Friday, 22 April 2016

The Crusade

Season 2, Story 6/9, Serial P: 4 x 25 minute episodes, 27th March to 17th April 1965
Writer: David Whittaker, Director: Douglas Camfield, Producer: Verity Lambert

Simon Threadgold@dimwittedly Can't tweet along today, but had to pop me head round the door and say I freakin' love this story.

'tis a good 'un! Such a shame they didn't animate the missing episodes for this.

50dw50@50dw50  it is, we could have had a complete series 2 if they had.

Episode One - The Lion

50dw50@50dw50 I remember feeling oddly underwhelmed when they found The Lion; I liked the VHS where Ian filled in the gaps in Ian Levine's impossibly posh dining room!

In a wood near Jaffa, in the 12th century, two sword-wielding English crusaders patrol the edges of their encampment.

As they pass by, two Saracens come out of hiding and stalk after them.

Not far behind them, the TARDIS materializes.

50dw50@50dw50 splitting up on arrival, that always goes well for them!

The crusaders return to their camp, where King Richard, the Lionheart, is taking a breather. "We are the only day and night for you, hunter," says the King, as his falcon is hooded. 
50dw50@50dw50 That splinter of Scaroth did rather well for himself!

Knight William de Tornebu works to repair the golden clasp of an ornate belt belonging to the King.

The King dismisses the concerns of another William, des Preux, calling him "William the wary"...
50dw50@50dw50 all those beards are very fashionable again

...but they're soon attacked by the lurking Saracens.

As Ian and Barbara goes to explore, Ian runs straight into trouble...

...while Barbara is kidnapped!

The Doctor 
is handy in a fight and the attacker is soon subdued...

As Ian relates Barbara's capture, the Doctor here's the sound of the nearby skirmish... the King's party takes heavy casualties from nearby archers.

Realizing that the unconscious King is safely concealed in the undergrowth, des Preaux gives himself up and shams the Saracens that he is the King, their "Malek Ric".

El Akir, the leader of the raiding party, gives oders for his men to finish off any remaining members of the King's party...

...which is bad news for Ian.

Once again the scrapping doctor comes to his aid... does the wounded de Tornebu, who, before slipping into unconsciousness, expertly flings his sword into the chest of the last raider.

The Doctor deduces their time and location from the belt that de Tornebu clutches.

With the Saracens departed, a disorientated Richard regains consciousness.
50dw50@50dw50 it that villain from the Bond movie.

The Doctor hands Ian the King's broken belt and leave Ian to use branches to make a stretcher for de Tornebu while he and Vicki head off into the nearby city.
50dw50@50dw50  Ian Chesterton and the polo neck of doom!

Barbara awakes to find herself imprisoned with the captured des Preaux.

Des Preux intends to continue his pretense and co-opts Barbara into passing for the King's sister, Joanna, pointing out that she may be safer if the Saracens believe she's a prisoner of value.

50dw50@50dw50 I'm sure their captors will enjoy the joke at their expense! I always think Barbara is rather foolhardy throwing herself so enthusiastically into the deception.

Saladin has commanded that all prisoners be treated with compassion, which El Akir is obviously totally cool with.

The Doctor & Vicki have made it to the local market, where he's mistaken for a trader from Venice by local trader Ben Daheer.

As the Doctor goes into the shop, Vicki sneaks up and positions herself by the door.

The Doctor overhears as Ben Daheer pays for stolen goods... he decides the merchandise is fair game.

He rigs the stall to collapse...

...and in the confusion Vicki nabs them some contemporary togs.
50dw50@50dw50 selfish old Dr Who having a laugh while Babs is in peril!
El Akir proudly boasts to Saphadin, brother of their ruler, Saladin, that he has Richard and Joanna held prisoner, knowing that Saphadin desires Joanna above all else. 

Saladin remains behind a curtain, allowing El Akir only the sound of his voice.
50dw50@50dw50  blacked up actors, just listening to the audio soundtrack helps the audience avoid that awkward little fact.

But when El Akir wheels in his prisoners, he's soon embarassed, and Saphadin enraged.

Saladin intervenes to break up the ruckus.

El Akir tries to gloss over his mistake by suggesting that Barbara be made to walk over hot coals for their entertainment in retribution for the deception.

Saladin dryly puts this to Barbara, who politely but firmly declines.

Saphadin is angered, but Saladin salutes Des Preaux's chivalry in protecting Barbara. Saladin commands that Des Preaux is to be treated like a brother. "Let him have all liberty except liberty itself."
50dw50@50dw50  great line, i often use it at work, nobody gets it.

When Barbara tells Saladin of her recent adventures in Rome, on a world ruled by insects and in the far, far future...

...he reaches the conclusion that she's from a troop of travelling entertainers. Well, you're sort of right, I suppose.

At Chez Ricky, where the ill-tempered King receives stitches to the nasty gash in his forehead...

...the Doctor, Ian and Vicki have managed to get de Tornebu medical assistance.

