Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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A Land of Fear 

The TARDIS lands during the French Revolution, where Ian, Barbara, and Susan become caught up in the politics of the day. When they are arrested and set to be executed, the Doctor must take... See full summary »

Director:

Henric Hirsch

Writer:

Dennis Spooner
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Cast

Episode cast overview:
William Hartnell ... Dr. Who
William Russell ... Ian Chesterton
Jacqueline Hill ... Barbara Wright
Carole Ann Ford ... Susan Foreman
Peter Walker Peter Walker ... Small Boy Jean Pierre
Laidlaw Dalling Laidlaw Dalling ... Rouvray
Neville Smith Neville Smith ... D'Argenson
Robert Hunter Robert Hunter ... Sergeant
Ken Lawrence Ken Lawrence ... Lieutenant
James Hall James Hall ... Soldier
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Storyline

The TARDIS lands during the French Revolution, where Ian, Barbara, and Susan become caught up in the politics of the day. When they are arrested and set to be executed, the Doctor must take on the disguise of a public official to try and save their lives. (Originally broadcast in six parts.) Written by Anonymous

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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 August 1964 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This was the first episode to feature a pre-pubescent actor in a speaking role. See more »

Goofs

The cameras used to film this episode were incapable of zooming - instead they had to be physically moved closer to their subject. This is apparent when the camera "zooms in" on Ian as he explores the farmhouse and the camera lurches violently after hitting a piece of the scenery See more »

Quotes

Dr. Who: Well, if you're going, be off with you!
Ian Chesterton: Look Doctor, I think it'd be better if you came with us, at least to explore.
Dr. Who: It's out of the question. I refuse to leave the ship!
Ian Chesterton: Maybe you have succeeded. Maybe we are where you say we are. But, I remember an occasion, when you took us home once before.
Barbara Wright: [laughing] Yes, and we met Marco Polo!
Dr. Who: Entirely different circumstances! I'm rather tired of your insinuations that I am not master of this craft. Oh, I admit, it did develop a fault, - a minor fault on ...
[...]
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Connections

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

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User Reviews

 
The Reign of Terror: Episode 1 - Excellent French Revolution Adventure

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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