Monday, 28 February 2011

098 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 8: Volcano

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Part 8: Volcano
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 098
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: 01 January 1966
WRITER: Dennis Spooner, from an idea by Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2

The Daleks test their time destructor on Trantis, which fails due to the fake Taranium Core. So they exterminate Trantis anyway! (Having killed Trantis and Zephon that leaves Mavic Chen & Celation, both of whom witness the test, and Beaus, Malpha & Gearon). The Daleks summon a time machine from Skaro to pursue the Tardis and retrieve the Taranium. The Doctor is aware they're being pursued and briefly materialises on the pitch of the Kennington Oval in London interrupting an Ashes test match! The time machine arrives on Kembel and collects Mavic Chen to pursue the rime travellers. The Tardis arrives on a volcanic planet: the Doctor thinks their pursuer is already there. A short distance away his old adversary the Meddling Monk has materialised and is pleased to have found the Doctor. While the Doctor and friends are exploring the Monk damages the Tardis' lock. The Monk appears to the Doctor, and the Doctor congratulates him on escaping 1066 where the Doctor marooned him by removing his Tardis' dimension control. The Monk tells the Doctor he has now stranded them on this planet, Tigus. He uses the sunlight, filtered through his special ring to repair the lock which can then be opened. The Monk vows that the Doctor hasn't heard the last of him! The Daleks and Chen prepare leave Kembel in the time machine as a countdown starts. The Tardis materialises in Trafalgar Square on New Year's eve allowing the travellers to witness the celebrations as the Dalek's countdown finishes.

More fun in this episode, broadcast on New Year's Day 1966, hence the finale. The episode brings back The Monk, from the Time Meddler, who becomes the first non companion character to meet the Doctor in more than one story. We also get a return for the Dalek Time Machine, previously seen in the Chase. In fact the later middle episodes of the Masterplan with the Tardis switching locations are very similar to the structure of the Chase.

And the cricket match: I'm forced to ask was Douglas Adams watching? We know Terry Nation was fond of recycling and Malcolm Hulke believed "all you needed to work in television was an original idea, not necessarily your original idea." Well swap the Tardis for a Chesterfield Sofa and the sequence at the start of this episode is very similar to that at the start of Douglas Adam's Life, The Universe & Everything, itself recycled from a potential Adams Doctor Who story - Doctor Who and the Krikketman. when this story was transmitted Adams would have been nearly 14 so it's quite possible that he may have seen while home over the Christmas holidays from his boarding school at Brentwood. This is possibly the Doctor's first encounter with the game, though he may have been aware of it during his stay in 1963. He'll later take it up, claiming to have played for New South Wales and taking 5 wickets bowling Chinaman, a variety of Left Arm Wrist Spin, yet when we see him playing in Black Orchid he's a right arm batsman & bowler.

I have to comment that I feel that the story gets the location of the cricket match a bit wrong though: On the day this episode was broadcast England were playing Australia in the second Ashes test at the MCG in Melbourne and having the Tardis materialise at the game being played that very day would have been a nice little touch. Or, leaving the setting in South London, it might have been nice to have Ian & Barbara sitting in the crowd and seeing the Tardis materialise..... Which makes me think: although the Doctor & friends don't leave the Tardis, this visit is the first time the Tardis has returned to the same vague geographic location in a similar time: They were in London at the start of an Unearthly Child and now the Tardis is back in London again.

Sunday, 27 February 2011

097 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 7: The Feast of Steven

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Part 7: The Feast of Steven
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 097
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: 25 December 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2

The Tardis has materialised in the north of England. The Doctor goes outside to fix the scanner but is arrested where he meets a man complaining about the theft of his greenhouse who the Doctor thinks he recognises from a market in Jaffa (a neat in-joke:Reg Pritchard, playing this man, was the merchant Ben Daheer in the Crusade) before being questioned about his identity:

"I suppose you might say I'm a citizen of the Universe, and a gentleman to boot"

Steven steels a policeman's uniform from a car and infiltrates the police station to gain the Doctor's release while Sara fixes the scanner. The Tardis then lands on a 1920s silent movie lot where a film is being made at saw mill. Chaos ensues before the Tardis crew are able to sneak away and dematerialise at which point the Tardis crew celebrate Christmas with a drink. At this point the Doctor turns to camera and says

"Oh and incidentally, a happy Christmas to all of you at home."

Hah ! You thought David Tennant's debut, the Christmas Invasion, was the first Doctor Who Christmas Special! Think again and marvel at the Doctor Who panto 1965. You can argue that Horns of the Nimon is a bit of a pantomime too. We get a Dixon of Dock Green tribute, originally intended as a crossover until Dixon's production staff withdrew permission, we get playful hijinks on the movie set and we get Hartnell breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience. Even the title is a bit of a joke The Feast of Stephen was a religious festival celebrated on what is now Boxing Day while the Doctor has a companion called Steven Taylor. The episode is a bit of fun, and doesn't pretend to be anything else so I'll sit back and enjoy it as such :-) The CD version features some lovely tongue in cheek narration from Peter Purves during this episode.

Of all the episodes missing from the BBC archive this episode is the most unlikely to be found. It was never sold abroad when Dalek Masterplan was offered for sale and BBC records indicate that a telerecording was never made. It seems the BBC regarded it very much as a bit of disposable Christmas fun. So Feast of Steven is as close as we can get to "Never coming back"

Making her Doctor Who debut in this episode is Sheila Dunn, appearing as starlet Blossom Lefavre in the silent movie studio segment. At around this time she becomes Mrs Douglas Camfield and crops up in several of her husband's productions.

Saturday, 26 February 2011

096 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 6: Coronas of the Sun

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Part 6: Coronas of the Sun
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 096
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: 18 December 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner, from an idea by Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2

We're back to CD for the next 4 episodes.

The Visians attack the Daleks allowing the Doctor, Steven & Sara to escape. They attack the lone Dalek sentry blinding it with mud and steal the Dalek ship. Mavic Chen returns to Kembel and receives a hostile reception from the Daleks who blame him for the non recovery of the Taranium Core. The Doctor plans to make a copy of the core to deceive the Daleks when they discover that the Daleks have taken control of the ship and are steering them to Kembel. Steven uses the gravity force power on the ship to activate the fake Taranium and make it glow but is injured in the process and trapped within a forcefield. Chen wants to take the Doctor and friends back to Earth for a show trial but the Daleks convince him to let them deal with the travellers. The ship returns to Kembel and Steven emerges first carrying the fake Taranium. The Doctor demands to hand the Taranium over outside the Tardis. Sara accuses Chen of being a traitor. Reaching the Tardis Sara & the Doctor go inside leaving Steven to hand the box over to Chen. The Daleks fire on Steven but the dying forcefield protects him allowing him to escape with the Doctor, Sara and the genuine Taranium in the Tardis. When the Tardis lands the scanner malfunctions and the readings indicate a poisonous atmosphere.

Hurrah, Dennis Spooner's back and with him writing the story picks up somewhat from it's lull in the last episode. Much more Daleks and much more action this episode. It effectively closes the first half of the story, indeed it's where the first of the two novels that make up The Dalek Masterplan end. The Doctor has escaped from the Daleks and without the Taranium Core their plans are useless.

Initially the Dalek Masterplan was conceived as a six part series and Nation was contracted to write six episodes. However plans changed, and twelve episodes it became. Reasons are slightly unclear as to why the decision was taken for Terry Nation to write half of it, although he was at this time busy script supervising the new ITC series The Baron. So Dennis Spooner, outgoing script editor, was commissioned to write the remaining six episodes. I've seen it claimed that Donald Tosh, the current Script Editor, had to do some work on Nation's episodes to bring them up to scratch. Anecdotal evidence exists from several script editors about the length of Terry Nation's script up to and including Ken Grieve's claim that Douglas Adams wrote 98% of Destiny of the Daleks. Having checked, there's a story repeated in print in About Time: 1963-1966 Seasons 1 to 3 (so if it's inaccurate sue them not me !) of Terry Nation turning up in a Taxi at Donald Tosh's flat and delivering 24 pages of notes for his six episodes before fleeing into the night to catch a plane to Heathrow airport and leaving Donald Tosh to tidy them up into the scripts for the first five and the seventh episode. The author of about time intimates that Tosh is the source of the story but doesn't note where he was meant to have said this. Donald Tosh interviews are a little thin on the ground so you may have to take this story with a small pinch of salt. However if you put it together with Grieve's claim and the distinct Robert Holmesian feel of Genesis of the Daleks..... I will leave it as exercise to the reader to draw conclusions.

