Category Archives: Companions

The One Show on Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes

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An informative 8 minute video from the BBC’s The One Show on the recovery and release of The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear in October 2013. The segment features the First Doctor’s companion Peter Purves and the hunt for missing episodes. Of particular interest is the interview with Graham Strong concerning his collection of audio tapes of missing episodes.

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The War Games

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It was only at the close of Doctor Who’s monochrome era in 1969 that the world’s longest running science fiction series gave itself a back-story.  Already in its sixth season, and more than five years since An Unearthly Child was first broadcast, Doctor Who had hitherto avoided the continuity consciousness for which it is today so famous.  The Second Doctor would never have alluded to his body “wearing a bit thin” as John Hurt’s Doctor did of the First Doctor’s final words in The Day of the Doctor. To be sure, Doctor Who had a history but it was one that was only fleetingly referred to and then to those stories of recent memory only. Hence the Second Doctor famously misheard the word “jetty” for “Yeti” in The Enemy of the World however this allusion was only to a serial broadcast two stories previously, The Abominable Snowmen.

The War Games changed Who’s consciousness of its past forever.  Never before had a serial borrowed clips from previous serials save for the final episode of The Wheel in Space in which the Doctor projected his thought patterns onto a monitor and the reprise from episode two of The Evil of the Daleks was seen. On that occasion the clip had been shown as a lead-in for the first ever repeat of a serial, the aforementioned The Evil of the Daleks. In The War Games, however, stock footage was used as if it was new and previously unseen. Hence, in the Doctor and his companion’s escape from the Time Lords footage from Fury From the Deep was borrowed as the TARDIS spun to sea-level and from The Web of Fear when the ship was entangled in cobwebs.  It was fortunate that the Fury clip was borrowed because all of its episodes are missing from the archives.  The spinning TARDIS gives fans an all too brief glimpse at what the serial would have looked like.

Footage of the spinning TARDIS from Fury From the Deep only exists because it was reused in The War Games

Footage of the spinning TARDIS from Fury From the Deep only exists because it was reused in The War Games. All episodes of Fury From the Deep are missing from the BBC Archives

Who stock footage was also utilized in episode 10 of The War Games when, akin to Wheel, the Doctor again reflected his thought patterns to a wall.  In this instance it was the benefit of the Time Lords who were provided with details of the monsters the Doctor had recently fought, namely Daleks, Cybermen, Yeti, Ice Warriors and Quarks.

The show’s back-story, however, came with the arrival and naming of the Doctor’s race.  Since Doctor Who’s beginnings the Doctor had never been able to control the TARDIS’s steering.  It was for that reason that he was unable to return all of the kidnapped soldiers back to their own eras and had need to call in the Time Lords for assistance. Only once previously had the Doctor encountered one of his own and on that occasion his race was not named.  Rather than being dour and judgemental as the Time Lords were, The Monk of Season Three was somewhat of a hapless, albeit amusing, renegade.  It was in his renegade status that the Doctor had most in common with The Monk.

Prior to the arrival of the Time Lords in The War Games the Monk was the first and only member of the Doctor's race whom we meet

Prior to the arrival of the Time Lords in The War Games the Monk was the first and only member of the Doctor’s race we met

Jamie incorrectly assumed that the Doctor’s people would be both friendly and supportive of him.  Alas, this was not to be as the Doctor was compelled to admit to his companions that he was on the run from the Time Lords. Being bored with the existence of a Time Lord on their unnamed planet he stole a TARDIS and embarked on a life of adventure and inter-planetary interference.

Prior to meeting the three Time Lords who were in judgement of him, the Doctor encountered the evil renegade, the War Chief who was in alliance with the War Lords, a humanoid race of beings intent on conquering the galaxy.  It was with the War Chief’s expertise that the War Lords’ acquired the ability to time travel in the inferior technology crafts called SIDRATs (TARDIS backwards).

The War Chief was a renegade Time Lord who gave the the War Lords the secrets of time travel.  He also had the most fabulous beard!

