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The Romans

A man with a lyre

Mistaken identity

Leads Doctor to Rome

The Romans may be an historical but where previous historical stories have an element of education about where/when the story is set, this one is played for laughs. This story is written by Dennis Spooner who would go on to become script editor on the show. This story goes for historical folklore rather than being historically accurate. The prime example of this is the central guest character, Emperor Nero, the infamous fiddler of a burning Rome.

The story also splits the characters (not uncommon) but keeps them separate with the Doctor and Vicki following one strand of the tale and Ian and Barbara the other. There are moments when the two storylines almost lead the characters to meet but they are kept apart in what can only be described as farcical circumstances. Ian becomes a gladiator and fights in….well, I’ll just say don’t expect the coliseum.

That said, the story is entertaining enough and the Doctor is thought to be a master of the lyre (but he becomes a masterful liar) and he comes up with some amusing ways to avoid playing the stringed instrument.

It is also interesting to note that once again, the first trip with a new companion lead the crew into the past, watch this space to see if this pattern continues.

  1. The Slave Traders
  2. All Roads Lead To Rome
  3. Conspiracy
  4. Inferno*

 

*not to be confused with the 7 part Jon Pertwee story also called Inferno

 

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