The Crusade

Region 1
Region 2
Box Set
VHS Video & CD
This is another story with missing episodes that have not yet been fully reconstructed in a video format for the public at large, however, the DVD packages above give you all available surviving material from the story....
More details & buying options for "Lost in Time" DVD's and missing episode VHS videos
(Doctor Who Story No. 14, starring William Hartnell)
  • written by David Whitaker
  • directed by Douglas Camfield
  • produced by Verity Lambert
  • music by Dudley Simpson
  • 4 episodes @ 25 minutes each:
    1. The Lion
    2. The Knight of Jaffa
    3. The Wheel of Fortune
    4. The Warlords
Story: Landing in the midst of the historical conflict of the Crusades, Barbara is captured by Saracen warriors, prompting Ian to lead a noble rescue attempt. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Vicki become ever more entangled in a web of court intrigue involving
King Richard the Lionheart (Julian Glover) and his sister Joanna (Jean Marsh).

The DVD's include:

  • Two complete original episodes: #1: The Lion and #3: The Wheel of Fortune.
  • Audio only of the missing episodes #2: The Knight of Jaffa, and #4: The Warlords (both without narration)
  • optional Episode 3 audio commentary by actor Julian Glover (King Richard) and moderator Gary Russell.
  • "Who's Who" text screen cast biographies (may be on Region 1 discs only)
  • The "Play All" function will also activate special links from the VHS version, filmed with William Russell in character as Sir Ian Chesterton.
More details & buying options for "Lost in Time" DVD's and missing episode VHS videos

In-Depth Analysis Review

by Martin Izsak

WARNING: This review contains "SPOILERS", and is intended for those who have
already seen the program. To avoid the spoilers, read the Buyers' Guide version instead.

For many years, fans' level of appreciation for this story was derived chiefly from its novelization, whose reworked structure and altered dialogue weakened considerably more in the adventure than it improved. Then, episode three became popular as part of "The Hartnell Years" video release, hinting at greater things from the television version.

Now, the much more recent release of the newly re-discovered first episode of this story, along with the rest of the soundtrack to complete it, sheds some welcome new light on this classic tale, enhancing its status in several ways. Season Two has only two "purely historical" stories, and for the second time, this very type of story features a strong script, full of dramatically meaty scenes.

To start with, let's examine the problems with the novelization. The first scene in the TARDIS allows the age old "historical non-interference" issue to rear its ugly head once more, as Ian asks why it doesn't apply to the future or to other planets. (It does apply, as the next story will demonstrate, but in terms of the tendencies of the series' writers, it's a very good question). David Whitaker writes a ton of flowery dialogue on the subject which does absolutely nothing to justify such a ridiculous stance, but merely to "romanticize" it. Fair enough, because what this scene does do, rather well in fact, is to establish the four travellers' goals for their next Time-Space location. They wish to observe and study and learn philosophically from two men who are both right in their own way, who fight each other for the best possible reasons. The travellers needn't be heroes or solve the locals' problems.

That done, the TARDIS seems to think that they have hit upon an excellent idea, and promptly lands them in the thick of Lionheart King Richard the 1st's crude Christian crusade against the Saracen leader Saladin and his hordes of Turkish Muslims. Apparently these opposing leaders are our two men who are both right.

The plot digresses predictably, however, as Barbara barely steps out of the TARDIS before she is captured by a rogue Saracen captain who is not right in any sense about anything. Fully half of the plot will now revolve around a pure villain, which violates this story's well-advertised mission statement a little too much for my tastes.

"You shall be Joanna, my sister, and help me in my lies."

We move back to the rusty old rescue and escape routines, replacing honesty with deception as desperation mounts. Even with such unimaginative plot devices, our first rate writer manages to provide something of a definitive version of all this and make the proceedings among the most interesting of all season two Doctor Who stories.

Both Ian and William Hartnell's Doctor are every bit the hero in the opening, as they plan Barbara's eventual rescue, and more immediately aid a fallen Crusader and save his life, much to King Richard's approval. Vicki helps as well, but she will be relegated to the side-lines for most of the novel. The Doctor has many interesting scenes in the book's first half, expertly and often humorously talking his way out of trouble and having his way with the clothing shop-keeper, the palace Chamberlain, and even King Richard himself.

Barbara maintains a sharp wit throughout her captivity, and finds herself among intelligent guest characters in Saladin's court, all of which helps keep her scenes quite riveting.

Sir Ian Chesterton is knighted, no less, by King Richard before departing on a double mission as Barbara's rescuer and as the King's Ambassador to Saladin, ensuring, for those who had any doubt, that Sir Ian is the dashing, physical, athletic, gallant, romantic type of hero on the show. The Doctor's handiwork in bringing the king around to this way of thinking should also be noted - he is every bit the more subtle hero of diplomacy, which many viewers (myself included) find slightly more interesting. Nicely balanced, in theory.

