All four episodes of this serial are lost.

 E1 “War of God”

 The TARDIS arrives in Paris, France in the year 1572. A boy is kicking a ball down the street and is frightened by the sound of the ship’s arrival. Steven and The Doctor exit, and determine where they are. They hide as a man approaches and knocks on a nearby door and enters the house. The Doctor is able to determine they are in the mid 16th century. Steven and The Doctor go back to change their clothes to something appropriate.

 In a tavern, men banter and argue over Protestant and Catholic issues. There’s some tension, though the tavern crowd is mostly Protestant. Simon, a Catholic, pays the bartender to listen in. The Doctor and Steven enter as Simon leaves and take a table. Steven argues that he won’t stay in the TARDIS while The Doctor explores Paris. They agree to go seperately and meet back later.

 As The Doctor leaves, he bumps into a man in the doorway, who seems to recognise The Doctor, and follows him out. Steven apparently notices but cannot get anyone to help him find Charles Preslin, so he stays at the tavern with the others and drinks.

 The Doctor finds that Preslin has left; his shop is there, some elderly man is there (who is obviousy Preslin, pretending not to be himself), and The Doctor sees through his attempts at a facade. Preslin has to be careful as the social attitude to science is not too accepting.

 Steven finds the questions of the taverners a bit too difficult to give prevarication to, so he asks again for directions to find where The Doctor went. One of the fellows, Nicholas gives him directions outside the tavern.

 A young woman runs from armed guards through the streets. She bumps into Steven outside and runs into the tavern; the guards follow and are met with defiance from the Protestant patrons. Steven, who saw all of this, stays at the tavern, as it seems not safe to travel alone. They talk to the girl, but she is reluctant to tell them why she was frightened. She overheard the Catholic guards talking how a massacre that happened a decade ago in Wassay, where many Protestants were killed, might happen here in Paris.

 Simon Duvall, the man who butted heads with the Protestants at the tavern (the ones Steven is with now) speaks to the guards who were chasing Anne (the girl). He gives them orders to find her – if she overheard anything, her information could be dangerous.

 Anne is sent to work in the Protestant Admiral  Gaspard de Coligny, the most senior Protestant in the court, and the master to Gaston, one of the men with Steven. The landlord is listening in. Gaston leaves, and Steven and Nicholas discuss Prince Henri (Protestant) recent marriage to a Catholic, but Anne’s news suggests that there is a plot to kill the Prince. Nicholas leaves Steven at the tavern to wait for The Doctor’s return.

 We see Preslin talking to the boy from the opening; The Doctor is nowhere to be seen, and the boy has led The Doctor somewhere, but we are not told where. Preslin pays the boy and then murmurs, “Good luck, old man… good luck.”

 Simon returns to the tavern to interrogate the barkeep; he tells him where Anne was sent. Simon approaches Steven, who is still waiting. He tells Steven there is a curfew that is soon to fall. Steven brushes off any attempts by Simon to find out where he is staying. Nicholas returns (and Simon hides), shocked to find Steven still there. Nicholas insists that Steven come with him, and leaves word with the landlord that Steven will be staying with Admiral de Coligny, should The Doctor return. After they leave, Simon tells the landlord to report to him.

 Elsewhere, the man who bumped into The Doctor is reporting to his superior; Simon arrives to report that Anne is in the Admiral’s estate. They are both reporting the Father Abbott of Amboise, who is a dead ringer for The Doctor! He orders the girl to be fetched on the morrow and credits roll.

 Another interesting political history story, thus far. Again, I’m really pissed at the Beeb for their junking policy. This would be so much better with full video. This is a Doctor-light serial and a pretty good story, focusing on Steven and the historical events.

E2 “The Sea Beggar”

 The following day, Gaston and Nicholas are upset that Prince Henri is not taking their concerns seriously; he refuses to believe a servant girl’s story. We discovers that Nicholas is Henri’s secretary. Steven has returned to the tavern to wait for The Doctor, but the landlord/barkeep hasn’t seen him.

 Gaston and Nicholas argue whether the girl’s story is true or not. Steven arrives, asking for help in searching for The Doctor. Roger Colbert, the man who bumped into The Doctor at the tavern, arrives to speak with Nicholas. Steven seems to recognise him. Colbert tries to politely ask for Anne back, even after she walks in, notices Roger, and runs out. But Gaston insists that girl is someone else.

