a real world point of view
|The Myth Makers|
|Novelised as:||The Myth Makers|
|Companion(s):||Vicki, Steven, Katarina|
|Main setting:||Troy, circa 1200 BC|
|Number of episodes:||4|
|Premiere broadcast:||16 October - 6 November 1965|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|Mission to the Unknown||The Daleks' Master Plan|
The Myth Makers was the third story of Season 3 of Doctor Who. This story saw the last appearance of Maureen O'Brien as companion Vicki and the introduction of new companion Katarina, played by Adrienne Hill.
When the TARDIS arrives on the plains of Asia Minor not far from the besieged city of Troy, the Doctor is hailed by Achilles as the mighty god Zeus and taken to the Greek camp. He meets Agamemnon and Odysseus. Forced to admit he is a mere mortal - albeit a traveller in space and time - he is given two days to devise a scheme to capture Troy.
Steven and Vicki, meanwhile, have been taken prisoner by the Trojans. Vicki, believed to possess supernatural powers, is given two days to banish the Greeks to prove she is not a spy.
Having initially dismissed the famous wooden horse as a fiction of Homer's, the Doctor is finally driven to 'invent' it himself, giving the Greeks the means to defeat the Trojans.
In the climactic battle Steven is wounded by a sword-thrust to his shoulder and Katarina, handmaiden to the Trojan prophetess Cassandra, helps the Doctor to get him back to the TARDIS.
Vicki meanwhile, having adopted the guise of Cressida, elects to remain behind on Earth with the Trojan prince Troilus, with whom she has fallen in love.
Temple of Secrets (1) Edit
Outside Troy two warriors who reveal themselves to be Achilles and Hector are engaged in a long fight. The warriors are so engaged in their battle that they fail to notice the TARDIS materialise behind them. For a protracted length of time the Doctor and his companions observe the fight between the two men. Eventually the Doctor decides to go and intervene. As he emerges from the TARDIS he distracts Hector and Achilles uses this opportunity to kill Hector, much to the Doctor's anger. Achilles immediately assumes the Doctor is Zeus citing his sudden appearance, coupled with the fact that his presence, seemingly, aided him in killing his foe as proof positive. The Doctor plays along with this assumption so as to make Achilles feel guilty about slaying Hector. The Doctor tries to return to the TARDIS, which he refers to as his Temple, however Achilles pleads for the Doctor to stay in order to help them seek victory over the Trojans. While they are having this discussion the Doctor and Achilles are interrupted by Odysseus. Achilles tells Odysseus that he killed Hector but Odysseus is disbelieving. Achilles tells Odysseus to ask Zeus if he doesn't believe him. Odysseus pours scorn on Achilles' claim that the Doctor is Zeus and marches the Doctor back to camp claiming that he is a spy.
Meanwhile in the TARDIS Vicki and Steven have watched the Doctor being led away. Vicki's ankle is still injured (from Galaxy 4), so Steven ventures out alone to help the Doctor.
At the Grecian camp Agamemnon and Menelaus are arguing about the cause of war. Agamemnon states that if Menelaus had kept control of his wife or fought Paris none of this would have happened. This discussion is interrupted by Achilles who has beaten Odysseus to the camp and informs Agamemnon of his story. Agamemnon is unsure. Soon enough Odysseus arrives with the Doctor. Odysseus mocks the Doctor openly in front of all the men and claims that he is a spy. The Doctor tried to prove that he has omnipotent powers by using his knowledge of history. He tells Agamemnon that his wife is unfaithful to him, however Odysseus claims that everyone in the camp knows this. Agamemnon is unsure what to do. If he is Zeus he cannot kill him but if he is a spy he cannot let him walk free. He decides to imprison the Doctor until such a time as a better decision can be made.
Outside the camp Steven is in the undergrowth sneaking past guards to try and track the Doctor down, however little does he know he is being followed by a one-eyed man. This one-eyed man, by the name of Cyclops is in the pay of Odysseus and runs to his master to inform him of Steven's presence. Odysseus tracks Steven down and captures him. Steven claims he is a traveler but Odysseus suspects he has something to do with the Doctor and plans on using him as a way of allowing the Doctor to reveal his true identity. Once inside the tent Odysseus claims that Steven is a spy and asks the Doctor if he has ever seen him before. The Doctor says that he hasn't but knows, using his godly powers, that he is a traveler headed to visit his father. Agamemnon says that he is unsure and that if he is a spy they cannot send him away and that he should be killed. He asks the Doctor's advice. The Doctor says that he should be killed but that he should be killed by the hands of Zeus tomorrow at his temple. Odysseus informs the Doctor that since he left his 'temple' it has disappeared.
