BBC Doctor Who - The Stories BBC
QuickNav to a Season: 
QuickNav to a Story: 
 
The Previous Story
The Faceless Ones
 The Previous Story
The Previous Story
(The Macra Terror)
 The Next Story
(The Evil of the Daleks)
Season
Details
SynopsisGeneral
Information
The
Episodes
Audience
Appreciation
ArchivesNotesFirst and LastThe PlotQuote of
the Story
Release
Information
In PrintPhoto
Gallery
 

Patrick Troughton
The Faceless Ones
Second Doctor Logo



On This Day 57 Years Ago...
The third episode of "The Faceless Ones" was broadcast (22nd April 1967)




Synopsis


The TARDIS Lands at Gatwick Airport
The TARDIS Lands at Gatwick Airport
 The TARDIS makes a hazardous return to 1960s Earth, materialising on a runway at Gatwick Airport! The Doctor and his friends realise that all is not well when Polly witnesses a murder, and then both she and Ben vanish. The authorities refuse to take the matter seriously - but when Polly reappears, why does she claim not to recognise her friends?

 Aided by the plucky Samantha Briggs, and helped and hindered by Inspector Crossland of Scodand Yard and the airport Commandant, The Doctor and Jamie piece together a number of clues. A sequence of mysterious events seems to centre around Chameleon Tours, whose package holidays are designed to entice young people to foreign shores. Just how far-flung are the horizons they offer, and why are none of their passengers coming back? Who are the faceless ones, and what hideously deformed creatures are involved in the operations being conducted at the airport medical centre?

 The Doctor believes there’s a connection between Chameleon Tours and the odd behaviour of key airport personnel - but in seeking to prove his theory, and rescue Ben and Polly, he becomes embroiled in a plot to steal the identities of thousands of young people.

Source: BBC Audio


General Information

Season: Four
Production Code: KK
Story Number: 35
Episode Numbers:157 - 162
Number of Episodes: 6
Number of Incomplete/Missing Episodes:4
Percentage of Episodes Held:33%
Working Titles:"The Chameleons"
Production Dates: March - May 1967
Broadcast Started: 08 April 1967
Broadcast Finished: 13 May 1967
Colour Status: B&W
Studio: Ealing Television Film Studios and Lime Grove (Studio D)
Location: Gatwick Airport (Surrey).
Writers:David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke
Director:Gerry Mill
Producer:Innes Lloyd
Associate Producer:Peter Bryant (Episodes 1–3)
Story Editor:Gerry Davis
Editor:Chris Hayden
Production Assistant:Richard Brooks
Assistant Floor Manager:Sue Marlborough
Designer:Geoffrey Kirkland
Costume Designers:Daphne Dare and Sandra Reid
Make-Up Designer:Gillian James
Cameraman:Tony Imi
Lighting:Howard King
Incidental Music:From Stock
Special Sounds (SFX Editor):Brian Hodgson
Studio Sounds:Gordon Mackie
Title Sequence:Bernard Lodge
Title Music:Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Number of Doctors: 1
The Doctor: Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor)
Number of Companions: 3The Companions: Anneke Wills (Polly Wright) (Departs), Michael Craze (Ben Jackson) (Departs) and Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) Guest Cast: Pauline Collins (Samantha Briggs) Additional Cast: James Appleby (Policeman), Colin Gordon (Commandant), George Selway (Meadows), Wanda Ventham (Jean Rock), Victor Winding (Spencer), Peter Whitaker (Inspector Gascoigne), Donald Pickering (Blade), Christopher Tranchell (Jenkins), Madalena Nicol (Nurse Pinto), Bernard Kay (Crossland), Gilly Fraser (Ann Davidson), Brigit Paul (Announcer), Barry Wilsher (Heslington), Michael Ladkin (R.A.F. Pilot), Leonard Trolley (Supt. Reynolds)Setting: Gatwick Airport and Earth orbit (1966) Villain: The Chameleons

