of Terror was novelised by former Doctor Who companion turned writer Ian Marter and was released in 1987 a few months after his death.

The Reign of Terror is the last story in Doctor Who's first season and also one of the last pair of VHS releases (The other was Invasion of the Dinosaurs iirc). I bought the VHS set this was in in the shops the day it came out (Blackstar didn't find me a copy in time). The other tape in the box, the remaining orphaned Troughton episodes, went straight in the player and was loved & cherished. Reign of Terror however sat on the shelf. When I finished work due to ill health in 2005 one of the first things I did was polish off the last four Doctor Who stories that existed that I hadn't seen. Keys of Marinus was one, this was the second. The remaining two were the Romans, which we'll come to shortly, and the Dominators, which is some way in the future.

As I've said the VHS release of this pack completed the remaining orphaned Troughton episodes but it also marked the point where every episode of Doctor Who was available on VHS. Less than 2 months later, in January 2004 another episode was returned to the BBC, Dalek Masterplan 2: Day of Armageddon, meaning the VHS releases of the episodes were now no longer complete. In the intervening years a further 11 missing episodes of Doctor who have been found.

Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror was released on DVD on 28th January 2013.

Friday, 5 September 2014

041 The Reign of Terror Episode 5: A Bargain of Necessity

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Episode 5: A Bargain of Necessity
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 041
STORY NUMBER: 008
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 05 September 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror

"If you want your granddaughter released, you will have to take me to his hideout!"

Léon Colbert wants information on Jules' organisation. He is the traitor that Jules suspected. Barbara and the Doctor are still be eavesdropped on by Lemaitre, but he's summoned away by the jailer. Lemaitre orders Susan is kept locked in her cell, but the Doctor has a plan to rescue her. He convinces the jailer to release Barbara supposedly so that she can be followed to her friends. Jules returns home to find an empty house. Leon is searching for James Stirling and believes Ian can lead him to him. Ian tells Leon his story but he doesn't believe him. Jules arrives and rescues Ian, killing Leon Colbert. The Doctor tells Susan he is there and then blames the Jailer for Barbara's escape. Robespierre & Lemaitre discuss a forthcoming meeting: Robespierre is paranoid that people are plotting against him led by Deputy Paul Barrass. Barbara & Ian are reunited at Jules house. Ian tells how Colbert betrayed him. The Doctor knocks the jailer out and free Susan but they're intercepted by Lemaitre. Susan is returned to the cell while Lemaitre is interviewed by Lemaitre who shows the Doctor his ring that he used to bargain for the clothes. Lemaitre wants the Doctor to assist him, he is trying to contact Jules Renan and in return he will arrange Susan's release. The Doctor arrives at Renan's house with Lemaitre: Jules is immediately convinced the Doctor has betrayed them!

Still good, enjoying this story.

Ian's confession to Leon Colbert is worth drawing attention to as it's one of the first times The Tardis Crew admit how they came to be there:

LEON: I really don't understand what you hope to gain. If I don't get the information from you, I shall find it elsewhere. Now be sensible. Save yourself from the guillotine.
IAN: You wouldn't believe my story anyway.
LEON: Suppose you let me be the judge of that. How did you get to France?
IAN: You really want to know, eh?
LEON: The truth?
IAN: Oh yes, it's the truth all right.
LEON: You swear it?
IAN: Yes, I swear it. I flew here with three friends in a small box. When I left England it was 1963.
It receives a predictably disbelieving response!

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The action sequence that follows is well animated but it would be nice to see the original live action version. Sadly it doesn't survive because like episode 4 this episode was missing from the BBC archives and wasn't part of the haul recovered from Cyprus that made up the other episodes of this serial. Neither does the action sequence survive as one of the clips from this episode filmed by an Australian fan with an 8mm camera.

