OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 249
STORY NUMBER: 050
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 24 May 1969
WRITER: Malcolm Hulke & Terrance Dicks
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Derrick Sherwin
RATINGS: 4.2 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The War Games
"Are you suggesting he's bringing in his own people, the Time Lords?"
The Doctor, Zoe & Carstairs escape from the landing bay. The Security Chief is suspicious as to how The Doctor got to their planet and thinks he may have been brought there by the War Chief who he thinks has contacted his people. The Doctor gains access to the room the scientist is holding the resistance in using the sonic screwdriver. Jamie's examination reveals he was never processed and he is taken to the Security Chief. The War Chief arrives and finds out why Jamie has been selected. They overpower the guards. Von Weich tries to convince Private Moor, who is guarding him in the barn, to release him. The Security Chief interrogates Jamie and discovers they arrived by accident. The War Chief interrupts. They revive the resistance and escape. Zoe has memorised the members of resistance she saw. Moor unties Von Weich. The War Chief finds the Doctor's escape route disproving the Security Chief's theory that they used a space/time machine. Jamie is freed and the party, now in disguise, makes it's way to the Landing Bay. The Doctor sets the travel machine to take the resistance & Zoe to the American Civil War zone. The Doctor lets the guards into the landing bay while they hide then escape. The travel capsule arrives in the American Civil War zone where Russel struggles with Moor, now controlled by Von Weich, knocking him out. Von Weich threatens Russel, but is killed by a recovered Moore. The Doctor, Jamie & Carstairs steal the deprocessing machine but are seen by the Scientist. They escape past guards in the landing bay to a travel capsule, but it is immobilised and then, at the War Chief's instigation, the walls start to close in on them....
Cracking ending there harking back to The Time Meddler where The Doctor used a similar trick to prevent the Monk from leaving 1066!
MONK: Ah! Ah! What's he done? He's taken my dimensional control! He's ruined my time machine! I'm, I'm marooned. Marooned! In 1066. Oh, Doctor. Doctor! Doctor!In fact it's the very same control used here to produce the effect:
SECURITY CHIEF: What do you intend to do?There does seem to be a distinct similarity between the Tardis and the Travel Capsules as Zoe observes how easily the Doctor controls a travel capsule:
WAR CHIEF: Activate the dimensional control.
ZOE: Doctor, how did you do it so easily?Indeed the Doctor's ability to use the machines is helping fuel the feud between the Security Chief and the War Chief:
DOCTOR: It's not very difficult, Zoe. Now the doors.
WAR CHIEF: So you have lost them. They have got away.Lots more bickering between the Security Chief and the War Chief this episode with the former taking every opportunity to accuse the later of helping the resistance who he seems certain are using space/time technology. But in the middle of these exchanges the scientist gets to say something that nobody else was said before in Doctor Who!
SECURITY CHIEF: One of them knew how to operate our space time machines.
WAR CHIEF: Are you blaming me for that?
SECURITY CHIEF: You knew they would head for the landing bay. You knew one of them could operate our machines.
WAR CHIEF: Of course. That is, after all, how they got here. Logic seems to be your weak point. Do something about this resistance group before the War Lord arrives.
SECURITY CHIEF: Wherever they are, I shall find them.
SECURITY CHIEF: I believe that amongst this resistance group that attacked the base are people who have arrived on this planet without being brought here by us.
SCIENTIST: That's impossible!
SECURITY CHIEF: Is it? What about the girl Zoe, and this man the Doctor she spoke of? She said he had a space time travel machine.
SCIENTIST: Yes I know, but
SECURITY CHIEF: Have we taken humans from later than the Earth year 1917?
SCIENTIST: Of course not. Greater technological knowledge would be dangerous.
SECURITY CHIEF: Yet this man who tricked you had sufficient technological knowledge to understand the mental processing machinery.
SCIENTIST: Yes, that's true. But how could these people get here?
SECURITY CHIEF: The War Chief. His people have the secret of time travel.