The Episodes

No. Episodes Broadcast
(UK)
Duration Viewers
(Millions)
In Archive
157Episode 108 April 196723'47"8.016mm telerecording
158Episode 215 April 196725'22"6.4Missing
159Episode 322 April 196723'10"7.916mm telerecording
160Episode 429 April 196724'28"6.9Missing
161Episode 506 May 196723'34"7.1Missing
162Episode 613 May 196723'38"8.0Missing

Total Duration 2 Hours 24 Minutes


Audience Appreciation

Average Viewers (Millions) 7.4
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (1998)68.02%  (Position = 79 out of 159)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2009)67.00% Lower (Position = 122 out of 200)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2014)69.41% Higher (Position = 142 out of 241)
Doctor Who Magazine Poll (2023) Position = 14 out of 21


Archives


 Only episodes 1 and 3 exist as 16mm telerecordings. 8mm home movie clip does exist from episode 2 and Telesnaps (off-air camera photographs) from this story also exist.



Return to the top of this page
 


Notes


This story was co-written by David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke. "The Faceless Ones" was David Ellis' only Doctor Who story, although he would go on to write for programmes such as Z Cars and Dixon of Dock Green. David Ellis died in 1978. Malcolm Hulke, on the other hand, would continue his association with the Doctor Who into the Seventies.

This story had its origins in a planned First Doctor story by David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke called "The Big Store", in which aliens occupied mannequins in a busy department store, while waiting for human hosts to possess. The idea was adapted for the Second Doctor and its setting changed to an airport.

This story concerns a race of identity-stealing aliens known as the Chameleons who are a dying race of aliens. They claim to be the most intelligent beings in the Universe (although they later admit that The Doctor's knowledge is even greater than their own). Scientists on their home planet have developed a way for them to assume the form of kidnapped humans. Almost uniquely, The Doctor does not 'punish' them for their abductions, but instead suggests a chemical solution to their problems.

The director assigned to this story was Gerry Mill - who was new to the director's chair, but had worked on Doctor Who a year earlier as a production assistant on "The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve". "The Faceless Ones" would be the only Doctor Who story of which Gerry Mill would take charge. In a break with tradition he decided to record scenes out of script order on several of the episodes.

New producer-in-training Peter Bryant (who would oversee Season Five) served as Associate Producer on this and the next story, "The Evil of the Daleks".

"The Faceless Ones" was filmed on location at London Gatwick Airport. London Heathrow also accepted the production team's offer, but the team chose Gatwick as the cost was lower. A Doctor Who story was filmed at London Heathrow. This was the 1982 Fifth Doctor story "Time-Flight".

This story sees the departure of Michael Craze and Anneke Wills as The Doctor's companions Ben Jackson and Polly Wright. Both characters do not appear in episodes 3 to 5, and appear only in a pre-filmed insert in episode 6.

Popular actress Pauline Collins appears in an early role as Samantha Briggs. Producer Innes Lloyd did ask Collins if she was interested in continuing to play Samantha Briggs and so becoming a regular Doctor Who companion but the actress declined. Pauline Collins did though return to the show as a guest-star, 39 years later, as Queen Victoria in the 2006 Tenth Doctor story "Tooth and Claw".

Wanda Ventham (Jean Rock) and Donald Pickering (Blade) would later star as husband and wife in the 1987 Seventh Doctor story "Time and The Rani". Wanda Ventham would also later appear in the 1977 Fourth Doctor story "Image of the Fendahl".

Christopher Tranchell (Jenkins) would return as Leela's love interest Andred in the 1978 Fourth Doctor story "The Invasion of Time". He had previously appeared in the 1966 First Doctor story "The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve" as Roger Colbert.

Frazer Hines is heard to speak without his normal Scots burr in episodes 5 and 6 as the Chameleon copy of Jamie McCrimmon.

The Doctor is heard to use Jamie's term 'ray gun' throughout this story.

The ending of this story - with the TARDIS being taken away in a lorry - leads directly into the next - "The Evil of the Daleks".

The 20th July 1966, is noted as the busiest day for The Doctor in his time on Earth. The First Doctor defeats the War Machines and WOTAN and gains two new companions Polly and Ben ("The War Machines"). The Chameleons have been foiled and Polly and Ben decide to leave The Doctor ("The Faceless Ones") and with the TARDIS being stolen it heralds the beginning of The Doctor and Jamie's adventure against the Daleks ("The Evil of the Daleks").

