Friday, 25 December 2015

097 The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 7: The Feast of Steven

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 7: The Feast of Steven
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 097
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 25 December 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 7.9 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"I suppose you might say I'm a citizen of the Universe, and a gentleman to boot"

The Tardis has materialised in the north of England. The Doctor goes outside to fix the scanner but is arrested where he meets a man complaining about the theft of his greenhouse who the Doctor thinks he recognises from a market in Jaffa before being questioned about his identity.

Steven steels a policeman's uniform from a car and infiltrates the police station to gain the Doctor's release while Sara fixes the scanner.

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The Tardis then lands on a 1920s silent movie lot where a film is being made at saw mill. Chaos ensues before the Tardis crew are able to sneak away and dematerialise at which point the Tardis crew celebrate Christmas with a drink.

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The Doctor then turns towards us and says

"Oh and incidentally, a happy Christmas to all of you at home."
Hah ! You thought David Tennant's debut, the Christmas Invasion, was the first Doctor Who Christmas Special! Think again and marvel at the Doctor Who panto 1965. You can argue that Horns of the Nimon is a bit of a pantomime too. We get a Z-Cars tribute, originally intended as a crossover until Z-Cars production staff withdrew permission, we get playful hijinks on the movie set and we get Hartnell breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience. Even the title is a bit of a joke The Feast of Stephen was a religious festival celebrated on what is now Boxing Day while the Doctor has a companion called Steven Taylor. Because the episode is missing the Daleks & Mavic Chen it becomes a just a harmless romp and doesn't pretend to be anything else so I'll sit back and enjoy it as such :-) The CD version features some lovely tongue in cheek narration from Peter Purves during this episode which only serves to reinforce that view. I wouldn't want my Doctor Who to be like this every week but this is a superb little festive bit of fun.

But in the middle of this episode is a little revelation that might go unnoticed:

SARA: Oh, I see. We've landed on your own planet.
DOCTOR: Oh, nonsense, child. We're back on Earth.
This is I think the first time that the Doctor admits that he's not from Earth!

Of all the episodes missing from the BBC archive this episode is the most unlikely to be found. It was never sold abroad when Dalek Masterplan was offered for sale and BBC records indicate that a telerecording was never made. It seems the BBC regarded it very much as a bit of disposable Christmas fun. So Feast of Steven is as close as we can get to "Never coming back" But during this period of the program no Telesnaps were being taken by John Cura, Producer John Wills' deciding they were an unnecessary expense depriving us of pictures for Galaxy Four, Mission to the Unknown, Myth Makers, Dalek Masterplan, The Massacre, The Ark and The Celestial Toymaker. In that period just 9 out of the 33 episodes survive and just one complete story, the Ark. So Doctor Who fans had little hope of seeing any visual record of this episode.

There also appears to have been a photocall for new Companion Jean Marsh in this episode: a number of photos of her in costume and on the Tardis set with bits of other sets from this episode visible turned up in a Daily Mirror photo special The Doctors - The Archive: An unofficial guide to 50 years of time travel which is well worth getting.

However the actor Robert Jewell, usually inside a Dalek casing, makes a rare on-screen appearance in The Feast of Steven as the Clown (who we're led to believe is Bing Crosby). Jewel had some photos of the broadcast of this episode taken as it was a rare appearance of him on-screen and they are now the only visual record of this missing never to be returned episode. I didn't know these existed at the point when I originally blogged the episode but you can see them on the internet at http://missingepisodes.blogspot.co.uk/p/offair.html to catch just a glimpse of this missing episode.

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Making her Doctor Who debut in this episode is Sheila Dunn, appearing as starlet Blossom Lefevre in the silent movie studio segment. At around this time she becomes Mrs Douglas Camfield and crops up in several of her husband's productions appearing as the Computer Voice in The Invasion Episodes 1, 5 & 4 and Petra Williams in Inferno

The man who the Doctor thinks he recognises from a market in Jaffa is a neat in-joke: Reg Pritchard, the Man in Mackintosh, was was the merchant Ben Daheer in The Lion, The Knight of Jaffa & The Wheel of Fortune, the first three episodes of the Crusade, another story directed by Dalek Masterplan's director Douglas Camfield

