Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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A Bargain of Necessity 

Ian finds himself held prisoner by the treacherous Leon while the Doctor attempts to engineer Susan and Barbara's escape.




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Episode cast overview:
James Cairncross ...
Jack Cunningham ...
Edward Brayshaw ...
Keith Anderson ...
Terry Bale ...


Ian finds himself held prisoner by the treacherous Leon while the Doctor attempts to engineer Susan and Barbara's escape.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

5 September 1964 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Due to the BBC's policy of junking episodes in the 1970s, this episode no longer exists in the archives. Several clips survive in the form of an 8mm home movie reel shot off a television set. They are: four seconds of Barbara in her cell talking to the Doctor about regretting having taken Susan to see the physician; three seconds of Barbara remarking on the Doctor's Regional Officer of the Provinces disguise; one second of Ian talking in the surgery; two different one second shots of the Doctor talking; and one second of Ian and Barbara in Jules' house, surprised by Lemaitre's entrance. These clips are included on the "Doctor Who: Lost in Time" DVD box set released in 2004. See more »


Ian Chesterton: Léon?
Léon Colbert: Yes. You must be Ian.
Ian Chesterton: That's right.
Léon Colbert: Are you alone?
Ian Chesterton: Yes. Jules said you might be able to help.
[turns to find two soldiers behind him, both aiming muskets at his chest]
Ian Chesterton: Soldiers!
Léon Colbert: Yes, I know. You walked right into my trap, didn't you, Ian?
See more »


Referenced in Dennis Spooner: Wanna Write a Television Series? (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

The Reign of Terror: Episode 5 - Excellent French Revolution Adventure
5 July 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review for all 6 episodes:

This pure historical adventure beginning with A Land of Fear and continuing for 6 episodes takes place in the French Revolution. It is an excellent and thoroughly entertaining story from writer Dennis Spooner.

It features William Hartnell in a wonderful double role showing his ability to act very differently from his normal performance as The Doctor. The story revolves around the characters being caught up with the revolution and shows the way Dennis Spooner would continue to write in the series mixing very serious drama with humour. This is one of his very best efforts as sometimes later on he got that balance wrong.

There are scenes, mostly in episodes 2 and 3, that are not so great and Carole Ann Ford as Susan is annoying at times. She is a sad shadow of the promise of the character in 'An Unearthly Child', the writers did let the character generally diminish in strength after the initial promise. Apart from these minor flaws, though, the vast majority of this story is real top quality.

This finishes the first season in the same superbly high standard that it began. The writing of most of the first series is brilliant and the main credit for the series must go to script editor David Whitaker and producer Verity Lambert. The scripts and story here maintain that brilliance. William Hartnell (The Doctor), William Russell (Ian) and Jacqueline Hill (Barbara) also maintain their fantastic characterisation and acting quality. The Doctor himself is particularly tremendous in this story.

The final 3 episodes are particularly strong and thankfully there are good animated reconstructions available with the original audio to preserve episodes 4 and 5 for which the videos were sadly wiped.

Overall very high standard story.

My Ratings: Episodes 1, 4, 5 and 6 - 10/10, Episodes 2 & 3 - 8.5/10, overall average rating - 9.5/10

Average Rating for Season 1 - 8.95/10

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