Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Myth Makers

In an effort to find something quick that can be written as part of Daily Doctor Who, we are continuing with Say Something Nice, where I look back at each of the Doctor Who stories and pull out one or two cool things about it.

(Daily Doctor Who #142)

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the third season’s opening third story…

The Myth Makers

The regular cast returns for this serial, including William Hartnell as the Doctor, Maureen O’Brien as Vicki, and Peter Purves as Steven Taylor. The last episode of the story introduced Adrienne Hill who joins the Doctor’s travels as Katarina, a servant girl. The serial is written by Donald Cotton and directed by Michael Leeston-Smith. It’s the first story for which John Wiles is credited as the show’s producer.

Individual episodes are called Temple of Secrets (first part), Small Prophet, Quick Return (second part), Death of a Spy (third part) and Horse of Destruction (final part).

Say Something Nice…

(Named for Missy–aka the Master–and her catchphrase from her first full appearance in Dark Water).

This serial is long-missing, and thus I’ve never seen it. A summary of the story reveals some amusing plotting in which the Doctor and Vicki find themselves connected to powers on the opposite side of the Trojan War, each with one day to help ensure a victory to help prevent their own deaths. As with most Doctor Who historicals, the story has a nicely non-romantic view of its characters, showing everyone as flawed and imperfect.

But because we’re equal-opportunity fans here, we’re not going to only be sycophantically complimentary.

You craven-hearted spineless poltroon!

(Another cry from the Master, but not exactly a catch-phrase, this time from The Deadly Assassin)

Vicki’s departure is strangely depicted–the story simply skips over the scene where she tells the Doctor actually says goodbye to the Doctor, and never allows her to say goodbye to Steven. She is replaced by Katarina, a character the story wrote into a corner immediately by having her convinced that the Doctor was a god, and who never recovered from that positioning.

Also, I read the novelization of The Myth Makers many years ago, excited to be able to immerse myself into the story, but Donald Cotton chose to tell the tale from the point of view of a character not involved in many of the tale’s events, leaving me feeling largely disconnected from the tale.

Catch you next time!

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