The sixth story of Season 4, "The Faceless Ones" is often seen as the first part of a massive 13 part story, comprising "The Faceless Ones" and "The Evil of the Daleks". These two stories were linked by the Doctor's TARDIS being stolen at the end of "The Faceless Ones" - "The Evil of the Daleks" opened with the Doctor and Jamie searching Gatwick Airport for the TARDIS, but that's another story.
Most of this story is set at Gatwick Airport and the production team was luckily enough to get permission to film at Gatwick Airport itself during early March 1967.
This is the last story to feature Ben and Polly, played by Michael Craze and Anneke Wills. The producer, Innis Lloyd, asked the writers David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke to eliminate Polly and Ben after the first two episodes and introduce a new female character who could possibly become a companion. Lloyd had decided that the characters of Polly and Ben were not working well, and that three companions made the stories difficult to plot. Hulke recalled that Lloyd had gone off both Wills and Craze, particularly Wills whom he reportedly now found temperamental. Lloyd decided with Gerry Davis, the script-editor, that Wills and Craze's contracts would not be renewed and they would be paid upto the end of their present contract (which ran to Episode 2 of "The Evil of the Daleks"), but were to leave at the end of this story.
The possible new companion was Samantha Briggs, who was played by the now famous Shirley Valentine actress, Pauline Collins. Lloyd asked her if she wished to stay, she declined, and that gave David Whitaker, the writer of "The Evil of the Daleks", the go-ahead to create the character of Victoria Waterfield.
The basic storyline is as follows. The TARDIS lands at Gatwick Airport on 20th July 1966, and Polly witnesses a murder in a hanger by a man with an alien ray gun. When Polly then disappears, the Doctor discovers another girl who looks just like Polly. The main problem is that her double states that she has never seen the Doctor and Jamie before. It appears that aliens have arrived and are replacing people and the airport personnel with doubles - but why? And who can the Doctor trust?
A note from the Archiver.
At present, only Episodes One and Three exist in the vaults of the BBC, but all parts exist on audio tapes. In the film print of Episode 3, certain frames have been removed due to damage caused by the film being played on a dodgy projector. However, the audio version of this episode is complete, so all the dialogue is present.
Thanks - Lee Horton 16/12/97.
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