Friday, April 26, 2013

"The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve"

Aired Feb 5, 1966 – Feb 26, 1966

Episode 1: War of God
Episode 2: The Sea Beggar
Episode 3: Priest of Death
Episode 4: Bell of Doom

Story 22

Written by John Lucarotti & Donald Tosh

Directed by Paddy Russell


When the TARDIS materializes in Paris, 1572, the Doctor decides to visit the famous apothecary Charles Preslin. Left on his own, Steven is befriended by a group of Huguenots from the household of the Protestant Admiral de Coligny. 

The Huguenots have saved a serving girl named Anne Chaplet for some guards, and through her learn of a plan by the Catholic Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici, to have all French Protestants massacred. Investigating this claim, Steven is shocked to discover that  it appears that the hated Catholic dignitary the Abbot of Amboise is actually the Doctor in disguise.

Held responsible for the failure of a plot to assassinate de Coligny, the Abbot is subsequently executed by the Catholic authorities and his dead body left lying in the gutter. However, to Steven's immense relief, the Abbot was not the Doctor after all, but merely his physical double. Steven is reunited with the Doctor at Preslin's shop, and they return to the ship just as the massacre begins, unable to bring Anne with them. 

Aboard the TARDIS, Steven is furious and despondent at all the people they were unable to help. He determines to leave the TARDIS at their next landing. Upon arrival in London in 1966, Steven ventures out of the ship. Left alone, the Doctor reflects on how all of his companions have now left him, and how he has no home of his own to which to return.

Suddenly, a young woman enters, thinking it to be an actual police box. There's an accident she wishes to report. Steven comes back to warn the Doctor of approaching policemen. Learning the girl's name is Dorothea "Dodo" Chapelet, the Doctor and Steven believe it's possible Anne may have survived the massacre after all. The Doctor hurriedly sets the TARDIS off, Steven warning the eager Dodo that they could wind up anywhere, and may not be able to return her to her own time, but Dodo has few ties to her life, and the travelers continue into the unknown.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

"The Daleks' Master Plan"

Aired Nov 13, 1965 – Jan 29, 1966

Episode 1: The Nightmare Begins
Episode 2: Day of Armageddon
Episode 3: Devil's Planet
Episode 4: The Traitors
Episode 5: Counter Plot
Episode 6: Coronas of the Sun
Episode 7: The Feast of Steven
Episode 8: Volcano
Episode 9: Golden Death
Episode 10: Escape Switch
Episode 11: The Abandoned Planet
Episode 12: Destruction of Time

Story 21

Written by Terry Nation & Dennis Spooner

Directed by Douglas Camfield


Six months after the events of Mission to the Unknown, the TARDIS materializes on the planet Kembel, where the Doctor and his friends meet Space Security Service agent Bret Vyon, there searching for Marc Cory. Together, they uncover the Daleks' plan to use the immensely powerful Time Destructor weapon. They attempt to notify Earth but Earth leader Mavic Chen, Guardian of the Solar System, is a traitor in league with the Daleks.  

The Doctor has managed to steal the taranium core of the Time Destructor, without which the device will not work. The Doctor, Steven, Katarina and Bret steal Mavic Chen's ship and escape Kembel, but are soon forced to land on the prison planet Desperus. There, a convict named Kirksen stows away aboard the ship as they take off again. Kirksen holds Katarina hostage in the ship's air lock, and attempts to take over the ship, but Katarina opens the outer door and they are both pulled into the vacuum of space to their deaths.

As the travellers try to avoid being captured while on their way to Earth, Mavic Chen orders Space Security Agent Sara Kingdom to hunt down the Doctor and his friends. Sara finds the Doctor's group, and does kill Bret (later revealed to be her own brother) before the Doctor and Steven can convince her of Chen's treachery. 

Now joined by Sara Kingdom, the Doctor and Steven go on the run once more, narrowly staying one step ahead of the Daleks and Chen. While hiding in ancient Egypt, the Doctor once again encounters his adversary the Monk, and also escapes the Daleks before rambling through different points in time and space before arriving back on Kembel once more to face off against Chen and the Daleks.

