The Aztecs

aztecs 1

‘What is the point of travelling through time and space if we can’t change anything?’


23 May – 13 June 1964

The Memory Cheats

Another BskyB one this I think, although I think I only had one episode. Didn’t really like it the first time round. I think I may have seen it on video in my 30th Anniversary run through. Must have borrowed it from you I guess. Famous in Doctor Who Weekly for the Doctor boffing Cameca. I enjoyed it more when I watched it about 8 to 9 years ago on DVD.

The Time Space Visuliser

That shot of the TARDIS dematerialising on Marinus must have cost a lot. This is the third time they have used it! For the second story in a row Barbara is off again and quick to get in with the locals! This time as a goddess! Relieved they have all changed their clothes. Tlotoxtl always reminds me a bit of the second doctor and it is he who steals the show. It’s a bit much when the Doctor impatiently corrects Ian for pronouncing Autloc’s name incorrectly. I guess, like America, Gallifrey has no irony. Into the garden of peace and the Doctor quickly makes a beeline for Cameca. Gets his chat up lines confused though when he asks, ‘Does he come here often?’

And so to the famous line. Very good scene this. Barbara is great. Then she goes out to face her public, though the cheers for Barbara are very short lived. Back into the garden and some am dram extras are there with Cameca and the Doctor. For the second story Susan is shocked at the thought of an arranged marriage. So Gallifrey doesn’t have them I guess. Ian soon defeats Ixta, he must be a Vulcan. More evil laughter from the Doctor as he plans Ian’s death by leaf. Love how the Doctor warns Ian during the next fight by holding out Ian’s wrist for Ixta to scratch.

Cameca falling over with the beans is very unconvincing. It is a trap to ensnare the Doctor in marriage. Tlotoxtl is not really a villain here. He is actually correct as Barbara is an imposter and a liar. ‘Happy days.’ Says the Doctor. So that’s who Jamie Oliver gets it from. Love the Doctor’s face when he realises he is engaged. Susan is side-lined to the learning temple, what a relief, although she is not as annoying here. We learn that Cameca was betrothed to Tapou.  All Cameca’s men seem to leave her in the lurch.

The stone to the tunnel is clearly very heavy! Ee-arn trapped in a watery grave until . . .  luckily he can escape through another polystyrene tile. Pulling the rope is not going to be easy apparently as the Doctor says three times. ‘I’ll tell you how glad I am to see you later.’ He says to Susan, can’t wait. Oh no! They are captured again. Good climbing stairs acting from Ixta. Not sure who these two chaps are fighting but one of them is wearing Ian’s clothes!

So the episode finishes without a line of history being rewritten. Poor Autloc and Cameca are the losers, maybe they should have got together, while Tlotoxtl is left to carry on as before. Ixta ends up dead at the bottom of a massive drop. This is a great story though, free from padding. All the scenes are really well paced and I have enjoyed every minute. Although I have not noticed it before the Mark Gatiss’ docudrama, the often reported Lime Grove sets have seemed very claustrophobic this time round. This one, filmed in TV Centre, seems to benefit from having more room. (Yes, I have been watching all the extras too.)

Inuendo Bingo

‘You saw the blow?’ Tlotoxl to Autloc, who replies, ‘There was no blow.’ Drug use in Mexico, even in them days! (Episode 2)

‘Face to face I can pull him . . . ‘ Ixta in episode 2.

‘… when Ixta’s asleep, you come out.’ The Doctor to Ian in episode 2.

Notable First

The Doctor made some cocoa and got engaged. For the first time in a televised episode at least. This was all pre Grace, Rose and River, although there was no snogging. Only an exchange of bodily jewellery.

Pop Group of the Week

T’pau (as it is spelled nowadays.) They designed the temple, apparently.

Tongue Twister of the Week

‘Ought to order Autloc’ The Doctor to Barbara in episode 4. Considering it’s the First Doctor he doesn’t do a bad job with the line giving only a momentary stumble.

The 500 Year Diary


24th December 1454

Barbara! Again! She’s a right know it all. Suppose it is fortuitous to have a history teacher on board, but we’ve only been in Mexico five minutes and she’s taken on the mantle of the reincarnation of Yetaxa. She’s got it into her head that she can change their human sacrifice rituals, but I told her… you can’t change history, not one line! (Well… unless I’m doing it of course). She didn’t listen, the poor man jumped off the temple anyway and now she’s started that Tlotoxl off.

In addition, we’ve managed to distance ourselves from the ship again. Trapped behind a one way door in the temple of evil! Managed to turn on the charm with this old bird in the Garden Of Peace called Cameca and she’s going to arrange a meeting with the son of tomb’s designer. Still got it!

25th December 1454

Had a right go at Barbara today. This god thing has gone right to her head. She’s taken to walking round like a big bird!

Met with Cameca again – I’m actually quite taken with her. I feel bad because using her a bit, but what’s the harm? Met with this Ixta and managed to get him to bring the plans tomorrow in exchange for a secret weapon he could use against his opponent. Gave him a poison needle. What I didn’t realise was that he was fighting Ian – he was one of the warriors of death!

I got arrested and then it all got very tense as Barbara challenged to stop the fight!

 26th December 1454

Got engaged today! It was as simple as drinking some cocoa. Bit chuffed. Not really into this romance stuff, perhaps when I get older?

Haven’t seen Susan for a few days. She’s been taken to this seminary. Probably going to be the bride of sacrifice unless we can get her out.

Barbara did manage to stop that fight by holding a knife to Tlotoxl’s throat. Calm down Barbara! Anyway, he really is a rather unpleasant fellow. Had a chat with him in the garden. Managed to convince him that getting into the centre of the tomb will prove if Yetaxa is real or not. Didn’t need the plans in the end (think that Ixta was lying about them anyway) as found a really heavy sliding panel. Ian went inside. Ixta turns up and says it’s part of a dam and the panel must be replaced! I can hear the water filling up… with Ian inside!

 27th December 1454

Ian managed to escape thankfully and get into the tomb. I then had to invent a complicated pulley system to get into the darned thing. Had to start from scratch with the wheel which I just realised I’ve left behind. Hope that doesn’t change history!

Reunited with Susan. I am going to tell her how glad I was to see her later. Sad to say goodbye to Cameca. She gave me a seal to remember her by. A little keepsake.

Ian’s doing a lot of fighting lately. He pushed Ixta off the top of the temple. Hope he hasn’t got a propensity for violence!

So we left Mexico and Tlotoxl got his own way, but at least Autloc has seen the light. And where have we landed? On top of something or even in something!

aztecs 2


The Five Word Lords

Plot / characterisation, best so far.


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