The clips consist of:

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Barbara in her cell, talking to the Doctor
(4 seconds)
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Barbara remarking on the Doctor's disguise
(3 seconds)
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Ian talking to Leon in the crypt
(1 second)
The Doctor talking
(1 second)
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The Doctor talking
(1 second)
Ian and Barbara at Jules' House
(1 Second)

Clips ID Source: Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes

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Like Ronald Pickup, playing the physician in the previous episode no visual record remains of Terry Bale's only on screen Doctor Who appearance as the Soldier. However we do hear him again many years later when he provides the voice for Arcturus in Curse of Peladon episodes 1-3.

Reign of Terror marks the début on Doctor Who of Dennis Spooner. With a number of television writing jobs under his belt already he'd go on to write three more Doctor Who stories and take the chair as Doctor Who's second script editor. He would later mainly work for ITV & Lew Grade's ITC creating & contributing to a large number of very famous shows including a trio of Gerry Anderson puppet shows Fireball XL5, Stingray & Thunderbirds plus their live action successor UFO, The Baron, Man in a Suitcase, The Avengers, The Champions, Department S and it's successor Jason King, Randall & Hopkirk Deceased, Doomwatch, The New Avengers, The Professionals, Bergerac and Remington Steele. There's a good chance, even if you're not a sci fi or cult TV fan, that you've seen something this man wrote. He died in 1986 at the early age of 53. There's an excellent tribute of the Doctor Who: The Romans DVD, his second story for the series.

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The Doctor spends most of this story dressed up as a French Official starting a trend of the Doctor disguising himself or being mistaken for someone else that continues through the series. Other examples include Hartnell being mistaken for Zeus in the Myth Makers and Jimmy Saville in the War Machines, Troughton pretending to be the German Doctor Von Wer and an Old Crone in the Highlanders, a gypsy Sooth sayer in the Underwater Menace plus his double Salamander in Enemy of the World, Pertwee as a medical Doctor in Spearhead form Space and a cleaning lady & Milkman in the Green Death and Tom Baker as a guard in Genesis of the Daleks & Masque of Mandragora plus as a masked clone in the Leisure Hive. And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

The DVD commentary for this episode consists of Toby Hadoke interviewing Paul Vanezies, who contributed to the finding of episodes 1-3 of this serial, and the then unknown Phil Morris who was apparently scouring Africa for missing BBC material and had returned a missing Sky at Night print to the BBC. Quite what Morris was doing there wasn't 100% apparent at the time of the DVD release in early 2013 as other people, notably Ian Levene, Steve Roberts and Ralph Montague had played parts in returning Doctor Who to the BBC while Richard Molesworth was an acknowledged expert who'd written Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes, a book on the matter. Phil Morris' importance would only become obvious several months later....

So what's the chances of seeing this episode and it's predecessor again? Surprisingly good, in fact probably better than any other episodes of Doctor Who! Eight countries who bought this story have been unable to account for their prints of these episodes which is a greater number of potential prints sitting in TV vaults than for any other Doctor Who episode:

STORY PRINTS
Dalek Masterplan 7: The Feast of StevenNever telerecorded
Mission to Unknown
remaining Dalek Masterplan episodes
Never sold abroad
Tenth Planet
Power of the Daleks
The Highlanders
The Underwater Menace
The Moonbase
The Macra Terror
Evil of The Daleks
Sold abroad, but all prints accounted for
Galaxy Four
Myth Makers
Massacre
Celestial Toymaker
The Savages
The Smugglers
all sold to Sierra Leone
Ice Warriors
Web of Fear
Fury from the Deep
Invasion
Space Pirates
all sold to Gibraltar and unaccounted for
Abominable Snowmen
Wheel in Space
Sold to Nigeria (with EotW and WoF)
and to Gibraltar and unaccounted for
The CrusadeSold to Three countries which are unaccounted for:

Gibraltar
Ethiopia
Jamaica

Macro PoloSold to Five countries which are unaccounted for:

Ethiopia
Jamaica
Malta
Thailand
Mauritus

Reign of TerrorSold to Eight countries which are unaccounted for:

Gibraltar
Ethiopia
Jamaica
Malta
Thailand
Aden
Trinidad & Tobago
Rhodesia

Friday, 29 August 2014

040 The Reign of Terror Episode 4: The Tyrant of France

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Episode 4: The Tyrant of France
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 040
STORY NUMBER: 008
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 29 August 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror

"You walked right into my trap, didn't you?"

