Category Archives: Katarina

Day 30 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The Top 5 First Doctor Stories

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5. The Aztecs

A Special Edition of The Aztecs was released earlier this year which included an abridged reconstruction of Galaxy 4, together with episode three which was recovered in 2011. The Aztecs has long been held in high esteem by fandom and is a superb example of the historical dramas that the BBC has always brilliantly produced. Set in South America during the time prior to Spanish settlement, the serial tells the story of Barbara’s determination to change history. In a quest to satisfy her penchant for bracelets, Barbara donned a snake bangle discovered not long after the party disembarked from the TARDIS.  Mistaken by the locals as the reincarnation of the high priest Yetaxa, her extraordinary knowledge of history and modern sense of morality naturally saw her rile against human sacrifice. From the beginning the Doctor’s objective was to ensure that history was not rewritten.  This was the first serial in which the parameters of “fiddling” with time and space were examined.  Barbara’s refusal to conform to the Doctor’s direction that “time can’t be rewritten.  Not one line” very nearly had fatal consequences for the Crew. Henceforth there would be limits on the TARDIS Crew’s actions.

Ian was lucky to escape with his life in The Aztecs

Ian was lucky to escape with his life in The Aztecs

4. The Tenth Planet

The First Doctor’s final story, The Tenth Planet heralded a number of firsts – Doctor Who’s first regeneration, the introduction of the Cybermen and the prototype for the Second Doctor’s “base under siege” formula. Rumours abound that the missing fourth episode, which features William Hartnell’s regeneration, has been recovered.  The DVD of the story has recently been released featuring an animation of episode four.  I wonder if a Special Edition, with the (alleged) recovered episode four, should be expected soon?

The DVD cover art for The Tenth Planet

The DVD cover art for The Tenth Planet

3. The Massacre

The Massacre is completely missing from the BBC Archives, although some of the current missing episode rumours suggest that it has been recovered.  Set in 1572 France, the serial chronicles the Doctor and Steven’s adventures during the Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy (the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre) in which thousands of protestant Huguenots were massacred in a religious war lead by Roman Catholics. William Hartnell plays two roles in The Massacre – both the Doctor and the Doctor’s evil doppelganger, the Abbot of Amboise. As this is a historical drama it can almost be assured that the set design and costuming was brilliant.  The story is the only example in monochrome Doctor Who of a single companion accompanying the Doctor.  It also introduces new companion, Dodo Chaplet, in the last 10 minutes of the final episode.

The Doctor and Steven in The Massacre

The Doctor and Steven in The Massacre

2. An Unearthly Child

The first Doctor Who serial, An Unearthly Child introduced the strange adventures of a belligerent old man, the Doctor, and his grand-daughter, Susan Foreman. Possessed of a time machine which externally resembled a Police Call Box, the Doctor’s Ship was larger on the inside and capable of both time and space travel.  Coal Hill school teachers, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, barged their way into the TARDIS (an acronym for Time and Relative Dimension in Space) whilst looking for their student, Susan.  Fearful that the teachers would reveal his secret, the Doctor kidnapped the pair as the TARDIS was seen to dematerialize for the first time.

Episodes two, three and four of the serial are more properly known as The Cave of Skulls, The Forest of Fear and The Firemaker. The Doctor, Susan and their two unwilling companions find themselves in pre-historic times and at the mercy of a tribe of cavemen who have lost their knowledge of fire making.

The first TARDIS Crew in An Unearthly Child

The first TARDIS Crew in An Unearthly Child

1.  Marco Polo

I’m going out on a limb here nominating a completely lost seven part serial as the Top First Doctor story.  As outlined in our post Missing Episodes – Has Marco Polo Been Recovered?  last week, I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this classic serial has been recovered and restored, and finds its way onto the iTunes playlists before Christmas.

The fourth Doctor Who story, Marco Polo was directed by Waris Hussein who was also responsible for the first serial, An Unearthly Child. As far as the BBC is presently letting on, all that remains of Marco Polo are some stunning colour photographs taken on set and the fan recorded soundtrack.  In the days prior to home video recording and commercial VHS releases, the only way that a fan could re-live a Doctor Who episode was to listen to the reel-to-reel audio recording which they’d made during the episode’s original transmission. Incredibly, around half a dozen fan recorded collections remained extant and were located during the 1980s and 1990s. It was during those decades that fans became cognisant of the BBC’s destruction of its television heritage and went searching for what remained.  Thanks to the endeavours of a small group of hard-core fans who religiously recorded Doctor Who each Saturday evening, aficionados of Who were now able to listen to long lost episodes.

Is Marco Polo really as good as fans who watched the original and only transmission remember?  Certainly the audio suggests something very special.  Hopefully we’ll all be able to soon judge for ourselves.