Friday, 25 February 2011

095 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 5: Counterpoint

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Part 5: Counterpoint
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 095
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: 11 December 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time

Back to DVD a mere two episodes after the last one.

Steven & The Doctor are hunted in the experimental complex and stray into an odd shaped room containing a cage of mice. Elsewhere in the complex the countdown to start the experiment is underway. Sara Kingdom finds Steven and The Doctor just as the experiment activates transporting them, via a very trippy effects sequence, to the planet Mira many light years away. The Daleks want to know what's happened to the Taranium Core (hurrah, there's broken neck ring talking to the Supreme) and Mavic Chen tells them that he planned to send the travellers to Mira. The travellers have materialised in a swamp. The Daleks send a pursuit ship to Mira (broken neck ring is back again fitted with a detector) whose crew exterminate the mice before being attacked by the invisible Visians. Sara, who believes Brett was a traitor, confesses to the Doctor and Steven that Brett was her brother. She is forced to ally herself with the Doctor & Steven against the Visians, but the Daleks find and capture them.

I've never been that keen on Dalek Masterplan episode 5. I first saw it in 1991 when it was released on VHS in Daleks: The Early Years with Dalek's Masterplan 10 and Evil of the Daleks 2. At the start we've just missed seeing Nicholas Courtney, Mavic Chen the supposedly great villain spends most of the episode being bossed around by Karlton, the space security chief, who appears more evil than he is, there's no sign of the Dalek's alien allies, the Dalek's themselves are hardly in it, there's a big chunk of the episode missing the Doctor & Steve and there's some scientists who spends the whole episode wittering on about "What's happened to my mice" ! Repeated veiwings, even in the context didn't improve it. About the only plus point it had to the 18 year old me was that you got to see (briefly) the Black Dalek Supreme. But this time round, having got here via 94 other Hartnell episodes, it sort of worked. Yes it's a bit slow. Yes, it's probably the weakest of the 12 (effectively 13) parts of this story. But finally, nearly twenty years after I first saw it, I've sort of liked this episode.

For years the BBC believed they held one episode of this story: 4: The Traitors. Then, in 1978, that turned out to be awol from the film and vt library. One day in 1983 the BBC took a call from a Mormon church, now using an old BBC building. They had found a number of cans of film that had been left in the building and wondered if the BBC would like them back. In what was otherwise a pile of junk were 2 episodes of Doctor Who: the fifth and tenth parts of the Dalek's Masterplan. The story has grown and been distorted in the telling and even Richard's Molesworth's Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes isn't 100% definitive as to which church at what location found the material. If you think it unlikely that the BBC would just leave films lying around then come back for the Ice Warriors for more of the same! A nasty thought did occur to me: Given the previous fun with swapped film cans I hope that pile of junk was searched properly and the films checked to make sure they weren't anything interesting in the wrong box! However given that the man who searched through them, Steve Bryant, is now high up at the BFI I think we can be confident a thorough job was done.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

094 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 4: The Traitors

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Part 4: The Traitors
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 094
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: 04 December 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2

Katarina struggles with Kirksen in the airlock. He demands to be taken to Kembel but Katarina releases the airlock door killing both of them. The Doctor, Steven & Bret Vyon head towards Earth making for a experimental facility run by Bret Vyon's friend Daxtar. Chen dispatches a squad of Special Space Services personnel to catch them led by Sara Kingdom. Daxtar betrays them and is killed by Bret. Chen files a report with the Daleks implicating Trantis in the theft of the Taranium. While trying to escape the building Bret Vyon is killed by Sara Kingdom who orders her agents hunt the Doctor and Steven and to "shoot on sight" and "aim for the head".

Separated from the Tardis and pursued by the Daleks, the Doctor looses a companion, Katarina, and then Bret Vyon, his only ally in this time is also killed. This episode really ups the stakes now you feel the Doctor's friends and companions have been killed. There's a real feeling of desperation at the episodes end, and it feels less like a Children's program that at any time in the show's history so far.

When Ian Levene first visited the BBC Film & Video library they had records of 48 episodes of Doctor Who. 47 were present in the library, one was missing: this one. Leant to Blue Peter for us in a 1973 edition, The Traitors was never returned and is missing to this day. The only surviving footage from the episode comes from the edition of Blue Peter that it was borrowed for: that of Katarina's death.

This episode sees the return of Jean Marsh, having previously appeared in The Crusade which was also directed by Douglas Camfield. She plays Sara Kingdom in this story. One of her first acts is to gun down Bret Vyon, removing Nicholas Courtney from the action. He too would be brought back by Camfield, in his next directed story, 1968's Web of Fear where he was initially cast as Captain Knight. Events however transpired otherwise and he ends up playing a different role in the series.... Jean Marsh and Nicholas Courtney are reunited in the opening story of Doctor Who's 26th Season, 1989's Battlefield.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

093 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 3: Devil's Planet

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Part 3: Devil's Planet
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 093
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: 27 November 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2

The airlock door on the ship is open, preventing take off and allowing the Doctor time to get aboard. Zephon is exterminated for his unwilling part in the theft of the Taranium and the Doctor's escape while Mavic Chen returns to Earth in a ship similar to the stolen one which is provided by the Daleks. The Doctor plays back the tape he found in the Jungle (during episode 1) hearing the warning from Marc Cory. The Daleks use a randomiser to bring the ship down on the prison planet Desperus and dispatch pursuit. Desperus is a planet where prisoners are marooned. Bors, Garge and Kirksen struggle for control of the prisoners. When they see the ship land they approach but the Doctor jury rigs a defence mechanism that knocks out Bors and Garge while Steven & Bret repair the ship preparing to launch just as the Daleks arrive. Katarina is sent to check the airlock door is closed this time, but is grabbed by the third prisoner Kirksen who has sneaked aboard.

The quality of the recording for this episode isn't great but the storyline sounds decent enough. Desperus reminds me somewhat of Cygnus Alpha, the prison planet in early episodes of Blake's Seven, where prisoners are marooned. More evidence of Nation recycling!

A brief clip from this episode survives in a 1971 edition of Blue Peter. Mainly set in the Spaceship, as it's forced down towards Desperus, there' also a brief glimpse of the Dalek control room.

Since Zephon shuffles off this mortal coil during this episode I thought we'd have a look at the members of the Dalek Council. For many years the only evidence of the Dalek council we had was a series of publicity photos from Mission to the Unknown, and some of those Doctor Who fandom were unsure which name should be attached to which alien. When Dalek Masterplan 2 came to light things became clearer to the point where it was discovered that several of the aliens change between the two stories and a couple of those that remain change appearance. Even to this day we aren't 100% sure who is who but there are some pretty good guesses out there: Sentreal and Warrien only appear in Mission to the Unknown and are replaced in Masterplan by Zephon and Celation. Where did Sentreal & Warrien go? Exterminated like many "loyal" servants of the Daleks? Appearing in both stories are Trantis, Beaus, Malpha & Gearon. Years as I had (possibly still have) a Starlord annual with an article on BBC effects in it. There was a picture of this Michelin Man like creature with a heavy veined face in the article labelled as being a Doctor Who monster but I didn't know where it came from. I now know that it's Malpha from this story. Incidentally Malpha is played in this story by Brian Mosley, later to find fame as Alf Roberts in Coronation Street. He appears under his own name in episode 11 but is credited as Brian Edwards and Buddy Windrush in Episode 7 where he play a different role.

I bring to your attention Zephon's rather prominent necklace: it will be seen in Doctor Who again three years later hanging round the neck of the War Chief in the War Games, and it's by no means the only recycled prop or costume element we'll see.

Just as I was about to post this news reaches me that Nicholas Courtney, who played Bret Vyon in this story and is of course most famous as Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart, died yesterday evening. He was 81.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

FREE Tom Baker Doctor Who Audiobook!

The Guardian is doing a promotion giving away the Hornet's Nest Tom Baker series that didn't impress Ralph last year.

Visit http://www.audiogo.co.uk/doctorwho-hornetsnest and register an Audiogo account.

The stories and codes so far are:

DAYSTORYCODE
MondayThe Stuff Of Nightmaresh87ne701
TuesdayThe Dead Shoesn35t02
WednesdayThe Circus Of Doomci7c753
ThursdayA Sting In The Tales71ng04
FridayHive of Horrorh7v355

The Download can then be found in your Download Library on the left side of the screen. Each is available for a week after the date the code is published.

