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"I am the King. We command you!"
―King Richard
The Crusade
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 2
Story Number: 14
Doctor: First Doctor
Companions: Barbara Wright
Ian Chesterton
Enemy: El Akir
Setting: 12th century
Writer: David Whitaker
Director: Douglas Camfield
Broadcast: 27th March -
17th April 1965
Format: 4 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: The Web Planet
Following Story: The Space Museum

The Crusade was the sixth story of Season 2 of Doctor Who. It is the only incomplete story of that season.



The TARDIS arrives in 12th Century Palestine where a holy war is in progress between the forces of King Richard the Lionheart and the Saracen ruler Saladin. Barbara is abducted in a Saracen ambush and the Doctor, Ian and Vicki make their way to King Richard's palace in the city of Jaffa. Ian is granted permission to ride in search of Barbara - 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 politics.

King Richard secretly plans to marry his sister Joanna to Saladin's brother Saphadin in order to bring the war to an end, but Joanna finds out about this and refuses. The Doctor and his young ward are forced to flee after making an enemy of the King's adviser, the Earl of Leicester.

Ian has meanwhile rescued Barbara from the clutches of the vicious Saracen emir El Akir. All four meet up in the wood where the TARDIS materialised and narrowly manage to escape the Earl of Leicester's men.


The TARDIS materializes in 12th century Palestine, during the time of the Third Crusade. When the Doctor, Ian, Barbara, and Vicki emerge, they find themselves in the middle of a Saracen ambush. In the confusion, Barbara is captured by the Saracens, while the rest of the TARDIS crew stop the attackers from killing William de Tornebu, an associate of King Richard. William des Preaux, another companion of the king, is also captured by Saracens and pretends to be Richard in order to protect him. The Doctor, Ian, and Vicki agree to take the wounded de Tornebu back to Richard's court, but first must steal clothes from the market in order to blend in.

Meanwhile, des Preaux and Barbara are presented to Saladin's brother Saphadin by El Akir, who mistakenly believes them to be King Richard and his sister Lady Joanna. When des Preaux reveals their true identity, El Akir is furious but, before he can act, Saladin emerges from hiding and prevents any violence from occurring. Saladin is intrigued by Barbara, who tells tales of having met Nero, and tells her she can become the new Scheherazade.

The disguised Doctor and company bring the injured de Tornebu to the King's court. They are met by Richard, who witnessed their fight during the ambuscade. The King, however, is in a foul mood, and treats the TARDIS crew very curtly. Ian, anxious to rescue Barbara, asks for the King's help in rescuing her, but the irritated monarch tells Ian that Barbara can remain with Saladin until her death.

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. Ian is 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. When Joanna learns of these plans from the Doctor, she is infuriated, and tells her brother she will not consent.

Ian, on the way to Saladin's court, is attacked by bandits and knocked out. When he claims to have no money, the bandits time him down with stakes in the hot sun and daub him with honey. They tell him the ants will loosen his purse strings.

Barbara manages to escape, and is taken in by Haroun ed-Din. He is sympathetic because El Akir killed his wife and kidnapped his daughter, and now Haroun is looking for revenge. Haroun leaves to attack El Akir, but is knocked out by soldiers. They go to Haroun's house, recapture Barbara, and bring her to El Akir. El Akir taunts Barbara with threats of death, but she once again manages to escape, this time hiding out in the Emir's harem. El Akir tries to find Barbara, but she is hidden by a sympathetic harem girl.

Ian eventually tricks the bandit into untying his feet, and overpowers the bandit. Ian convinces the bandit to accompany him to Lydda and aid him in his quest for Barbara. Meanwhile, Barbara convinces the harem girl, Maimuna, to help her get out of the castle. It turns out Maimuna is Haroun's long lost daughter and, when she finds out her father is still alive, joyfully agrees to help. Before they can do so, another harem girl betrays them and El Akir bursts in on the two women.

El Akir is about to attack Barbara when Ian arrives in the nick of time. They engage in a sword fight, but Ian soon finds himself overpowered by the enraged Saracen. Before El Akir can kill Ian, Haroun bursts in and fatally stabs El Akir. Haroun and Maimuna are reunited, and Barbara and Ian head for the TARDIS.

The Doctor, who has been trying not to get caught up in court politics, attempts to make a break for the TARDIS. He is caught by the Earl of Leicester, who thinks the Doctor is a spy for Saladin. He sentences the Doctor to death. Ian arrives and, disguised as "Sir Ian of Jaffa", tells Leicester that the Doctor is a spy and that he is here to carry out the execution. The Doctor plays along and asks "Sir" Ian for one last chance to see Jaffa before he dies. Leicester agrees, and the Doctor is able to sneak away to the TARDIS with the rest of the crew and leave. When Leicester and his knights see the TARDIS vanish, they agree to keep the story quiet, so as not to look like fools.

