Saturday, 1 October 2016

130 The Smugglers: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Smugglers: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 01 October 1966
WRITER: Brian Hayles
DIRECTOR: Julia Smith
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 4.5 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes volume 3 (1966-1967)
TELESNAPS: The Smugglers: Episode Four

"Oh, I've been a rogue, I frankly admit it. The generosity of this stranger has shamed me. But I never spilled blood in my villainy. I beg you as a fellow rogue, if you must, spare my poor villagers!"

Cherub has shot and wounded the Squire. The Doctor reveals the rhyme Longfoot told him to Cherub, who recognises the names as former crewmates who died at sea. Pike has been busy looting the smugglers stash. Leaving the crew to transport it back to the beach, he arrives at the church, confronts Cherub and kills him. The Doctor sends Ben and Polly away down the tunnel but the exit at beach level has been found by some of the pirates who are exploring it. The Doctor, suspecting the pirates will sack the village, promises to help Pike find the treasure if it is spared. Finding all four names on tombstones in the crypt the Doctor works out that the treasure lies on the point of intersection between them: they lever up a flagstone and find pearls underneath. Blake arrives with militiamen and starts rounding up the pirates. Polly is attacked by pirates in the tunnel and saved by Blake. Ben sends her back to the Tardis with instructions to put the kettle on, returning back up the tunnel with Blake. Blake's men burst into the crypt attacking Pike and the pirates there. Pike goes to kill the Doctor but is held off by the squire long enough for Blake to kill him. The Doctor & Ben sneak away down the passage, as Blake tends to the Squire who has tried to redeem himself. They join Polly in the Tardis and dematerialise. Shortly afterwards the temperature in the Tardis dramatically drops and the Doctor announces they have arrived at the coldest place in the world.....

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This is a great episode. The mystery of the riddle is resolved, the treasure is found, and the pirates get their comeuppance in what sounds like it's a superb action sequence. It's can't be that gory though because the Australian censor didn't snip any of it out, instead just removing Cherub's demise at the hands of Pike for us to see:

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We saw last week that Derek Ware is involved in the serial and this week he turns his hand to the fight arranging the action sequence. Another familiar face to the show's long term viewers makes his first appearance here, also as a Militiaman and presumably in some stunt related capacity: it's Terry Walsh! He'll be back as a Soldier in The Web of Fear episode 4, a UNIT Soldier in The Invasion episode 8, The Ambassadors of Death episodes 1 & 7 and Inferno episode 7, which means he's had appearances in every season since he started. For season 8 he's an Auton Policeman in Terror of the Autons episodes two & three and also does some stuntwork in episode 1. He's a Stangmoor Man in The Mind of Evil episode three and UNIT Motorcyclist in episode four, and an IMC Guard Rogers in Colony in Space episode six. Season 9 sees him appearing as Castle Guard Barclay, his first credited role, episodes one, to four of The Sea Devils, an Overlord Guard in The Mutants episode one, a Solos Guard in episode two & three and a Skybase Guard in episode four of the same story before playing the ill fated Window Cleaner in The Time Monster episode one. His only on screen appearances in Season 10 are as a Guard in the Green Death. In season 11 he's a Warehouse Looter in Invasion of the Dinosaurs part one, Jack in Death to the Daleks part one, a Burning Exxilon in part three and a Zombie in part four before appearing as the Guard Captain in The Monster of Peladon and the Man with boat in part two of Jon Pertwee's finale, Planet of the Spiders. He's in all bar one of the stories in Tom Baker's first season appearing as a S.R.S. Meeting Security in Robot part three, a Wirrn Operator in The Ark in Space part one, Zake in The Sontaran Experiment part one, a Thal Soldier in Genesis of the Daleks part one & two, a Muto in part four and a Kaled Scientist in part five of Genesis of the Daleks, missing out on just Revenge of the Cybermen. He was a Crew Member in Planet of Evil, the Executioner in The Masque of Mandragora and a Guard in The Face of Evil. Season 15 is the first he misses appearing in since his debut before he returns the next year as Mensch in The Power of Kroll parts one & two and Doran in The Creature from the Pit parts one & two. He was a regular stunt double for both Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker with IMDB crediting him for Day of the Daleks episode three, The Curse of Peladon episode three, Death to the Daleks part one and Sontaran Experiment part 2, when Tom Baker broke his shoulder, but I'm convinced he fulfilled the role in other stories. He also did stunts for The Time Warrior, stunt doubled for Richard Franklin in Planet of the Spiders part one and Fight/Stunt arranged The Curse of Peladon episode three & four, The Green Death episode two, The Time Warrior, Death to the Daleks, The Monster of Peladon, Planet of the Spiders part four, The Sontaran Experiment part two, in The Android Invasion part four, The Seeds of Doom part three & four, The Masque of Mandragora part one, The Deadly Assassin part three & four, The Face of Evil parts two to four, The Androids of Tara part four and The Creature from the Pit part one!