Royston Tickner plays Steinberger P. Green, who I think is in the photo with Sheila Dunn above, returns in The Sea Devils Episode One as Robbins. One of the Policemen, Clifford Earl, later returns in the last two episodes of The Invasion, directed by Camfield, as Major Branwell while another Policeman, Malcolm Rogers, was previously in The Chase episode 4: Journey Into Terror as Count Dracula. Camfield also reuses several actors from earlier in the serial: "Buddy Windrush" is the Prop Man: he appeared in episode 2 as Malpha under the name "Brian Edwards" before reprising the role in episode 11 under his real name: Brian Mosely, later famous as Coronation Street's grocer Alf Roberts. Jack Le White appears as Knopf's Cameraman while M.J. Matthews is the Charlie Chaplin Lookalike: both were criminals in episode 3 of this serial: Devil's Planet.

So, in the words of the late great William Hartnell 48 years ago today:

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"A Happy Christmas to all of you at home."

Friday, 18 December 2015

096 The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 6: Coronas of the Sun

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 6: Coronas of the Sun
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 096
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 18 December 1965
WRITER: Dennis Spooner from an idea by Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 9.1 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"The Daleks will deal with them, there is no need for the delay in their extermination."

The Visians attack the Daleks allowing the Doctor, Steven & Sara to escape. They attack the lone Dalek sentry blinding it with mud and steal the Dalek ship. Mavic Chen returns to Kembel and receives a hostile reception from the Daleks who blame him for the non recovery of the Taranium Core. The Doctor plans to make a copy of the core to deceive the Daleks when they discover that the Daleks have taken control of the ship and are steering them to Kembel. Steven uses the gravity force power on the ship to activate the fake Taranium Core and make it glow but is injured in the process and trapped within a forcefield. Chen wants to take the Doctor and friends back to Earth for a show trial but the Daleks convince him to let them deal with the travellers. The ship returns to Kembel and Steven emerges first carrying the fake Taranium Core. The Doctor demands to hand the Taranium over outside the Tardis. Sara accuses Chen of being a traitor.

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Reaching the Tardis, Sara & the Doctor go inside leaving Steven to hand the box over to Chen. The Daleks fire on Steven but the dying forcefield protects him allowing him to escape with the Doctor, Sara and the genuine Taranium Core in the Tardis. When the Tardis lands the scanner malfunctions and the readings indicate a poisonous atmosphere.

Now this is odd. Last time round I felt this episode picked up after the lull inthe last one. This time round the first five formed a relatively solid block but for whatever reason, be it the change in writer or having had a bit of a break between last episode and this one, or it being the first episode of the serial where no footage exists, this episode didn't quite click got me this time. Yes there's much more Daleks and much more action this episode. But there's elements that just don't quite click for me. Steven suddenly experimenting with trying to activate the fake tarranium core using the gravity force is one, and the accident giving the fake core the force field that allows the Doctor, Steven & Sara to escape.

But it does effectively closes the first half of the story and indeed it's where Mission to the Unknown, the first of the two Target novels by John Peel that make up The Dalek Masterplan, ends. It's a good natural point to split the story. The Doctor has now evaded the Daleks using his Tardis and without the Taranium Core, which he has, the Daleks' plans are useless.

Looking back the first half of Daleks' Masterplanis actually a pair of typical Terry Nation plot devices welded together.

Firstly the Doctor is unable to use the Tardis: here it's marooned on Kemble while in the Daleks it was faulty, in Keys of Marinus it was protected by a forcefield and in Dalek Invasion of Earth it was burried under rubble. We'll see that last one again in Destiny of the Daleks but he'll be separated from the Tardis again in Android Invsion, and from his then means of transport in Genesis of the Daleks, while a power failure stops him leaving in Death to the Daleks.

As well as being unable to use the Tardis the Doctor spends the first half of the story on the move, just like in Keys of Marinus and the Chase. Here the transport is stolen spaceships and one accidental teleport as opposed to travel bands and the Tardis. The Chase influence becomes much more obvious in the second half as the Daleks use another time machine to follow him.

You can throw another Nation trope into this episode: Daleks are imobilised by blinding them, here with mud. See also The Daleks, where mud is also used, Planet of the Daleks, an electronic device, and Destiny of the Daleks, The Doctor's hat!