 They see the Abbott and Roger talking outside, and Steven says the Abbott is The Doctor. Nicholas and Gaston become suspicious of him, though Nicholas seems to believe Steven and gives him a chance – they will go to Preslin’s. Gaston argues, but Nicholas is adamant.

 Simon reports the Abbott’s actions and the presence of Steven to Marshall Tevannes, one of the men on the Council of France, and a very powerful Catholic. He instructs Simon to keep reporting to him and mentions ‘the sea beggar’. Admiral de Coligny comes in, and overhearing that, thinks Tevannes is talking of the Dutch, and their petition to France for aid in their conflict with Spain. The two men banter.

 “You are an amazing man, Tevannes. You see shadows where there is no sun.” – Admiral de Coligny

 Nicholas and Steven discover that Preslin was arrested for heresy two years ago and that his shop is closed up. Nicholas’ suspicions heighten. Steven postulates that The Doctor is pretending to be the Abbott, and asks to be allowed to go see him. Nicholas tries to take Steven back to de Coligny, but escapes.

 Simon and Roger are seen together, awaiting the Abbott; they discuss ‘the sea beggar’ and the code name it is, but not for whom. There is talk of an assassin.

Simon charges Roger to find out more about Steven.

 Steven has made his way to outside the Abbott’s residence, wherein Tevannes is meeting with Simon and Roger. The Abbott is nowhere to be found by anyone.

Tevannes gives a message to be delivered to the Abbott – the sea beggar dies tomorrow. After Tevannes leaves, Simon and Roger talk, and Simon says that the order must have come from the Queen Mother, not from Tevannes.

 Steven narrowly escapes detection by a guard (though it is uncertain how much he has heard) and returns to de Coligny’s house, where Steven is led into Nicholas’ room. There, Gaston comes in and the two men argue, until Gaston draws his sword. Reluctantly, Steven draws his, and they begin to fight, but Steven refuses to engage, only defend or retreat – Gaston disarms him and tells him to leave.

 (Holy cow – the guy playing Gaston is Emma Thompson‘s father!)

 Anne follows Steven through the streets of Paris. She asks to stay with him, as she is afraid to return to de Coligny’s house, as the Abbott knows she’s there. Steven agrees, and as the curfew bells chime, they head off together.

 That night, de Coligny and Nicholas discuss the Admiral’s apparent success in convincing the king to help the Dutch. During the conversation, de Coligny says that the king informed him that should this go through, de Coligny will be remembered in history as “the sea beggar”, a title he says he would proudly embrace… and this obviously is the target the Catholics are planning to assassinate.

 The credits roll.

E3 “Priest of Death”

 The next day, Steven and Anne argue – she wants to leave Paris, he insists on searching for The Doctor.

 The Council of France is meeting; de Coligny and Tevannes lead the debate whether or not to aid the Dutch as the King and his mother (the Queen Mother, Catherin de Medici) look on.

 Steven still thinks The Doctor is pretending to be the Abbott; Anne doesn’t want to stay there, but she doesn’t want to accompany him to the Abbott’s residence, for fear they will recapture her.

 de Coligny has offended the Queen Mother and the council meeting is ended, called off for several days. It is apparent that the Queen Mother is the true power behind the crown.

 Steven and Anne petition for an audience with the Abbott, but as they are being turned away, the Abbott comes out of his office. Steven is convinced that the Abbott is The Doctor, and changes his tack, telling the Abbott he has brought back the escaped servant girl. Tevannes enters, and Steven and Anne are dismissed. They listen in to the conversation, then head off to warn Nicholas.

 Warned, Nicholas rushes to the location where the attack will take place, but he is too late to stop the Admiral from being shot.

 Tevannes and the Abbott argue who is to blame should their plot fail – both accusing the other. Tevannes refuses to allow the Abbott to retire to his chambers while they wait. Roger arrives to report that de Coligny has lived through the attack, but the assassin was able to get away. Tevannes calls for the guards and orders them to kill the Abbott.

 Elsewhere, the Queen Mother and King are given the news that de Coligny has been shot. The Queen Mother leaves immediately, while the report is being given.

 A report that the Abbott has been killed by the citizenry arrives to Nicholas’ office, and Steven storms out, afraid that The Doctor has been killed.

 The King charges Tevannes for de Caligny’s safety, threatening that if anything further happens, Tevannes head is at stake. He dismissed the others, and the Queen Mother returns and chastises him, and he actually mans up a little, but she is as cagey as ever.

