Friday, 31 May 2019

250 The War Games: Episode Seven

EPISODE: The War Games: Episode Seven
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 31 May 1969
WRITER: Malcolm Hulke & Terrance Dicks
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Derrick Sherwin
RATINGS: 4.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The War Games

"You've caused me a great deal of trouble and embarrassment. Now, I'm afraid, you're going to pay for it with your life!"

Welcome to the Two Hundred and Fiftieth episode of Doctor Who !

The Doctor emerges from the Capsule surrendering, but then throws a smoke bomb, releases the capsule & it's dimensions and returns to the Capsule. Using the stolen control keys he dematerialises the capsule. The War Chief attempts to track the capsule, which he terms a SIDRAT when an alarm sounds informing them of the War Lord's arrival. The War Lord questions the Security Chief on the difficulty while the War Lord admits that's the resistance stole the processing machine. The Doctor, Jamie & Carstairs arrive in the Roman Zone where they were attacked and flee into the time zone barrier. The Security Chief wants to send guards, but the War Chief objects. They argue over the Doctor and his companions with the Security Chief accusing him of plotting to betray them. The War Lord tells them to stop bickering. The Doctor and friends walk into the 1917 zone where they are sighted by sentries which is reported to General Smythe who has a nearby machine gun emplacement fire on them. They are captured by troops and taken to the General's HQ where he sends the Doctor to a firing squad. The War Chief is angry with him and wants to know where the machine has gone. They are rescued by Zoe and the resistance. General Smythe attempts to flee but is killed. The Doctor gains access to the controls for the Zone. The War Lord orders the local Soldiers to attack the château. Using the control system the Doctor places a time zone barrier around the château. The War Lord berates both his underlings and takes personal charge.

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Using the captured processing machine the Doctor successfully deprograms a captive prisoner, Du Pont. A SIDRAT materialises in Smythe's room. Guards exit shooting some of the resistance and seizing the Doctor and the machine before dematerialising.

I suppose it's a problem stringing a story out to ten episodes to then have your villains always winning but right up until the end of this episode the aliens are looking a pretty incompetent bunch with their two leaders bickering and at each others throats.

SECURITY CHIEF: Can't you stop them?
WAR CHIEF: He's locked off the controls and taken the master circuit rods. What an ingenious fellow he is.
SECURITY CHIEF: His ingenuity could ruin everything. Alert all time zones!
WAR CHIEF: I suggest we pay particular attention to the 1917 zone.
SECURITY CHIEF: Is that where they are going?
WAR CHIEF: I can't tell for sure. These master circuit rods could guide the machine to any one of the time zones.
So the Doctor's got into control, freed a load of prisoners, nicked the reprocessing machine and done a runner in one of their own travel capsules which he seems to operate very, VERY easily!
JAMIE: Well, where are we going, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Anywhere but the 1917 zone, Jamie.
JAMIE: Are we not going back to Zoe and the Tardis?
DOCTOR: Yes, eventually, but not just now. That's where they'll be looking for us.
CARSTAIRS: What are we going to do then, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Well, we'll go into one of the nearby zones and cross the time zone barrier on foot. Oh! Ah, yes, here we are.
Needless to say that hasn't helped things between the War Chief and the Security Chief:
SECURITY CHIEF: Haven't you traced them yet?
WAR CHIEF: It's impossible to pick them up when the SIDRAT is still moving. I'll pinpoint their position the moment it lands.
SECURITY CHIEF: All time zones are ready to hunt them down as soon as you provide the necessary information.
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That's SIDRAT, pronounced Side Rat. SIDRAT is TARDIS spelt backwards.....

JAMIE: Its taking its time, isn't it?
DOCTOR: Yes, Jamie. I probably confused the controls readjusting them in space, in
CARSTAIRS: You've no idea which zone we're going to land in, Doctor?
DOCTOR: Well, no, not really, no.
JAMIE: Oh, just like the Tardis, eh?
They'll get to where they're going with this plot thread eventually, honest they will!

Unfortunately when it couldn't get any worse for the Chiefs, that's just what happens!

SECURITY CHIEF: The War Lord is arriving from the home planet.
WAR CHIEF: He's chosen rather an inconvenient time.
SECURITY CHIEF: I shall go and receive him.
WAR CHIEF: No, I'll receive him. You stay here and supervise the capture of that resistance group.
SECURITY CHIEF: The war Lord will expect me!
WAR CHIEF: The War Lord will expect everything to be running smoothly and under control, which, at the moment it isn't.
SECURITY CHIEF: Keep your eyes on the operations maps! I want to know the moment that capsule arrives in a time zone.
Their boss, the previously unseen War Lord arrives!