The War Chief was a renegade Time Lord who gave the the War Lords the secrets of time travel. He also had the most fabulous beard!

Although The War Games is best remembered for its back-story invention, more significantly it is story on the futility of war.  The War Lords kill for killing’s sake in a quest to unearth the universe’s best fighting force of soldiers. It is with the best soldiers that the War Lords hope to conquer the galaxy.  The wars in each of the zones are as pointless as they are artificial. Victory would be of no effect as the wars are illusory.  There are no spoils for the victors to share but rather the (unknown) guarantee of further bloodshed when they are next compelled to battle for the War Lords. Transported from their own time zones to an unnamed world, the soldiers are lost to the society’s from which they came. This is sure to be an analogy for the millions lost to the bloodshed of history’s wars.

The simulated war zones of The War Games

The simulated war zones of The War Games

The War Games is also a tale on judicial injustice.  The serial begins and ends with trials in which the rule of law is disregarded. The Kangaroo Court before which the Doctor, Zoe and Jamie appear in the 1917 war zone is bereft of any semblance of truth or integrity. The monocle wearing War Lord Smyth hypnotises all to accept his distorted version of the “truth”.  Memories are lost and lies deposited in the minds of Smyth’s subordinates.  The Doctor is sentenced to death without the benefit of any defence. His imminent dawn execution in episode one is perhaps one of the best cliff hangers in Who’s history.

Smyth, the War Lord in command of the simulated 1917 WWI zone

General Smyth, the War Lord in command of the simulated 1917 WWI zone

The Time Lords’ trial of the Doctor at the serial’s conclusion is only slightly less abusive of the defendant’s inalienable right to a fair trial. In contrast to Smyth’s show trial, the Time Lord’s permit the Doctor to tender some evidence in support of his defence against breaching the most paramount of all his people’s laws – non- interference in dealings with the rest of the universe. Although the Doctor had indeed interfered in the affairs of the universe his defence was essentially one of mitigation.  The ends, the Doctor indirectly argued, justified the means. There were evils in the universe that needed to be fought. As the Doctor stated:

I not only admit them.  I am proud of them.  While you have been content merely to observe the evil in the galaxy, I have been fighting against it … All these evils I have fought while you have done nothing but observe.  True.  I am guilty of interference, just as you are guilty of failing to use your great powers to help those in need!

The Time Lords. The Time Lord in the Centre, Bernard Horsfall. played Gulliver in The Mind Robber

The Time Lords. The Time Lord in the centre, Bernard Horsfall. played Gulliver in The Mind Robber

Despite his spirited defence the Doctor was nonetheless convicted and his defence taken as a plea in mitigation. Whilst accepting that certain evil in the universe must be fought the Time Lords sentenced him to exile on Earth, a planet to which he had a particular interest.  The secret of the TARDIS was to be taken from him and he was to have his appearance changed.  The writers of Doctor Who had yet to invent the term “regeneration”. Although the opportunity was initially afforded to the Doctor to choose his appearance, the Time Lords quickly tired of his objections to each and every pencil sketched face offered to him.  Seeing this as a refusal to make a decision the Time Lords without further notice made it for the Doctor and propelled him into a circling vortex.  Interestingly, he was not charged and compelled to face court on a charge of stealing the TARDIS. Perhaps it was considered a minor offense that might warrant an on the spot fine?

That the head of the aliens is known as the “War Lord” exhibits that he and his race are authorities on war, whereas the “Time Lords” are specialists in the field of time. The use of the word “Lord” at the end of each title is suggestive of a royal or hereditary class structure. It was therefore surprising, and arguably anathema that John Hurt’s Doctor in the minisode The Night of the Doctor should be credited as the “War Doctor” in the closing titles. This was obviously an issue to which Steven Moffat gave great thought and was resolved in the 50th Anniversary Special, The Day of the Doctor. In the January 2014 edition of the Doctor Who Magazine Moffat discussed this issue in depth

The end credits card of The Night of the Doctor introducing John Hurt as the War Doctor

The end credits card of The Night of the Doctor introducing John Hurt as the War Doctor

“The Time War became a piece of back story that inevitably forced its way to the front cos you really have to contemplate – and the more you think about this seriously – that this lovely man who you’re watching week after week has committed genocide!”