The Doctor is escorted by Citizen Lemaitre to the palace used by First Deputy Robspierre. He and the Doctor discuss Paris and the revolution.

vlcsnap-2014-06-05-15h56m13s96The Doctor is escorted by Citizen Lemaitre to the palace used by First Deputy Robspierre. He and the Doctor discuss Paris and the revolution.

Susan is being looked after in Jules house, his sister Danielle brings Susan a glass of Brandy to warm her. Danielle is a little antagonistic to the visitors, but Barbara is getting on fine with Léon Colbert who goes to seek Jules & Jean. After everyone has gone to bed Jules & Jean arrive home bearing an unconscious body: they have captured someone. The Doctor & Lemaitre return to the prison where Lemaitre convinces the Doctor to stay the night and to see Robspierre again tomorrow. Lemaitre meets the tailor and is shown the ring. Trying to leave the Doctor is threatened at gunpoint by the jailer and made to stay. The tailor tells Lemaitre what has happened and how the Doctor obtained the clothes & paper. Barbara discovers the man brought to the house is Ian and is pleased to be reunited. Ian discovers Jules is Jules Renan who Webster told him to contact - he passes the message about James Stirling on but Jules doesn't know who he is. Jean will go to the house in the country to seek the Doctor. Barbara will accompany Susan to the physician while Ian meets a colleague of Jules. She is diagnosed with a feverish chill, but the physician is suspicious of her and locks them in his office while he goes to the prison and summons the jailer & his guards, who re-arrest the women. Ian worries about them so Jules goes to fetch them. At the prison Susan is flung in a cell while Barbara is taken to be interrogated by the visiting regional office - the Doctor. But their conversation is overheard by Lemaitre. Ian is ambushed at his meeting by Léon Colbert and some soldiers.

As discussed under episode 1, the Cyprus copies of episodes 4 & 5, as well as their duplicate of The Aztecs 2, were destroyed when the Cypriot National Film Archive was shelled in the 1974 coup. Episodes 1-3 & 6 survived and were returned to the BBC. To bridge the missing episodes on video narration was recorded by Carol Anne Ford.

However some very brief glimpses of these episodes are available courtesy of some 8mm film recorded by a fan in Australia by pointing his camera at the television screen. Frustratingly they're not on The Reign of Terror DVD but can be found on disc 1 of Doctor Who - Lost In Time.

The clips consist of:

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The Doctor in Robespierre's office
(1 second)
Ian talking in Jules' house after his escape
(3 seconds)
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Ian talking in Jules' house the next morning
(1 second)
Susan lying down in the surgery
(1 second)
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Susan looking Worried
(2 seconds)
Barbara trying to open the surgery door
(1 second)

Clips ID Source: Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes

When we watched the episode for the first run of the blog this was both the first episode in 2011 and we switched media mid story for the first time to listen to this and the next episode on CD. I made the following comment on the episode.

Less of the Doctor in this one and flatter as a result. I suspect it would be better with visuals.
However now the story is available on DVD we *do* have some visuals to look at.

Two methods have evolved for portraying missing Doctor Who episodes from nearly complete stories: Reconstructions using John Cura's Telesnaps and the recorded off air soundtracks or marrying the soundtrack to new animation. See Marco Polo episodes 4 the Wall of Lies, 5 Rider from Shang-Tu and 6 Mighty Kublai Kahn for details. Although Telesnaps were taken for Reign of Terror they no longer exist and so for episodes 4 & 5 animation was used for the visuals.

The animation certainly adds something here. OK yes the audio is rough as at the start of the episode but it picks up at 15:20 in. The absence of the Doctor is still felt though, this is really his companions struggling without him there.

