Friday, 5 February 2016

103 The Massacre Episode 1: War of God

EPISODE: The Massacre Episode 1: War of God
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 05 February 1966
WRITER: John Lucarotti
DIRECTOR: Paddy Russell
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 8 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"Steven's been travelling abroad. He knows nothing about what's been happening here. Do you?"

The Tardis materialises in Paris, 1572. The Doctor wishes to see an apothecary called named Preslin who was way ahead of his time. They overhear much talk of tension between Catholics and Protestants. The Doctor goes to seek Preslin leaving Steven in a tavern where he promptly gets into trouble and is befriended by Nicholas Muss. The Doctor arrives at Preslin's shop and meets the man himself who is wary of the Doctor. Steven speaks with people in the Inn, telling them he's been in Egypt, taking directions from them. As he leaves he nearly runs into a servant girl, Anne Chaplet, a protestant Huguenot being hunted by Catholic guards. She is hidden in the pub and Steven returns to speak with her. Preslin tells The Doctor that he is frightened of the Abbot of Amboise. Anne has overheard a Catholic plot to slaughter Huguenots: the recent marriage of Protestant Prince Henri of Navarre to Catholic Princess Marguerite de Valois, the sister of the King, has heightened tensions and it has been decided to assassinate Henri of Navarre . They decide to hide Anne in the kitchens of Admiral de Coligny, the innkeeper's master. Simon Duval returns and questions the Inn Keeper. Nicholas, one of the people Steven's been talking to, convinces Steven to stay the night at Admiral de Coligny's house. Simon Duval reports Anne's whereabouts to his master the Abbot of Amboise, a double of the Doctor!

I am approaching this story with some trepidation. It's not my favourite Hartnell story at all even though I know many other hold it in very high esteem. It's just NEVER worked for me. The first time I listened to it for the blog I wrote

Struggled with this one. It's hard to keep track of who is who and which of the factions they are allied to. Without the visuals the show's climatic reveal is lost, spoiled as it is by the passage of time and the knowledge that it's a double and not the Doctor himself.
But since I last looked at the story I've found some pictures and I can look at the script so let's see how we go this time. Is this one of the first occasion's the Tardis Wardrobe is raided for appropriate clothes?
DOCTOR: You'd be surprised what I've got in my wardrobe.
Hmmm. They grab cloaks from it in The Time Meddler and both Steven and Vicki raid it for clothes in The Myth Makers. But I think it's the first time the Doctor has obliged himself of something more appropriate to the time with his clothes in Reign of Terror and The Crusade being acquired after his arrival.

Muss starts to hint at the cause of what's happening in Paris:

MUSS: You're too suspicious. Steven's been travelling abroad. He knows nothing about what's been happening here. Do you?
STEVEN: No, no. I really do know very little.
GASTON: Yes, but as you come from England you must be for the Huguenot. What you call a Protestant.
STEVEN: Oh, yes, yes.
GASTON: There, you see? It's just that I'm interested in our friend. Now tell us where you've been travelling.
STEVEN: Well, I've been, I've been in Egypt.
Steven's telling the truth: He was in Egypt in Daleks' Masterplan 9 & 10 Golden Death & Checkmate.

Anne then tells them what she's overheard:

GASTON: What's that?
ANNE: They said it would happen again, and my father died there.
GASTON: Vassy?
MUSS: Calm down, Gaston.
GASTON: What did you hear?
ANNE: I was just passing the room and I heard them mention Vassy.
GASTON: What did they say?
ANNE: Something about it happening before the week was past.
GASTON: Who spoke?
ANNE: The Captain who followed me inside and another man.
GASTON: Now tell us exactly what you heard.
ANNE: Just, just the word that made me stop, sir. My father died at Vassy and
GASTON: Yes, yes, I know, but
STEVEN: What are you all talking about?
MUSS: Ten years ago at Vassy, a small town some miles south of Paris, a hundred Huguenots were slaughtered by the Catholics.
GASTON: Because they were Huguenot.
The Massacre of Vassy is a documented historical event, which ignited tensions between French Catholics and Protestants/Huguenots. The Queen Mother seeks to diffuse those tensions as Muss explains:
MUSS: My English friend, it's really quite simple. Henri of Navarre is a Huguenot, a Protestant prince. Yesterday he married Marguerite of France, a Catholic. The marriage was arranged by the Queen Mother in the hope that it would heal the religious wound that's tearing France in two. But in the light of what that girl overheard, it looks as if the Catholics are plotting against Navarre's life. Do you understand?
But there appears to be a conspiracy to undermine this.....

