Select Page


The Massacre of St. Bartholomew’s Eve

The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve was the fifth story of Season 3 of Doctor Who. It marks the first appearance of Jackie Lane as companion Dodo Chaplet, although she only appears in the last few minutes of the last episode.

The story is often given the abbreviated title The Massacre in reference books, in part because this variation is used for the Target novelization.

This serial is one of the worst hit by the BBC’s now-abandoned junking policy, with not only all of its episodes missing, but no footage whatsoever recovered to provide a visual reference point. Only promotional photographs are left to identify some of these lost moments. One of said moments was a landmark for Doctor Who — the first time an actor playing the Doctor performed double roles as the main character and a look-alike.William Hartnell starred as both the First Doctor and the Abbot of Amboise.


Episode 1: War of God (Lost)

The Doctor and Steven land in a provincial street. The Doctor deduces they are in France by reading a sign and from overhearing Nicholas Muss and Gaston de Leran talking about keeping the peace even though the Catholics of Paris hate them. The Doctor places their landing in the middle of the 16th century. With their place and time figured, the Doctor decides that he must track down the apothecary Charles Preslin to talk germinology. In order to blend in he goes back to the TARDIS to fetch some more suitable clothes.

In a nearby tavern a band of Huguenots are drinking raucously. Gaston insults the wine they are drinking, referring to it as cheap Catholic wine. Simon Duval, a Catholic, overhears this and takes it as an affront to the newly married Catholic Queen Marguerite. The men exchange cross words but Duval comes off the loser. Duval bribes the barman to spy on the Huguenots and feed back any information to him. The Doctor and Steven enter the tavern. The Doctor convinces Steven that there is no need for him to also go find Preslin, and Steven seems happy to sightsee on his own. They agree that they will meet back at the tavern come evening. As the Doctor leaves, a man, Roger Colbert, who was about to enter the tavern, stops as he recognizes the Doctor and then turns to follow. Steven notices this and makes to leave and follow the Doctor and his stalker, but the landlord stops him as Steven has not yet paid for his wine. Having only gold, which the landlord cannot turn into coin, Steven is unable to pay. Nicholas, seeing Steven’s financial difficulties and recognising him as a foreigner to Paris, pays Steven’s bill of two sous. Having lost the opportunity to follow the Doctor, Steven asks Nicholas for help in finding Preslin’s shop. Nicholas says that he will show Steven the way, but that Steven should first have a drink with them.

Meanwhile, the Doctor has located Preslin’s shop, and, not receiving an answer from his knocks, he lets himself in. At first Preslin maintains that Charles Preslin no longer occupies this shop, fearing that the Doctor has come from the Abbot of Amboise to find heretics. The Doctor convinces Preslin that he is not a servant of the Abbot, and is in fact a fellow scientist. Preslin invites the Doctor to talk.

Gaston is extremely suspicious of Steven, and questions Steven as to his business in Paris and where he has traveled. Steven surprises Nicholas by mentioning having traveled to Egypt. Gaston reacts to Steven’s ignorance to Parisian politics with a brief explanation of the rivalry between the Catholics and the Huguenots.

With Preslin no longer afraid, he and the Doctor discuss Preslin’s work, the Cardinal of Lorraine and the Abbot’s hunt of scientists and Protestants, and the development of the microscope in Germany. With the news of the microscope, Preslin is convinced by the Doctor to renew his work as the microscope would allow him to prove the existence of germs. However, he is still downhearted with regards to the oncoming visit of the Abbott. The Doctor seems to come up with a plan.

Steven extricates himself from the Huguenots and leaves the tavern. No sooner has he done this but a servant girl, Anne Chaplet, runs into him before entering the tavern, and is quickly followed by four guards. In the tavern, the girl hides, and because the guards are Catholics and the girl is a fellow Huguenot, Nicholas and his friends hide the girl from the guards, but only Steven is interested in why she was running. Because of Steven’s interest, Nicholas questions Anne and they learn that Anne had overheard the guards mention Wassy and “It will happen again before the week is up,” implying another Huguenot massacre perpetrated by the Catholics.

The guards return to the Captain to report Gaston’s behavior. The Captain is furious the guards let the girl go free with the information that she now possesses and tasks them with finding her immediately.

