My Thoughts on Story 028 – “The Smugglers”

I didn’t go into this story hating it, or even mildly disliking it. I knew it had a reputation of crapness, but I gave it a chance.

Watch this story, or we’ll shoot this girl.

As with some other stories, it’s hard to say where this one went wrong. The basic concept (the Doctor dealing with smugglers and pirates on the Cornish coast in the 17th century), is a good one. But something here failed, and I think it’s less the story than it is the reconstruction.

Don’t get me wrong; I appreciate the efforts by Loose Canon to make this story work. But the fact remains that they were working from poor audio source material and still photos. These two things don’t combine well, especially in a situation where there’s lots of action, as with the sword fights and the like. Having a sword fight that’s nothing but stills is less exciting than you’d imagine, and I’m guessing you’re not imagining it as being terribly exciting at all.

At some point I should get the Target novelization and read over that. Maybe it’ll be better than the version I saw here. But in the meantime, this must go down as one of my least favorite Who stories ever.

Writer Brian Hayles
Director Julia Smith
Script editor Gerry Davis
Producer Innes Lloyd
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer None
Production code CC
Series Season 4
Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each
Episode(s) missing All 4 episodes
Date started 10 September 1966
Date ended 1 October 1966

Next story: “The Tenth Planet”


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