Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Priest of Death 

Steven has discovered the identity of the Sea Beggar, but can he warn the Huguenots in time?


Paddy Russell


John Lucarotti

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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
William Hartnell ... The Abbot of Amboise
Peter Purves ... Steven Taylor
André Morell ... Marshal Gaspard de Saux-Tavannes
Leonard Sachs Leonard Sachs ... Admiral Gaspard de Coligny
David Weston ... Nicholas Muss
Annette Robertson Annette Robertson ... Anne Chaplet (as Annette Robinson)
Chris Tranchell Chris Tranchell ... Roger Colbert (as Christopher Tranchell)
Clive Cazes ... Captain of the Guard
Reginald Jessup ... Servant
Cynthia Etherington Cynthia Etherington ... Old Woman
Barry Justice Barry Justice ... King Charles IX
Joan Young Joan Young ... Catherine de Medici
Michael Bilton Michael Bilton ... Charles de Teligny
Norman Claridge Norman Claridge ... Priest
Will Stampe Will Stampe ... 1st Man


Steven has discovered the identity of the Sea Beggar, but can he warn the Huguenots in time?

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis







Release Date:

19 February 1966 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Roy Denton was the original choice for the 1st Man, but after he fell ill Will Stampe was cast at very short notice. See more »


Featured in The End of the Line? (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

The Massacre of St. Bartholemew's Eve: Part 3 - Another superb historical adventure
19 August 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review for all 4 parts:

The Massacre of St. Bartholemew's Eve is a 4 part historical adventure beginning with War of God. It surrounds the build up to the true historical event of the title where a huge amount of Protestants in 16th Century France were massacred by the Catholic rulers of the time.

Such a horrific true event gives this story a very dark but very interesting feel and provides tremendous drama, particularly surrounding Steven's anger at the Doctor's insistence that they cannot interfere with the course of known history.

The writing, Paddy Russell's direction, acting by the regulars and the extremely impressive guest cast is of the highest possible quality and it is no surprise that the story comes from John Lucarotti who provided two of the earlier classic historical adventures. However, the script was actually heavily re-written by script editor Donald Tosh which has only served to further enhance it. Along with producer John Wiles, Tosh oversaw consistently high quality stories before they both resigned (after their wish to replace William Hartnell was overturned) with Tosh leaving part way through this production.

It is such a shame that the pure historical adventures, which in my view were often among the best stories, were disliked by Tosh and Wiles successors Innes Lloyd and Gerry Davis so the likes of Lucarotti's all time classic stories would tail off to nothing within a year. I feel that these pure historicals with no sci-fi elements, along with rare pseudo historicals where aliens are attacking in a historical setting, provide the variety of story which makes it easier to sustain interest and quality over a whole series. I genuinely think that if the weaker sci-fi stories throughout all the later series were replaced by occasional pure historical adventures and more of the pseudo-historicals (which were always few and far between) it would have made the series even stronger and certainly in the 6th and 7th Doctor's era could have brought greater success and critical acclaim preventing the decline the show suffered. Anyway it did not happen and the 21st Century series when it eventually returned was re- energised and re-introduced numerous pseudo historical stories if not pure historicals.

This story is a real classic, with top standards in all respects.

My Ratings: Episode 1 - 10/10, Episode 2 - 10/10. Episode 3 - 9.5/10, Episode 4 - 10/10

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