Small Prophet, Quick Return (2) Edit
The next morning, the Doctor and Steven go to the plains with the Greeks to find the TARDIS has disappeared but tracks lead off in the direction of Troy. Odysseus claims that this is the final proof that the men are spies. Menelaus calls on the Doctor to sacrifice Steven as he planned but the Doctor's protestations that he can only do it in his temple fall on deaf ears. Exasperated as to what to do next the Doctor confesses that he is not Zeus and Steven and he are friends. Menelaus is furious at the Doctor's lies and leaves him to the mercy of Odysseus. The Doctor, unsure of what to do, tells Odysseus the truth about how they arrived in Greece.
In the city of Troy a crowd is gathering around the TARDIS which has been brought into the city centre by Paris. Priam asks his son why he is bringing back trinkets rather than seeking the man who killed his brother Hector and slaying him. Paris tries to convince his Father that his spoil of war is an important acquisition in the war- however his case is not helped when, his sister, Cassandra who is a prophet, says that she has dreamed of a ploy devised by the Greeks whereby they seize Troy by hiding in a vessel which is willing brought into the city walls. It is decided that the TARDIS must be sacrificed to the Gods by burning it. Inside the TARDIS Vicki is watching this scene unfold and is terrified to hear that her life is in imminent danger.
By this time the Doctor and Steven have fully explained how they arrived in Greece. Initially Odysseus seems furious but soon reasons that their story is so outlandish they wouldn't dare make it up. He puts the veracity of the story to the taste by demanding that they should use their knowledge of the future to help them infiltrate the city walls and seize Troy. Faced with very little choice, the Doctor and Steven consent.
Back in Troy a sacrificial altar has been placed around the TARDIS in preparation for its sacrifice. Just before the TARDIS is incinerated Paris, possessive over his find, suggests that the Gods may not want such an item sacrificed. Cassandra asks the Gods to give them a sign if this is the case. Seizing this opportunity Vicki exits the TARDIS, much to the surprise of the gathered Trojans. After questioning Vicki states that she is from the future, the Trojans take this to mean that she is a prophet too, which annoys Cassandra, however she insists that she is literally from the future. Priam seems very fond of Vicki, whom he renames Cressida due to the fact Vicki doesn't sound like a very Trojan name. Troilus and Paris also seem fond of Vicki, however in a more amorous context. Paris tries to engage Vicki in conversation but Priam sends him out to fight Achilles, a task which he does not look forward to with any considerable relish. Priam and Vicki go into the palace to discuss her knowledge of the future.
Back at the Greek camp the Doctor and Steven are discussing ideas that they can offer to Odysseus for infiltrating the walls of Troy. Steven suggests the Trojan horse but the Doctor rejects the idea saying that that is a ludicrous myth probably invented by Homer as a literary trope. Odysseus interrupts them to ask if they have concocted a plan yet to which the Doctor replies in the negative. The Doctor engages Odysseus in some demands of their own and states that he will only help Odysseus if he can ensure that Vicki is safely carried away from Troy when the Greeks attack. Odysseus says that he cannot guarantee such protection due to the chaos of war. Steven asks if he can go and save Vicki himself, stating that he will dress up as a Greek soldier and be seized as a prisoner of war, taken into Troy and will liberate Vicki from inside. Odysseus admires Steven's bravery and says that he has a friend by the name of Diomedes who died the previous day and that Steven can have his uniform. Steven thanks him and leaves. The Doctor asks Odysseus if he has ever considered flying machines as a means of gaining access to Troy.
Outside the city of Troy the cowardly Paris is calling for Achilles to come and fight however worried he may be heard he is practically whispering. Much to his terror he is greeted by a Greek in full uniform who claims to be Achilles. Paris sees that the man is not Achilles and calls him on it. Steven, who is really the warrior who has presented himself to Paris, says that he is Diomedes sent on behalf of Achilles to fight Paris. Paris tries to wheedle his way out of the fight but Steven is insistent. The two men fight until it looks like Paris is about to win, when Steven yields the fight and says that he is thoroughly beaten by Paris. Playing up to Paris' arrogance Steven says that he should have listened to everyone in the Greek camp who told him that Paris was a mighty warrior who couldn't be beaten. Paris asks if that is truly what they think of him. Steven says it is and he will tell anyone that from now on. Seeing an opportunity to spread his reputation in the Trojan camp, as well as a way of avoiding Achilles further, Paris takes Steven into Troy.
