a real world point of view
|Novelised as:||The Smugglers|
|Main enemy:||Captain Samuel Pike, Cherub, The Squire|
|Main setting:||Cornwall, 17th century|
|Number of episodes:||4|
|Premiere broadcast:||10 September - 1 October 1966|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The War Machines||The Tenth Planet|
The Smugglers was the first story of Doctor Who's season 4 broadcast schedule, but the last story of the season 3 production block. Like Robot and Terror of the Zygons after it, it was a story that was "held over" from one season to the next in order to give the production team a little bit of a "cushion" against the pressures of production.
It was narratively notable for being Ben and Polly's first journey in the TARDIS, and furthers the development of their characters as opposites to each other. While The War Machines had depicted Ben as sullen and Polly as vibrant, The Smugglers establishes Ben as a skeptic and Polly as a believer. In the same way as it takes Ben a significant time in The Power of the Daleks to admit that the Second Doctor is in fact the Doctor, here he takes the better part of episode one to believe that he's travelled back in time. At the same time, it also showed the way in which the two characters could effectively work together to solve problems.
The story also contains an unusual amount of coarse violence, which resulted in the only surviving clips of the serial. The ABC took exceptions to a few scenes and edited them out — and then preserved those edits rather than broader episodes. So although it is mostly missing, a tiny flavour of the production has been retained. Additionally, the fact that the production unusually featured actual location filming in Cornwall attracted the enthusiasm of at least one amateur filmmaker. Footage exists of some of the location work, giving modern fans a further glimpse into the costuming and make-up of the serial.
Despite the fact that The Smugglers was a ratings failure and is ill-remembered by modern audiences, it was given a boost by the BBC Wales team in 2011. It was elevated to the status of a loose sequel to The Curse of the Black Spot, since it tells the story of how the Black Albatross — crewed by Avery's former mates — went looking for the gold and treasure that Avery was hauling in the Fancy.
The TARDIS arrives on the coast of seventeenth century Cornwall - much to the astonishment of Polly and Ben. Pirates led by Captain Samuel Pike and his henchman Cherub are searching for a hidden treasure, while a smuggling ring masterminded by the local squire is trying to off-load contraband.
The Doctor inadvertently learns, from churchwarden Joseph Longfoot (who is subsequently murdered), a cryptic rhyme that holds the key to the treasure's whereabouts. He is then kidnapped.
Although he escapes, the Doctor is eventually forced to tell Pike the rhyme's meaning - it refers to names on tombstones in the church crypt - and the treasure is uncovered. At this point, the militia arrive, summoned by revenue officer Josiah Blake. A fight ensues in which Pike and many of his men are killed and the rest taken prisoner. The Doctor and his companions meanwhile slip back to the TARDIS.
Episode 1 Edit
The Doctor is shocked and angry to discover Ben and Polly inside the TARDIS, as they innocently try to return a TARDIS key. Ben and Polly are confused and doubtful about the Doctor's stories of time travel and his lack of control of this machine, but they are shocked to leave the TARDIS and find themselves in a cave adjacent to an ocean beach. The Doctor says he cannot take them back to London, which Ben takes as a refusal. Polly is excited about these events, but Ben is anxious to get back to his Navy barracks. They go along a path up the cliffs in search of a bus or train, but the Doctor is worriedly amused at the prospect of convincing his new companions where and "when" they might be.
Ben spots a church at the top of the cliffs, and as they arrive the Doctor guesses they may be sometime in the 17th century. As they look around, Longfoot, the churchwarden, flint-lock pistol in hand, accosts the three travellers, mistaking Polly (in her 1960's trouser-suit) for a boy. The Doctor is able to convince him they are innocent travellers, and asks him to direct them to a place of shelter. The churchwarden is suspicious, and asks if they know Avery or Pike, apparently two pirates. The Doctor resets the churchwarden's dislocated finger, and the grateful man directs them to an inn. He warns the three to keep to themselves at the inn, and entrusts the Doctor with a riddle: "This is Deadman's secret key, Ringwood, Smallbeer, Gurney."* The Doctor is confused, but as a storm is coming on, the travellers depart. After the churchwarden retires inside, a large, muscular sailor emerges from behind a tombstone and goes inside the church.
Jacob Kewper, landlord of the inn, sends stableboy Tom to give a message to the churchwarden regarding a "delivery" expected soon. Soon, the Doctor and friends, soaked from the rain, arrive at the inn to an unfriendly, suspicious welcome from Kewper. They convince him that Longfoot sent them, and Kewper instantly becomes friendly and welcoming.
