Saturday, 6 May 2017

161 The Faceless Ones: Episode Five

EPISODE: The Faceless Ones: Episode Five
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 06 May 1967
WRITER: David Ellis & Malcolm Hulke
DIRECTOR: Gerry Mill
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.1 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume Four(1967)
TELESNAPS: The Faceless Ones: Episode Five

"We could eliminate a whole squadron of their toy planes and they'd never get on to us. Their minds can't cope with an operation like this. Remember the teaching of our Director. The intelligence of Earth people is comparable only to that of animals on our planet."

Blade and Ann leave the plane taking the items they've collected with them. Jamie emerges from his hiding place and follows them. 2 of the misshapen aliens enter and start offloading the luggage. Jamie sees the objects been deposited in a room: he enters and finds human bodies shrunk in drawers. Ann enters and captures Jamie. The Doctor coerces "Meadows" into revealing himself. Meadows explains they come from a planet that has suffered a disaster which has removed their identity. They are duplicating humans but the originals are safe and those of the airport staff are still on the airport somewhere. With "Meadows" help Sam is freed, but the fake Nurse Pinto is killed and the real one revived. Jamie meets Crossland on the space station, but this isn't the police officer, it's his duplicate, the alien Director. The Doctor & Nurse Pinto board the last Chameleon jet flight of the season with all the airport staff duplicates. Meanwhile the Commandant and his staff search for the originals. The Doctor & Pinto arrive at the space station, where Jamie too has been duplicated but are apprehended by Blade.

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And finally the why and how of what's happening. Unfortunately most of it comes in a huge info dump in the interrogation of the duplicate Meadows:

DOCTOR: There we are. Now then. What happens if I were to turn one of these?
MEADOWS 2: Don't touch it!
DOCTOR: Ah, I see. Right. Now then, you are going to answer all my questions, and in return, I promise no harm will come to you. Do you understand?
MEADOWS 2: All right.
DOCTOR: Where are your planes taking all their passengers?
MEADOWS 2: There's a satellite about a hundred and fifty miles up.
DOCTOR: Why are you abducting all these young people?
MEADOWS 2: We had a catastrophe on our planet. A gigantic explosion. As you've seen, we have lost our identities. My people are dying out.
COMMANDANT: But what use would our people be to you?
MEADOWS 2: Our scientists devised a process so that we could take on the physical characteristics of another being.
DOCTOR: This is part of the process?
MEADOWS 2: Yes, that's why you mustn't touch it.
DOCTOR: How many of these young people do you hope to abduct?
MEADOWS 2: This time, fifty thousand.
COMMANDANT: Fifty thousand!

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DOCTOR: How large is this satellite?
MEADOWS 2: On the journey in our planes, the passengers are miniaturised.
DOCTOR: I see. How many of your people are working here at Gatwick Airport?
MEADOWS 2: I don't know. That's the truth, I tell you. I don't know.
DOCTOR: Very well. What happens to the people whose identity has been taken over, the originals?
MEADOWS 2: They're somewhere in the airport. I don't know exactly where.
COMMANDANT: I'll have the whole place torn to pieces to find them.
MEADOWS 2: No, you mustn't find them.
DOCTOR: Why not?
MEADOWS: You, you mustn't, that's all.
DOCTOR: Because if we do find them, we'll find one of these on their arms, eh? And if we remove it, something terrible will happen to you?
DOCTOR: What if you have to change back?
MEADOWS 2: Well, that can be done, but with the machine.
DOCTOR: The machine in the Medical Centre?
MEADOWS 2: Yes. None of us know where our own originals are, except that Nurse.
DOCTOR: Nurse? What about her?
MEADOWS 2: Oh she was cunning. She's got her own original with her.
DOCTOR: Where is it?
MEADOWS 2: I don't know.
DOCTOR: I think you do know. Now, are you going to tell me?
MEADOWS 2: It's in the Medical Centre.
DOCTOR: Right, you're going to show me where it is.
MEADOWS 2: I daren't. She'll have me destroyed.
DOCTOR: Are you going to co-operate or are you not?
MEADOWS 2: All right. It won't make any difference. You'll never see those fifty thousand young people again.

So now the mystery is done we move into a more urgent phase of the story as the Doctor tries to rescue the abducted humans. Once again the telesnaps let us down with no shot of the dying duplicate Pinto. I'm thinking that this story might work a lot better with the actual visuals when we can see everything.

However the confrontation between Jamie and the being he thinks is Crossland is superb, with a hint from Bernard Kay that this isn't the inspector by dropping the accent.