The Doctor farewells Jamie

The Doctor farewells Jamie

It was extraordinarily sad to farewell both Jamie and Zoe in this serial.  Zoe quickly became my favourite female companion of the 1960s during my Second Doctor marathon.  You can read our 50th Anniversary Countdown piece on Zoe here.  I was thrilled to have the opportunity to meet the lovely Wendy Padbury in person during a cigarette break at the Brisbane Lords of Time 2 in December.  She was every bit as charming and engaging as I’d imagined. In The War Games Zoe again endeared herself to me by knocking an officer unconscious with a vase and describing the horrendously sexist Mexican resistance leader as having “rather primitive ideas about women knowing their place”. In the end we learn that Donna Noble was not the first Who companion to have their memories of the Doctor wiped. Jamie’s exit was no less traumatic although it was with relief that his last words were his clan’s battle cry, “Creag an Tuire”!  Jamie was  again in battle mode as an armed redcoat fled.

Zoe and the Doctor in The War Games

Zoe and the Doctor in The War Games

So ends the Second Doctor’s era.  Join the Doctor Who Mind Robber as we continue our journey with the Third Doctor!

Donna Noble (Journey's End) was not the first companion to have her memories of the Doctor wiped

Donna Noble (Journey’s End) was not the first companion to have her memories of the Doctor wiped

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2014.

Day 15 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – Griff the Chef’s Legacy

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Writing the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s 50th Anniversary Countdown is reminiscent of Griffin the Chef’s sublime appearance in Episode 3 of the recently recovered and released Second Doctor serial, The Enemy of the World. That episode, as you may recall, had been the only part of the six part serial to have been previously held in the BBC Archives. Released as part of the triple DVD set, Lost in Time, Episode 3 had caused many a fan to discount Enemy. Forever being one to differ, my review of Enemy prior to the recovery was nonetheless positive. Australian Reg Lye’s portrayal of the laconic Griff was the highlight of the episode. 

Griff the Chef hides under the table during a tense moment in The Enemy of the World, Episode 3

Griff the Chef hides under the table during a tense moment in The Enemy of the World, Episode 3

Griff is seen to complain to Victoria about his life as the evil Salamander’s chef.  His mother, he stated, had wanted him to be a dustman and that night’s dinner was sure to be “a national disaster”. Having agreed to be of assistance, Griff went on to say to Victoria,

Well sit down and write out the menus. First course interrupted by bomb explosion. Second course affected by earthquakes. Third course ruined by interference in the kitchen. I’m going out for a walk. It’ll probably rain.

Reg Lye was phenomenal as the chef, Griffin in The Enemy of the World

Reg Lye was phenomenal as the chef, Griffin in The Enemy of the World

Trying to keep up with this Countdown, and also sew the Second and Fourth Doctor Cosplay outfits discussed on Days 16 and 17, leaves me in a Griff type predicament. First course interrupted by The Day of the Doctor sneak peak. Second course affected by leaked The Day of the Doctor trailer. Third course ruined by interference from #SaveTheDay hastag on Twitter.  Just over a fortnight out from the 50th Anniversary and any half interested fan could spend almost every waking hour of the day following the latest Doctor Who news.

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning - http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

Doctor Who retro posters courtesy of Radio Times designer Stuart Manning – http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-10-11/doctor-who-missing-episodes-retro-poster-designs

Keep watching the Doctor Who Mind Robber as we continue to report on all the anniversary news and hopefully even get some Cosplay sewing done!

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 16 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The Troughton Frock Coat Part 1

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As outlined in yesterday’s post, the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s latest challenge is to make both a Second and a Fourth Doctor Cosplay outfit in the 16 days remaining before Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary. Just to add to the challenge I will be using only fabric which I’ve previously hoarded.