In the past it was believed that this was the first story to feature The Doctor's face in the opening credits (exact determination having been difficult due to the number of episodes missing from this era of the programme). In reality, it was the previous story, "The Macra Terror", that saw the debut of the new title sequence. However, a slightly revised arrangement, by Delia Derbyshire with assistance from Dick Mills, of the theme music made its debut in episode 2 of this story.

After leaving Doctor Who, Anneke Wills went on to star in the crime drama Strange Report. In the Seventies, she left acting to travel the world before finally returning to the UK so as concentrate on her talents in art and interior decorating. She has appeared in several Doctor Who related videos, such as "Bidding Adieu" and "Lust in Space". She has also recorded appearances as the mother of audio companion Charley Pollard in the Big Finish Productions audio stories "Zagreus" and "The Next Life" as well as providing narrations to some of the BBC soundtrack releases.

Michael Craze, meanwhile, continued to appear in a variety of shows throughout the Sixties and Seventies, including Z Cars and Journey to the Unknown. He also acquired a regular role on the radio soap opera Waggoner's Walk. By the mid-Seventies, Michael Craze had become the manager of a London pub. Sadly he died on 8th December 1998 from injuries resulting from an accidental fall at his home.

Unfortunately only the second and third episode currently exist in the BBC Archives. Following an audit in 1978 only episode two was held by the BBC Film and Videotape Library. However, the third episode was returned, in May 1987, by a private collector.

In November 2003, episodes 1 and 3 of this story were released as part of "The Reign of Terror Collectors' Set". This was the final Doctor Who episodes to be released on VHS by BBC Worldwide.

An animated version of this story was released, on DVD, Blu-ray and as a Limited Edition Steelbook, in March 2020. This release features all six episodes reconstructed in animated format - in both black-and-white and colour - alongside the surviving episodes 1 and 3. The animated episodes were produced by Paul Hembury and directed by Anne Marie Walsh.



First and Last

The Firsts:

 The first Doctor Who story to be written by David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke.

 The first Doctor Who story to be directed by Gerry Mill.

 Peter Bryant's first involvement in the show as Associate Producer.


The Lasts (Subject to Future Stories):

 Anneke Wills' last story as companion Polly.

 Michael Craze's last story as companion Ben Jackson.

 The last Doctor Who story to be written by David Ellis.

 The last Doctor Who story to be directed by Gerry Mill.

 Daphne Dare's last involvement in the show as Costume Designer.

 Episode one and three were included in the final Doctor Who VHS release by BBC Worldwide.


Return to the top of this page
 


The Plot

WARNING: May Contain SpoilersHide Text
The TARDIS Lands at Gatwick Airport
The TARDIS Lands at Gatwick Airport

When The Doctor and his three companions, Polly Wright, Ben Jackson and Jamie McCrimmon exit the TARDIS they find that they have landed on Earth in 1966. And on a runway at Gatwick Airport.

They are instantly spotted by a policeman and are forced to split up to avoid arrest. Polly hides in a hanger that is used by a company called ‘Chameleon Tours’ where she witnesses the murder of a man by one of the company's employees using what looks very much like a ray gun. Ben meanwhile is witness to the TARDIS being moved by airport officials as it is deemed to be a hazard.

The Doctor and Jamie, after they manage to shake off the policeman who had pursued them, are reunited with Polly – who tells them what she has seen in the Chameleon Tours hanger. They all return there to investigate allowing The Doctor to examine the body and so confirm that the man was killed by an alien weapon. They decide to warn the authorities. But unknown to the travellers, Polly's earlier presence in the hangar had been detected by the murderer and so when they set off The Doctor and Jamie are unaware at first that Polly, who had lagged behind, is no longer with them. She has been kidnapped so as to prevent her revealing to the authorities the identity of the murderer.

The Doctor Hides Behind an Aircraft Wheel
The Doctor Hides Behind an Aircraft Wheel

It transpires that the man Polly saw killed was Inspector Gascoigne who had been investigating Chameleon Tours due to a number of missing young people who have gone on holiday and have flown with Chameleon Tours.