SCIENTIST: Are you suggesting he's bringing in his own people, the Time Lords?
SECURITY CHIEF: He came to us because he wanted power. Perhaps there are others of his people who feel the same.
SCIENTIST: Can you prove this? If so, you must tell the War Lord immediately.
SECURITY CHIEF: Unfortunately I have no proof. You must help me find proof. I insist. This is a matter of security.
SCIENTIST: All right, what do you want me to do?
SECURITY CHIEF: These resistance people. Before you reprocess them, study them carefully. If you find anything unusual send the prisoner concerned to me for questioning.
We shall hear more of these Time Lords as the story progresses....
Of course no soon is the Scientist given an order by Security Chief then the War Chief shows up ...
WAR CHIEF: Have you started the reprocessing yet?
SCIENTIST: No, I've just been carrying out the preliminary examinations.
WAR CHIEF: Why? Why not just reprocess them?
SCIENTIST: I, well, these people have shown considerable courage and enterprise. They may make future leaders.
WAR CHIEF: Where is this prisoner being taken?
SCIENTIST: Oh, the Security Chief. He wants to question one of them before reprocessing.
WAR CHIEF: Really? Why this one in particular?
SCIENTIST: Oh, he just seemed to be the most suitable.
WAR CHIEF: For what reason? For what reason!
SCIENTIST: His brain patterns are different.
WAR CHIEF: Different how?
SCIENTIST: Well, he appears not to have been processed before.
WAR CHIEF: Really? How interesting. All right, carry on. But in future inform me of all such unusual developments.
SCIENTIST: Prepare the reprocessing machine. We shall begin with this one.
WAR CHIEF: Don't let me interrupt you.
SECURITY CHIEF: The questioning is over.
WAR CHIEF: What have you learnt?
SECURITY CHIEF: Nothing of importance.
WAR CHIEF: Really? Will you be questioning the others?
SECURITY CHIEF: They are all from the same resistance group. They will all tell the same story.
WAR CHIEF: But this one is different, surely?
SECURITY CHIEF: Why should he be?
WAR CHIEF: This one hasn't been processed before, has he?
SECURITY CHIEF: It's possible.
WAR CHIEF: It's a fact! Why was I not informed?
SECURITY CHIEF: This is a matter of security. Security is my responsibility, as you often remind me.
WAR CHIEF: Your first responsibility is to me.
SECURITY CHIEF: No! My first responsibility is to the War Lord and to my people.
WAR CHIEF: You don't trust me. But if you question my loyalty, tell the War Lord. But I warn you, be absolutely sure of your suspicions because if you accuse me without positive proof, I shall crush you.
Things come to a head when the resistance men disappear and the Security Chief effectively accuses the War Chief of helping them, only to be humiliated!
SECURITY CHIEF: They were seen here by my men.
WAR CHIEF: Where are they now, vanished into thin air?
SECURITY CHIEF: There is only one way they could have escaped. By use of a space time machine.
WAR CHIEF: I'm sorry to crush your wild theories. There's your space time machine.
SECURITY CHIEF: After them!
WAR CHIEF: You're too late for that. They will be on their way to the landing bay by now, I should imagine. Try and get there before them.
The arguing between the two chiefs does get a little grating after a bit but apart from this it's business as usual. Somehow the lack of the authentic looking World War One setting detracts from this part of the story though. We've been running round the alien base for a few episodes now and it all looks very similar.