As luck would have it Spotlight, an Australian chain of fabric and manchester stores, currently has all Simplicity Patterns on special for $5.00 each.  Present your VIP card and you receive a further 10% off the patterns. How fortuitous then that the very patterns chosen for the Troughton frock coat and the Tom Baker jacket should be by Simplicity.

Simplicity pattern #2895 is being used for the Troughton Frock Coat.  Presently on special for $4.50 at Spotlight its purchase was a real bargain

Simplicity pattern #2895 is being used for the Troughton Frock Coat. Presently on special for $4.50 at Spotlight its purchase was a real bargain.  The coat will be intentionally made large to capture the spirit of our “Cosmic Hobo”

A quick perusal through some of my many crates of fabric quickly yielded success when at least a 10 metre cut of black broadcloth (otherwise known as poplin) was found. Whilst certainly not suiting material, it’s the right colour and meets the “free” fabric criteria perfectly.  Being lightweight I’ll also use it for the lining. If the challenge should fail, and the frock coat is a dud, at least some fine fabric hasn’t been wasted 🙂

Finding the relevant pattern pieces and wrestling with the wafer thin paper has been completed and a beginning made to the rather onerous task of cutting. The photographs document the challenge so far.

The fun starts when you need to wrestle with the wafer thin pattern paper.  Watching Doctor Who whilst sewing is highly recommended, although having Jamie McCrimmon laugh at your endeavours can at times be unnerving!

The fun starts when you need to wrestle with the wafer thin pattern paper. Watching Doctor Who whilst sewing is highly recommended, although having Jamie McCrimmon laugh at your endeavours can at times be unnerving!

I've little doubt that the lovely Mary Peach from The Enemy of the World would be more skilled than me at refolding paper patterns

I’ve little doubt that the lovely Mary Peach from The Enemy of the World would be more skilled than me at refolding paper patterns

10 metres or more of broadcloth awaits ironing and torture by dressmaking pins.  The Doctor and Jamie appear disinterested

10 metres or more of broadcloth awaits ironing and torture by dressmaking pins. The Doctor and Jamie appear disinterested

At last some pattern pieces are pinned to the fabric

At last some pattern pieces are pinned to the fabric

The first pieces of the Frock Coat to be cut out have tailor's tacks

The first pieces of the Frock Coat to be cut out have tailor’s tacks

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 28 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – Top Ian Chesterton Quotes

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Ian Chesterton was the Doctor’s first male companion and a science teacher at Coal Hill School. The training of his discipline made him particularly sceptical of the Doctor’s claims when first they met. Some of Ian’s best dialogue was in the early days of Doctor Who when he found the belligerence of the old git almost unbearable. Join the Doctor Who Mind Robber as we explore 10 of Ian’s best moments.

An Unearthly Child (Episode 1)

(Ian and Barbara enter the TARDIS for the first time)

Ian Chesterton: But it was a Police Telephone Box. I walked right round it. Barbara, you saw me.

The Doctor: [to Ian] You still think it’s all an illusion?
Ian Chesterton: I know that free movement in time and space is a scientific dream I don’t expect to find solved in a junkyard.
The Doctor: Your arrogance is nearly as great as your ignorance.

The Doctor: You don’t understand, so you find excuses. Illusions, indeed? You say you can’t fit an enormous building into one of your smaller sitting rooms?
Ian Chesterton: No.
The Doctor: But you’ve discovered television, haven’t you?
Ian Chesterton: Yes.
The Doctor: Then by showing an enormous building on your television screen, you can do what seemed impossible, couldn’t you?
Ian Chesterton: Well, yes, but I still don’t know…
The Doctor: Not quite clear, is it? I can see by your face that you’re not certain. You don’t understand. And I knew you wouldn’t! Never mind.

Ian Chesterton: Let me get this straight. A thing that looks like a police box, standing in a junkyard, it can move anywhere in time and space?
Susan Foreman: Yes.
The Doctor: Quite so.
Ian Chesterton: But that’s ridiculous!