The Daleks have also gone soft since episode 4, where this happens:

SUPREME DALEK: Destroy pursuit ship. They have failed in their mission. We will not tolerate mistakes.
You'd expect the Daleks who've failed on Mira and lost their ship to be marooned there. No:
SUPREME DALEK: What news of our force?
DALEK: They are stranded on the planet and under constant attack from the invisible creatures that inhibit it.
SUPREME DALEK: Dispatch a rescue ship to their aid. They will be dealt with on their return. Meanwhile, I will personally supervise recovery of the core.
IMDB credits one new actor in this episode: Francis Willey is the Visians. As they are unseen and don't speak I'm at a loss to say what he did! He'll return in The Massacre 4: The Bell of Doom as a guard.

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We're back to CD now for the next 4 episodes which is the largest consecutive section in this story not to contain an existing episode. It's also one of the sections of the story least documented by pictures and part of the problem with this episode might be that there's nothing to look at, no moving visuals, no tele snaps and very few photos. There's the one above of Steven, Sara & the Dalek ship which I believe was taken by designer Raymond Cusick. You can see several others in The Raymond P Cusick Signature Collection. But, aside from the Dalek ship the Tardis crew capture and where they land there's little that new and previously unseen here. We know what the Chen, the Daleks and their base look like from prior episodes. Indeed the base probably provides hints to what the ship looks like! Hartnell' Doctor and Steven we're familiar with and Sara & the Miran jungle were both seen in the previous episode. So unlike many of the completely missing episodes withno telesnaps it's easy to fill in the gaps here.

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Initially the Dalek Masterplan was conceived as a six part series and Nation was contracted to write six episodes. However plans changed, and twelve episodes it became. Reasons are slightly unclear as to why the decision was taken for Terry Nation to write half of it, although he was at this time busy script supervising his new ITC series The Baron. So Dennis Spooner, outgoing script editor and writer of Reign of Terror, The Romans & The Time Meddler, was commissioned to write the remaining six episodes and Daleks' Masterplan becomes the first Doctor Who story to be written by two authors. I've seen it claimed that Donald Tosh, the current Script Editor, had to do some work on Nation's episodes to bring them up to scratch. Anecdotal evidence exists from several script editors about the length of Terry Nation's scripts up to and including Ken Grieve's claim that Douglas Adams wrote 98% of Destiny of the Daleks. Having checked, there's a story repeated in print in About Time: 1963-1966 Seasons 1 to 3 (so if it's inaccurate sue them not me !) of Terry Nation turning up in a Taxi at Donald Tosh's flat and delivering 24 pages of notes for his six episodes before fleeing into the night to catch a plane to Heathrow airport and leaving Donald Tosh to tidy them up into the scripts for the first five and the seventh episode. The author of about time intimates that Tosh is the source of the story but doesn't note where he was meant to have said this. Donald Tosh interviews are a little thin on the ground so you may have to take this story with a small pinch of salt. However if you put it together with Grieve's claim and the distinct Robert Holmesian feel of Genesis of the Daleks..... I will leave it as exercise to the reader to draw conclusions.

Just as the writing task was split between two people so was the design: Raymond Cusick, who created the Dalek design, appears to have handled the first six episodes with the remaining ones the responsibility of Barry Newbery, who started on Doctor Who by doing the second, third & fourth episodes of the first story. In fact this is the last episode of the series that Cusick works on.

=-

7th May 2016 Update

Since I blogged about this story I've become aware of a number of control panels that keep appearing in Doctor Who episodes. There's several in the previous episode and I've updated the text there to reflect that.

There's very little visual material relating to this episode surviving but The Raymond P Cusick Signature Collection, which you REALLY need to own if you're interested in early Doctor Who sets, contains a number of set photos one of which is of the lab where the fake Tarnaium core is made.

DMP6

You can quite clearly see two panels very similar to those we've seen in the previous episode. More and repeat appearances will follow.

Friday, 11 December 2015

095 The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 5: Counter Plot

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 5: Counter Plot
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 095
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 11 December 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 9.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time

"This is the planet Mira, and the only beings on here are the Visians. We can't see them, but they're very vicious. We must try to get away from here as soon as possible".