Marco Polo is the earliest missing Doctor Who serial

Marco Polo is the earliest missing Doctor Who serial

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Daleks’ Master Plan

Sara Kingdom in combat mode in The Daleks' Master Plan

Sara Kingdom in combat mode in The Daleks’ Master Plan

The Myth Makers

Vicki and Troilus in The Myth Makers

Vicki and Troilus in The Myth Makers

The image at the top of this post is a painting by Francois Dobois depicting the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre. No copyright infringement is intended.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Day 50 of 50th Anniversary Countdown – The 10 Most Wanted Missing Episodes

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Today The Doctor Who Mind Robber commences its 50 Day Countdown to Doctor Who’s 50th Anniversary. Today the author will also conclude the 1960s component of her Ultimate Doctor Who Marathon by viewing the final episodes of Patrick Troughton’s last serial, The War Games. What more appropriate era to concentrate our daily articles on than Sixties Doctor Who?

For the next 50 days we will publish a daily article on a 1960s related topic. Perhaps appropriately, given the ongoing Missing Episodes Hysteria, our first survey will be on the Ten Most Wanted Missing Episodes.

10.      THE ABOMINABLE SNOWMEN

Having just finished reading Terrance Dicks’ novelization of The Abominable Snowmen I’d love to see the five missing episodes returned to the BBC Archives.  Episode two has been released on Lost in Time.

The first of Doctor Who’s two Yeti stories, The Abominable Snowmen is set in the Himalayan Buddhist Monastery, Det-Sen in 1935. Together with introducing the Yeti to the world of Who, the story is also the first appearance of the Great Intelligence. Given the Intelligence’s reintroduction as the major protagonist of Series 7 (The Snowmen, The Bells of Saint John, and The Name of the Doctor), The Abominable Snowmen has obvious marketing potential to New Series fans.

Together with providing fans with another full adventure with the little seen companion Victoria, The Abominable Snowmen is also significant for including the father and daughter team of Deborah (Victoria) and Jack (Travers) Watling.  The story was one of the first to involve extensive location filming and features some splendid Welsh scenery as Snowdonia substituted for Tibet.  The Yeti, whilst menacing, are also adorably cute.

Patrick Troughton on the set of The Abominable Snowmen

Patrick Troughton on the set of The Abominable Snowmen

9.       THE FACELESS ONES

Ben and Polly’s farewell serial, The Faceless Ones is one of my personal favourites.  Episodes one and three are in the BBC Archives and have been released on the Lost in Time compilation.

Set in modern day London, The Faceless Ones was filmed at Gatwick Airport and features Pauline Collins as the would-be companion, Samantha Briggs.  Collins would appear in Doctor Who 39 years later as Queen Victoria in Tooth and Claw.  The serial has certain similarities with the Mark Gatiss penned Series 2 serial, The Idiot’s Lantern.

As one of the few “present day” serials of Doctor Who’s monochrome era, The Faceless Ones is a worthy companion to Ben and Polly’s first serial, The War Machines.  The pair departs on the same day as their arrival in the aforementioned story, which is unfortunately their only complete serial.  The most under-represented of all 1960’s companions in terms of extant episodes, it would be a delight to finally see Ben and Polly’s farewell to the Second Doctor in episode six.  As the companions who flawlessly provided the continuity between the First and Second Doctors, Ben and Polly justifiably deserve more screen time.

The four members of the Tardis Crew before they scatter at Gatwick Airport in The Faceless Ones

The four members of the Tardis Crew before they scatter at Gatwick Airport in The Faceless Ones

8.     THE MACRA TERROR

Another Patrick Troughton serial with a monster revived in New Series Doctor Who (Gridlock), The Macra Terror is entirely missing from the BBC Archives. Featuring Ben and Polly as the Second Doctor’s companions, The Macra Terror features the monster which put paid to model maker Shawcraft Models’ association with Doctor Who. The few off air clips available are just fabulous.  As previously mentioned, there are far too few Ben and Polly episodes so any finds will allow us to fully appreciate their significant contribution to this tumultuous period of Doctor Who’s history.

A publicity shot for The Macra Terror

A publicity shot for The Macra Terror

7.    THE DALEKS’ MASTER PLAN

The 12 part Hartnell era masterpiece, The Daleks’ Master Plan has nine of its episodes missing. Episodes two, five and ten have been released on Lost in Time.

The DMP is resplendent with firsts, including Nicholas Courtney’s premier appearance in Who as secret agent Bret Vyon, the first deaths of companions, and the first return of a humanoid villain, the Monk. The short-lived companion Katarina, played by Adrienne Hill, is killed in episode four, which also sees the death of Bret Vyon at the hands of his sister Sara Kingdom (played by Jean Marsh).  Sara Kingdom, who also subsequently becomes a companion, is killed in episode 12.