After a lot of persuasion The Doctor manages to persuade the airport’s Commandant to investigate their claims but by the time they arrive back at Chameleon Tours hanger the body is gone. Realising that the Commandant no longer believes them, and so at the risk of being arrested, The Doctor and Jamie manage to slip away and hide in the airport concourse. There they spot Polly amongst some passengers disembarking from a flight, but when the reach her she claims not to know them.

The Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Polly
The Doctor, Jamie, Ben and Polly

The Doctor and Jamie are then reunited with Ben – who goes off to the Chameleon Tours hanger to see if he can find anything. While there he discovers a secret room. He also finds the real Polly in a trance-like state inside a large packing crate. But when he tries to use the office phone to call the Commandant he is attacked. Luckily The Doctor, while investigating in the office behind the Chameleon Tours reception desk, sees Ben being attacked and he rushes over to the hangar. Inside he is unable to find Ben but he does discover the secret room. After nearly being gassed The Doctor is able to escape.

Still in the airport concourse Jamie has befriended Samantha Briggs, the sister of one of the missing youths, and it is then The Doctor realises that something very disturbing is happening to those who travel with Chameleon Tours. This travel company is being operated by an alien race who are kidnapping young travellers. All because of an accident on the Chameleons’ home planet which removed their identities and doomed the species to extinction. They are now reliant on a scientific process of identity theft to sustain and extend their lives and so are abducting thousands of humans.

Meanwhile Jamie manages to board a Chameleon Tours aircraft. But just after it takes off it changes into a spacecraft which shoots into space and docks with a large space station. There he discovers what has happened to all those who have been abducted by the Chameleons – they have all been miniaturised and kept in storage while their Chameleon counter-parts are able to roam free back on Earth.

Jamie Talks to Samantha Briggs
Jamie Talks to Samantha Briggs

To try and locate what has been happening to the young travellers, and also to locate Polly, Ben and now Jamie, The Doctor manages to infiltrate Chameleon Tours. He manages to discover the location of the kidnapped humans who have yet to be transported to the space station. He also learns that if the arm bands, that the Chameleon doubles are wearing, are removed then they disintegrate so freeing the person whose identity was stolen. Armed with this valuable information The Doctor, with the help of the airport’s Commandant, manages to persuade the Chameleons to find another solution to their problem. Despite some initial resistance the Chameleons soon realise that they have to follow The Doctor’s request. And so the kidnapped humans are released - including The Doctor’s companions.

Reunited at last, Ben and Polly realise that this is the same day on which they originally began their travels with The Doctor and so decide to remain in their own time and so they bid farewell to The Doctor and Jamie. As The Doctor and Jamie head back to the TARDIS, which had been released from airport storage, they are shocked to see it being driven off on the back of a lorry…

 
A Chameleon in its True Form
A Chameleon in its True Form
The Commandant
The Commandant
The Doctor and Captain Blade
The Doctor and Captain Blade
Captain Blade with a Chameleon and The Doctor
Captain Blade with a Chameleon and The Doctor
 
Samantha, The Doctor and Crossland
Samantha, The Doctor and Crossland
Samantha Hugs Jamie
Samantha Hugs Jamie
Captain Blade Threatens Inspector Gascoigne
Captain Blade Threatens Inspector Gascoigne
Ben and Polly Bid Farewell
Ben and Polly Bid Farewell




Quote of the Story


 'We could eliminate a whole squadron of their toy planes, and they'd never get on to us. Their minds can't cope with an operation like this. Remember the teaching of our Director - the intelligence of Earth people is comparable only to that of animals on our planet.'

