Doctor Who: Season 1, Episode 40

The Tyrant of France (29 Aug. 1964)

TV Episode  |  TV-PG  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 133 users  
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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Title: The Tyrant of France (29 Aug 1964)

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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

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


First TV role of Ronald Pickup. See more »


Jules Renan: Ian, it will all be over by today. You'll be able to leave, together. It'll be quicker this way!
Ian Chesterton: [sighs] Well I don't like it this way. But...
Jules Renan: Good. I'll go and fetch Barbara and Susan.
Ian Chesterton: And let's hope we can trust the physician!
See more »


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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