‘There’s something new in you yet something older than the sky itself.’ Princess Joanna
27th March – 17 April 1965
The Memory Cheats6
Last time I saw this was probably quite recently, about three years ago. I played the soundtrack of episodes 3 and 4 whilst watching the telesnaps on the BBC website. Despite how recently I last saw it I am not sure I remember a huge amount about it other than it has Julian Glover in it. Looking forward to it though as I am enjoying the historicals much more this time around.
I actually had a pre target novelisation of Doctor Who and the Crusaders. Did not read it though. Have looked it up and found it online. It was from 1967.
The Time Space Visualiser
So the TARDIS lands and there are about a thousand fights where both the Doctor and Ian both get really stuck in early on. A bit of fisticuffs. It’s a bit of a massacre! The Doctor spends most of the rest of the first episode randomly chuckling away to himself and mumbling incoherently. Meanwhile Barbara gets captured again and becomes Scheherazade. The Doctor is still very jolly which is reminiscent of the Romans.
Happily the annoying ‘capture and escape’ scenario does not get too laboured in the second episode, and instead there is quite a nice mystery feel to it. It is a shame that it was quite hard to follow as it is missing.
I think the notable performances from a strong cast make this one of the greatest acting tour de forces of the series so far. Glover and Marsh a fantastic, and the scene between them has got to be one of the best in Doctor Who to date. I predict we see more from them! It is quite disturbing when Ibrahim smears Ian with honey. What is all that about? It is also refreshing that the Arabs are not painted as stereo typical bad guys and are well characterised. Even Richard seems less than the hero at times.
Racist Moment of the Week
Blacked up actors with fake accents. The extras are actually properly black but don’t worry folks, only white actors are given any proper lines. At least the Arabs are portrayed sympathetically.
Unprovoked Angry Retort of the Week.
This time it’s Richard who goes off at the Doctor and Ian, just because they ask if they can go and find Barbara.
First meeting of a British Monarch on screen.
Julian Glover. His first appearance in Doctor Who and probably the biggest guest star to appear on Doctor Who by this time. Even in 1965 he was quite an established actor.
Vicky is the first person to cross dress in Doctor Who.
First appearance by Jean Marsh. Again already a very established Actor, and what a performance.
The 500 Year Diary
5th August 1190 am
Right in it from the off! We’re set upon by Saracens, but Ian and I see them off. However, they’ve also taken Barbara off. Probably as an object of lust… again! I decide that we should take one of the wounded, a fellow by the name of William De Tornebu, to the court of King Richard – the Lion!
We arrive in Jaffa and manage to steal some clothes whilst the shopkeeper is distracted. Then off to the court where King Richard is a bit off with us. He refuses to help us find Barbara. Thanks. Thanks a lot!
6th August 1190 pm
Manage to convince the King to help. Flattery will get you everywhere. We also meet the King’s sister, Joanna. They seem very close indeed. Joanna promises to teach Victor (this is actually Vicki in disguises as a boy whose voice hasn’t broken yet… no-one seems to question this, so I think we’ve got away with it).
Ian is then knighted. The Knight Of Jaffa.I almost wish I’d been knighted. When I mention this to Vicki she says ‘that’ll be the day’. How rude is that?
Ian hoes off to hoist Joanna on Seraphim. Then the shopkeeper comes in and accuses us of stealing clothes. He’s got a point, but then I, rather brilliantly, confuse him that they were stolen in the first place! Blockhead!
7th August 1190 eve
Joanna said something nice to me. She said, “There is something new in you. Yet something older than the sky. I sense that I can trust you.” What a lovely thing to say, especially after we deceived over that Victor Vicki thing. Not sure why I did that in the first place! I like Joanna. Wonder if I’ll come across her in the kingdom again?
However, not a big fan of the Earl Of Leicester. He’s not keen on the King’s plan to marry Joanna off. I am advocating this as a strategy even though I know it won’t happen! He never even gets to Jerusalem. Anyway, Joanna finds out about the plan and the King blames me and orders me out of sight!
It wasn’t me and what’s the fuss all about anyway, eh? She was going to find out sooner or later. The wheel of fortune keeps turning.
8th August 1190
That Leicester fellow’s got in it for us. Accusing us of treason! Happily the King intervened. We’re off the hook at least. He knows it was Leicester who told Joanna. Not sure why he keeps such an untrustworthy fellow on, he says it’s because he holds too much sway with the soldiers. He’s the ruddy King though! He should sort the war-lords out.
Decide to make our way back to the ship, but when we get there that Leicester is there with his men still banging on about us being traitors! Give it a rest! Happily Ian returns – with Barbara, thank goodness – and uses his Knight Of Jaffa credentials to save us. Hope he’s not going to be lording it up forever and a day.
So in the TARDIS and…
The Five Word Lords
Excellent script, performances and design.