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"Perhaps I should go home? Back to my own planet? But I can't..."
―The Doctor
The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 3
Story Number: 22
Doctor: First Doctor
Companions: Steven Taylor
Dodo Chaplet
(Introduction, "Bell of Doom")
Enemy: Catherine de Medici
Setting: Paris, 1572
Writer: John Lucarotti[1]
Donald Tosh[1]
Director: Paddy Russell
Broadcast: 5th February - 26th February 1966
Format: 4 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: The Daleks' Master Plan
Following Story: The Ark
"The Massacre" redirects here. For the novelisation by this title, see The Massacre (novelisation).

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 "Bell of Doom".

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



The TARDIS materializes in Paris in the year 1572 and the First Doctor decides to visit the famous apothecary Charles Preslin. Steven, meanwhile, is befriended by a group of Huguenots from the household of the Protestant Admiral de Coligny. Having rescued a young serving girl, Anne Chaplet, from some pursuing guards, the Huguenots gain their first inkling of a heinous plan being hatched at the command of the Catholic Queen Mother, Catherine de Medici...


Part One: War of God

The Doctor and Steven have landed in France, and from overhearing Nicholas Muss and Gaston de Leran talking about the 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. Now at a nearby tavern, the Doctor convinces Steven that there is no need for him to also go find Preslin, and Steven convinces the Doctor to let him sightsee on his own.

They agree that they will meet back at the tavern come evening, before leaving for the TARDIS. 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. Only having gold, which the Landlord can not turn into coin, Steven is unable to pay. Nicholas, seeing Steven's financial difficulties and recognizing him as a foreigner to Paris, pays Stevens bill of two sous. Having lost the opportunity to follow the Doctor, he asks Nicholas for help in finding Preslin's shop, but draws some suspicion by mentioning that the Doctor wants to talk science with Preslin. Dropping the subject, Nicholas says that he will show Steven the way, but that Steven should first have a drink with them. Gaston is extremely suspicious of Steven, and questions Steven as to his business in Paris and where he has traveled. Steven, surprising Nicholas by mentioning having traveled to Egypt, decides to leave to find the Doctor. As Steven leaves the Tavern, a servant girl, Anne Chaplet, runs into him before entering the tavern, and is quickly followed by 4 guards. In the tavern, the girl hides, and because of the guards as Catholics and the girl as 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 over heard the guards mention Wassy and "it will happen again before the week is up," implying another Huguenot massacre perpetrated by the Catholics. Nicholas decides to hide Anne in the kitchen of his master the Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, while Steven decides that, as evening is nearing, he will simply wait for the Doctor instead of searching for him.

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 fact a fellow scientist. With Preslin no longer afraid, him and the Doctor discus 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 of the existence of germs.

Back at the Tavern, Simon Duval question the Landlord as to why his guards were unable to capture Anne, and is informed that Steven, still present, was amongst 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 accepts as the bell tolls, marking the curfew, and they instruct the landlord to inform the landlord that the Englishman is staying at de Coligny's house. Simon then reports the happenings to the the Abbot who has the exact appearance and voice of the Doctor.

Part Two: The Sea Beggar

The next morning, 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. At de Coligny's house, Gaston is enragd by his master, Henry of Navarre, not taking the possible threat to his life seriously.

The marriage of the Protestant prince Henry, to the King's Catholic sister had increased tensions between the Catholics and the Huguenots.

Gaston and Henry precede to argue if in fact what Anne heard implied another massacre as Wassy may not refer to the previous massacre, and the "it" may refer to something else entirely. 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 came to find a serving girl, and when Steven looks out the window, he is surprised to see 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 convinces Nicholas to let him try and 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 that Abbot that he will send word later concerning "the Sea Beggar." Hearing "the Sea Beggar" as he enters, de Coligny takes his 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.

At the same time 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 about Steven, 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 cements his guilt as a Catholic spy for Gaston.