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WAR LORD: So my information is correct. I've heard disquieting rumours of serious trouble here. Are they true?
SECURITY CHIEF: There have been temporary difficulties.
WAR LORD: But they have been overcome?
WAR LORD: War Chief. The defective processing machinery, has it been rectified?
WAR CHIEF: Your scientists did get effective machines, but
WAR LORD: But what?
WAR CHIEF: Unfortunately, it was removed by an intruding party of resistance men.
WAR LORD: They penetrated the control area? They just walked in? How?
SECURITY CHIEF: I have the situation under control, War Lord. It is only a matter of time before they are recaptured.
WAR LORD: Then I hope that time is on your side.
The War Lord is played by Philip Madoc, who makes a truly sinister villain.

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Earlier this season he'd appeared in David Maloney's The Krotons where he played Eelek.

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He's remembered for playing Doctor Solon in The Brain of Morbius but I think the War Lord is probably his best role. He also has a less prominent role as Fenner in the Power of Kroll.

Prior to his first appearance in the TV series he's been in Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., the second Doctor Who film, as Brockley and one of my earliest Doctor Who memories is of him being exterminated in the shed.

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He's been in loads of television including UFO as Straker's ex wife's new partner in A Question Of Priorities and the first episode of Space: 1999, Breakaway, as Koenig's predecessor Commander Gorski. I recently saw him in Midsomer Murders playing Barnaby's former (Welsh) DCI in The Axeman Cometh, a barking episode involving a rock group. But not half as barking as Country Matters is! Those are just the ones off the top of my head: checking IMDB also found me an Out of This World, as George Mathias in Target Generation, five roles in The Avengers, another UFO as Captain Steven in Destruction, The Sweeney as Det. Supt. Pettiford in Golden Fleece, Porridge as Williams in Disturbing the Peace and Survivors as Max Kershaw in The Chosen.

He's got a talent for playing German officers and in this role he can be seen in one of the most repeated clips on television. He plays the commanding officer of the U-Boat crew captured by the Walmington-on-Sea home guard in the Dad's Army episode "The Deadly Attachment".

A special feature about Philip Madoc's career can be found on the Power of Kroll disc in the Key To Time DVD boxset. He died on 5th March 2012.

WAR CHIEF: They're escaping again. Moving back to the time zone barrier. Our processed Roman legions won't be able to follow them there.
SECURITY CHIEF: Then we will send in my security guards from the control centre.
WAR CHIEF: No, not again. We are carrying out a delicately controlled operation. The presence of guards in the time zones could stretch he credulity of the processed humans. It would be most dangerous.
SECURITY CHIEF: It will be even more dangerous if we allow this Doctor to remain alive.
WAR CHIEF: Have you looked for this space time machine of theirs?
SECURITY CHIEF: What use is that to us?
WAR CHIEF: They will no doubt try to return to it. That's where we should be looking for them. It's a simple enough conclusion. You might even have reached it yourself.
SECURITY CHIEF: I have reached a number of conclusions about you and about this man, the Doctor.
WAR CHIEF: Indeed? Then perhaps you'd like to share them with us?
SECURITY CHIEF: This Doctor arrived here on this planet we have chosen for the war games. He brought with him companions who have not been subjected to our mental processing.
WAR CHIEF: A fact you tried to conceal.
SECURITY CHIEF: They came in a space time machine. The secret of space time travel is known only to you and to your people.
WAR CHIEF: And I brought that secret here.
SECURITY CHIEF: You have shown us how to operate these machines, but not how to construct them. These people were summoned by one who is in league with his own kind, plotting to betray us!
WAR CHIEF: You cannot produce one single atom of proof!
SECURITY CHIEF: The accumulation of evidence is overwhelming!
WAR LORD: That's enough! That's enough from both of you. Now, I am tired of this eternal bickering. Your inability to work together is endangering our whole plan. You have a choice. Co-operate or be replaced.
The War Lord's patience with his bickering underlings doesn't last long:
SECURITY CHIEF: So much for your armies of processed humans.
WAR CHIEF: Smythe should have destroyed the machine.
SECURITY CHIEF: We should have sent in my security guards.
WAR CHIEF: And ruin the entire experiment?
WAR LORD: The Security Chief is right. You have failed. And your leadership of the security forces has hardly been spectacularly successful. I will take charge of the whole situation. Now listen carefully, this is what I plan to do.
With that their superior steps in, takes charge and suddenly everything goes swimmingly. The Doctor is captured and the machine retrieved.