In the palace at Troy Vicki and Priam are enjoying a luxurious meal. Vicki inquires as to how he gets such succulent food, to which Priam responds by saying his cavalry often finds ways of bypassing the Greek siege. Vicki seems surprised that cavalries existed in these times. Priam states that horses are seen as very important to the Trojans and have a religious significance. Vicki begins to talk about the Trojan horse when they are interrupted by Paris boasting of his prisoner. Priam is angered by Paris' invasion of his privacy as well as allowing a prisoner into the palace but Paris insists that the prisoner must be seen. When Steven is brought in, both he and Vicki are so surprised to see each other that they say each other's names in surprise. Cassandra who has been lurking in the background takes the fact that Steven is dressed in the guise of a Greek soldier as proof that Vicki is a spy for the Greeks. She calls guards into kill her and Steven instantly.
Death of a Spy (3) Edit
Paris intervenes to save Steven and Vicki, but unless Vicki helps Priam end the war, he warns, she will die. Steven and Vicki are taken to cells to prompt her into prophecy. Whilst there, Steven tells Vicki the Doctor has a similar deadline. Cyclops appears and is given a message for the Doctor, asking him to delay an attack for two days so they are not killed. The next visitor is Priam's youngest, Troilus, who forms a romantic attachment to “Cressida.” Vicki is equally attracted and seems successful in persuading him to try to get them released. When Troilus departs, it seems Vicki has fallen for him, contemplating staying behind. Elsewhere, Cyclops is slain before he can pass on his message.
The Doctor has come under such pressure to help the Greeks that he proposes the wooden horse to Odysseus. The construction will be left outside Troy and filled with Greeks, who hope the horse will be taken within the city, allowing them to attack. Agamemnon approves the plan, but Odysseus forces the Doctor to join him inside the horse for its fateful journey. The Greeks build the horse. Soon the gift is placed on the plains. It is spotted by Paris. The Trojans drag it inside their city.
The Trojans respond to the seeming disappearance of the Greek army by rejoicing. Priam has Vicki released. Steven is kept in prison because of Troilus' jealousy. When Vicki reaches the court, she learns from Paris that the wooden horse has been found on the plains and is being brought into the city. The gates of the city are open and the horse is now within.
Horse of Destruction (4) Edit
The Trojans dismiss Cassandra's prophecies, but in the melee Vicki slips away and rescues Steven from the dungeons. They head for the square, where a vast crowd has assembled to greet the giant wooden horse. They worry about what will happen when the Greeks emerge. Cassandra's handmaiden, Katarina, arrives to find Vicki for her mistress. This prompts Vicki to leave Steven in a hiding place (his escape having been noticed) while she mingles with the newly arrived royal party. She heads for the palace, where she meets Troilus. She tries to persuade him to flee with her from the city by telling him Diomede is on the plain. He agrees to venture outside.
Night falls again. Under the cover of darkness, the Greek navy returns to the Trojan coast, while the Doctor, Odysseus and the Greek soldiers exit the horse. The city is soon taken. Priam, Paris and Cassandra are the prisoners of Odysseus. The two men are slain and Cassandra is kept alive as a prize for Agamemnon himself. She is taken away in bondage, prophesying Odysseus won't see home for another ten years and death for his people. Out on the plain Troilus finds Achilles and slays him, though he is wounded.
The Doctor finds Vicki in the carnage. They hide in the TARDIS while Katarina, who has been trailing Vicki, obliges the Doctor by searching for Steven. She finds him in battle with a Trojan soldier where he is badly wounded, but she helps him return to the Doctor's "blue temple". When Katarina and Steven reach it, the Doctor and Vicki seem very tense. Odysseus arrives and the Doctor takes the opportunity to dematerialise the TARDIS with Steven and Katarina on board. Vicki, however, has slipped away with his blessing. She journeys onto the plains where she finds Troilus. They declare their love. Moments later, Troilus' cousin Aeneas arrives with reinforcements and helps them escape.
Aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor explains Vicki has gone. He is very concerned that Steven's wound is infected and the situation is getting worse. Katarina, however, believes they have already died and are en route to the afterlife. The Doctor knows they need the right medication to save Steven and hopes their next landing will provide it.
- The Doctor — William Hartnell
- Vicki Pallister/Cressida — Maureen O'Brien
- Steven Taylor — Peter Purves
- Katarina — Adrienne Hill
- Achilles — Cavan Kendall
- Hector — Alan Haywood
- Odysseus — Ivor Salter
- Agamemnon — Francis De Wolff
- Menelaus — Jack Melford
- Cyclops — Tutte Lemkow
- Priam — Max Adrian
- Paris — Barrie Ingham
- Cassandra — Frances White
- Messenger — Jon Luxton
- Troilus — James Lynn
- This serial had a sizeable cast of background characters, extras, and stunt doubles that did not receive on-screen credit.
