Friday 29 April 2011

158 The Faceless Ones: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Faceless Ones: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: 15 April 1967
WRITER: David Ellis & Malcolm Hulke
DIRECTOR: Gerry Mill
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones
TELESNAPS: The Faceless Ones: Episode Two

"Polly" says her name is Michelle and she comes from Sweden which she demonstrates with her passport and work permit. The Commandant is satisfied and wants the Doctor & Jamie detained but they make a run for it. Blade & Spencer's patient is suffocating but Nurse Pinto arrives to assist wanting to know why they were twenty minutes late. Technician Meadows is lying in the medical centre too: devices are attached to the patient's and his heads. The Doctor & Jamie hide behind papers in the airport: the Doctor has found an advert for Chameleon tours that interests him. In the medical centre, the patient's face changes to become Meadows. He sits up, has his senses calibrated and is tested on his recall of Meadows memory. Ben finds the Doctor & Jamie: they have another go at questioning "Polly" during which time she lets slip about the body before being summoned by Captain Blade. Inspector Crossland, from Scotland Yard, arrives seeking his colleague Inspector Gascgoine who has disappeared. Neither the Commandant or Miss Rook his assistant know where he is. The Doctor and his friends split up: he goes to talk to the Commandant, Ben to the hanger while Jamie watches "Polly"/Michelle. While there Liverpudlian Samantha Briggs arrives wanting to know what's happened to her brother Brian who has disappeared after taking a Chameleon Tour to Rome. She's had one post card but he's overdue and there's no trace of him in the hotels. Jamie befriends her. The Doctor's chat with the Commandant goes badly and he flees the control room. Ben discovers a crate with Polly in it in the Chameleon hanger and calls the control room for help. The Doctor has entered the now deserted Chameleon Tours office behind the check in desk and discovers a monitor on which he observes Ben who is rendered unconscious by a futuristic pen like device wielded by Spencer. He also finds postcards and foreign stamps. Crossland finds Jenkins at passport control but Jenkins doesn't recognise the photos of Brian Briggs & Gascgoine. He does mention the incident with the reported body earlier and gives Crossland a description of the Doctor & Jamie. A new Chameleon tours rep hands out postcards to the next group of travellers for them to write before they leave causing Samantha to realise Brian's postcard must have been written before he left and posted by someone else. The Doctor arrives at the hanger, finds the pen device and then Meadow's body in a crate. A voice calls out to the Doctor asking for help and saying it's suffocating but as he investigates he is gassed!

We're still at the mystery stage of the story, but we now know enough to join up a few of the dots and put together that Chameleon tours are abducting people and replacing them with the "thing" we saw at the start of the episode. Fab moment as the Doctor, Jamie & Ben confer in a photo booth and get their photo taken!.

A few episodes ago a new title sequence for Doctor Who came into use. Now we get revamped theme music too. The forefront of the music is the same, but the background has lost the hiss and gained a different sound instead. My wife said she couldn't tell the difference but if you listen to last episode's sequence then this you'll hear the change.

One of the writers of this story, David Ellis I know little about. This is his only Doctor Who script, but Wikipedia makes it clear he'd made other submissions and IMDB shows he had other television scripts produced. He's writing with Malcolm Hulke, an experienced television writer who'd written science fiction before. He'll be back for several more stories at the end of the 60s and at the start of the early 70s. Your attention is drawn to The 1962 Avengers Episode The Mauritius Penny which he co-wrote with his lodger at the time future Doctor Who Script Editor Terrance Dicks. They'll co-write on Hulke's next Doctor Who project in a couple of years time.

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