The only new speaking actor this week is David Troughton, playing Private Moor, the resistance man left guarding the captured Von Weich. Having been a guard extra in Enemy of the World he here has an early television speaking role before returning as the guest star as King Peladon in The Curse of Peladon. In the early 1970s, he shared a flat with Colin Baker, later to be the Sixth Doctor, who was later the best man at his wedding and is the godfather of his eldest son. He's appear in Survivors as Stan in Lights of London. I know him best for playing Dr. Bob Buzzard in the superb A Very Peculiar Practice alongside Fifth Doctor Peter Davison and if you haven't seen it then it's available on DVD. He appears twice in Drop the Dead Donkey as Roy Merchant Jnr, the son of Globelink News' owner and has two appearance enriching episodes Midsomer Murders playing Brian Clapper in Written in Blood and Miles King in The Animal Within. He had a recurring role in New Tricks as villain Ricky Hanson from 2006 onwards. In 2008 he returned to Doctor Who appearing as Professor Hobbes in Midnight and makes a cameo in 50th anniversary spoof The Five as a Dalek Operator! He is the father of actors Sam & William Troughton and the Warwickshire & England cricketer Jim Troughton.
VON WEICH: How long do you intend keeping me here?Moor's confrontation with Von Weich takes up a fair bit of time this episode.
MOOR: Until they come back.
VON WEICH: And supposing they don't come back?
VON WEICH: I'd like some water.
MOOR: All right. Sit down.
VON WEICH: British private, aren't you? Nineteenth century.Interesting that the monocle trick didn't work on fellow resistance member Harper a few episodes back but does here. Later on we see Moor fully under Von Weich's control:
MOOR: You can see that, can't you.
VON WEICH: Oh would you mind reaching my monocle for me? It's in my pocket there. Thank you.
MOOR: Now sit down again.
VON WEICH: Don't you talk to me like that. I'm a British Officer!
MOOR: No, you're not. You're my prisoner.
VON WEICH: I'm not your prisoner, Moor. I'm your commanding Officer. Do you understand?
MOOR: I'm not, I'm not in the army. The resistance I'm in!
VON WEICH: You're in the British army, Private Moor, the year is 1871. You're in the British army, and I'm your commanding Officer. Now, untie me.
VON WEICH: You understand now, Moor? I am your commanding Officer.
MOOR: You, you are my Commanding Officer. Yes, sir.
VON WEICH: Good, good. Now, Moor, give me your gun.
VON WEICH: Moor, shoot them! That's an order!
RUSSELL: Back in there, quick. Moor? Moor, it's me, Russell.
VON WEICH: Private Moor, shoot him.
RUSSELL: Don't take any notice of him, Moor. You're one of us, one of the resistance, remember?
MOOR: Resistance? No, I'm in the army. Oh oh two three nine Moor. Private Moor.
VON WEICH: Shoot him!
VON WEICH: Stay.
VON WEICH: You come one step nearer you'll die. Good. Now you're both coming back with me. Get inside the machine.
RUSSELL: No, you'll have to shoot me first.
VON WEICH: Very well, if you prefer to die that's your affair!
MOOR: I had to shoot him, didn't I?
RUSSELL: Thank goodness you did, lad.
MOOR: I'm not sure what happened.
RUSSELL: You've just saved our lives, that's what happened.
If I was cynical I'd say that Moor's only included to waste a bit of time and to bump off Von Weich, who they've run out of things to do with! As well as Von Weich, played by David Garfield, this episode is also the last we see of Vernon Dobtcheff. He gets one scene with the Security Chief earlier on, another with the War Chief and then is fixing the reprocessing machine when The Doctor turns up! He disappears then for the rest of the episode, not being seen when we return to the Doctor reviving the resistance members, and then pops up towards the end to discover the theft of the reprocessing machine but doesn't get to say anything!
All very odd. Top performances however from both David Garfield & Vernon Dobtchef who've enlightened proceedings this story.
Two new supporting artists this episode: Brian Nolan was in The Invasion earlier this season as an IE Guard. He returns here as a Resistance Man followed by a UNIT Soldier in Spearhead from Space & Doctor Who and the Silurians, a Sea Devil in The Sea Devils, an Earth Guard in Frontier in Space, a UNIT Soldier in Invasion of the Dinosaurs, a Guard in The Seeds of Doom and the TV Cameraman in The Deadly Assassin part one. He's also been in Doomwatch as a Man in Flood. Del Watson is an Alien Guard here and a Crimean Soldier next episode.