092 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 2: Day of Armageddon

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Part 2: Day of Armageddon
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 092
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: 20 November 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time

Informing their base that more intruders have been found, the Supreme Dalek orders the patrol to start Operation Inferno. The final delegate Zephon, the master of the fifth galaxy arrives and greets Mavic Chen. The Daleks are observing Chen and plan to eliminate him when his usefulness is at an end. Steven & Katarina are sheltering in the Jungle - Bret led them out of the Tardis not realising they were safe from the Daleks in there. Steven is shocked to learn the Daleks are here having met them previously on Mechanus. The Daleks use their Pyro-flame attachments to set fire to the jungle so the Tardis travellers and Vyon seek shelter in the Daleks city. Chen and Zephon argue over their importance leading to Zephon delaying his arrival at a meeting of the Dalek. The Doctor's party find the spaceport and Vyon identifies Chen's spaceship which they decide to take to warn Earth. Zephon appears and is knocked out by Vyon allowing the Doctor to steel his heavy cloak and pretend to be him. After being found by Daleks seeking the missing Zephon he infiltrates the Dalek's conference learning their plans. The Dalek Time Destructor has been completed and now only needs the core which Chen has provided, an emm of Taranium, which has taken 50 years to be mined on a world in the Solar System, the only place that ore can be found. Vyon seizes Chen's ship tying up it's crew. Zephon sounds the alarm causing confusion allowing the Doctor to steel the Taranium. Vyon, needing to warn Earth, prepares to leave without the Doctor.

Oh that was good. Daleks being Daleks, lots of aliens, a fantastic looking jungle and the set being torched. I'm pretty sure I spotted broken neck ring in the council chamber but Douglas Camfield is shooting the Daleks from some different angles which is hiding the damage. I'd seen the other two surviving episodes of this story years before this one and this beat them hands down at the time.

In November 2003, tying in with Doctor Who's 40th anniversary, the BBC released a boxset of Doctor Who episodes on VHS mopping up the last of the orphaned episodes form the 1960s that hadn't previously been released: All four surviving episodes of the Reign of Terror, the two episodes of the Faceless Ones and the first episode of the Web of Fear. Because the Secret of Comedy is Timing, you could almost predict what happened next: In January 2004 another episode was returned to the BBC. So The Daleks' Master Plan 2: Day of Armageddon is the only known existing episode of Doctor Who not to be released on VHS!

While working as an Engineer for the BBC, Francis Watson was given orders to dispose of a room full of junk. In it he found a copy of The Daleks part 5: The Expedition and The Daleks' Masterplan 2: Day of Armageddon. Watson was a member of a local film club, Filmsoc (connected to the University of London) and loathe to dispose of them, "removed them for safe keeping". Over the years they were shown several times at Filmsoc and on one occasion the film and it's labelled can parted company. Watson left London to work for Yorkshire television in Leeds. The films spent many years in cupboards in Watson's home before being taken into work and hung in a bag on a coat hook. At some point in the late 80s the film can was discovered at Filmsoc who were disappointed that the contents didn't match the label. In 2003 he used the films as a training exercise in conversion of film to D3 tape. When they were returned to him he searched for the contents on the internet and, via the Restoration Team Website discovered it was missing. Contacting Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team, the film was swiftly transported to London where it brought the number of missing episodes of Doctor Who down to 108 (so far we've listened to 21 of them). This is the last episode of Doctor Who to be recovered to date (although later episodes of Doctor Who were found before this) and is considered to be a major find because for the first time we can see the Daleks allies and companion Katarina. It's also probably responsible for the release of Doctor Who - Lost In Time in January 2004 placing this and most of the other Orphaned episodes on DVD (Episodes of Reign of Terror, Tenth Planet, Ice Warriors and The Invasion, for which more than 50% of the episodes exist are not included in this set).

Prior to this find the only surviving footage was of the scenes of the Dalek's burning down the jungle, which like the episode 1 clips was found on 35mm film at the BBC. That's why these scenes look noticeably better than the rest of the episode on DVD: they been reinstated into the footage from the inferior 16mm recording from the superior 35mm originals.

We mention that the film can for this episode was found. Over the years cans for Marco Polo Episode 7 & The Moonbase Part 3 have been found in New Zealand, The Ice Warriors part 2 (containing a film of the then missing Ice Warriors Part 1!) and Fury from the Deep 6 (containing something completely different that wasn't Doctor Who) have been found. Film cans are more durable than their contents and as we've seen it's easy for them to be separated from what they should have in them and then reused. Of course there could well be a film can out there labeled as something completely different with a missing episode of Doctor Who in it! We can but hope.

Monday, 21 February 2011

091 The Daleks' Master Plan Part 1: The Nightmare Begins

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Part 1: The Nightmare Begins
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 091
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: 13 November 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1965-1966) No. 2

The Tardis arrives on the Planet Kembel, which we saw in Mission to the Unknown, and the Doctor leaves the Tardis to seek medical for the wounded Steven whom he has left with Katarina. Nearby are two space Agents, Kurt Gantry and Bret Vyon seeking the missing Marc Cory. Gantry has been injured and Vyon tries in vain to contact their control. On Earth the communications staff watch a report about Mavic Chen, guardian of the solar system, who is leaving for a well deserved holiday and fail to see the communication light signalling. Gantry tells Vyon to leave him but is soon found by the Daleks and exterminated. Vyon finds the Doctor, knocking him out and taking the Tardis key. He demands Katarina and Steven take him off the planet but they can't work the Tardis and a briefly recovering Steven ends up knocking Vyon out. The Doctor returns and restrains Vyon before leaving again finding Cory's body and with it the tape that he made. He then witnesses the arrival of a Spaceship at the nearby city. The ship is bearing Mavic Chen who has come to join the Dalek's alliance. Returning to the Tardis he finds it surrounded by Daleks.

We always like to make a fuss over prominent members of the supporting cast and in Doctor Who terms they don't get bigger than this. Ladies and Gentlemen, a big hand please for the great Nicholas Courtney,on Doctor Who debut here as Bret Vyon. He was born William Nicholas Stone Courtney on 16 December 1929 in Cairo, Egypt, the son of a British Diplomat, and educated in France, Kenya & Egypt. He took up acting during National Service and afterwards trained as an acting and then acted in repertory theatre in Northampton before moving to London and cracking television. As we've seen Douglas Camfield has a habit for reusing actors and liking his performance in The Dalek's Master Plan decided to cast him as Captain Knight in Camfield's next directed story, The Web of Fear. Events transpired otherwise and Courtney ended up playing a different part instead.....

Given that it's Nicholas Courtney playing him it is somewhat appropriate and fitting that Bret Vyon becomes the first supporting character in Doctor Who to enter the Tardis during this episode!

Also featuring briefly playing Kurt Gantry at the start of the story is Brian Cant, shortly to find fame as the narrator of Camberwick Green, Trumpton & Chigley. By this point he was already appearing in Play School, the role that made him famous. He'll be back in Doctor Who a little later and he won't be the only member of the Play School team to guest star in the series..... (see also: Colin Jeavons, Chloe Ashcroft, Chris Tranchell and others) Brian's son Richard has appeared in the new series of Doctor Who as Malcolm Wainright in Blink.

Another of the Doctor Who greats makes a debut in this episode: Kevin Stoney, playing Mavic Chen. He'll be back in the Invasion (Camfield again) and Revenge of the Cybermen. His death was reported in 1985, but he appeared on stage at a Doctor Who convention in 1987, eventually passing away in 2008.

Brief clips survive from this episode including one of Gantry being exterminated, the Tardis materialising and Chen's Spaceship landing.

Sunday, 20 February 2011

090 The Myth Makers Part 4: Horse of Destruction

EPISODE: The Myth Makers Part 4: Horse of Destruction
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 090
STORY NUMBER: 020
TRANSMITTED: 06 November 1965
WRITER: Donald Cotton
DIRECTOR: Michael Leeston
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

Vicki rescues Steven from the dungeon but they are both found by Katarina, one of Cassandra's hand maidens who has been sent to find Vicki by her Mistress. They hide Steven while Vicki find Troilus and dupes him to leave the city to hunt for Steven. However Troilus finds Achilles and the Greek warriors and is injured. The Greeks in the horse emerge, open the gates to their brethren and proceed to sack Troy. Odysseus slays Priam and Paris, but the captive Cassandra curses him to spend ten years, the length of the Trojan war, wandering before he can return home. Steven is injured while fighting a Trojan who is taken to the Tardis by Katarina while Vicki slips away. Odysseus finds the Doctor trying to slip away and argues with him: he is amazed as the Tardis dematerialises and wonders if the Doctor was Zeus after all. Vicki finds Troilus who is distraught at his city's destruction. They are in turn found by his cousin Aeneas with reinforcements who helps spirit them away. Inside the Tardis Steven's wound is causing his condition to worsen. Katarina is amazed at her surroundings. She believes she has died and is journeying to the afterlife.