The animators had little to go on with this episode but they've not done a bad job: compare this screen cap of Susan from the 8mm footage to the animation:

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One of the frustrating things about the 8mm footage, which concentrates on the main cast, is that you hear, but don't see, the physician speaking:

"your symptoms would suggest you haven't been looking after yourself"
vlcsnap-2014-06-05-16h16m28s195 Here's his animated version:

The physician only appears in this episode and it's a first TV role for actor Ronald Pickup who's appeared in many TV productions but never returned to Doctor Who! The commentary for this episode on the DVD is made up entirely of an interview he gives to Toby Hadoke.

Also appearing in this episode for the first time is Citizen Robespierre, played by Keith Anderson. He's in the next episode, also missing, but we can see him in the last. His the third historical figure encountered by the Doctor after Marco Polo & Kublai Kahn.

Friday, 22 August 2014

039 The Reign of Terror Episode 3: A Change of Identity

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Episode 3: A Change of Identity
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 039
STORY NUMBER: 008
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 22 August 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch (and John Gorrie Uncredited)
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror

"What is it?"
"Evidence against a traitor!"

The Doctor arrives in Paris. Two men, Jules & Jean, plot to hijack the party travelling to the guillotine. Susan is taken ill on the journey just as Jules & Jean arrive and rescue them. The Doctor visits a tailor and acquires a new set of clothes to disguise himself as an official, planning to sneak into the prison to rescue his friends. He bargains his clothes and ring for the new clothes and some parchment to write with. Jules takes the girls to his house, he wants to smuggle them out of France but they're worried for the Doctor and Ian. Ian escapes from his cell, passing the drunk jailer but is observed by Citizen Lemaitre. Barbara & Susan tell Jules their story. Jules & Jean recognise the description of the house and men. They had previously rescued the men and were getting them out the country. The deduce someone has informed on them. Léon Colbert arrives bringing them news of a stranger watching the prison. Jules & Jean depart to see who it is, leaving Barbara flirting with Leon. A splendidly attired Doctor arrives at the prison with faked credentials and rouses the jailer. The jailer tells the Doctor of Susan & Barbara's rescue and Ian's escape. The Doctor meets Citizen Lemaitre, who taken in by the Doctor's disguise as an official, wants the Doctor to come with him to palace to see First Deputy Robespierre to discuss the province the Doctor supposedly represents. The tailor arrives at the prison seeking Citizen Lemaitre. He has the Doctor's ring, which he says is evidence that he's a traitor.

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Another good episode, another great turn from Hartnell who's revelling in the comedy given him here. He's not in these episodes enough!

Is this the first time that the Doctor's ring takes a large part in proceedings? I think it is. OK so it doesn't demonstrate some of the properties it does later, becoming something of great importance by the end of Hartnell era and almost a prototype sonic scredriver, but this is it's first use as a plot device here playing something of value to the Doctor.

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OK so Susan and Barbara are being taken to the Guillotine in a cart. There's a third person in the cart, and judging by their dress they're French nobility, and not a guard, so they're on their way to the guillotine too. Yet they just disappear when Jules & Jean attack! And speaking of which....

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Jules is played by Donald Morley later to appear as Air Commodore Parks in Survival Code & You Killed Toby Wren, two episodes of Doomwatch, an early 70s series developed by two Doctor Who veterans. Jules' sister Danielle is played by Caroline Hunt who'll return as a Technician in Frontier in Space: Episode Three.

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Jean, Jules' "young friend" (to quote the dialogue!), who is on the right in this picture is played by Roy Herrick who'll return as a voice of Xoanon in The Face of Evil: Part Four and Parsons in The Invisible Enemy parts 2 & 3.

But on the left, and nearly unrecognisable without the beard he later grows, is Edward Brayshaw as Léon Colbert. He plays a significant later role in the series appearing as The War Chief, another renegade member of the Doctor's race, in episodes 3-9 of The War Games. He'll later feature in Moonbase 3, like Doomwatch a series developed by Doctor Who staff members, as Adam Blaney in Achilles Heel. But to people of my generation he is best known as Mister Meeker in Rentaghost!

The director for this story if the Hungarian born Henric Hirsch. By all accounts it wasn't an enjoyable experience for him and he collapsed during the production of this episode leading to John Gorrie, who'd previously directed The Keys of Marinus, taking charge, uncredited for this episode. Hirsch returned for the following episode with some of the directing duties taken on by the story's production assistant Timothy Combe who would himself later direct The Silurians and The Mind of Evil.

