Basement…. And Tales From The TARDIS!
I took a different approach with my notes this week, instead of fully scripting things out for myself, I just jotted down various notes for the episode, to try and be more off the cuff with the video version.
Episode opens with show of Doctor laying in burning house, Cut to Paris and sight of the guillotine lingers before we see it dropped, and the name of the episode… that cut to a sign that reads ‘Conciergerie Prison’, where that is seen written in ENGLISH… this episode takes place in 1790s, France… I get this show was made in 1960s Britain… but come on!
We see Barbara and Susan, Ian in front of a Judge (in the video I called him an administrator... cause I didn't realize he was a judge...) , who has the list of charges brought against them for being in the same place of two criminals, they are sentenced to be killed and are taken to the cells. They are separated, Ian in one cell with the women in another
The jailer offers Barbara a chance to escape for some ‘comfort’ and ‘company’ and she promptly slaps him. Go Barbara! She and Susan are put in the ‘worst cell’ which is rather smelly. They are reminded of when they were prisoners in the prehistoric era. Barbara gives Susan a boost to look out a window and they appear to be in a prison. Susan is worried about The Doctor
We see that the boy from the first episode has rescued the Doctor and is helping him recover from nearly being roasted. The Doctor is informed that his companions have been taken to the Consiguere Prison, the boy figures the Doctor wants to escape, but the Doctor is determined to head to Paris and learns the boy’s name is Jean-Pierre… The Doctor then begins his long trek towards Paris, and we see him crossing a field and walking down a road.
Back in the prison, the jailer peeks in on Susan and Barbara, they reflect on times they were in trouble in the past. Barbara is concerned about Susan who is normally optimistic. Barbara figures they could probably escape, and makes a makeshift crowbar to try wedge out some loose bricks to escape.
Meanwhile Ian is tending to his fellow prisoner who was shot when he was arrested. Ian figures it isn’t impossible to escape. The prisoner named Webster is sure France will stop it’s madness and turn its attention across the channel and says England needs to be ready for when that comes, cause it will be war. He tells Ian there is an Englishman who has vital information and swears him to try and find ‘James Sterling’ before he keels over and dies before telling Ian where he can find James with his last breath
The Doctor is continuing his long walk to France, and comes across a chain gang. The Doctor asks if he’s on the right road to Paris. The over-weight guard informs The Doctor the chain gang are tax dodgers, trying to complete their project by tomorrow. The Doctor gives some unwanted advice, telling him to work, and the guy reacts badly, forcing The Doctor to work with the chain-gang.
Barbara is working on knocking out the wall, but is exhausted. Susan offers to take over but her hands are weak from previous times they trade off. The jailer comes with their food and sees the blankets on the floor, but before he can discover what they are up too his is summoned.
A high ranking official named Lemaitre enters Ian’s cell and asks how long Webster has been dead. Ian refuses to answer at first, telling him Webster’s been dead for several hours. Ian lies about Webster speaking before he died. Lemaitre asks the Jailer if Ian and Webster spoke, and says he heard them speak. He then reviews the execution list, takes Ian’s name off of it and orders Webster’s body removed from the cell. Susan and Barbara eat the food they were given, and get back to work, where Susan is scared by a rat, jumping up on the cot, revealing a terrifying fear of rats, meaning they can’t escape.
Back with the Doctor he’s hard at work who notices the fat guard is counting his money. The Doctor comes up with a plan, saying there is going to be an eclipse. Getting the guard to come over, which allows The Doctor to pick his pocket for some gold. The Doctor acts like he found some coins and treasure… and the fat guard starts to greedily dig…. And The Doctor clocks him over the head with a shovel. The chain gang prisoners escape and the Doctor goes on his way We get several shots of the Doctor on his journey before he stops for a rest. , sitting on a sign post that reads that Paris is still 5 KM away
The episode closes with the jailer coming to get Barbara and Susan, it’s revealed the magistrate sparred Ian, but they are not so lucky and are off to meet Madam Guillotine. From his cell, Ian peaks out to see what’s happened as the episode ends with him looking on helplessly.
Overall: Episode is quite good, with the cuts back between the Doctor and the prison we get the feeling that time is constantly passing, so the episode doesn’t feel like its standing still. The shots of the Doctor traveling is quite good, and there is a big what if as it relates to Barbara and Susan if they were able to escape, Also Jacqueline Hill lift Carol Ann Ford with surprising ease, so safe to say she was quite fit in her day.