Doctor Who Diary – Day 10

Day 10 – The Faceless Ones

Here we are 10 days in (not consecutive mind you, I tend to get busy). I am nearing the end of season 4 and getting closer to not having to watch mostly missing episodes.

Companions

Polly  & Ben Jackson (9 Adventures)

As we say goodbye to Polly and Ben I’m starting to see a pattern when it comes to departing companions. If they are from the “current day” (depending on when the episodes are airing) then they leave the next time they land in a similar year (usually a year or so from when they left to keep up with the passage of time in the regular world). If the companion comes from the future/past they usually end up in some situation that either calls for them to stay (i.e. helping build up a society) or they fall in love (I’m looking at you Susan). Polly & Ben fall into this pattern since when they are finished with this adventure they decided that maybe they should continue on with their life before the Doctor. In all fairness they didn’t realize that they were going to go travel through time and space. During this scene we got another mention of how the Doctor has never returned home.

Adventure

– The Faceless Ones

I’ve been slowly seeing the types of episodes that show up in classic Doctor Who (they also show up in the current run as well). This one would fall under the category of a story set in the “present,” but involves aliens and future technology. What I love about Doctor Who is that more often than not you have no idea where the story is going.

The Doctor and his companions come across an airline where the people who board never reach their destination. There are also a few people (including Polly) who are acting strangely. The Doctor discovers these people are not who they appear to be, but are actually replaced by alien doppelgangers. The only problem with these aliens’ technology is that both they and their victim must wear an armband in order to preserve the illusion. These aliens are kidnapping the passengers, shrinking them, and taking them back to their home planet. The Doctor exploits a major flaw in their plan and off they go back in the TARDIS. Or do they……. Make sure to stay tuned for tomorrow’s entry.

The Faceless Aliens (Before)

“The Faceless Ones” Continuity Facts (from Wikipedia)

  • 20 July 1966 is noted as the busiest day for the Doctor in his time on Earth. The First Doctor defeats the War Machines and WOTAN. As noted in the synopsis above the plans of the Chameleons have been foiled and the TARDIS has been stolen at the beginning of the Second Doctor and Jamie’s adventure against the Daleks.
  • Working titles for this story include The Chameleons.
  • This story had its origins in a planned Hartnell story by Hulke-Ellis called The Big Store, in which aliens occupied mannequins in a busy department store, while waiting for human hosts to possess. The idea was adapted for the Troughton era and its setting changed to a metropolitan airport.
  • Filmed on location at London Gatwick Airport. Heathrow also accepted the production team’s offer, but the team chose Gatwick as the cost was lower. Doctor Who did film at Heathrow for Time-Flight in 1982.
  • There is a fan myth that this was the first story to feature the Doctor’s face in the opening credits (exact determination having been difficult due to the number of episodes missing from this era of the programme). In reality, it was The Macra Terror that saw the debut of the new title sequence. However, the revised arrangement of the theme music that accompanied this new sequence made its debut in Episode 2 of The Faceless Ones.

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