Meanwhile, Steven has made his way to the Abbots 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. 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 engages Steven in a sword fight, but annoyed that Steven wont 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 found crucial information out and had returned as he said he would. As curfew approaches, Steven discovers Anne following him through the streets, hoping that Steven will help her as she no longer has any place to go. They decide the safest place is Preslin's abandoned shop, and they head for it. De Coligny returns to Nicholas, informing him that the King has finally decided to aid the Dutch, and that the King said to him, "If we do ally ourselves with the Dutch, you, de Coligny, will go down in history as 'the Sea Beggar.' "

Part Three: Priest of Death

The Next Morning, at the meeting in the Louvre, the Queen Mother, the King, the Marshal, the Admrial, and Charles de Teligny argue about the political and economic issues concerning France's military aid of the Dutch. The issue can not 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 insults the Queen Mother by warning the King that the Queen Mother's power may be too great, causing the Queen Mother and the Marshal to leave. The meeting now over, the King invites the Admiral to play tennis with him, but the Admiral declines as he has business to attend to.

Meanwhile, Steven and Anne have woken 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 as to not be recognized by the Captain of the guards. who had pursued Anne two days ago. Once he convinces Anne to come with him, they decide to meet back at Preslin's shop and then depart for the Abbot's. At the Abbot's, they 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 does disturb the Abbot, who comes out to see why he has been disturbed. 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 but the Marshal enters before the Abbot can deal with Steven and Anne. Steven and Anne leave the 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. The Marshal is angered by the Abbot not finding out who Steven was, and believing that Steven and Anne over heard the conversation, sees the Abbot as an increasing liability. Steven hurries to de Coligny's house to inform Nicholas of the impending assassination.

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, where Steven fills Nicholas in on the events of the previous day. When he identifies Roger, who serves of 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.

At the Abbots, 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 Abbots fault, and when Roger enters and confirms that the Admiral was merely wounded, orders the guards to kill the Abbot. 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 at his friends 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.

Having heard from Teligny about the Abbot's death, Steven rushes to the Abbot's house. Outside, an angry crowd has formed around the dead Abbot and is calling for Huguenot blood to revenge 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.

Part Four: Bell of Doom

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 St. Bartholomew's Day celebration. A servant enters, giving Tavannes a note, summoning him to the Queen.

Anne manages to find the Doctor's cane, but nothing more than that. Puzzled by not finding his actually clothes, Steven wonders where the Doctor could have changed into the Abbot's garb. Anne suggest that the Doctor left with Preslin, but Steven tells her that is impossible because Preslin was arrested. With this said, the Doctor appears and tells them that Preslin has not been. The Doctor blame's 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 of that the next day will bring. He convinces Anne to go to her aunt's, despite the curfew, and with Steven protesting, 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 precede with their plans to slaughter the Huguenots. The Marshal protests turning 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 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. 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. Once landed, Steven checks the scanner for safety and then leaves as the Doctor begins to reminisce over all of the companions who have left him, pleased that he was at least able to teach Steven some caution, and wonders if he should return to his own people but decides that he can not. Just then Dodo Chaplet runs into the TARDIS, thinking that it is a real police box, in need of calling an ambulance because a little boy has been hurt. Steven then runs back in, telling the Doctor to take off as two police men are approaching. The Doctor then dematerializes the TARDIS, while Steven, seeing Dodo's likeness to Anne, takes her to be Anne and becomes confused as to how she came aboard. Finding out that her surname and that grandfather was French, Steven and the Doctor conclude that it may be just possible that Anne had survived the massacre and that Dodo is Anne's descendant.




