May 27, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Doctor Who “A Change Of Identity”

The First Doctor. "The Reign Of Terror" Episode Three

Well, due to dumb luck or something, it seems my Independence Day column on this show hits on an episode that is about the French Revolution.

Well, I’m not even sure anyone reads these, so it probably doesn’t matter.

So, the Doctor is headed to rescue his companions from prison, hopefully before they go to the guillotine.  He might be late.  See, Barbara and Susan are already en route.  They don’t get there because an actual beheading, no matter how simulated, is probably outside this show’s budget.  That means the women are rescued by some French folks who don’t give last names so, if the women are caught again, they can’t say stuff they don’t know.

That is rather clever.

Fortunately, these people with no last names are rather friendly along with being clever, and they do pull out a map and ask where the women came from.  I’m not sure why they don’t ask how they arrived in the middle of the French countryside if they came from England.  I mean, they should have arrived on the coast or something if that’s the case.  Also, probably a good idea they don’t question Barbara’s rather distinctive 1960s style hairdo.  But these folks are still friendly and clever.

Also rather clever is how Ian gets his hands on a key and slips out.  Sure, it may be due to dumb luck, but he did get out.

Then again, that means that none of the companions will be at the prison by the time the Doctor arrives.  But he’s not much of a physical threat.  Instead, he goes to a tailor to trade for some new clothes, giving away his frock coat and a nice ring to get a Regional Officer from the Provinces’s uniform.  That and a lot of bluffing gets him into the prison, and he does learn the others aren’t there, but the downside to dressing like that isn’t looking ridiculous but having to meet  with Robespierre.

Also, if the tailor brings the ring to the prison to tell the jailer that the new Regional Officer might be an imposter.  That is also generally a bad thing.

But this is the Doctor.  He’ll get out of this without too much trouble, and probably while being a bit cranky the whole time.