Let's look at the ending of the episode I mentioned above. We haven't seen the Doctor for a bit: Preslin's exchange with a boy who he has had help the Doctor is the last time he's mentioned:

PRESLIN: You showed the old man the way? Good. I only hope he succeeds. You were not seen? Let's hope not. You've done well.
But before that Preslin and the Doctor have been talking about the Abbot of Amboise
DOCTOR: But, who is this Abbot?
PRESLIN: The Abbot of Amboise. He hates us all.
DOCTOR: Yes, I suppose just now all churchmen are rather suspicious of your work. But surely you can carry on without his knowledge?
PRESLIN: Oh, you don't know the man. The Abbot of Amboise is the Cardinal of Lorraine's right hand. With the Cardinal in Rome, the Abbot has decided to come to Paris. We shall be hunted down. That man is far more dangerous than the Cardinal.
DOCTOR: I suppose there's no point in going to see him?
PRESLIN: None, unless you want to be thrown in prison for heresy.
DOCTOR: Hmm, I wonder.
So the Doctor's intention would appear to have been to go and see the Abbot. So when the Abbot shows up at the end the the audience automatically thinks is this the Doctor, impersonating the Abbot.


We're back in Paris for this story, which seems to be one of the Doctor's favourite places to visit - see The Reign of Terror. It's not the first place the Tardis has visited twice - That's London in An Unearthly Child, in the future in Dalek Invasion of Earth and again to contemporary London, at the cricket match in Dalek Masterplan. In fact he's not landed in Paris twice yet: The Tardis materialises at least 14 kilometres outside Paris in Reign of Terror. They've not even landed in a similar time, like with London or even closer chronologically the two trips to Kembel in Daleks' Masterplan, with the caveat that the second one was guided by stolen technology. We can date the Doctor's visits to Paris very accurately: Robespierre was arrested 27th July 1794, an event seen in Reign of Terror part 6 while the Massacre of this stories title took place on 24th August 1572, 222 years earlier.

And while we're at it: The story title. For years it was The Massacre, and then scholars switched to the longer The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, which is a little too long. I'll stick to the Massacre on the grounds that

1) That's the title I grew up with.

2) That's the title on the book

(neither compelling arguments in themselves I will admit)

3) The historical event is known as The Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre!

Sadly this story is one of the many missing from the archives and, like Marco Polo and Mission to the Unknown, not a frame of footage from it has ever been found. So we're reliant on a very small number of photos to help us with this story. The one further up shows the Doctor & Steven in the Tavern. Sadly there isn't one of the Abbot so we can't see what William Hartnell looks like in this other role.

This one however shows the Tavern with Steven, on the left, and three of the major players in the story: Nicholas Muss, Anna Chaplet and Gaston, Viscount de Lerans.


David Weston (Nicholas Muss) returns to Doctor Who many years later as Biroc in Warrior's Gate. Toby Hadoke interviewed him in Who's Round episode 33 which is well worth a listen. His books Covering McKellen: An Understudy's Tale and it's sequel Covering Shakespeare: An Actor's Saga of Near Misses and Dogged Endurance are well worth a read too, and feature plenty of Doctor Who actors treading the boards in the Bard's plays.

Annette Robertson plays Anne Chaplet. I've never seen her in anything else but apparently the actress was first wife of John Hurt, who played the War doctor in Day of the Doctor.

Eric Thompson (Gaston, Viscount de Lerans) was the Husband of Phyllida Law and the father of Emma and Sophie Thompson, but is most famous to people of my generation as being the narrator (and English language writer) of The Magic Roundabout. Thompson also has a stint as a Play School presenter on his CV.

Another member of the cast also has a Play School stint to his name: Christopher Tranchell (Roger Colbert) who later played Jenkins in The Faceless Ones and Commander Andred in The Invasion of Time. Oddly the Doctor's previous visit to Paris in Reign of Terror has another character called Colbert in it: There Leon Colbert is played by Edward Brayshaw, famed for his role in another childhood favourite of mine, Mr Meeker in Rentaghost. Tranchell isn't the only member of this cast to have been in Invasion of Time: Reginald Jessup, playing the servant in the first three episodes here, was in The Invasion of Time Part One as Lord Savar while Erik Chitty, who was Charles Preslin, was in the previous Time Lord tale The Deadly Assassin as Coordinator Engin. Come back next episode for another Time Lord in the guest cast!

Onto the uncredited extras, and the Massacre's episodes have more than the usual number of them with surprisingly few in more than one episode!

