Friday 31 December 2010

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

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Part 3: A Change of Identity
TRANSMITTED: 22 August 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch (and John Gorrie Uncredited)
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who - The Reign Of Terror

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.

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

Reign of Terror marks the debut 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. He died in 1986 at the early age of 53. There's an excellent tribute of the Doctor Who: The Romans DVD.

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