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The Smugglers

Production Code: CC

First Transmitted

1 - 10/09/1966 17:50

2 - 17/09/1966 17:55

3 - 24/09/1966 17:50

4 - 01/10/1966 17:50

Plot

The TARDIS arrives on the coast of seventeenth century Cornwall - much to the astonishment of Polly and Ben. Pirates led by Captain Samuel Pike and his henchman Cherub are searching for a hidden treasure, while a smuggling ring masterminded by the local Squire is trying to off-load contraband.

The Doctor is kidnapped by Pike's men after inadvertently learning, from churchwarden Joseph Longfoot (who is subsequently murdered), a cryptic rhyme that holds the key to the treasure's whereabouts.

Although he manages to escape, the Doctor is eventually forced to tell Pike the rhyme's meaning - it refers to names on tombstones in the church crypt - and the treasure is uncovered. At this point, however, the militia arrive, having been summoned by Revenue officer Josiah Blake. A fight ensues in which Pike and many of his men are killed and the rest taken prisoner. The Doctor and his companions meanwhile slip back to the TARDIS.

Episode Endings

On board the pirates' ship, the Black Albatross, Cherub explains to Captain Pike that the captive Doctor has learned of the treasure's whereabouts but refuses to talk. The Captain turns to the Doctor and, exclaiming 'Well, by thunder you'll talk to me, or my name's not Samuel Pike!', crashes his left arm down on the table top; it ends not in a hand but in a metal spike.

Ben leaves Blake struggling to free himself in the crypt and heads for the stairs, determined to find his fellow travellers so that they can escape through the secret passage to the TARDIS. He finds his way blocked by the Squire, accompanied by Cherub and a bound and gagged Polly. The Squire advances on him, pistol raised...

In the crypt, inn-keeper Jacob Kewper warns that the Squire will join him on the gallows if he is to be hanged. From the stairs, Cherub throws a knife at Kewper. It strikes him in the middle of the back and he falls to the ground. Polly screams.

The Doctor tells Polly and Ben that the TARDIS has now brought them to the coldest place on Earth.

Roots

Jamaica Inn.

Treasure Island.

Dr. Syn and Captain Clegg.

Moonfleet.

Dialogue Triumphs

The Doctor : [To Ben and Polly] "How dare you follow me into the TARDIS! The distractions... I really thought I was going to be alone again."

The Doctor : "You are now travelling through time and space."

Ben : "Yes, well, make sure I get back by tea-time!"

The Doctor : [To Polly] "You may know where you are, my dear, but not when! I can foresee oodles of trouble!"

The Doctor : [To Polly] "Superstition is a strange thing, my dear. Sometimes it tells the truth."

Dialogue Disasters

"By the black albatross, I'll keelhaul ye from here to Port Royal!"

Double Entendre

"Let me give him a taste of Thomas Tickler!"

Continuity

The Doctor has heard of the pirate Avery, and knows a little Tarot. He feels a moral obligation to stay, since his actions might have caused the deaths of the whole village. Ben drinks beer. The internal temperature of the TARDIS drops suddenly on landing at the South Pole [the failure of a circuit again (see Marco Polo) or the TARDIS' attempt at a warning].

QV

The Doctor's Doctorate

Location

A Cornish village, 17th century [between 1603 and 1642, or 1660 and 1688, or 1694 onwards: a character says God save the King. Pike mentions the pirate Morgan, who lived between 1635-1688. However, the costumes suggest the 1680s or 90s.

Trivia

The title sequence film is used to represent the space/time vortex as seen on the TARDIS scanner screen in Episode 1, with the story title, writer's credit and episode number captions overlaid in black on the swirling patterns.

The story employs extensive use of film inserts shot on location in Cornwall.

Michael Craze fell through a trapdoor during the making of this story and sustained a minor injury to his arm.

Myth

Pike has a metal hook in place of his right hand. (He has a metal spike in place of his left hand.)

For the fight between smugglers and Revenue men in episode four, so few stuntmen were used that they had to play multiple roles achieved by means of frantic behind-the-scenes costume changes. (Although Terry Walsh, one of those involved, recalls the scene being shot in this way, in fact the ten stuntmen under the direction of fight arranger Derek Ware, of whose HAVOC organisation they were members, played only one role each.)

Goofs

The rhyme given to the Doctor in episode one is there quoted wrongly. The Doctor gets is right in episode three however.

