It’ the last day of Winter…. March 19, 2018… and in case you don’t know, March 20th is considered to be the first day of Spring so I can get away with saying that… anyway, it’s a Monday which means time for my weekly Classic Doctor Who Review with part four of The Smugglers.
The Fourth Chapter of the story first aired October 1, 1966 and had a viewership total of 4.5 million viewers, which was a small up tick of 300,000 from part three… the episode opens as Cherub attacks the Squire and kills Cooper, with the Squire being wounded severely. He then grabs Polly and holds her at gun point unless the Doctor gives him the riddle he was told by the Churchwarden in part 1. The Doctor being the Doctor, stalls for time and we learn that the names mentioned in the riddle were apart Avery’s crew while the Squire manages to mention something about Captain Avery’s Curse… again making me wonder if this is the same Captain Avery seen in the Matt Smith Era of Doctor Who.
Pike and his men hit land and head for the church, raiding the Smuggler’s little storage area before going on to the church alone, and yes the men he leaves behind start getting a little rowdy. When Pike finds Cherub he actually questions him about deserting the ship and Cherub raises his gun towards Pike, who disarms him and they begin to have a sword fight, which allows The Doctor to send Ben and Polly off to wait for Blake to arrive who at this point is already on his way back with his forces. Cherub is killed and the Doctor strikes a deal with Pike to give him the treasure as long as the village … which might be easier said than done considering they are pirates and pillaging is what they do. Pike agrees and the Doctor leads him to the treasure just as gun shots are heard as Blake has arrived and overpowered Pike’s men and chaos erupts, as Blake’s Men and Pike’s Crew brawl all over the damn place.
This leads Pike to think The Doctor lead him into a trap and threatens to kill him as help arrives, Pike is killed thanks to the Squire causing a distraction allowing Blake to shoot him, and our heroes head off to the TARDIS where they land in the coldest place in the world… setting up the next story in the saga.
This episode is a solid ending chapter, with Pike’s crew soundly defeated by Blake’s men, the Squire getting some redemption as the kindness and honesty of the Doctor made him feel ashamed of his own behavior. If there was something I didn’t like it was after Ben and Polly escaped from the crypt, Polly gets hurt and makes her way towards the TARDIS alone while Ben goes back for the Doctor which leads to Polly being attacked to be rescued by Blake and his men, arriving in the nick of time. I think logically Ben getting her to the TARDIS first and being there with her to fend off the attackers would’ve been better. Also according to the captions on the Loose Cannon Reconstruction of this episode… apparently Blake was thrown off of his horse… and this leads to another minor issue, it takes Blake quite a while to make it to where he can gather his forces, but he makes it back in time to save the day.
Anyway that will do it for this week’s review, next week we prepare to say good bye to the first Doctor with part 1 of the four part story… The Tenth Planet!