The DMP is perhaps the least likely of all serials to be recovered.  Although sold to Australia it was never broadcast as a consequence of censorship problems. The DMP is in fact the only Doctor Who serial to have never been screened in Australia.  Australia is the only country to have purchased all Who serials since the first serial, An Unearthly Child. Australia’s neighbour, New Zealand, has an equally prestigious record of long standing support, having purchased all serials save for the DMP.   The ABC has confirmed that it no longer holds the episodes.  The serial was sold to no other countries.

Magnificent flame throwing Daleks in The Daleks' Master Plan

Magnificent flame throwing Daleks in The Daleks’ Master Plan

6.    THE ENEMY OF THE WORLD

The only non-Monster story in Season 5, The Enemy of the World is one of the most sought after Troughton era serials.  Only episode three is held in the BBC Archives and has been released on the Lost in Time DVD.

Very much in the style of a James Bond movie, The Enemy of the World is unique in that Patrick Troughton plays two roles – the Doctor and also the evil would-be world dictator, Salamander.  Featuring Who’s first helicopter and hovercraft scenes, which will become all too familiar during Jon Pertwee’s tenure as the Third Doctor, The Enemy of the World is so unlike the “Base Under Siege” stories as to warrant an exulted position in the archives of Doctor Who. 

Patrick Troughton as Salamander in The Enemy of the World

Patrick Troughton as Salamander in The Enemy of the World

5.   THE WEB OF FEAR

The second and final Yeti story, The Web of Fear has only one episode in the BBC Archives.  Episode one has been released on Lost in Time.

The Web of Fear is set in the present day London Underground and introduces Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart.  Quickly promoted to Brigadier, Lethbridge-Stewart went on to have a distinguished career of more than 40 years with Doctor Who and its franchises.  Bringing monsters to London foreshadowed the Third Doctor’s earth-bound tenure and Jon Pertwee’s much quoted phrase, “Yeti on the Loo”.  It precipitated Doctor Who’s propensity to bring horror and science fiction to the mundane, everyday streetscapes of viewers.

The Doctor first met Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart in less than perfect circumstances

The Doctor first met Colonel Lethbridge-Stewart in less than perfect circumstances

4.   THE EVIL OF THE DALEKS

The second and final Dalek serial of the Troughton era, only episode two of the seven part serial is held in the BBC Archives.  It has been released on the Lost in Time DVD.

Coming in at 18 in the 2009 Doctor Who Magazine Mighty 200 poll, The Evil of the Daleks was the most highly placed Second Doctor story.  Set in Victorian England, it introduced the new companion Victoria who, having lost her father to the Daleks, was effectively adopted by the Doctor and Jamie.  The story featured the concept of the “human factor” in Daleks, something which would re-emerge in the first Dalek story of 21st Century Who, Dalek.  It also included some lovely scenes in which “baby” Daleks, who had been impregnated with the “human factor”, gleefully played trains with the Doctor.

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

3.     THE POWER OF THE DALEKS

The Power of the Daleks is Patrick Troughton’s first serial as the Second Doctor.  In what could only be described as criminal negligence, none of its six episodes are held in the BBC Archives.

Widely acclaimed as one of the better 1960s Dalek stories, Power of the Daleks introduces a Doctor not only wildly different from his predecessor, but also significantly divergent from Troughton’s later portrayal.  This is the first the viewer sees of a Doctor who will rapidly transform during the course of Season Four.  The recorder, stove-pipe hat and baggy trousers will soon be a thing of the past.  More importantly, however, the Doctor’s personality significantly evolves. The Power of the Daleks is also remarkable for the magnificent Dalek production line, which by luck rather than good management, is still available for our viewing pleasure as a short clip.

The Doctor, Polly and Ben are confronted by Daleks in The Power of the Daleks

The Doctor, Polly and Ben are confronted by Daleks in The Power of the Daleks

2.   THE TENTH PLANET – EPISODE 4

Although episodes one, two and three of The Tenth Planet exist in the BBC Archives, episode four has been lost in time.  Together with the recently animated lost episode, The Tenth Planet will be finally released on DVD in November 2013.

Often described as the proto-type for the Troughton era “Base Under Siege” stories, The Tenth Planet heralded the introduction of the Cybermen. It is perhaps best remembered, however, as William Hartnell’s final story as the Doctor. It is most unfortunate that of all episodes to be lost, it is the final episode with Doctor Who’s first regeneration that doesn’t grace the shelves of the BBC’s Archives. This loss is compounded by the complete absence of Patrick Troughton’s first serial, The Power of the Daleks, from the Archives as well.  Gone also was the opportunity to see the regeneration reprised in the first episode of the next serial.  As luck would have it, however, an amateur film taken off-screen during the broadcast of episode four exists and allows fans to witness this historic regeneration, albeit in a rather grainy form.

