OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 241
STORY NUMBER: 049
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 29 March 1969
WRITER: Robert Holmes
DIRECTOR: Michael Hart
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
RATINGS: 5.8 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Volume 5 (1967-1969)
"Oh, come on now. If I was in cahoots with the pirates, why would I be trying to rescue you?"
The Tardis crew find the injured Lt Sorba, seized from station Alpha 4. General Hermack retrieves Major Warne and they pursue a Beta Dart used by the pirates. The Doctor opens the audio lock on the door of the cell they fell into. They find Clancy and escape to Madeline Issigri's office telling her of the pirates on Ta but when Caven enters killing Sorba they realise she's in league with them.
Finally an episode that's a bit more like what it should be. Yes they're in a cell for much of the episode but they're trying to escape and then do something when they do get out.
Last story we got a Moonbase and weather control, harking back to Troughton's fourth story, The Moonbase. Now we get this:
JAMIE: Oh, look, Doctor, will you stop it?That's a rehash from Power of the Daleks where the Doctor attempts to escape his cell, which also has an audio lock. He uses a glass of water to generate the note there!
ZOE: What's that noise? It's getting on everybody's nerves.
DOCTOR: You want to get out of here, don't you?
JAMIE: Oh, that's not going to get us out.
DOCTOR: Yes, Jamie, it is! An audio lock is a simple solenoid switch which is only activated by a particular sound. It's just a question of finding it, that's all.
JAMIE: Oh look, I can't stand any more!
DOCTOR: Jamie! Jamie!
(Jamie snatches the tuning fork and throws it down. A section of wall slides open.)
DOCTOR: Jamie, you found the right note!
HERMACK: Switch video through here. We might as well all enjoy this.Oh if only we could!
I've recognised another actor in the series! Jack May, playing General Hermack was a noted voice actor who I recalled as being the voice of voice of Igor in Count Duckula when I last blogged this story. Since then I've looked at his substantial IMDB entry! He was in the acclaimed An Age of Kings BBC production of William Shakespeare plays and, like many of the cast, performed multiple roles over the plays. He then appeared in A for Andromeda as Major Quadring in The Miracle & The Last Mystery followed by the Out of the Unknown episode Stranger in the Family where he played Evans. This first season episode exists and can be seen on the Out of the Unknown DVD Set. He has a recurring role in Adam Adamant Lives! as the butler William E. Simms and appears in the UFO episode Confetti Check A-O.K. as the English Delegate. I really should have remembered his performance as Garkbit, the head waiter at the Restaurant At The End Of The Universe in the TV Version of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy!
Jack May, playing General Hermack, Theoden What I did recall is that he appeared in one of my favourite radio series: He's Theoden in the acclaimed Radio 4 adaptation of The Lord of the Rings which also features Donald Gee, Major Ian Warne, as Radagast the Brown. Other Doctor Who personnel involved include Gerard Murphy (Richard in Silver Nemesis) as the Narrator, Bill Nighy (the guide in Vincent & The Doctor) as Sam, David Collings (Mawdryn in Mawdryn Undead) as Legolas, Peter Howell (The Investigator in the Mutants) as Saruman, Philip Voss (Acomat in Marco Polo & Wahed in The Dominators) as the Lord of the Nazgûl, Michael Spice (the voice of Morbius in The Brain of Morbius and Magnus Greel in The Talons of Weng-Chiang) as A Nazgûl/Háma and Stephen Thorne (Azal in the Daemons, Omega in the Three Doctors and an Eldred in Hand of Fear) as Treebeard. It's fab, buy the CDs.
So back to Phil's 2011 listen to this story for blogging purposes. If you recall I was binging the last four episodes on a train journey from Swindon to Richmond to get them out the way:
Right my packed Train has just pulled out of Didcot Parkway. I fell over getting on the train at Swindon and had to turf someone out the disabled seating. Time for Space Pirates 4It's been 3 weeks since we last heard of Lieutenant Sorba, who was left behind with a crew of guards on station Alpha 4 and presumed dead. I'd forgotten about him and not realised it was the same character who I heard briefly in in episode 1! He's played by Nick Zaran, but is one of two major character in this story we have no visual record of. If you want to see what the actor looks like to give you a clue then he's got some pictures on aveleyman.com.
IMDB reckons that Bill Richards is a Pirate in this episode. He'd been a sailor in Flight Through Eternity, the third episode of The Chase and a Monoid in The Ark and would return as a Union Soldier in The War Games. He's also down as appearing in episode 1, which is a possibility but I'm always suspicious of episode 1 imdb supporting artist credits as extras for the entire story tend to be logged against the first episode.
I'm also suspicious of the presence of James Haswell & Derek Chafer who IMDB both list as extras. Jimmy Haswell. If he's in this episode then it's his third appearance in having been a Guard in The Massacre and a similar role in the location sequences in Seeds of Death 4. IMDB think he's in 4 stories out of 6 now he also returns as a Prisoner in The War Games and Corporal Champion in The Ambassadors of Death before taking another absence followed by playing a Beat Policeman in The Talons of Weng-Chiang. He'd also appear in the missing Out of the Unknown The Yellow Pill as a Plainclothes Man and the Blake's 7 episodes The Harvest of Kairos as a Labourer and Children of Auron as an Auron Technician. Derek Chafer has a large Doctor Who CV. He's worked for Douglas Camfield on Doctor Who playing a Saxon in The Time Meddler, which was his first appearance on the show. He returns as a Greek Soldier in The Myth Makers, a Guard in The Masscre, a Lynch Mob Member in The Gunfighters, a Cyberman in The Moonbase episode 3 & Invasion 7 and, like Jimmy Haswell, a guard in the location sequences in Seeds of Death 4. It's the Seeds of Death roles for both of these which make me suspicious as to their appearance here as neither Chafer or Haswell have an IMDB credit for that episode and do here so I'm thinking that someone confused the stories when making the IMDB entries. He returns a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians episode, a Prisoner in The Mind of Evil, a Guard in The Curse of Peladon, an Exxilon in Death to the Daleks, a Guard in The Monster of Peladon and and the Armourer in The Masque of Mandragora. The year after this episode was shown Chafer would appear in the missing third season Out of the Unknown episode 1+1=1.5 as a Man and has three Doomwatch appearances as Men in Project Sahara, Re-Entry Forbidden and The Red Sky all of which can be seen on The Doomwatch DVD.
However we're on more solid ground with Steve Peters, who was also in the Seeds of Death 4 location sequences as the Ice Warrior, and is playing Pirate Guard here. He's got a speaking line somewhere so gets a credit and I can see his name right the way back in the Doctor Who Program Guide! He'd previously been an extra in The Romans and the leader Roboman in Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. as well as an Ice Warrior in Seeds of Death and would return as both astronaut Lefee and his alien substitute in The Ambassadors of Death. He was in two now missing third season Out of the Unknown episodes appearing as a man in 1+1=1.5 and a Plainclothes Man in The Yellow Pill, both of which are also directed by Michael Ferguson, who helmed Seeds of Death and Ambassadors of Death! He can be found in the Doomwatch episodes You Killed Toby Wren as a Man in Laboratory and The Inquest as a Man and appears as a Technician in the Moonbase 3 episodes Departure and Arrival & Behemoth.