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The Faceless Ones

Rating Votes
10
10%
6
9
18%
11
8
34%
21
7
19%
12
6
18%
11
5
2%
1
4
0%
0
3
0%
0
2
0%
0
1
0%
0
Average Rating
7.8
Votes
62
Director:
Writer:
Writer:

Latest Community Reviews

From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
10
Plot Rating:
8
Acting Rating:
10
Replay Rating:
10
Effects Rating:
10
Has Prerequisite(s):
Unsure
Reviewed By: MercuryReview Date: 11/24/18 1:46 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

This adventure sadly at present cannot be seen in all its glory due to BBC wiping of tapes leading to these being some of the 'lost' classics. Reconstructions available using what is left (all the sound of every Doctor Who episode survive thank goodness, added to still photographs and surviving portions of film) still provide thoroughly impressive sci-fi entertainment.

The adventure involves an alien race stealing humans from 1966 Gatwick Airport in order to use their bodies to replace their own damaged forms.

The contemporary Earth setting was still hardly used at this stage so this was a forerunner of the numerous Quatermass type, 'Earth under attack in the present day' stories which were to follow. It is a great prototype as it has good thrills, action, good intelligent alien threat, great relevance to viewers fears of alien attack on their own world with sufficient realism. The writing by Malcolm Hulke (the first of his great writing contributions) and David Ellis, acting by the whole cast and direction from Gerry Mill are all of high quality and the characters are good.

The lovely extra companion for this adventure, Samantha played by future film star Pauline Collins, works well. It is sad though that Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) are sidelined in their last adventure. Polly had not quite maintained her feisty early form and had been turned into more of a 'screamer' but she was still a good companion and Ben was a great, tough companion throughout his time.

This story is very strong all round with aliens which are well realised and cleverly characterised. The only substantial flaw is two snippets of dialogue in episode 5 regarding how many people are missing. A captured villain reveals 50,000 young people are to be taken which is highly unbelievable without it being very noticeable to many relatives. We could imagine this plan, which would bring about huge attention, is in the early stages except he then compounds his comment by saying it is too late to save the 50,000 young people. I suppose if the events we see are part of a worldwide operation it is remotely possible a rapid set of disappearances are only starting to come to light but this revelation is hard to accept. As a result I mark that otherwise superb episode down to 7/10 but the rest of the adventure is brilliant.

My Ratings: Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 - 10/10, Episode 5 - 7/10

Overall: 9.5/10
From the Reviewer:
User Rating:
6
Plot Rating:
6
Acting Rating:
7
Replay Rating:
NR
Effects Rating:
7
Has Prerequisite(s):
No
Reviewed By: adamelijahReview Date: 1/4/17 7:35 pm
0 out of 0 found this review helpful.

The Faceless Ones deals with aliens kidnapping and replacing humans for their own nefarious, albeit understandable ends. In many ways, it's a typical Doctor Who story, but it has some really creepy moments when the original versions of several characters are stored. It's a shame that only two episodes survived from this story. It also has a great guest character in Samantha, played by Pauline Collins. She has great chemistry with Frazier Hines and would have made a superb addition to the TARDIS crew.

The big problems with this story are the pacing. It's a six parter that really should have been a four part story. The ending seemed a bit anti-climatic and predictable, helped by the aliens making a monumentally stupid mistake. And the aliens themselves are kind of left hanging which makes the resolution even less satisfying. In addition, the exit of Ben and Polly isn't dealt with well at all. While I think it's a little unfair to compare it to Dodo's departure, the disappear in the middle of Episode two and don't re-appear until after the main action has been concluded in the sixth episode. To their credit, the actors more or less succeed in giving the scene some emotional weight.

Overall, the story's not bad, but this could have been handled much better and later would be.