Steven & The Doctor are hunted in the experimental complex and stray into an odd shaped room containing a cage of mice. Elsewhere in the complex the countdown to start the experiment is underway. Sara Kingdom finds Steven and The Doctor just as the experiment activates transporting them, via a very trippy effects sequence, to the planet Mira many light years away. The Daleks want to know what's happened to the Taranium Core (hurrah, there's broken neck ring talking to the Supreme) and Mavic Chen tells them that he planned to send the travellers to Mira. The travellers have materialised in a swamp. The Daleks send a pursuit ship to Mira (broken neck ring is back again fitted with a detector) whose crew exterminate the mice before being attacked by the invisible Visians. Sara, who believes Brett was a traitor, confesses to the Doctor and Steven that Brett was her brother. She is forced to ally herself with the Doctor & Steven against the Visians, but the Daleks find and capture them.

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I've never been that keen on Dalek Master Plan episode 5: Counter Plot. I first saw it in 1991 when it was released on VHS in Daleks: The Early Years with Daleks' Master Plan 10 and Evil of the Daleks 2. At the start we've just missed seeing Nicholas Courtney, Mavic Chen, the supposedly great villain, spends most of the episode being bossed around by Karlton, the space security chief, who appears more evil than he is, there's no sign of the Daleks' alien allies, the Daleks themselves are hardly in it, there's a big chunk of the episode missing the Doctor & Steven and there's some scientists who spends the whole episode wittering on about "What's happened to my mice"! Repeated veiwings, even in the context didn't improve it. About the only plus point it had to the 18 year old me was that you got to see (briefly) the Black Dalek Supreme. But first time round for the blog, having got here via 94 other Hartnell episodes, it sort of worked. Yes it's a bit slow. Yes, it's probably the weakest of the 12 (effectively 13) parts of this story. But finally, nearly twenty years after I first saw it, I sort of liked this episode. This time round, have listened/watched the first five episodes over the course of one day it REALLY worked. Many Hartnell episodes are improved by watching them episodically but this works as part of the bigger picture. The first six episodes of this story really form a solid block of adventure together, it's just a shame that one of the quieter bits falls as being one of the few episodes we can see.

Contained within the episode is an absoloutely stunning revelation:

STEVEN: You killed Bret! You just shot him down.
SARA: He was a traitor. Between the three of you, you had stolen the taranium, the most valuable mineral in the universe. It was needed desperately to spread the peace which was founded in the solar system, to reach the whole galaxy.
STEVEN: What was the taranium going to do?
SARA: How should I know? I had my orders.
STEVEN: Your orders. And even though it meant killing one of your own people, you obeyed them blindly, without question?
SARA: One does not question the orders of the Guardian.
STEVEN: You didn't stop to think how it came to happen that a space security agent, one of your own people, was a traitor?
SARA: No!
STEVEN: You didn't give Bret a chance, did you. You couldn't question Chen and you wouldn't question Bret.
SARA: Look, what do you want me to say? That I believe your fantastic story?
STEVEN: It's true.
SARA: It mustn't be.
DOCTOR: I'm afraid it is, my dear.
STEVEN: But Bret had to be killed.
SARA: Shut up! Bret Vyon was my brother.
Sara believes so much in Mavic Chen as a force for good in the solar system that she was willing to kill her own brother on his say so that he was a traitor. The proof that Chen is a traitor breaks her.

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Then we have the mice....

KARLTON: Perhaps they have only just found it. You are certain that there are no natural beings on Mira?
FROYN: Not to our knowledge. Our probes have never shown any.
RHYNMAL: That's why we sent the mice. I was hoping that they might perhaps... Oh dear. Perhaps we should send some more mice?
The fussing over the mice puts me in mind of the role mice play in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. Adams may well have seen this serial as a schoolboy and there's an incident in a later episode which is almost certainly a direct influence on some of his work. Indeed the psychadelic teleport sequence also reminds of the Infinite Improbability drive sequence in Hitch Hikers as well as the Stargate sequence in the film 2001: A Space Odyssey, which was released two and a half years later.

