50) THE WAR GAMES

19 April - 21 June 1969

Average Viewing Figure: 4.9M

Plot

The Doctor and his companions find themselves in the middle of World War 1 and discover a plan to take over the universe. As the situations becomes steadily worse, The Doctor must call in help from the people he fears the most, the Time Lords!

Cast

Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), Wendy Padbury (Zoe), Jane Sherwin (Lady Jennifer Buckingham)

John Livesey (German Soldier), David Savile (Lieutenant Carstairs), Terence Bayler (Major Barrington), Brian Forster (Sergeant Willis)

Noel Coleman (General Smythe), Hubert Rees (Captain Ransom), Esmond Webb (Sgt. Major Burns), Tony McEwan (Redcoat)

Richard Steele (Commandant Gorton), Peter Stanton (Military Chauffeur), Pat Gorman (Military Policeman)

David Valla (Lieutenant Crane), Bernard Davies (German Soldier), Gregg Palmer (Lieutenant Lucke), David Garfield (Von Weich)

Edward Brayshaw (War Chief), Bill Hutchinson (Sgt. Thompson), Terry Adams (Corporal Riley), Leslie Schofield (Leroy)

Vernon Dobtcheff (Scientist), Rudolph Walker (Harper), John Atterbury (Alien Guard), Michael Lynch (Spencer)

Graham Weston (Russell), James Bree (Security Chief), Charles Pemberton (Alien Technician), David Troughton (Moor)

Philip Madoc (War Lord), Peter Craze (Du Pont), Michael Napier-Brown (Arturo Villar), Stephen Hubay (Petrov)

Bernard Horsfall (First Time Lord), Trevor Martin (Second Time Lord), Clyde Pollitt (Third Time Lord), Clare Jenkins (Tanya)

Freddie Wilson (Quark), John Levene (Yeti), Tony Harwood (Ice Warrior), Roy Pearce (Cyberman), Robert Jewell (Dalek)

Uncredited Cast

David Melbourne, Derek Hunt (British Soldiers [No Man's Land],  Patrick Scott, Ken Frazer (Sentries), Eden Fox, Tom O'Leary, George Curtis,

Alex Hood, Roy Brent, Keith Ashley (Men in Firing Squad), Bill Hughes, Paul Phillips, Douglas Roe, James Haswell (Prisoners)

Emmett Hennessey, Roger Howton, Crawford Lyall, Tom Laird, Royston Farrell, Patrick Scott, Ray Carnell, David Billa, Denis Balcombe

Tom O'Leary, Phil Lundgren, Ron Conrad, George Howse, Neville Simons, Louis Berkman, Bob Willyman

Barry Kennington (Roman Soldiers), Leslie Bates (1862 Soldier), Peter Diamond, Reg Dent, Gerry Wain, Arthur Howell (Confederate Horsemen)

Phil Lundgren, Ron Conrad, George Howse, Neville Simons, Louis Berkman, Bob Willyman, Barry Kennington (Alien Students),

John de Marco, Chris Achilles (Mexican Resistance Men), Del Watson (Crimean Soldier), David Billa, Derek Calder (Time Lord Technicians),

Denis Balcombe (Redcoat)

Crew

Terrace Dicks, Malcolm Hulke (Writers), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music)

Brian Hodgson (Special Sound), Michaeljohn Harris (Visual Effects Designer), Peter Diamond (Fight Arranger), Nick Bullen (Costumes)

Sylvia James (Make-Up), Howard King (Lighting), John Staple (Sound), Alan Jonas (Film Cameraman), Chris Hayden (Film Editor)

Roger Cheveley (Designer), Derrick Sherwin (Producer), David Maloney (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Len Hutton (Visual Effects Assistant), Ron Arnett (Grams Operator), David Langford (Vision Mixer), John Walker (Film Camera Assistant)

Bill Meekums (Film Sound Recordist), Alan Cooper (Assistant Sound Recordist), Alan Jeapes (Graphic Designer), Dave Havard (Effects Assistant)

