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24 September 2014

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The Crusade

Production Code: P

First Transmitted

The Lion - 27/03/1965 17:40

The Knight of Jaffa - 03/04/1965 17:40

The Wheel of Fortune - 10/04/1965 17:40

The Warlords - 17/04/1965 17:40


The TARDIS arrives in 12th Century Palestine where a holy war is in progress between the forces of King Richard the Lionheart and the Saracen ruler Saladin. Barbara is abducted in a Saracen ambush and the Doctor, Ian and Vicki make their way to King Richard's palace in the city of Jaffa. Ian is granted permission to ride in search of Barbara - the King knighting him Sir Ian of Jaffa to fit him for the role - while the Doctor and Vicki stay behind and try to avoid getting involved in court politics.

King Richard secretly plans to marry his sister Joanna to Saladin's brother Saphadin in order to bring the war to an end, but Joanna finds out about this and refuses. The Doctor and his young ward are forced to flee after making an enemy of the King's adviser, the Earl of Leicester.

Ian has meanwhile rescued Barbara from the clutches of the vicious Saracen emir El Akir. All four meet up in the wood where the TARDIS materialised and narrowly manage to escape the Earl of Leicester's men.

Episode Endings

King Richard refuses to help the travellers to rescue Barbara, telling them that she can rot in a Saracen prison before he will trade with Saladin.

Barbara is fleeing from El Akir's men down a dark alleyway when suddenly a hand appears from behind her and clamps across her mouth.

Barbara is brought before El Akir, who tells her that the only pleasure left for her is death - and that is very far away.

The TARDIS control room suddenly falls dark and silent. Only the console itself remains illuminated as the central column continues its steady rise and fall, the light reflecting on the faces of the now-motionless time travellers.


This is one of the more literate of Doctor Who stories, Ian quoting Shakespeare twice: 'A most poor man made tame to fortune's blows' (King Lear) and 'What judgement shall I fear, doing no wrong?' (The Merchant of Venice).

Barbara quotes Shelley's Epipsychidion ('One heaven, one hell, one immortality').

When she is held at Saladin's court and asked to provide amusement (an allusion to The Arabian Nights ), she plans to use Romeo and Juliet, Gulliver's Travels and Anderson's fairy tales.

Sir William des Preaux substituting himself for the King echoes Henry IV Part I.

Dialogue Triumphs

Joanna : [To the Doctor] "There is something new in you, yet something older than the sky itself. I sense that I can trust you."

Earl of Leicester : "I urge you, sire, abandon this pretence of peace!"

The Doctor : "Pretence, sir? Here is an opportunity to save the lives of many men... and you do nought but turn it down..."

Earl of Leicester : "Why are we here in this foreign land if not to fight? The Devil's Horde, Saracen and Turk, possess Jerusalem and we will not wrest it from them with honeyed words."

The Doctor : "With swords, I suppose?"

Earl of Leicester : "Aye, with swords and lances, or the axe!"

The Doctor : "You stupid butcher! Can you think of nothing else but killing, hm?"

Vicki : "Are we going back to the ship?"

The Doctor : "As fast as our legs can carry us, my dear."

Vicki : "Doctor? Will he really see Jerusalem?"

The Doctor : "Only from afar. He won't be able to capture it. Even now, his armies are marching on a campaign that he can never win."

Vicki : "That's terrible. Can't we tell him?"

The Doctor : "I'm afraid not, my dear. No. History must take its course." [The Doctor and Vicki depart. Richard's hands are on his crucifix, folded in prayer]

Richard the Lionheart : "Help me, Holy Sepulchre. Help me!"

Dialogue Disasters

Ian : "I need a good knight's sleep."


The Doctor assures King Richard he will see Jerusalem. He later explains to Vicki that he is unable to tell Richard the whole story as 'time must be allowed to run its course'.


Jaffa, Palestine, [October] 1191.



There are debut Doctor Who appearances by Jean Marsh (Jon Pertwee's first wife) and Julian Glover - perhaps the most distinguished actor to have taken a guest role in the series up to that point - both of whom would go on to play further parts later in the series' history.

Bandits stake out Ian in the sand and smear honey on his arm to attract hungry ants in an attempt to force him to reveal the whereabouts of his money - in this scene, production assistant Viktors Ritelis's arm doubled for William Russell's.

William Russell's only appearance in the third episode is in a brief pre-filmed fight sequence as he was on holiday during the week when it was recorded.


This story was never sold overseas as it was felt that the content might be considered offensive in some countries. (It was sold widely overseas - although not to countries in the Middle East.)

Ian climbs up a tree and over a balcony to rescue Barbara from El Akir's harem. (The harem was on the ground floor; the tree and balcony were introduced by David Whitaker in his later novelisation of the story).

The Doctor and Vicki are forced to flee from the King's court because he thinks they revealed his secret marriage plan to Joanna. (They make their peace with King, who realises that they were not the ones who gave away his secret but nevertheless advises them to leave as they have made an enemy of the powerful Earl of Leicester; the myth again derives from Whitaker's novelisation.)