The King is grateful to the TARDIS crew for rescuing de Tornebu and returning his knackered belt, but his foul mood means he's far from the perfect host.

Despite the Doctor's warning that it's obviously not the right moment, Ian doesn't want to wait before seeking the King's help to negotiate for Barbara's return.

The Doctor was right. Hacked off that not only is Saladin resorting to hostage taking but also that his brother John "thirsts after power, drinking great draughts of it though it's not his to take," (and is even willing to trade with Richard's enemy, Philip of France!)...

...Richard angrily refuses to make any contact whatsoever with Saladin. "This woman can rot in one of Saladin's prisons until her hair turns white before I'll trade with the man that killed my friends!"
50dw50@50dw50  when do we get the monsters? I hope the Voord return!

Episode Two: The Knight Of Jaffa

De Tornebu has recovered somewhat and suggests to the King that he can turn the situation to his advantage.

Vicki takes the point and runs with it: Saladin will be made to look foolish if it becomes known he'd thought Des Preaux was the King and it took a whole troop of men to capture one knight.

Richard comes round to the idea. A bit. "There is a jest here, albeit a grim one with our friends dead."

The Doctor joins in - telling Richard the icing on the cake would be to give it some swagger and offer 100 captured Saracens in return for Des Preaux, sticking it to Saladin that his men are worth so little. Becalmed, Richard decides the travellers will be welcome at court after all.
50dw50@50dw50  the Kings contradictory behaviour is one of the best aspects of the story, stops it being predictable.

When the King's sister, Joanna, arrives, the Doctor passes Vicki off as "Vicki" thinking she'll have a better time of it at court if the courtiers think she's a fella.
50dw50@50dw50  I tend to overlook Hartnell sometimes because of the fluffs, but he is marvellous in this. And Jean Marsh really is great, no wonder they invited her back.

WhoBrannigan@WhoBrannigan Twice!

Joanna has received a magnificent jewel from Saphadin, but doesn't know why.

Richard sees Saphadin's designs on his sister as something else he may be able to turn to his advantage.

At Saladin's palace, a Genoese merchant, Luigi Ferrigo is angling for an audience with Saladin, and El Akir spots an opportunity to get his own back on Barbara.

El Akir has Ferrigo aid Barbara's escape, as far as the stables, where the vengeful Emir snatches her and sets off for his home in Lydda.

Richard dictates a letter to Saladin offering his sister in marriage to Saphadin, whilst busy stuffing his face.

Richard takes the Doctor & co. into his confidence re: this plan to send a kinght to Saladin to offer Joanna's hand in marriage to Saphadin...

...and will let Ian be the one to deliver his message, giving him the opportunity to rescue Barbara.

But in order for Ian to represent the King he needs a suitable title - and is knighted!
50dw50@50dw50  Sir Ian of Test Tube.

Granted an audience with Saladin, Ferrigo tries to claim that Barbara escaped but he isn't believed for a minute.

When Ferrigo admits to helping El Akir kidnap Barbara, he is arrested, and when he tries to escape he's shot with an arrow and killed.

When Richard's Chamberlain, backed by Ben Daheer, tries to have the Doctor & Vicki arrested for stealing their clothes the Doctor spots the man who sold the clothes to Daheer in the first place and susses that flogging nicked clothes to Daheer is a racket of the Chamberlain's.

Barbara is able to wriggle free of her captors and goes on the run...
50dw50@50dw50  she has had a lot of escape practice by now.

Ian soon arrives at Saladin's palace, where Des Preux breaks the news that Barbara's missing.

Barbara, meanwhile, intent on escaping El Akir's clutches, flees through the streets of Lydda when a hand clamps over her mouth...

Episode Three: The Wheel of Fortune
50dw50@50dw50  unleash the game show jokes!

The mystery man is Haroun ed-Din. 
He is sympathetic because El Akir killed his wife and son, and kidnapped his daughter.
50dw50@50dw50  they are holding back the monsters for to long now

In line for upgraded togs, the Doctor's amused when Daheer promises to transform "Victor" into a "veritable strutting peacock"!
50dw50@50dw50  good trick if you can do it.

Joanna digs for details of Richard's plans for her but the Doctor prevaricates.

She decides to trust him anyway. "There's something new in you, yet something older than the sky itself."

Having rumbled that Victor is Victoria, Joanna confuses the Chamberlain by ordering up some fine silk dresses.

"A girl? Dressed as a boy? Is nothing understandable these days?" 

There's a lovely moment here where the Doctor reassures an anxious Vicki.

"You wouldn't go off and leave me, would you? I mean, your ship's the only home I've got now and I couldn't bear it if..." 

But the Doctor only meant to say that being under Joanna's wing may protect Vicki from some dangerous court intrigue...

Haroun explains to Barbara that he's sworn to kill El Akir for murdering his wife and son, and enslaving his elder daughter, Maimuna.

He then leaves Barbara with instructions that if El Akir's men comes...

