Doctor Who: The Smugglers (S04E028)

By: (plus.google.com) +David Herron; Date: 2008-10-01 19:16

Tags: Doctor Who

The Doctor starts to leave with the TARDIS, all alone, because Dodo sent a message that she wished to stay in London. Except, Ben and Polly have accidentally boarded the TARDIS just before dematerialization. Once he sees them he's knowing that they're stuck with him for awhile, but of course they're obstinate that they're in 1966 London and that Ben has to get to his ship, etc. Then the ship lands somewhere and, despite now being on a beach, still thinking they're in 1966 they start heading towards the church they see in the distance. And thus ensues an Adventure in the past.

Fortunately for Ben and Polly it's a relatively straightforward issue they stumble into. It's 1600's somewhere in Cornwall, and there are pirates who are in search for a buried treasure. Thus ensues several stereotypes of pirates such as a guy with a hook instead of a hand, but there wasn't a parrot to be found.

There's not much of any weight here. It's basically a pirates buried treasure story but with the twist of the presence of the Doctor. Even that wasn't much of a twist.

The interesting part of this story isn't the story, but that these episodes were nearly the last of Hartnell's tenure as the Doctor.

This was the last story filmed in the third season's production block, although it was intended to be held over until the beginning of the fourth season. During filming, the production team realized that William Hartnell's health had deteriorated beyond the point where he could continue to work. Many months' discussion about replacing Hartnell finally came to a head, and Innes Lloyd decided not to renew Hartnell's contract. It is unclear if Hartnell was contractually obliged to appear in The Tenth Planet or if he agreed to do so after being informed of Lloyd's decision.