Sunday 1 May 2011

160 The Faceless Ones: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Faceless Ones: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: 29 April 1967
WRITER: David Ellis & Malcolm Hulke
DIRECTOR: Gerry Mill
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Faceless Ones
TELESNAPS: The Faceless Ones: Episode Four

Spencer tells Jamie & Samantha that the Doctor is dead and then immobilises them on the floor too. He points a laser cannon at them. Nurse Pinto is at work in medical centre creating a copy of immigration officer Jenkins. The Doctor destroys the laser with a mirror from Samantha's hand bag. Jamie feigns sickness to allow the Doctor access to the medical centre, but Nurse Pinto won't allow them access to the inner rooms. Jean Rook, the commandant's assistant, has become worried about the missing Inspector Crossland. She is engaged in some research into Chameleon tours. As the Doctor arrives she receives word from Athens airport, one of Chameleon's destinations: although they leave for that airport no Chameleon Tours flight has ever arrived there. The commandant arranges for the RAF to follow the next flight. Jamie seeks out Samantha: she has bought a ticket for the next Chameleon flight, determined to find out what's going on. Jamie steals the ticket and takes her place on the flight. Jean Rook stages a medical emergency luring Nurse Pinto from sickbay. The Doctor enters and discovers the duplication machine and the comatose real Nurse Pinto. Samantha goes to the Chameleon tours desk and complains her ticket has been stolen but is taken prisoner by Spencer. As the Chameleon tours flight leaves Jamie is overcome by airsickness and flees to the toilet. The flight is followed by an RAF jet. Blade fires a weapon from the Chameleon plane at the jet causing it to crash. The plane hangs in mid air and changes configuration, wings sweeping back to become a rocket. Once again all the passengers disappear. The radar trace shows the plane is stationary, then it vanishes. The commandant says it must have fallen to Earth and been destroyed but the Doctor argues it could have flown up. The stewardess, Ann, collects something from every passenger seat on the plane but distracted isn't sure if she's collected from Jamie's seat. The plane approaches a space station which it enters.....

More pieces of the puzzle this episode, but 4 episodes in and the mystery is still going. You're starting to be sure it's aliens who are responsible but why is a different matter.

This episode was the nail in the coffin for the relationship between the BBC and Shawcraft Models, who had built the Daleks and many of the other special props used for the series. There was extreme dissatisfaction with the plane and the satelite models used here. Relations had been stressed since The Macra Terror and as a result all further Doctor Who modelwork was brought in house at the BBC.

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