The Massacre


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The Massacre

Serial Code


First Transmitted

5 February 1966

Final Ratings






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Regular Cast

William Hartnell (Dr Who/Abbot of Amboise), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor)

Guest Cast

Jackie Lane (Dodo Chaplet), Eric Thompson (Gaston), David Weston (Nicholas), John Tillinger (Simon), Edwin Finn (Landlord), Christopher Tranchell (Roger), Erik Chitty (Preslin), Annette Robertson (Anne), Clive Cazes (Captain of the Guard), Reginald Jessup (Servant), Andr&eacute, Morell (Marshal Tavannes), Leonard Sachs (Admiral de Coligny), Cynthia Etherington (Old Woman), Joan Young (Catherine de Medici), Barry Justice (Charles IX), Michael Bilton (Teligny), Norman Claridge (Priest), Will Stampe (1st Man), Ernest Smith (2nd Man), John Slavid (officer), Jack Tarran (1st Guard), Leslie Bates (2nd Guard)


Written by John Lucarotti/Donald Tosh
Directed by Paddy Russell
Produced by John Wiles


Paris 1572: the Catholic Queen Mother Catherine de Medici is planning to kill all the Protestants in France. The TARDIS crew rescue a servant girl, Anne, who has overheard the plot being hatched. Together, they try to warn the Protestants, but their warnings fall on deaf ears.


  • This story is listed in some programme guides as simply The Massacre.
  • No episodes of this four-part story exist in the BBC Archives.
  • Some original production documents state the name of the serial as The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve, although this is historically a misnomer, as the actual massacre took place on St Bartholomew’s Day. Some have noted that as the original French name for the event (Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy) lacks a day, the title actually refers to the lead up to the massacre itself – that is, the Eve of the Massacre of St Bartholomew.
  • William Hartnell is credits as “Dr. Who” for “War of God” and “Bell of Doom”, and as “Abbot of Amboise” for “The Sea Beggar” and “Priest of Death”. He also appears as the Abbot towards the end of “Priest of Death”, but is credits only as ‘Dr. Who’. Radio Times credits “William Hartnell as Dr. Who” for all four episodes, but omits the character from its actual cast lists for “The Sea Beggar” and “Priest of Death”.
  • The last episode of this serial introduces Dodo Chaplet, played by Jackie Lane. The BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel Salvation gives a more detailed though somewhat contradictory account of events which led Dodo to enter the TARDIS, thinking it was an actual police box.
  • The TARDIS prop was required out on location for the end of “Bell of Doom”, but it was also needed back in the studio for some other shots and so the decision was made to split the prop apart. The front wall section would go out on location, while the rest of it remained back at the studio for other recording needs. A set of mock up pieces were constructed to “complete” the prop for location – this included a set of very basic (and highly inaccurate) walls and windows, a base and an oversized roof.
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