Doctor Who: Season 1, Episode 40

The Tyrant of France (29 Aug. 1964)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Reviews: 1 user | 3 critic

The Doctor is forced into a meeting with Robespierre while Barbara's attempts to find a physician for Susan result in them being betrayed.



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Episode cast overview:
William Russell ...
Jacqueline Hill ...
John Barrard ...
Jack Cunningham ...
James Cairncross ...
Keith Anderson ...
Caroline Hunt ...
Edward Brayshaw ...
Donald Morley ...
Roy Herrick ...


The Doctor is forced into a meeting with Robespierre while Barbara's attempts to find a physician for Susan result in them being betrayed.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

29 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?


This episode takes place in France in July 1794. See more »


Physician: Yes, you appear to have a feverish chill, but it's nothing very serious.
Barbara Wright: Well, that's a relief.
Physician: All the same, I'm surprised at your condition. Tell me, uh, have you any idea how you came to catch it?
Susan Foreman: No, none.
Physician: Hmm. Your symptoms would suggest that you haven't been looking after yourself.
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Referenced in Don't Lose Your Head (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

The Reign of Terror: Episode 4 - Excellent French Revolution Adventure
5 July 2014 | by (South Wales, UK) – See all my reviews

Review for all 6 episodes:

This adventure beginning with A Land of Fear and continuing for 6 episodes takes place in the French Revolution. It is overall an excellent and thoroughly entertaining story.

This finishes the first season in the same superbly high standard that it began. The writing of the whole first series is brilliant and the scripts and story here maintain that brilliance. The Doctor, Ian and Barbara also maintain their fantastic characterisation and acting quality. Hartnell as the Doctor in particular is tremendous, especially in his meeting with Robespierre in Episode 4. The final 3 episodes are probably the best and thankfully there are animated reconstructions available with the original audio to preserve episodes 4 and 5. Episode 2 is probably the weakest, though not a bad episode it is not as good as the rest of the story. Susan's character is particularly annoying at times in this story and is a sad shadow of the promise of An Unearthly Child.

Overall very high standards though not as good as Marco Polo or The Aztecs.

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