Saturday, 24 September 2016

129 The Smugglers: Episode Three

EPISODE: The Smugglers: Episode Three
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 24 September 1966
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Julia Smith
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 4.2 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes volume 3 (1966-1967)
TELESNAPS: The Smugglers: Episode Three

"You'll talk, Doctor, or these young sprigs will die for it!"

Blake is released and takes Ben & Polly into custody, only to release them after the Squire & Pike depart. Blake suspects the Squire in the smuggling ring and trusts Ben & Polly over him. The Doctor pretends to tell Kewper's fortune with playing cards and when their guard Jamaica wants his fortune likewise told, Kewper knocks him out and escapes with the Doctor. The returning Pike is outraged at Jamaica and kills him. Pike has decided to steal the village smugglers' stash as well as finding Avery's gold. The Doctor meets Blake, Ben & Polly and tells Blake what Pike is planning. Blake leaves to fetch men to confront The Squire & The Pirates. The Doctor, Ben & Polly return to the church to hunt for Avery's gold, Polly providing a vital clue from the tombstones outside which lead them to the crypt where they find where Ringwood, Smallbeer and Gurney, the names from Longfoot's riddle, are laid to rest. The Doctor thinks there should be a fourth name, but further investigation is halted by the arrival of The Squire and Kewper, the latter of which is murdered by Cherub who has been following them. A shot rings out....

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Another decent episode here which turns the cogs of the plot and moves it towards a confrontation in the final episode.

I feel somewhat sorry for Jamaica: he becomes the second person in this story to succumb to being deceived by occult superstition, following Tom's tricking at the hands of Ben & Polly last episode:

DOCTOR: Yes, yes, yes, that's very strange. And very disturbing.
KEWPER: What do these cards mean?
DOCTOR: Well, I'm afraid they're rather unpleasant. Yes, the first one represents yourself, innkeeper.
KEWPER: I am no knave, sir!
DOCTOR: Well, the cards have it so, sir.
DOCTOR: And the second is master Cherub.
JAMAICA: See a dagger? That's Cherub right enough.
DOCTOR: The third is the king. The blackest villain of them all.
KEWPER: Next, the ace?
DOCTOR: Yes, and that is death itself.
JAMAICA: The Captain.
KEWPER: What, Pike? And this one, the Jack of Diamonds, what is he?
DOCTOR: Well, I'm afraid I have no idea about that, sir, but I can assure you he will triumph in the end.
KEWPER: Ah, 'tis all madness.
DOCTOR: Well, you may call it what you wish. I know it's only cards, but sometimes they tell the truth.
JAMAICA: About any man, like me?
DOCTOR: Oh, yes indeed. Yes, yes. Aren't you afraid?
JAMAICA: Me? Jamaica ain't afraid.
DOCTOR: Very well then, my friend, shuffle for yourself and let's see them reveal your own fate.
At which point Kewper knocks him out allowing The Doctor to escape. Unfortunately this then earns him Pike's wrath leading to his death:

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JAMAICA: Captain, they tricked me into it. I swear it was no fault of mine.
PIKE: Aargh, ye black-souled scum! Escaped!
JAMAICA: But, Captain.
PIKE: I'll tear your liver out and feed it to the sharks, ye sea slime.
JAMAICA: It was the old man, Captain. He cast a spell on me, I swear it.
PIKE: I'll cast a spell on ye, me pretty death's-head. A spell that'll run from ear to ear. Escaped!
JAMAICA: 'Twas the black arts, Captain.
PIKE: Aagh.
JAMAICA: Spare me, Captain. Spare me.
PIKE: I'll keelhaul ye from here to Port Royal. Where did they make for?
JAMAICA: I know, Captain. I know.
PIKE: Then speak, boy, while ye still have breath.
JAMAICA: I heard them speak, Captain. They said about going to see the Squire.
PIKE: Ah, that buffoon, what good'll he be to them?
JAMAICA: They said that he was the law.
PIKE: Aye, had he a will he'd call the militia, but I doubt he'll do that.
JAMAICA: Captain, do you think he would lay a trap?
PIKE: It follows, Jamaica.
JAMAICA: So we have to surprise them, Captain.
PIKE: Ye speak straight, Jamaica. They expect us tomorrow night at two of the clock.
JAMAICA: Then, we must go tonight at one.
PIKE: Jamaica, ye'd have made a fine skipper but you're short on guile. Any dark of the night they'll expect us. We'll spike 'em. We'll land by day. Some will go direct to the church and loot the smuggler's horde. Me and Cherub will seek Avery's gold.
JAMAICA: Aye, Captain, plunder the inn, the village, and the Squire's fine hall.
PIKE: Aye, it will be a merry night, but not for ye.
JAMAICA: Captain. Captain. I beg thee. No! No! No! Ahh!
(Pike's hook flashes down.)
PIKE: Fare ye well, Jamaica.
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The image of the cards, which have been used to fool Jamaica, being scattered round his body is rather striking!

