Doctor Who – Say Something Nice: The Space Pirates

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.

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the sixth story of the show’s sixth season…

The Space Pirates

The story stars Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, Frazer Hines as Jamie McCrimmon, and Wendy Padbury as Zoe Herriot.

The serial is written by Robert Holmes, and directed by Michael Hart.

Say Something Nice…

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

The Space Pirates has got a notoriously slow-and-steady pace, but this begins to work in its favor in the final episode when the Doctor must outrace an extended countdown to prevent a devastating explosion. Back in 1969, years before Star Wars, the idea of a science fiction / Western hybrid was probably pretty novel. Production stills show some pretty cool designs for the ships (no idea how they looked in movement, though). In the end, if there had to be one story from Season Six that was mostly missing, it’s better that it’s this one and not The Mind Robber or The War Games.

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)

Did I mention the notoriously slow pacing? Apparently, Troughton hated it and Padbury once couldn’t remember its existence at all. The regulars have actually got relatively small roles in the story. The one existing episode (Episode Two) makes the main guest character, Milo Clancey, look like a bit of a cartoon.

Catch you next time!

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