Doctor Who: The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve
(4 episodes, s03e22-e25, 1966)
It’s a new adventure, this time in a straightforward story set in the middle of the rivalry between the Catholics and the Protestants. There are some nice twists that place Steven and the Doctor on opposing sides, but the absence of the Doctor and a lack of direction for Steven’s search make this serial difficult to watch.
Steven’s becoming a bit more tolerable in his role as companion, but his character isn’t strong enough to carry a serial on his own. I might be starting to identify with Steven though, as I felt his frustration as the Doctor wouldn’t explain his urgent need to leave.
The consistency was a bit difficult to reconcile as well, as the TARDIS is now back to landing in a new place instead of materializing, despite the Doctor’s recent admonitions to the contrary.
On the plus side, we get a new face with Dodo Chaplet. She seems spunky, and she might assuage some of the loneliness that is consuming the Doctor.
On the negative side, he’s already comparing her to Susan. Oh, God, he’s already comparing her to Susan.
Rating: 2/5 – “Mm? What’s that, my boy?”
UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Ark
The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.
5 thoughts on “Timestamp #22: The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve”
Dodo is pure 60’s love. He’s just comparing her to Susan because she’s short and young and dark haired. Personally this is one of my all-time wants to be returned to the BBC archives. I love that Steven is left as “in the dark” as the audience as they wonder whether the Abbot is really the Doctor up to some kind of ruse and when he “dies” wondering if the show is going to somehow continue under Steven. The dramatic tension holds high and I love the darker tone of the historicals under Wiles and Tosh. Unfortunately disputes between Wiles and Hartnell lead to Hartnell using his star power to get the man fired. From here on we transition into the Lloyd/Davis year of Doctor Who and things are going to get a whole lot more pulpy.
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