Another completely lost serial, this is a Loose Cannon reconstruction; it opens with a dedication to Michael Craze, the actor who played Ben, and passed away in 1998 from a heart attack.

Episode 1:

 We start with the tail end from the end of The War Machines, so it’s video, The Doctor getting news from Ben and Polly about Dodo and them being suspicious about his entering it, and trying to return his key.

 (I guess the TARDIS key having only one true key hole and nineteen false key holes that would result in destruction of the device is no longer the case… or Susan was lying to whomever she had told that, back in the early serials.)

 Ben and Polly enter, and are amazed at the size of the interior. The Doctor is surprised and extremely irate with them. Polly tries to placate him, but it doesn’t help much. The Doctor waxes on about how he has no control over his destination, and in the course seems to lose the vitriol in his manner.

 They arrive, apparently in a cave, but Ben doesn’t buy a word of it. When The Doctor talks of figuring out where and when they are, Ben answers, “Fitzroy Square, London, 1966.” The Doctor checks the readings and declares the atmosphere is safe and opens the door for them.

 “Oh, dear, all this distraction. And here I thought I was going to be alone again. Hmpf!” – The Doctor

 The TARDIS is in a cave mouth on the beach. Polly is frightened, and Ben posits it’s a dream and has her pinch him. The Doctor comes out and Ben queries why he’s locking it. “I never leave it unlocked, my boy!”

 Ben and Polly set off, looking for their own way back to London, no idea that they might be stranded in time. Polly posits that they might be in Cornwall. Ben groans it’s going to take him hours to get back to his barracks.

 The Doctor follows them, laughing at their presumptions. They see a church in the distance and argue that proof they’re in their own time. Later, they arrive at the church and Ben makes a wager with The Doctor that they’re in 1966. As they’re arguing, a man comes out with a blunderbuss.

 The churchwarden questions them and accepts their story of being travelers; he cannot give them shelter but offers them sustenance and direction. The Doctor says that Ben has lost his bet, from the man’s dress and gun, they’re in the 17th century.

 Inside, the churchwarden keeps asking them if they were alone or if they say any ships. When Ben inquires, the warden chastises him for not speaking to him until spoken to. The Doctor placates him and when Ben and Polly interject again, he doesn’t protest.

 The churchwarden has a dislocated finger and The Doctor fixes it for him. He gives them directions to a nearby inn. The churchwarden gives The Doctor some advice, to be careful, and tells him something cryptic – “Should you pass this way again, remember these words. This is Deadman’s secret key – smallbeer, ringwood, gurney.” Unseen, a figure lurks in the nearby bushes as this transpires.

 The travelers depart, hoping to beat the oncoming storm to the inn.

 We see the inn; the innkeeper steps out and calls out, “Tom!” A youth, Tom, arrives, and the innkeeper sends a message with Tom to the churchwarden, to expect a delivery soon. Tom takes a horse and rides off.

 Later, The Doctor and his companions approach the inn, caught in the storm. The innkeeper, Jacob Kewper, tries to turn them away, but they call upon the name of the churchwarden, Joseph Longfoot, and that is good enough for the landlord.

 Polly is assumed by all to be a young man, which Ben gives her a hard time about. The Doctor and his companions discuss that the landlord seems awfully suspicious of strangers, but the time lord says it’s really not important, as he doesn’t think they’ll be around long enough for it to matter.

 Longfoot, now drunk, roams about the vestry, talking to himself, drunkenly, as drunken men are wont to do in vestries, when the man skulking in the bushes enters. Longfoot recognises him as Cherub, a former shipmate. Cherub draws his knife, and holds it to Longfoot’s throat. Longfoot denies being a friend of Cherub’s, despite their having been crew on The Black Albatross.

 Cherub wants to know the whereabouts of “Avery’s gold”, but Longfoot claims he does not know where the gold is. Cherub says he saw the previous visitors and saw Longfoot whisper in The Doctor’s ear, and suspects that Longfoot must have told him. Longfoot makes a break for it, but Cherub kills him.

 The Doctor and his companions have finished their meal at the inn. Ben and Polly muse over the patrons at the inn, but The Doctor reminds them of the churchwarden to be wary. Young Tom bursts in, shouting to the landlord, and reports that Joseph Longfoot has been killed. The landlord sends Young Tom to fetch Squire, to have him come as magistrate.

 Cherub and some fellow pirates enter the tavern, and demand to speak to The Doctor. The Doctor is defiant, and Ben steps up in his defense, but is clubbed down for his trouble. The Doctor is taken off by the pirates and placed into a cart, then covered with hay. (We actually see this through some of the rare video.) The Doctor is taken to a boat and placed in it, to be taken to The Black Albatross.

