The Crusade was the sixth story of Season 2 of Doctor Who. It is the only story of that season to have missing episodes. It was the last story that David Whitaker wrote for Hartnell and the first story to be directed by Douglas Camfield in its entirety. Currently only episodes 1 and 3 survive.
Most of the actors in this story had either just been in a Doctor Who, or were just about to do so, namely: Gabor Baraker, Zohra Sehgal, Walter Randall, Jean Marsh, Reg Pritchard and Bernard Kay. It was also the first story to have non-white actors in it as opposed to just painting the face. The latter was a common practice at the time. Nicholas Courtney was briefly considered as a replacement for Julian Glover and Jean Marsh would go on to play Sara Kingdom.
This story was also notable due to the Doctor’s actions. He justifies stealing clothes based on the fact they were already stolen. He talks about how he admires bravery and hates fools. Strangely, he tries to push through King Richard’s peace plan, even though he must know it won’t work. In a sort of in-joke, The Web Planet saw Ian comment on ants eating through a house and being threatened by the ant-like Zarbi and here he is about to be eaten by a colony.
Episode 1: The Lion
The TARDIS materializes in 12th century Jaffa in the same forest King Richard the Lionheart and his associates are inhabiting. As they talk of sport and tactics they are beset by Saracens. A skirmish ensues which soon spills into where the Doctor and his companions are. Ian is forced to take up arms and fight off one of the Saracens with the help of the Doctor, but in the melee Barbara is seized by the heathens and taken hostage. The travelers stumble across William de Tornebu, who has been wounded in the skirmish, and look after him, protecting him from the Saracen onslaught. They call for Barbara, but though she can hear them she has been bound and gagged and is taken away. Meanwhile in another part of the wood, another companion of the king, William des Preaux, is surrounded by Saracens. He tells them that he is Richard as he knows they have orders to return the king to the leader of the Saracens, Saladin. By this time the Doctor has deduced where they are and what time period they are in just before Ian discovers that Barbara is no longer with them. He goes to look for her but to no avail. The Doctor, Ian, and Vicki agree to take the wounded de Tornebu back to Richard’s court.
Barbara awakes to find herself released and in the camp of the Saracens. She is greeted by Des Preaux who informs her of the trick he is pulling with regards to him being Richard and decides that in order to also protect Barbara it would be expedient for her to pretend to be Joanna, Richard’s sister. At this point El Akir, a senior member of the Saracen army, interrupts the two prisoners and insults them, much to the anger of Des Preaux, who knows that Saladin demands the utmost respect for his prisoners. El Akir informs the prisoners that they are to be presented to Saphadin, Saladin’s brother.
The Doctor and Vicki have sneaked into the center of Jaffa in order to acquire some more befitting clothes. They take advantage of a transaction between the shop-keeper and a Saracen soldier who has stolen some clothes from the English forces to steal the clothes themselves.
El Akir presents Barbara and Des Preaux to Saphadin, who responds angrily, seeing straight through the falsehood of the two prisoners’ supposed identities. They are interrupted by Saladin. El Akir, eager to shift the blame from his case of mistaken identities, begins to suggest the prisoners could be used for entertainment purposes, stating that Barbara could be forced to walk over hot coals. Saladin asks Barbara whether she would find this acceptable, to which she responds in the negative. A shamed El Akir is told to allow the two prisoners all liberties in the camp except liberty itself.
The Doctor has brought de Tornebu to the court of King Richard, who is angry at the loss of life due to the Saracen siege and therefore treats the TARDIS crew very curtly. Ian, anxious to rescue Barbara, asks for the king’s help in rescuing her, but Richard, angry that Saladin enforces underhanded methods of warfare as well as the fact that his brother John seems to be willing to trade with Saladin, says that he refuses any contact with Saladin from here on in, and therefore will not extend any help in the return of Barbara.
Episode 2: The King of Jaffa (Lost)
De Tornebu and the Doctor are able to convince the king to change his mind by playing up the embarrassment Saladin will feel when it’s revealed he has not actually captured the king. Richard is amused, and asks the Doctor to join his court.
El Akir plots to gain his revenge on Barbara, and Genoese merchant Luigi Ferrigo willingly inserts himself into the situation, hoping to profit financially. He pretends to help Barbara escape, but in fact delivers her into El Akir’s hands. El Akir rides away with her to Lydda.
Joanna befriends the Doctor and “Victor” (the Doctor decides to disguise Vicki for her safety). But the two travelers soon find themselves accused of theft by the chamberlain, and by the shopkeeper from whom they did indeed steal clothes. However, the man who originally stole the clothes and delivered them to the shopkeeper is revealed to be under the chamberlain’s command, and the Doctor is cleared of any crime.