We'll start with those listed as Parisian Men and first on the list has to be Reg Cranfield who was the first person seen in Doctor Who when he played the Policeman in An Unearthly Child. This is his first return to the program but he'll be back as a Lynch Mob Member in Don't Shoot the Pianist & Johnny Ringo, the second and third episodes of The Gunfighters and a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode 3 as was Charles Erskine who's also a Kaled Scientist in Genesis of the Daleks Part Four. Oddly enough also in this episode as a Parisian Man is Frederick Rawlings who played the Policeman at the start of the pilot version of An Unearthly Child!

More Parisian Men: David J. Grahame will be an Extra in The War Machines Episode 4, a Control Room Technician in The Ambassadors of Death Episode 1, a Villager in the first two episodes and coven member in the last two episode of The Dæmons, The Old Man in The Mutants Episode One and the Chestnut Seller in The Talons of Weng-Chiang: Part Two. More War Machines for John Pollock who's a Worker / Soldier in episode 3 and a Worker in episode 4 alongside Darroll Richards who plays a similarly named role both here and there. Bill Howes returns as a shelterer in The Enemy of the World: Episodes 4-6, the last two of which he shelters with with one of the Parisian Women here Valerie Taylor. Another Parisian Woman Jean Channon has a Doctor who extra career stretching from here till the final story: She's an extra in The Green Death Episode One, a Masquer in The Masque of Mandragora Part Four, a Passser By in The Talons of Weng-Chiang Part Two, an extra in all four parts of Nightmare of Eden, the third and fourth parts of Castrovalva, a Dinner Guest in Snakedance Part Two, a Lazar in all four parts of Terminus and finally an Extra in Survival Part One

Vic Taylor, a Cardinal's Guard, has prior Who form appearing as a Saxon/Saxon Warrior in episodes 2 & 4,The Meddling Monk & Checkmate, of Time Meddler. He too is a Worker / Soldier in The War Machines: Episode 3 before playing a Soldier in the fourth part and is a Guard in The Enemy of the World Episode 4 and another UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode 3 and, again, a Villager in the first two and a Coven Member in the last two episodes of The Dæmons. I'm going to have to find out who worked on all these stories to keep the same actors coming back!

Tavern Customers: Les Conrad is back as a Pirate in The Space Pirates Episodes 1 & 4, a 1862 Union Soldier in The War Games Episode Four and an Alien Guard in Episode Seven of the same story. Oh look he's a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians: Episode 3 too as well as a Soldier in The Ambassadors of Death Episode 3 and another UNIT Soldier in Terror of the Autons Episode Four before appearing as a Prisoner in The Mind of Evil Episodes Three & Four before playing a Thal Survivor in Genesis of the Daleks Part Six and Mestor's Guard in The Twin Dilemma Part One. Peter Day has an interesting CV: As well as a Trojan Soldier in Myth Makers 3 Death of a Spy and the inevitable Worker in The War Machines Episodes 3 & 4 he's worked on visual effects for The Evil of the Daleks, The Tomb of the Cybermen, Fury from the Deep, The Ambassadors of Death, The Dæmons and The Sea Devils before becoming visual effects designer for The Monster of Peladon Parts One & Six, Genesis of the Daleks, The Deadly Assassin & The Sun Makers. Edward Granville was previously a Xeron in The Search & The Final Phase, the last two episode of the Space Museum. Emmett Hennessy is an Inferno Customer in The War Machines Episode 1, a Roman Soldier in The War Games Episode Two, a Guerilla in Day of the Daleks Episode Three and an American Aide in episode Four before playing a Prison Guard in Frontier in Space Episodes Two & Three. Ken McGarvie is another Saxon/Saxon warrior in the second and fourth episodes of the Time Meddler and was a Cricketer / Reveller in Volcano, the eighth episode of The Daleks' Masterplan. He's the Man in Newsroom in The War Machines: Episode 4 and the Soldier in Tracking Room (uncredited) The Tenth Planet Episodes 1 & 2 - is he the one the Cybermen shoot?

Dennis Plenty plays two roles in this serial: He's a Tavern Customer here and a Guard in the next episode, Priest of Death. He's, yet again, a Worker / Soldier in Episode 3 and a Soldier in episode 4 of The War Machines and a Prison Guard in Episodes Two & Three of Frontier in Space before playing an Exxilon in the middle two episodes of Death to the Daleks, a Peasant villager in Part One and a Brother in Part Three of The Masque of Mandragora. Finally Parisian man Tom Sye also has two roles reappearing as the Bondot in episode 3 The Sea Beggar.

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