 The landlord keeps Ben and Polly at the inn, telling her to wait until the Squire arrives; she pleads for help in saving The Doctor, but her pleas fall upon deaf ears.

 The Squire, a portly man fine coat, arrives, and Kewper takes him in to meet Ben and Polly. She tells the Squire that her master has been kidnapped. She keeps trying to convey that The Doctor is in great danger, but the Squire wants to know who she is, where she is from, first.

 The Doctor is brought aboard The Black Albatross.

 Ben recovers, and Polly brings him up to speed. Ben, like Polly, realises that they cannot tell the truth, so he tells the Squire that he will have the truth when The Doctor is rescued. The Squire proclaims he believes they are rogues and has them arrested for the murder of Longfoot.

 The Doctor is brought before Samuel Pike, captain of The Black Albatross. When told that ‘the old sawbones’ won’t talk, the captain yells, “By thunder, you’ll talk to me, or my name’s not Samuel Pike!” and the credits roll.

 I’m all a giddy because I realised that this serial is tied into the Matt Smith episode, “The Curse of the Black Spot”! I’ll leave it to you to figure out how, if you haven’t already.

 Another good start to a historical episode (though, sadly, only one more purely historical episode, The Highlanders, and then it’s over 15 years before there’s another one, a Fifth Doctor serial from 1982.)

 All in all, this is another fun historical episode – would have been great to see this as a full video.

Episode 2:

 The Doctor discovers that Captain Pike and his crewman Cherub and “Holy Joe” Longfoot all served under Captain Avery – the famous pirate captain Henry Avery, and Pike and his crew are searching for Avery’s lost treasure.

 Ben complains that he’s stuck in jail for murder and can’t report to the local Naval garrison for duty, even if he were free. Polly screams because there’s a rat, and the commotion gets the attention of Young Tom, who’s been put in charge of keeping an eye on them. They try to convince him they’re innocent, but he won’t listen.

 Polly realises that they’re very superstitious in the 17th century, and has a plan to get free.

 After closing the inn, we see Kewper head to the harbour, where he boards a small boat and pushes out to sea.

 The Doctor tries to appeal to Pike’s intellect as a gentleman. Cherub, a brute, is constantly threatening him. Pike has Cherub pour some wine for himself and The Doctor. The Doctor argues for a share of the reward, should his information be good. The Doctor samples the wine (something he keeps saying he doesn’t do) and praises Pike’s taste in wine.

 Another of Pike’s men enters, says a boat is approaching, and it’s friendly. Pike comments they have no friends thereabouts, then orders his men to let them board, but if they’re “revenue men”, to deal with them.

 Back in their cell, Polly has fashioned a doll made of straw. Ben bangs on the door for Tom to come quick, which he does. Polly sways, as if in a trance. She begins to moan as Tom questions what Ben’s complaining about. Tom comes in and sees Polly, and Ben says Polly is under the control of her master (still pretending that Polly is a boy.) Ben convinces that the only way to save himself from being under a spell is to set them free.

 Jacob Kewper arrives aboard The Black Albatross, and is greeted by Cherub, whom he slips a coin asking to meet with the captain. He tries to make a deal with Pike, but Pike realises that Kewper works for the Squire, and thus he would be the man to make a deal with. They take Kewper prisoner, to be held with The Doctor, until Pike returns.

 Ben and Polly return to the church, and search around but find nobody or anything. As they’re there, a cloaked figure arrives, and they hide from it. Ben attacks the figure and they tie him up. Polly goes to tell the Squire they’ve captured someone at the church, whom they think might be the murderer, leaving Ben to guard the man there.

 After Polly has left, the man wakes, claiming to be Josiah Blake, the king’s revenue man. Blake claims that he’s on the trail of the smugglers, and they’re using the church (specifically the crypt tunnels) as part of their smuggling route. Ben leaves Blake, still tied, to investigate.

 Pike and Cherub arrive at the Squire’s residence, marveling over the tiled floor. Pike uses Kewper’s name to gain the Squire’s confidence. He pretends to be a smuggler allied with Kewper, though he hopes to gain knowledge of Avery’s treasure trove somehow.

 Polly arrives as they talk, to tell the Squire of the man in the crypt, but she stops when she recognises Cherub. She accuses him of being the one who kidnapped The Doctor.

