The Highlanders

After the enjoyable Dalek story, things have settled back into old habits with another tedious historical story. The Doctor, Ben and Polly are caught up in the middle of a battle between the English Redcoats and the Scottish Highlander clans, predictably enough leading to someone being captured and having to be rescued (why do these stories always go the same way?). Ben gets caught up in an illegal slave-trading operation and nearly shipped off to sea. Polly has to work with one of the clan women to capture a soldier and meet up with the Doctor.

"You may have swords, but I have a recorder... and I'm not afraid to use it!"

“You may have swords, but I have a recorder… and I’m not afraid to use it!”

The only interesting thing about this four-parter is that the Doctor pretends to be a German doctor, then later dresses up as an old woman. He does the voices well, and uses enjoyably silly tricks to fool the soldiers. (I simply can’t see the same thing working with Hartnell’s doctor.)

One of the Doctor's many disguises.

One of the Doctor’s many disguises.

Anyway, a big battle aboard the ship ensues at the climax, and the Doctor and co escape back to the Tardis. They take one of the highlanders with them, Jamie, who decided not to accompany his clan on the boat to France.

Captured by the redcoats.

Captured by the redcoats.

I’ve yet to actually see Troughton’s performance as the doctor in anything other than stills, as so far only reconstructions and audio exist. On the face of it, this particular story doesn’t seem like much of a loss. I’m hoping things pick up again, and it looks like some completed episodes exist ahead.


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