William Russell's contributions to the third episode amount to one short pre-filmed insert, so he can go off for a holiday. One is tempted to believe that finally we've got a good story centered around the Doctor instead of Sir Ian for once.....

Well, the novel's conclusion does not appear to do justice to either William Hartnell Heroism or the story's own stated mission statement. Gone are most of the characters that made episode three such a gripping drama: Julian Glover's magnificent King Richard, Jean Marsh's fiery and radiant Joanna, Bernard Kay's thoughtful, decent Saladin, along with his amorous brother Saphadin. They simply don't appear. One can't learn from two men who are both right, or four people for that matter, if they are all missing. Speaking now much louder than the mission statement is the Doctor's need to redeem himself in the King's eyes, and in Joanna's. This doesn't happen either. The Doctor tucks his tail between his legs and cowardly slinks out of the court with Vicki. Most disappointing. There are hints that much of this should have been interesting and humorous, as the Doctor connives his way back to the TARDIS, all the while avoiding the Earl of Leicester who set up the Doctor's fall from grace in the first place. However, the book glosses over all this in a last minute flashback, as the story is restructured terribly to remove the Doctor's presence almost entirely from the final third of the book. All of the Doctor's episode three contributions are crammed as close to the middle of the narrative as possible along with his declared intention to escape from the beginning of episode four. Thus, two thirds through the novel, the Doctor appears to have abandoned the story. A very emotional scene between Vicki and himself that was excellent for the series as a whole was left out entirely in the novel, a scene that ran directly counter to the abandonment tack. Then Barbara's episode three contributions are chronicled, followed by an overdose of Sir Ian Chesterton, knight of King Richard's court, coming to the rescue. It's all quite predictable, and centered on the more thin and cardboard-like of this story's guest characters. As if Sir Ian hasn't already done enough to resolve his own plot-strand, he also has to solve the Doctor's as well upon his return. At least this is rich with humour. With the TARDIS coming and going in every adventure, the spectacle around the process gets old real fast - not that it isn't satisfying or important to continue with it, but you can't expect to use that as your dramatic climax for the main character over and over. This final episode is all based around another deceptive scurrying back to the TARDIS to escape. Major snore!

As a hero, the first Doctor is a hurting unit once more after the novelization is finished with him. The story appears here to be a great idea with an exceptional lead-up, but little idea of where it was really going. This definitive collection of the worst of early Doctor Who clichés is a disappointment, and being one of the very first Doctor Who stories to be novelized, the book probably did much to turn fans off of the historical stories that were so prolific in the early years.

Well, luckily episode four's resemblance to a bland clichéd dud is confined to the novel. The surviving soundtrack proves otherwise where the television version was concerned. Let the heavens open, and light be cast on the rest of "The Crusade" at last.

"William" Russell Enoch returns to reprise his role of Sir Ian Chesterton for the first time in over 30 years, a superb choice for linking material as his character's knighthood is easily the most interesting lasting impression that this story has on the series. This is recognized and played to right from the beginning - good call. Mention of the talking stones of the planet Tyron has been lifted straight out of the novelization, which the authors of the linking material favor a little too much over the soundtracks - and Sir Ian's recap of episode four remains as disappointing as the book. Thankfully, any one who sees this will also have access to the real thing on CD. Or DVD audio. Be sure to listen to it!

Episode One - The Lion

The first most notable difference from the novel is the total absence of any scene in the TARDIS. This time, we are not set up to unsuccessfully argue time travel non-interference ethics, or try to learn from characters we are too afraid to interact with. We delve straight into the forest. Julian Glover's performance is good from the start, but too easily upstaged by a host of less interesting minor characters. Although the confusion surrounding the King's identity is a major ingredient in the later drama of this episode, it takes much away from the opening scenes by helping to confuse the audience as well. The action scenes work, and are a study in themselves on how to make cheap, low budget, safe fighting scenes remain as surprising and emotionally effective as possible, but it could have gone up yet another notch from the script's point of view if we could be rooting for some of the guest characters after having them better established.

The TARDIS arrives in the midst of the shenanigans with a good visual materialization, proving that not a single season two story cut corners on this introductory effect. Although sometimes the usual sound effect is missing, this is the only instance I know of where it has been REPLACED by a totally different style of effect in the television episodes. It's weird and without explanation of any kind, but also unique. Okay, I'll buy it. (It's actually the very end of the "TARDIS computer" sound effect, available as track 8 on the audio CD "Doctor Who at the Radiophonic Workshop, Volume 1: The Early Years".) The introduction of the TARDIS still leaves much to be desired, as we immediately cut away from the police box, and return to it to see our travellers gathered nearby with vacant expressions on their faces, while the Doctor finishes locking the door. The idea that they travelled in it and just came out is not established well enough for first time viewers of the series, especially as they don't have much of anything to say to demonstrate their backgrounds either, and before you know it, an uncharacteristically quiet Barbara is captured and the old routines begin. All this haphazard action serves its purpose though, in capturing viewer attention and setting up the drama that follows.
Sound Effects by Brian Hodgson
"TARDIS computer" is available on:
Audio CD -
Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop - Volume 1: The Early Years 1963-1969

Find out more here.

