Although the episodes themselves no longer exist, I was able to listen to the audio of the lost Hartnell story “The Massacre” (originally called “The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve”). It was the fifth story of the third season and the Doctor’s only companion at this point is Steven (Peter Purves). The final episode introduces the Doctor’s new companion, Dodo Chaplet (played by Jackie Lane).
The story takes place after the events of “The Daleks’ Master Plan.” The TARDIS materializes in Paris in 1572. When the Doctor figures out what time period he is in, he decides to visit the famous apothecary Charles Preslin. After taking Steven to a tavern, the Doctor feels that there is no need for Steven to accompany him. He allows Steven to have some time to wander around Paris on his own, telling him that he is not to talk to anyone, lest he betray that he is not from the time period. They agree to meet back at the tavern in the evening.
Of course it does not take long for Steven to disobey the Doctor. He does not have the money required to pay his bill, and a man steps in to help him. The man is Nicholas Muss, and soon Steven has joined his group. Nicholas and the others of his party are Huguenots, and it is through them that Steven becomes involved in the deadly conflict between the Huguenots and the Catholics.
A servant girl, Anne Chaplet runs into the tavern. Since she is a fellow Huguenot, Nicholas and his friends hide her from the guards who are following her, but only Steven is curious as to why she is running. Thanks to Steven’s curiosity, the group learns that she works for the Abbot of Amboise and has overhead men discussing a Huguenot massacre. Since the Doctor, who has been visiting with Preslin, has not returned, Steven agrees to spend the night in the home of the Admiral de Coligny, Nicholas’ master.
From there, Steven becomes involved in intrigues plotted by the Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici, and is suspected of being a spy by his Huguenot friends, while the Doctor is nowhere to be found. Although the Abbot of Amboise does bear a striking resemblance to the Doctor…
I would imagine that Peter Purves is very disappointed that this story was lost, since this really is Steven’s big moment. The Doctor is absent for parts two and three of this four part story, although he does play the evil Abbot of Amboise in several scenes (which I would love to be able to see). The story really follows Steven’s adventures. It actually allows Steven’s character to develop more than any of the surviving episodes, as it becomes clear that Steven has a very strong sense of what is right and what is wrong and does not hesitate to become involved. In fact, Steven becomes so upset at the Doctor for not doing what he considers the right thing that he almost leaves at the end of the episode.
Steven’s anger is understandable when you remember that the previous adventure saw the first companion death on the show (Katrina) as well as the death of several other important characters. Steven was already starting to question if stopping the Daleks was worth the cost in human lives. Then, in this episode, the Doctor leaves, knowing that he cannot change the course of history, but all Steven sees is the Doctor doing nothing to prevent the slaughter of his newfound friends. His anger is quite understandable, as he often does not seem to see the big picture.
The story is actually quite dark for a children’s program. All of Steven’s friends are left to be slaughtered by the Catholics, although it is implied that Dodo is a descendant of Anne Chaplet, showing that she survived the massacre. There is also no comic relief to break the tension of the story. I did, however, enjoy the mystery of whether the Doctor was impersonating the Abbot or if the Abbot just happened to look exactly like the Doctor. That, along with the fact that these were historical events with which I was not terribly familiar, made it a rather suspenseful story.
When it comes to Dodo, I feel the less said, the better. Seeing how she came to end up traveling with the Doctor did not make me like her any more. In fact, it almost made me like her even less, as she seems to be the only companion not to notice that the TARDIS is larger on the inside.
Overall, however, I enjoyed the story. It was a suspenseful, engaging tale, with many interesting supporting characters. It’s incredibly well written. It also had a rare moment in which Hartnell shows a vulnerable side to the Doctor. When he thinks that Steven has left him, leaving him to travel on his own, the Doctor takes a moment to reflect on all the companions he has lost. It was a rather poignant moment, even if the appearance of Dodo did ruin the moment a bit.