Saturday, 14 May 2016

117 The Gunfighters Episode 3: Johnny Ringo

EPISODE: The Gunfighters Episode 3: Johnny Ringo
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 14 May 1966
WRITER: Donald Cotton
DIRECTOR: Rex Tucker
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 6.2 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Earth Story (The Gunfighters/The Awakening)
So it's curtains for Charlie,
That barman of fame.
He met Johnny Ringo
And he knew Johnny's name.
He knew Johnny's name
And he spoke it out loud.
Now Charlie the barman
Has gotten a shroud.
Wyatt Earp saves Steven and arrests Phineas Clanton, which enrages the remaining two Clantons who send for gunslinger Johnny Ringo. The Doctor & Steven find that Dodo has left with Holliday & Kate. Ringo arrives and kills Charlie the barman. Dodo demands Holliday take her back to Tombstone. Steven says he's looking for Holliday and rides off with Ringo. Earp, anticipating more trouble, is trying to summon his brothers to Tombstone. The Doctor reports Charlie's murder to Earp, who leaves with him and Batt Masterson to investigate. Ringo & Steven have found Kate but not located Dodo & Holliday. The Clantons break Phineas out of jail, shooting the younger Warren Earp in the process.

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I've spent years thinking this story was rubbish, it's not, is such great fun and I'm loving it! Historically inaccurate, maybe, but still good fun. However it went down like a lead balloon at the time achieving low viewing figures and audience ratings. It's said that this, and difficulties during the production, were a major factor in producer Innes Lloyd deciding to kill off the historical story later on in the year.

Johnny Ringo is played by Laurence Payne, who'll be back many years later as Morix in The Leisure Hive, and Dastari in The Two Doctors. Payne got the role because the actor they wanted to cast was unavailable: his name is Patrick Troughton and we'll be seeing him shortly....

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The very quickly deceased Warren Earp is played by Martyn Huntley who's already got two Doctor Who appearances to his name: as the First Human in The Sensorites 6: A Desperate Venture and as a Roboman in all six episodes of The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

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