A drunken Longfoot is confronted by the sailor, Cherub, who calls the churchwarden an old shipmate of the Black Albatross and Captain Pike. Sobered, Longfoot refuses to give up knowledge of Avery's gold, and Cherub interrogates him about the old man and his two lads. Cherub kills Longfoot, and decides to pursue the three travellers. Tom reports back to Kewper about Longfoot's death, and is sent out to fetch the squire.
Cherub, now with three sailors, finds the travellers at the inn and threatens them about what the churchwarden told them; they kidnap the Doctor and haul him back to the Black Albatross, while Ben has been clubbed down in the struggle. The squire arrives, but instead of helping Polly find the Doctor, he questions the strangers about their origins. When Ben and Polly are more concerned about the Doctor, they find themselves arrested for the murder of the churchwarden.
The Doctor is shoved into Captain Pike's room on the ship. Pike's right hand is a nasty-looking hook, and the Doctor is threatened with it to force him to talk.
- This is not exactly the riddle's wording; see Myths, below.
Episode 2 Edit
Pike reveals that Longfoot, Cherub, and himself were all shipmates under Captain Avery, now dead. He accuses Longfoot of stealing Avery's gold, plunder that rightfully belongs to them. Cherub begs Pike to allow him to torture the Doctor.Ben and Polly find themselves in the village gaol, guarded by Tom. They are unable to convince Tom that there are other strangers in town (Cherub and the sailors were unseen by other inn patrons), but Polly hits upon the idea of exploiting the superstitions of the locals to try to escape. Kewper locks up the inn, heads to the harbour, and rows out towards the Black Albatross.
The Doctor appeals to Pike as a "gentleman," and bargains to be treated more civilly, and receive a share of the treasure. They toast over wine. Jamaica enters to inform Pike about Kewper's arrival. The Doctor is brought to the galley for food and wine. Ben and "Paul" make a straw doll, and with "Paul" in a "trance," scare Tom into releasing these "warlocks." They decide to head back to the church.
Kewper is brought before the Captain to discuss "business," having bribed Cherub. Kewper reveals himself, Longfoot, and the squire to be smugglers. Pike in turn threatens Kewper by revealing his true name, and that he and his men killed the churchwarden; Kewper trembles at being before Pike. Pike and Cherub leave to find the squire, preferring to do business directly with him. The Doctor is brought back, and he and Kewper are guarded by Jamaica.
Ben and Polly venture into the church crypt and try to work out the circumstances of Longfoot's murder. As they decide to find the TARDIS, they hide as one of the tombs opens to reveal a secret passage, and a cloaked man comes out. Ben knocks him out and ties him up. Polly decides this may be the murderer, and goes to find the squire to show him and prove their innocence. The bound man tells Ben he is Josiah Blake, the King's revenue officer. The passageway is further evidence against the churchwarden and the smugglers whom Blake is trying to arrest. Ben is pleased to hear the passage leads to the beach, and leaves a protesting Blake to investigate.
Pike and Cherub visit the squire, planning to get information about the smugglers' stash. The squire unwittingly reveals the church to be a relay point. Before they can talk further, Polly is dragged in by a manservant, and is horrified when she recognises Cherub. Kewper tells the Doctor what has happened to his friends, and the danger to the village from Pike and his men. The Doctor plans to escape using a ruse with playing cards. Meanwhile, the squire and his new "friends" decide to visit the crypt to see who Ben has captured, suspecting it might be a revenue officer, and turn the tables on Ben. Ben discovers the passage leads back to where the TARDIS is, but his joy is cut short as the squire, with Pike and Cherub, arrives, gun in hand, along with their prisoner Polly, who has been bound and gagged.
Episode 3 Edit
Ben recognises Cherub as well, but Pike dismisses his accusations. Blake calls out and is released after the three villains decide he is not an immediate threat. Blake is convinced by them to take Ben and Polly with them as suspected smugglers.
The Doctor tells Kewper's fortune using playing cards, watched by a curious Jamaica. Jamaica asks for his fortune to be told, and Kewper uses the distraction to knock him out. The Doctor and Kewper decide to go to the squire to tell him of the innocence of Ben and Polly, and the presence of Pike.Outside in the graveyard, the squire reveals a tomb to be one of the smugglers' stashes of booty. He and Pike arrange to meet the next night, and fires will be lit for signal. Cherub overhears and heads off on his own. Blake has forced Ben and Polly to the stables at the inn where, to their surprise, he removes Ben's ropes and gag, saying he would rather trust their word than the squire's. Ben unties Polly. Blake says he suspects but has no proof against the squire, and hopes to gather enough men to prevent what he believes will be a transaction in the next night or two. The Doctor meets up with them, to the huge relief of Ben and Polly, but Kewper is known to Blake and, upon their meeting, Kewper escapes after a brief gunfight.
