The Faceless Ones: Doctor Who: Season 4







The Faceless Ones SYNOPSIS:

The Tardis crew are separated fleeing security after the Tardis lands on a Gatwick airport runway on present day Earth. Polly is witness to a murder with an alien weapon and when reunited with her friends gets them to investigate the Chameleon tours hangar where it occurred. Captain Blade spies on them and captures Polly when she lags behind the Doctor and Jamie.

The Airport commandant can not be convinced by their story and the Doctor and Jamie encounter Polly working for an airline under another identity with no memory of them. In the airport hospital faceless aliens are being transformed into duplicates of captured staff by Captains Blade and Spencer. Ben is soon captured upon finding the body of the original Polly in stasis.

The creatures are Chameleons stealing human identities in order to survive on Earth. The Doctor, Jamie and Samantha Briggs, persuade investigating detective Crossland that Chameleon Tours is a front for an alien kidnapping operation. However Chameleon duplicates have now assumed key positions at the airport and the Doctor and Crossland have no way of knowing who to trust.

Jamie manages to stow away on a plane and destined for the Chameleon space station orbiting Earth. A captured Chameleon duplicate confesses that all the humans remain alive to allow them use of their forms but the Doctor and the Commandant still have to determine where the space station is and how to rescue his companions, the kidnapped staff and all the lost passengers. A possibility lies within the dissent brewing amongst the Chameleons commanders.

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The Faceless Ones DETAILS:

Episode Broadcast Run Time Viewership (In Millions)
Part One 8-Apr-67 23:47 8
Part Two 15-Apr-67 25:22 6.4
Part Three 22-Apr-67 23:10 7.9
Part Four 29-Apr-67 24:28 6.9
Part Five 6-May-67 23:34 7.1
Part Six 13-May-67 23:38 8

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The Faceless Ones CAST & CREW

The Doctor:
Patrick Troughton(Second Doctor)

Michael Craze (Ben Jackson)
Anneke Wills (Polly)
Fraser Hines (Jamie McCrimmon)

Guest Stars:
Colin Gordon — Commandant
Donald Pickering — Blade
Wanda Ventham — Jean Rock
Pauline Collins — Samantha Briggs
Bernard Kay — Crossland
George Selway — Meadows
Gilly Fraser — Ann Davidson
Victor Winding — Spencer
Christopher Tranchell — Jenkins
Peter Whitaker — Inspector Gascoigne
Barry Wilsher — Heslington
Madalena Nicol — Nurse Pinto
Leonard Trolley — Supt. Reynolds
James Appleby — Policeman
Brigit Paul — Announcer
Michael Ladkin — RAF Pilot

Production Staff for Serial KK:
Writers - David Ellis & Malcolm Hulke
Director - Gerry Mill
Script editor - Gerry Davis
Producer - Innes Lloyd

Missing episodes 2,4,5,6.

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The Faceless Ones REVIEWS


Had never seen the Faceless Ones before and although only a third of it exists, it was intriguing, interesting and very atmospheric in both parts 1 & 3. The Faceless Ones is one of those 'forgotten' stories that sort of gets lost surrounded by all the other supposed missing classics of that era like Fury From The Deep, Evil Of the Daleks & Web Of Fear. Never knew much about it except it was set at an airport and had chameleons in it, so obviously these things could shape change. It's also Malcolm Hulke's first story for the series. The first episode is pacy and helped a lot by the filming at Gatwick airport from the moment the Tardis lands on the runway the numbered 4 Tardis crew scatter throughout the airport avoiding security guards. It's the last episode for 14 years to feature such a large crew. All the while a murder is taking place in Chameleon Tours hanger, which Polly stumbles upon accidentally while trying to hide and there the story takes off.

Polly and Ben are taken care of by the end of part 1 and the Doctor and jamie are the only ones left to sort things out. Maybe it's eerie because the whole premise is so understated, the black and white helps a lot, the minimal use of sets, it's mainly the flight control centre and the two sets in Chameleon Tours hanger that are used, the minimal use of music and weird special sounds. The sinister underplayed roles of Donald Pickering as Captain Blade and his off sider who are reviving the chameleon race and slowly stealing peoples identities and forms throughout the airport so they can survive on Earth. So you don't really know who all the bad guys and good guys are. There's a glimpse of one being taken to a hospital in it's natural form you don't see it but it has that real Who creepiness when you see the fleshless arms and back of head. The other actors all act believably, like the detective and the airport controller and Hines and Troughton really get into forming their double act as they prowl around and investigate. Pauline Collins is also really good as a replacement Liverpudlian companion for leggy Polly and gels with the regulars well.

Was strange to see an odd set of episodes which genuinely had me wanting to see more of the story (which hopefully evolved beyond just two sets, although you did see a passenger plane interior too) in old Black & white it apparently ends up on a space station orbiting Earth. The pace was there though dragged in the last 5 minutes of part 3, but it looked far superior to the rediscovered Tomb Of the Cybermen. Threats are always best when you don't know who to trust. Not bad at all. 7/10


Malcolm Hulke (with some help) wrote this rather impressive story. Thoughtful, different, I commend the writers on this one. Unfortunately Ben and Polly were only in a couple of episodes and shamefully discarded like Dodo, but at least after this point companions were generally given a decent send off and not forced out of the show. (couple of notable exceptions such as Caroline Johns and Matthew Waterhouse). Still, it’s immediately impressive as they were able to film at Gatwick airport. Locations were often limiting as there was only so much they could do on limited money in a small studio, but with actual airplanes to hide behind it’s rather impressive. I went through Gatwick in 2011 and wondered why they do a Doctor Who tour to be honest. Okay, no I didn’t.BUT. Great Show. Donald Pickering is so naturally evil isn’t he? In his second of three performances here, as is Bernard Kay. Both good who returnees. Troughton is in his element investigating which he loves to do, and Fraser Hines finally gets a good slice of the action. In more ways than one!I think the story is just getting interesting at the end of part three. Don’t feel like there’s much of a gap between parts one and three so I am guessing not a lot happens in part two. It’s a great pity that we can’t see first hand the finale of this story.I feel this would be considered a damned fine story if it all existed. 8.5/10

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Screen Shots:

The Faceless Ones Titles

The Faceless Ones the Tardis crew

The Faceless Ones plane taking off

The Faceless Ones hiding in airfield

The Faceless Ones air traffic control

The Faceless Ones Polly Wright

The Faceless Ones taking aim

The Faceless Ones Ben Jackson

The Faceless Ones Captain Blade and patient

The Faceless Ones Sam Briggs and Jamie

The Faceless Ones a chameleon

The Faceless Ones the Doctor

The Faceless Ones Commandant and Inspector Gasgoyne

The Faceless Ones Captain Blade and Polly

The Faceless Ones the Dr and Jean Rook

The Faceless Ones Chameleons threatened

The Faceless Ones the Dr in air traffic control

The Faceless Ones captured

The Faceless Ones plane landing