A couple more familiar faces here: Since we're back in the 1917 zone General Smythe, played by Noel Coleman, returns. He was in the first three episodes of the story and is unseen since. He's accompanied by Sgt. Major Burns, played by Esmond Webb, who was in the first episode.

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SMYTHE: You've caused me a great deal of trouble.
DOCTOR: Good, I'm very glad to hear it. I suppose you're going to subject us to another one of your farcical courts martial?
SMYTHE: In your case, that won't be necessary. You have already been condemned to death.
DOCTOR: And what about my friends?
SMYTHE: They will be given the chance to redeem themselves, in the most dangerous sector of the front line.
DOCTOR: After some more of your mental processing, I suppose?
SMYTHE: They will have the opportunity of making the supreme sacrifice for their King and country.
CARSTAIRS: You can drop all that nonsense. We know what's going on.
SMYTHE: Do you, Carstairs?
CARSTAIRS: Yes. This isn't the war. We're not even on our own planet. Do you realise that, Sergeant Major? This General of yours isn't even a human being.
SMYTHE: The prisoner is delirious, Sergeant Major. He's talking nonsense.
BURNS: Yes, sir, delirious, sir. Talking nonsense, sir.
CARSTAIRS: Listen to me, Sergeant Major!
SMYTHE: It's no use, Carstairs. Nothing you say will have any effect. Sergeant Major, prepare a firing squad.
BURNS: Sir! DOCTOR: Do you have the authority to have me killed?
SMYTHE: I don't need any authority.
DOCTOR: Your alien superiors will want to question me.
SMYTHE: You've caused me a great deal of trouble and embarrassment. Now, I'm afraid, you're going to pay for it with your life!
DOCTOR: So you're simply being malicious!
SMYTHE: Revenge can be very satisfying.
BURNS: Firing party ready, sir!
SMYTHE: Take him away!
Smythe's attempts to have his revenge on The Doctor, even claiming he's dead before the firing squad do their job, don't go well with his superiors though:
SMYTHE: Smythe, 1917 zone. I have recaptured three of the escaped prisoners.
WAR CHIEF: Excellent! I want them sent here immediately.
SMYTHE: Unfortunately one of them is already dead.
WAR CHIEF: Which one?
SMYTHE: The one that calls himself the Doctor. He was shot trying to escape.
WAR CHIEF: Did you recover the machine?
SMYTHE: Machine?
WAR CHIEF: Didn't you receive your instructions? They took with them the new processing machine. It must be recovered!
SMYTHE: Yes, of course I will.
WAR CHIEF: Don't fail us, Smythe. The War Lord is here and he doesn't like failures.
He meets his end shortly after, but the fate of Sgt Major Burns goes unrecorded. There's no sign at all of Hubert Rees' Captain Ransom, also seen in the 1917 segments in earlier episodes. Sent to the front line as punishment for his part in The Doctor & company's escape?

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The reprogrammed soldier Du Pont is Peter Craze, formerly of The Space Museum (I know you've tried your best to forget it) and brother of actor Michael Craze, who played former companion Able Seaman Ben Jackson in the late First Doctor & early Second Doctor stories. He would make a further appearance in the series in The Nightmare of Eden as Costa plus two Blake's 7 appearances as Prell in Seek-Locate-Destroy and Servalan's Assistant in Sand. He's also in The Professionals episode Heroes as the Security Man.

Derek Calder plays an Alien Technician / British Soldier in this episode and returns as a Time Lord Technician in episode 10. He was previously Scientist Pete Baker in The Moonbase. By an odd coincidence Resistance Man Robin Scott was also in The Moonbase playing Scientist Charlie Wise! Another Resistance Man Joe Santo returns for Warriors' Gate as a Tharil and also appears in the Blake's 7 episode Deliverance as a Scavenger. IMDB thinks he appears 4 times in Doomwatch playing a man in The Islanders, In the Dark, High Mountain & Enquiry. He goes on to appear in Moonbase 3 as José in View of a Dead Planet and Fawlty Towers as the Laundry Van Driver's Mate in The Kipper and the Corpse.

