Monday, May 25, 2009

U1 - Temple of Secrets

The John Wiles era begins with a delightful little historical romp set in the era of the Trojan War. It doesn't really look or feel any different than the Verity Lambert era (difficult to say, I know, on account of the fact that the episodes don't exist in the BBC Archives), but, behind the scenes, massive changes were afoot.

Maureen O'Brien returned from vacation to find that her character, Vicki, was to be written out at the end of the story. Her contribution to this episode isn't much, as she has done the typical companion thing and hurt her ankle in the previous episode, and so is relegated to TARDIS watch. Steven fares a lot better than he did in Galaxy 4, and The Doctor manages to get himself mistaken for the Greek god, Zeus.

Wiles and William Hartnell, quite famously, did not get along at all. Added to that is the fact that one of Hartnell's close relatives died during the making of this story, and that Hartnell's own health was beginning its own slow deterioration must have made this a very difficult experience for the programme's star, but it doesn't show. A true professional, through and through.

The Myth Makers sets out to be a comedy, but we don't see the full height of the supposed hilarity until later episodes.


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