On board the TARDIS, the crew enjoy a good laugh over their escape. As the TARDIS prepares to land, the power fails and all the interior lights dim. The crew freeze into immobility.




  • The Doctor quotes Shakespeare twice during this story. The quotes are from King Lear and The Merchant of Venice.
  • Barbara quotes Percy Shelley (who was married to Mary Shelley).
  • Barbara plans to tell Saladin the stories of Romeo and Juliet, Gulliver's Travels and Anderson's fairy tales.

Story Notes

  • This story does not exist as a complete story, except in audio.
  • Episode 3 exists in 16mm telerecordings
  • Episode 1 was found in New Zealand by a collector in 1998.
  • In 1999 the BBC made a Digi-Beta print of Episode 1
  • Telesnaps for this story exist in the hands of private collectors
  • Several enlarged telesnaps also exist for this story.
  • This story was originally entitled The Saracen Hordes and various episodes were made under working titles.
  • Episode 2 (The Knight of Jaffa) was made under the working title Damsel in Distress
  • Episode 3 (The Wheel of Fortune) was made under the working title Changing Fortunes
  • Episode 4 (The Warlords) was made under the working title The Knight of Jaffa
  • William Russell only appears briefly in the third episode in a pre-recorded segment as the actor was on holiday during filming
  • The appearance of Julian Glover is the first real guest appearance by a distinguished actor.
  • This story has been noted for its non-stereotypical treatment of the two opposing leaders. Saladin (played by Bernard Kay) is portrayed as calculating but compassionate, while King Richard I is portrayed as volatile and at times childish.


  • The Lion - 10.5 million viewers
  • The Knight of Jaffa - 8.5 million viewers
  • The Wheel of Fortune - 9.0 million viewers
  • The Warlords - 9.5 million viewers


  • This story was never distributed overseas through fear that it may cause offence (The story was sold overseas just not in the Middle East)
  • Ian rescues Barbara from El Akir by climbing up a tree (This element of the story was introduced in the novelisation)

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

to be added


  • The Doctor tells Vicki that time must be allowed to run its course. This idea that time can be changed should he say the wrong thing is more consistent with the ideas of time travel presented following The Time Meddler than those presented in earlier stories such as The Aztecs
  • Barbara makes reference to several previous adventures when talking to Saladin. She tells him about England in the future (The Dalek Invasion of Earth), her meeting with Nero (The Romans) and the Zarbi (The Web Planet).


DVD, Video and Other Releases

UK Release: November 2004 / US Release: November 2004
PAL Region 2 - BBCDVD1356 (3 DVD)
NTSC Region 1 - Warner DVD E2083 (3 DVD)

The two missing episodes (2 and 4) are in audio form only.

Further information on this DVD and restoration project can be found at the Doctor Who Collectors Wiki or here
  • Video Release Part 3:The Wheel Of Fortune released in 1993 as part Of the Hartnell Years video.

Also episodes 1 and 3 (The Lion/The Wheel Of Fortune) released as Doctor Who: The Crusade/The Space Museum

UK Release: July 1999 / US Release: January 2000
PAL - BBC Video BBCV6805
NTSC - CBS/FOX Video 2000020
NTSC - Warner Video E1399
William Russell provides in character narration for episodes 2 and 4 on the later release.


Novelisation first edition
Main article: Doctor Who and the Crusaders

David Whitaker adapted his own scripts for the novelisation of this story, which was published by Frederick Muller in 1965. It was the third Doctor Who novelisation and the final one to be published by Muller. It was also the last new novelisation to be published until 1974. In 1973, Target Books acquired the reprint rights to the three Muller books, and used them to launch its own series of novelisations.

Script book

  • In November 1994, Titan Books published the scripts for the serial as part of its Doctor Who: The Scripts line of books. It was the last book of this series.

See also

External Links

  • Official BBC Episode Guide Page for The Crusade with video clips
  • The Crusade BBC Photonovel
  • Transcript for The Crusade
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide: Detailed Synopsis - The Crusade
  • A Brief History of Time (Travel) entry for The Crusade
  • Loose Canon Productions reconstruction page for The Crusade
  • Encyclopaedia of Fantastic Film and Television entry for The Crusade
  • Contact sheet of images from The Crusade at the Doctor Who Images Archive
Season 2
Planet of Giants  • The Dalek Invasion of Earth  • The Rescue  • The Romans  • The Web Planet  • The Crusade  • The Space Museum  • The Chase  • The Time Meddler
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The_Crusade_(Doctor_Who). The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "The Crusade" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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