The Tenth Planet introduces the Cybermen to Doctor Who for the first time.  A Cyberman is pictured here with Polly and the Doctor

The Tenth Planet introduces the Cybermen to Doctor Who for the first time. A Cyberman is pictured here with Polly and the Doctor

1.   MARCO POLO

Undoubtedly the most highly sought after missing Doctor Who story is Marco Polo.  The fourth story of the series’ first season, this historical drama is the earliest missing story. Directed by Waris Hussein, who also directed Doctor Who’s first serial An Unearthly Child, all that remains visually of this story is a collection of beautiful colour photographs taken during the filming. On the basis of these photos alone, Marco Polo appears to have been an exceptionally cinematic production. As the most widely sold Hartnell era serial, it’s nothing short of bizarre that not a single episode has resurfaced.

A thirty minute reconstruction of Marco Polo was released with the three disc box set The Beginning, which also includes An Unearthly Child, The Edge of Destruction and The Daleks. 

The Doctor and his companions in Marco Polo

The Doctor and his companions in Marco Polo

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

1. Fury From the Deep

2. The Savages

3, The Massacre

4. The Myth Makers

5. Mission to the Unknown

6. The Crusade

7. The Smugglers

TOMORROW – DAY 49 – The 10 Least Remembered Monsters of the Sixties

For the latest developments in the Missing Episodes Hysteria please see our articles on recent Mirror and Radio Times articles.

Episode two of The Space Pirates has been released on the triple DVD set Lost in Time

Orphan episodes have been released on the triple DVD set Lost in Time

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

The Hartnell Years – In Colour

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I was recently browsing YouTube and came upon this fabulous compilation of colourized clips from William Hartnell’s tenure as the First Doctor.  Here’s what the producer, who is known only by the alias of “It’s far from being all over”, says about his work:

“My Tribute to the man that started it all, William Hartnell.

I always felt many of his adventures deserved to be seen in colour, so I set to work. It’s taken about three months and I’ve colourised something in the region of 2,125 frames – one by one, frame by frame. 

Some clips work better than others – as I reached the end I found myself dropping shots I didn’t like and recreating new ones! It’s been a labour of love and I hope you enjoy seeing some classic 60’s Doctor Who – in Colour!

Big thanks to ‘Pelham Cort ‏aka @johnxgin3’ for his colour references and support throughout – I’ll do some Troughton soon! “

The Hartnell Years – In Colour

The Daleks’ Master Plan – Loose Cannon Reconstructions Episodes 1, 3 and 4

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Only episodes 2, 5 and 10 of The Daleks’ Master Plan are held in the BBC archives and have been released on the Triple set DVD Lost in Time. For the purposes of my marathon I viewed the aforementioned episodes on DVD and reconstructions of the remaining episodes. Searching for the reconstructions on YouTube can be a difficult task so this and my next two posts will be devoted to providing the appropriate links. Enjoy your journey!

Loose Cannon’s The Daleks’ Master Plan, Episode 1 Part 1

Loose Cannon’s The Daleks’ Master Plan, Episode 1 Part 2

Loose Cannon’s The Daleks’ Master Plan, Episode 3 Part 1

Loose Cannon’s The Daleks’ Master Plan, Episode 3 Part 2

Loose Cannon’s The Daleks’ Master Plan, Episode 4 Part 1

Loose Cannon’s The Daleks’ Master Plan, Episode 4 Part 2

Episodes 2, 5 and 10 of "The Daleks' Master Plan" are included in the "Lost in Time" triple DVD set. "The Daleks' Master Plan"  was originally broadcast in the UK between 13th November 1965 and 29 January 1966.

Episodes 2, 5 and 10 of The Daleks’ Master Plan are included in the Lost in Time triple DVD set. The Daleks’ Master Plan was originally broadcast in the UK between 13th November 1965 and 29 January 1966.

The Daleks’ Master Plan – The First Deaths of Doctor Who Companions

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Magnificent in parts, and downright dodgy in others, The Dalek’s Master Plan was a serial of extremes. It was condemned for its violence and criticized for its comedy interludes.  In Australia it was one of only two Doctor Who serials that were never screened.  As parts of the 12 part serial had been classified as adult, the ABC decided against reconstructing it to fit the child friendly time slot in which Who normally aired.  Viewer reaction to the Christmas special, The Feast of Steven,  which was broadcast as episode 7,  was particularly bad.  The comedy antics in the Liverpool Police Station and the 1920’s Hollywood film set would have perplexed an audience that for the previous month and a half had been viewing a serial resplendent with fear and violence.  Similarly, the unexpected arrival of the Doctor’s adversary from The Time Meddler, the Monk, in episode 8 and the comedy interludes that continued with him through episodes 9 and 10, must have been puzzling to the audience. That being said, I love the Monk and only wish he’d again grace our screens.  Steven Moffatt, are you reading this?

