E1 “A Land of Fear”

We start out with a forestal scene, though people are seen passing through. The TARDIS arrives, and we see inside, where The Doctor announces “There we are, home,” and tells Susan to say her goodbyes, as he’s still upset with Ian’s comment from last serial.

The Doctor is confident they are in their rightful time and place. Ian and Barbara aren’t entirely sure. Ian talks The Doctor into “seeing them home”, so they may part under better circumstances, instead of arguing.

They encounter a young boy, discover that they’re in France, though they suspect that they’re somewhen in the past. Upon finding a safe house with papers signed by Robespierre. Barbara, Ian and Susan are quickly captured in the safehouse (The Doctor was locked upstairs by hiding noblemen, who were killed by the soldiers) and the house is set ablaze. The captives are taken away as The Doctor succumbs to the the smoke.

A rather interesting story, several historical figures, and definite historical events. I wish we’d see more non-alien involved historical stories in the new show, but I doubt we will.

Several of the episodes – 4 and 5 – are missing and are presented with still photos, text narration of action scenes and limited video snippets. It’s not done by Loose Cannon, but an actual BBC release and sadly, Loose Cannon did a much better job with Marco Polo than was done here. Thus, the story gets a little less enjoyable, less easy to follow during those two episodes.


E2 “Guests of Madame Guillotine”

 The companions are charged and declared guilty (all by one man), sentence of execution by guillotine! Oh noes! The Doctor won’t have any companions! Whatever will he do?

 The Doctor manages to live through the fire, and Jean Pierre (the youth whom they met earlier) brings him water. He sets off to Paris to rescue his companions and we see a montage of him walking through fields, down roads.

 “Don’t make such noise, you’ll give the place a bad name!” – Jailer to one of the prisoners in the dungeon. Barbara tries to figure a way to escape, Susan is all Miss Negativity. Ian is housed with an injured man, the man who the jailer scolded. Webster, the injured man, charges Ian with finding an Englishman in Paris who must be escorted back to England, a James Sterling, who has been spying on the French for England.

 The Doctor is pressed into a road gang and giving a pick to break up some stones.

 Ian’s cell mate dies, and the guards try to find out if he spoke to Ian, but Ian denies it. The jailer confides that he did hear them do some small amount of talking. Susan is afraid of rats and the women can’t dig any more.

 The Doctor manages an escape. Ian, looking out the window from his cell, sees Barbara and Susan being led to the guillotine and credits roll.

E3 “A Change of Identity”

 The jailer is threatened by the Citizen in charge (of him, the prison, not sure.) Ian has the lucky stroke of getting ahold of the keys (totally ridiculous story device how it happened).

 The horse pulling the cart with Barbara and Susan throws a shoe. Two men planning to interfere arrive, as Barbara tries to get a very whiny Susan to try to escape. There’s a gun fight, with great dramatics when a soldier is shot in the back. The prisoners are rescued.

 The Doctor arrives in town and barters his coat and ring for a new coat and writing implement and parchment. The ladies are taken to safety and given a dinner. Susan seems perfectly fine now. Ian escapes, but the Citizen in charge is aware of it, apparently hoping to use him to find Sterling.

 The Doctor shows up at the prison, dressed like a peacock. He starts bellowing and demanding, the jailer jumps and hops to his demands. The Doctor is confronted by the Citizen who has been bossing the jailer around all story long. His papers (forged by his own hand, most like) are examined, and The Doctor is invited to a meeting with Citizen Robespierre.

 The tailor shows up at the prison, with The Doctor’s ring claiming it to be “evidence against a traitor” and the credits roll.

E4 “The Tyrant of France”

 This is one of the episodes that is missing, so I’m watching still photos and snippets of video, with the full audio. The Doctor is accompanied to Robespierre, who expects a report from The Doctor’s region (he is pretending to be a regional Citizen.) Robespierre is snotty and haughty with The Doctor, who gives back as good as he gets.

 Susan is unwell again. She seems to go back and forth.

 The tailor meets with Citizen Lemaitre (the one running the prison), while The Doctor tries to leave the prison (he was going to stay in soldiers’ quarters as a “guest”), but the jailer pulls a pistol on him.

 Ian is found by Jean and Jules, the men who rescued the ladies, and reunited with Barbara. They make plans to search for The Doctor as well as James Sterling. Back at the prison, The Doctor and Lemaitre clash with words.

 Barbara takes Susan to The Physician, who locks them in his office while he goes out for leeches. The Physician comes back with guards and they’re arrested. Ian senses something is wrong and wants to go look for them, but he has to go meet with someone about James Sterling. Jules offers to go check up on Barbara and Susan.

 Barbara and Susan are brought back to the prison, where The Doctor is brought in to question them. Ian’s meeting with Leon turns out to be a trap and the credits roll.

E5 “A Bargain of Necessity”

 This episode is also mostly lost, and is told through stills and some video snippets.

 It turns out that Leon is the spy in their organization that Jules was concerned about. The soldiers try to get information out of Ian.

 The Doctor “interrogates” Barbara, while Lemaitre listens in, but he is called away to meet with Robespierre. Before leaving, Lemaitre orders the jailer to make sure Susan is not let out, no matter what.

 Jules arrives to rescue Ian from the soldiers, killing Leon in the process.

 The Doctor tries to talk the jailer into letting Susan out, but he’s too afraid of Lemaitre. Meanwhile, we see the meeting between Lemaitre and Robespierre; an indictment is going to be brought against Robespierre and he wants Lemaitre’s assistance.

 Ian and Jules return to their safehouse, to find Barbara there, who informs them The Doctor is there, and has assumed a position of power. Barbara gets angry when she finds out Leon was killed – she feels strongly about the Revolution not being all bad.

 Susan, in her cell, speaks to her grandfather, who is still trying to rescue her. He tells her to crouch down and remain still, which after needless whining, she does. The Doctor claims that Susan is gone and the jailer opens the door. As The Doctor and Susan try to escape, Lemaitre arrives with soldiers and capture them.

 Lemaitre uses Susan as a bargaining chip against The Doctor. Ian, Barbara and Jules talk, but The Doctor arrives, with Lemaitre in tow.

 “Your friend has betrayed us!” – Jules, and the credits roll.

E6 “Prisoners of Conciergerie”

 Back to full video. Lemaitre announces that he is James Sterling, and he gets the travelers to agree to help achieve what he wants – observing the meeting with Barras, the man planning against Robespierre.

 At the tavern where the meeting of conspirators happens, Napoleon Bonaparte arrives to meet with Barras. Barras wants to use Napoleon to garner support from the people.

 Barbara and The Doctor muse on trying to stop the inevitable, Barbara remarks upon leaning her lesson with The Aztecs.

 Robespierre is taken by soldiers. Ian and Sterling arrive, too late to help. The Doctor and Barbara go to the prison to try to free Susan. The Doctor bullies the jailer with words and gets Susan out; as they leave, Robespierre is brought in. Ian tips Jules off that Napoleon will be soon in power, though Jules finds it odd that a Corsican will be in power.

 Sterling tries to find out who the companions are, where they’re from.

 “Funny, I get the impression they don’t know where they’re heading to. Come to that, do any of us?” – Lemaitre/Sterling, musing on the heroes.

 The episode ends with the heroes in the TARDIS, musing upon their destiny, and The Doctor again talks of his destiny being in the stars (as he did at the end of The Daleks.)

 Credits roll and Season One is completed. This was a good serial, a little hard to follow during the two lost episodes (this was a BBC video, not a fan one, and didn’t have quite the production values or effort that Marco Polo had for the reconstruction.) I enjoyed the characters, the plot, the story immensely.

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