Once there, the Doctor manages to sabotage the Time Destructor, turning it against the Daleks. As the powerful weapon starts to engulf the planet, Sara ignores the Doctor's order to return to the TARDIS, and she is aged to death trying to help the Doctor reach safety. 
Kembel itself is reduced to a vast wasteland as the Destructor burns out completely and Steven and the Doctor are both horrified by the waste of life and the staggering destruction all around them.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"The Myth Makers"

Aired Oct 16 – Nov 6, 1965

Episode 1: Temple of Secrets
Episode 2: Small Prophet, Quick Return
Episode 3: Death of a Spy
Episode 4: Horse of Destruction

Story 20

Written by Donald Cotton

Directed by Michael Leeston-Smith


The Doctor, Steven and Vicki arrive not far from the city of Troy, currently under long siege by the Greeks during the legendary Trojan War. Meeting Achilles, the Doctor is taken for the mighty god Zeus and brought back to the Greek camp to meet Agamemnon and Odysseus. Questioned by the Greeks, the Doctor admits he is not Zeus, but does tell them he comes from another time and place. He is given just two days to come up with a foolproof plan to capture Troy.

Steven and Vicki, meanwhile, are captured by the Trojans, where King Priam, believing Vicki to possess magical powers, gives her two days to banish the Greeks. Otherwise, she will be convicted as a spy. 

Devoid of options, the Doctor uses the idea of the Trojan Horse, an idea he contends was a fictional invention of Homer's, as his plan to defeat the Trojans, thereby inventing the legend in the first place. The Doctor's plan is a success, albeit a bloody one that sees the slaughter of many Trojans, to the Doctor's dismay.

Vicki, having taken the name Cressida, has fallen in love with Priam's son Troilus. They escape the slaughter and Vicki decides to remain with Troilus rather than leave on the TARDIS. Steven has been injured in the battle, and is helped into the TARDIS by Katarina, a handmaiden. The ship dematerializes with her aboard, after the Doctor bids Vicki a sad good-bye.

Interlude - "Dr. Who and the Daleks"

Dr. Who and the Daleks

Released: August 23, 1965

Written by Milton Subotsky

From the Story by Terry Nation

Directed by Gordon Flemyng



Dr. Who lives in London with his granddaughters Susan and Barbara. One evening, Barbara's boyfriend Ian comes calling, and Dr. Who decides to show him his latest invention, a time machine he calls TARDIS, outwardly disguised as an ordinary police box, but much larger on the inside. Ian accidentally activates TARDIS, which takes them all to a petrified jungle on an alien world. Dr. Who wishes to investigate a nearby futuristic city, and lies about a faulty piece of equipment, suggesting that the mercury needed to repair it could be found in the city. They go to explore, and are soon captured by beings called the Daleks.

The travelers discover that there are two races on the planet, and that they are both survivors of a long atomic war. The Daleks were forced to encase themselves in the protective machines they now live within in order to survive the radiation. The Thals survived the fallout, but the Daleks claim they are now hideously mutated. The travelers also discover that they are all suffering from radiation sickness. Dr. Who recalls that Susan had found a case containing strange drugs seemingly left near TARDIS.

The Daleks know those drugs are likely the Thal's anti-radiation medication. The Daleks want to conquer the entire planet, but have been trapped inside their city, dependant on their armor to survive. If they had the medication, they could leave the city and exterminate the Thals. The Daleks allow Susan to return to TARDIS and obtain the drugs left outside the ship. Susan gets to TARDIS and there meets Alydon, leader of a Thal expedition. Not at all disfigured as the Daleks claimed, it was he who left the drugs for the travelers. He gives Susan a secondary supply to hide from the Daleks and also loans her his plastic cloak.

