The Reign of Terror


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The Reign of Terror

Serial Code


First Transmitted

8 August 1964

Final Ratings






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Regular Cast

William Hartnell (Dr Who), Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara), William Russell (Ian)

Guest Cast

Peter Walker (Small Boy) [1-2], Laidlaw Dalling (Rouvray) [1], Neville Smith (D’Argenson) [1], Robert Hunter (Sergeant) [1], Ken Lawrence (Lieutenant) [1], James Hall (Soldier) [1], Howard Charlton (Judge) [2], Jack Cunningham (Jailer) [2-6], Jeffry Wickham (Webster) [2], Dallas Cavell (Road Work Overseer) [2], Denis Cleary (Peasant) [2], James Cairncross (Lemaitre) [2-6], Roy Herrick (Jean) [3-4], Donald Morley (Jules Renan) [3-6], John Barrard (Shopkeeper) [3-4], Caroline Hunt (Danielle) [3-4], Edward Brayshaw (L&eacute,on Colbert) [3-5], Keith Anderson (Robespierre) [4-6], Ronald Pickup (Physician) [4], Terry Bale (Soldier) [5], Paul Barrass (John Law) [6], Tony Wall (Napoleon) [6], Patrick Marley (Soldier) [6].


Written by Dennis Spooner
Directed by Henric Hirsch
Produced by Verity Lambert


The TARDIS lands in a forest clearing. The travellers think it’s England 1963 but they are in fact 20 kiliometres from Paris during Robespierre’s Reign of Terror. A farmhouse is sacked by government troops, The Doctor is concussed and left for dead, the others are dragged to prison. The Doctor mascarades as a citizen, whil Ian gets involved in the counter-revolutionary plot of English master spy James Stirling.


  • The first Doctor Who story to feature on-location filming.
  • Episodes 1, 2, 3 and 6 exist in 16mm telerecordings.
  • Episode 6 was returned by a private collector in May 1982. Prints of all 4 existing episodes were recovered from a Cypriot television station in 1985. These included a superior print of episode 2. 12 clips from episodes 4 and 5 exist in the form of 8mm home movie reel.
  • Episode 2 used the working title Guests of the Guillotine.
  • This story was a replacement for a 6 part story by David Whitaker which would have been set at the time of the Spanish Armada.
  • William Russell originally suggested the idea of a story set during The French Revolution.
  • * Director Henric Hirsch suffered from exhaustion during the making of this serial and was unable to direct episode three. John Gorrie (who had previously directed The Keys of Marinus) stepped in temporarily. Some sources have credits Verity Lambert as director for this episode, as no director is credits onscreen (which at the time normally implied that the producer also directed the programme), but she has firmly denied this.
  • William Russell was on holiday during the filming of episodes 2 and 3 and appeared only in pre-taped film sequences.
  • Final episode of Season One
  • trailer

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