 The Doctor and Kewper, held prisoner on the ship, discuss things. Kewper tells The Doctor that his companions have been charged with Longfoot’s murder and when The Doctor says they must escape, he agrees, but not just for Ben and Polly’s sake, but also because Pike is the bloodiest pirate and all the locals are in danger – Pike will raze the village to the ground in his search for Avery’s gold.

 The Squire refuses to believe Polly’s accusations against the “goodly merchants”. She reveals that they did, in fact, speak with Longfoot and the Squire and Pike find this very interesting. Polly is tied and blindfolded.

 Blake demands that Ben untie him. Ben has found that the crypt tunnel leads to the cave where the TARDIS is, blocked by high tide on the other side. While they talk, Pike, the Squire and company arrive and the credits roll.

Episode 3:

 The Squire sees that Blake is tied and consults with Pike what to do; Pike suggests letting Blake take the prisoners (Polly and Ben) to get him out of their way without having to harm him. Blake argues at first, then agrees to taking them – but I feel he’s wary of the Squire and his new allies.

 Blake leads his prisoners off (at gun point, from a gun from the Squire) out of the church.

 Kewper and The Doctor are up to something, sitting at a table (or perhaps a crate), telling the future with playing cards, while Jamaica (the crewman) watching them. When Jamaica comes close to look at the cards, The Doctor yells at him to stand back, else he ruin the reading. After reading Kewper’s future, Jamaica demands his be read, and as he shuffles the cards, Kewper knocks him out. They exit to the deck and slip into Kewper’s boat.

 Pike, the Squire and Cherub gloat about how easily it was to manipulate the lawman Blake. The Squire opens a secret hatch in a crypt, and reveals kegs of booze and other contraband.

 Later, Pike and the Squire meet to make final arrangements – a beacon fire will be lit on the shore to meet them just past midnight. Cherub watches from the bushes as the two men talk.

 Back at the inn, Blake brings his prisoners into the stables and free them both. He says he trusts them enough to free them, as he had previously heard rumours that the Squire was the leader of the smugglers.

 The Doctor shows up, and there’s a happy meeting. Kewper follows him in, and draws a gun at seeing Blake. He escapes on horseback.

 When Pike finds out that The Doctor and Kewper escaped from Jamaica, he’s irate and beats the man. Jamaica reveals that he heard them talk of going to the Squire. Pike suspects that Squire is not to be trusted, and plans to land at day not under cloak of dark. Pike kills Jamaica (and in another slice of video, a somewhat chilling scene, Pike cleans Jamaica’s blood off his blade/spike and drops the cloth on Jamaica’s corpse.)

 Pike calls for Cherub, but the crew reports that he’s not aboard.

 Blake, The Doctor and his companions discuss Pike’s plans. Blake sets off to collect men-at-arms to help defend the village. Ben reveals that he found the secret passage from the church that leads to the TARDIS.

 The Doctor reveals that they cannot leave just yet; he feels he is under “moral obligation” to stay and try to help. The Doctor feels if they find the treasure first, they can use it to bargain, to forestall Pike from attacking the village long enough for Blake to return with soldiers. Tom watches as they set off to the church… and then Cherub grabs him from behind, demanding to know where they’re going.

 Kewper reports to the Squire what Pike has planned, and of Avery’s gold. The promise of Avery’s gold appeals to the greedy Squire. They, too, decide that the thing to do is to get to Avery’s gold before Pike does and head off to the church.

 Ben and Polly are searching the graveyard and making light of the epitaphs, when The Doctor realises the clue that Longfoot gave him, and they rush off to the crypt. Ben distracts The Doctor by showing him the secret passage. Polly found Ringwood, Ben finds Gurney and they search for Smallbeer.

 Squire and Kewper have made it to the church, and seeing horses, speculate it must be The Doctor and his friends – Blake would have more arms, the pirates would have more men. They confront The Doctor and his companions in the crypt. They threaten to harm the companions if The Doctor doesn’t help them. As they argue, Cherub descends the steps and throws a knife, taking Kewper out. A shot is fired and Polly screams and the credits roll…

Episode 4:

 Cherub has shot the Squire, who reels and falls, clutching his shoulder. Cherub recovers his blade from Kewper’s corpse (love how fast people die in tv shows) and wipes it on the body. The Doctor chastises Cherub for needlessly killing Kewper, but Cherub ignores him, only demanding that he help him find Avery’s gold. Cherub admits that he’s gone rogue and grabs Polly, holding his gun to her, threatening to shoot ‘the young lad’ if The Doctor doesn’t help him.

 Blake is riding hard, but is thrown from his horse.

