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LUCAROTTI, JOHN – DOCTOR WHO AND THE MASSACRE (OF SAINT BARTHOLOMEW’S EVE. (1987) Target Books – #122 

 

Novelization of a 1960’s adventure featuring William Hartnell as the Doctor and Peter Purves (later a Blue Peter Presenter) as Steven Taylor, his companion. This is an important novel for fans of the series as the BBC criminally destroyed the master-tapes of the episodes involved and this is the best remaining record of what the adventure involved. The time travelers arrive in 1572, in Paris, France on the brink of the Massacre of the Huguenots, The Doctor insists on visiting a famous apothecary from the period and leaves Steven to mingle with Protestant Huguenots in an inn. With hints of the trouble to come flaring, Steven is keen to find the Doctor, but the man he now takes for the Doctor claims to be a Catholic Abbot, Amboise, who seems to be an exact double of the Doctor, and he is largely responsible for engineering the impending, and very real massacre (one which my own personal family ancestors fled from), Stephen has made friends, and even found a potential lover among the Huguenots, but as the massacre becomes inevitable, thanks to the Abbot, the Doctor reappears and takes Stephen away in the TARDIS Time-Space vehicle. This is an unusual story in that the Double and the Doctor never meet. It gives more than an indication that the Doctor may in fact be the Abbot, ensuring that the massacre goes ahead and history takes a specific course. Stephen is appalled that the Doctor declined to help the Huguenots, with the Doctor claiming that history could not be changed. Stephen leaves him, and soon afterwards; a new companion, Dodo, on the brink of his next adventure, The Ark, joins The Doctor. The book faces a problem given that this adventure was quite a short one. The author therefore adds an implausible prologue/epilogue in which the Doctor, having retired from his travels and going home, is questioned by the Time lords of his own world about the events in France in the late 16th Century. The questions, which the Doctor wisely doesn’t answer, are problematic in that a/. The Doctor regenerates and is not William Hartnell’s Grandfatherly figure any more. B/. The sense among fans is that he is immortal and could fight on until he dies. He is unlikely to retire from the good fight. C/. In later Doctor Who Stories, from the Christopher Ecclestone stories onwards, Gallifrey and the Time Lords have been destroyed, rendering the prologue and epilogue to the book non-canonical. http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~ecl6nb/OnTarget/1987/massacre/87massac.htm

 

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