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The Reign Of Terror

Stranded near Paris

Revolutionary France

A land filled with spies

The Reign of Terror brings to a close the first season of Doctor Who. Once again, some of the episodes are lost* and so I listened to the audio soundtrack, this time it is Carole Anne Ford (Susan) who provides the narration.

This story could have become embarrassing had the actors involved attempted to speak the dialogue in hammy French accents but thankfully they refrain from this and the result is an enjoyable audio play. It is also one of those stories that you want to listen again to as no one is who they seem and sometimes you can lose track of who is who and what side they are on.

This is the first historical not penned by John Lucarotti. Instead it was penned by future script editor, Dennis Spooner and finds the travellers in revolutionary France just before the downfall of Robespierre. In fact, there is a scene towards the end of the story where Robespierre tries to shoot himself when he realises all is lost but only succeeds n shooting his jaw off. It would be hard to imagine how this scene was done onscreen. It is definitely one of those moments that is a lot more gruesome on audio.

We are told that this is one of the Doctor’s favourite periods of history and he has a chance to dress up as a Regional Officer and to command various Citizens as he tries to find his friends. The crew once again have been split up and the events of the plot prevents them from returning to the TARDIS until the conclusion of the story.

  1. A Land Of Fear
  2. Guests Of Madame Guillotine
  3. A Change Of Identity
  4. The Tyrant Of France
  5. A Bargain Of Necessity
  6. Prisoners Of The Conciergerie

*Episodes 5 and 6 are missing but have been animated (as was the Patrick Troughton story, The Invasion. Click here for more info on the lost stories. The animation will be done by a different company than that which did the Invasion and it will be interesting to see the results. (This information was brought to my attention in issue 436 of Doctor Who Magazine, which also has a tribute to Nicholas Courtney).