Doctor Who: Revisiting THE FACELESS ONES

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Christopher Morley waves bye bye to Ben & Polly's Little Kingdom...


As those of you who joined us for a look at Ben & Polly's time in the TARDIS will know, they bowed out at the conclusion of The Faceless Ones.



The couple are handily delivered right back to 1966- the point in time at which they joined the Doctor, and following a Hard Day's Night-ish chase (with the Doctor himself as ' Paul' of course), they'll be investigating strange doings at Gatwick, home of the 'flying beasties' as their fellow traveller Jamie calls them!


Materialising on a runway immediately draws attention to them, not the smartest of moves on the Type 40's part if indeed it is sentient- The Edge Of Destruction having been the first implication that it might be. The old girl just might have come a cropper now too, and this has nothing to do with a mechanical fault!
COMMANDANT: The pilot said what?
MEADOWS: A police box on the runway.
COMMANDANT: A likely story. Tell him to get back into stack and await further instructions.
MEADOWS: Yes sir.
COMMANDANT: Miss Rock, get the Airport Police.
MEADOWS: Gatwick Control, Sugar Delta X-Ray. Return to stack.
COMMANDANT: Police? Commandant here. In-bound aircraft reports obstruction on intersection of runways Five and Two. Investigate and report back. Police Box.
And after splitting up, Polly witnesses a murder. Meeting the Doctor & Jamie, who are hidden under cover of a parked plane, she tells all-
POLLY: Doctor, I've just seen a man killed.
JAMIE: Hit by one of the beasties?
POLLY: No, no. He was murdered by another man.
DOCTOR: Get your breath, Polly, and tell us exactly what happened.
POLLY: Well, I went into the hangar to get away from a policeman, and there were two men in there. One of them had a gun and he shot the other one.
DOCTOR: The murderer, did he see you?
POLLY: Well, he chased me, but I managed to lose him.
DOCTOR: Could you find this hangar again?
POLLY: Well, I think so. I can remember the name. It was Chameleon something or other. Hey, where's Ben?
DOCTOR: We haven't seen him. Come on, let's find this hangar.
POLLY: But listen. The bloke with the gun, he'll be looking for me.
JAMIE: Ah, we'll look after you. Now come on.
Answers are needed, and to that end the Doctor takes Jamie to help him get them.



Makes the modern day tourist information service look good, right? Just when Polly thought she'd eluded capture the Chameleons- the faceless aliens stealing the identities of tourists- get their hands on her!
SPENCER: I've got her.
BLADE: Excellent. Did anybody see you this time?
SPENCER: She was following behind her friends, but they didn't notice.
POLLY: They'll come looking for me.
BLADE: Sit down.
POLLY: Murderers.
BLADE: You'll have to show us some respect, and answer my questions. Which airline do you work for?
POLLY: I don't understand.
BLADE: You must belong to some airline or the airport authority to be in this part of the airport.
POLLY: I've got nothing to do with the airport. We'd just arrived. We were lost. I was trying to find someone to help me and I saw him kill a man.
SPENCER: You say you'd just arrived? How did you get here?
BLADE: We'll gain nothing by questioning her. The important thing is that we've got her.
POLLY: You don't think my friends are just going to forget me like that, do you?
Perhaps mindful of the fact Ben & Polly would be leaving at the episode's conclusion, Pauline Collins (who would later portray Queen Victoria alongside David Tennant's Tenth Doctor in Tooth & Claw) was cast as Samantha Briggs, a gutsy Liverpudlian who wants to know what's happened to her brother.


And while she was offered the chance to join Patrick Troughton & Frazer Hines, she declined! You can listen to her talking about that time in the Radio 4 documentary Doctor Who- The Missing Episodes (here), which details what happened to some of the stories long thought to have been consigned to the BBC's Totters Lane of a cutting-room floor.

But back to the story, and a conditioned Polly, now believing herself to be Michelle Leuppi from Zurich, has to deal with her!
SAMANTHA: Oh, er, are you in charge here?
MICHELLE: Yes. Can I help you?
SAMANTHA: Yes. I'm Samantha Briggs and I've come down from Liverpool.
MICHELLE: Oh, really.
SAMANTHA: It's about my brother, Brian Briggs.
MICHELLE: What about him?
SAMANTHA: He went on one of your tours, and now he's disappeared.
MICHELLE: I'm sorry, I don't follow.
SAMANTHA: Well, it's really very simple. I tried to get the telephone number of the hotel you sent him to, and the operator said there was no such place.
MICHELLE: Well, the operator must have been mistaken then.
SAMANTHA: So, I got in touch with the police and they said that Brian wasn't staying at any hotel in Rome.
MICHELLE: Well, perhaps he changed his mind and decided to go off on a different tour then.
SAMANTHA: Yes? Well what about this then? A postcard from Brian posted in Rome.
MICHELLE: Yes, that does seem odd, doesn't it. Er, would you like me to make some enquiries, for you?
SAMANTHA: Well, what do you think I've come all the way down from Liverpool for?
MICHELLE: Well, since you've put the matter with the police, why have you?
SAMANTHA: The police. They said that dozens of people go missing every week and they haven't got the men to go chasing after them all.
MICHELLE: I see. What did you say your brother's name was?
SAMANTHA: Brian Briggs. Would you like me to spell it for you?
MICHELLE: That won't be necessary, thank you. I'll see what I can find out, if you don't mind waiting.
After all that rigmarole comes the inevitable goodbye. Which technically means they're back where they started in some sense!



Remember how it all began for them?
POLLY: Shh, watch him. I'm sure there's something strange about that police box . Look, he's got a key for it. He's going inside!
BEN: Key, that reminds me. I forgot to give him this one back.
POLLY: Come on, we'll do it now.
BEN: Yeah, but I've got to get back to barracks.
POLLY: Oh, come on. Doctor! What on Earth is he doing in there?

BEN: Ah, look. it's locked. Let's forget it.
POLLY: Hey, Ben...
BEN: But I've only got a couple of minutes.
POLLY: Come on!
What a great spirit of adventure, hmm?

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