As we said during Episode 1, Episode 6 was recovered by Ian Levine & collector Bruce Campbell in May 1982 and Episodes 1-3 of this serial were recovered from Cyprus in 1984 as suppressed field recordings. However shortly afterwards in early 1985 the person who sold Bruce Campbell Reign of Terror 6 came forward again, now in possession of a copy of Reign of Terror 3 which, while damaged, was found to be a superior quality stored field recording. Watching the episode on DVD shows it to be noticeably superior in quality to the previous two.

The new Doctor Who Magazine, issue 477, came out yesterday and their Fact of Fiction article also looks at the Reign of Terror. I wrote all six of these before looking at their article honest governor!

Friday, 15 August 2014

038 The Reign of Terror Episode 2: Guests of Madame Guillotine

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Episode 2: Guests of Madame Guillotine
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 038
STORY NUMBER: 008
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 15 August 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror

"Oh, we've been lucky. We can't go on being lucky. Things catch up with you. "

Before we kick off: what's significant about this episode of Doctor Who? The answer will follow after I watch it!

Actually the very start of the episode is a bit odd because the title of the episode isn't the first wording we see on the screen, which would be the usual convention, it's preceded by the caption Paris appears before episode title Guests of Madam Guillotine appears:

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The Doctor is unconscious and trapped in the blazing house. We cut to pictures of Paris and a dropping guillotine. The other three Travellers are taken to court where they are sentenced to death and taken to the cells to await execution by guillotine. Barbara attracts the attention of the Jailer but spurns him so ends up in the cell with Susan while Ian is held separately, The Doctor has been rescued by the boy we saw in the previous episode, who tells him the soldiers have taken his friends. The Doctor leaves on foot for Paris to rescue his friends walking through the fields till he finds a road. Susan is worried about the Doctor and hopes he has survived. Barbara wants to escape, but attempts are thwarted by the return of the guards. Ian shares a cell with another Englishman, Webster, who is dying from his wounds, who tells him war between England & France is near. He tells Ian to find James Stirling and get him to return to England with the information he possesses. He says Stirling may be found through Jules Renan at the sign of "Le Chien Gris" and dies. The Doctor encounters a chain gang of tax dodgers on the road. Antagonising the gangmaster and being unable to produce papers, the Doctor is forced into working with them digging a road.

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Barbara's attempts at levering a block out the cell wall aren't going well, and Susan fares no better. They are about to be discovered by the jailer when Citizen Lemaitre, his superior, arrives to see Webster's body. The jailer tells Lemaitre he heard the prisoners speak, and while Webster's body is being removed Susan is scared by the rats in her cell! The Doctor & the chain gang distract the gang master with talk of an eclipse so the Doctor can steel his keys. Duping the gang master again with a coin they've found the chain gang knock him out with a spade and escape allowing the Doctor to continue his journey to Paris. He stops to rest on a Paris 5km marker. As Susan & Barbara are brought from their cells they discover Ian has been crossed off the death list by Lemaitre. Ian watches from his cell window as the women are taken away to the guillotine.

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Wow, that's top stuff. Probably the best episode of the series since the first. Hartnell is on towering form throughout - the scene with Hartnell & the boy is wonderful: Jean Pierre played by Peter Walker is the only guest actor in both of the first and second episodes!

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Then we get the comedy business with the chain gang which is very well done allowing Hartnell to bring his comic talents, honed over the years in film, to the fore. Interestingly this is the first time we've seen The Doctor by himself for an extended period of time! The rest of the Tardis crew are imprisoned throughout, with the hint of a quest for Ian and another wonderfully imperilled cliffhanger making this a great episode.

So what's significant about this episode? Well the scenes of the Doctor walking along the roads and in the fields are the very first location filming undertaken by the team. Ok, it's not William Hartnell being filmed, but his double Brian Proudfoot, who later returns as the cup bearer Tigilinus in The Romans episodes Two: All Roads Lead to Rome and Three: Conspiracy.