Cast & Crew


The Doctor - William Hartnell

Barbara Wright - Jacqueline Hill

Ian Chesterton - William Russell

Vicki - Maureen O'Brien

Ben Daheer - Reg Pritchard

Chamberlain - Robert Lankesheer

Earl of Leicester - John Bay

El Akir - Walter Randall

Fatima - Viviane Sorr

Hafsa - Diana McKenzie

Haroun - George Little

Ibrahim - Tutte Lemkow

Joanna - Jean Marsh

Luigi Ferrigo - Gabor Baraker

Maimuna - Sandra Hampton

Man-at-arms - Billy Cornelius

Reynier de Marun - David Anderson

Richard the Lionheart - Julian Glover

Safiya - Petra Markham

Saladin - Bernard Kay

Saphadin - Roger Avon

Saracen Warrior - Derek Ware

Saracen Warrior - Valentino Musetti

Saracen Warrior - Chris Konyils

Saracen Warrior - Ramond Novak

Saracen Warrior - Anthony Colby

Sheyrah - Zohra Segal

Thatcher - Tony Caunter

Turkish Bandit - David Brewster

William des Preaux - John Flint

William de Tornebu - Bruce Wightman


Director - Douglas Camfield

Assistant Floor Manager - Michael E Briant

Costumes - Daphne Dare

Designer - Barry Newbery

Fight Arranger - Derek Ware

Film Cameraman - Peter Hamilton

Film Editor - Pam Bosworth

Incidental Music - Dudley Simpson

Make-Up - Sonia Markham

Producer - Verity Lambert

Production Assistant - Viktors Ritelis

Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson

Story Editor - Dennis Spooner

Studio Lighting - Ralph Walton

Studio Sound - Brian Hiles

Title Music - Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, arranged by Delia Derbyshire

Writer - David Whitaker

Bottom Line - from The Discontinuity Guide

'When you men of eloquence have stunned each other with your words, we the soldiers will have to face it out'. An ambitious project (some of the script is in iambic pentameter) which highlights the possibilities for historical adventure. Imaginative, with a fine cast (the appearance of Julian Glover was the first flowering of Doctor Who's guest star policy) and a very adult storyline. Despite a dose of misogyny (with torture and beatings on screen), the script manages to avoid racism, presenting Arabic culture with integrity.

Analysis - from Doctor Who, the Television Companion

David Whitaker's The Crusade - his second contribution to the season, but his first as a fully freelance writer - is another magnificent story, well up to the standard of the season one historicals. Eschewing the lighter approach of The Romans, Whitaker gives a gripping account of King Richard the Lionheart's attempts to win peace during the Third Crusade by marrying his sister Joanna to Saphadin, brother of the Saracen ruler Saladin, and of our heroes' efforts to avoid getting caught up in a web of intrigue.

'No other story has [attained] such a high level of literary achievement,' enthused Tim Munro in Star Begotten Volume 3 Number 1/2 dated winter/spring 1989. 'Whitaker's beautiful poetic dialogue had a rhythm and a style all too often absent from Doctor Who... [they] flow like a gentle stream, unjarring, finely crafted... to enhance the illusion the viewers see.'

In bringing Whitaker's 'finely crafted' story to the screen, Douglas Camfield clearly treated it very seriously. It is easy to see why he is now generally regarded as one of the finest directors ever to have worked on Doctor Who.

'The plot romped along compulsively,' commented Paul Mount in Doctor Who - An Adventure in Space and Time in 1981, 'with escapes, captures and recaptures becoming the norm, and the political intrigue and wrangling of the royal families adding just that little extra. The individual adventures of the travellers were equally enthralling...'

The third episode is perhaps the best of the entire story, featuring some highly dramatic and brilliantly acted confrontations between the various characters at the King's court in Jaffa. It is here, too, that William Hartnell gives one of his best and most intense performances as the Doctor, as if he has just realised the seriousness with which everyone else is taking the story - in the first two episodes he delivers his lines in the same rather jokey manner that he adopted in The Romans (although, to be fair, the material he is given in the scripts is itself more humorous in the early part of the story).

A particular strength of many of the early historical stories is Barry Newbery's exquisite scenic design work. The Crusade proves no exception to the rule, boasting some fine sets that go a long way towards capturing the atmosphere of 12th Century Palestine. Also of a high quality are other aspects of the production such as the incidental music, the costumes and the make-up (including the 'blacking up' of the actors playing the Saracen characters - a practice which would generally be considered unacceptable today but which was quite standard and unremarkable at the time).

Given the excellence of historical adventures such as The Crusade, it is all the more surprising - and, for those who appreciate this type of story, disappointing - to think that within less than two years they would be unceremoniously dropped from the series.

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This episode guide is made up of the text of The Discontinuity Guide by Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping, and Doctor Who: The Television Companion by David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker.

The Discontinuity Guide © Paul Cornell, Martin Day and Keith Topping 1995.
Doctor Who: The Television Companion © David J Howe and Stephen James Walker 1998, 2003.

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