 The Doctor gives Cherub Longfoot’s clue, and the pirate knows the names, including Deadman. There’s dialogue, but I really am not sure what exactly is happening – the Squire, wounded and gasping, speaks and sounds like he’s trying to play down the chances of the treasure being here, maybe.

 Pike and his men have landed on the beach. He sends one of the men to find Cherub, and leads the rest to the church. They creep up on the churchyard, cautiously, wary of any resistance. Pike opens the outside tomb and they remove the lid, and find the smugglers’ loot there. He leaves the men there and heads to the vestry himself.

 We then see Blake, accompanied by militia, hurrying towards the village.

 Pike confronts Cherub in the crypt, but Cherub tries to play it off that he was looking after for Pike. The two pirates engage in a swordfight, while The Doctor and companions watch.

 Back in the churchyard, the pirates have stopped working, instead drinking the booze and having a good time. The pirate left in charge gets everyone back to work.

 The two pirates keep fighting. The Doctor tells Ben to take Polly to the TARDIS – with them gone, nobody can use them as hostage to force The Doctor’s hand. Cherub gets ahold of Kewper’s gun and fires at Pike but misses. Ben opens the secret door and leads Polly down the tunnel, after promising to come back for The Doctor if he’s not soon behind.

 Cherub throws his knife at Pike, who ducks, and Pike finally stabs his traitorous crewman. Pike turns to The Doctor, demanding the answer. The Squire is still alive and says he will live to see Pike hang. The Doctor tells Pike he still wants to honour his bargain with Pike, but wants to change the terms of his reward.

 Two of the pirates, Daniel and the Spaniard, arrive at the beach, taking some of the smuggler loot there. As they unload the kegs, they see a cave and investigate, finding a large blue box in there – the TARDIS. They wait there to see who it belongs to.

 The Doctor says that instead of a share of the gold for his reward, he wants Pike to leave the village alone. There is no need for him to attack them if he gets what he wants. The Squire argues for the village to be spared as well. Pike finally agrees to it.

 Blake’s militia arrive at the cliff top and split into two groups.

 Ben and Polly make their way to the TARDIS, but Polly stumbles and falls in the low light. Polly insists Ben go back and fetch The Doctor, she will meet them at the TARDIS.

 Half of Blake’s men head to the beach, the other half go to the church.

 The Doctor gives Pike the four names, which Pike recognises as men from Avery’s crew in the old days, men who died on the seven seas. The Doctor says that Longfoot changed names on the crypt stones to match those four, and points out a flagstone equidistant between the locations of those names in the crypt.

 Pike looses the flagstone and finds Avery’s gold. As he celebrates, shots from outside can be heard, as well as the sound of violence and men shouting. Blake’s men and the pirates are fighting.

 The two pirates waiting by the TARDIS see Polly and chase her. She runs back into the tunnel and is caught by Spaniard. Daniel goes forward, but runs into Ben, who has come back to help. Ben easily takes out Daniel and then gets into a prolonged fight with Spaniard. Outside, on the beach, Blake and his men arrive. They enter and Blake shoots Spaniard, who is still fighting with Ben.

 Blake’s men are sent up the tunnel to the crypt, Ben accompanying them. Pike gathers Avery’s gold while ordering his men to fight the militia. The pirates are not doing well. The Doctor heads to the tunnel, and Pike moves on him, but Blake and Ben arrive just in time to stop him. With the assistance of Squire, Blake kills Pike in the fight.

 As Squire and Blake congratulate each other, The Doctor and Ben slip away down the tunnel. They wonder where ‘the old man’ went to.

 Polly is happy to see Ben and The Doctor arrive safely, and The Doctor unlocks the door so they can board. Inside, they talk of what happened as The Doctor starts the TARDIS and it dematerialises. Polly asks if they’re going forward or back in time and he reminds them that he has no control (it’s really getting annoying at this point, but I rather suspect it continues through the Second Doctor as well, doesn’t it?)

 Ben complains that he needs to be back in 1966 or he’ll get in trouble for not reporting to barracks. Polly complains that it is cold and The Doctor directs their attention to the scanner, announcing “We have arrived at the coldest place in the world!”… and the credits roll.

 Another fun historical story… I love how in most of the historical episodes, it seems The Doctor and his companions are always in a hurry to leave at the end – someone’s chasing them or some repercussion is being evaded.

 It seems the writers like having the male companion argue with The Doctor; Ian did it, Steven did even more so, and now Ben. I guess it’s part of the First Doctor’s dynamic.

 Being a big fan of pirates and such, I enjoyed this serial – would have enjoyed it much more had it existed in full video. Still, a good one… 

Advertisements