This recording is introduced by an aged Ian Chesterton, how very cool!

 E1 “The Lion”

 We see some knights skulking through the woods, then some Arabian soldiers behind them, trailing. They talk about “the king” as they move on. Then, the TARDIS appears.

 The Lionheart is talking to his men; one of them is worried of an ambush, but the king and others laugh, though they are being spied upon by the Saracens. The companions are exploring around the TARDIS, when they encounter a Saracen. Barbara is grabbed while Ian and The Doctor tussle with him. Vicki asks pointless questions and there’s a sound of sword fight.

 Ian gets in a sword fight with a Saracen, The Doctor another.

 Of course, there’s a city nearby and The Doctor wants to go down to it. That’s like a regular theme/plot device.

 Barbara is imprisoned with an English nobleman who pretended to be the Lionheart, so that Richard could escape capture. Barbara pretends to be Joanna, princess of England.

 We next see The Doctor shopping in Jaffa, Vicki tailing behind, trying to be inconspicuous. The Docor haggles with a cloth merchant and overhears him bargain with a thief and steals clothes that were stolen.

 Barbara and William Des Preaux are brought before Saladin; Barbara is left with Saladin after their ruse has been discovered. She tries to explain who she is, but he takes her to be saying that she is a performer. He gives her a chance to join them for dinner and if her tales entertain, she will be spared.

 The Doctor, Ian, Vicki have linked up with King Richard. Ian asks for help to go barter or attempt to rescue Barbara and des Preaux. Richard gets angry when The Doctor and Vicki join in nagging him. He snaps, saying that Barbara can rot in one of Saladin’s prisons until her hair turns white, before he trades with the man who killed his friends, and storms off, and credits roll.

 Interesting dynamics already; this, too, is new to me. Looks to be another fun historical episode.

 

E2 “The Knight of Jaffa”

 The episode only exists in stills and fragments.

 The Doctor and his companions are able to manipulate King Richard by playing on his desire to make Saladin look bad – they suggest that sending Ian to parley for des Preaux’s release, and playing on Saladin’s embarrassment at capturing a false King Richard gets Richard to be more amiable, and he makes The Doctor part of his court. Even Vicki contributes, in a fashion seemingly out of character for her. (Their handling of her thus far is very uneven.)

 The real Joanna arrives and meets The Doctor and his companions. Vicki is pretending to be a young boy, named Victor. Joanna seems suspicious of The Doctor and his companions, and Richard notices Joanna wears a jewel he’s not seens before, and she explains it is from Saladin’s brother.

 El Akir, the Saracen who kidnapped Barbara, but then was embarrassed when she turned out to be nobody important, makes plans with a merchant to kidnap her. Luigi, the merchant, approaches her and she asks if he came from Sir William (des Preaux) and he agrees, in order to get her to accompany him. She is taken by El Akir.

 (Really, people. If you’re prisoner and someone approaches you, let them do the talking, don’t just feed them names.)

 The Doctor and Vicki help Ian get dressed in knightly garb. The go before the King who has just finished dictating a letter to a priest. He gives Ian his golden belt to Ian and charges him to go to Saladin to treaty for William and Barbara. Richard plans to offer the hand of Joanna to Saladin’s brother to broker peace.

 Before Ian is allowed to depart, the King knights him Sir Ian, Knight of Jaffa. Meanwhile, The Chamberlin is meeting with the cloth merchant The Doctor stole Vicki’s clothing from.

 Luigi meets with Saphadin (his price for helping El Akir, a meeting with Saladin’s brother), and Saladin appears and mandates that Luigi weigh in on the disappearance of Barbara. They realise that Luigi was involved – his glove was left behind at the scene and he has its companion in his belt. Luigi rats out El Akir.

 The Doctor and “Victor” bid Sir Ian off. The Doctor wishes he had been knighted, too. The Chamberlin and the merchant confront The Doctor about stealing from them – but The Doctor quickly points out that if he stole it from the merchant, he could not have stolen them from the Chamberlin (my head hurts at the stupidity of the Chamberlin if he thought The Doctor stole from him, after speaking to the merchant who said The Doctor stole those garments from his stall.)

 Thatcher, a servant, and the man who sold the garments to the merchant, comes in. The merchant rats out Thatcher, The Chamberlin pays the merchant and chases after Thatcher, and The Doctor and Vicki giggle.

 Barbara is brought to the palace of El Akir, but manages to escape. Ian meets with des Preaux, and makes plans to go after Barbara to rescue her.

 Barbara flees through the streets of Lydda. (Man, I really wish these episodes had not been junked.) Barbara slips past several guards (guess this might be the “running scene”), but screams when she falls (so far, Barbara and Susan seem to have fallen/hurt their legs a lot. Wonder if Vicki will pick up the slack?)

 As the guards come back, having heard her cry, she hides behind a wall, and someone’s hand covers her mouth and the credits roll.

E3 “The Wheel of Fortune”

 And we’re back to full video – originally, this was the only one that survived, until episode one was found in the 1990s, I believe.

 The man helps Barbara fight off the guards. His name is Haroun and he says they have a common enemy in El Akir, and thus they have an uncommon friendship (I like the wordplay.) The merchant is now The Doctor’s best friend and tricks The Doctor and “Victor” in new rainments.