 In the streets, the people are around the Abbott’s body and blame the Hugenots (Protestants). The scene gets very ugly. Steven arrives, and Roger (who is present) turns the mob against him and he runs off and the credits roll.

 It’s very fascinating to see William Hartnell listed only as the Abbott and not The Doctor (granted, The Doctor does not appear, so it’s appropriate, but it’s still an unusual thing – even in the Mission To The Unknown serial, where The Doctor was not present, William Hartnell as The Doctor is in the credits – apparently, it was in his contract that he would get credit in every episode, regardless.)

E4 “Bell of Doom”

 Steven returns to where Anne is holed up (Preslin’s old shop). He still thinks the Abbott was The Doctor and is dead. 

 Tavannes is meeting with Simon when a summons from the Queen Mother arrives; he leaves, ordering Simon to stay behind and await further orders.

 Anne and Steven are searching the shop, looking for The Doctor’s clothes, hoping to find the key. Anne finds The Doctor’s walking stick and moments thereafter, The Doctor arrives.

 Gaston argues with de Caligny that the danger is still present. The house is being protected by Catholic guards under the command of Tevannes.

 The Doctor, realising the significance of the date, sends Anne away and orders her to stay indoors on the morrow, and then tells Steven that they must leave Paris at once – he has no time to explain why or answer Steven’s questions.

 Tevannes meets with the Queen Mother. She informs him their plans for tomorrow can go forward. It is obvious they plan a great slaughter of Protestants. They argue whether or not the Prince should be spared or not. De Medici is painted as a bloodthirsty monster, but agrees that Prince Henri will be spared. She orders the Marshal to close the gates to the city now and departs. Tevannes tells Simon that the order has been given, there is no list, and none are to be spared, except for Prince Henri, who Simon is to escort out of the city.

 “At dawn tomorrow, this city will weep tears of blood.” – Tevannes.

 The Doctor and Steven find guards near where the TARDIS is stored, near de Coligny’s door. The guards bang on de Coligny’s door as Steven and The Doctor sneak into the TARDIS and depart.

 We see drawings of the city and of rioting and hear sounds of chaos, screaming, burning, yelling, fighting. Pictures of slaughter and hangings, people being thrown out of buildings and more.

 Inside the TARDIS, Steven bemoans that something should have been done, but The Doctor tells him that they cannot change history. They argue, Steven outraged that The Doctor sent Anne to her death. Steven threatens that he will get off the ship at the next place it stops, if The Doctor has so little regard for human life.

 Later, they land and Steven checks the scanner and the readings. The Doctor asks if his mind is made up, and The Doctor tries to explain his actions. Steven leaves and The Doctor sits down, talking to himself. He’s alone.

 “Now, they’re gone. They’re all gone. None of them could understand, not even my little Susan.” – The Doctor, to himself.

 “Perhaps I should go home, back to my own planet.” – The Doctor, continuing talking to himself.

 Outside the TARDIS, a girl is running across Wimbledon Common, and she enters the TARDIS. She enters, asking where the telephone is, she has to report. She asks if he’s the police, and he laughs and tries to dismiss her. A little boy has been hurt and she needs to call the police. He dismisses her again, but she keeps asking questions.

 “There’s something odd going on!” – the (as yet unnamed) girl

 Steven rushes back in, telling The Doctor they have to leave, that there are two policemen coming to the TARDIS. The Doctor closes the doors and dematerialises. The Doctor asks what made him change his mind, but Steven realises that the girl is still in the ship!

 She’s a bit goofy, this girl. The Doctor is awfully dismissive about the fact the girl has been taken away from her time and place and asks Steven if she reminds him of Susan. Steven replies he’s never met The Doctor’s grand-daughter.

 The girl introduces herself as “Dodo” (her real name is Dorothea Chaplet – the same last name as Anne – and Steven and The Doctor take heart in that it’s possible Anne lived through the massacre after all) and the credits roll.

 An interesting story, this is a companion-centric one. Something we have in the new series, where The Doctor is out of the story for a good part of it. Though it’s never explained where The Doctor was. (Hartnell was on vacation for the 2nd episode, which is why neither the Abbott nor The Doctor appear in it. This is not the first time Hartnell was on vacation and the story was adjusted to account for it – I know it happened in the Keys of Marinus as well, which is why The Doctor went on to the final key ahead of the others.)  

Advertisements