The inevitable conclusion to the story ends up with the sack of Troy (I had an English teacher who'd not heard of the verb sack in relation to a city!) so this episode gets a trifle confusing without the pictures. It serves to remove Vicki, played by Maureen O'Brien who had fallen out with Producer John Wiles during Galaxy 4. Her replacement was hand maiden Katarina, played by Adrienne Hill. The concept of a companion from the past is a good one, later visited to good effect during Patrick Troughton's years as Doctor Who. Here however the Production Team decided against it almost as soon as she appeared on screen and thus she had to go....

Actually mentioning where I went to school has reminded me that this episode is a real contender for the "Episode shot closest to where I did my Secondary Education" award (Greycourt School, Ham Street, Ham, TW10 7HN). Model shots involving the wooden horse were filmed at the Polo Club in Petersham about half a mile from the school. Unfortunately no footage of the horse remains for us to go "I recognise that" with. Fortunately I say contender for the award because another story films about half a mile away in the opposite direction! If you're interested in finding what Doctor Who story was filmed near you then visit http://www.doctorwholocations.net/locations/searchbyaddress and enter your postcode there. Now you see why I gave the school's full address! Come back in November for a lot more locations round where I used to live when we get to Invasion of the Dinosaurs.

The Myth Makers, novelised by it's original author Donald Cotton, is thought to be one of the most original and best of the Target Doctor Who Novels when it was released in 1985 and was recently placed very highly in a survey run by Doctor Who Magazine and is now available as an audiobook. The episodes soundtrack, none of the episodes existing anymore on film, was first released by itself as Doctor Who: The Myth Makers and has been re-released as the final story in Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965).

Saturday, 19 February 2011

089 The Myth Makers Part 3: Death of a Spy

EPISODE: The Myth Makers Part 3: Death of a Spy
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 089
STORY NUMBER: 020
TRANSMITTED: 30 October 1965
WRITER: Donald Cotton
DIRECTOR: Michael Leeston
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

Paris saves Steven & Vicki and sends them to the cells with an ultimatum that Vicki produce a prophecy to end the war. Cyclops visits them and they use him to send a message to the Doctor, but he's slain by the guards at the city gate. Paris' younger brother Troilus visits them and is attracted to Vicki. The Doctor proposes a variety of madcap schemes to the Greeks to get into Troy before in desperation suggesting the Wooden Horse, which he believes is an invention of Homer. The Greeks love the idea. A 40ft Horse, the image of the Horse of Asia, will be treasured by the equine loving Trojans. Inside will be Odysseus, his warriors and the unwilling Doctor. Achilles will hide with the majority of the Greek forces while a small number will create a feint by sailing the Greeks ships away to return after Troy is taken. The next morning the Trojans are delighted at the Greek's disappearance and drag the horse into the city. Cassandra is not impressed believing the horse to be the doom of Troy she saw in a dream:
"Woe to the house of Priam, Woe to the Trojans"
"I'm afraid you're a bit late to say Woe to the horse!" replies Priam. I've just given instructions to have it brought into the city".
A little light humour in the episode with the budding romance and the Doctor's scheme the only real plot movements. I wonder if any thought was given to hiding the Greeks in the Tardis and it being dragged into the city (as per the start of episode 2) with Homer inventing the horse story to cover up the truth that nobody could believe?

The Cyclops, killed in this episode, is a third Doctor Who role for Tutte Lemkow who plays the Fiddler in Fiddler on the roof.

Friday, 18 February 2011

088 The Myth Makers Part 2: Small Prophet, Quick Return

EPISODE: The Myth Makers Part 2: Small Prophet, Quick Return
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 088
STORY NUMBER: 020
TRANSMITTED: 23 October 1965
WRITER: Donald Cotton
DIRECTOR: Michael Leeston
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

Taken to the Tardis landing side the Doctor confesses not to be Zeus but bargains with the Greeks for their lives: The Greeks agree on the condition that the Doctor comes up with a way to attack Troy in two days. Hector's brother Paris takes the Tardis back to Troy where his Father Priam views it and his sister Cassandra, a prophetess, who wishes to burn it as an offering to their gods because she's had a dream of something being brought into the city containing Greeks who will escape and slaughter them all. Vicki emerges and is taken under the protection of Priam who wants her knowledge of the future but is denounced by Cassandra who fears a rival prophet. Steven battles with Paris and is taken into Troy where he is reunited with Vicki. Cassandra believes they are both spies and orders soldiers to kill them.

We're getting some more comedy coming out in this episode, especially between the Greeks & the Doctor and amongst the Trojans. This is emphasised by the actor playing Paris, Barrie Ingham, sounding exactly like John Le Mesurier!

When we watched/listened to the Crusade, when I watched and listened to all the episodes in the correct order for the first time, I said I had a story relating to the Myth Makers and experiencing things in the right order. Well a few months ago, before I started blogging, I made an effort to listen to all the Doctor Who stories I'd not previously heard. The Myth Makers was the first so one day, when travelling from Swindon to my Mum's in Kingston I decided to listen to it using my new MP3 player. I put it on on Swindon station and struggled to follow the action, which I put down to it being a historical story which I don't particularly enjoy. By Reading, where I changed trains, I was on episode 2. As episode 3 came round I heard something described as having happened. "Hmmm", I thought, "didn't hear that". Then the event described unfolded as I listened. "This is odd I thought". I then realised that my new MP3 player, despite me thinking I'd set it otherwise, was playing the tracks within the episode in a random order!

Thursday, 17 February 2011

087 The Myth Makers Part 1: Temple of Secrets

EPISODE: The Myth Makers Part 1: Temple of Secrets
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 087
STORY NUMBER: 020
TRANSMITTED: 16 October 1965
WRITER: Donald Cotton
DIRECTOR: Michael Leeston
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

The Tardis arrives near the city of Troy and witnesses the climax of a battle between Achilles, a Greek, and the Trojan Hector. Leaving the Tardis the Doctor is mistaken for Zeus and taken to the Greek camp by Achilles and Odysseus where he meets Agamemnon and his brother Menelaus, who is the husband of Helen who has been abducted by Paris of Troy, bringing Greece & Troy into an extended conflict which Agamemnon hopes that the Doctor, as Zeus, will help them win. Steven follows the Doctor,leaving the injured Vicki, who sprained her ankle in the previous episode, in the Tardis. Steven is first observed by the Greek spy Cyclops (a man who has lost an eye, not a mythical Cyclops!), captured and about to be killed when the Doctor insists that he is taken to his Temple (the Tardis) in the morning where the Doctor will show them a miracle. The mute Cyclops has entered and through sign language tells everyone that "Zeus' Temple" has vanished.

We English love so it was only a matter of time before Doctor Who had a go picking the well known tale of the Trojan Horse. But given that this is sixties television all the Greeks sound like they have upper class English accents with Achilles being a particularly bad offender sounding exactly like the comedian Kit Hesketh-Harvey who you may know from Just a Minute. As for me the episode is a little pedestrian reminding me very much of the classic serials of my youth!

Having done Greek Mythology for real here, Doctor Who then applies the Malcolm Hulke rule ("All you need to work in Television is a good idea. It doesn't necessarily have to be *YOUR* good idea") and "lovingly homages" the stories in many future tales doing The Minotaur in The Time Monster, Odysseus in Underworld and the Minotaur again in Horns of the Nimon (which is great and I will not have a word said against it). 2 Entertain, not wanting to miss any opportunity for a boxset, have released these three together on DVD as Doctor Who - Myths And Legends which is still hovering near retail price due to being a recent release.