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If Adams was influenced by this episode then he isn't the only person to have taken inspiration from this episode: Terry Nation himself reuses the idea of Invisible Aliens, here named the Visians, as the Spiridons in Planet of the Daleks

The scientists playing with the mice and teleporting them half way across the galaxy are Rhynmal and Froyn:

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Rhymnal is played by John Herrington who returns in Colony in Space: Episode Two as Holden. Froyn is played by Bill Meilen who has an appearance in the modern Battlestar Galactica to his name appearing in the season 1 episode Act of Contrition as the Caprica Cleric.

Having introduced Karlton in the last episode and had him be a big presence for all of this, looking like he's plotting to depose Chen at one stage, it's something of a surprise to discover that this is the last episode of the serial he appears in. That's it, he's gone just like that! Did Terry Nation mean to do something more with Karlton, and for that matter Lizan who returned in the previous episode, but not pass the idea on to Dennis Spooner, who writes the second half of the story? Or has Spooner just abandoned the characters in favour of doing something with an old favourite of his own? We will never know.

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For years the BBC believed they held one episode of this story: 4: The Traitors. Then, in 1978, that turned out to be awol from the film and vt library. One day in 1983 the BBC took a call from a Mormon church, now using an old BBC building. They had found a number of cans of film that had been left in the building and wondered if the BBC would like them back. In what was otherwise a pile of junk were 2 episodes of Doctor Who: the fifth and tenth parts of the Daleks' Masterplan. The story has grown and been distorted in the telling and even Richard's Molesworth's Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes isn't 100% definitive as to which church at what location found the material. If you think it unlikely that the BBC would just leave films lying around then come back for the Ice Warriors for more of the same! A nasty thought did occur to me: Given the previous fun with swapped film cans I hope that pile of junk was searched properly and the films checked to make sure they weren't anything interesting in the wrong box! However given that the man who searched through them, Steve Bryant, is now high up at the BFI I think we can be confident a thorough job was done.

So we were back on DVD again a mere two episodes after the last one. For many years this, the 14th episode of the season, used to be the earliest surviving episode of season 2, having taken record from The Ark episode 1, which was found at BBC Enterprises. Now it's been surpassed: first by Dalek Masteplan 2: Day of Armageddon in 2004 and then by Galaxy Four episode three: Airlock in 2011


7th May 2016 addition:

Since I blogged on this episode I've been made aware of something rather interesting in this episode: It's the first known appearance in Doctor Who of some items that will become familiar set elements.

It all began with a simple enough question:

On Roobarb's DVD Forum we have a thread for spotting reused props in Doctor Who. You'll need to register to see the Doctor Who threads before you can read it but here's a link: http://www.zetaminor.com/roobarb/showthread.php?28478-Prop-Spotting/page9

When Underwater Menace came out on DVD one of the telesnaps used in the reconstruction of episode 4 caught my eye:

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The Control Panel on the rear wall with all the knobs and dials and lines connecting them was ringing a bell for me. So I asked: where have we seen that before?

Several suggestions were made, including the usual "Look at The Curse Of The Fly" and "I'm sure I've seen that in Out of the Unknown" but someone actually found the panel in an episode of The Avengers, 'The House that Jack Built', broadcast 4th March 1966 which was 2 1/2 months after Counterplot was broadcast.

One small problem: It had five friends.

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Once I'd seen them I started spotting them all over the place in sixties television.

The earliest use we can find is in episodes of the 1965 first season of Out of the Unknown. I went through my Out of the Unknown DVD Set and found the following appearances:

The first two photos comes from the second episode, The Counterfeit Man, broadcast 11th October 1965:

ootuCounterfeit1 ootuCounterfeit4

Then we have a pair in the 5th story, Time in Advance, broadcast 1st November 1965. You can see the panel I first spotted in The Underwater Menace here:

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Finally another in the 7th story, Sucker Bait, broadcast 15th November 1965.

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This brings us up to date as Sucker Bait was broadcast 2 days after the first episode of Dalek Masterplan, The Nightmare Begins.

Four episodes later we come to Counterplot and the d├ębut of these panels in Doctor Who. There's a lovely panning shot round the room so you get to see most of them. The second control panel, obscured in the first photo, is one you'll see again.

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The third panel, on the left of the left photo, and the sixth, on the right of the right photo, are both in the shot from the Avengers above. The two middle control panels, in both photos, are very, very similar but ever so slightly different

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There's a couple more control panels clockwise of these. Take note, you'll see them again!