- Writer - Donald Cotton
- Director - Michael Leeston-Smith
- Producer - John Wiles
- Assistant Floor Manager - Dawn Robertson
- Costumes - Daphne Dare
- Costumes - Tony Pearce
- Designer - John Wood
- Fight Arranger - Derek Ware
- Film Cameraman - Peter Hamilton
- Film Editor - Caroline Shields
- Incidental Music - Humphrey Searle
- Make-Up - Elizabeth Blattner
- Make-Up - Sonia Markham
- Production Assistant - David Maloney
- Production Assistant - Richard Brooks
- Script Editor - Donald Tosh
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Ralph Walton
- Studio Sound - Dave Kitchen
- Studio Sound - Bryan Forgham
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Vicki implies in this story that she is, at most, sixteen years old.
- The TARDIS is light enough to be carried by Paris and his men.
Story notes Edit
- This is the final story featuring Vicki.
- This is the first story featuring Katarina.
- The working titles for this story included The Mythmakers, The Trojans, and The Trojan War. Working episode titles included "Zeus ex Machina" (episode 1) and "Is There a Doctor in the Horse?" (episode 3).
- All four episodes of this story are lost, but some material from episodes 1, 2 and 4 exist as 8mm home movie clips, shot by filming a television set during the original transmission.
- This is one of the least documented stories, with very limited material (film/photographic) existing.
- William Hartnell was struck and injured by a camera during the filming of the first episode and sustained a bruise to the shoulder.
- William Hartnell suffered a bereavement while working on the story: the death of his aunt Bessie, who had looked after him during his troubled childhood. Unfortunately, the tight recording schedules prevented Hartnell from taking time off to attend her funeral.
- In the 1980s, Reeltime Pictures launched a series of home video releases featuring interviews with the cast and crew of Doctor Who. This long-running series of tapes (which later included the first independently-produced Doctor Who spin-offs) was entitled Myth Makers after this story.
- Francis De Wolff (Agamemnon) previously played Vasor in TV: The Keys of Marinus.
- Francis De Wolff wore same costume as Agamemnon as he had worn as Agrippa in Carry On Cleo. (HOMEVID: Frances White's Loose Cannon introduction to The Myth Makers)
- Homer's Iliad and Odyssey
- Virgil's Aeneid
- Chaucer's Troilus and Criseyde
- Shakespeare's Troilus and Cressida
- The plays of Euripides
- A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
- "Temple of Secrets" - 8.3 million viewers
- "Small Prophet, Quick Return" - 8.1 million viewers
- "Death of a Spy" - 8.7 million viewers
- "Horse of Destruction" - 8.3 million viewers
- William Hartnell refused to appear in scenes with Max Adrian as he was Jewish and gay. (This is not true and it is only coincidental that the two do not appear in any scenes together)
- Frances White, who played Cassandra, was not credited for this story. (She appeared in the credits for her episodes but was not listed in Radio Times. Although it has been claimed this was at her request, White has since denied this in an interview for Loose Cannon Productions. Her omission from the programme listings was actually an oversight on the part of Radio Times.)
Filming locations Edit
- Frensham Little Pond, Surrey
- Ham Polo Club, Middlesex - Model shot filming
Production errors Edit
to be added
- The Eighth Doctor and Charley Pollard encounter Vicki in PROSE: Apocrypha Bipedium. Vicki, unfamiliar with regeneration, assumed that he was a younger version of the First Doctor.
- The story continues directly on from TV: Galaxy 4 with Vicki still having a twisted ankle.
- The Fourth Doctor would later claim that he did not come up with the idea of the Trojan Horse. (TV: Underworld)
Home video and audio releases Edit
- Only eleven short clips from episodes 1, 2 and 4 are known to exist. They are from a reel of 8mm film shot off a TV screen.
- The original audio of this story exists and was released as The Myth Makers on 2 CDs, with linking material provided by Peter Purves in January 2001.
- The Myth Makers at the BBC's official site
- The Myth Makers at BroaDWcast
- Detailed synopsis of The Myth Makers at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Myth Makers at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Myth Makers at The Locations Guide
- The Myth Makers transcript
- ↑ When Troilus told Vicki that he would be seventeen on his next birthday, she remarked that he was not much older than her.