This is the first episode with Producer John Wiles name on the credits. He'd been involved for a while now and had fallen out with the cast during the production of Galaxy Four. His tenure would be quite short involving clashes with the stars and his management at the BBC.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

086 Mission to the Unknown

EPISODE: Mission to the Unknown
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 086
STORY NUMBER: 019
TRANSMITTED: 09 October 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2 (1965-1966)

In a jungle a man lies on a jungle floor and wakes remembering that he must kill! Nearby Marc Cory and Gordon Lowery are attempting to repair their damaged rocket ship. They wonder where Jeff Garvey, the third member of their party is. Garvey arrives and threatens them but Cory shoots him and pulls a thorn from his body: He has been infected by a Vaaga plant. They enter the spaceship, not seeing Garvey's body begin to twitch, grow hair and Vaaga thorn spines. Cory is a member of the Space Security Services who is on Kemble because the Daleks are believed to have established a base here - the Vaaga plants are proof as they grow on Skaro, the Dalek's home planet. In the city on Kemble the Dalek Supreme waits for representatives of the seven planets. He instructs the Daleks to exterminate the humans. Lowery is constructing a rescue beacon, but Vaaga plants are moving towards the ship. Noticing a disturbance they hide as the Daleks arrive and destroy the ship, but in the process Lowery pricks himself on a Vaaga thorn. The Dalek Supreme meets with his allies, who fear the humans and announce that they have agreed to invade Earth. Cory overhears this but is forced to kill Lowery who is transforming into a Vaaga plant. He records a message but is found and exterminated by the Daleks. His message survives on the jungle floor however.... The Dalek's allies pledge allegiance to the Dalek cause and chant Victory.

As Frankie Howard's Lurcio would say: The Prologue. Essentially a trailer for the forthcoming epic the Dalek Masterplan. One episode, without Doctor or Companions which instead showcases the Daleks. Made to fill the gap left by the merging of episodes 3 & 4 of Planet of Giants the usual cast are absent as a measure to save the cost of paying them for an extra week's work. The production team for Galaxy 4 mind this episode using several of the background cast from that story and our old friend Barry Jackson (The Romans) is back as Garvey. But does Mission to the Unknown work as an episode? Well ..... hmmmm. I suspect with the visuals of the city, jungle and alien delegates it would work better. We know what they look like from publicity photos, but there are some differences between here and the surviving episodes of Masterplan so looking at Dalek Masterplan 2 isn't 100% reliable.

Here we officially bid farewell top Verity Lambert who has been withdrawing from operational command of Doctor Who for a while now. She goes on to a long and glorious career in television including heading Euston films and being responsible for Jonathan Creek (surely the longest ever audition for the role of Doctor Who). Verity Lambert died on the 22nd November 2007, a day before Doctor Who's 44th anniversary.

Novelised by John Peel as part of the first of two Dalek Masterplan novels, Mission to the Unknown was released on CD on 22nd October 2001 as part of Doctor Who - The Daleks' Master Plan. These CD were re-released as part of Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2 (1965-1966) on 3rd February 2011.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

085 Galaxy 4 Part 4: The Exploding Planet

EPISODE: Galaxy 4 Part 4: The Exploding Planet
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 085
STORY NUMBER: 018
TRANSMITTED: 02 October 1965
WRITER: William Emms
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

The Chumblies attack the Drahvin ship and release Steven who returns with the others to the Rill ship. The Doctor works to power up the Rill ship while the Drahvins plan to attack. Steven argues with the Rills: The Rills say that if the ship cannot be charged in time they will not hold the Tardis crew. He warns them that the Drahvins plan to attack. Quakes begin to rock the planet as the Drahvins escape the Chumblie guarding the ship and prepare to attack the Rills. A Drahvin attacks the Rill ship but is soon dealt with. The Chumblies attack the Drahvins holding them off allowing the Rill ship to obtain power. A Chumblie escorts the Tardis crew back to the time machine as the Rill ship leaves. The Tardis dematerialises as the planet destroys itself killing the warlike Drahvins.

Meanwhile in a jungle a man lies on a jungle floor and wakes remembering that he must kill!

Cracking story, essentially a reworking of the saying "Don't judge a book by it's cover". Thoroughly enjoyed all four episodes. Apparently none of the stars liked the story, perhaps due to it being rewritten from a form meant for the previous cast, causing the root of problems between incoming producer John Wiles, script editor Donald Tosh and Hartnell/Purves/O'Brien. This would lead to Vicki's prompt departure in The Myth Makers and start a process where the production team began to consider how to replace William Hartnell.

This would be writer William Emms sole contribution to Doctor Who. The director on the story was newcomer Derek Martinus, replacing planned director Mervyn Pinfield who was taken ill - Pinfield died shortly afterwards during 1966. Martinus directs the next episode - The Mission to the Unknown, come back tomorrow for details of that little oddity - as well as The Tenth Planet, The Evil of the Daleks, The Ice Warriors and Spearhead from Space.

No episodes of Galaxy Four exist so there's never been a video or DVD release. The footage from episode 1 that survives can be found in the Missing Years documentary in The Ice Warriors VHS boxset or Doctor Who - Lost In Time DVD. Galaxy Four was released on CD in the Missing Episodes collection in October 1999 and has been re-released as part of Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

Monday, 14 February 2011

084 Galaxy 4 Part 3: Airlock

EPISODE: Galaxy 4 Part 3: Airlock
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 084
STORY NUMBER: 018
TRANSMITTED: 25 September 1965
WRITER: William Emms
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

The Doctor & Vicki are being watched by alien eyes. They are pursued by Chumblies: Vicki is captured and taken to the Rills while the Doctor tries to sabotage the device the Rills use to convert air to ammonia which they need to breathe. The Rills speak with Vicki telling her they offered to take the Drahvins with them and they did not kill the Drahvin warrior as claimed. Maaga killed the injured soldier not them. Vicki flees the spaceship to stop the Doctor's sabotage. Steven attempts escape but finding a Chumblie outside is trapped in the airlock. Vicki convinces the Doctor that the Rills are friendly and he enters the ship to confer with them. They are drilling for power, but all they have found is a gas they are unable to use. The Doctor offers to give them power from the Tardis. Maaga starts pumping the air out of the airlock and gives Steven a choice: Surrender, die in the airlock or be killed by the waiting Chumblie. The Doctor & Vicki rush to the Drahvin spaceship to rescue him but the pressure difference has sealed the outer door preventing his escape.

Top stuff again. Lovely ominous sound to the disembodied Rills voice coming from the Chumblie. We've also got some other familiar noises as several Dalek effects are used: the Dalek city door noise is the sound of the Drahvin airlock opening & closing while the Dalek control centre noise is heard in the Rill ship. The whistling noise made when the Chumblies communicate with the Rills sounds awfully like the noise made by the UFOs in the eponymous Gerry Anderson series.

There is a crucial error in this episode betraying that it was previously written for a different set of companions: Stephan does not know that he can be harmed in the airlock by pumping the air out. Now given that Steven is a trained astronaut this is unlikely. The original draft of Galaxy Four was written for The Doctor, Ian, Barbara & Vicki where Barbara would be the companion held hostage. Instead Steven takes on the role meant for Barbara but as we see it gives rise to this small but important error.

The cast for Galaxy Four features fewer recognisable names and faces than most Doctor Who stories and very few cast members that appear in multiple Doctor Who stories. The most famous person in the cast is Angelo Muscat, who's hidden in a Chumblie here. He later finds fame and recognition as the Butler in the Prisoner. I looked Stephanie Bidmead, who played Maaga leader of the Drahvins, up to see what else she'd been in and discovered she died in 1974 at the age of 45.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

How many episodes did each Doctor have?

Following Fridaay's post on How long is this going to take you Phil?, I was asked how many episodes were made for each Doctor. So............


Doctor Actor Years Seasons Episodes Stories
1 William Hartnell 1963-1966 1-4 134 29
2 Patrick Troughton 1966-1969 4-6 119 21
3 Jon Pertwee 1970-1974 7-11 128 24
4 Tom Baker 1975-1981 12-18 178 42
5 Peter Davison 1982-1984 19-21 69 20
6 Colin Baker 1984-1986 21-23 31 8
7 Sylvester McCoy 1987-1996 24-26 42 12
8 Paul McGann 1996 Special 1  
9 Christopher Ecclestone 2005 1 13  
10 David Tennant 2005-2010 2-4 47  
11 Matt Smith 2010- 5 14*  


This makes no distinguishment between length of episodes.

So altough Pertwee did 5 years and Troughton 3 they're about equal in terms of episodes because Pertwee's seasons were so much shorter. But in terms of years and episodes Tom Baker is waaaay out in front.