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Even so it adds some nice detail to the episode. Details of the locations in Buckinghamshire can be found on www.doctorwholocations.net. It's a small start, but much location work will follow including some splendid stuff in just two stories time. For more information on the locations used in Doctor Who visit the website linked above or track down a copy of Doctor Who on Location by Richard Bignell.

While we get a real world location appearing as French countryside in this episode, Paris is recreated in the studio. It's particularly worth drawing attention to The Conciergerie Prison depicted here which is a real life building in Paris that was used to house prisoners during the French Revolution!

I mentioned last episodes that the first three episodes of this series are preserved in the lower definition Suppressed Field format: here The Doctor's checked trousers cause it no end of problems with the pattern appearing to move about on screen as you're watching!

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The Road Work Overseer is played by Dallas Cavell who is a frequent returnee to Doctor Who appearing in The Dalek Masterplan 3: Devil's Planet as Bors, The Highlanders: Episode 2-as Captain Jebb Trask, The Ambassadors of Death: Episode 2-5 as Quinlan and Castrovalva: Part One as the Head of Security. James Cairncross appears here as Lemaitre and he'll be back as Beta in the Krotons while both Jack Cunningham, the Jailer, and Jeffrey Wickham, a former Equity president who died recently who is playing Webster here, have impressive TV acting CVs.

Friday, 8 August 2014

037 The Reign of Terror Episode 1: A Land of Fear

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Episode 1: A Land of Fear
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 037
STORY NUMBER: 008
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 08 August 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror

"The Doctor's put us down right in the middle of the French Revolution!"

We open in woods as the Tardis materialises. The Doctor believes he has brought Ian & Barbara home. The Doctor & Susan come with them, the Doctor accepting Ian's invitation of a drink. Leaving the Tardis they hear gunfire. Ian finds a boy in the woods: he tells the party they are in France near Paris. The boy returns to a house: it doesn't look like the modern day. The TARDIS party find the house, and speculate if they are before their own time. They sneak inside and find candles to help them look round.

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They discover artifacts and clothes making them think they're in the 18th century, including a letter signed by Robspierre: The Doctor has landed them in the middle of the French Revolution. The Doctor is attacked and falls to the floor while the others change into the period clothes. They are held at gunpoint by two counter-revolutionaries, D'Argenson and Rouvray. Soldiers arrive, besieging the building and killing the revolutionaries. Ian, Barbara & Susan are captured and taken away while the house is set on fire with the Doctor trapped within.

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Yeah, not bad at all if a bit lingering on the setup though. We'll forgive it that because it is the first episode of a six part story! But it's got a real cliffhanger ending with the Doctor trapped in the burning house. There's a real sense of dramatic peril there missing from some previous cliffhangers. Hartnell's on fine form right the way through. When I went through the episode hunting for images to use I kept being drawn to The Doctor doing stuff.

As promised we return to the story of Doctor Who's missing episodes. No episodes of The Reign of Terror was found to remain at the BBC during Ian Levine's visits in the Seventies. Episode 6 was recovered by Ian Levine & collector Bruce Campbell in May 1982. Episodes 1-3 were returned together, along with a second copy of episode 6 and duplicates of the existing stories The Aztecs (Episodes 1, 3 & 4) and The Sensorites (all six episodes) in 1984. Independent enquiries by Levine and Paul Vanezies (now of the BBC & Doctor Who restoration Team) at a Cyprus TV station turned these episodes up in December 1984. They had held Reign of Terror 4 & 5 (and Aztecs 2) as well, but these were destroyed in 1974 when a shelling during a coup destroyed the Cyprus National Film archive. A large number of other missing BBC programs were retrieved from the same Cyprus archive. Oddly enough, shortly afterwards in early 1985 the person who sold Bruce Campbell Reign of Terror 6 came forward again, now in possession of a copy of Reign of Terror 3!

