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The Crusade

Barbara is kidnapped

During time of Crusades

Ian is knighted

This story is one of the incomplete/missing stories. The audio narration is once again done by William Russell (who played Ian Chesterton in the story). It is another historical and features some fine performances and sees the debuts of two actors who will return to the Doctor Who universe again (and for one of the actors, in the not too distant future). The actors are Julian Glover and Jean Marsh.

This story is also one of the very first to be novelised (even predating the amazing Target range of novels, although it was reprinted and released alongside the other Target novelisations). Both the script and novel was written by Doctor Who’s first script editor, David Whittaker.

It is a good story and it is a real shame that 2 of the episodes are missing but it shows the potential limitations of the historical stories. The framework of the story has the TARDIS crew having an adventure set around the time of the crusade of Richard II (Richard the Lionheart). The story centres upon the capture of Barbara and her subsequent attempt to reunite with the rest of the TARDIS crew. This happens while Richard is trying to negotiate a peace with Saladin, even offering his sister in marriage to Saladin’s brother Saphadin (a marriage to which she is vehemently opposed to).

This story also shows the Doctor being adept at material theft and Vicki is mistaken as a boy and Ian is knighted by Richard.

This story is a four parter but lacks the epic scale of the 7 part Marco Polo or the 4 part Romans. The story itself is enjoyable but the Doctor doesn’t seem to be a vital element to the story which is a shame as there are moments between the Doctor and Richard II that allow both actors to sparkle and there is a touch of sadness at the end after the Doctor predicts that Richard will see Jerusalem but a few moments later admits to the crew that Richard will only see the city from a distance.

The crew in this story are not so much time travellers as time tourists, stopping only to get in a spot of trouble and annoying the locals before making their getaway, onto the next adventure. By no means is this a bad story but after the excellent previous historicals, this one feels as if it should have been earlier in the series.

  1. The Lion
  2. The Knight Of Jaffa
  3. The Wheel Of Fortune
  4. The Warlords

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