Episode 103 – “War of God”

Two reasons why I didn’t blog much the last couple of days. First, I was, to my surprise, at Phoenix Comic-Con basically all weekend. So that was a thing. Second, I knew my next story was this, and I’d heard nothing good about it.

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“Look, humor me here, and I’ll take you to Tombstone for all the best dentistry the Old West has to offer!”

So we begin with the Doctor and Steven arriving in France in what turns out to be the 16th century. They have a brief conversation and then hide as a man enters a house. Well, I’m sure that was coincidence and has nothing to do with our plot.

The Doctor quickly determines what time they’re in, and the ushers Steven back into the TARDIS for them to change clothes. Then we cut to a bar where men plot evil in the name of God. Because religion is basically horrible.

Ok, so a bit of a historical background to this, a historical episode. This story takes place in France at a time when the Catholics are fighting against a Protestant group known as the Huguenots and it’s a part of French history that’s so obscure to the rest of us, that even I don’t know all the details. But, hey, why not set a children’s science fiction show in this time and place, I guess.

Steven and the Doctor soon arrive at the tavern where everyone else was hanging out plotting their schemes and stuff. The Doctor apparently plans to go visit someone famous, but, alas, the sound on this is bad enough, and I don’t recognize the name, that I can’t tell you who he is.

The Doctor leaves Steven after giving him a gold coin. Steven attempts to pay for his wine with it, and the tavern man refuses it, since he can’t make change for it. I rather like that, actually. It’s a nice little touch about time travel.

Ah, the subtitles tell me the Doctor is looking for a fellow named Preslin, about whom I know nothing. So there you are. From the dialogue, I’m getting the idea that he was someone who helped develop germ theory.

Anyhow, it turns out that there’s some sinister abbot who means to do lots of harm to various enemies of the Church. Sounds like Preslin is running right up against the guy. Er…not in that way, you understand. But in a political/religious fashion.

Back in the bar, Steven listens to a woman talk about being hunted down for being a Huguenot. He seems genuinely baffled by the concept, which says good things about how the writers of this show pictured the future.

Well, we go through some more stuff, and then finally meet the abbot who is played by, gasp!, William Hartnell in a double role! The only surprise here is that he had enough stamina for both!

Next time: “The Sea Beggar”

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