Kert Gantry - the first of many violent deaths in The Daleks Master Plan

Kert Gantry – the first of many violent deaths in The Daleks’ Master Plan

Given the length of the serial it is not my intention to provide even the most rudimentary synopsis.  One transcript I’ve seen is 72 pages long and unfortunately I don’t have the time to write a 10,000 word dissertation!  There are a number of books that provide excellent summaries of this, and other, Who serials.  In particular I’d suggest David J Howe and Stephen James Walker’s The Television Companion.  The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who.  Published by Telos in 2003 the book is now out of print although copies frequently appear on eBay.  Telos Publishing uploaded  cover photos of Volume 1 and 2 of  the 2013 edition of The Television Companion on their Facebook page in late 2012.  I’m uncertain when the release is anticipated.

David J Howe & Stephen James Walker's The Television Companion was published in 2003 by Telos Publishing

David J Howe & Stephen James Walker’s The Television Companion was published in 2003 by Telos Publishing

The death of real humans, and not the “Bug Eyed Monsters” that Sydney Newman so decried, was a permeating feature of The Daleks’ Master Plan. The deaths of three Tardis travellers, companions Katarina and Sara Kingdom, and Space Security Service agent Bret Vyon, upended all hitherto held presumptions that the Doctor always averted disaster.  Unlike any Who serial that it had preceded in respect of violence, The Daleks’ Master Plan evidenced the new tangent that producer, John Wiles, was taking the show.  It is to the lives and deaths of these three Tardis fellow travellers that I will be devoting today’s review.

The Doctor, Vyon, Steven and Katarina

Vyon, the Doctor, Katarina and Steven

KATARINA

Katarina, the deferential handmaiden of Cassandra, was a sudden and unwitting occupant of the Tardis as the credits rolled in The Myth Makers.  Pushed into the Ship by the departing Vicki, Katarina was clearly out of her depth in a world of space travel.  Possibly born as early as 1300 BC, Katarina’s fellow passenger was the space pilot Steven, whose era of birth was never stated but was probably born sometime after 2500 AD. With around four millennia separating their births, Steven and Katarina would have been as alien to each other as the Doctor was to Barbara and Ian when first they met in the scrap merchant’s yard at Totters Lane. Katarina was a women of her time and naturally observed and comprehended  all around her in the context of a mystical or supernatural schema.  Once in the Tardis she believed she had entered the hereafter and that the Doctor was her gateway to the Place of Perfection.  She spoke barely a word during her full three episodes as a member of the Tardis Crew, and took no active part in any of the proceedings, save for operating some buttons on the console as directed by the Doctor and retrieving tablets from Bret Vyon’s pocket.

Katarina

Katarina

The object of the third episode cliff hanger, Katarina was taken hostage at knifepoint by a prisoner, Kirksen, who had boarded the Doctor’s stolen spacecraft after it had crash landed on the prison planet,  Desperus.  Unaware that Kirksen was onboard and hiding in the airlock, the spacecraft took off again after hasty repairs.  Kirksen threatened to kill Katarina if he was not returned to the nearest planet, which inconveniently for the Doctor and crew was the very planet from which they’d just escaped, Kembel.  Heated debate ensued between the Doctor, Steven and Bret Vyon as to whether they should turn back.  Although a decision was eventually made to return to Kembel, Katarina pushed a button which opened the airlock door.  She and Kirksen are sucked into space and died, and all within the first five minutes of episode four. Although Steven thought that this may have been an accident, the Doctor was convinced that she had sacrificed her life for them.  He lamented her demise whilst congratulating her courage:

Katarina tends the gravely ill Steven

Katarina tends the gravely ill Steven

“She didn’t understand.  She couldn’t understand.  She wanted to save our lives and  perhaps the lives of all the other beings of the Solar System. I hope she’s found her Perfection.  Oh, how I shall always remember her as one of the Daughters of the Gods.  Yes, as one of the Daughters of the Gods”.

Katarina is taken captive by Kirksen

Katarina is taken captive by Kirksen

Katarina’s shocking death was the first to befall a companion in Doctor Who and was yet another in an increasingly long string of failures for the Doctor.

Steven and Katarina

Steven and Katarina

BRET VYON

It is perhaps because Nicholas Courtney went on  to become the much cherished Brigadier Alistair Gordon Lethbridge-Stewart,  that the first character he played in Doctor Who, Bret Vyon, has not been accorded the status of companion in the annals of Who history.  Spending as much time onscreen and inside the Tardis as the official companion Katarina, Vyon’s character has been viewed somewhat as an interloper, albeit one with an incredibly extensive role in episodes one through to four.  Unlike the almost mute Katarina who was almost entirely compliant with the Doctor’s commands, Vyon was headstrong and self assured, and began his relationship with the Doctor on less than civil terms.  On the planet Kembel with fellow agent Kert Gantry, Vyon was looking for leads on the fate of Marc Cory, the agent who met his demise  at the Daleks’ hands in Mission to the Unknown.  Gantry was quickly and violently dispatched by the Daleks within minutes of the opening of episode one, leaving Vyon alone in the jungle.  Finding the Doctor outside of the Tardis, Vyon threatens him at gunpoint and demands the key.  “Give me the key or I’ll kill you”  he states. Leaving the Doctor outside, Vyon enters the Tardis and is confronted by Katarina and Steven, who is only in a semi-conscious state following the injuries sustained at the end of The Myth Makers.  Vyon demands that the crew fly the Ship, together with him, off the planet. Rousing briefly in a groggy state, Steven uses a spanner and knocks out Vyon who falls to the floor.

