The TARDIS materialises not far from Paris in 1794 - one of the bloodiest years following the French Revolution of 1789. The travellers become involved with an escape chain rescuing prisoners from the guillotine and get caught up in the machinations of an English undercover spy, James Stirling - alias Lemaitre, governor of the Conciergerie Prison.;The Doctor - posing as a Regional Officer of the Provinces - is twice brought before the great tyrant, Robespierre himself, and has to talk himself out of trouble. Ian and Barbara, meanwhile, have a close encounter with a future ruler of France, Napoleon Bonaparte.;As events reach their climax, Robespierre is overthrown - shot in the jaw and dragged off to the prison - and the Doctor and his friends slip quietly away.
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Many have criticised the animation style but the faceshots and quick cuts, while out of keeping with 60's Who directorial style, nevertheless make for interesting and captivating viewing. It fits the remainder of the story well. Cudos that the animation team tracked down the original plans of locations in France to make the scenery authentic! I was actually more impressed with the soundtrack quality which is an improvement over the CD release a few years ago. It's a pity that they didn't include the Carole Ann Ford segments from the VHS release. Also missing is William Russell on the commentary track but he does appear on the Making Of Feature (he was away on holiday for some of the filming in the 60's). Bonus marks for having Ronald Pickup on the commentary for an episode of his first TV appearance (but sadly lost). But it's a worthwhile release from an underrated and often overlooked Hartnell historical story.
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An early Doctor Who set in revolutionary France. Quite slow and stagey by modern standards obviously, but Hartnell (playing the first doctor) has a twinkle in his eye. Interesting because episodes four and five (of six) have been animated because they were missing from the BBC episodes. The animation is very strange and jarring, but settles down.
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