More danger and excitement in the TARDIS this week with an epic six-parter written by David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke and aired from 8 April to 13 May, 1967 and sees our heroes arriving at Gatwick airport on 20 July, 1966.
Once again, sadly, there isn’t much in the way of original video recordings of this story left, only a couple of the episodes remain, the rest, once again, are reconstructed for my viewing pleasure with pictures and audio recordings.
Upon their arrival, Polly (Anneke Wills) witnesses a murder, and is promptly abducted by the murderer who works for Chameleon Tours. Ben (Michael Craze) disappears too, leaving just the Doctor and Jamie (Frazer Hines) to try to find help. Unfortunately, where there are in the airport, it seems they can’t get to anyone for help without a passport, it’s a funny red-tape thing, that recurs through the story, and continues to exasperate both Jamie and the Doctor, perhaps that’s why he eventually got himself some psychic paper.
As the Doctor investigates, he learns the truth about those forces who are running Chameleon Tours. An alien race, known as the Chameleons, are abducting young travellers who use their tours, and replace them with their own people, who have over time had their identities stolen from them due to a gigantic explosion on their planet, so they are literally faceless.
While some are willing to be up in arms about this, the Doctor, upon learning about their predicament, tries to find a way to turn it around, and promises that if they release all of those they have abducted, he will help them find a new home, and new faces.
And while Gallifrey isn’t mentioned by name, the Doctor, in this story, reveals that he is upset that he cannot return home. And while I don’t know the details, yet, as I haven’t gotten there, I know this will play a bit of a point in his regeneration and the adventures of his third incarnation.
There is also a great bit, where the Doctor, Jamie and Ben hide in a photo booth and have a discussion while their photo is being taken, it’s just a little moment, but made me smile.
At the end of the adventure, Ben and Polly elect to remain behind on Earth, the same day that they left, leaving just the Doctor and Jamie in the TARDIS…
And will they be enough to take on the dangers that show up next week as we reach the end of Season 4 with the epic 7 part story…. The Evil of the Daleks?!?!