Ian and Barbara with the Doctor in An Unearthly Child

Ian and Barbara with the Doctor in An Unearthly Child

An Unearthly Child  (Episode 2) – The Cave of Skulls

(The TARDIS Crew arrive in pre-historic times and soon realize that they don’t even know the Doctor’s name)

Susan Foreman: We’ve left 1963.
The Doctor: Oh, yes, undoubtedly. I’ll be able to tell you where presently. Zero? That’s not right. I’m afraid this yearometer is not calculating properly. Hm! Well, anyway, the journey’s finished.
[looking at Ian on the ground]
The Doctor: What are you doing down there?
Barbara Wright: What have you done?
Ian Chesterton: Barbara, you don’t believe all this nonsense.
Susan Foreman: Well, look at the scanner screen.
The Doctor: Yes, look up there. They don’t understand and I suspect they don’t want to. Well, there you are. A new world for you.
Ian Chesterton: Sand and rock?
The Doctor: Yes. That’s the immediate view outside the ship.
Barbara Wright: But where are we?
Ian Chesterton: You mean that’s what we’ll see when we go outside?
Susan Foreman: Yes, you’ll see it for yourself.
Ian Chesterton: I don’t believe it.
The Doctor: You really are a stubborn young man, aren’t you?
Ian Chesterton: All right, show me some proof. Give me some concrete evidence. I’m sorry, Susan. I don’t want to hurt you, but it’s time you were brought back to reality.
Susan Foreman: But you’re wrong, Mr. Chesterton.
The Doctor: They are saying I’m a charlatan. What concrete evidence would satisfy you? Hmm?
Ian Chesterton: Just open the doors, Doctor Foreman.
The Doctor: Eh? Doctor who? What are you talking about?

Ian Chesterton: Just a minute. You say we’ve gone back in time?
The Doctor: Yes, quite so.
Ian Chesterton: So that when we go out of that door, we won’t be in a junkyard in London in England in the year 1963?
The Doctor: That is quite correct. But your tone suggests ridicule.
Ian Chesterton: But it is ridiculous. Time doesn’t go round and round in circles. You can’t get on and off whenever you like in the past or the future.
The Doctor: Really? Where does time go, then?
Ian Chesterton: It doesn’t go anywhere. It just happens and then it’s finished.

Barbara Wright: You’re very quiet.
Ian Chesterton: I was wrong, wasn’t I?
Barbara Wright: Oh, look, I don’t understand it anymore than you do. The inside of the ship, suddenly finding ourselves here. Even some of the things Doctor Foreman says…
Ian Chesterton: That’s not his name. Who is he? Doctor who? Perhaps if we knew his name, we might have a clue to all this.

Susan, Barbara, the Doctor and Ian

Susan, Barbara, the Doctor and Ian in An Unearthly Child

An Unearthly Child (Episode 3) – The Forest of Fear

The Doctor:: You seem to have elected yourself leader of this little party.
Ian Chesterton: There isn’t time to vote on it.
The Doctor:: Just as long as you understand that I won’t follow your orders blindly.
Ian Chesterton: If there were only two of us, you could find your own way back to the ship.
The Doctor:: Aren’t you a tiresome young man?
Ian Chesterton: And you’re a stubborn old man. But you will lead. The girls in between and I’ll bring up the rear. Because that’s the safest way.

The Doctor and his companions in The Forest of Fear

The Doctor and his companions in The Forest of Fear

The Daleks (Episode 2) – The Survivors

(Ian and Susan are confronted by the Daleks for the first time)

Dalek: You will move ahead of us, and follow my directions. This way. Immediately! I said immediately!
[Ian begins to run away]
Dalek: Fire!
[they fire at him]
Ian Chesterton: My legs! My legs!
[Susan runs towards Ian]
Dalek: Stop!
[to Ian]
Dalek: Your legs are paralyzed. You will recover shortly, unless you force us to use our weapons again. In that case, the condition will be permanent.
[to the Doctor and Susan]
Dalek: You too, help him.
Ian Chesterton: My legs, my legs. I can’t use my legs!

