Friday 1 April 2011

130 The Smugglers: Part Four

EPISODE: The Smugglers: Part Four
TRANSMITTED: 01 October 1966
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Julia Smith
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Smugglers
TELESNAPS: The Smugglers: Part Four

Cherub has shot and wounded the Squire. The Doctor reveals the rhyme Longfoot told him to Cherub, who recognises the names as former crewmates who died at sea. Pike has been busy looting the smugglers stash. Leaving the crew to transport it back to the beach, he arrives at the church, confronts Cherub and kills him. The Doctor sends Ben and Polly away down the tunnel but the exit at beach level has been found by some of the pirates who are exploring it. The Doctor, suspecting the pirates will sack the village, promises to help Pike find the treasure if it is spared. Finding all four names on tombstones in the crypt the Doctor works out that the treasure lies on the point of intersection between them: they lever up a flagstone and find pearls underneath. Blake arrives with militiamen and starts rounding up the pirates. Polly is attacked by pirates in the tunnel and saved by Blake. Ben sends her back to the Tardis with instructions to put the kettle on, returning back up the tunnel with Blake. Blake's men burst into the crypt attacking Pike and the pirates there. Pike goes to kill the Doctor but is held off by the squire long enough for Blake to kill him. The Doctor & Ben sneak away down the passage, as Blake tends to the Squire who has tried to redeem himself. They join Polly in the Tardis and dematerialise. Shortly afterwards the temperature in the Tardis dramatically drops and the Doctor announces they have arrived at the coldest place in the world.....

Remember the Myth Makers incident with the MP3 player set to random? Happened again here but I caught it quicker this time after just a minute or so. Thing is I keep all my spoken word and dramatisations on a separate player nowadays and never set it to random so I'm guessing SOMEBODY, JONATHAN MICHAEL AYRES, has been fiddling with Daddy's MP3 player!

This is a great episode. The mystery of the riddle is resolved, the treasure is found, and the pirates get their comeuppance in what sounds like it's a superb action sequence. Top marks to Brian Hayles here for writing a lovely historical action yarn. It's just a pity nothing remains of it bar a few clips on DVD.

Now we're watching Season 4 of Doctor who we probably aught to take a look at just how little of it remains:

Season Episodes Existing Missing % Missing
1 42 33 9 21.43
2 39 37 2 5.13
3 45 16 29 64.44
4 43 9 34 79.07
5 40 13 27 67.5
6 44 37 7 15.91

The fourth season is the season where currently the least number of episodes exist. Today nine episodes remain from it:

The Tenth Planet 1
The Tenth Planet 2
The Tenth Planet 3
The Underwater Menace 3
The Moonbase 2
The Moonbase 4
The Faceless Ones 1
The Faceless Ones 3
The Evil of the Daleks 2

Just these last two episodes have been returned to the archives: the remaining seven were there all along. The only other Troughton episode from the season known to be in existence outside of the BBC Film & Video library was a second of The Faceless Ones 1 that was in the hands of an Australian collector along with The Chase part 1, which the BBC already had, and The War Machines 2, which was missing at the time. The rate of recovery for this season is very poor, especially compare to seasons 3 & 5, both of which had just 2 episodes residing in the film & video library in 1977 when Ian Levene arrived: The Ark 3 & The Gunfighters 4 for Season 3 and The Enemy of the World 3 & The Wheel In Space 6 for Season 5. Season 4 is the only season of Doctor Who not to contain a complete story - Season 3 has three, Season 5 had one, albeit one returned as a whole in 1992. Season 4 also contains the episode that most people would want returned, Tenth Planet 4 which is the last episode that William Hartnell appears in. Both of Season 4's Dalek stories, Power of the Daleks and Evil of the Daleks, are highly regarded and their return would be most welcome.

The Smugglers was one of the last Hartnell stories to be released as a novel when Terrance Dicks novelised it in 1988 as his penultimate contribution to the Target Books range. It was released on CD in 2002 with narration by Anneke Wills and is expected to be re-released in Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes collection volume 3.

Just four episodes of Hartnell to go! But the next story isn't just significant for changing the Doctor, oh no. Join us tomorrow when we'll have some excellent news for fans of Doctor Who monsters!

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