Friday, April 12, 2013

"Mission to the Unknown"

Mission to the Unknown

Story 19
Aired: Oct 9, 1965

1 Episode

Written by Terry Nation

Directed by Derek Martinus



Marc Cory, an agent of the Space Security Service, has been dispatched on a secret mission to the planet Kembel to investigate a recent sighting of a Dalek spaceship. Cory's suspicion that the creatures may have established a base on Kembel proves well-founded. His two companions, Jeff Garvey and Gordon Lowery, both fall victim to the poisonous thorns of Varga plants, flora indigenous to the Daleks' home world of Skaro, and he has no choice but to shoot them before they are themselves transformed into Vargas.

Having overheard the Daleks plotting with Malpha, Trantis and other alien allies to invade Earth's galaxy, Cory records a warning message and prepares to send it into orbit with a rocket launcher. Before he can do so he is discovered and exterminated, but the Daleks fail to destroy the tape, so the information that he has gathered still exists to be discovered.
Both the beacon and the recording remain, left ignored by the Daleks who chant, over and over, "Victory."

"Galaxy 4"

Galaxy 4

Story 18
Aired: Sept 11 – Oct 2, 1965

Episode 1 – Four Hundred Dawns
Episode 2 – Trap of Steel
Episode 3 – Air Lock
Episode 4 – The Exploding Planet

Written by William Emms
Directed by Derek Martinus & Mervyn Pinfield


The Doctor, Vicki and Steven arrive on an arid planet in Galaxy 4, where they meet the occupants of two crashed spaceships: the beautiful Drahvins and the hideous Rills. Confounding expectations, the latter prove to be friendly, compassionate explorers while the former are a group of mindless cloned soldiers terrorized by a warlike matriarch called Maaga. Both ships were damaged when the Drahvins precipitated a confrontation in space, but whereas the Rills' is almost ready to take off again, having been repaired by their robot drones which Vicki names Chumblies, the Drahvins' is irreparably damaged.

When the planet is discovered to be on the point of disintegration, Maaga tries to force the time travelers to help her steal the Rills' ship. Instead, the Doctor allows the Rills to draw power from the TARDIS in order to refuel and escape, leaving the Drahvins to their fate.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Season 2 Overview

William Hartnell in The Web Planet
If the first season of Doctor Who was a hit, then the second was a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Starting with the second serial The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the series became appointment television for a whole generation of families, and spawned a marketing frenzy over the series' most popular fixtures, the Daleks. The viewing figures for the season skyrocketed beginning with that serial, hitting a high of over 13 million viewers for an episode of The Web Planet.

If the first season found the production team experimenting to discover what kind of show Doctor Who was at its core, this season found the team aggressively pushing the boundaries of what the show could be at its extremes. From the epic spectacular of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, to the wacky high jinks of The Romans, to The Web Planet and its bold and innovative depiction of a truly alien world, the second season was an unqualified success in topping the highs of season one.

"The Time Meddler"

The Time Meddler

Story 17
Aired: Jul 3 - Jul 24, 1965

Episode 1 – The Watcher
Episode 2 – The Meddling Monk
Episode 3 – A Battle of Wits
Episode 4 – Checkmate

Written by Dennis Spooner
Directed by Douglas Camfield


The Doctor and Vicki discover that Steven Taylor has stumbled on board the TARDIS prior to its departure from Mechanus. Steven is skeptical of Vicki's explanation that the ship is a time machine, but the Doctor assures her that they will soon show him the truth of the matter.

The TARDIS arrives on an English coastline in the year 1066. Exploring, the Doctor discovers that a man known as the Monk is conspiring to wipe out the Viking fleet and thus allow King Harold to face the forces of William of Normandy with a fresh army at the Battle of Hastings. This will radically alter history.
Steven and Vicki are shocked to discover that the Monk has a TARDIS like the Doctor's, and it's revealed that the Monk is own of the Doctor's own race..

The Doctor, horrified at the Monk's intentions, resolves to stop him and eventually succeeds. The Doctor tampers with the Monks' TARDIS and when the Monk tries to escape, he discovers the Doctor has made the interior dimensions of the Monk's TARDIS too small to use, stranding him in the current time period.

The TARDIS crew return to their craft and leave, journeying out among the stars.