Jamaica's death, fortunately for us, is one of two scenes from this episode preserved by the Australian censor, the other being the close of the episode which I used screenshots from above.

Reunited with his friend, who in turn have been freed by Blake, the Doctor partially cracks the riddle set for him in episode one by Churchwarden Joseph Longfoot.

This is the Deadman's secret key: Smallbeer, Ringwood, Gurney.
It would seem that actor Terence De Marney stumbled over Longfoot's lines in episode 1 as when the Doctor retells the riddle here it's slightly different:
DOCTOR: What did you say, dear?
POLLY: Lucinda Maltree.
DOCTOR: No, no, before. These names. Yes, yes, that's it!
POLLY: What is?
DOCTOR: Yes, of course. Dead man's secret.
BEN: What?
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, of course. That's the answer to the puzzle. Yes. All these dead people.
BEN: What, here in the graveyard?
DOCTOR: No. No, not here.
POLLY: Hey, in the crypt!
DOCTOR: Yes, my dear. Exactly! Good heavens, well, you are inspired. Come on, quickly.
POLLY: What was the secret the Churchwarden told you, Doctor?
DOCTOR: It was some kind of rhyme. Now, let me see. Dead man's secret key. Ringwood, Smallbeer and Gurney.
BEN: Dead man's secret. Well, that means names on tombstones. But how does that help?
DOCTOR: Well, we must find these names, mustn't we. Yes, that'll be the first step.
Unfortunately Longfoot omitted a vital piece of information from what he told the Doctor:
DOCTOR: Well now, we've found our three names.
BEN: Well I'm blowed If I can see how it helps.
POLLY: Nor me.
DOCTOR: Yes, of course, yes. It would help if we found four names.
BEN: What, another dead man's name?
DOCTOR: Yes, exactly. Yes, exactly.
POLLY: What are you talking about, Doctor? Tell us.
.... at which point they are interrupted by Pike and the Squire.

The Australian censor isn't the only preserver of this episode though. In the middle of the colour 16mm film shot at the farm location there's a shot of Cherub hiding behind some bushes which nearly exactly matches a telesnap from the episode!

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There's also a nice shot of Cherub talking to one of the other pirates off camera, who we also see being made up .....

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.... which reveals said Pirate to be a familiar face: It's Doctor who's regular stunt co-ordinator Derek Ware as The Spaniard! Ware had been involved with Doctor Who since the very beginning fight arranging An Unearthly Child and turning up as a fight arranger/stuntman in episodes since. He's in charge for the big battle in the next episode.

The Smugglers is the first Doctor Who directing job for Julia Smith. An extensive career in television led to her directing many shows, including several soap operas, and being one of the creative forces behind the development of EastEnders & Eldorado. Her co-creator on those shows was Tony Holland who we saw as the Third Assistant in The Savages part 2. Smith will be back later this season in charge of The Underwater Menace.

Unfortunately, for the second time this series, this episode marks a low point for Doctor Who's viewing figures seen by just 4.2 million people. Here's how the record for lowest viewing figures moves throughout the show's run:

23/11/1963 An Unearthly Child Episode 1: An Unearthly Child 4.4
10/09/1966 The Smugglers: Episode One 4.3
24/09/1966 The Smugglers: Episode Three 4.2
07/06/1969 The War Games: Episode Eight 3.5
06/09/1989 Battlefield: Part One 3.1

There's two big factors that come into play here: what the weather is like outside and what's on the other side! In the shows last years it was scheduled opposite Coronation Street, in a move designed to kill it, but I can't say what was going on in 1966 although contemporary reports suggest it was quite sunny, and possibly warm, for the time of year. The next time a lower viewing figure was achieved was in the middle of summer in the midst of a rather long story!

Other episodes of Doctor Who have recorded viewing figures lower than An Unearthly Child 1's: The War Games 6 & 9 (4.2m & 4.1m) also feature in the list, again shown in high summer. Meglos 2 (4.2m) and State of Decay 3 (4.4m) are the next to feature chronologically: at this point ITV was running it's smash hit American import Buck Rogers in the 25th Century opposite Doctor Who so the initial half of that season generally achieves very poor figures before being redeemed in the second half of the season post Christmas when, following Buck Rogers conclusion, the series receives much healthier figures reaching a peak with Warriors' Gate 3's 8.4 million viewers. The next really big dip comes, as we've mentioned, in the show's later years, 1987-1989 when it achieves it's lowest viewing figures opposite Coronation Street.

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