British Soldier Tony Starr later becomes a Dalek Operator in Planet of the Daleks (are you sure IMDB?), Resurrection of the Daleks, Revelation of the Daleks & Remembrance of the Daleks. Finally Machine Gunner Hein Viljoen is in UFO as SHADO Mobile 1 Personnel in Computer Affair

Friday, 24 May 2019

249 The War Games: Episode Six

EPISODE: The War Games: Episode Six
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....

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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?
WAR CHIEF: Activate the dimensional control.
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:
ZOE: Doctor, how did you do it so easily?
DOCTOR: It's not very difficult, Zoe. Now the doors.
Indeed the Doctor's ability to use the machines is helping fuel the feud between the Security Chief and the War Chief:
WAR CHIEF: So you have lost them. They have got away.
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.
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: 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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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.
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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.

6a Moor 6b Confrontation
VON WEICH: How long do you intend keeping me here?
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.
Moor's confrontation with Von Weich takes up a fair bit of time this episode.
VON WEICH: British private, aren't you? Nineteenth century.
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.
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:
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.

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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: 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.

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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!

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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.

Friday, 17 May 2019

248 The War Games: Episode Five

EPISODE: The War Games: Episode Five
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 17 May 1969
WRITER: Malcolm Hulke & Terrance Dicks
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Derrick Sherwin
RATINGS: 5.1 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The War Games

"This is the War Chief to Security section. All guards to landing bay. The following procedure will be carried out ...."

The Scientist interrupts Carstairs: he pulls the trigger on his gun but finds it empty. Zoe is taken away. In the barn the resistance demand to know where the tunnel is the soldiers are coming out. Jamie explains the soldiers were brought in a machine but isn't believed. One of the resistance tried to shoot Von Weich but is stopped by Harper. Von Weich reaches for the communicator but Jamie stops him showing it to the resistance. The Security Chief interrogates Zoe, not believing she's from the 21st century. She is shown pictures of resistance leaders but doesn't recognise them. The Doctor interrupts the scientist's work on Carstairs, freeing him. They overpower the Scientist and escape. The Security chief tells the War chief that he deduces that Zoe is part of an independent resistance group originating from the 1917 zone. The War Chief is told of the emergency signal Von Weich started to send from the American Civil War Zone. Carstairs and the Doctor free Zoe. They make their way to the landing bay. A capsule materialises in the barn and guards emerge killing Harper but are quickly overcome. The Security Chief is wondering how the War Chief recognised the intruders. The security chief discovers that Zoe has escaped. Jennifer leaves with the resistance to tend to their wounded but Jamie & the leader enter the capsule and are on board when it dematerialises. The Security Chief finds the overpowered scientist. The Security Chief suggests that since Zoe claimed to travel in time perhaps the War Chief is a traitor to them as well as his own people. Hiding in the landing bay, the Doctor, Zoe & Carstairs hear an alarm sound: guards fill the room as a capsule materialises and Jamie & the resistance are shot down.

Lots of information for us in this episode. The War Chief isn't from the same race as the rest of the aliens but he's brought them technology that has made all this possible and is a traitor to his own people. He knows who the Doctor is so we can assume they are renegades from the same race. The War Chief is in charge of the operation but over him is the as yet unseen War Lord who nobody seems particularly keen to get involved in proceedings.

Most of this comes courtesy of an argument with the previously unseen Security Chief. The two characters don't seem to get on!

SECURITY CHIEF: This emergency call could be resistance activity. There is a large group operating in the American Civil War Zone.
WAR CHIEF: There seem to be large groups operating in most Zones, and now they're even infiltrating here.
SECURITY CHIEF: Only two of them and one of those has already been caught.
WAR CHIEF: Had I not pointed them out, you wouldn't have even known they were here.
SECURITY CHIEF: Yes, that has been puzzling me. Just how did you recognise them?
WAR CHIEF: You dare cross-question me?! The security of this entire venture is being threatened by your incompetence. You will find this intruder!
SECURITY CHIEF: The whole base is being searched. It is only a matter of time. If the mental processing were fully effective
WAR CHIEF: There would be no need for security. When I came to your people I was promised efficiency and cooperation. Without the knowledge I have, this complete venture would be impossible.
SECURITY CHIEF: We have given you every facility. If you have complaints I suggest you take them to the War Lord.
WAR CHIEF: I intend to do so. And now I suggest you finish the interrogation of that girl before she escapes as well.
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At the first opportunity the Security Chief conspires against the War Chief by restricting information he should know:

SCIENTIST: That young officer got away.
SCIENTIST: Oh, the one in the lecture who asked all the questions, he tricked me. I must report this to the War Chief.
SECURITY CHIEF: No! You two, wait outside.
SCIENTIST: But he must be informed.
SECURITY CHIEF: These people are no ordinary resistance group. The girl said they have the secret of space time travel.
SCIENTIST: That's impossible.
SECURITY CHIEF: She was under the truth machine.
SCIENTIST: But the War Chief. He's the only one who understands space time travel.
SECURITY CHIEF: And his people.
SCIENTIST: What are you suggesting?
SECURITY CHIEF: He is not one of our race. Who knows where his true loyalties lie?
SCIENTIST: But he came to us of his own accord.
SECURITY CHIEF: He is a traitor to his own people. How can we be sure he is not a traitor to us?
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The War Chief returns the favour by taking charge of something that should be the Security Chief's responsibility!

TECHNICIAN: Transportation returning from the American Civil War Zone, sir.
TECHNICIAN: But they're not following the routine, sir. They haven't called in.
WAR CHIEF: Have you tried to make contact?
WAR CHIEF: All right, inform the Security Chief. No! No, I'll handle this myself.
Jamie drops a useful piece of information to those of us watching at home in Black & White: the travel capsules are green! We can see what other elements of the production look like in colour in the photo gallery on disc 3 of the The War Games DVD. There's a few superb colour photos there particularly of the alien base.

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The Scientist's room is particularly striking in yellow! It's just a shame no picture exists on Security Section as the wall designs there are somewhat psychedelic!

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On début in this episode is James Bree as the Security Chief who'll be back as Nefred in Full Circle and the Keeper of the Matrix in the final 2 episodes of The Trial of a Timelord. He'd been in The Prisoner episode Do Not Forsake Me, Oh My Darling where he plays Villiers and goes onto appear in I, Claudius as Montanus in Poison Is Queen, The Sweeney as Saxby in Money, Money, Money and The Professionals as Grant in Man Without a Pas. On the big screen he appears in George Lazenby's only James Bond film On Her Majesty's Secret Service as Gebrüder Gumbold.

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Graham Weston plays Russell, the resistance leader from the Boer War: he's back as De Haan in Planet of Evil, also directed by David Maloney's! You can see him in The Professionals episode When the Heat Cools Off where he plays Syd Parker.

Spencer, the soldier who wants to kill Von Weich, is played by Michael Lynch who'll be back as a Thal politician in the 1975 story Genesis of the Daleks, also directed by David Maloney. He plays the Arcade Manager in the final Out of the Unknown episode The Shattered Eye which, like many episodes of that series, is sadly missing from the archives.

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Charles Pemberton was a Cyberman in The Tomb of the Cybermen and is an Alien Technician here. Once again, because Edward Brayshaw, Rentaghost's Mister Meeker, is in this story as The War Chief, we are forced to point out that Pembertion has an episode of that on his CV appearing in the third episode of series 2 as a Police Constable. He was in the Porridge film as Miller and later works with Patrick Troughton again in The Box of Delights where he plays the Chief Constable

Down the batting order IMDB lists William Strange as an Alien Guard: he's in Doomwatch Survival Code as an RAF Man while Cy Wallis, a Resistance Man, is in Blakes 7 as a Prisoner in Cygnus Alpha.

Unfortunately this episode is the last we see of Ambulance Driver Lady Jennifer Buckingham played by Jane Sherwin! Personally I thought she worked better in the earlier episodes, especially when paired with Lt Carstairs whom she seemed to share a mutual attraction too. Indeed the last things she says to Jamie is to pass a greeting onto Carstairs if Jamie fins him:

JAMIE: Do you not see, though? This thing could take us all back to the place where it's controlled from!
RUSSELL: How do you know?
JAMIE: Oh, where do you think those two came from?
RUSSELL: Well, is it true? Answer me.
VON WEICH: Do you think I'd help you?
RUSSELL: You'll do as you're told. Take those two away.
JAMIE: Now look, you want to find out what's going on, don't you? Och, I can't wait for you to make up your mind!
BUCKINGHAM: Oh, wait for me.
JAMIE: Ah, now, Lady Jennifer, I don't think you should come.
BUCKINGHAM: Because I'm a woman?
JAMIE: No, er, well, in a way, yes.
BUCKINGHAM: That settles it then. I'm certainly coming. You can't go alone.
RUSSELL: No, you're right, miss, he can't. I'm going with him. But you're staying here.
BUCKINGHAM: Oh now, look here!
RUSSELL: You're a nurse, you said?
BUCKINGHAM: Yes, but what's that got to do with it?
RUSSELL: I've got hundreds of injured men back at my headquarters. They need the help of someone like you.
BUCKINGHAM: Yes, I suppose you're right. Tell Lieutenant Carstairs that. Well, tell him I'll see him when you all get back.
JAMIE: Right.
BUCKINGHAM: Good luck.
JAMIE: Oh, thank you.
RUSSELL: Take her back to our headquarters. Thank you, Miss.