Nicholas decides to hide Anne in the kitchen of his master, the Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. As Gaston takes her there Nicholas explains that all of this points to a Catholic attempt to kill the Huguenot king Henry of Navarre, who has just been married to Queen Marguerite in an attempt to heal the religious rift. Steven decides that, as evening is nearing, he will simply wait for the Doctor at the tavern instead of searching for him. As he waits, Duval enters and questions the landlord as to why his guards were unable to capture Anne, and is informed that Steven, still present, was with Nicholas and Gaston. He then politely strikes up a conversation with Steven about the approaching curfew hour, in order to learn who Steven is. With little success he turns back to the landlord, instructing him to watch for the friend that Steven is waiting for, and then ducks out of sight as Nicholas enters. Nicholas is surprised that Steven is still there and convinces Steven to stay the night at de Coligny’s house. Steven eventually accepts. They instruct the landlord to inform the old man (the Doctor), if he arrives, that the Englishman (Steven) is staying at de Coligny’s house.

Simon returns to the house and reports his findings to the Abbot who is revealed to have the exact appearance and voice of the Doctor.

Episode 2: The Sea Beggar (Lost)

At Admiral De Coligny’s house, Gaston is enraged by his master, Henry of Navarre, not taking the possible threat to his life seriously whilst Nicholas tries to pacify his friend, speculating that what Anne heard implied another massacre as Wassy may not refer to the previous massacre, and the “it” may refer to something else entirely.

Meanwhile Steven returns to the tavern to find word of the Doctor. The landlord informs Steven that no one has come and harshly shows Steven away due to Steven’s association with the Huguenots. Steven returns, asking for Nicholas’ aid to find Preslin’s shop in hopes of finding the Doctor. Before the two can set out, Colbert comes to question Nicholas about Anne’s whereabouts, but Nicholas now maintains that Anne is not present, and that the girl Roger thinks is there is a long time serving girl named Genevieve. After Roger leaves, Steven identifies him as the man who followed the Doctor. Gaston, looking out the window, is surprised to find that the Abbot himself is also there in hunt of Anne. When Steven looks out the window, he is surprised by the appearance of the man, and professes him to be the Doctor. Steven then makes to go to the Doctor, but Nicholas and Gaston stop him, believing that if that man is Steven’s friend, then Steven is working in the service of the Abbot, and thus a Catholic spy. Steven tries to argue his point vociferously but Gaston is unconvinced. Steven convinces Nicholas to let him try to prove his innocence by taking Nicholas to Preslin’s shop, so that Nicholas can see the resemblance between the Abbot and the Doctor.

Later, Simon reports the incident with Anne and the Abbot’s personal search for her to the Marshal Tavannes, who believes that the Abbot’s presence will have only aroused suspicion within the Huguenots. Simon also informs the Marshal that an Englishman was lodging at de Coligny’s house, which makes Tavannes suspicious of the Admiral conspiring with the English. As Simon leaves, the Marshal tells him to inform the Abbot that he will send word later concerning “the Sea Beggar”. Hearing “the Sea Beggar” as he enters, de Coligny takes this reference to be towards the Dutch, who are requesting France’s military aid against Spain. De Coligny is happy at the notion that the Marshal is finally considering the claim for France’s aid, but the Marshal is suspicious that the only reason the Admiral wants to side with the Dutch is due to them being a Protestant country. The Marshal then leaves for an audience with the Queen Mother.

Steven and Nicholas locate Preslin’s shop. Steven pounds on the door to the shop without any response. An old woman who is passing by stops the two, complaining that they are disturbing the whole neighborhood over an empty house. She informs Steven and Nicholas that the shop has been vacant for some time because Preslin had been arrested for heresy. Nicholas is now even more suspicious of Steven, and refuses Steven’s request to go to the Abbot to validate his new theory that the Doctor, for some reason of his own, is impersonating the Abbot. Nicholas decides to take Steven back so that the Huguenots can decide what to do with Steven, but on the way back, Steven trips Nicholas and escapes. Nicholas returns as Gaston finishes questioning Anne, who does not believe that Steven is working for the Abbot. Gaston informs Nicholas that Henry of Navarre has decided to increase his guards, but Steven’s escape puts any doubt about Steven’s guilt as a Catholic spy out of Gaston’s mind.

Meanwhile, Steven has made his way to the Abbot’s house, where he stays outside to listen in on a conversation between Simon, Roger, and the Marshal, who has returned from his meeting with the Queen Mother. The Marshal is annoyed that the Abbot has disappeared, but informs Simon and Roger that the Queen has given the order to have the Sea Beggar killed the next day, as he returns from a meeting at the Louvre. Steven then hurries back to tell Nicholas about the planned assassination of the Sea Beggar. Steven finds that Nicholas is away, so he tries to find paper so that he may leave a note instead. While rummaging through Nicholas’s desk in search of paper, Gaston enters the room and presumes that Steven is attempting to steal information for the Abbot. Gaston tries to engage Steven in a sword fight, but, annoyed that Steven won’t fight back, forces Steven to leave. When Gaston tells Nicholas of the incident, Nicholas does not believe that Steven was spying, and that Steven had discovered crucial information and had returned as he said he would.