The brothers Saladin and Saphadin get themselves superbly introduced here, and at last Barbara is allowed to show the strengths of her character in their court. Her explanation of her origins seems to indicate that there was no time in between the television adventures in Rome and on Vortis for any silly "talking stone" adventure, an idea that can gladly be put to rest. The Doctor's antics in the clothing shop are a joy to watch, and Vicki is put to good use as his accomplice. At last we know how the TARDIS's huge wardrobe became so nicely stocked!

At last, at the end, King Richard gets his due, as our main characters meet him properly and he agonizes over his entire life's situation, nicely informing any audience that might not be acquainted with this period of history.

Episode Two - The Knight of Jaffa

The story's structure continues to prove much better on television than in the novel. The Saracen court is well occupied by an abduction mystery that nicely confines itself totally to this episode, while the Doctor, Vicki, and Ian continue to have plenty of good scenes in King Richard's court. The knighting is not rushed, but properly built up in the drama, and Ian then covers a lot of ground near the end of the episode, getting to and moving beyond the Saracen court. The Doctor's arguments over the theft question make less sense and less good humour here than in the novel though. Vicki is done justice all throughout the television version, despite the novel practically forgetting about her altogether and making me suspect Maureen O'Brien might have taken a holiday for an episode.

Episode Three - The Wheel of Fortune

This episode works even better than before when surrounded by the rest of the story once again. The clothing shop keeper Ben Daheer easily stands out better now, his character much more understandable.

Douglas Camfield made a classic out of his first full story as a director, and episode three contains what is probably the finest bit of acting in the entire season.

Julian Glover (King Richard) is also known for playing the villain Scaroth in "City of Death" (story no. 105), the capable commander of the Imperial Walker attack on Hoth known as General Veers in "Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back", and as the key character Donovan in "Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade". Jean Marsh (the King's sister Joanna) went on to play single-story companion Sara Kingdom in "The Dalek Masterplan" (story no. 21, also directed by Camfield), and later returned to Doctor Who to play Queen Morgana in "Battlefield" (story no. 156). She also played similar evil witch villains in "Return to Oz" and "Willow". Taking all that into account, Doctor Who's "The Crusade" is still the finest moment for both of those actors, as King and sister clash, and William Hartnell turns in one of his finest performances as the Doctor finds himself caught between them. This moment is not to be missed by any serious fan of the show.

Indeed, the whole episode is well done, also featuring a solid performance from Doctor Who veteran Bernard Kay as Saladin. Kay had appeared as Tyler in "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" (his performance is much more inspired here) and would go on to play Inspector Crossland in "The Faceless Ones" (story no. 35) and a conscientious miner in "Colony in Space" (story no. 58). He can also be seen in David Lean's epic film "Doctor Zhivago". All this acting talent does not go to waste, as director Douglas Camfield encourages each performer to give his or her best, and captures it masterfully on videotape with angles that draw the viewer right into the depths of each character's emotions and motivations. Beautiful!

Another item to note is that this story actually features Douglas Camfield and musical composer Dudley Simpson working together. It would not happen again on Doctor Who, as soon after they got into an argument at a dinner party and Camfield refused to use Simpson ever again. However, Simpson has undoubtedly written his best season two score here for this story, and I suspect the Camfield influence deserves some of the credit. The music fits the story's darker moods like a glove (and it is mostly during dark, moody bits that the Doctor Who program requires music).

The subject matter of Barbara's plot is not altogether thrilling, however well it was acted and directed. Is that a dagger she sees before her? She is encouraged by a guest character to ponder mercy-murder and suicide, not the most inspiring plot-line for a show about exploration.

Episode Four - The Warlords

Redemption at last! Contrary to the poor excuse for a novelization, King Richard does appear in the final episode of "The Crusade", and his scene with the Doctor makes an enormously important contribution to understanding, enjoying, and completing the story. Remember that slow turn King Richard makes after the Joanna explosion, studying each member of the court in turn before settling on the Doctor at the end of episode three? Apparently there was more cool calculation going on in his mind there than he at first let on, as he now explains in episode four. Great performance, Mr. Glover; you had us all permanently fooled! When all is said and done, King and Doctor are once more on excellent terms, resolving the most important need set up in the television version, and the Doctor's self-removal from the court now doubles as a noble mission for the King. Joanna is not seen, but will no doubt be satisfied by the outcome here and enjoy her brother's confidence once again. Another additional scene featuring only the Earl of Leicester and his cronies adds the danger and suspense to this part of the storyline.

