Sunday 20 February 2011

090 The Myth Makers Part 4: Horse of Destruction

EPISODE: The Myth Makers Part 4: Horse of Destruction
TRANSMITTED: 06 November 1965
WRITER: Donald Cotton
DIRECTOR: Michael Leeston
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 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).

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