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Then, two days after Counterplot aired, the 11th Out of the Unknown episode, Thirteen to Centaurus, broadcast 13th December, showed some more control panels and another you'll recognise from the Avengers picture above

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The control panels can next be glimpsed in episode 6, Coronas of the Sun, which makes me think designers Raymond Cusick and Barry Newbury may have used them elsewhere in this story. Could they have appeared earlier than this? Quite possibly Most of Galaxy Four and all of Mission to The Unknown doesn't exist. We have all the more science fiction themed episodes of Docto Who prior to that and nobody has spotted one in any of those episodes yet.

In 1966 they go on to appear in the episode of The Avengers mentioned above before their next known Doctor Who appearance in The War Machines.

Friday, 4 December 2015

094 The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 4: The Traitors

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 4: The Traitors
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 094
STORY NUMBER: 021
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 04 December 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Donald Tosh
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 9.5 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"Nothing will be allowed to stand in the way of our plan to conquer the Universe!"

Katarina struggles with Kirksen in the airlock. He demands to be taken to Kembel but Katarina releases the airlock door killing both of them.

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The Doctor, Steven & Bret Vyon head towards Earth making for a experimental facility run by Bret Vyon's friend Daxtar. Chen dispatches a squad of Special Space Services personnel to catch them led by Sara Kingdom. Daxtar betrays them and is killed by Bret. Chen files a report with the Daleks implicating Trantis in the theft of the Taranium. While trying to escape the building Bret Vyon is killed by Sara Kingdom who orders her agents hunt the Doctor and Steven and to "shoot on sight" and "aim for the head".

Separated from the Tardis and pursued by the Daleks, the Doctor looses a companion, Katarina, and then Bret Vyon, his only ally in this time, is also killed. This episode really ups the stakes now you feel the Doctor's friends and companions have been killed. There's a real feeling of desperation at the episodes end, and it feels less like a Children's program that at any time in the show's history so far.

So Katarina becomes the show's shortest serving companion at 5 episodes (Myth Makers 4 & Daleks Masterplan 1-4) and the first companion to die. Indeed there's some argument that she shouldn't even be counted as a companion. But she travels in the Tardis and is in more than one story so that counts for me. Adrienne Hill later worked as a teacher and died, aged 60, in 1997.

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Her replacement is introduced this episode with the return of Jean Marsh, who hasd previously appeared in The Crusade, as the King's sister Joanna, which was also directed by Douglas Camfield. She plays Sara Kingdom in the remainder of this story and, like Katerina, there's some argument as if she should count as a companion too. Her introduction is a particularly aggressive one: One of her first acts is to gun down Bret Vyon, removing Nicholas Courtney from the action. He too would be brought back by Camfield, in his next directed story, 1968's Web of Fear where he was initially cast as Captain Knight. Events however transpired otherwise and he ends up playing a different role in the series....

Jean Marsh and Nicholas Courtney are reunited in the opening story of Doctor Who's 26th Season, 1989's Battlefield.

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This episode features Roger Avon as Daxtar. Another Camfield Crusade returnee, he appeared in the first three episodes of that story, The Lion, The Knight of Jaffa & The Wheel of Fortune as Saphadin. He also appears in the second Doctor Who film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as Wells. Space Security agent Borkar is played by
James Hall who was in The Reign of Terror episode 1: A Land of Fear as a Soldier.

The episode also brings back two characters from earlier episodes who we've not seen since Pamela Greer's Lizan was in episode 1 wanting to watch the report in Mavic Chen while Trantis, played by Roy Evans, was one of the delegates seen in episode 2.

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Both are in just one scene: Trantis talking to the Dalek Supreme and Lizan with Chen and his assistant Karlton, played by Maurice Browning whose his bald head would seem to indicate he's one of the Technix seen throughout the serial. But there's no reason for Lizan to be there: she says nothing that Karlton couldn't have said and it's odd bringing her back just for this one scene.

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When Ian Levene first visited the BBC Film & Video library they had records of 48 episodes of Doctor Who. 47 were present in the library, one was missing: this one. Loaned to Blue Peter for us in a 1973 edition, The Traitors was never returned and is missing to this day. The only surviving footage from the episode comes from the edition of Blue Peter that it was borrowed for: that of Katarina's death.

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