083 Galaxy 4 Part 2: Trap of Steel

EPISODE: Galaxy 4 Part 2: Trap of Steel
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 083
STORY NUMBER: 018
TRANSMITTED: 18 September 1965
WRITER: William Emms
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

The Doctor and Steven are briefly trapped in the Tardis while it is assaulted by Chumblies while Vicki is unimpressed at the Drahvins diet. Returning to the Drahvins ship the Doctor first lies to the Drahvins about how long the planet has left but when Vicki is threatened he's forced to tell them that there are just 2 dawns remaining. Leaving Steven as a hostage the Doctor says he and Vicki will capture the Rills spaceship for the Drahvins who refuse to cooperate with the aliens. Steven attempts to escape but is foiled. Vicki & the Doctor work out to evade the Chumblies and locate the Rills base complete with it's drilling rig. Enteringm the base, far more advanced than the Drahvin ship, they notice a smell of ammonia in the air. They are distracted by a deactivated Chumblie but Vicki turns round letting out a scream.....

I'm really enjoying this story. I like the way we're slowly being forced to look at the Drahvins in a different light as Maaga's bullying behaviour towards her cloned troopers is revealed. Splendid cliffhanger too - what has scared Vicki so?

This is the first time since Reign of Terror that I've listened to (as opposed to watched) two episodes on the trot. To be honest I feel a little grim at the start of Season 3. In the first two series a total of 11 episodes were missing out of the 70 broadcast (it was 15 for many years). In Season 3 10 are missing before I reach the first episode that still exists and that's the most recent episode returned to date. Here's the state of the archives now for the first six years of Doctor Who:

Season 1: 42 episodes made, 09 episodes missing, 33 episodes remaining.
Season 2: 39 episodes made, 02 episodes missing, 37 episodes remaining.
Season 3: 45 episodes made, 29 episodes missing, 16 episodes remaining.
Season 4: 43 episodes made, 34 episodes missing, 09 episodes remaining.
Season 5: 40 episodes made, 27 episodes missing, 13 episodes remaining.
Season 6: 44 episodes made, 07 episodes missing, 37 episodes remaining.

But it was worse than that: when Ian Levene visited the film & video library in 1978 there were just two episodes from this season there: The Ark 3 & The Gunfighters 4. His visit to BBC Enterprises yielded two complete four part stories: Unfortunately they were the same Ark & Gunfighters as we already had one episode each of. That brings the holding to eight episodes. Levene obtained War Machines part 2 from a collector in Australia (9), episodes 5 & 10 of the Dalek Masterplan were found in a church (11), Celestial Toyroom 4 was returned via the ABC in Australia (12), the remaining 3 parts of the War Machines came back with the Time Meddler from Nigeria in 1984 (15) and in 2004 Dalek Masterplan 2 was returned by a former BBC Engineer who had removed it rather than destroying it. One episode of this season is probably gone for good: It's believed no film recording of Dalek Masterplan 7 was ever made (we'll cover why when we get there). The BBC Film and Video library believed they held another episode of the Dalek Masterplan, episode 4: The Traitors, in 1978 but it couldn't be found. It transpired it had been borrowed by Blue Peter in 1973, who used a clip which survives to this day in a recording of that program, and was never returned. Over the years this story has been slightly mangled to be told that it was Tenth Planet 4 that Blue Peter borrowed and never returned!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

082 Galaxy 4 Part 1: Four Hundred Dawns

EPISODE: Galaxy 4 Part 1: Four Hundred Dawns
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 082
STORY NUMBER: 018
TRANSMITTED: 11 September 1965
WRITER: William Emms
DIRECTOR: Derek Martinus
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 1 (1964-1965)

The Tardis lands on a planet where the crew are captured by a robot that Vicki names a Chumblie. They are rescued by the beautiful female Drahvins from the planet Drahva in Galaxy Four, who take them to their crashed spaceship and their leader Maaga. She tells them they are war with hideous looking Rills who shot them down while they shot down the Rills. The Rills told them the planet is due to disintegrate in 14 dawns an observation the Doctor offers to confirm. The Doctor returns to the Tardis with Steven, and after watching a group of Chumblies try to break in they enter allowing the Doctor to use his equipment to confirm the planet will explode not in 14 dawn but two!

Not a bad episode at all. My problem with it is I know the twist in the story that's to come! The deadline of 2 dawns gives the end of the episode a cliffhanger and adds some urgency to the next 3 episodes. Vicki's got a habit of giving things cute names - she's done it before to a beast in the Rescue and a controlled Zarbi in the Web Planet. It was annoying there and is annoying here.

Galaxy Four is the story that tipped the wider world off that not all Doctor Who existed anymore. In 1978 the Doctor Who Appreciation Society contacted the BBC wanting to show Galaxy Four at their convention and were told it no longer existed. Why Galaxy Four? Well the president of the society was already in possession of two clips from this story and that may of played a part. In 1977 a documentary Whose Doctor Who was made about the program (it can be found of the Doctor Who - The Talons Of Weng Chiang DVD which has been re-released in Doctor Who: Revisitations DVD Box Set 1 with The Caves Of Androzani & the Paul McGann Movie)) The makers of the documentary ordered a 6 minute section of film duplicated, took a 30 second clip out the middle and were meant to throw away the rest but instead gave them to the DWAS President Jan Vincent-Rudzki. Years later these two pieces of film, lasting 2 min 31 seconds and 2 min 52 seconds were reunited with the clip from the documentary to form the original 6 minute clip. This was first made available in The Ice Warriors VHS boxset in the Missing Years documentary which also is available in the Doctor Who - Lost In Time DVD. Unfortunately an error led to it not being listed with the other Hartnell clips on Lost In Time disc 1 so the only place to find it is in the Missing Years documentary Lost In Time disc 3. The footage can be found at 27:08 minutes in and lasts to about 33:03. It's taken from 11:33 into the episode and concludes at 17:18 into the episode and can be found on the CD from 26 seconds into track 8 till 33 seconds into track 13.

Friday, 11 February 2011

081 The Time Meddler Part 4: Checkmate

EPISODE: The Time Meddler Part 4: Checkmate
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 081
STORY NUMBER: 017
TRANSMITTED: 24 July 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Time Meddler

The Monk plans to signal the Viking fleet to land and then destroy them, allowing Harold's army to ride fresh to Hastings without having been involved in battle. Steven & Vicki find the Monk's collection of artefacts & technology plus his diary of attempted time meddling. The Doctor is enraged with the Monk and reminds him not to interfere. The Monk claims to have helped build Stonehenge with an anti gravity lift! The Doctor vows to prevent the Monk's plan. Sven the Viking wakes and seeks Ulf but is seen by the recovered Eldred. The Monk shows the Doctor his Tardis disguised as an altar. Eldred sneaks out of the monastery to warn the villagers. The Doctor marvels at the Monk's later mark IV Tardis. Vicki tells him the tide came in but the Doctor is confident it has survived intact. The Doctor admits he comes from the same place as the Monk but 50 years earlier by his reckoning. The Monk escapes but is captures by the Vikings. However he claims that he's in league with them and that the Doctor's party are their enemies. Eldred tells the villagers about the Vikings and they come to the monastery. The Monk deceives the Vikings into taking his weaponry to the cliff top. The Tardis crew are tied up and the Doctor vows to stop the monk. The villages set on the Vikings but they & the Monk escape. Edith frees the Tardis crew. The Vikings are caught (and killed though we don't see it as there's 12 seconds of footage missing from this episode, cut by the New Zealand censor and this is where it would be) The Doctor tampers with the Monk's Tardis and is delighted with his work. They decide to return to the Tardis, leaving a note for the Monk. The Monk returns to read the note and laughs. He enters the Tardis to find that the Doctor has removed it's dimensional control causing the inner dimensions to collapse to the size of the outer ones marooning the Monk in 1066. The Tardis dematerialises from the beech.....

That was a satisfying conclusion to the story. Lots of Hartnell & Butterworth made it all worth while.

The Time Meddler came to prominence in the early 1990s when it was chosen to open a repeat season in 1992 and followed by The Mind Robber, The Sea Devils, The Daemons, (surprisingly) Genesis of the Daleks, Caves of Androzani, Revalation of the Daleks and Battlefield. It was released on VHS in late 2002 in a boxset containing the last 3 complete William Hartnell stories not yet on Video - also included were the Sensorites and the Gunfighters. It was released on DVD in 2002.

And that concludes Doctor Who season 2. Generally I've enjoyed this season, with the exception of the one real clunker. I've only had to resort to audio for two episodes as well. Sadly it will be another TEN episodes before I next get to watch a complete episode as we're now entering the period of the program really devastated by the junkings of the 1970s. So I'm afraid that in the next few weeks they'll be lots of listening to CDs instead of watching on DVD or Video. So tomorrow we start Doctor Who Season 3 with Galaxy 4 Part 1: Four Hundred Dawns.

