Next year, The Faceless Ones will be the latest story to be animated in its entirety next year, which combined with the release of The Macra Terror this year will make a run of 10 episodes previously lost that have been resurrected in recent years. While animation may have its flaws, the fact that we can now enjoy these stories is really lovely. Currently, only two of the six parts of this story are in the BBC Archives.
This story sees the departure of Ben and Polly, who are the first companions to accompany two Doctors in the show’s history. Both seem to be a bit short-changed here, only appearing in the first two and final part of a six-part story, and with their contracts running until the next serial. With Michael Craze’s death on 7th December 1998, this is his last appearance in a Doctor Who story, whilst Anneke Wills would reprise her role on numerous occasions for Big Finish. Deborah Watling would appear in the next story The Evil of the Daleks, a story which is also coincidentally also mostly missing.
This story also featured Pauline Collins as Samantha Briggs. The production team were keen for Collins to become a new companion to accompany Troughton and Hines, however, she turned down the opportunity, however, she would play Queen Victoria in Tooth and Claw. Other actors who had been in Doctor Who or would go on to appear in the future include Bernard Kay (The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Crusade), Donald Pickering (The Keys of Marinus, Time and the Rani), Wanda Ventham (Image of the Fendahl, Time and the Rani) and Christopher Tranchell (The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve, The Invasion of Time).
Arriving at Gatwick Airport, the Doctor finds that a great number of young people are disappearing, including Ben and Polly. Together with Jamie and Samantha Briggs, the sister of one of the missing people, he investigates what the Chameleons are up to.
Cast: Patrick Troughton (The Doctor), Michael Craze (Ben Jackson), Anneke Wills (Polly), Frazer Hines (Jamie McCrimmon), Pauline Collins (Samantha Briggs), 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 (RAF Pilot) & Leonard Trolley (Supt. Reynolds.
Writer: David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke
Director: Gerry Mill