Saturday 30 July 2011

250 The War Games: Episode Seven

EPISODE: The War Games: Episode Seven
TRANSMITTED: 31 May 1969
WRITER: Malcolm Hulke & Terrance Dicks
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Derrick Sherwin
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The War Games

The Doctor emerges from the Capsule surrendering, but then throws a smoke bomb, releases the capsule & it's dimensions and returns to the Capsule. Using the stolen control keys he dematerialises the capsule. The War Chief attempts to track the capsule, which he terms a SIDRAT when an alarm sounds informing them of the War Lord's arrival. The War Lord questions the Security Chief on the difficulty while the War Lord admits that's the resistance stole the processing machine. The Doctor, Jamie & Carstairs arrive in the Roman Zone where they were attacked and flee into the time zone barrier. The Security Chief wants to send guards, but the War Chief objects. They argue over the Doctor and his companions with the Security Chief accusing him of plotting to betray them. The War Lord tells them to stop bickering. The Doctor and friends walk into the 1917 zone where they are sighted by sentries which is reported to General Smythe who has a nearby machine gun emplacement fire on them. They are captured by troops and taken to the General's HQ where he sends the Doctor to a firing squad. The War Chief is angry with him and wants to know where the machine has gone. They are rescued by Zoe and the resistance. General Smythe attempts to flee but is killed. The Doctor gains access to the controls for the Zone. The War Lord orders the local Soldiers to attack the château. Using the control system the Doctor places a time zone barrier around the château. The War Lord berates both his underlings and takes personal charge. Using the captured processing machine the Doctor successfully deprograms a captive prisoner, Du Pont. A SIDRAT materialises in Smythe's room. Guards exit shooting some of the resistance and seizing the Doctor and the machine before dematerialising.

This is the Two Hundred and Fiftieth episode of Doctor Who ! I suppose it's a problem stringing a story out to ten episodes and have your villains always winning but right up until the end of this episode the aliens are looking a pretty incompetent bunch with their two leaders bickering and at each others throats. Their superior steps in and suddenly everything goes swimmingly. The Doctor is captured and the machine retrieved.

A couple of familiar faces here: The War Lord is Philip Madoc, recently of David Maloney's The Krotons, here playing a truly sinister villain. He's remembered for Doctor Solon in The Brain of Morbius but I think the War Lord is probably his best role. The reprogrammed soldier Du Pont is Peter Craze, formerly of The Space Museum (I know you've tried your best to forget it) and brother of ex companion Michael Craze (Able Seaman Ben Jackson).


  1. I do quite like the War Lord, he is a great villian because he seems genuinely ruthless and competent. Goes straight to the nub of the problem and sorts out what has been going wrong. His arrival ups the ante of the story somewhat because you know that the Doctor and the resistance are going to have to work that bit harder now.