Pike is enraged at Jamaica at the escape of the Doctor and Kewper, and Jamaica tells him they went to see the squire. Pike decides to move ahead with their plans early, with one group collecting the smugglers' stash, while he and Cherub hunt for Avery's gold. Pike kills Jamaica, then cannot find Cherub aboard ship. When the Doctor tells Blake about Pike's plans and surmises he will also sack and burn the village, Blake departs to gather men and arms. The Doctor is glad to hear of the passage to the TARDIS from the church crypt, but insists that they stay to try to prevent the destruction of the village. Knowing the clue to Avery's gold, the Doctor leads his friends back to the church, hoping to locate the treasure as a bargaining chip. As Tom watches them go, Cherub forces him to tell where they are heading.
The squire is horrified to hear from Kewper about his playing into Pike's hands, but hearing of Avery's gold, they decide to find it themselves. Knowing that Pike and his men will head for their stash, they aim to lay a trap for them. They ride off towards the church. The Doctor, Ben and Polly are searching the graveyard for clues, but eventually realise the rhyme reveals names on tombstones, and they head to the crypt. Ben shows them the secret passageway entrance, then they find markers for Ringwood, Smallbeer, and Gurney—three names from the rhyme. The Doctor thinks it would be more helpful if there were four names.
The squire and Kewper arrive to discover the church door ajar, and the three travellers in the crypt. Kewper threatens violence but the squire bristles at this. As the two argue, Cherub enters secretly; his knife flies through the air and meets Kewper's back, while a shot from his pistol rings out as Polly screams.
Episode 4 Edit
The squire has been wounded by Cherub's shot. Cherub demands the secret of Avery's gold. Polly insists on helping the squire, but while Cherub seems to agree he grabs her and holds his pistol to her head. Meanwhile, Blake is still riding towards the militia outpost.
The Doctor, playing for time, reveals the rhyme told to him by Longfoot. Cherub recognises the four names as members of Avery's crew — the fourth being Deadman. The squire recalls Avery's Curse and regrets having pursued the treasure. Pike and his men land in force, and Pike sends one man to find Cherub. Pike goes to the church, his men following, and opens the sarcophagus containing the silks, spices, and rum of the smugglers' stash. His men begin hauling the goods to the shore as Pike enters the church. Blake has finally collected his force, and they are on the way back to the village.
Pike finds Cherub holding the Doctor and friends, with the squire, and confronts him about deserting ship. Cherub says he did all this for the Captain, which Pike finds dubious. Cherub raises his gun to Pike but it is quickly parried, and the two duel with cutlasses. The crew have started helping themselves to rum, and crewman Gaptooth tries to restore order. He sends two crew members back to the shore.
The Doctor sends Ben and Polly down the secret passage while he waits for Blake. Pike is eventually victorious, and runs Cherub through. He turns to the Doctor. Meanwhile, the two crewmembers on the beach find the cave, the TARDIS, and the entrance to a tunnel.
The Doctor offers to take no treasure, so long as the village is spared; the squire is moved. Pike says he must keep his crew "happy," and resists. The squire argues that Pike seems to find it difficult to keep control of his crew, and goads him into proving their obedience and his command. Blake and his men sight the church, and divide into two groups: one will head to the church, the other will take the passage from the beach to the crypt. In the tunnel, almost at the TARDIS, Polly injures her foot, but insists that Ben return to fetch the Doctor.
The Doctor finds the fourth name on a tombstone; Pike is incredulous as all four men died at sea. The names, says the Doctor, were changed by the churchwarden, and a flagstone is at the intersection of the four names. Pike removes the slab and, reaching deep inside, discovers the treasure. As he does so, gunshots are heard outside. The pirates, drunk with rum, are easily overtaken by Blake's men, while others retreat into the church.
Polly is attacked by the two sailors and tries to escape back into the tunnel. Ben hears and is able to overtake one of them as the sailor approaches. He finds Polly and fights the second man as Blake's men arrive; Blake shoots the sailor dead. As his men flood the tunnel, Ben follows Blake.
There is pandemonium in the crypt as Blake's men fight the pirates. Pike grasps at the treasure, then threatens the Doctor for leading him into a trap. Ben, Blake and his men arrive and take to the fight. Ben tries to take the Doctor away but he insists on helping the squire. The squire has enough strength to help fend off Pike's hook as Blake fires the fatal shot, ending Pike.
Ben helps the Doctor down the secret passage as Blake finds and helps the squire; the day is theirs. Finding Polly, the three enter the TARDIS and leave. Suddenly the interior of the ship is freezing cold, and the Doctor announces they have arrived at the coldest place in the world.