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It would have been nice to see her make appearances later in the story reuniting her with Carstairs. As it turns out he hasn't forgotten her either....

Friday, 10 May 2019

247 The War Games: Episode Four

EPISODE: The War Games: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 10 May 1969
WRITER: Malcolm Hulke & Terrance Dicks
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Derrick Sherwin
RATINGS: 5.7 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The War Games

"Emergency alert, emergency alert. This is the War Chief to all guard posts. Close section areas. Detain two resistance members!"

Doctor & Zoe find themselves inside a larger area inside the box, like the Tardis. Inside are groups of soldiers in the uniforms of different times and armies. The ship lands and the Romans leave. Jamie and Jennifer are captured by American Union forces. They are freed by Confederate forces but then imprisoned on the orders of their officer: Von Weich from the 1917 zone. The War Chief and his scientist talk about programming the soldiers when Von Weich reports on Jamie & Jennifer's capture. The travel capsule returns to it's base. The Doctor & Zoe disguise themselves and explore. Jamie & Jennifer are rescued by a soldier who has broken his conditioning and can't be hypnotised but he is captured in the escape. The Doctor & Zoe stumble into a lecture the scientist is giving explaining about taking the soldiers from Earth, processing them to convince them they're still on Earth. Some have broken the conditioning and formed a resistance. He brings in a captive who has broken his conditioning: Lt Carstairs! He reconditions Carstairs to make him obedient, which makes him unable to recognise his advanced surroundings. Carstairs accuses the Doctor & Jamie of being spies, recalling the court martial.

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The Doctor suggest that Carstairs being completely de-processed before being reconditioned. Jamie & Jennifer are recaptures and returned to the barn, reunited with their saviour from the resistance. The resistance attacks, freeing them and capturing Von Weich. The War Chief and his guards arrive at the lecture and recognises the Doctor. An alert is sounded and as they flee Carstairs escapes, taking Zoe prisoner because he believes her a spy and draws his gun on her to shoot her....

My opinions on the War Games went up when I saw it on DVD but now I'm watching it episodically it's absolutely cracking. Loving it to bits.

There's a tinsy bit of time wasting in this episode though: Jamie & Jennifer escape, get split up, Jamie gets in a fight, Jennifer gets captured, Jamie frees her, they both get captured and taken to the barn where they started from, but it's minor and at the same time the Doctor's part of the story is moving on as they discover the conditioning of the soldiers and confirm they're not on Earth.

SCIENTIST: Should you arrive on another planet, you may not be aware that the problem is to retain the specimen's personality as a fighting man while at the same time putting him under our control. As you know, we remove the human specimens from their own world and time, and place them in a context which seems to them to be the same. It is vital that they continue to believe that they are living their own lives on the planet Earth and fighting the wars from which they were taken.
ZOE: So this isn't Earth.
DOCTOR: Quite right, Zoe, quite right.
SCIENTIST: With the majority of human specimens, the process used is both lasting and effective. However, in the case of certain humans of particularly strong character and individuality, the effects of the process have not been permanent. Gradually the processing tended to fade and the specimens developed the ability to pass through the Time Zone Barriers. Some formed themselves into resistance groups which have considerably hampered the progress of our plan. It is to overcome this problem that I have further refined our processing technique. To demonstrate the process I chosen a particularly difficult specimen. A man who finally shook off the effects of the process completely, and allied himself to resistance elements in order to fight us.
SCIENTIST: This Lieutenant Carstairs is a 1917 British army officer, who for some time after his initial processing, believed himself to be fighting for his country. However as I shall now demonstrate, the process has completely lapsed and he is now fully conscious of his surroundings. Where are you?
CARSTAIRS: I don't know.
SCIENTIST: Describe what you can see.
CARSTAIRS: A room. Filled with a lot of scientific mumbo jumbo. Funny people, strange clothes and those sort of glasses that you're wearing.
SCIENTIST: As you see, he is fully aware of his surroundings and very hostile. After my new technique has been applied, he will not only be completely docile, but will be fully convinced that whatever I tell him will be the truth.
ZOE: Oh, can't we help him?
DOCTOR: No, no, no, not yet. Later.
SCIENTIST: This machine is, of course, only a prototype. In due course, other machines will be built to this pattern, capable of processing large groups of specimens simultaneously.
Good to see Carstairs again. Despite having read the book when I was younger I was convinced he was a gonner when he's left behind in episode three the first time that I saw it.