Cast & Crew

Cast

The Doctor - William Hartnell

Ben Jackson - Michael Craze

Polly - Anneke Wills

Blake - John Ringham

Captain Pike - Michael Godfrey

Cherub - George A Cooper

Churchwarden - Terence de Marney

Gaptooth - Jack Bligh

Jacob Kewper - David Blake Kelly

Jamaica - Elroy Josephs

Spaniard - Derek Ware

Squire - Paul Whitsun-Jones

Tom - Mike Lucas

Crew

Director - Julia Smith

Assistant Floor Manager - John Hansen

Assistant Floor Manager - Tony Gilbert

Assistant Floor Manager - Maggie Saunders

Costumes - Daphne Dare

Designer - Richard Hunt

Fight Arranger - Derek Ware

Film Cameraman - Jimmy Court

Film Editor - Colin Eggleston

Incidental Music - none

Make-Up - Sonia Markham

Producer - Innes Lloyd

Production Assistant - John Hobbs

Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson

Story Editor - Gerry Davis

Studio Lighting - Cyril Wilkins

Studio Sound - Leo Sturgess

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

Writer - Brian Hayles

Bottom Line - from The Discontinuity Guide

A sweet little script. Hartnell is quite good, and by no means on his last legs. Pike is a great villain, and there's some fine period detail.

Analysis - from Doctor Who, the Television Companion

It would, of course, be absurd to suggest that because, say, The Space Museum was rather dull or The Chase was unduly jokey and unbelievable, futuristic stories should have been dropped altogether from Doctor Who in favour of the more successful historicals. Yet this is exactly the sort of approach that reviewers often take when discussing the historicals themselves: they point to the perceived inadequacies of, say, The Romans and The Gunfighters and use this as a basis for arguing that the stories set in Earth's past never worked and were surplus to requirements. This is largely because these reviewers tend to consider the matter very much out of context.

Nowadays, Doctor Who is generally regarded as being first and foremost a science-fiction series (however dubious that classification might be), and this can make the historicals seem like something of an aberration; an early experiment that proved unsuccessful and was wisely discontinued. In truth, however, they were just as integral and as important a part of the series' original format as were the futuristic stories, and just as successful.

To write them all off simply on the basis that one or two were below par would be to make the same mistake that Innes Lloyd did when, in the light of critical comments such as those contained in the Audience Research Report on The Gunfighters, he assumed - rather conveniently, given that he himself disliked this type of story - that the historicals were generally unpopular. This overlooks the fact that a number of the futuristic stories - perhaps most notably The Web Planet - attracted equally unfavorable feedback, and that while it is undoubtedly true that many viewers expressed a preference for the futuristic stories, many others expressed a preference for the historical ones.

The Smugglers, the last of the Hartnell era historicals, may not be in quite the same league as earlier gems such as Marco Polo, The Crusade and The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, but it is a lively and highly entertaining yarn that gets Doctor Who's fourth season off to a strong start.

It also provides the first illustration of Gerry Davis's preferred approach to the historical story type, which was to draw on the settings and subject matter of popular, easily identifiable areas of 'romantic' fiction. In this case, Russell Thondike's Dr Syn novels were apparently the main source of inspiration although, as Tim Robins noted in Doctor Who - An Adventure in Space and Time in 1983, a number of other influences were readily discernible: 'Brian Hayles cobbles together Jim Davis, Treasure Island, Kidnapped and Peter Pan's Captain Hook to create a blood and thunder yarn of seventeenth century smuggling... The Smugglers never becomes a farce or a pantomime, despite... a great deal of humorous dialogue. Much of the story involves a lot of running around through caves and secret tunnels, with most of the characters being captured and escaping, only to be captured again at various points in the plot. The result [is] harmless fun, and more than just a little diverting.'

One of the story's greatest joys is its wonderful array of colourful characters: the misguided smuggler Squire Edwards who, although corrupt, still sees himself as a gentleman and balks at the idea of his pirate allies resorting to murder; the menacing Captain Pike, who also likes to see himself as a gentleman but has no such qualms; and the dashing and determined Revenue man Blake - a strong performance by John Ringham.

Much of the interest for the viewer lies in the interaction between these larger-than-life figures and in working out where their true loyalties lie; and, as Robins noted, this is a story in which appearances can often be deceptive: 'The Doctor is mistaken for a real physician; Ben and Polly for murderers; the Revenue man for a smuggler; the Squire, the churchwarden and the inn-keeper are all revealed as smugglers; and Pike mistakes himself for a powerful man able even to defy the curse of Avery's treasure. Cherub is the ultimate deception. His angelic name belies the fact that he is the most bloodthirsty villain of all.'

Another notable aspect of The Smugglers is its unusually extensive use of location filming - the result of several days' shooting in Cornwall (the time for which could be found only by virtue of the fact that this was the last story of the series' third production block). This adds considerably to the atmosphere and, along with the very effective sets, costumes and make-up, helps to give the production a relatively high-budget look.

Anneke Wills and Michael Craze continue to impress as new companions Polly and Ben, and are given plenty of good material to work with in Hayles's scripts. William Hartnell is also on top form as the Doctor, effortlessly taking centre stage with his customary dignity, authority and mischievous twinkle in the eye. Certainly he shows little or no signs of the ill health to which many would later attribute his imminent departure from the series.

< The War MachinesFirst DoctorThe Tenth Planet >

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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