Doctor Who (1963–1989)
6.9/10
114
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The Highlanders: Episode 1 

The Doctor, Polly and Ben arrive in 1746, in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, and are captured by a group of Highlanders shortly before they themselves are captured by redcoats.

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Ben
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Sydney Arnold ...
Donald Bisset ...
William Dysart ...
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David Garth ...
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Storyline

The Doctor, Polly and Ben arrive in 1746, in the aftermath of the Battle of Culloden, and are captured by a group of Highlanders shortly before they themselves are captured by redcoats.

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17 December 1966 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

This episode takes place in Scotland on April 16, 1746. See more »

Quotes

Redcoat Sergeant: [to his soldiers] All right you scum, proceed with the hanging.
Ben Jackson: Well, you can't hang us with the officer away.
Redcoat Sergeant: Why do you think he went away? Got a delicate stomach, he has. Always leaves the dirty stuff to me. Right! Get 'em up!
[the Soldiers move into position and begin to pull the ropes taut]
Ben Jackson: Yeah.
Redcoat Sergeant: Take the strain! Stand by!
[a drum rolls, as The Doctor, Ben, Jamie and Colin stand on their tiptoes, with ropes around their necks]
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User Reviews

 
This pretty solid but unexceptional comedy/drama adventure was most notable for being the last pure historical story for the next 15 years.
21 August 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review of all 4 episodes:

This was sadly the last pure historical adventure in Doctor Who until Black Orchid over 15 years later. Not only is it a sad mistake to drop the pure historical stories it is also a shame that this is another example of the less successful comedic type of story. The insistence on using the 'historicals' to make forays into comedy in my view caused their apparent 'failure' which lead to them being dropped. This was probably deliberate as the producer at this time Innes Lloyd and script editor Gerry Davis, who also wrote this story, disliked setting stories in the past for some reason. It is a pity because the earlier serious historical stories were often among the series best.

The comedy works at times but does not work overall compared to when taking stories seriously. Humour is a great and integral part of Doctor Who but not the more extreme or broad humour seen on occasions throughout the series. This period was one where this broad humour was more favoured but fortunately there was enough positive going on that it did not ruin more than a few of the stories.

This is not a bad story and is good entertainment as the Doctor, Ben and Polly have adventures in Scotland during the Jacobite Rebellion in 1746. The most important development in the story is the arrival of Jamie McCrimmon played by Frazer Hines who was to remain the companion of the Second Doctor until Patrick Troughton's departure. This is no classic by any means though, it is pretty unexceptional. The script, general story and production values never reach the high standards of other stories but it is a reasonably acceptable effort.

My Ratings: Episode 1, 3 and 4 - 7.5/10, Episode 2 - 7/10


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