Doctor Who (William Hartnell) – The Savages


The Doctor (Hartnell) says goodbye to yet another companion, in this week’s adventure.

This was also the story that began the tradition of eschewing individual episode titles, and simply referring to them as one, two, etc. The Savages was written by Ian Stuart Black, and aired from 28 May 1966 to 18 June, 1966.

The Doctor, Stephen (Peter Purves) and Dodo (Jackie Lane) find themselves in a far-flung future on an unidentified planet, peopled with human beings. Unfortunately, there is something more going on here than the Doctor would approve of.

It seems humanity has become divided into two categories, the ‘savages’ who are forced to live outside the city, picked up occasionally by the city’s guards for devious reasons, and those who live in the city, the artists and intellectuals.

But the Doctor discovers, and falls victim to the vampiric-like process that keeps the city alive. It seems that the city dwellers sap the ‘savage’s’ life energy from them and then transfer it to themselves. This leaves the victim in a temporary zombie-like state, shambling along, unaware, until they come back to themselves.

The Doctor, learns of this terrible ordeal, but is forced to go through it himself, which ends up working to their benefit. The city’s leader, Jano (Frederick Jaeger) takes all of the Doctor’s sapped life energy for himself, but gets more than he bargained for… he gets some of the Doctor’s conscience along with his intellect, giving the time travellers (who are now fleeing and hiding out with the Savages) an ally.


Steven and Dodo spend the majority of the four episodes alongside the Savages, and fighting the city guards who carry light guns, which Steven outwits, and claims for himself.

As the Doctor, with Jano’s often unsuspecting help moves things towards a happy ending, he and the ‘savages’ destroy the city’s transference cubes, and laboratory, bringing everything to a dead stop for those who live off the energy, but giving the entire planet a second chance.

When the story reaches its resolution, an opportunity presents itself. It seems both sides are willing to accept Steven as the de facto leader of the planet.

Dodo is rather upset by the idea, but the Doctor believes this to be a wise and well thought out choice, and doesn’t quite shove Steven out the door, but it’s not far off from that…

And just like that, there were two, and only one story left in season 3, and a regeneration very prominent on the horizon.

Just like that, my time travelling with the first Doctor is coming to an end… wow.

But the full ride is just beginning, so many stories and adventures to come yet!

Next week, The War Machines!





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