This is the state of play with the story as it stands today. When we watched the story for the first run of the blog, Reign of Terror was our first mixed story made up of 3 episodes of video, two on CD and a final video episode. Since then there's been A DVD release of The Reign of Terror in January 2013 so this makes this the first story that we're watching now on a different format to what I watched it on the first time and the first story that I had seen between watching it for the blog the first time and this repeat visit. The Aztecs had received an upgraded DVD since I saw it for the blog but for reasons outlined when I reblogged that story I'd not seen the new version of the Aztecs!

The prints for episodes 1-3 of this story that were returned from Cyprus are Suppressed Field film recordings, whereas most of Season 1 of Doctor Who, bar episodes 5 & 7 of the Daleks and the end of Edge of Destruction part 2, exists as Stored Field film recordings. Click the link to find out more, but the gist of it is that this print has a reduced definition as you might be able to spot from some of the screen grabs I've used. Nowhere is it more noticeable then in this shot from towards the end of the episode:

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If you look at the edges of Ian's top you can see that it's built up of lines rather than a smooth curve. A stored field recording has around 200 lines recorded rather than the 405 that were in use then, the 625 of BBC's colour transmissions or the 1025 of a high definition picture.

The higher quality Stored Field recordings of Season 1 and 2 which we have now would appear to have been made in 1967, as a second run of prints of these initial episodes. A season 2 episode, The Crusade part 1 The Lion, is also a Suppressed field recording but stored field prints are now believed to have been the standard from the start of the third season of Doctor Who as born out by the recent return of Galaxy Four episode 3 Airlock.

In the picture above the soldier with the eye patch, standing behind Ian, is James Hall who will return as Borkar in 1965's The Dalek Masterplan episodes 4 & 5, The Traitors and Counter Plot.

This first season of Doctor Who is the only point in the series entire history that the show was broadcast right the way through August with the Sensorites concluding on the first of August to be followed by the first four episodes of The Reign of Terror which continued into the first two Saturdays of September. Traditionally this time of year in the 1960s was when the series took it's annual holiday. Then in the 70s & 80s the series started either in January or in September. But I was surprised to find these episodes from the first year of the program weren't the only ones to air in August:

STORY EPISODE DATE
The Sensorites 6 01-Aug-1964
The Reign of Terror 1 08-Aug-1964
2 15-Aug-1964
3 22-Aug-1964
4 29-Aug-1964
The Dominators 1 10-Aug-1968
2 17-Aug-1968
3 24-Aug-1968
4 31-Aug-1968
The Leisure Hive 1 30-Aug-1980
Terror of the Zygons 1 30-Aug-1975

The Dominators is perhaps a slightly unusual case: the broadcast season started early due to a two week break later in the season for the Mexico Olympics between The Mind Robber 5 on 12-Oct-68 and The Invasion 1 on 02-Nov-68. Even so that would only account for the first two of the Saturdays broadcast in August....

The two later dates on the list correspond to the August bank holiday falling nearly at it's earliest and the Doctor Who season starting the Saturday after, as it tended to do with the coming of the Autumn scheduling.

To date just one new series episode has aired in August: Let's Kill Hitler on 27th August 2011 but the first two episodes featuring Peter Capaldi's Doctor are due to air on the 23rd & 30th August this month!

Friday, 1 August 2014

036 The Sensorites Episode 6: A Desperate Venture

EPISODE: The Sensorites Episode 6: A Desperate Venture
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 036
STORY NUMBER: 007
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 01 August 1964
WRITER: Peter R. Newman
DIRECTOR: Frank Cox
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Sensorites

"Grandfather and I don't come from Earth. Oh, it's ages since we've seen our planet. It's quite like Earth, but at night the sky is a burned orange, and the leaves on the trees are bright silver."

Part 6, last episode.