The Doctor seems to have his suspicions that his own people are involved in this affair and almost, but not quite, says so in this episode.

ZOE: Doctor, look, it is like the Tardis. Bigger inside than out.
DOCTOR: Yes, Zoe, you're right.
ZOE: But who else would have space time machines like the Tardis?
DOCTOR: Well, there is an answer to that, but I hope, I just hope.....
ZOE: What?
The look of shock on his face, and the War Chief's as they recognise each other is superb.

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There's a shock too for Jamie & Lady Jennifer as they run into Von Weich in the American Civil War Zone! Now I'm not up on my US Civil War so I've had trouble figuring out which side is which! However Von Weich's refers to Jamie & Jennifer as enemies of the south which makes them Confederates and thus their initial captors from the Union forces!

It seems odd seeing Von Wiech command two armies, the Confederate forces in the Civil War zone and the Germans in 1917, where his character's name insinuates he belongs. Is General Smythe on the Union side? Or is Von Weich only here to recapture the prisoners?

He quickly convinces initially friendly Leroy that the prisoners are spies using his monocle once again to reinforce the suggestion:

LEROY: Now don't you worry, ma'am. You're safe now. Oh, just like those Yankees to treat a lady like this.
BUCKINGHAM: Thank you.
LEROY: Oh that's my pleasure, ma'am. Happens all the time, ma'am. Yankees, they take over your house, tie you up, steal your food Oh, would you excuse me, ma'am?

LEROY: The Yankees had some civilian prisoners, sir.
VON WEICH: These people are enemies of the South.
LEROY: But Captain
VON WEICH: The boy is a Yankee soldier, the woman is a spy. You tie them up.
LEROY: Yes, Captain.

However the same trick fails to work on Harper who then stands revealed as something other than a Civil War soldier!

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VON WEICH: What happened?
LEROY: They got away, he turned them loose. They can't have got far.
VON WEICH: Get a cavalry patrol, get after them. Hunt them down. So you turned them loose? Now where're they making for, boy?
HARPER: Look, I ain't going to tell you nothing.
VON WEICH: You're going to tell me where they're making for.
HARPER: Sorry, Captain, but that stuff doesn't work on me.
VON WEICH: You're from the Resistance.
HARPER: That's right, and I'm not one of you. Listen, you all. You're not fighting the war between the States, you know. He's just using you!
VON WEICH: It's no use. You'll never get them to understand. They're under my control.
Playing confederate soldier Leroy, is a young Leslie Schofield. He'll be back as Calib in The Face of Evil. He's a very recognisable face to anyone who's seen any TV in the last 40 years. He appears in the surviving fourth season Out of the Unknown episode Deathday as Det. Sgt. Roberts which appears on the Out of the Unknown DVD Set. His Doomwatch episode Say Knife, Fat Man, where he plays Harry, isn't so lucky as that is still missing like many of the other 1972 third season episode. He's in The Sweeney as Ian Ross in Country Boy. His most recognisable film role is in Star Wars as Chief Bast the Imperial Officer that recommends the Death Star is evacuated. Footage of him shot for Star Wars is recycled in the Star Wars Holiday Special. Shortly after he appears in the second Blake's 7 episode Space Fall as the sadistic Sub-Commander Raiker. Since Edward Brayshaw appears in this story as the War Chief we probably ought to mention Schofield's appearance on Rentaghost! He's also had stints in Coronation Street & EastEnders as well as loads of other roles.

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Rudolph Walker, playing Harper, was also in East Enders but is best known for his role in the controversial ITV sit com Love Thy Neighbour. Modern viewers will know him as P.C. Frank Gladstone in The Thin Blue Line

Vernon Dobtcheff makes his only Who appearance in this story where he plays the Scientist. On his extensive CV we find the missing third season Out of the Unknown episode Beach Head, where he plays Waldron, which was reconstructed for the DVD. He appeared in Blake's 7 as The Chairman in Shadow and The Sweeney as Harry Kretchmar in Supersnout. On the big screen You'll have seen him as Max Kalba, one of the scientists being blown up near the start of The Spy Who Loved Me and as Butler in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Toby Hadoke interviews him in Who's Round 31.