NIcholas Courtney played Bret Vyon in his first Doctor Who appearance

Nicholas Courtney played Bret Vyon in his first Doctor Who appearance

The Doctor soon enters the Tardis  and puts the unconscious Vyon into  chair.  Upon the disorientated Vyon waking up the Doctor says to him, “I call it the magnetic chair. It has a forcefield strong enough to restrain a herd of elephants”. After the Doctor leaves, Vyon assists Steven by guiding Katarina to remove two tablets from his pocket.  The naive Katarina has never seen tablets before and has to ask Vyon if what she’s found is indeed them.  By assisting in Steven’s recovery Vyon, whom the Doctor had earlier considered to be a “violent young man”, showed himself to be an ally of the Tardis Crew.  Released from the restraint of the chair, Vyon thereafter works in coalition with the Doctor.

Katarina, Steven, the Doctor and Vyon

Katarina, Steven, the Doctor and Vyon

Again displaying his propensity for violence, Vyon commandeers Mavic Chen, the Guardian of the Solar System’s, Spar which for all intents and purposes is a hotted up spaceship.  After sneaking into the ship and taking the pilot and engineer by surprise, Vyon shouts “I’m taking over this spaceship.  Over there. Tie them up”. With just Steven and Katarina present during the heist, Vyon almost takes off without the Doctor after being shocked by the sound of an alarm.  Luckily the Doctor returns just prior to take-off.  After the death of Katarina along the way, the eventually arrive at Earth where Vyon meets up with an old friend, Daxtar, the manager of a research station. Vyon believes that Daxtar will become an ally against the Daleks’ and Mavic Chen’s plans for domination of the universe. Unknown to Vyon, Chen has already procured Daxtar’s allegiances.  The Doctor quickly twigs to this betrayal upon Daxtar mentioning the taranium core, something which Daxtar could only be aware of if he was in league with the enemy.  Without a second’s delay Vyon shoots Daxtar dead. Before there’s any chance to contemplate the consequences of Vyon’s actions, the group is scattered by the arrival of Space Security Agent Sara Kingdom and her colleague, Borkar.  Sent by Chen to assassinate the “traitors” who had stolen the Taranium core, Kingdom shoots Vyon dead. It is only later that we become privy to the fact that Kingdom is Vyon’s sister.

Vyon and Steven

Vyon and Steven

SARA KINGDOM

Like Vyon, Sara Kingdom is an employee of the Space Security Service.  The SSS is at the service of Mavic Chen, the Guardian of the Solar System  and perhaps one of Doctor Who’s most evil villains ever.  Highly regarded by the Service, Kingdom is known to obey orders without question  in a ruthless and timely manner.  It is with these credentials in mind that Chen dispatched Kingdom to seek and destroy the Doctor, Steven, and Vyon.  Our hero, the Doctor, had masqueraded as  Zephon, one of the delegates to the Dalek’s conference, and attended the meeting in which Chen had advised that the Daleks’ ultimate weapon, the Time Destructor, was complete.   The real Zephon, however, had been tied up by Katarina and Steven at Vyon’s command.  Upon Zephon freeing himself and activating an alarm, the Daleks’ conference went into a state of chaos and the Doctor  was able to escape with the Taranium Core, the essential element required to activate the Time Destructor. It was because the Doctor and his crew had the Taranium Core that Mavic wanted them dead and the Core returned to him.

Jean Marsh in black cat suit as Sara Kingdom

Jean Marsh in black cat suit as Sara Kingdom

Unlike her brother Vyon, Kingdom is not yet cognisant of Chen’s treachery and assumes that he is working in the best interests of the Solar System.  She immediately accepts Chen’s command and quickly dispatches Vyon with seemingly no remorse. Kingdom is portrayed as a cold blooded killer and orders her colleague, Borkar, to track down and kill the Doctor and Steven.  After chasing the Doctor and Steven, Kingdom is caught  with them in a laboratory.  Whilst there they are accidently subjected to a molecular dissemination experiment (together with some mice, but that’s another story) and transported to the planet Mira.  Confronted by invisible monsters named Visians, the Doctor, Kingdom and Steven retreat into a cave.  Steven argues with Kingdom about Vyon’s death and accuses her of blindly following Chen’s orders without question.  Had she not considered, Steven posited, why a space security agent, one of her own people, had become a traitor?  She questioned neither Chen nor Vyon, and didn’t give Vyon a chance. Considering Steven’s story fantastic Kingdom eventually admits that Vyon was her brother and rushes out of the cave in a distraught manner.  The Doctor takes this as a sign that Kingdom finally believes them.  Shortly thereafter Kingdom returns to the cave after being touched by a Visian.  From that point forward Kingdom is a firm ally of the Doctor and Steven.

