Friday, 17 October 2014

041 The Reign of Terror Episode 5: A Bargain of Necessity

EPISODE: The Reign of Terror Episode 5: A Bargain of Necessity
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 05 September 1964
WRITER: Dennis Spooner
DIRECTOR: Henric Hirsch
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 6.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Reign of Terror

"If you want your granddaughter released, you will have to take me to his hideout!"

Léon Colbert wants information on Jules' organisation. He is the traitor that Jules suspected. Barbara and the Doctor are still be eavesdropped on by Lemaitre, but he's summoned away by the jailer. Lemaitre orders Susan is kept locked in her cell, but the Doctor has a plan to rescue her. He convinces the jailer to release Barbara supposedly so that she can be followed to her friends. Jules returns home to find an empty house. Leon is searching for James Stirling and believes Ian can lead him to him. Ian tells Leon his story but he doesn't believe him. Jules arrives and rescues Ian, killing Leon Colbert. The Doctor tells Susan he is there and then blames the Jailer for Barbara's escape. Robespierre & Lemaitre discuss a forthcoming meeting: Robespierre is paranoid that people are plotting against him led by Deputy Paul Barrass. Barbara & Ian are reunited at Jules house. Ian tells how Colbert betrayed him. The Doctor knocks the jailer out and free Susan but they're intercepted by Lemaitre. Susan is returned to the cell while Lemaitre is interviewed by Lemaitre who shows the Doctor his ring that he used to bargain for the clothes. Lemaitre wants the Doctor to assist him, he is trying to contact Jules Renan and in return he will arrange Susan's release. The Doctor arrives at Renan's house with Lemaitre: Jules is immediately convinced the Doctor has betrayed them!

Still good, enjoying this story.

Ian's confession to Leon Colbert is worth drawing attention to as it's one of the first times The Tardis Crew admit how they came to be there:

LEON: I really don't understand what you hope to gain. If I don't get the information from you, I shall find it elsewhere. Now be sensible. Save yourself from the guillotine.
IAN: You wouldn't believe my story anyway.
LEON: Suppose you let me be the judge of that. How did you get to France?
IAN: You really want to know, eh?
LEON: The truth?
IAN: Oh yes, it's the truth all right.
LEON: You swear it?
IAN: Yes, I swear it. I flew here with three friends in a small box. When I left England it was 1963.
It receives a predictably disbelieving response!

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The action sequence that follows is well animated but it would be nice to see the original live action version. Sadly it doesn't survive because like episode 4 this episode was missing from the BBC archives and wasn't part of the haul recovered from Cyprus that made up the other episodes of this serial. Neither does the action sequence survive as one of the clips from this episode filmed by an Australian fan with an 8mm camera.

The clips consist of:

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Barbara in her cell, talking to the Doctor
(4 seconds)
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Barbara remarking on the Doctor's disguise
(3 seconds)
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Ian talking to Leon in the crypt
(1 second)
The Doctor talking
(1 second)
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The Doctor talking
(1 second)
Ian and Barbara at Jules' House
(1 Second)

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


Like Ronald Pickup, playing the physician in the previous episode no visual record remains of Terry Bale's only on screen Doctor Who appearance as the Soldier. However we do hear him again many years later when he provides the voice for Arcturus in Curse of Peladon episodes 1-3.

Reign of Terror marks the début on Doctor Who of Dennis Spooner. With a number of television writing jobs under his belt already he'd go on to write three more Doctor Who stories and take the chair as Doctor Who's second script editor. He would later mainly work for ITV & Lew Grade's ITC creating & contributing to a large number of very famous shows including a trio of Gerry Anderson puppet shows Fireball XL5, Stingray & Thunderbirds plus their live action successor UFO, The Baron, Man in a Suitcase, The Avengers, The Champions, Department S and it's successor Jason King, Randall & Hopkirk Deceased, Doomwatch, The New Avengers, The Professionals, Bergerac and Remington Steele. There's a good chance, even if you're not a sci fi or cult TV fan, that you've seen something this man wrote. He died in 1986 at the early age of 53. There's an excellent tribute of the Doctor Who: The Romans DVD, his second story for the series.


The Doctor spends most of this story dressed up as a French Official starting a trend of the Doctor disguising himself or being mistaken for someone else that continues through the series. Other examples include Hartnell being mistaken for Zeus in the Myth Makers and Jimmy Saville in the War Machines, Troughton pretending to be the German Doctor Von Wer and an Old Crone in the Highlanders, a gypsy Sooth sayer in the Underwater Menace plus his double Salamander in Enemy of the World, Pertwee as a medical Doctor in Spearhead form Space and a cleaning lady & Milkman in the Green Death and Tom Baker as a guard in Genesis of the Daleks & Masque of Mandragora plus as a masked clone in the Leisure Hive. And those are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head.

The DVD commentary for this episode consists of Toby Hadoke interviewing Paul Vanezies, who contributed to the finding of episodes 1-3 of this serial, and the then unknown Phil Morris who was apparently scouring Africa for missing BBC material and had returned a missing Sky at Night print to the BBC. Quite what Morris was doing there wasn't 100% apparent at the time of the DVD release in early 2013 as other people, notably Ian Levene, Steve Roberts and Ralph Montague had played parts in returning Doctor Who to the BBC while Richard Molesworth was an acknowledged expert who'd written Wiped! Doctor Who's Missing Episodes, a book on the matter. Phil Morris' importance would only become obvious several months later....

So what's the chances of seeing this episode and it's predecessor again? Surprisingly good, in fact probably better than any other episodes of Doctor Who! Eight countries who bought this story have been unable to account for their prints of these episodes which is a greater number of potential prints sitting in TV vaults than for any other Doctor Who episode:

Dalek Masterplan 7: The Feast of StevenNever telerecorded
Mission to Unknown
remaining Dalek Masterplan episodes
Never sold abroad
Tenth Planet
Power of the Daleks
The Highlanders
The Underwater Menace
The Moonbase
The Macra Terror
Evil of The Daleks
Sold abroad, but all prints accounted for
Galaxy Four
Myth Makers
Celestial Toymaker
The Savages
The Smugglers
all sold to Sierra Leone
Ice Warriors
Web of Fear
Fury from the Deep
Space Pirates
all sold to Gibraltar and unaccounted for
Abominable Snowmen
Wheel in Space
Sold to Nigeria (with EotW and WoF)
and to Gibraltar and unaccounted for
The CrusadeSold to Three countries which are unaccounted for:


Macro PoloSold to Five countries which are unaccounted for:


Reign of TerrorSold to Eight countries which are unaccounted for:

Trinidad & Tobago

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