Ian's legs are paralysed in The Daleks

Ian’s legs are paralysed in The Daleks

The Daleks (Episode 2) – The Survivors

(Ian and realizes that the Doctor has foolishly put all of the crew in danger by lying about the TARDIS’s fluid link)

The Doctor: We need… We need drugs to be treated.
Ian Chesterton: But where are we going to find them?
Susan Foreman: The TARDIS will have to take us to another time and place, where we can be cured.
Ian Chesterton: But don’t you remember? We can’t move the ship until we find the mercury for the fluid link!
The Doctor: For the fluid link, yes. Yes, I’m afraid I cheated a little on that. I was determined to see the city, but everybody wanted to go on, and well, to avoid arguments, in short, there’s nothing wrong with the fluid link.
Susan Foreman: What? Grandfather, do you mean to say that you risked leaving the ship just to see this place?
Ian Chesterton: You fool! You old fool!
The Doctor: Abuse me as much as you like, Chesterton. The point is… we need an immediate return to the ship, and I suggest we leave at once.
Ian Chesterton: We’re not leaving until we’ve found Barbara.
The Doctor: Very well. You may stay and search for her if you wish, but Susan and I are going back to the ship. Now, come along, child.
The Doctor: All right, carry on, fine. How far do you think you’ll get without this.
[holds up the fluid link]
The Doctor: Give that to me!
Ian Chesterton: Not until we’ve found Barbara.
The Doctor: Give it to me I say!
Ian Chesterton: No. It’s time you faced up to your responsibilities. You got us here. Now I’m going to make sure you get us back.
The Doctor: Chesterton, this is…
Ian Chesterton: We’re wasting time. We should be looking for Barbara.
Susan Foreman: He’s right, Grandfather. We are wasting time.
The Doctor: Child, if only you’d think as an adult sometimes… Oh, very well, very well. Let’s go, then. Let’s go.

Barbara, Susan and the Doctor in episode 2 of the Daleks, The Survivors

Barbara, Susan and the Doctor in episode 2 of the Daleks, The Survivors

The Daleks (Episode 5) – The Expedition

(Ian is frustrated that the Doctor always gets his name wrong)

The Doctor: I’m afraid my little trick has rather rebounded on me. What you might call tempting providence, Chesserman.
Ian Chesterton: Well, don’t worry about it now, Doctor. It’s happened.
The Doctor: Yes. Well, at least you’re not vindictive.
Ian Chesterton: Well I will be if you don’t get my name right.
The Doctor: Hmm?
Ian Chesterton: It’s “Chesterton”.
The Doctor: Yes. Hey?
[irritated]
The Doctor: Yes, I know that.

The TARDIS Crew in The Expedition - Episode 5 of The Daleks

The TARDIS Crew in The Expedition – Episode 5 of The Daleks

The Reign of Terror (Episode 5) – A Bargain of Necessity

(Ian has difficulty believing that his word will be accepted)

Léon Colbert: Now be sensible. Save yourself from the guillotine.
Ian Chesterton: You wouldn’t believe my story anyway.
Léon Colbert: Suppose you let me be the judge of that. How did you get to France?
Ian Chesterton: You really want to know, eh?
Léon Colbert: The truth?
Ian Chesterton: Oh yes, it’s the truth all right.
Léon Colbert: You swear it?
Ian Chesterton: Yes, I swear it! I flew here with three friends in a small box. When I left England it was 1963.

The title card for the animated episode 5 of The Reign of Terror - A Bargain of Necessity

The title card for the animated episode 5 of The Reign of TerrorA Bargain of Necessity

The Reign of Terror (Episode 6) – Prisoners of Conciergerie

The Doctor: Our lives are important, at least to us. But as we see, so we learn.
Ian Chesterton: And what are we going to see and learn next, Doctor?
The Doctor: Well, unlike the old adage, my boy, our destiny is in the stars, so let’s go and search for it.