Sara Kingdom in combat mode

Sara Kingdom in combat mode

Kingdom is adept at martial arts and karate chops several villains in the course of our heroes’ adventures.  Unfortunately those episodes are lost in time so viewers are unlikely to ever see the black cat suited Kingdom doing her moves on our TV screens. She eventually loses her life in episode 12 after going back into the Daleks’ underground city to assist the Doctor.  The Doctor activates the Time Destructor after the distraction caused by Chen’s execution, and he and Kingdom make their way back to the Tardis.  Steven is already safely ensconced within, having previously been ordered back to the Ship by the Doctor.  In the process of returning to the Tardis through the jungle the Doctor and Kingdom begin to rapidly age. Having both collapsed, Kingdom dies, is reduced to bones and quickly thereafter, dust. Presumably because of his Time Lord anatomy (although, of course, he was not yet identified as such in the series) the Doctor does not age as rapidly as Kingdom.  Seeing the pair on the scanner, Steven rushes outside and also begins to age.  In attempting to deactivate the Time Destructor Steven accidently puts it in reverse resulting in our two heroes returning to the correct ages. Being already dead, it is too late for Kingdom and also for the Daleks, who had until that point been seemingly immune to the effects of the Time Destructor.  More about the fate of the Daleks, however, in my next review.

Sara Kingdom ages from the effects of the Time Destructor

Sara Kingdom ages from the effects of the Time Destructor

As an aside, there’s a rather nice interview with Jean Marsh, who played Sara Kingdom, in the special features of the Seventh Doctor’s Battlefield DVD.  In the segment  entitled From Kingdom to Queen, Marsh reminisces on her three appearances in Doctor Who – The Crusade (1965), The Daleks’ Master Plan (1965/6) and Battlefield (1989). Although not referred to in the interview, it’s interesting to note that Marsh appeared with Nicholas Courtney in both his first (The Daleks’ Master Plan) and last (Battlefield) appearance on Doctor Who. That makes the world of Who seem very small and incestuous, doesn’t it?

Sara Kingdom collapses as she rapidly ages

Sara Kingdom collapses as she rapidly ages

Stay tuned for my next review on three of the villains in The Daleks’ Master Plan – Mavic Chen, the Daleks, and the Monk.

The young Sara Kingdom

The young Sara Kingdom

An interview with Jean Marsh, From Kingdom to Queen, is one of the special features of the Seventh's Doctor Battlefield DVD

An interview with Jean Marsh, From Kingdom to Queen, is one of the special features of the Seventh Doctor’s Battlefield DVD

Episodes 2, 5 and 10 of "The Daleks' Master Plan" are included in the "Lost in Time" triple DVD set. "The Daleks' Master Plan"  was originally broadcast in the UK between 13th November 1965 and 29 January 1966.

Episodes 2, 5 and 10 of The Daleks’ Master Plan are included in the Lost in Time triple DVD set. The Daleks’ Master Plan was originally broadcast in the UK between 13th November 1965 and 29 January 1966.

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.

Reference

David J Howe & Stephen James Walker, The Television Companion. The Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to Doctor Who. Telos Publishing Ltd, Surrey, 2003.

The Myth Makers

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Emerging from the materialized Tardis on the plains just outside of Troy, the Doctor is mistaken for the god Zeus by the Greek warrior Achilles who is in battle with Hector, son of Trojan King Priam.  Doctor Who has entered into the legend of the Trojan War with the four part serial, The Myth Makers. Whereas Barbara had been mistaken for the reincarnation of the high priest Yetaxa by the Aztecs for wearing his bracelet, the Doctor needs don nothing to take on a deified form in Homeric Troy.  Aware that Zeus had appeared among his people in many forms, Achilles is honoured to have the god appear to him in guise of an old beggar.

Whilst initially insulted at being mistaken for a beggar, the Doctor quickly sees the benefits of his  alleged divinity and plays along. Achilles is reprimanded for not addressing the Doctor with due deference and threatened with a strike of thunderbolt if the Doctor should be hindered from returning to the Tardis.  The Tardis is my “travelling temple”, the Doctor states, “being small, it’s convenient”.

The Doctor's travelling temple - small and convenient.  This is not a shot taken from The Myth Makers. Unfortunately no telesnaps survive.

The Doctor’s travelling temple – small and convenient. This shot is not taken from The Myth Makers. Unfortunately no telesnaps survive of the four part serial.