 Joanna walks in on “Victor” whining about pretending to be a boy. Joanna is kind when they explain that they were

 “There’s something new in you, and yet there is something older than the sky itself. I feel I can trust you.” – Joanna, to The Doctor

 “A girl? Dressed as a boy? Is nothing understandable these days?” – The Chamberlin – boy, what would he think nowadays?

 Vicki is bothered at being placed under Joanna’s care, afraid that The Doctor will leave her, too – Barbara and Ian have, already. (Okay, I get that she’s supposed to be a youth, still a teenager, but really? Barbara “left” her? Grrrrr.)

 Haroun brings Barbara back to his house, where she meets his daughter. Haroun explains that he has sworn to kill El Akir, for killing his wife and son and taking his other daughter.

 Haroun goes out to judge if its safe for Barbara, but is attacked by one of El Akir’s guards. El Akir, who is with him, thinks he recognises Haroun, but the guard says he is a poor man from the northern quadrant of Lydda, the poorest part of town. El Akir tells them to search harder in the north.

 Richard tells Lord Leicester that he plans to marry his sister to Saphadin. The king admits that Joanna does not yet know of his plan, though he expects that she will agree to it, out of the nobility of it. The Doctor and Leicester argue in front of the court.

 Saladin and Saphadin discuss the proposed marriage. Saladin dismisses it as a last resort from a war-weary king. “Hold one hand out in friendship, keep the other on your sword.” – Saladin

 El Akir’s men are getting closer to Barbara and Haroun’s daughter; they hide in a hiding place in the house. The guards plan to use fire to smoke their prey out. Barbara leaves the hiding hole and is captured.

 We see Ian sleeping, someone creeping up on him. They reach across him, but he wakes and they struggle, but another strikes him from behind, knocking him out.

 The Doctor and Vicki (no logner Victor) appear before Joanna and Leicester; Vicki is all dolled up now. Joanna presses The Doctor for information on the King’s plans, but he won’t tell her, but apparently Leicester does and when Richard shows up, she gives him holy hell. Afterwards, the King assumes The Doctor was the one who gave the plan away and tells him he is not welcome in his sight.

 Barbara is brought before El Akir, who tells her, “The only pleasure left for you is death… and death is very far away.” The credits roll.

E4 “The Warlords”

 Another with stills and fragments of video only – Terry is sad.

 Barbara is defiant and tries to escape. They chase her into the harem. The women lie to El Akir, saying that no one has entered. He offers a ruby ring to whomever shall report to him her whereabouts.

 Ian is tied to stakes in the ground, and honey is drizzled upon him by his captors, and threatened with ants – they think he is rich and want to elicit the location of his money.

 The Doctor and Vicki argue with Leicester over who is traitor. Richard arrives and sends Leicester to prepare the men for battle. Richard tells The Doctor that he knows it was not he who spilled the beans. Vicki chastises the King for not giving Leicester a verbal drubbing for ratting his plans out to Joanna, and he accepts her chastisment, and explains that he needs Leicester for the upcoming battle, for he is resigned that war must come again.

 Back at the harem, Barbara meets with Haroun’s other daughter, and gives her the news that her sister and father are still alive, which brings her great joy.

 Ian tricks the bandit into freeing Ian’s foot by telling him there gold in his boot, and the stupid bandit cuts both feet free and Ian frees himself. /facepalm HE WAS UNCONCSCIOUS LONG ENOUGH FOR YOU TO TIE HIM TO STAKES AND YOU DIDN’T BOTHER TO SEARCH HIM FIRST? Stupid, stupid writing.

 Barbara’s presence is betrayed by one of the girls.

 Haroun waits outside El Akir’s palace, biding his time.

 Ian and the bandit (not sure why he’s helping) go to El Akir’s palace.

 El Akir breaks into the harem, intent on attacking Barbara, but Haroun arrives to kill El Akir. Ian arrives and helps Haroun subdue the guards who arrive. The other girls turn on Fatima, the one who betrayed Barbara. The bandit has fetched horses for Ian and they rush to leave for the TARDIS.

 Outside Jaffa, Richard’s men are on alert near the TARDIS. The Doctor and Vicki are watching from the woods. Leicester is playing that The Doctor is a traitor, using that to set them against our heroes.

 The Doctor is apprehended as Barbara and Vicki reunited at the TARDIS. Sir Ian shows up, claiming that he knows The Doctor is a villain, and begs for the right to “dispatch” The Doctor as he claims that he lost some friends because of The Doctor’s treachery. Leicester admits that Sir Ian’s claim is a greater one. They manage to sneak into the TARDIS and depart.

 “We will not speak of this. Let this story die here in this wood, or we will be branded idiots or liars.” – Leicester

 The heroes laugh at their good fortune, when suddenly the lights dim. The Doctor does not know what is happening and they stare at the console and we fade to black and the credits roll.

 Another enjoyable, political, historical story. I rather enjoyed this one and the many performances. Again, I want to beat up the Beeb’s policy makers for junking so many tapes back in the 1970s.

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