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Doctor Who: The Myth Makers

"Hey, I just met you and this is crazy..."
Carry On Troy, or: Is there a Doctor in the Horse?

Season Three, Series U

Starring William Hartnell as the Doctor
With Maureen O'Brien (Vicki), Peter Purves (Steven) and introducing Adrienne Hill (Katarina)
Written by Donald Cotton
Directed by Michael Leeston-Smith
Produced by John Wiles
Script Editor: Donald Tosh

Episode Titles and Broadcast Dates
  • 1. Temple of Secrets (16 Oct 1965) **MISSING**
  • 2. Small Prophet, Quick Return (23 Oct 1965) **MISSING**
  • 3. Death of a Spy (30 Oct 1965) **MISSING**
  • 4. Horse of Destruction (6 Nov 1965) **MISSING**

How To Watch
  • Loose Cannon's reconstruction, using complete audio soundtrack plus composite images, publicity photos, and a few segments of fan-recorded 8mm film, is available here (with introduction by Frances White)
  • No current (as of Feb 2023) plans to create a full animation release.
  • Narrated soundtrack CD available, but out of print and quite expensive! If you have an Audible.com account, this and other soundtracks of missing episodes, augmented by narration, are available for listening.


On the plains outside Troy, the arrival of the TARDIS and emergence of the Doctor interrupts a swordfight between Achilles and Hector. The distraction provides Achilles the opportunity to slay his opponent. Hailed as Zeus, the Doctor is taken to the Greek camp. Odysseus is certain that he is a Trojan spy, and Agamemnon has the Doctor imprisoned. Steven follows and is also captured. The Doctor and Steven confess they are from the future, and Odysseus demands they help the Greeks in their ten year siege against Troy. Steven offers to pose as a Greek soldier in order to be taken into the city.

The TARDIS, meanwhile, has been hauled into the city by the Trojans with Vicki still inside. She emerges and is hailed as a prophetess by King Priam, renaming her Cressida, and attracts the amorous attention of his son Troilus, much to the chagrin of Cassandra who prophesies the TARDIS's arrival as a sign of doom. Paris, far from the heroic figure of history, is browbeaten into challenging Steven, who allows himself to be defeated so he can be brought into Troy as a prisoner and find Vicki.

The Doctor is pressed for a way to invade Troy, and after initially dismissing the idea as a historical hoax, reluctantly pitches the idea of the Trojan Horse, which Odysseus immediately accepts and orders construction. Despite Cassandra's pleas, it is eventually brought inside, the soldiers emerge, and chaos ensues. Troilus slays Achilles, but Troy is sacked by the Greeks. Steven is gravely wounded and is brought to the TARDIS by Vicki and a handmaiden Katarina. Vicki stays behind to live the rest of her life as Cressida, lover and wife of Troilus, while the Doctor departs in the TARDIS with Steven and Katarina.

Notes and Observations

This is the first story of the third production block, and the first to be commissioned and produced by the new production team under producer John Wiles and story editor Donald Tosh, to represent their vision for the future of Doctor Who. Their choice to do the Trojan War was bold, as was their choice to do it as pretty much a full-on comedy, sending up the heroic archetypes of Achilles, Paris, et al. And it's a well-written, funny, well-paced quartet of episodes, too. Witty, rather risqué (for 60's Doctor Who at least), even with a few brilliantly awful puns.
CASSANDRA: Then woe to the House of Priam! Woe to the Trojans!

PARIS: I'm afraid you're a bit late to say 'whoa' to the horse...

I mean, episode two is titled "Small Prophet, Quick Return," and episode four was originally to be called "Doctor in the Horse," and the principal guest actors were well-known comic actors, so clearly they're not paying much attention to observing reverence in tone, nor historical accuracy for that matter.

"I'm feeling a little hoarse... I mean..."

I adore that Steven suggests the idea of the Trojan Horse, but the Doctor dismisses it as nonsense, believing it to be a myth. But when he's out of ideas and up against Odysseus, it's the only idea left. Hence, the Doctor becomes a Myth Maker.

Behind the scenes, this was apparently a very unhappy production. Hartnell was particularly ill-tempered, possibly intimidated alongside some of Britain's most popular comic actors, displeased at being relatively sidelined in this story, and also in mourning for the loss of his dear aunt, who had essentially raised him as a child, and the production team wouldn't release him to attend her funeral.

One persistent rumor is that William Hartnell demanded re-writes so that he didn't have to appear alongside Max Adrian (Priam) because Adrian was Jewish and openly gay. However, there is no corroborating accounts to confirm this, and Hartnell and Adrian had worked together before, so as best as we can tell it isn't true.

Another problematic aspect of the production was the departure of Vicki. Maureen O'Brien had quarreled with John Wiles during "Galaxy Four," and returning from the production break she only found out about her contract not being renewed by reading the script for episode four! Her departure set a standard for a lot of abrupt departures for companions, and indeed the 'churn' would be a regular thing, as her successor would learn! And indeed, it is arguably credibility-stretching to expect a young woman from far ahead in Earth's future would choose to forego a life traveling in time and space to stay in Ancient Greece because she had a crush on Troilus.

Did someone say "little horse?"

The draft scripts for the next story presumed that Vicki would be part of the crew, and reportedly would be written out (or killed off) over those twelve episodes. When Wiles decided to dump Vicki early, they hastily created a replacement character that would effectively be flung into the TARDIS, but during the pre-production for "Daleks' Master Plan" they had a change of heart about how viable she'd be as a character. So shortly after completing the studio scenes for episode four of "Myth Makers," Adrienne Hill reported to the studio for a pre-filming session where the first scene they shot was her death scene!

A scene was filmed between Vicki and Katarina that ended up being cut in post-production that would've served as a handing over of the reins, so to speak, and indeed, where Katarina, a handmaiden of Cassandra, revealed that the augers had foretold her death. This does pose questions about whether or not the production team intended to keep Katarina longer than they actually did.

The Target novel by Donald Cotton, incidentally, is a very entertaining and humorous read, told from the point of view of Homer who witnesses all the events in the story.

Haven't I Seen You...
  • Ivor Salter (Odysseus) was the Morok Commander in "The Space Museum," and would appear years later as a police sergeant in "Black Orchid."
  • Francis de Wolf (Agamemnon) had previously attempted to roughly woo Barbara as Vazor in "The Keys of Marinus."
  • Tutte Lemkow (Cyclops) had appeared in "Marco Polo" and "The Crusades" and would choreograph dance scenes in "The Celestial Toymaker."
  • Barrie Ingham (Paris) played Alydon in the film Dr Who and the Daleks.
  • Frances White (Cassandra) is best remembered as Julia in I, Claudius.

Sausage Factor: 83.3% (12 credited castmembers, 2 females – including Katarina)

Rating: Three 1/2 out of Four Giant Wooden Horses
John Geoffrion is a semi-retired semi-professional thespian, a professional data guy, and a Dad. He usually falls asleep to the Classic Doctor Who channel on Pluto.tv


  1. I have that novelization but have yet to read it. Sounds like I need to do it soon.

    I really like Vicki and wish she had been around longer. Vicki and Steven are one of the better TARDIS teams, but don't seem as well loved as I feel they deserve to be, although so many missing episodes doesn't help them much.

    This sounds a bit like the Romans with the silliness, and that's one of the better Hartnell stories, so this sounds like an enjoyable watch, and one I hope gets animated soon!


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