Monday, 16 March 2015

The Aztecs


It's only a model! The TARDIS leaves Marinus... 
...and arrives in a tomb! 


Out of the frying pan... 
Quick little lesson from Barbara with her history teacher hat on. 
Steve Powner@StevePowner Barbara and her info bombs!


Susan finds some Aztec comics. 

We're straight in to mystery and action now; Barbara's been spotted! 

That bracelet she's tried on for size catches the high priest's eye, though... 

And here's the Doctor and Ian! The original cast are like a well oiled machine by now. 

"The Aztecs, they knew how to build!" says the Doctor. 
Cut off from the TARDIS - Hartnell era 101 that. 

Tlotoxl's the local butcher. Doesn't look much like Fred Elliot. Bit seedier than Corporal Jones but equally they don't like it up 'em, Aztec sacrifices. 

John Ringham's Tlotoxl is so heavily based on Larry's Richard III it's untrue. 

Barbara's got her feet under the table quickly there. 

"But the High Priest was a man, how can you [Barbara] be his reincarnation?" "The form the spirit takes isn't important."  An early argument for a female Doctor? 

Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin For once it's Ian who gets a name wrong and the Doctor who corrects him!  
Ian is Barbara's chosen servant. That's one way of putting it, anyway.  

Tlotoxl starts to set up the 'servants of Yetaxa'; Ian is sent to army bootcamp to fight Ixta... 

...while the Doctor is retired to the old folks' home to shuffle round the garden. 

Ruddy cheek! In Time Lord terms he's a mere slip of a lad!

Hartnell's checking out the local retirement home and eyeing up the local talent. 


He makes a bee line for Cameca & starts chatting her up. Oh yeah, Hartnell's sooo different from Matt Smith ;-P 
Mark Walker@Mark_Walker I see Matt Smith as being more bothered about the human sacrifice though.

That's a fair point. Although he's changed his tune on the "You can't rewrite history!" front over 50 years. He's far more 'prime directive' about history at this stage in his life. 

The Doctor is on to something here; Cameca can put him on to the son of the tomb's designer 

Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin It's kind of a shame this story isn't in colour cos I think the sets and costume would look even better. 

Which reminds me; RIP this serial's very talented designer Barry Newbery. 

The Doctor reads Barbara the riot act about her intentions to force the Aztecs to give up their devotion to sacrifice so that all the good things of their civilization survive the coming of Cortes. 

Love it when bits of Hartnell's native accent slip through. "What're you talkin' about?"

Tlotoxl chooses a convenient time for his PR announcement that he's discovered some missing rain. Rings a bell. 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H ...and we all know that you can't trust a weatherman... 


Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin I love that The Doctor comforts Susan during the sacrifice, he doesn't want her to get upset. True Grandfatherly love there! 


Barbara stops the sacrifice... 

...so he jumps off the edge of the temple, to his death.  

Cue the rain... 

This Tlotoxl's trouble. 

The Doctor gives Barbara a rocket about sending Susan to the "safety" of a local nunnery, but soon softens. The hills are alive with the sound of human sacrifice! 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H How do you solve a problem like Totoxl? 

Tlotoxl plans to use Ixta's ambition against Ian. 

Did Ian just use the Vulcan nerve pinch on Ixta? Blimey, he kept that ability quiet. 

Interesting the way the Doctor describes himself to Cameca: "I'm a scientist and engineer; a builder of things..." 

"Your heart is young," she says in return. 

Lovely music for this one. 

Ixta's still pissed off that Ian used the vulcan nerve pinch on him. 

Susan's on film! Defying Aztec law no less. 

Oh dear, the Doctor's unwittingly shown Ixta how to drug Ian and beat him in their upcoming fight (live on Sky Sports). 

Barbara's relationship with Autloc is one of the unspoken strengths of this serial. He's honourable, she's respectful.  


MAW Holmes@MAW_H This is the story that convinces me of the basic heroism of Ian. A few weeks earlier he was just teaching science, you know! 

Nearly getting exterminated in a scooped out Dalek not enough for you? Sheesh. ;-P

He's definitely come a long way, it shows that getting stuck in like this is now his default setting as opposed to bunsens & litmus! 

Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin The fight scene between Ian and Ixta is great it has the right amount of tension and the music helps to enhance the scene. 

Uh oh, Ian's been scratched. 

