Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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A Change of Identity 

Susan and Barbara are rescued by Jules and Jean, two members of the escape chain, while the Doctor gains access to the prison by posing as a revolution official.




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Episode cast overview:
Jack Cunningham ...
James Cairncross ...
Caroline Hunt ...
Edward Brayshaw ...


Susan and Barbara are rescued by Jules and Jean, two members of the escape chain, while the Doctor gains access to the prison by posing as a revolution official.

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Release Date:

22 August 1964 (UK)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Hungarian director Henric Hirsch, inexperienced in working for television, had difficulty coping with the cramped Lime Grove studios, out-of-order shooting sequences and William Hartnell's lack of respect for him. As a result, he collapsed during shooting of the third episode. As Verity Lambert and production assistant Timothy Combe both felt unable to run a studio, a short term replacement for Hirsch was found; Combe believes this to have been John Gorrie, who previously directed The Keys of Marinus (although Gorrie stated that he has no memory of doing so), or possibly associate producer Mervyn Pinfield. No additional director is credited on-screen. Hirsch recovered in time for the filming of episode four, with his troubles eased by the production moving to Television Centre, Combe taking on some of the director's duties and Hartnell being more considerate of his manner towards the director. See more »


The clothes in the tailor's shop hang on modern coat hangers, which were not invented until the late 19th century, almost 100 years after this serial is set. See more »


Jailer: But I keep telling ya, he's just left to see Citizen Robespierre. Are you sure it's so urgent? Well, what is it about?
Shopkeeper: I want to give him this.
[holds up the Doctor's ring]
Jailer: What is it?
Shopkeeper: Evidence against a traitor!
See more »


Featured in Don't Lose Your Head (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

The Reign of Terror: Episode 3 - 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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