Doctor Who Reactions: "The Reign of Terror" (SPOILERS)

A Land of Fear
1)"I have the universe to explore."

2)I like the way Ian and Barbara butter the Doctor up - they've learned to play him a bit.

3)"The Doctor's put us down right in the middle of the French Revolution." I like how they have more trouble with the human troublemakers than they ever did with the Daleks.

4)"It's his favorite period in the history of Earth." The Reign of Terror? Really?

5)Cliffhanger: The Doctor is trapped in the burning house!

 

Guests of Madame Guillotine
6)"You can't go on being lucky. Things catch up with you." Don't worry, dear, the writers are on your side.

7)So, the Doctor basically walks to Paris!

8)"Now get to work, skinny!"

9)Wow, the Doctor sure brains that overseer! For a second, I thought he'd killed him.

10)Cliffhanger: Barbara and Susan are led off to be guillotined!

 

A Change of Identity
11)Susan's all whiny and wimpy in this. I suspect this of being the sort of thing that convinced Ford to leave.

12Cliffhanger: The clothing seller rats out the Doctor!

 

The Tyrant of France
13)This epsidoe and the next were "Recovered" through the use of the soundtrack and newly-created animation. It's reasonably wellpdone, enough so that I hope they use this method to re-create as many of the "lost" stories as they can.

14)"You like Leon, don't you?" Even though he didn't help the turtle?

15)Cliffhanger: Leon rats out Ian! (There sure is alot of treachery in this!)

 

A Bargain of Necessity
16)"You should know by now, young lady, that you can't get rid of the old Doctor as easily as that!"

17)Wow, they sure do use the Marseillaise alot in the soundtrack for this.

18)"You know my plans always work perfectly, hmm?" Yeah, OK.

19)"I flew here with three friends in a small box." Gee, it sounds silly when you say it that way.

20)"You check your history books, Ian, before you decide what people deserve."

21)Cliffhanger: The Doctor arrives with LeMaitre! (Ah, for the early days of Doctor Who, when a character could be called "LeMaitre" and not turn out to be the Master in a crappy disguise!)

 

Prisoners of the Conciergerie
22)"I am James Stirling." Hard not to see that coming - he was the only one it could be.

23)"It's Napoleon! Napoleon Bonaparte!" I gather the history in this is somewhat questionable from an "Accuracy" standpoint.

24)"I learned that lesson with the Aztecs."

25)"Who are you, really?" An underpaid schoolteacher..of Tomorrow!

26)"Our destiny is in the stars. So, let's go and search for it." Old high Gallifreyan for "Come on, let's get out of here."

 

Overall:
I quite enjoyed this, I'm glad they re-created it. It's funny watching this, but I feel that in some ways the show was more "adult" then, than it is now. History is shown to be brutal and unpleasant here - you fear more for the characters' safety more than you do in any number of "space" stories.

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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Dang. I knew this story was slated for release yesterday, but the B&N near my work closed its doors recently, and the one near my house is inconvenient to get to in rush hour traffic. I’m pleased that the BBC is apparently going to go ahead and animate the missing episodes of serials, but it seems ironic to me that in this, the 50th anniversary year of Doctor Who, the DVD releases have slowed to a virtual standstill. I’m glad I can look forward to new releases featuring William Hartnell’s Doctor (hands down one of my favorites), but when are we going to see “The Tenth Planet”?

I’ll try to make it to B&N soon (perhaps over the weekend), but in the meantime, here are some comments I made about the audio version of this story (lumped in with “The Lost TV Episodes: Volume 1: 1964-1965”) a couple of years ago.

Jeff of Earth-J said:

Like Marco Polo, The Reign of Terror is another missing story that is not so very missing in comparison with some others. Although wholly unfamiliar to me, only episodes four and five of this six-parter are missing, and if the BBC could animate two episodes to complete The Invasion, I don’t see why they couldn’t animate two episodes to complete The Reign of Terror at some point in the future. In the meantime, though, the audio recording must suffice.

The Reign of Terror, Episode 1: “A Land of Fear”

As the episode begins, Barbara and Ian are saying their goodbyes to Susan and the Doctor. They think they’ve returned to 20th century England but it’s a good thing Ian and Barbara insist upon verifying the time and place before the TARDIS leaves because they have actually arrived in 18th century France! They soon run afoul of the revolutionary government and become separated.

Cliffhanger: As Ian, Barbara and Susan are being taken to Paris for a date with “Madame Guillotine,” the Doctor finds himself trapped in a burning building!

Jeff of Earth-J said:

I finished listening to “Reign of Terror” over the weekend. According to the liner notes, “Stanley Myers’ specially commissioned background music for the serial, which used harpsichord, flute, horn and percussion, aimed to reflect the mix of drama and humor in [Dennis] Spooner’s scripts. It also contained references to La Marseillaise, the French national anthem.” The soundtrack music helps immensely to convey the atmosphere of the scenes minus the visual aspect.

While on another thread I’m keeping strict track of the passage of days on Dark Shadows, I should mention that “Reign of Terror” covers four days: specifically, July 24-27, 1794. Furthermore, episode three was recorded exactly 170 years later… to the day.

My episode guide tells me that the TARDIS materialized on screen for the second time ever in this story… silently. It wasn’t until a few episodes later the now-familiar “wheezing” was added. Maybe the Doctor has been running it all these years with the brake on! “Reign of Terror” marks the end of Doctor Who’s first season. Following the transmission of the final chapter of this serial, the show went off-air for a seven week break, returning with “Planet of Giants” which is sadly not yet available on DVD. It would make an interesting comparison/comtrast with Irwin Allen’s Land of the Giants, I think.

A coincidence!  Only last week, I got out the Audio discs of Hartnell's 'Lost Episodes' from the library.  Marco Polo and this one are first in the list.  I don't know when I'll get around to listening to them.  I've loaded them onto my android for the fine day when I can give them the few hours of attention they'll need.

 

Yeah, something's happened to how these things are consumed, when you compare the depth and seriousness of the early 'historicals' with things like the inane, inconseqential pratfalls of the godlike Doctor in Nazi Germany during "Let's Kill Hitler".  I think a continuance of this topic would involve the use of the terms 'awesome" and "bad-ass".

 

.... but not in a good way.

 

...I want to ask a question about the early Who audios , based upon my 20th-Century experience of being a " limbo years " fan , as I have posted about before .

  I remember reading of a planned audio , back when the audios were exclusively?? of missing episodes and only came out on audiocassette??...of a planned The Tomb Of The Cybermen audio , with Jon Pertwee narrating it , that was called off when the episode was found . ( Pertwee was still alive then . )

  Was it ever issued ???????????

Strange but true.  I have, of course, never seen the story.  But years back, I did read the novelisation.

It's that way with a number of the early ones, the ones that DIDN'T make it into syndication or PBS in the 80's.

Jeff of Earth-J said:


I’m glad I can look forward to new releases featuring William Hartnell’s Doctor (hands down one of my favorites), but when are we going to see “The Tenth Planet”?

 

Soon.

I had a difficult time following the audio only version of this. There are lots of characters (both major and minor), and lots of wordless sequences. Yes, there is linking narration, but it wasn’t written for radio and therefore difficult to follow. I enjoyed seeing it much more than merely listening to it. I am quite impressed with the animation of episodes 4 & 5, especially how they synched up the wordless sequences with the sound effects on the soundtrack. (The animation quite overshadowed the sound quality, as a matter of opinion.) the animation style reminds me a little bit of The Walking Dead comic book. Anyway, I’m pleased to be able to look forward to perhaps as many as eleven more First Doctor adventures on DVD!

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