Fred Wright, Dave Hare (Technical Managers), Carole Bissett (Director's Assistant), Don Ross (Floor Assistant

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Sheepcote Valley Rubbish Tip, Brighton, E Sussex

  • Seven Sisters Country Park, Exceat, E Sussex

  • Underhill Lane, Clayton, W Sussex

  • Westdean and Church Only Road, West Dean, E Sussex

  • Eastbourne Waterboard Road, West Dean, E Sussex

  • High Park Farm, Exceat, E Sussex

  • Birling Manor Farm, East Dean, E Sussex

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 2

  • Television Centre: Studio 4

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

  • Television Centre: Studio 8

Deaths

  • General Smythe [shot and killed by Coleman]

  • Von Weich [shot and killed by Private Moor]

  • Harper [shot and killed by one of the War Lord's guards]

  • Time Lord Technicians [killed by Guards]

  • Security Guard [shot and killed by the War Chief]

  • War Lord [possibly killed when dematerialised out of existence]

Production Days

  • 20 Days between Sunday 23 March - Thursday 12 June 1969

Production Errors

  1. There are problems involving the zone map and the character's movements. According to the map, to reach the Roman Zone from the First World War Zone, one would have to pass through the American Civil War and Crimean War Zones. However, characters reach the Roman Zone directly from the First War World Zone 

  2. During the story, Jamie meets a Redcoat who claims he from the year 1745, however, there is no time zone that accounts for the Redcoat and his time zone. Unless of course there's a second zone map.

  3. Some of the fight sequences are poorly shot. Some punches fail to hit the intended person

  4. When the Chief Scientist unfolds his processing machine, a piece can be seen falling off

  5. When Smythe is shot by Russell in episode seven, the shot clearly hit the floor and not Smythe as intended. This is because Graham Weston (Russell) stumble over

  6. When he first appears the Chief Scientist has a bad chin, however by episode six he has a short beard

  7. During episode five, Zoe's hand becomes transparent when she is in the interrogation room 

  8. During episode seven, The Doctor tells Russell and Zoe that he is sending them back to the 1917 war zone,  however they end up in the American Civil War zone

  9. During episode eight, a resistance soldier is killed by a guard, however, the soldier is later seen alive and well when entering the SIDRAT in the same episode 

  10. The alien communicator installed in the American barn during episode eight is upside down

  11. During The Doctor's slideshow, when he defends his actions in front of the Time Lords, the Dalek which appears on-screen doesn't have one of its dome lights

  12. There is clearly a reused model shot from The Web of Fear. The shot in question is of the Tardis in space surrounded by the Great Intelligence's web

Working Titles

  • [no known working titles]

Verdict

A wonderful production all round which surprisingly holds together for ten episodes despite some obvious padding and filler during various episodes. The plot is epic jumping between different time zones in fast successions whilst also remembering the importance of filling in the audience of what they are watching. The plot is ingenious where an alien planet has been split into different time zone, each of which contain a group of humans from Earth's history. The World War II scenes and the very brief Roman chase sequences are easily the best but the Western barn sets are also a delight. The reveal of the Time Lords is a delight and the mystery behind the lead character is finally revealed. The cast is packed full of real delights with everybody giving their all right to the very end. The set and sound design are top notch with a much bigger budget at the helm, the production team obviously wanted to give their all for Troughton’s last serial as The Doctor. The subtly of the mind control could have worked a little better and some recycled footage is a little lazy these can be forgiven though however when another serial fell through and The War Games was forced into ten episodes. Escape plans are never the show’s strongest points and this serial is full of them, with The Doctor escaping the clutches from one antagonist but falls into the hands of another. It not that the writing is lazy it’s just that the escapes are comically and farcical. On the other side it does keep things interesting where there is not one antagonists but a series of them, all of whom do not realise they are being controlled. Viewers have to deal with an annoying yelling army soldier in episode one but after that the rest of the affair is very epic. A fitting ending to the Troughton and the sixties as a whole which pays homage to the popular monsters The Doctor faced over the last three years and leave the series open ended to new possibilities for the 70s ****