Saturday 1 January 2011

040 The Reign of Terror Part 4: The Tyrant of France

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Part 4: The Tyrant of France
TRANSMITTED: 29 August 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: (1964-1965) No. 1

We start the new year by switchin media mid story for the first time: Film prints of the next two episodes are still missing from the BBC archives so I'm listening on CD.

The Doctor is escorted by Citizen Lemaitre to the palace used by First Deputy Robspierre, the third actual historical figure to appear in Doctor Who after Marco Polo and Kublai Khan. He and the Doctor discuss Paris and the revolution. Susan is being looked after in Jules house, his servant Danielle brings Susan a glass of Brandy to warm her. Danielle is a little antagonistic to the visitors, but Barbara is getting on fine with Léon Colbert who goes to seek Jules & Jean. After everyone has gone to bed Jules & Jean arrive home bearing an unconscious body: they have captured someone. The Doctor & Lemaitre return to the prison where Lemaitre convinces the Doctor to stay the night and to see Robspierre again tomorrow. Lemaitre meets the tailor and is shown the ring. Trying to leave the Doctor is threatened at gunpoint by the jailer and made to stay. The tailor tells Lemaitre what has happened and how the Doctor obtained the clothes & paper. Barbara discovers the man brought to the house is Ian and is pleased to be reunited. Ian discovers Jules is Jules Renan who Webster told him to contact - he passes the message about James Stirling on but Jules doesn't know who he is. Jean will go to the house in the country to seek the Doctor. Barbara will accompany Susan to the physician while Ian meets a colleague of Jules. She is diagnosed with a feverish chill, but the physician is suspicious of her and locks them in his office while he goes to the prison and summons the jailer & his guards, who re-arrest the women. Ian worries about them so Jules goes to fetch them. At the prison Susan is flung in a cell while Barbara is taken to be interrogated by the visiting regional office - the Doctor. But their conversation is overheard by Lemaitre. Ian is ambushed at his meeting by Léon Colbert and some soldiers.

Less of the Doctor in this one and flatter as a result. I suspect it would be better with visuals.

This is the first story that the Doctor visits Paris in, but he'd be back several times making Paris the Doctor's second most visited place on Earth. He would return in The Massacre, set in 1572 as opposed to Reign of Terror's 1794, but a few years later for the Doctor. At some point he meets Napoleon, also presumably in Paris. He returns to Paris in 1979 to foil the plot of Scaroth, the last of the Jagaroth in City of Death and has various visits from 1727 onwards during the course of the new series story The Girl in the Fireplace.

As discussed under episode 1, the Cyprus copies of episodes 4 & 5, as well as their duplicate of The Aztecs 2, were destroyed when the Cypriot National Film Archive was shelled in the 1974 coup. Episodes 1-3 & 6 survived and were returned to the BBC. To bridge the missing episodes on video narration was recorded by Carol Anne Ford.

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