Barbara has to stick her neck out to save Ian. Tlotoxl has the upper hand. 

"The Bride of Sacrifice". That's "Susan" to you and me. 

Ixta's a ruddy liar. His dad never made any drawings of the tomb's design. How are they going to get back to the TARDIS now? 

"What an excellent idea! A currency you can drink!"
"That'll be two vodkas, please!"
"Have you got change for a Glenfiddich?" 

Mind you, he's bargaining to save a couple of Teachers...

Barbara's not thick; she's rumbled Tlotoxl's plan to poison her. Maybe she shouldn't have confessed, though. 


Hartnell's face when told he's just accidentally proposed to Cameca is worth the price of admission on its own. 

atruedrwhofan@atruedrwhofan moments like that show just how good Hartnell was at comedy, and you could never get that on just an audio soundtrack.

Yes, the Myth Makers must be really lacking on that front, I think. 

Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin Should also mention how amazing Barbara is in this story from start to finish this is her story. 
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Babs is always utterly fantastic, but yes, you're absolutely right! 
Daniel@Yetaxa_95 Barbara's on fire in this story. It's here where she became my favourite companion. Great character & a phenomenal actress. 
 atruedrwhofan@atruedrwhofan God bless Jackie Hill. This story was her best, and her rant to the Doctor in edge of destruction is so well done
ivan richards@ivanrichards69 She was great in Meglos, too.

Simon Luckin@SimonLuckin She was so brilliant in The Crusade as well. I can't imagine anyone else taking her part. 

I love how dismissive the Doctor is when Ian tells him 'congratulations', the pair of them winding each other up. 

Are these Aztecs or Vulcans. Even Susan looks a bit Vulcan on film. 

Aha! There's a secret passage into the tomb! 
But Ian's caught out when Ixta seals him in... 

...and it starts to fill with water!
MAW Holmes@MAW_H So brave...! At times like this, I realise that I'd have made a rubbish companion... 

I think I could get myself IN to plenty of these situations, but getting OUT on the other hand... :-D 

Ian's made it and got back to the others! It seems they can escape now; all they need to do is rescue Susan. 

"Ian is dead!" says Ixta, as Ian sneaks up behind him. 
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "He's standing right behind me, isn't he...?" 

The Doctor's persuaded Barbara that history can't be rewritten; so he plans to invent the wheel for them. Oops. 

Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin Is this the first story to state the rule of not changing history? 
I think so. Don't recall it ever really coming up in Marco Polo, other than Barbara telling Marco he does make it home.

If they don't get a shift on, Ian really will have to fight Ixta to the death. 

"How do you know he was hit from behind?" 

Yeah, Ixta, how? 
Before they go, the Doctor has to let Cameca down gently. 
"You're a very fine woman, Cameca, and you'll always be very, very dear to me." The Doctor says that to all the girls. 

Her and Autloc would make a good couple, I think. 

Autloc's a good egg. Before going off into the wilderness, he helps Cameca free Susan. 

Daniel@Yetaxa_95 Looks like Cameca will have some explaining to do...Poor old Autloc. He supported Barbara and has now gone into self-exile. So all Barbara's really achieved is that :-(


Ian hasn't got out of his fight with Ixta after all, and is forced to fight him to the death. 


Mark Walker@Mark_Walker Got to love a fight scene where they look like they really don't want to hurt each other! 

Ixta can fly! Oh, no, he can't. Bye Ixta. 

And as the eclipse comes, Tlotoxl makes his sacrifice. 

The TARDIS crew live to adventure another day and they "win" by escaping, but Barbara failed and Tlotoxl "won" control of The Aztecs

Some lovely whistful glances there from Hartnell, that pained struggle as he tries to leave behind the gem Cameca gave him, but can't. 

We fade to black, but then there's a teaser for the next adventure - The Sensorites
Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin Sydney Newman was probably proud of this story as it "gets the kids hooked on real history!"
I love all of Lucarotti's 60s Whos.
Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin Are we gonna count 'The Massacre' as his?
Probably shouldn't considering how much it was rewritten, but that's a gem and a half that one. Though his novelisation is pretty great.
Isaac Dakin@IWhittakerDakin  Haven't read that but I may give it a read if i buy a copy.
James Cooray Smith@thejimsmithThe novelisation gives you a good idea what was his.
TTFN! K.
Coming Soon... The Moonbase

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