...she's to kill his younger daughter - and herself - rather than be captured. Grim stuff.
50dw50@50dw50  fun tea time entertainment for the kiddies! 

Haroun doesn't get very far before he is knocked out by El Akir's patrolling men, who then head towards the house where Barbara and Safiya are waiting.

The Doctor tries to suggest to Richard that Joanna may not be completely on board with his plan...

Richard announces his plans to his assembled nobles, including the rather blood-thirsty Earl of Leicester. 

50dw50@50dw50  good, as it leads to one of the best scenes in the whole series

The Doctor clashes with the Earl of Leicester, calling him a "stupid butcher" and throws in "you haven't any brain at all!" for good measure.
50dw50@50dw50  Dr Who is such a loss to the diplomatic service

Richard intervenes to stop the Doctor & Leicester scrapping. The king's mind is made up, but the earl becomes suspicious of the Doctor.
50dw50@50dw50  at least Leicester can console himself with the fact his football team is doing rather well.

Saladin will agree to the marriage of his brother & Joanna, but is prepared for deception rather than a reception.
50dw50@50dw50  Saladin is the only honest character in this, very unusual for a 60's show to respect the non-UK character.

Barbara & Safiya hide as two of El Akir's men search Haroun's house...
50dw50@50dw50  and pinch the bread the fiends!

As the soldiers prepare to burn the house down, Barbara reveals herself so that Safiya can remain hidden.

Ian has a kip on the journey to Saladin, and is robbed while he sleeps...

...but the thief goes too far and Ian awakes. 

The two fight, but Ian is knocked out.

Joanna is pleased with Vicki's new outfit, but she's still keen to put the Doctor on the spot as to Richard's plans for her.

Richard's attempt to justify his plans ("Joanna, please consider. The war is full of weary, wounded men. This marriage wants a little thought by you, that's all, then you'll see the right of it...") shredded by the furious Joanna: "I am no sack of flour to be given in exchange!  
And how would you have me go to Saphadin? Bathed in oriental perfume, I suppose? Suppliant, tender and affectionate? Soft-eyed and trembling, eager with a thousand words of compliment and love? Well, I like a different way to meet the man I am to wed! I do not want! I will not have it!"
50dw50@50dw50  amazing scene, the highlight of the story.

Richard believes the Doctor gave his plan away and orders him out of the palace.

Barbara is once again at El Akir's mercy.

"The only pleasure left for you is death. And death is very far away!"

Episode Four: The Warlords

El Akir offers his guards gold to do whatever they like to Barbara.

50dw50@50dw50  good luck to the parents explaining that one to the kids that night.

Barbara knocks the gold on the floor and whilst the guards scramble to pick it up she makes her escape.

El Akir and the guards follow her and are met by only El Akir's harem, who tell him they haven't seen Barbara. 

El Akir offers a ruby ring to the woman who will betray Barbara but they all hate him and Barbara is kept safe. The ringleader is none other than Haroun's elder daughter, Maimuna.

Barbara is pleased to let her know that her father and sister are safe and well.

Ian has been tied up by the bandit, Ibrahim, who thinks Ian has money hidden nearby.

Ibrahim's plan is to force Ian to talk with a smear of honey to attract biting ants. As you do.
50dw50@50dw50  that would liven up the truth tests on Jeremy Kyle.

Back in Richard's fortress, Leicester accuses the Doctor and Vicki of treason for their deceit towards Richard, but the King packs him off to ready the troops...

...then tells the Doctor and Vicki that he knows it was Leicester that squealed to Joanna but the Earl has too much support with the troops for him to ditch him.

The Doctor decides they've outstayed their welcome and he & Vicki prepare to return to the TARDIS to wait for Ian & Barbara.

The Doctor promises Richard he will see Jerusalem one day, but confides to Vicki that the King's 
plans will ultimately end in defeat. 

Maimuna nearly took her own life to escape El Akir. 

Leicester makes plans to pursue the Doctor & Vicki, "Some devil in a human form, the girl a witch."

Ian tricks his captor and once he's free, he subdues him. But his horse is gone.

The bandit's suddenly sympathetic when he learns Ian plans to kill El Akir & agrees to steal horses from the stables.

Unbeknownst to Barbara and the rest of the harem one of their number has betrayed them to El Akir, who takes them by surprise in order to discover Barbara.
50dw50@50dw50  it has not been Bab's most light hearted adventure on the whole

Just as it looks like El Akir is going to kill Barbara, Haroun enters and kills him, followed by Ian, who helps the women escape.

Ian pays Ibrahim with El Akir's money and leaves with Barbara.

Leicester & his men are between the Doctor & the TARDIS. Captured, the Doctor is declared a spy and sentenced to death!

50dw50@50dw50  the legal system seems a tad random

Ian returns in the nick of time & promises Leicester he'll deal with the Doctor.

Too late, Leicester realizes he's been had. The TARDIS is away...

But as their next adventure is about to begin, the friends are suddenly frozen...

Their next adventure will take them to a Space Museum...

Coming Soon... Remembrance of the Daleks

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