Saturday, 6 August 2011

The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve (Doctor Who S3 story 5)

Existing only as a reconstruction this is another shockingly good story that has been lost to the archive purge. As a story I am unfamiliar with on a subject I am also unfamiliar with it fulfils the primary goal of Doctor Who as stated in 1963 “to educate and entertain”.

The story is excellently presented with a great historical bent, the tensions between Catholics and Protestants in France ably explained without to much obvious exposition.

It strikes me as odd that The Doctor is absent for most of this story with it all hanging on the shoulders of Stephen in his most rounded portrayal yet. Peter Purves is far from the bumbling fool or shouty idiot his character would often be lowered to.

The ending is a mixture of masterpiece and disaster. The temporary loss of Stephen and the Doctors following monologue is poignant and touching, however the introduction of Dodo Chaplet is so hamfisted in its execution it brings tears to the eyes.

This is a story well worth seeking out, I recommend the Chadmoore36 reconstructions on Youtube.

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