As Steven skulks through the streets of Paris, he discovers Anne following him through the streets, hoping that Steven will help her as she no longer has any place to go. Steven asks if she knows who the Sea Beggar might be but Anne doesn’t know. Without a place to stay or a plan, Steven and Anne decide the safest place is Preslin’s abandoned shop, and they head for it.

Admiral De Coligny returns to his residence and Nicholas informs him that the king has finally decided to aid the Dutch after his persuasion. He boasts that the King even gave him a nickname — the Sea Beggar.

Episode 3: Priest of Death (Lost)

Steven and Anne wake up in Preslin’s shop. With the curfew over, Steven decides to go back to the Abbot’s house to meet with the Doctor, against Anne’s warnings. Finding an old cloak and hat, Steven adorns them as a disguise so as to not be recognized by the Captain of the Guards, who is still in search of Anne and him. Anne is reluctant to return but Steven convinces her there is nowhere else to go. They set off to the Abbott’s house.

Meanwhile at the Louvre the Queen Mother, the King, the Marshal, the Admiral, and Charles de Teligny argue about the political and economic issues concerning France’s military aid to the Dutch. The issue cannot be resolved, so the meeting turns to discussing the persecution of the Huguenots by the Catholics despite the marriage of Henry of Navarre to the king’s sister, and promises made by the Queen Mother. The Admiral and the Marshall are at loggerheads on all issues. In his bid to persuade the king, the Admiral insults the Queen Mother by warning the king that the Queen Mother’s power may be too great. This causes the Queen Mother and the Marshal to leave. The meeting is over; the king invites the Admiral to play tennis with him, but the Admiral declines as he has business to attend to.

At the Abbot’s house Steven and Anne are unable to gain entry as the Abbot is in his office and must not be disturbed during his prayers. The argument between the priest and Steven disturbs the Abbot, who comes out. Steven tries to signal to the Doctor that it is he, but the Abbot does not recognize Steven, who, with the priest still in the room, tells the Abbot that he has brought back the girl. The Abbot then dismisses Steven and Anne into another room but still listening, they discover that the Sea Beggar is the Admiral and that the assassination would happen on the Rue des Fosse-St.-Germain. As they leave, Roger enters, and recognizing Steven, informs the Marshal that the Englishman who was lodging with the Admiral was there and was seen running from the building. The Marshal is angered by the Abbot not finding out who Steven was, and believing that Steven and Anne overheard the conversation, sees the Abbot as an increasing liability. Steven hurries to de Coligny’s house to inform Nicholas of the impending assassination. When he gets to the house he bursts in and informs Nicholas of the location of the assassination and Nicholas runs off.

On his way back from the Louvre, the Admiral approaches where the assassin lies in wait with a rifle. Nicholas and Steven make it to the Admiral, but not before the assassin fires a shot, wounding the Admiral in the arm. They take the Admiral back to his house.

At the Abbot’s, the Marshal paces impatiently for news of the assassination, with the Abbot trying to reassure him that the assassin is an excellent marksman and that the delay in the news is most likely due to the Admiral being held up by the King, thus delaying the assassination. Unassured, the Marshal sees the failure as the Abbot’s fault, and when Roger enters and confirms that the Admiral was merely wounded, orders the guards to kill the Abbot. The guards seem reluctant but the Marshall orders them.

Back at the Admiral’s house Steven fills Nicholas in on the events of the previous day. When he identifies Roger, who serves the Abbot, as one of the conspirators, Nicholas plants the guilt of the assassination attempt on the Abbot, but Steven fervently maintains that the Abbot is really the Doctor in disguise. News reaches Steven and Nicholas that their has been a great Huguenots uprising and that the Abbott has been killed. Steven rushes to the Abbott’s house insisting that it is the Doctor and not the Abbott.

Back at the Louvre, the king and the Queen Mother are informed of the assassination attempt. The king’s annoyance at being disturbed from his game of tennis turns into anger at the attempt on his friend’s life. Swayed from the idea of driving the Catholics from their homes, the king orders the Marshal to post guards outside de Coligny’s house, charging his safety to the Marshal with the consequence of execution. Annoyed with bickering by Tavannes and Teligny, he orders them out so that he may be left alone. Despite this, the Queen Mother re-enters, enraging the king who threatens to arrest her. He also threatens to execute Tavannes for the assassination, but the Queen Mother takes Tavannes’ side, claiming that Tavannes was merely protecting his king, and that with the Protestant Henry of Navarre in line for the throne, the Huguenots will be wanting the king dead. The king’s anger dies at this revelation.