- The Doctor - William Hartnell
- Ben Jackson - Michael Craze
- Polly - Anneke Wills
- Churchwarden - Terence de Marney
- Cherub - George A. Cooper
- Jacob Kewper - David Blake Kelly
- Tom - Mike Lucas
- The Squire - Paul Whitsun-Jones
- Spaniard - Derek Ware
- Captain Pike - Michael Godfrey
- Jamaica - Elroy Josephs
- Blake - John Ringham
- Gaptooth - Jack Bligh
- Assistant Floor Manager - John Hansen, Tony Gilbert, Maggie Saunders
- Costumes - Daphne Dare
- Designer - Richard Hunt
- Fight Arranger - Derek Ware
- Film Cameraman - Jimmy Court
- Film Editor - Colin Eggleston
- Make-Up - Sonia Markham
- Producer - Innes Lloyd
- Production Assistant - John Hobbs
- Script Editor - Gerry Davis
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Cyril Wilkins
- Studio Sound - Leo Sturgess
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
Foods and beverages Edit
- This serial almost contains the most alcoholic consumption of any televised Doctor Who story. Ben drinks some beer. And though the Doctor refuses brandy when in the presence of his new companions, as soon as he is having a private conversation with Pike he eagerly accepts what he assesses is a particularly fine Madeira. It wouldn't be until World War Three before both the Doctor and a companion drank so conspicuously on screen.
- The smugglers smuggle rum, silks, tobacco and brandy.
- Pike compares Avery to the pirate Morgan.
- Blake is the King's revenue officer. Since the date is never more specific than the 1600s, we cannot assert to which king he gives this service.
- Ben tells Polly to "ave a butcher's" at one of the graves.
- Ben bets the Doctor that they have landed in Fitzroy Square.
Popular culture Edit
- In episode two, Polly lays down some clear ground rules with Ben, saying that she has no intention of playing "What's-his-name" Watson to Ben's Sherlock Holmes.
Story notes Edit
- The title sequence film is used to represent the space/time vortex as seen on the TARDIS scanner screen in Episode 1, with the story title, writer's credit and episode number captions overlaid in black on the swirling patterns.
- Telesnaps for episodes 1 - 4 survive.
- Episode 1 - 4.3 million viewers
- Episode 2 - 4.9 million viewers
- Episode 3 - 4.2 million viewers
- Episode 4 - 4.5 million viewers
Broadcast Dates Edit
- Episode 1 - 10th Sep 1966, 5.50pm
- Episode 2 - 17th Sep 1966, 5.55pm
- Episode 3 - 24th Sep 1966, 5.50pm
- Episode 4 - 1st Oct 1966, 5.50pm
- Episode 1 - 24'36"
- Episode 2 - 24'27"
- Episode 3 - 23'55"
- Episode 4 - 23'37"
- For the fight between smugglers and Revenue men in episode four, so few stuntmen were used that they had to play multiple roles achieved by means of frantic behind-the-scenes costume changes. (Although Terry Walsh, one of those involved, recalls the scene being shot in this way, in fact the ten stuntmen under the direction of fight arranger Derek Ware, of whose HAVOC organisation they were members, played only one role each.)
- The wording of the rhyme revealing the treasure's location changes from episode to episode—apparently depending on how well William Hartnell remembered his lines. In fact, Hartnell recites the rhyme correctly both times he must do so, in Episodes 3 and 4. It is Terence de Marney's Longfoot who fluffs his lines when the rhyme is first said in Episode 1.
- A test regeneration was filmed during production of this story. (This was an April Fools' joke in Doctor Who Magazine.)
Filming locations Edit
- Nanjizal Bay, Cornwall
- St Grada Church, Grade, Cornwall
- Trenethick Barton, Cornwall
- Bonny Mary, Newlyn, Cornwall
- Bosistow Cliffs, Nanjizal, Cornwall
- Church Cove, Cornwall
- Trethewey Farm, Cornwall
- Riverside Studio 1, Hammersmith, London
Production errors Edit
to be added
- The end of this story leads straight into the next, The Tenth Planet.
- After Polly and Ben depart the TARDIS on the Cornish beach, the Doctor muses to himself, "I really thought I was going to be alone again", but it's unclear what he means by "again", since there's no point since An Unearthly Child where he's been without a companion.
Home video and audio releases Edit
- Australian "censor" clips from Episodes 1, 3, and 4, as well as on-location behind-the-scenes footage, can be found on the DVD collection Lost in Time.
- The soundtrack to this story was released with linking narration by Anneke Wills on 6 May 2002. It was re-released on 4 August 2011 as part of the box set Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes - Collection Three.
- The Smugglers at the BBC's official site (including photonovel)
- The Smugglers at BroaDWcast
- The Smugglers at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Smugglers at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Smugglers at The Locations Guide