Sunday 6 March 2011

104 The Massacre Part 2: The Sea Beggar

EPISODE: The Massacre Part 2: The Sea Beggar
TRANSMITTED: 12 February 1966
WRITER: John Lucarotti
DIRECTOR: Paddy Russell
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2

Steven hunts for the Doctor, alienating his new French friends who think he's working for the Abbot. He finds out about an attempt to be made to assassinate "The Sea Beggar" but doesn't know who this is. Meeting Anne in the street they go to shelter in Preslin's shop. It's revealed that the Sea Beggar is Admiral De Coligny.

Straight off the bat: Maybe it's because I wasn't feeling too good when I listened to this but it passed me by completely. As with the previous episode I'm just completely confused with identity and allegiance. Whose idea was it to let Hartnell have a week off during this, only appearing in brief pre-filmed inserts, a story where he plays two roles? Madness. Yeah I don't like historicals, but this is leaving me colder than most.

Doubles is a recurring theme in Doctor Who: We'll meet the second Doctor's double Salamander in Enemy of the World, while Xoanon in Face of Evil uses the Doctor's face, Meglos disguises itself as the Doctor in Meglos, Nyssa meets an identical double and there's a case of stolen costumes with someone pretending to be the Doctor in Black Orchid and Omega assumes the Doctor's form in Arc of Infinity. Then we've got Mawdryn Undead which really does feature two of the same person wandering about!

A notable first for this story: Doctor Who's first female director. Patricia "Paddy" Russel, had previously worked as a production assistant under Rudolph Cartier of Quatermass fame. She directed three other Doctor Who stories: Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Pyramids of Mars & Horror of Fang Rock. Doctor who had four other female directors:Julia Smith (later co-creator with Tony Holland of Angels, Eastenders and Eldorado) who directed The Smugglers and The Underwater Menace, Fiona Cumming director of Castrovalva, Snakedance, Enlightenment (which was also written by a woman making it the only Doctor Who story 100% written and directed by women) & Planet of Fire. Mary Ridge, more well known for her Blake's Seven work, directed Terminus while Sarah Hellings was in charge of Mark of the Rani.

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