Also, we are spared an overdose of Sir Ian, as the restraints of time and budget do not provide for excess traveling scenes. Can you say "harem"? Nobody in "The Crusade" can, preferring the pronunciation "harEEm" for reasons I don't understand. I prefer something closer to the Hungarian word "három" which means three, and which probably has a common origin with "harem". Joanna and the Saracen brothers may be absent, but we are given a comic relief character who manages to get fully developed in just one episode. Ibrahim is hard to like at first, since his honey and ant hill trick is quite nasty and appears to be slowing down Sir Ian's plot unnecessarily. However, the actor throws a lot into this part, and the ant-trick is important to make Ibrahim's later turn around such an enjoyable display of spineless, charismatic opportunism. This then demonstrates Sir Ian's best quality - turning enemies into friends. El Akir meets his match, amongst the typical Whitaker display of screaming women. Barbara's hammy scream is unmistakable, but somewhat covered up by more real ones from the extras. No, Sir Ian does not stoop to murder, he lets it get done by Barbara's fatherly friend from episode three, who was not fatally knifed in the street as you might have suspected, but was merely punched - another Camfield cliffhanger trick. The Arab family we came to know is now reunited once more.

We only join the Doctor again in the woods near the TARDIS. Sir Ian begins to resolve the Doctor's problems expertly here again, but this time the Doctor is alert and quick to add his own touches and be responsible for getting himself out of the predicament. I can't think what made David Whitaker novelize the scene with:

         "The Doctor stood silently, making absolutely no contribution
         to the conversation, his eyes staring steadily into [Sir] Ian's."
This line, added to the fact that the only thing the Doctor does eventually say has to be pried out of him by Sir Ian, is at the heart of the concluding lameness of the book. William Hartnell performed no such idiocy, as he and the script do the Doctor justice on television. The final scene, now thankfully devoid of the novel's cowardice, can be thoroughly enjoyed for its humour, which is expertly played to by all. Wrapping things up is a mysteriously silent cliffhanger leading into the next story.

Excellently done all around! I think I still prefer "The Rescue" (story no. 11), as it has a greater moral point, a clearer involvement of the Doctor in a diplomatic conclusion followed by a mystery-solving and heroic one, and it being a sci-fi with more atmospheric music, but "The Crusade" is now a much more serious contender for season two's top ranking position.

International Titles:

Deutsch: (Der Kreuzzug)

Magyar: "A keresztes hadjárat"

  1. Az oroszlán
  2. A jaffák lovaga
  3. A szerencsekerék
  4. A hadurak

Русский: "Крестовый поход"

  1. Лев
  2. Рыцарь Яффы
  3. Колесо фортуны
  4. Военачальники


  1. Il leone
  2. Il cavaliere di Jaffa
  3. La ruota della fortuna
  4. I signori della guerra

Français: (La Croisade)

English TV: "The Crusade"

English Novelization: "The Crusaders"

This story is not known to exist in its original format (4 black-and-white 25-minute TV episodes) in its entirety.

Doctor Who: Lost in Time - William Hartnell
1 DVD disc

(also included in Lost in Time Boxed Sets)

Coverage on The Crusade includes:

  • Two complete episodes:
    • Episode 1: The Lion
    • Episode 3: The Wheel of Fortune
  • Episode 3 audio commentary by actor Julian Glover (King Richard) and moderator Gary Russell.
  • Original television episode audio from:
    • Episode 2: The Knight of Jaffa (no narration)
    • Episode 4: The Warlords (no narration)
  • introduction and links for "The Crusade" by William Russell in character as Sir Ian Chesterton.
More details & buying options for "Lost in Time" DVD's
Audio CD - Doctor Who - The Crusade. (2 discs)
narrated by William Russell

Doctor Who: The Crusade / The Space Museum
introduced by William Russell as Sir Ian Chesterton

1 VHS video tape & 1 audio CD

VHS / audio CD coverage on The Crusade includes:
  • Two complete episodes:
    • Episode 1: The Lion
    • Episode 3: The Wheel of Fortune
  • Original television episode audio on CD from:
    • Episode 2: The Knight of Jaffa (no narration)
    • Episode 4: The Warlords (no narration)
  • introduction and links for "The Crusade" by William Russell in character as Sir Ian Chesterton.
  • bundled with the next story: "The Space Museum", also on VHS video tape.
  • credits for William Russell's linking sequences.
More details & buying options for missing episode VHS videos
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Read the In-depth Analysis Review for the next story: "The Space Museum"

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