Ian found himself imprisoned in The Reign of Terror

Ian found himself imprisoned in The Reign of Terror

The Romans (Episode 4) – The Inferno

Ian: I’ve got a friend who specialises in trouble. He dives in and usually finds a way.

The TARDIS Crew in The Romans

The TARDIS Crew in The Romans

The Web Planet

I’ve seen a colony of ants eat their way right through a house. That size, they could eat their way through a mountain. Why are they that big?

The Doctor and Ian in The Web Planet

The Doctor and Ian in The Web Planet

The Crusade (Episode 2) – The King of Jaffa

(Ian is knighted by King Richard of England).

Richard the Lionheart: [tapping his sword on each of Ian’s shoulders] In the name of God, St. Michael, and St. George, we dub you Sir Ian, Knight of Jaffa. Arise Sir Ian and be valiant.
[holds out his hand and Ian kisses it]
Ian Chesterton: Your majesty.

Sir Ian of Jaffa is knighted by Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade

Sir Ian of Jaffa is knighted by Richard the Lionheart in The Crusade

The Crusade (Episode 4) – The Warlords

(Ian saves the Doctor’s life by pretending to betray him)

Ian Chesterton: I am Sir Ian, my lord, Knight of Jaffa. I know this villain’s treachery… and hearing that you were looking for him, I followed you.

(Later, as the party return to the TARDIS)

Ian Chesterton: …Any more cracks about knighthood, and I’ll carry out that execution!
The Doctor: Well, my dear boy, I must say I think you’ve earned a good knight’s sleep!

The Doctor and King Richard in The Crusade

The Doctor and King Richard in The Crusade

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 29 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The Top 5 Second Doctor Stories

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Even with the recent recovery of nine missing episodes from The Enemy of the World and The Web of Fear, Patrick Troughton’s tenure as the Doctor still has 54 missing episodes, including four serials in which not a single episode is held – The Power of the Daleks, The Highlanders, The Macra Terror and Fury From the Deep. William Hartnell’s Doctor has 44 of his episodes missing, including six serials without a single episode – Marco Polo, Mission to the Unknown, The Myth Makers, The Massacre, The Savages and The Smugglers.

In the absence of so many stories, making an informed choice on the Top 5 serials for the First and the Second Doctors is both difficult and hypothetical.  A brilliant soundtrack could mask poor visual representations, whilst a boring audio may hide a visually stunning masterpiece.  Without seeing the moving pictures one can never be 100% certain that a story is as good as its reputation. All that being said, here’s the Doctor Who Mind Robber’s humble opinion of the Second Doctor’s Top 5 stories.

Is The Space Pirates really as bad as its reputation?  Only the moving pictures can show for sure

Is The Space Pirates really as bad as its reputation? Only the moving pictures can show for sure

5. The Enemy of the World

The recovery of five episodes and release of all six parts of The Enemy of the World on iTunes recently quickly lead to a reappraisal of this story’s worth. Previously only episode three had been held in the BBC Archives and released on the triple DVD set, Lost in Time. That episode was somewhat unrepresentative of the other five and caused many to underestimate the serial’s true worth.

The Enemy of the World was the only Season 5 story without monsters and not of the “base under siege” genre.  Patrick Troughton’s dual role as the Doctor and the evil would-be world dictator, Salamander, allowed him to show another side of his acting skills, notwithstanding the rather dubious Mexican accent. Enemy was also Barry Letts’ Doctor Who debut and heralded the show’s first action scenes involving helicopters and hovercraft.  Such adventures would become second nature during the tenure of the Third Doctor.

Patrick Troughton plays the evil would-be world dictator, Salamader, in The Enemy of the World

Patrick Troughton plays the evil would-be world dictator, Salamader, in The Enemy of the World

4. The Faceless Ones

This will undoubtedly be a controversial choice however it’s one of my personal favourites. Only episodes one and three are held in the BBC Archives.  The last story of Ben and Polly’s tenure as companions, The Faceless Ones is set in the ‘present day’ and features excellent location filming at Gatwick Airport in London. Pauline Collins appears as Samantha Briggs, a young woman from Liverpool who is searching for her brother who did not return from a package holiday to Rome. A psychological thriller about identity loss, it was sure to have heavily influenced Mark Gatiss’ 2006 episode, The Idiot’s Lantern.