Thursday, 10 February 2011

How long is this going to take you Phil?

I've had a few "How long is this going to take you Phil?" questions recently. Tomorrow the last episode of series 2 goes up. There's some way to go yet. As we go on the seasons get shorter though.

Series Year Doctor Episodes In Series Total Episodes Date To Watch First Episode
1 1963-1964 1 42 42 23/11/2010
2 1964-1965 1 39 81 04/01/2011
3 1965-1966 1 45 126 12/02/2011
4 1966-1967 1/2 43 169 29/03/2011
5 1967-1968 2 40 209 11/05/2011
6 1968-1969 2 44 253 20/06/2011
7 1970 3 25 278 03/08/2011
8 1971 3 25 303 28/08/2011
9 1972 3 26 329 22/09/2011
10 1973 3 26 355 18/10/2011
11 1974 3 26 381 13/11/2011
12 1975 4 20 401 09/12/2011
13 1975-1976 4 26 427 29/12/2011
14 1976-1977 4 26 453 24/01/2012
15 1977-1978 4 26 479 19/02/2012
16 1978-1979 4 26 505 16/03/2012
17 1979-1980 4 26 531 11/04/2012
18 1980-1981 4 28 559 07/05/2012
19 1982 5 26 585 04/06/2012
20 1983 5 23 608 30/06/2012
21 1984 5/6 24 632 23/07/2012
22 1985 6 13 645 16/08/2012
23 1986 6 14 659 29/08/2012
24 1987 7 14 673 12/09/2012
25 1988 7 14 687 26/09/2012
26 1989 7 14 701 10/10/2012
- 1996 8 1 701 11/10/2012

080 The Time Meddler Part 3: A Battle of Wits

EPISODE: The Time Meddler Part 3: A Battle of Wits
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 080
STORY NUMBER: 017
TRANSMITTED: 17 July 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Time Meddler

The Monk finds the wounded villagers somewhere to lie down. In the cell Vicki & Steven discover a secret passage and figure the Doctor must have used it to escape. The Monk finds his captive gone but is called back to the villagers. The Doctor is in the village where Edith has told him where his friends have gone and about the Viking visitors. Steven and Vicki emerge from the tunnel and seek the Doctor. The Monk treats villager Eldred with penicillin for his wounds and pumps him for information on the Vikings who tells them the main fleet is probably two days away. There are two Vikings left in the woods, Sven & Ulf. They decide to assault the monastery and hold the monks hostage. The Monk ticks another thing off his to do list before plotting on a map he has laid out on the altar. Knocking on the door makes him hide the papers, and answering he is grabbed by the Doctor who makes the Monk think he is being held at gunpoint. Steven & Vicki arrive at the cliff discovering the tide has come in burying the Tardis. Steven discovers a bazooka set up on the cliff. They head back towards the monastery, where the Doctor & Monk are arguing as the Vikings hammer at the door. When they answer it the Doctor is overcome as the Monk slips away to overpower Ulf while the Doctor knocks Sven out. The Monk goes to the village and gets the villagers to set beacons on the cliff tops. The Doctor captures him on his return and asks him what the fires are for. Steven & Vicki discover a cable on the floor of the Monastery leading to a door in the back of the altar. Opening it and entering they are amazed to discover that the Monk has a Tardis.

Superb. Hartnell & Butterworth are fabulous opposite each other and really make the episode. But what an ending! The shock in 1965 of discovering that there was another Tardis out there must have been HUGE. And if he's got a Tardis then by extension the Monk must be from the same place as the Doctor......

The Time Meddler is the first historical with science fiction elements inserted into it, although The Chase features a brief sequence with the Daleks on the Mary Celeste. As the historical story dies out we'll later come to see many more science fiction stories with a historical setting. Indeed later in the series the production team realised that a good way to get decent costumes and sets out of the BBC was to set it in the past and treat it as a historical drama. It's no coincidence that many of the best Sylvester McCoy stories are set in Earth's past.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

079 The Time Meddler Part 2: The Meddling Monk

EPISODE: The Time Meddler Part 2: The Meddling Monk
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 079
STORY NUMBER: 017
TRANSMITTED: 10 July 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Time Meddler

The next day the monk makes the Doctor breakfast using a toaster, frying pan and tea pot serving it on a tray with modern crockery & cutlery. However his ungrateful guest throws it at him from within the cell (Another week off for Hartnell who remains unseen and only heard in a recording). Vicki is worried out in the woods, Steven finds them some breakfast of Blackberries. Steven doubts they are in the 10th Century. The travellers are seized by villagers. While outside the Monk is met by two women of the village who have brought him food. He's looking out to sea with binoculars waiting for something.... The Doctor hammers on the inside of the cell door wanting to be let out. The monk spots an approaching Viking ship and is pleased that they're coming at last. Vicki and Steven have been taken to the village. The villagers argue about whether to let the travellers go or kill him. They meet Edith, the woman who spoke with the Doctor last night. The headman releases them to proceed on their way. The Vikings land and scale the cliffs. Vicki & Steven arrive at the monastery and meet the Monk who tells them no stranger has visited them. The Monk accidentally reveals to them that the Doctor has been there so Steven & Vicki decide to break in. Back at the village the Vikings attack and assault Edith. The men of the village blame the travellers but Edith tells her husband it was Vikings. The villagers attack the Vikings causing many of them to be slain and injured by the superior warriors. The chief elder Wulnoth takes his friend Eldred to the monastery for help as Steven & Vicki are breaking in. The monk sees Steven and Vicki but is called to the door by the villagers allowing them too to find the gramophone recording of the song. They find the Doctor's cell empty apart from his cloak.

A little slow moving but Peter Butterworth is just superb as the Monk and so watchable that you don't notice! Lots of nice little touches dropped in to keep the mystery of where and when the Monk comes from in your mind.

As we've said, the principle guest star for this story is Peter Butterworth. At this time he was already well known but was shortly to find fame in the Carry On series of films. He made his d├ębut in 1965's Carry on Cowboy with fellow first timer Bernard Bresslaw who would later appear in Doctor Who as an Ice Warrior. William Hartnell is famously the Sergeant in the first film, 1958's Carry on Sergeant, while future Doctor Who Jon Pertwee has several appearances in the Carry On series. Film companions Roy Castle & Bernard Cribbins both have Carry Ons on their CV while prominent Carry On star Joan Sims appears in a Colin Baker story. The list of actors who have been in both Doctor Who and Carry On is so legion that it beats even my OCD/ASD powered list making ability. (I started one: it was huge when I gave up!)

The only other cast member in this series that I know anything about is Alethea Charlton who plays Edith. She was in the very first Doctor Who story playing cavewoman Hur.

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

078 The Time Meddler Part 1: The Watcher

EPISODE: The Time Meddler Part 1: The Watcher
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 078
STORY NUMBER: 017
TRANSMITTED: 03 July 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Time Meddler

Vicki & the Doctor miss Ian & Barbara: Vicki wonders if they will ever land in their time so they can meet them and wonder where they will go next. The Doctor asks Vicki if she wishes to go home too but she says she wants to stay. They hear a noise in the Tardis and are scared it might be a Dalek but discover Steven who had strayed aboard while they were on Mechanus.

The Tardis materialises on a sea shore: a man in Monk's robes observes the event and seems interested in it. Vicki explains about the Tardis to a disbelieving Steven.

Now, my boy, there are two things you can do. One: Sit there until you get your breath back, and two: Don't call me Doc! Now do I make myself clear?
That is the dematerializing control. And that, over yonder, is the horizontal hold. Up there is the scanner, those are the doors, that is a chair with a panda on it. Sheer poetry, dear boy! Now please stop bothering me.

The Doctor believes they have landed on Earth. Outside villagers discuss the blue box found on the beach. The travellers stand on the beach as the Doctor tries to convince Steven that they've travelled in time
What do you think of that, now, eh? A Viking helmet.
Maybe.
What do you mean, "maybe"? What do you think it is, a space helmet for a cow?

The monk overhears their conversation as the Doctor explains how they don't know where they're going and why the Tardis doesn't change. When they leave the Monk excitedly examines the Tardis before reaching to his wrist for something he finds is missing. The Doctor has become separated from his friends and visits the village but is caught sneaking around. Returning to his monastery the monk lights a light as the sound of evensong is heard. The villagers find their way to where the Tardis was but it's now under water. The Doctor has befriended the villager, Edith, who found him who explains they live in fear of strangers. The Doctor works out that he is in the year 1066 and it is late summer: Vikings are due to invade soon and encounter Harold Hardrada in battle. The noise of evensong distorts making the Doctor curious. Edith tells him just one Monk has been seen and the Doctor leaves for the monastery to investigate. Steven & Vicki encounter a trapper, alarmed by Steven he drops an item he's just found on the ground. Steven & Vicki discover it's a wrist watch making Steven dubious of the Tardis' time travel abilities. The Doctor enters the monastery and discovers the singing is being played off of a gramophone record before being captured by the Monk, who seems to recognise him.

