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Doctor Who story number 14
This is a flat out historical story, once again dropping the main characters into the rough locale of a historical event and seeing what happens. Given that the series had to have some form of educational content (no, really) the writers are more attempting to get kids interested rather than give a completely accurate account. Given the setting, Whitaker shows us good and bad people on both sides of the war rather than a one-sided view of the Crusaders and the Muslim people.
This story is also missing two episodes, numbers two and four. The first was recently found in New Zealand and the BBC made a video, getting William Russel to do linking narration for the story, which I have been told he does in character as an elderly Ian Chesterton recalling one of hs adventures, so it's probably worth watching.
Some of the script is apparently in iambic pentameter, though I can't tell for certain. If anyone wants to read the script, it is online and is worth reading:
This story has 4 episodes with individual titles:
- The Lion
- The Knight of Jaffa
- The Wheel of Fortune
- The War-Lords
The story opens near Jaffa in the year 1191. We see Richard I in a wood, hunting with some companions and being stalked by a group of soldiers led by the villainous El Akir. They are attacked, and the TARDIS crew walk into the fight. Ian and the Doctor save the king, while William des Preaux pretends to be Richard, and is captured. Barbara is also taken, and the travellers help the wounded de Tornebu back to Jaffa.
El Akir seeks to gain favour with Saladin by presenting him his prisoners. Des Preaux has told Barbara to pretend to be Richard's sister Joanna, and when Akir finds out he is pleased, as Saladins brother, Saphadin, has a thing for her. Needless to say Saphadin also knows what the real Joanna looks like, and so Akir is shamed in front of the court. Saladin wishes for the prisoners to be treated well, but Akir kidnaps Barbara, taking her to his stronghold in Lydda.
In the meantime, Ian has begged Richard to let him try to rescue Barbara. The Doctor manages to convince the king that he is not going to look bad begging for the return of a knight and a woman, and so Ian is to be sent out. Richard is also scheming to marry his sister to Saphadin in exchange for peace, but shedoes not know this. Before Ian sets out he is knighted, so as to better represent the king. When he visits Saladin and secures the release of des Preaux Saladin permits him passage into his lands to pursue El Akir.
While Ian is gone the Doctor is drawn into court intrigue, much to his dismay, as he is all too aware of the dangers in this time. Vicki is posing as a pageboy so as to keep her safe, but the kings sister discovers she is a girl and takes her under her wing, which means the travellers are somewhat in her debt. when the Doctor finds out the kings plans he does not tell Joanna, but the Earl of Leicester does - The Earl is angry with the Doctor, who decries his desire for war in front of the king.
In the meantime Barbara has escaped from El Akir, only to be recaptured. She has learnt that he takes whoever and whatever he wants from the people of Lydda, including women. Ian is captured by a bandit, but gets the upper hand and makes the robber take him to Lydda. There they meet Barbara, and El Akir is killed by the father of one women he has taken to his seraglio.
Back in Jaffa the Doctor and Vicki are fleeing to the TARDIS, as Leicester is keen to kill them and Richard will not do anything about it. His plan has failed - Joanna will appeal to the Pope if he goes ahead with the arranged marriage, which means there will be a war, for which he needs Leicester and his men. He allows the Doctor and Vicki to leave, and they head to the ship. Ian and Barbara return in the same night, and head there as well. Leicester captures the Doctor, and Ian finds them. To save the Doctor he claims the right to kill him, and leads him off.
Leicester pursues Ian and the Doctor to the TARDIS, only to see it vanish before his eyes. He and his men agree to not mention a word of this, lest they be named fools or liars. Cut to the TARDIS control room, where all the lights go out, leading in to the next adventure....
John Flint - William des Preaux
Walter Randall - El Akir
Julian Glover - Richard the Lionheart
David Anderson - Reynier de Marun
Bruce Wightman - William de Tornebu
Reg Pritchard - Ben Daheer
Tony Caunter - Thatcher
Roger Avon - Saphaddin
Bernard Kay - Saladin
Jean Marsh - Joanna
Robert Lankesheer - Chamberlain
Zohra Segal - Sheyrah
Gabor Baraker - Luigi Ferrigo
George Little - Haroun
Petra Markham - Safiya
John Bay - Earl of Leicester
Sandra Hampton - Maimuna
Viviane Sorrel - Fatima
Diane McKenzie - Hafsa
Tutte Lemkow - Ibrahim
Billy Cornelius - Soldier
Derek Ware, Valentino Musetti, Anthony Colby - Saracen Warriors
Chris Konyils, Raymond Novak - Saracen Guards
- Julian Glover makes a repeat appearance much later, playing an obligatory bug-eyed monster. Here he is apparently the first guest star, which becomes something of a policy as the series progresses.
- Apparently Whitaker's original script implied that Richard and Joanna were getting it on, and this was supposedly toned down at the request of William Hartnell.
You're a man for talk, I can see that. You like a table and a ring of men. A parley here, arrangements there, but when you men of eloquence have stunned each other with your words, we, we the soldiers have to face it out. - Leicester, to the Doctor