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John Atterbury appears a s the speaking Alien Guard outside the lecture room. He was previously a White Robot in The Mind Robber. He too has been interviewed by Toby Hadoke in Who's round 192.

Union Officer Sgt. Thompson is played by Bill Hutchinson who has an uncredited role in Diamonds Are Forever as the Moon Crater Controller. His underling Corporal Riley is played by Terry Adams.

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IMDB lists a number of actors for this episode as German / Roman Soldiers / Alien Student, the insinuation being that the same people playing the aliens in the lecture hall are the Roman & German soldiers we see in the Aliens' travel machine.

DOCTOR: Zoe, come and see.
ZOE: Why are they just standing there like that?
DOCTOR: They seem to be in some sort of hypnotic trance.
ZOE: Romans, like the ones that attacked us. But these soldiers, what are they here for?
DOCTOR: They're going to fight, Zoe. That's what soldiers are for.
ZOE: But they're all from different times.

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Amongst them are Neville Simons who was a Space Corps Technician in The Space Pirates and returns as Astronaut Michaels in The Ambassadors of Death. IMDB thinks Ron Conrad was an Extra in The Space Pirates and is a Soldier in The Ambassadors of Death. Barry Kennington returns in the Silurians as a Technician and also appears in Doomwatch as a man in Hear No Evil & The Islanders. It's George Howse only Doctor Who appearance but he's in Blake's 7 as a Scientist in Project Avalon. Likewise Bob Wilyman doesn't return to the show but he was in 2001: A Space Odyssey as an ape and pops up in Moonbase 3 as a Technician. They're joined by David Billa, a German Soldier in episode 1 who returns in the tenth episode in a third role, and Tom O'Leary, a Firing Squad Member in episode 1 and a Prison Sergeant in episode 2, who as well as being down as a Roman/German, IMDB thinks he's the Austro-Hungarian Officer as well, presumably the man who walks past the Doctor & Zoe when their travel machine arrives.

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We didn't quite work out who the Foot Soldiers were in the last episode, but thought they might be with the cavalrymen so I'm guessing that the Foot Soldier in this episode, Terrance Denville, is one of the mob who capture Jamie & Lady Jennifer. He'd been in The Invasion as a Cyberman and returns later this story as an Alien Technician in episode 7. He's in The Silurians too, as another Technician and later returns as a Prison Guard in Frontier in Space, an Exxilon in Death to the Daleks and an Ice Warrior in The Monster of Peladon. He plays a Technician in Moonbase 3 Departure and Arrival, Behemoth and Outsider, appears as a Russian Security Council Member in the Pierce Brosnan James Bond film GoldenEye and appears in the Miranda episode Before I Die as an Old Man. Les Conrad plays an 1862 Union Soldier in this episode. He was previously a Tavern Customer in The Massacre and one of the space suited pirates in the surviving sequence from The Space Pirates episode 1. He returns as an Alien Guard in episode 7, a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death & Terror of the Autons, a Prisoner in The Mind of Evil, a Thal Survivor in Genesis of the Daleks and Mestor's Guard in The Twin Dilemma. That story features a pair of twin with the same surname and m'learned colleague Mr Hadoke confirms that they are his sons. He was in the A For Andromeda squeal The Andromeda Breakthrough as a British Soldier in Gale Warning, Doomwatch Burial at Sea as a Man, Blake's 7: Gold as a Space Princess Guard / Passenger and the Douglas Camfield Beau Geste adaptation as a Legionnaire. Jim Delaney is an 1862 Confederate Soldier here, a Resistance Man in episode 7 and an American Soldier in episode 8. He returns as a UNIT Soldier in Doctor Who and the Silurians, a Presidential Guard in Frontier in Space and a Station Policeman in the David Maloney directed The Talons of Weng-Chiang.

Harry Tierney plays a Resistance Man here and in episode 7. He was previously in The Smugglers as a Villager at Inn / Pirate and later plays a Plain Clothes PC in Day of the Daleks. Other resistance men include Allan Travell, a Trench Solider / Chateau Guard in episode 1, and David Melbourne, Carstairs' Man in episode 1 and a British Soldier in episode 7.