Last updated 30 March 2023

Doctor Who: The Crusade

The Crusade

Story Number: 14 (P)
No of Episodes: 4

Writer: David Whitaker
Director: Douglas Camfield
Producer: Verity Lambert

Starring: William Hartnell, William Russell, Jacqueline Hill, Maureen O'Brien, Julian Glover, Bernard Kay, Roger Avon, Jean Marsh, Walter Randall

BBC One (United Kingdom):
First Broadcast: Saturday 27th March 1965 - Saturday 17th April 1965
Running Time: 1 hour, 36 minutes, 55 seconds

Average Audience: 9.38 Million   Average AI: 50

The TARDIS arrives in 12th-century Palestine, currently in the grip of a Holy War between King Richard the Lionheart (Julian Glover) and the Saracen ruler Saladin (Bernard Kay). 

Having got caught up in a Saracen ambush, during which Barbara is abducted by the attackers, the Doctor, Ian and Vicki are welcomed at King Richard's palace in the nearby city of Jaffa. Ian is granted permission to ride off in search of Barbara as an official emissary - the King knighting him Sir Ian of Jaffa to fit him for the role - while the Doctor and Vicki stay behind and try to avoid getting involved in court intrigue.

King Richard secretly plans to arrange a marriage between his sister, Joanna (Jean Marsh), and Saladin's brother, Saphadin (Roger Avon), in the hope of ending the war; when Joanna finds out about it, though, she refuses point blank. The Doctor and his young ward flee the palace after making an enemy of the King's advisor, the Earl of Leicester (John Bay). Eventually they reach the wood where the TARDIS materialised. Ian is already waiting there with Barbara, having rescued her from the savage clutches of the Saracen Emir El Akir (Walter Randall); however, the travellers' escape is almost thwarted when the Doctor is seized by a party of English soldiers led by the Earl. Fortunately, they manage to regain the safety of the ship by means of a ruse, the soldiers believing that the brave Sir Ian has been spirited away by sorcerers!

Synopsis from Doctor Who: The First Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted. Available from Telos