The Faceless Ones


Writers: David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke

Director: Gerry Mills

Producer: Innes Lloyd

Season: 4, ep. 8 (31-36 note: only parts 1 and 3 still exist)

No. of Episodes: 6

Companions: Ben Jackson (Michael Craze), Polly (Anneke Wills), Jamie McCrimmon (Frazer Hines)

Summary: The Doctor and friends arrive at an airport on the exact same day Ben and Polly started their journeys with the Doctor. There, they discover a string of disappearances associated with a company called Chameleon Tours. They discover that the company is actually a front for aliens who are stealing the passengers’ and personnels’ identities.

Review: Season 4 was a season of transition. This episode was written to sever the final ties to Hartnell’s era by the departure of Ben and Polly.  The story itself is actually pretty good. The Doctor is on his game here and shows off his investigative skills very well (I love it when he plays detective!). My only gripe is that Ben and Polly are barely in it.  Once Polly is rescued, they practically disappear from the rest of the story.  As such, I feel the departure should’ve happened right after that, in the second part.

Overall Rating: 7/10

Continuity: This is Ben and Polly’s final story with the Doctor. According to the Sarah Jane Adventures episode “Death to the Doctor”, Ben and Polly are married and now run an orphanage in India.  Ben mentions the Cybermen, who they encountered in The Tenth Planet and The Moonbase. Ben and Polly leave the Doctor on July 20, 1966, the exact same day The War Machines takes place.  The ending with the TARDIS being stolen leads right into the final serial for season 4, “The Evil of The Daleks”.

Trivia: Michael Craze and Anneke Wills’ contracts were up with part 2 of this story, which is why they do not participate for the rest of the story. It is the first story to open with Delia Derbyshire’s arrangement of the theme, used through “The Horns of Nimon”. (The arrangement would’ve been used for “The Macra Terror”, the first story to feature the Doctor’s face in the credits, but there was a production error) Pauline Collins, who plays Samantha Briggs, was offered to continue the show with Samantha becoming a new companion, but declined.  She would return to the show in the Tenth Doctor story “Tooth and Claw”.



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