Friday, 17 October 2014

040 The Reign of Terror Episode 4: The Tyrant of France

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Episode 4: The Tyrant of France
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 29 August 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror

"You walked right into my trap, didn't you?"

The Doctor is escorted by Citizen Lemaitre to the palace used by First Deputy Robspierre. He and the Doctor discuss Paris and the revolution.

vlcsnap-2014-06-05-15h56m13s96The Doctor is escorted by Citizen Lemaitre to the palace used by First Deputy Robspierre. He and the Doctor discuss Paris and the revolution.

Susan is being looked after in Jules house, his sister Danielle brings Susan a glass of Brandy to warm her. Danielle is a little antagonistic to the visitors, but Barbara is getting on fine with Léon Colbert who goes to seek Jules & Jean. After everyone has gone to bed Jules & Jean arrive home bearing an unconscious body: they have captured someone. The Doctor & Lemaitre return to the prison where Lemaitre convinces the Doctor to stay the night and to see Robspierre again tomorrow. Lemaitre meets the tailor and is shown the ring. Trying to leave the Doctor is threatened at gunpoint by the jailer and made to stay. The tailor tells Lemaitre what has happened and how the Doctor obtained the clothes & paper. Barbara discovers the man brought to the house is Ian and is pleased to be reunited. Ian discovers Jules is Jules Renan who Webster told him to contact - he passes the message about James Stirling on but Jules doesn't know who he is. Jean will go to the house in the country to seek the Doctor. Barbara will accompany Susan to the physician while Ian meets a colleague of Jules. She is diagnosed with a feverish chill, but the physician is suspicious of her and locks them in his office while he goes to the prison and summons the jailer & his guards, who re-arrest the women. Ian worries about them so Jules goes to fetch them. At the prison Susan is flung in a cell while Barbara is taken to be interrogated by the visiting regional office - the Doctor. But their conversation is overheard by Lemaitre. Ian is ambushed at his meeting by Léon Colbert and some soldiers.

As discussed under episode 1, the Cyprus copies of episodes 4 & 5, as well as their duplicate of The Aztecs 2, were destroyed when the Cypriot National Film Archive was shelled in the 1974 coup. Episodes 1-3 & 6 survived and were returned to the BBC. To bridge the missing episodes on video narration was recorded by Carol Anne Ford.

However some very brief glimpses of these episodes are available courtesy of some 8mm film recorded by a fan in Australia by pointing his camera at the television screen. Frustratingly they're not on The Reign of Terror DVD but can be found on disc 1 of Doctor Who - Lost In Time.

The clips consist of:

vlcsnap-2014-06-05-15h51m23s7 vlcsnap-2014-06-05-15h51m31s97
The Doctor in Robespierre's office
(1 second)
Ian talking in Jules' house after his escape
(3 seconds)
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Ian talking in Jules' house the next morning
(1 second)
Susan lying down in the surgery
(1 second)
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Susan looking Worried
(2 seconds)
Barbara trying to open the surgery door
(1 second)

Clips ID Source: Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes

When we watched the episode for the first run of the blog this was both the first episode in 2011 and we switched media mid story for the first time to listen to this and the next episode on CD. I made the following comment on the episode.

Less of the Doctor in this one and flatter as a result. I suspect it would be better with visuals.
However now the story is available on DVD we *do* have some visuals to look at.

Two methods have evolved for portraying missing Doctor Who episodes from nearly complete stories: Reconstructions using John Cura's Telesnaps and the recorded off air soundtracks or marrying the soundtrack to new animation. See Marco Polo episodes 4 the Wall of Lies, 5 Rider from Shang-Tu and 6 Mighty Kublai Kahn for details. Although Telesnaps were taken for Reign of Terror they no longer exist and so for episodes 4 & 5 animation was used for the visuals.

The animation certainly adds something here. OK yes the audio is rough as at the start of the episode but it picks up at 15:20 in. The absence of the Doctor is still felt though, this is really his companions struggling without him there.

The animators had little to go on with this episode but they've not done a bad job: compare this screen cap of Susan from the 8mm footage to the animation:

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One of the frustrating things about the 8mm footage, which concentrates on the main cast, is that you hear, but don't see, the physician speaking:

"your symptoms would suggest you haven't been looking after yourself"
vlcsnap-2014-06-05-16h16m28s195 Here's his animated version:

The physician only appears in this episode and it's a first TV role for actor Ronald Pickup who's appeared in many TV productions but never returned to Doctor Who! The commentary for this episode on the DVD is made up entirely of an interview he gives to Toby Hadoke.

Also appearing in this episode for the first time is Citizen Robespierre, played by Keith Anderson. He's in the next episode, also missing, but we can see him in the last. His the third historical figure encountered by the Doctor after Marco Polo & Kublai Kahn.

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