Saturday 23 July 2011

243 The Space Pirates: Episode Six

EPISODE: The Space Pirates: Episode Six
TRANSMITTED: 12 April 1969
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: Michael Hart
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Space Pirates

We start Doctor Who's final missing episode on Wokingham station finally sat on the South West Train that will take me to Richmond.

Jamie & Zoe escape their guards and find the Doctor. Milo Clancy and Dom Issigri are trapped on Clancy's ship which is out of their control and a diminishing oxygen supply. Caven has Dervish booby trap the Issigri base by setting demolition charges in the atomic fuel store before they leave. The Doctor reactivates the Oxygen supply on Clancy's ship and instructs Clancy in how to disconnect the remote control. Reaching a safe distance the pirates send the signal to detonate the explosives but the Doctor has successfully removed the detonator preventing an explosion. Major Warne in a Minnow tracks the pirates Beta Dart and destroys it. Madeline is taken to Earth to stand trial in her part in proceedings while Milo Clancy offers to take the Doctor, Jamie & Zoe to Lobos to retrieve the orbiting space station fragment containing the Tardis.

So the Tardis crew finally spend a whole episode interacting with the rest of the cast.... and because of the requirements of location filming for the War Games the regulars all the scenes involving The Doctor, Jamie and Zoe had to be pre filmed. I hold my head in my hands and weep. If they had to be off somewhere else filming for the next story why not schedule it for an episode, like virtually any of the others but especially 1 or 2, where they have minimal interaction with the rest of the cast and are hardly in it? Madness. But at least at the end there's a little tension with the countdown to the explosives going off. I will not be remembering the Space Pirates with fondness for anything in the program itself.

I've gone away and thought about this: the only member of the cast that the Tardis crew interact with in this episode is Madeline Issigri. Clancy and Dom Issigri are in Clancy's spaceship, the pirates are escaping and Warne & Hermack are pursuing them. The scene at the end could have been accomplished with the Tardis crew on one side of the room and the rest on the other... In fact the Tardis crew never meet Warne & Hermack during the story which is odd given what large roles they play in it.

Instead I choose to celebrate the major milestone that this episode represents: it's the last episode that is presently missing from the BBC archives. From this point onwards all episodes of Doctor Who broadcast by the BBC exist. The question now turns from "does this episode exist?" to "what format does the episode exit in?" We'll pick this subject up in The Silurians in two weeks time. So I say goodbye to my Missing Episodes CDs that I sourced the soundtracks for the these missing episodes from and goodbye to the MP3 player I've listened to them on, mostly on buses or trains.

Since this is the last missing episode I thought we should record which episodes are still missing from the BBC archives:

Season 1: 1963-4

Marco Polo: All 7 episodes
Reign of Terror: Episodes 4 & 5 of 6

Season 2: 1964-5

The Crusade: Episodes 2 & 4 of 4

Season 3: 1965-6

Galaxy 4: 1, 2 & 4 of 4
Mission to the Unknown: Only episode
The Myth Makers: All 4 episodes
The Dalek Masterplan: Episodes 1, 3 & 4, 6-9 and 11 & 12 of 12
The Massacre: All 4 episodes
The Celestial Toymaker: Episodes 1-3 of 4
The Savages: All 4 episodes

Season 4: 1966-7

The Smugglers: All 4 episodes
The Tenth Planet: Episode 4 of 4
Power of the Daleks: All 6 episodes
The Highlanders: All 4 episodes
The Underwater Menace: Episodes 1 & 4 of 4
The Moonbase: Episodes 1 & 3 of 4
The Macra Terror: All 4 episodes
The Faceless Ones: Episodes 2 & 4-6 of 6
Evil of the Daleks: Episodes 1 & 3-7 of 7

Season 5: 1967-8

The Abominable Snowmen: Episodes 1 & 3-6 of 6
The Ice Warriors: Episodes 2 & 3 of 6
The Enemy of the World: Episodes 1, 2 & 4-6 of 6
The Web of Fear: Episodes 2-6 of 6
Fury from the Deep: All 6 episodes
The Wheel in Space: Episodes 1, 2, 4 & 5 of 6

Season 6: 1968-9

The Invasion: Episodes 1 & 4 of 8
The Space Pirates: Episodes 1 & 3-6 of 6

The Space Pirates was the last Troughton story - bar the Terry Nation Dalek stories - to be novelised by Target books. It was also the last Doctor Who novelization by Terrance Dicks.... and in two stories time I'll tell you about his first. A soundtrack CD with narrations by Fraser Hines was issued in 2003.

No comments:

Post a Comment