Doctor Who (1963–1989)
6.5/10
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The Tyrant of France 

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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Jack Cunningham ...
James Cairncross ...
Lemaitre
Keith Anderson ...
Caroline Hunt ...
Danielle Renan
Edward Brayshaw ...
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Jean
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Storyline

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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29 August 1964 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

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: two seconds of The Doctor in Robespierre's office; three seconds of Ian talking in Jules' house just after his planned escape; one second of Ian talking the following morning, hoping he can trust the physician; one second of Susan lying down in the physician's surgery; and three seconds of Susan looking worried as Barbara tries to open the surgery door. These clips are included on the "Doctor Who: Lost in Time" DVD box set released in 2004. See more »

Quotes

Barbara Wright: [trying to open the surgery door] Ah, this door's stronger than it looks!
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Connections

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 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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