Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Massacre

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 #167)

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

The Massacre

The regular cast picks up from the end of the last serial, with just William Hartnell as the Doctor and Peter Purves as Steven Taylor. In the last few minutes of the last episode, Jackie Lane is introduced as Dodo Chaplet.

The serial is written by John Lucarotti, with rewrites by Donald Tosh (although only credited as such in Episode 4). Directed by Paddy Russell.

The story is sometimes as known as The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve. Individual episodes are called The War of God, The Sea Beggar, Priest of Death and Bell of Doom.

Say Something Nice…

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

The Massacre is one of the most missing of all the missing stories. But from what I gather, it seems quite a harsh historical story, which history moving inexorably forward toward a doomed fate for many of the characters. The ending, where Steven angrily leaves the TARDIS and the Doctor (albeit briefly) because he can’t understand his attitude toward people and history–and is particularly upset the fate of Anne Chaplet–sounds powerful and it’s a real shame that it’s lost. It also featured William Hartnell in a double role which is bound to have been interesting.

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)

Though the ending sounds interesting, but before that the Doctor’s role in the story doesn’t seem to amount to much. Also, Steven’s turnaround at the end–because of the one-in-a-million encounter with Dodo Chaplet, in which he surmises that he must be Anne’s descendant even though the should not logically have the same last name–is quite contrived.

And, reading the summary of the story gives the impression that it is filled with a lot of historical exposition.

Catch you next time!

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