Doctor Who “The War Games Part 1”

Well, here we are.  The last serial for the Cosmic Hobo himself, the Second Doctor.

Good thing it’s a ten-parter.

Once again, the TARDIS materializes somewhere random, and once again, the Doctor, Jamie, and Zoe get out to take a look around.  And where they are seems rather rotten.  It’s muddy, there’s barb wire (Jamie doesn’t know what that is), and it isn’t long before someone starts shelling the area.  Our heroes duck and cover, with the Doctor realizing where they are:  the trenches of World War I.

The Doctor calls it one of the worst wars in human history.  He is not wrong.

Fortunately, a British woman named Lady Jennifer shows up.  She’s an ambulance driver, and she will get the time travelers to safety.

Unfortunately, they are then captured by some Germans.

Fortunately, they are then rescued by a Lt. Carstairs and some more British soldiers.  They opt to take the unusual trio to see their commanding officer in the trenches, farther and farther away from where the Doctor parked the TARDIS.

And that’s where things start to get weird.  See, the officer first figures Jamie for a deserter from some Highlander unit due to his kilt, and then opts to send the three as prisoners on to see one General Smythe, the highest of the high ranking muckety mucks in this muck of a war.  Or at least this part of it.  Can Smythe smooth things out?

Nope.  He makes things worse, and there’s a good reason for it.  He’s not what he seems.  He has a monitor of some kind far too advanced for this time period behind a painting, and he has some sort of mind control reading glasses.  He decides to court martial the Doctor and company, despite being civilians, because…well, it’s a total sham of a trial.  Every attempt to argue their case is quickly overruled, neither Lady Jennifer not Lt. Carstairs can speak up to say the Doctor and the others are telling the truth, and the three are quickly convicted.  Jamie is labeled a deserter and sent off to a military prison to be returned to his unit.  Zoe and the Doctor are convicted as spies, with Zoe given 10 years or so in prison and the Doctor a death sentence to be carried out on the morrow.

And oddly enough, no one the Doctor questions seems to remember how or when they got to the war zone.

Now, Zoe does get out of her cell, and she does find Smythe’s monitor, and she does find the cell the Doctor is being held in, but the two don’t even get out the door when they’re both recaptured.  And so, the Doctor is marched off to get shot, with the episode ending with the sound of a gun going off…

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