Monday 21 March 2011

119 The Savages: Part One

EPISODE: The Savages: Part One
TRANSMITTED: 28 May 1966
WRITER: Ian Stuart Black
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2
TELESNAPS: The Savages: Part One

The Doctor believes they have arrived in the distant future in an age of peace and prosperity. Exploring & taking readings, the Doctor is being watched by a couple of men dressed in animal skins. A similar man stalks Dodo while Steven seeks the Doctor. The savages watching the Doctor, Chal & Tor, are scared of him and don't know whether to approach but then the Doctor is met by a couple of soldiers, Captain Edal and Exorse. Their elders have been expecting the Doctor, but don't expect him to be carrying a weapon. He corrects them saying

"This is my reacting vibrator"

and at that point I wet myself laughing. The Doctor is taken to the city. Several Savages chase Steven & Dodo, but are beaten off by the soldiers from the city who escort Dodo & Steven to the city. The Doctor is introduced to Jano, the lead elder, who says he is honoured to meet the Doctor giving him and his newly arrived companions gifts. Edal and Exorse are outside on patrol. Exorse captures a savage Nanina whom Chal offers himself in exchange for, but Exorse takes the girl away. The Doctor enquires of the Elders and discovers they have found a way to tap into life's vital force and absorb the energy themselves. Steven & Dodo are given a tour of the city by young people Avon & Flower, but their guides do not want to talk about the Savages. Nanina is brought into the city but Dodo sees her and tries to follow. Nanina is taken to the chief scientist Senta. He has been working on a weak and disorientated male Savage who is taken away for release, while Nanina is strapped down and taken into a laboratory. Dodo slips away from the tour but is confronted by a Savage in the corridors.

Not bad at all, apart from that one unintentionally hilarious line. This feels a very different show from the Gunfighters, much more adult and serious. Already you're getting a hint that something is rotten at the heart of the city and given clues as to how the Elders acquire their energy. It helps that this is easily the cleanest of the soundtrack recordings that I've heard so far.

I notice that with this story the BBC has Telesnaps available on their website, so I'll be linking to them where possible.

The Savages is the first story with an overall title and episode numbers onscreen, a move originated by new producer Innes Lloyd. It's also the point where the production codes for the stories go round the clock for the first time: Each story had a letter code, A, B, C etc. The Gunfighters was story Z so The Savages becomes story AA. Letters I and O were ignored due to confusion with the numbers 1 & 0, and Mission to the Unknown developed under code T/A, in the same production block as series T with the same crew. Yeah this bit is really sad I know.

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