Carol has been seized by the former Administrator and freed Chief Warrior , who wants her to write a note convincing John she's gone to the Spaceship, but John, Susan and a returned Barbara see through the story and suspect the Administrator. The First Elder confirms that nobody had travelled to the Spaceship - they try to convince him that a Sensorite is responsible. The Doctor & Ian discover their map is altered and the weapons they have been supplied with have been disabled. John finds Carol held in the Disintegrator room by the Chief Warrior and releases her with the Chief Warrior being captured again. The Chief Elder believes he is working in concert with another Sensorite. Susan & Barbara obtain an accurate map and intend to seek the Doctor & Ian, who are in the tunnel with a monster baying at them from a distance. They discover a man in the tunnel who flees: They think he is a survivor from the exploded Spaceship. Barbara and John go to the tunnels leaving Susan with the Chief Elder. Ian and the Doctor are found by two humans in the aqueduct. They ask if the Sensorites are dead and if they've bought a Spaceship.

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They take the pair to their commander, while Barbara & John track the marks the Doctor has made in the tunnel. The commander is pleased to see them, and orders his subordinates to add some more poison to the water. The Doctor convinces the Commander that he's beaten the Sensorites, but then they find Barbara and John in the Aqueduct, which initially unnerves him, but then he agrees to come out and walks into an ambush by the Sensorites, who capture the commander and his party. The Sensorites believe the three humans in the tunnel had been unhinged by using the Sensorites mind control machines. Maitland, the Captain of the Earth spaceship agrees to transport them back to Earth. The Chief Elder, convinced of the Administrator's guilt exiles him and returns the Tardis lock allowing the Doctor & the TARDIS crew to leave. Susan, now deprived of the Telepathy she had on the Sensorite planet, reflects on wanting a place to stay and belong. The Doctor argues with Ian and threatens to put him off the ship when they next land.

Probably the best episode of the six. There's some great concepts in this story, the alieness of the near identical Sensorites with their aversion to the dark & loud noise and use of clothing to differentiate themselves, the concept of telepathy and a glimpse of some genuinely unhinged minds. However the execution on screen doesn't help the story at all. It's slow, it's a touch plodding and the design isn't that great.

Susan's desire to stay somewhere and belong is a nice precursor to later events.

SUSAN: Grandfather and I don't come from Earth. Oh, it's ages since we've seen our planet. It's quite like Earth, but at night the sky is a burned orange, and the leaves on the trees are bright silver.
1ST ELDER: My mind tells me that you wish to see your home again, and yet there is a part of you which calls for adventure. A wanderlust.
SUSAN: Yes. Well, we'll all go home some day. That's if you'll let us.
Then with the Doctor at the end of the episode in the Tardis:
SUSAN: I had a talk with the senior Scientist just before we left. It seems that the Sensphere has an extraordinary number of ultra high frequencies, so I won't be able to go on using thought transference.
DOCTOR: Oh, I don't know. It's rather a relief, I think. After all, no one likes an eavesdropper about, do they. No, I think you obviously have a gift in that direction. When we get home to our own place, I think we should try and perfect it.
SUSAN: When will we get back, Grandfather?
DOCTOR: I don't know, my dear. This old ship of mine seems to be an aimless thing. However, we don't worry about it, do we? Do you?
SUSAN: Sometimes I feel I'd like to belong somewhere, not just be a wanderer. Still, I'm not unhappy.
DOCTOR: Good, good.
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The Sensorites is a very sixties story, I'm not sure you could get it to work now without drastic revision. However the Sensorites have been recycled in modern Doctor Who. The Ood are strongly based on them, with the Ood home planet and Sense Sphere being placed in the same solar system.

Writer Peter R. Newman only known previously produced work Yesterday's Enemy bears some relation to this episode: the film is about the actions of a group of soldiers trapped behind enemy lines, similar to how the humans see themselves here.

The Sensorites is the first Doctor Who story novelised by Nigel Robinson , the last editor of the Target book range. It was released in Hardback in February 1987 and in paperback in June that year.

The Sensorites was one of the last stories released on video, appearing in a First Doctor Boxset with The Time Meddler & The Gunfighters which "mops up" the complete Hartnell stories that hadn't been released on video. There was a CD release of the Soundtrack on 10th July 2008 which was given to me as a "True Friend" gift by my TMUK colleague Ralph Burns. At some point it will help me deal with a bout of insomnia I'm sure. The Sensorites was released on DVD on 23rd January 2012.