JAMIE: Inspector!
CROSSLAND: Let's see if I can get you out of there. How did you get here?
JAMIE: I came on the plane, stole someone's ticket.
CROSSLAND: You ought to have been miniaturised on the journey.
JAMIE: Miniaturised?
CROSSLAND: Reduced in size, like all the youngsters in these cabinets. Did you not have anything to eat or drink?
JAMIE: No, I felt too ill.
CROSSLAND: That explains it. The food is the first part of the process.
JAMIE: Inspector, what is this place?
CROSSLAND: A satellite, Jamie. A flying ship in space. These people are from another planet. It seems the Doctor was right after all. Does anyone down there believe him yet?
JAMIE: Oh, I'm not sure. I don't think so.
CROSSLAND: I suppose it is too much for them to believe. But surely the Doctor's convinced them that something is going on?
JAMIE: Aye, I think maybe the Commandant.
CROSSLAND: Yes, Jamie.
JAMIE: Inspector, have you escaped or something?
CROSSLAND: No-one escapes from here.
JAMIE: But the plane that comes here, well, it must go back to Earth. We could get on it.
CROSSLAND: The last plane to Earth is leaving now. They've just gone back to pick up their own people.
JAMIE: Surely the Doctor'll think of some way of rescuing us?
CROSSLAND: Not this time, Jamie. This time he's up against a mind superior even to his. The mind of the Director.
JAMIE: You mean someone clever than the Doctor?
CROSSLAND: The man in charge of this whole mission.
JAMIE: You seem to know a lot about it, Inspector.
CROSSLAND: Of course I do, Jamie. I am the Director.
This isn't the first Doctor Who story to deal with duplicates of the main cast: there was a robot Doctor in The Chase and a double of him in The Massacre. Sadly at this point the show isn't up to doing both original and duplicate on-screen at the same time. Duplicates is a theme that will be returned to regularly as early as next year's The Enemy of the World but the best examples are probably the two Auton stories, Spearhead from Space and Terror of the Autons, the Terror of the Zygons and the Android Invasion. We get to see what's happened to the missing humans: they've been miniaturised and stored in a similar way to what we saw in The Ark last year! We've seen a shrunken Tardis crew before in Planet of Giants and shrinking to kill will become a trademark of The Master!

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There's some more familiar faces to be found amongst the actors in this story:

Christopher Tranchell, playing Jenkins and his Chameleon double, has already been in the Massacre and will return for Invasion of Time by which point he'd be doing Play School. He's got an appearance in the missing fourth season episode of Out of the Unknown The Sons and Daughters of Tomorrow as PC Wilkes. He also play Paul Pitman in 8 episodes of Survivors: Spoil of War, Law and Order, The Future Hour, Revenge, Something of Value, A Beginning, Birth of a Hope and Greater Love.

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Colin Gordon appears in this serial as the Airport Commandant. Later on in the year this was broadcast, 1967, he appears in The Prisoner where he's Number Two in A. B. and C. and The General. He also appears in UFO as Albert Thompson in The Cat with Ten Lives. This is one of the episodes that stars Wanda Ventham, here playing Jean Rook, as SHADO second in command Virginia Lake.

Peter Roy appears as the Airport Police Sergeant who I think is one of the policemen restraining Pinto. IMDB credits him as appearing in episode 1, but you can clearly see a sergeant here so ..... He'd had already been a Greek Soldier in Temple of Secrets and Death of a Spy, first and third episode of the Myth Makers and an Extra in The Highlanders episode 1. He returns as a UNIT / Bunker Man in The Invasion episode 1, a Guard in The Seeds of Death episode one, a Space Guard in The Space Pirates episode 1, an uncredited extra in Doctor Who and the Silurians episode 6, Technic Obarl in The Hand of Fear part one, a Guard in The Face of Evil part one, an Extra in The Sun Makers part one, a Gallifreyan Guard in The Invasion of Time part one, a Gracht Guard in The Androids of Tara part one, a Guard in The Armageddon Factor part one, a Policeman in Logopolis part one, an Ambulance Man in Castrovalva part one, a Man in Market in Snakedance part one and a Walk on in Resurrection of the Daleks part one, He's got two Doomwatch to his name as a man in Project Sahara and Flood, and a number of Blake's 7 as a Citizen / Prisoner in The Way Back, a Prisoner in Space Fall, an Alta Guard in Redemption, an Albian Rebel in Countdown and a Federation Trooper / Rebel in Rumours of Death plus an appearance as the Limousine Chauffeur in the second TV episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. He appears in the third Star Wars film Return of the Jedi as Major Olander Brit.

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IMDB credits Anthony Lang as Airport Personnel on Plane for episode 1 but I think his most likely appearance is here amongst the airport personnel duplicates on the plane with the Doctor and Nurse Pinto. He'd previously been an Egyptian Slave in Golden Death and Escape Switch, the ninth and tenth episodes of The Dalek Masterplan and, like Peter Roy, an Extra in The Highlanders Episode 1, He'll return as a Time Lord in The Three Doctors Episode One and a Kaled Councillor in Genesis of the Daleks Parts One & Three. He plays the Emperor's Advisor Slim Aloo in Return of the Jedi but IMDB reports of him playing BoShek, the spacer wearing the black Tenth Planet spacesuit in the cantina in Star Wars, seem to be in error!

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