September 18, 2014

Doctor Who: The Crusade

"The Crusade" is one of the Doctor Who serials that is missing episodes because of the BBC purge of their archives. Episodes one and three exist. Episodes two and four are lost. I watched reconstructions of the two missing episodes. These included still photos on screen, with the audio from the show as well as narration if there was important action not covered by the photos.

This is an enjoyable serial. The Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki arrive outside the town of Jaffa during the Crusades. Saracens kidnap Barbara, and the others befriend Richard the Lionheart, the king of England.

Ian wants to go get Barbara immediately. (Of course he does! Again, I'm on record as thinking that Ian and Barbara have a thing for each other.) The TARDIS crew ask Richard for help, and one of his knights helps convince him to send Ian to the sultan's camp. King Richard knights Ian, and off he goes. Meanwhile, El Akir, the obvious baddie among the Saracens, is doing some serious plotting. He doesn't like Barbara at all. The Doctor and Vicki hang out with the king and his sister, Princess Joanna. Joanna finds out that Vicki is really a woman and stops her from continuing to pretend to be a boy.

The Doctor and Vicki always have a good time together. He's much nicer to Vicki than he was to Susan. I'm not sure if that's his character evolving or if it's a deliberate choice. Vicki is sweet and smart and not afraid of her own shadow, but the Doctor also continues to be nicer to everyone in general.

Back to the story...More plotting. The king wants to marry his sister to the sultan's brother and forge a peace. She's having none of that. There is intrigue upon intrigue.


Eventually, Ian finds Barbara and everyone makes their way back to the TARDIS. There's a funny bit at the end. The knights see the TARDIS leave, and they think that "Sir Ian" has been whisked off by fiends- poor Sir Ian! Heh.

When I looked at the episode list, I realized that I'm almost to the end of the Barbara and Ian era. I hate to see them go!


Doctor: First
Companions: Ian, Barbara, Vicki
Episode: #14, "The Crusade," four parts- 'The Lion,' 'The Knight of Jaffa,' 'The Wheel of Fortune,' 'The Warlords'
Adversary: El Akir, the Saracens
Classic Lines: the Doctor: "I almost wish I'd been knighted, too." Vicki, in reply: "That'll be the day!"; Princess Joanna, to the Doctor: "There's something new in you, yet something older than the sky itself."
Tuck This Away to Impress Your Friends: Julian Glover, who plays the part of Richard the Lionheart, later plays the character Scaroth in the 4th Doctor story "City of Death."
Next Up: "The Space Museum"

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