The Smugglers

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‘How dare you follow me into the TARDIS! The distractions! I really thought I was going to be alone again.’ The Doctor

10th September – 1st October 1966

The Memory Cheats

The Doctor Who Magazine Archive Feature. A mainstay of the magazine since the first issue. Then, once they had archived every story, in some cases twice, (let’s face it the early archives were not up to much) they relaunched the feature as The Fact of Fiction. In the summer of 2011 they featured The Smugglers.

The feature inspired me to watch the recon. I think this was the first recon I watched in full. Previously I had watched The Crusade with the CD from the VHS release and the telesnaps from the BBC website. A kind of do it yourself recon. Highlights were the way they inserted the existing footage within the stills. Most of these are the rather grisly murders as well! Also, recognising the caretaker off of Grange Hill looking exactly the same in 1966 as he does over 20 years later. I first saw him in Billy Liar, loved that show. It starred Jeff Rawle off of Frontios. Finally, of course, Anneke Wills narration.

The Time Space Visualiser

Ben and Polly are not convinced about the whole time travel experience. They don’t seem too shocked that a police box has transported them from Fitzrovia to Cornwall however!  Echoes from the first story as the sceptical new comers to TARDIS travel are placed in a brutal period of their history and start to come to terms with their new lifestyle. This time though, unlike Ian and Barbara, they are on location. This must have looked wonderful.

The pirates seem to think Polly is a boy. Rather bizarre this, as she looks very feminine to me. She is a Ben’s Duchess after all and isn’t she wearing make up?

Not the best or even the worst historical, but the first Doctor’s last and a colourful romp. Once again the Doctor gets to shine and there appear to be some great location shots and set piece fight scenes. I feel that I would like to watch this story in full.

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Inuendo Bingo

Episode 2, 1:47

Cherub: Let me show him first, Captain, ay? Let me give him a taste of Thomas Tickler

Well it was all fun on the high seas! Where is Seaman Stains when you need him?

Notable First

The first mention of Henry Avery in Doctor Who, although we don’t see him until The Curse of the Black Spot.

Cliché Counter

‘Ooh arrrgh Jim lad!’ More pirate nonsense than in a ‘crazy’ office on ‘International Talk like a Pirate Day.’ One of them even has a hook!

A female companion is asked to make tea. Although this time Ben jokes, ‘Polly put the kettle on!’

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The 500 Year Diary

20th July 1696

More stowaways! It’s like Ian and Barbara again! Was looking forward to some time on my own. Oh well. Have to go through the whole travelling in time and space bit. They didn’t believe me initially although seemed OK with the TARDIS being bigger on the inside. Showed them the scanner, that it actually was a scanner.

We’ve arrived in what looks like Cornwall. They went off to get a train. They were in for a shock! They finally believed we were in the past when we arrived at a church with an interesting local called Joseph Longfoot who has entrusted me with some sort of riddle; think he was grateful for putting his finger back in place. Polly is mistaken for a boy… is everyone blind?

We go to the nearby inn where we’re initially refused a room, but the landlord relents at the mention of Lightfoot. Don’t get a chance to see the room as this bald headed man carts me away off shore to a ship where meet the formidable Captain Pike. With a hook!

21st July 1696 am

This Pike and Cherub were all shipmates under famous pirate, Avery. He doesn’t believe me when I say I’m not embroiled in any plot. A bit of cunning needed so I manage to flatter him and I get offered some Madeira wine – although I never touch a drop!

Eventually joined by Kewper who tells me that Ben and Polly have got themselves in a bit of trouble, unsurprisingly! Also the village could be in trouble from the smugglers. Plan to escape with just a pack of cards.

21st July 1696 pm

Manage to trick poor Jamaica and Kewper knocks him unconscious. Thought I’d let someone else do it this time! We escape and meet up with Ben and Polly and this fine fellow called Blake to whom I regale Pike’s plan. Despite a quick route back to the TARDIS through a secret passage, we have to stay and save the village. In the crypt I try and work out the riddle. Suddenly Kewper and the Squire arrive followed by Cherub. A knife is thrown followed by a shot!

21st July eve

A lot of toing and froing. People come and go determined to find Avery’s treasure, which Pike eventually finds (with my help) after killing Cherub in a swordfight. Ben and Polly manage to escape during this and once Blake returns with a small army, killing Pike. That treasure is certainly cursed. Everyone looking for it died. However, I make my way back to the TARDIS with my conscience clear and we leave. Feeling exhausted!

The TARDIS lands and it’s freezing cold. We’ve landed on the coldest place on Earth!

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The Five Word Lords

Swash buckling fun, great performances.


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