Ian is knighted, and sent to Saladin’s court to both request the release of des Preaux and Barbara, and to offer the hand of the real Lady Joanna in marriage to Saphadin.
Ferrigo is allowed an audience with the Sultan and his brother, but in the presence of des Preaux, admits to helping kidnap Barbara. Barbara, meanwhile, has escaped from El Akir and flees through the streets of Lydda.
Episode 3: The Wheel of Fortune
Barbara is taken in by Haroun ed-Din. He is sympathetic because El Akir killed his wife and son, and kidnapped his daughter. The truth about Vicki is revealed to Joanna, but the Doctor and Vicki are able to placate her and Vicki is offered her protection.
Haroun leaves his remaining daughter Safiya with Barbara as he scouts around, but is knocked out by El Akir’s patrolling men. They search Haroun’s house, and while protecting Safiya Barbara attempts escape, but is recaptured and returned to El Akir. Ian, on the way from Saladin’s court to Jaffa, is attacked by bandits and knocked out.
King Richard announces his plans to his assembled nobles, including the blood-thirsty Earl of Leicester. The earl is appalled, and he and the Doctor argue eloquently about the plans. The king’s mind is made up, but the earl becomes suspicious of the Doctor.
The Sultan tentatively agrees to the king’s plan, to the pleasure of his brother, but is suspicious and plans to be ready for any duplicity.
When Joanna learns of her brother’s marriage plans for her, the Doctor is politically caught between the two royals. She is infuriated, and tells her brother she will never consent. The king turns on the Doctor, believing him to have exposed his plan prematurely, and orders them out of his sight.
Barbara is brought to El Akir where he taunts her with threats of torture, saying that the only pleasure she has left is death — which will be a long way away.
Episode 4: The Warlords (Lost)
El Akir offers his guards gold to do whatever they like to Barbara. Barbara knocks the gold on the floor and whilst the guards scramble to pick it up Barbara makes her exit. El Akir and the guards follow her and are met by only El Akir’s harem, who tell him they haven’t seen Barbara. Once El Akir is out of sight they tell Barbara to come out from her hiding place. They inform Barbara they all hate El Akir and would love to see her escape. Barbara befriends Haroun’s daughter and informs her that her father and sister are safe and well.
When Ian awakes he finds himself tied by his hands and feet in the middle of the desert by a thief named Ibrahim. Ibrahim tells Ian that unless he pays him a ransom he will leave him to burn to death in the desert. When Ian says he has no money Ibrahim smothers honey on his face and chest and goes to wait in the shade until the threat of the oncoming horde of ants makes Ian reveal where his money is hidden.
Back in the fortress of Richard, Leicester is accusing the Doctor and Vicki of treason for their deceit towards Richard. The king enters and tells Leicester to prepare the troops for battle. Richard apologizes to the Doctor and Vicki for being cross at them previously, stating he now knows it was Leicester who poisoned the mind of Joanna rather than them. He says that he cannot banish Leicester as he holds too much sway with the soldiers. The Doctor and Vicki decide that now is the best time to go to the TARDIS and wait for the others. Vicki is sad to hear that Richard’s plans will ultimately end in defeat. Meanwhile Leicester speaks to one of his advisers and speculates that the Doctor and Vicki must be traitors, and even speculates that they may be devils or witches. The adviser is told to keep a watch on the pair of them.
Back in the desert Ian has devised a plan to escape from Ibrahim. He tells him that the money is in his boot. When Ibrahim loosens the binds on one of his feet Ian kicks Ibrahim to the ground and frees himself. He makes Ibrahim take him to Lydda under pain of death.
Unbeknownst to Barbara and the rest of the harem one of their number has betrayed them to El Akir, who takes them by surprise in order to discover Barbara. Just as Barbara is about to be slain for her treachery, Haroun enters and kills El Akir, and is followed by Ian, who helps the women escape. Ian pays off Ibrahim with El Akir’s money and leaves for Jaffa on his horses.
As the Doctor and Vicki slink away to the TARDIS they are discovered by Leicester and his soldiers. Leicester sees this as an admission of their guilt and vows to kill them for treason. However he is interrupted by the return of Ian, who states that he is Sir Ian of Jaffa and has a higher claim on the Doctor’s head — stating that he killed a number of his troops. Leicester bows to this greater claim and the travelers escape together in the TARDIS. The TARDIS’s departure is witnessed by Leicester and his men, who are left believing that the brave Sir Ian has been spirited away by sorcerers — and vowing never to tell what they have seen.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and his companions have not been traveling long when an unexplained power failure results in the interior lights starting to dim ominously. The crew suddenly freeze into immobility, and only the control console remains functioning and illuminated, with its light playing across the faces of the frozen figures before it…