Steven arrives at the Abbot’s house. Outside, an angry Catholic crowd has formed around the dead Abbot and is calling for Huguenot blood to avenge the murder. Steven, still believing that the Abbot is the Doctor, runs to the body and is dismayed by the death. Nearby, Roger and two guards are presiding over the scene. Recognizing Steven as an enemy, he calls out to the crowd that Steven is the murderer, and the crowd then turns on Steven, who flees as the guards pursue.

Episode 4: Bell of Doom (Lost)

The next morning, Anne is hiding back at Preslin’s shop, waiting for Steven to arrive. When Steven arrives, he informs her of the Doctor’s death, still believing that he was pretending to be the Abbot. Telling her about the TARDIS key, the two begin to search for clothes in the shop, hoping that the Doctor had changed into the Abbot’s garb at the shop, and left the key with his clothes.

Meanwhile, the Marshal and Simon discuss the assassination, hoping that the people’s blaming of the Huguenots will be enough to cover their own tracks. They decide that Steven is the only loose end in the plot, and must be killed before the next day, as Steven would easily be able to slip away during the revelry of the St Bartholomew’s Day celebration. A servant enters, giving Tavannes a note, summoning him to the Queen Mother.

Anne manages to find the Doctor’s cane, but nothing more than that. Puzzled by not finding his actual clothes, Steven wonders where the Doctor could have changed into the Abbot’s garb. Anne suggests that the Doctor left with Preslin, but Steven tells her that is impossible because Preslin was arrested. No sooner is this said then the Doctor appears and tells them that this is not the case, much to the shock of Steven.

Back at the Admiral’s house Gaston is arguing with Nicholas and the Admiral imploring them to leave Paris. The Admiral refuses to do this and says that he doesn’t fear death. Gaston storms out. He asks Nicholas to stay with him to face the might of the Catholics.

The Doctor blames the whole mishap on Steven not staying at the tavern and brushes off Steven when Steven presses the issue of the Doctor not returning. When the Doctor decides that it is time for them to leave, Anne reminds the Doctor that the curfew bell has rung, and that it would be easier to leave Paris during the celebration of St Bartholomew’s day. When Steven mentions the plot against Admiral de Coligny, he realizes the danger that they might be in. The Doctor presses Anne for the year that they are in and learns that it is 1572. He orders Anne to go to her aunt’s, despite the curfew. Steven protests but the Doctor convinces her. As soon as she’s gone the two make for the TARDIS.

In his meeting with the Queen Mother, Tavannes is informed that they have gotten the king’s permission to proceed with their plans to slaughter the Huguenots. The Marshal protests the turning of the Catholic people of Paris into a mob, as the mob will kill the innocent as well as the guilty. The Queen Mother overrules him, but concedes not killing Henry of Navarre out of fear of political retribution that will come with killing a prince. Tavannes leaves to instruct Simon to “unleash the wolves of Paris” and escort Henry of Navarre safely out of Paris. The Marshall seems to doubt whether this massacre is a good idea but it is now too late.

The Doctor and Steven make it back to where the TARDIS had landed, but due to some guards outside the Admiral’s house, they must wait until the morning to enter the TARDIS. Once the curfew bell has rung, the Doctor and Steven leave in the TARDIS as the Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Day commences. As they dematerialize Catholic forces enter the Admiral’s house.

Safely in the TARDIS, the Doctor informs Steven of the massacre, and that 10,000 Huguenots will die in Paris alone, including the Admiral and Nicholas. Steven is enraged by the Doctor’s disregard for human life and blames the Doctor for Anne’s probable death in the massacre. In his rage Steven disregards the Doctor’s plea that he can’t rewrite history and tells him he will leave wherever the TARDIS lands next. Once landed, Steven checks the scanner for safety and then leaves. The Doctor, aware of his solitude, begins to reminisce over all of the companions who have left him. He briefly wonders if he should return to his own planet, but decides that he cannot. He goes over to the console, weary and dejected.

Just then a young girl runs into the TARDIS, thinking that it is a real police box; she needs to call an ambulance because a little boy has been knocked down by a car. Steven then runs back in, telling the Doctor to take off as two policemen are approaching. The Doctor then hastily dematerializes the TARDIS with the young woman and Steven aboard. Steven is initially outraged at the Doctor hijacking the young woman but she states she doesn’t mind and isn’t fazed when Steven reveals the details of the machine she is in. She introduces herself as Dodo Chaplet. Steven is amazed, knowing that Anne’s surname was Chaplet, and on discovering that Dodo’s great grandfather was French his mind is put to rest that Anne survived the massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve.


The First Doctor
Steven Taylor
Dodo Chaplet