And so the scene is set for a comedy in which the norms and conventions of Doctor Who, as laid out in the previous two years, are set aside and the Doctor shown not to be always the hero.  But before this conclusion is reached the fourth and final episode of the serial rapidly becomes a tragedy as the Doctor actively causes history to be made.  The Doctor, as you will recall, was scathingly critical of Barbara in The Aztecs when she willing accepted the divinity thrust upon her.   She was not to change one line of history, the Doctor implored Barbara, who had determined that the Aztec society should be saved from itself by the abolition of human sacrifice. How quickly the Doctor had forgotten his own advice!

Taken prisoner by the Greeks, the Doctor maintains his ruse as Zeus (I know, it’s a bad pun!) until he discovers the Tardis stolen the next morning.  Steven, dressed in Greek garb, had been taken prisoner separately from the Doctor and both men had pretended not to know each other to permit the Doctor’s continued masquerade as Zeus.  Steven is mistaken as a Trojan spy and the Greeks seek to execute him. The Doctor saves him from being killed by offering to execute him with a bolt of lightning (as Zeus) at his “temple” the following morning.  As this is clearly a ploy to enable our heroes to escape in the Tardis, the Doctor has little option other than to admit to his fraud.  Odysseus allows the Doctor and Steven to live, but only if the Doctor assists him in defeating the Trojans within two days.

The Tardis, meanwhile, has been taken into the walls of the City by another of King Priam’s sons, Paris, who presents it to his father as a gift.  Vicki has remained within the Ship tending a sprained ankle and emerges from it just prior to King Priam’s daughter, Cassandra, setting it alight as a sacrifice for the gods.  Blessed with the gift of prophesy, Cassandra has dreamt of a wooden structure left outside the city by the Greeks which once brought inside, would spill forth an army of Greeks who would decimate the City. Vicki’s miraculous appearance is seen as another sign from the gods and she is renamed Cressida by the King.

Vicki, King Priam, and Cassandra

Vicki, King Priam, and Cassandra

Cassandra, who is ridiculed by the family for her prophesies, is nonetheless correct in her visions of a Greek gift bringing forth doom. It wasn’t the Doctor’s Tardis that contained the Greeks, however, but  rather the giant wooden horse which was built upon the Doctor’s suggestion. After initially rejecting Steven’s notion of a Trojan Horse, the Doctor soon suggests the idea and within a day the phenomenally large edifice has been constructed. Finding himself inside the Trojan Horse, the Doctor panics and suggests that the whole plan is a bad idea.  It is too late to change, however, and upon being taken inside the City the Greeks emerge and slaughter the people of Troy.  Cassandra is taken prisoner and the rest of her family, save for the youngest son Troilus,  are slain.  Steven, who has masqueraded as a Greek, willingly been taken prisoner, and then escaped, is badly injured in the shoulder whilst in battle with a Trojan soldier.  Katarina, the dutiful handmaiden of Cassandra,  finds Steven and assists him to the Tardis.  Vicki, in the interim, has fallen in love with King Priam’s youngest son,  Troilus and sent him out of the City on a faux errand to avoid the impending bloodshed.  Determined to meet up with her love and assure him that she had not betrayed him, Vicki tells the Doctor privately of her intention to leave the Tardis Crew.  She pushes both Steven and Katarina into the Tardis as the Doctor dematerializes his Ship.  Vicki meets Troilus on the plain and they resolve to establish a new Troy together.

Vicki and Troilus

Vicki and Troilus

Although the Tardis is safely away from the bloodshed of Troy, all is not well for the Doctor and his crew.  Steven is critically injured, the naive Katarina believes that she’s in the afterlife, and the viewer can never again be assured that the Doctor will save the day.  In “causing” history, the Doctor has facilitated the destruction of Troy and the deaths of a multitude of people.   Having already seen in  Mission to the Unknown that the Doctor cannot be relied on materialize when he’s needed,  the Doctor’s reputation has again taken a severe blow.  With the return of his arch enemies in the next serial,  The Daleks’ Master Plan, the odds appear against the Doctor.

The Doctor causes history by suggesting that the Greeks construct the Trojan Horse

The Doctor causes history by suggesting that the Greeks construct the Trojan Horse

The complete four part serial of The Myth Makers is missing from the BBC archives.  For the purposes of this marathon I watched Loose Cannon’s reconstruction, the links for which are below. The Myth Makers was originally broadcast in the United Kingdom between 16th October and 6th November 1965.

Loose Cannon’s The Myth Makers – Episode 1 Part 1

Loose Cannon’s The Myth Makers – Episode 1 Part 2

Loose Cannon’s The Myth Makers – Episode 2 Part 1

Loose Cannon’s The Myth Makers – Episode 2 Part 2

Loose Cannon’s The Myth Makers – Episode 3 Part 1

Loose Cannon’s The Myth Makers – Episode 3 Part 2

Loose Cannon’s The Myth Makers – Episode 4 Part 1

Loose Cannon’s The Myth Makers – Episode 4 Part 2

Vivien Fleming

©Vivien Fleming, 2013.