Blade



Return to the top of this page
 


Release Information

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)Code NumberCover ArtRemarks
Video
VHS
The Missing YearsNovember 1998BBCV 6766Photo-montageA 56 minute documentary presented by Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) and Deborah Watling (Victoria Waterfield) Includes existing footage from episode 3 Released as part of The Ice Warriors Collection (BBCV 6387)
Audio
CD
The Faceless OnesFebruary 2002Narrated by Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon) Double CD Release
Video
VHS
The Reign of Terror Box SetNovember 2003BBCV 7539Photo-montageEpisodes 1 and 3 only Part of "The Reign of Terror Box Set" (BBCV 7335)
Video
DVD
Doctor Who: Lost in TimeNovember 2004BBCDVD 1353Photo-montageEpisodes 1 and 3 only Also includes the 8mm off-air home movie footage from episode 2
Audio
CD
The Faceless OnesFebruary 2012Photo-montagePart of the "Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes: Collection Four 1967" Box Set Narrated by Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon)
Video
DVD
The Faceless OnesMarch 2020BBCDVD 4402Photo-montageDVD containing black & white and colour versions of the animated episodes.
Video
Blu-Ray
The Faceless OnesMarch 2020BBCBD 0481Photo-montageBlu-Ray containing black & white and colour versions of the animated episodes.
Video
Blu-Ray
The Faceless OnesMarch 2020BBCBD 0482Photo-montageLimited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook boxed set containing black & white and colour versions of the animated episodes.


In Print

FormatTitleRelease Date (UK)PublisherAuthorCover ArtRemarks
Novel
Novel
The Faceless OnesMay 1987Target No. 116Terrance DicksTony MaseroISBN: 0-426-20294-5
CD
CD
The Faceless OnesMay 2019Target No. 116Terrance DicksTony MaseroAudio version of the Target Novel read by Anneke Wills (Polly Wright).
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time)Issue 35
Doctor Who Monthly - ArchiveIssue 71 (Released: December 1982)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArchiveIssue 212 (Released: May 1994)
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap ArchiveIssue 260 (Released: January 1998)
Doctor Who Magazine - ArticleIssue 260 (Released: January 1998)
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap ArchiveIssue 261 (Released: February 1998)
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap ArchiveIssue 262 (Released: March 1998)
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap ArchiveIssue 263 (Released: April 1998)
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap ArchiveIssue 264 (Released: May 1998)
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap ArchiveIssue 266 (Released: July 1998)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 301 (Released: March 2001)
Doctor Who Magazine - Time TeamIssue 302 (Released: April 2001)

Return to the top of this page
 


Photo Gallery


The Doctor and Companions

 
Patrick Troughton
The Second Doctor

   

Anneke Wills
Polly Wright
Michael Craze
Ben Jackson
Frazer Hines
Jamie McCrimmon
   




On Release

Missing Years VHS Video Cover
Missing Years VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Soundtrack CD Cover
Soundtrack CD Cover

BBC
AUDIO
VHS Video Cover
VHS Video Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Lost In Time DVD Cover
Lost In Time DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   
The Lost TV Episodes: Collection Four CD Cover
The Lost TV Episodes: Collection Four CD Cover

BBC
AUDIO
DVD Cover
DVD Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Blu-Ray Cover
Blu-Ray Cover

BBC
VIDEO
Blu-Ray Steelbook Cover
Blu-Ray Steelbook Cover

BBC
VIDEO
   



In Print

Target Book Cover
Target Book Cover

Target
NOVEL
 
Target Audio CD Cover
Target Audio CD Cover

BBC
CD
   


Magazines

Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 35
Doctor Who CMS Magazine (An Adventure in Space and Time): Issue 35

CMS
Doctor Who Monthly - Archive: Issue 71
Doctor Who Monthly - Archive: Issue 71

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 212
Doctor Who Magazine - Archive: Issue 212

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 260
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 260

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 260
Doctor Who Magazine - Article: Issue 260

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 261
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 261

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 262
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 262

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 263
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 263

Marvel Comics
   
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 264
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 264

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 266
Doctor Who Magazine - Telesnap Archive: Issue 266

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 301
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 301

Marvel Comics
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 302
Doctor Who Magazine - Time Team: Issue 302

Marvel Comics
   


Return to the top of this page
 
 
Who's Who
KJ Software
Who Me
Episodes of the
Second Doctor


Season 4 Press to go back to the previous visited page References
 
 
Doctor Who is the copyright of the British Broadcasting Corporation. No infringements intended. This site is not endorsed by the BBC or any representatives thereof.