The Faceless Ones influenced the  2006 story  The Idiot's Lantern

The Faceless Ones influenced the 2006 story The Idiot’s Lantern

3. The Evil of the Daleks

One of the most highly regarded Sixties Dalek stories, The Evil of the Daleks was the first and only serial to be repeated in the UK during that decade.  The repeat was written into the script of the Season 5 finale, The Wheel in Space, and the Season 6 premiere, The Dominators. The new companion Zoe was to view the Doctor’s thought patterns, presumably during the season break, and decide whether she wished to join the TARDIS Crew.

Yet another missing story, only episode two of The Evil of the Daleks is currently held in the BBC Archives.  The story introduced the Dalek Emperor which was a direct spin off from the Whitaker penned Daleks cartoons in TV Century 21 magazine. The Dalek “human factor” is intriguing and like The Faceless Ones, undoubtedly influenced New Series Doctor Who. Robert Shearman’s Series 1 story, Dalek, has several nods to The Evil of the Daleks, whilst Gareth Roberts’ short novel, I Am a Dalek, revives the “human factor” in more than mere words.

The Evil of the Daleks was the first Doctor Who serial ever repeated and the first and only repeat to be scripted into serials

The Evil of the Daleks was the first Doctor Who serial ever repeated and the first and only repeat to be scripted into serials

2. The War Games

Patrick Troughton’s last serial as the Second Doctor, The War Games is a 10 part epic which forever changed the history of Doctor Who. Although the name of his home planet is not yet disclosed, the Doctor is revealed to be a Time Lord. A renegade Time Lord, the War Chief, has given the secrets of time travel to an alien race which seeks to conquer the galaxy.  In their quest to build the best fighting force, human soldiers have been transported from Earth to fight a number of simultaneous wars. These discrete battle zones see engagements from the First World War, the American Civil War, Russo-Japanese War, English Civil War, Boar War, Mexican Civil War, Crimean War, Thirty Year War, Peninsula War, and Roman and Greek war zones.

Being unable to return all the War Games participants to their own time and space, the Doctor reluctantly calls in the Time Lords. Having himself been a renegade since stealing a TARDIS and taking to the universe, the Doctor is at last compelled to face justice for breaching the Time Lords’ Non Interference Policy. Jamie and Zoe are returned to their own times, with all but the memories of their first adventure with the Doctor wiped, and the Doctor is sentenced to exile on Earth.  His knowledge of the TARDIS’s time travel functions is denied him, and he is forced to change his bodily form. The term “regeneration” has not yet been coined.  So ends the monochrome era of Doctor Who and Patrick Troughton’s three year tenure as the Doctor.

Only in the 1960s could you get something as trippy and psychedelic as this

Only in the 1960s could you get something as trippy and psychedelic as this

1. The Mind Robber

An almost psychedelic trip through the land of fiction, The Mind Robber is just about as good as Doctor Who gets. This five part serial sees the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe caught in the world of children’s fairytales. They encounter Lemuel Gulliver, brilliantly portrayed by Bernard Horsfall, Princess Repunzel, Medusa, a Unicorn and a cast of Who created characters.  Far from being what it seems, nothing is reality.  Zoe and Jamie are transformed into fictional characters after Jamie had earlier had his physical appearance altered. The TARDIS explodes for the first time and the Doctor and his crew find themselves drifting in space. Zoe shows that being small in stature is in no way detrimental to fighting a 21st Century cartoon superhero, and Repunzel’s hair really is the strongest and most effective way of quickly scaling rocky cliff faces.  It’s all brilliant stuff!

The Doctor, Zoe and the re-faced Jamie meet up with wind-up tin toy soldiers in The Mind Robber

The Doctor, Zoe and the re-faced Jamie meet up with wind-up tin toy soldiers in The Mind Robber

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.