It's an only Doctor Who appearance for stuntman Bill Weston as a Militiaman but click on his link and look at his stunt CV! It's also the only Doctor Who appearance for another Militiaman, Hugh Fraser who is making his television debut here. You'll probably know him best as Hastings in the ITV Poirot series.

Top marks to Brian Hayles here for writing a lovely historical action yarn. There's nothing particularly earth shattering or stand out about the tale it's just a good story which works well and has some great acting performances in it. Now we see them away from home ground it becomes obvious that he characters of Ben & Polly are adding a bit of energy to proceedings that wasn't there before. It's just a pity nothing remains of the story bar the soundtrack, telesnaps and a few clips on the Lost in Time DVD.

Remember the Myth Makers incident with the MP3 player set to random? Happened again the first time I did this story for the blog but I caught it quicker this time after just a minute or so. Thing is I keep all my spoken word and dramatisations on a separate player nowadays and never set it to random so I'm guessing SOMEBODY, JONATHAN MICHAEL AYRES, has been fiddling with Daddy's MP3 player!

Now we're watching Season 4 of Doctor who we probably aught to take a look at just how little of it remains:

Season Episodes Existing Missing % Missing
1 42 33 9 21.43
2 39 37 2 5.13
3 45 16 29 64.44
4 43 9 34 79.07
5 40 13 27 67.5
6 44 37 7 15.91

The fourth season is the season where currently the least number of episodes exist. Today just ten episodes remain from it:
The Tenth Planet 1
The Tenth Planet 2
The Tenth Planet 3
The Underwater Menace 2
The Underwater Menace 3
The Moonbase 2
The Moonbase 4
The Faceless Ones 1
The Faceless Ones 3
The Evil of the Daleks 2
Only these last two episodes and the recently returned Underwater Menace 2 have been returned to the archives: the remaining seven were there all along. The only other Troughton episode from the season known to be in existence outside of the BBC Film & Video library was a second copy of The Faceless Ones 1 that was in the hands of an Australian collector along with The Chase part 1, which the BBC already had, and The War Machines 2, which was missing at the time. The rate of recovery for this season is very poor, especially compare to seasons 3 & 5, both of which had just 2 episodes residing in the film & video library in 1977 when Ian Levene arrived: The Ark 3 & The Gunfighters 4 for Season 3 and The Enemy of the World 3 & The Wheel In Space 6 for Season 5. Season 4 is the only season of Doctor Who not to contain a complete story - Season 3 has three, Season 5 had one, albeit one returned as a whole in 1992. Season 4 also contains the episode that most people would want returned, Tenth Planet 4 which is the last episode that William Hartnell appears in. Both of Season 4's Dalek stories, Power of the Daleks and Evil of the Daleks, are highly regarded and their return would be most welcome.

The Smugglers was one of the last Hartnell stories to be released as a novel when Terrance Dicks novelised it in 1988 as his penultimate contribution to the Target Books range. It was released on CD in 2002 with narration by Anneke Wills and was re-released in Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes collection volume 3.

Just four episodes of Hartnell to go! But the next story isn't just significant for changing the Doctor, oh no. Join us next week when we'll have some excellent news for fans of Doctor Who monsters!

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