Season 3: The Massacre- The War Machines


After the epic Dalek story we get one of my favourites continuing a trend of darker stories from the new production team.  The Massacre is just simply wonderful. Steven is the star of this story with The Doctor absent for most of it (can you imagine the twitter uproar about the show not being Steven Who if it aired today!! ).
Hartnell instead plays The Abbott and shows us again what a good actor he is playing a different character with a suitable air of menace. The ending is quite brutal as Steven struggles with having to allow history to run its course and very briefly leaves giving Hartnell a good Doctorish  speech. Know I’m in a minority but this is the missing story I want returned the most!
From the sublime to the ridiculous as The Ark comes next. This is a very 50’s B-movie style story and The Monoids are probably one of the most unconvincing aliens but it rattles along and the idea of the story skipping ahead centuries at the midway point is a good one.
The Celestial Toymaker is one I find boring which is at odds with popular fan opinion. Michael Gough is good in his role but I fpund this a trudge to get through (even the episode that still exists)
The Gunfighters was a story us younger fans were told was terrible back in the 80’s and I was pleasantly surprised when I first saw it especially as westerns are nowhere near to being a favourite genre. The song is annoying and overused but the story is a good one and the stakes feel real.
The Savages sees Steven leave and the story is a nice morality tale still relevant today with Hartnell on fine form. Peter Purves wants to return to the show and reckons Steven would become a tyrant, would be a intresting story!
The War Machines ends a very electic season and gives us a Pertwee style story four years early. Hartnell in modern day England is such a novelty and is so enjoyable to watch as he strolls around London. Dodo gets a terrible offscreen departure, surely they would’ve been better killing her off than just let her vanish. However Ben and Polly are great replacements and feel fresh.

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