That was great. Super stuff. Nowadays we're used to the idea of other time travellers but then the presence of anachronistic objects would be a real mystery. If you had thought time travel might be involved somehow I suppose you'd be thinking that maybe it was part of the threat posed by the Daleks who we saw following the Doctor last story. The truth would be even more incredible and would start opening up the mysteries behind the Doctor himself.

Today all four episodes of the Time Meddler reside in the BBC archives but this wasn't always the case. Episode 2 has always been there, it was amongst the 47 black & white episodes found by Ian Levene when he first visited. All 4 episodes were found in Nigeria in 1984 along with all 6 episodes of the Web Planet (which was already in the archive) and all 4 of the War Machines (which only had it's 2nd part) However there was a delay returning these episodes to the UK because diplomatic relations between the UK & Nigeria were severed following the kidnap of a Nigerian politician on UK soil. They eventually found their way back to the BBC in early 1985. it was then discovered that the copies of the Time Meddler & War Machines have small sections missing, which probably means that the prints originated in New Zealand because they exactly match the cuts New Zealand censors made. Ian Levine also came by a second copy of episodes 1 & 3 which were this time complete, but held onto them for a while as bargaining material to use with any other collector who had missing episodes. These copies were eventually returned to the BBC and used to patch the Nigerian copies of episodes 1 & 3. This means only episode 4 stands incomplete, missing 13 seconds of a Saxon stabbing two Vikings.

Monday, 7 February 2011

077 The Chase Part 6: The Planet of Decision

EPISODE: The Chase Part 6: The Planet of Decision
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 077
STORY NUMBER: 016
TRANSMITTED: 26 June 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: Dennis Spooner
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Space Museum/The Chase

The travellers ascend in the lift with the Mechanoid to it's city. The Daleks fetch equipment from their ship to cut through the wall and follow. The travellers are herded into a room but the Doctor isn't happy. Inside the room is a bearded man: He is astronaut Steven Taylor, marooned when his ship crashed. He assumes they are rescuers sent from Earth and is overcome. He has been a guest of the Mechanoids for two years, robots who were sent from Earth to prepare the world for colonisation. They await a command code that never came. The Mechanoids are holding them as specimens monitoring all they do and say. The Daleks summon the lift and prepare to confront the Mechanoids. There is a way out from the cell onto the roof of the city 1500ft above the ground. The travellers see this as an escape route: Ian finds some power cable which he thinks they can lower and climb down. The Daleks enter the city and confront the Mechanoids. Neither side will back down and a pitch battle ensues. Vicki is overcome by the height so the others lower her as the city catches fire in the battle. Steven charges inside to retrieve his cuddly panda mascot. The travellers make it to the ground but there's no sign of Steven. They shelter in the Tardis as the city is destroyed. Emerging later they find the Dalek time craft empty and abandoned. Ian & Barbara realise that since it works properly they would be able to get home. While they go into the machine to talk with the Doctor, Steven stumbles out of the jungle and into the Tardis. The Doctor isn't keen on Ian and Barbara leaving, claiming it could kill them, but Vicki talks him into it. He programs the machine for one flight to London 1965 and then sets it to self destruct. The machine dematerialises leaving the Doctor and Vicki together. Ian & Barbara materialise in a warehouse opposite White City Tube Station and leave just before the time machine is destroyed. Ian and Barbara are overjoyed to have returned home to London and then wonder how they will explain their absence. The Doctor and Vicki watch on the Time Space Visualiser, as the Doctor admits he will miss his friends. The Tardis leaves Mechanus, with it's remaining crew unaware that they have a guest.

Well..... the battle scenes are short lived and the Mechanoids are little more than a Dalek rip off. Leaving them aside, what this episode is remembered for is bidding farewell to Ian & Barbara and introducing Steven Taylor, played by Peter Purves, cast after his brief appearance in episode 3.

This is the last time we see Ian & Barbara on screen but apparently the powers that be wanted to give them a brief cameo at the end of the Massacre, witnessing the Tardis depart from Wimbledon Common. Many years later we came so close to getting Ian back during 1983's Mawdryn Undead. William Russel was unavailable for filming as teacher Ian Chesterton so the function was filled by Nicholas Courtney's Brigadier having retired to teach maths. As I write William Russel is alive and well, if advancing in years and has regularly contributed commentary to Doctor Who DVDs. Jacqueline Hill, who played Barbara, took a break from acting to raise a family, returning to the trade in the late 70s when her appearances included a guest role in the Tom Baker story Meglos. Sadly she was taken ill with cancer and died in 1993. A tribute to her can be found on the recently released Doctor Who - Meglos DVD.

We also bid farewell to two members of behind the scenes staff. Script Editor Dennis Spooner takes leave of his post with this story. His tenure on staff was brief but he'll be back writing the next story as well as a good proportion of next year's Dalek Masterplan. This is the last Doctor Who directed by Richard Martin. Popular with the cast he seemed to get lumbered with technical monster stories which perhaps weren't quite his forte. It's interesting contrasting the Daleks under his direction to that of Christopher Barry in their first appearance and Douglas Camfield in their next. He had a long career in television working on a variety of programs.

The Mechanoids were another attempt to produce the next BIG Doctor Who monster (see also: Vrood & Zarbi) but this was their only appearance. Unlike most other Doctor Who monsters of the time they were immortalised in toy form and did appear in the Daleks comic strip during the 60s. If you're a Doctor Who fan you'll be able to hazard a pretty good guess as to what the next big monster was, but they're not due to show up for another season and a half yet!

The Chase was one of the last Target Books to be released, novelised by John Peel. It was released on VHS in 1993 as part of Doctor Who's 30th anniversary in a limited edition Dalek tin with Remembrance of the Daleks then on DVD in 2010 when it was packed with the Space Museum.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

076 The Chase Part 5: The Death of Doctor Who

EPISODE: The Chase Part 5: The Death of Doctor Who
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 076
STORY NUMBER: 016
TRANSMITTED: 19 June 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: Dennis Spooner
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Space Museum/The Chase

The Doctor, Ian & Barbara explore the jungle on the planet Mechanus examining the plants which are surprisingly mobile. Ian thinks it's the perfect place to fight the Daleks. Vicki sneaks out of her hiding place in the Dalek's time machine. The Doctor and his group follow some lights to a cave where Vicki finds what looks like a weapon. Vicki hammers on the Tardis door but nobody is there to let her in while the plants continue to attack her. Vicki's screams are heard by the others so Ian & The Doctor leave to find her. The Daleks engage the attacking plant life. Meanwhile the robot Doctor finds Barbara and tells her Ian is dead. The real Doctor and Ian, carrying the unconscious Vicki return to the cave to discover Barbara gone. Ian searches for her but when Vicki wakes she thinks the Doctor is the robot but when Ian returns she is convinced and tells them of the robot. Ian finds Barbara who is attacked by the robot. The robot flees the scene, returning when the real Doctor arrives. There's an argument but they figure out which Doctor is the robot when he gets Vicki's name wrong and calls her Susan. The real Doctor defeats the robot. The Daleks guarding the Tardis decide to search the jungle at daybreak. The travellers spend the night in a cave during which they are monitored by a mechanical eye. In the morning, with clearer skies, the travellers are able to see a city raised high above the jungle they are in. The Daleks approach them, but the Doctor pretends to be the robot duplicate - oh look there's the broken neck ring on a normal coloured Dalek, I assume the Supreme has had a respray. Good grief, five weeks in and two of the Dalek power slats have been damaged already! The Doctor attempts to deceive them but fails and they attack. A door opens at the back of the cave revealing a strange, almost spherical Mechanoid which invites them to enter.....

Yeah this episode struggles. It's main problem is that for most of the time it's obvious which is the Doctor and which is the double due to a different actor playing the duplicate in most of the scenes. But I think lessons are learnt here and the next time there's a duplicate of the doctor the two are kept apart allowing Hartnell to play both roles. As well as the Time Travel, the duplication of another being shows up as a Dalek ploy in a later story too: Many year later the Daleks use this technique in The Resurrection of the Daleks.