The Abbot of Amboise

Story Notes

  • This story is listed in some programme guides as simply, The Massacre.
  • Some original production documents state the name of the serial as The Massacre of St Barthlomew's Eve, although this is historically a misnomer, as the actual massacre took place on St Bartholomew's Day. Some have noted that as the original French name for the event (Massacre de la Saint-Barthélemy) lacks a day, the title actually refers to the lead up to the massacre itself — that is, the Eve of the Massacre of St Bartholomew.
  • William Hartnell is credited as Dr. Who for War of God and Bell of Doom, and as Abbot of Amboise for The Sea Beggar and Priest of Death. He also appears as the Abbot towards the end of Priest of Death, but is credited only as Dr. Who. Radio Times credits 'William Hartnell as Dr. Who' for all four episodes, but omits the character from its actual cast lists for The Sea Beggar and Priest of Death.
  • The last episode of this serial introduces Dodo Chaplet, played by Jackie Lane. The BBC Past Doctor Adventures novel Salvation gives a more detailed though somewhat contradictory account of events which led Dodo to enter the TARDIS, thinking it was an actual police box.
  • The part of 1st Man was originally to have been played by Roy Denton, but he had to drop out the day before recording due to illness and was replaced at short notice by Will Stampe. Denton was still credited in Radio Times as it was too late for this to be corrected.
  • Guest star André Morell was one of the actors to play the BBC's other famous science-fiction hero, Professor Bernard Quatermass. He is the only one of them to appear in Doctor Who on television, although Scottish actor Andrew Keir, who portrayed Quatermass on film, also played a role in the film Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD. Reportedly, Morell was at one point to have appeared in the film as well, but had to pull out due to his commitments to filming this TV serial.
  • According to the book Doctor Who: Companions by David J. Howe and Mark Stammers, the final episode of the serial was to have included a cameo appearance by William Russell and Jacqueline Hill reprising their roles as former companions Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright. The scene — which was scheduled to be filmed but was cancelled — had Ian and Barbara witnessing the dematerialisation of the TARDIS after Dodo enters.
  • This serial is notable as being one of the very few in which the Doctor does not meet the villain(s) in person. Another such example is DW: Planet of Giants.
  • Production of The Massacre of St. Bartholomew's Eve occurred concurrently with that of the film spinoff Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD.


  • War of God - 8.0 million viewers
  • The Sea Beggar - 6.0 million viewers
  • Priest of Death - 5.9 million viewers
  • Bell of Doom - 5.8 million viewers


  • Donald Tosh was credited as co-writer on Bell of Doom because he supplied the final scene introducing Dodo. (Tosh wrote the final draft scripts of all four episodes, amending John Lucarotti's originals extensively. He was credited only on "Bell of Doom" because during production of the first three episodes he was still on BBC staff as Doctor Who's story editor.)

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • The story suggests that Dodo might be a descendant of Anne Chaplet; however, it has often been pointed out that this would only be possible if Anne married someone who shared her surname or if she had a male illegitimate child. Or perhaps her time with The Doctor and Steven fostered a progressive attitude in her, and she kept her name when she got married. Of course, the fact Anne and Dodo look identical is certainly cause for much raising of eyebrows.
  • The actual massacre occurred on St Bartholomew's Day, not St Bartholomew's Eve. events in the Whoniverse are different than our world and maybe the date of the massacre is not a fixed point in time



DVD, Video and Other Releases

  • No telerecordings exist in the BBC archives. No telesnaps or clips exist. Loose Cannon Productions have created a reconstruction from a fan-recorded off-air audio soundtrack and several composite images created from various sources.
  • This is one of only three serials, along with Marco Polo and Mission to the Unknown, of which not a second of footage survives. However, a fan-recorded off-air soundtrack, with linking narration provided by Peter Purves, was released by the BBC Radio Collection on both audio CD and cassette in 1999.
  • The BBC Radio Collection release gives the title as, variously, The Massacre and The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve. The packaging uses the title The Massacre, but the accompanying booklet uses both titles. The CDs have The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve printed on them and this is also the title announced by Peter Purves on the discs themselves. (see also disputed story titles).
  • This audio has also been released as part of the Adventures in History CD Set in August 2003.


Main article: The Massacre (novelisation)
  • John Lucarotti's 1987 The Massacre of this serial for Target Books, entitled simply The Massacre, returned the story to a previous draft before Bill Hartnell's health forced a number of rewrites (allowing Hartnell to not have to be present during filming of the third episode). As a result, the novelisation differs greatly from the broadcast version.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Because no footage exists of any title sequence, it is difficult to say with certainty exactly how the writing of this episode was credited onscreen. According to an interview with Donald Tosh conducted by Loose Cannon Productions, Lucarotti may not have received any on-screen credit, and the first three episodes may have gone out without any writing credit. According to Shannon Sullivan, however, Lucarotti disagreed with Tosh's script editorial changes to his script and fought to have his name removed from the credits. However, the BBC disallowed his request, and the serial went out with his name on each episode, with he and Tosh getting credit for "Bell of Doom". Sullivan's view seems to have the most support from BBC sources. According to the official BBC Radio Collection release and the official BBC episode guide, Lucarotti received writing credit for all four episodes, and Tosh was credited as the co-writer of "Bell of Doom". Nevertheless, contemporary internal paperwork gives only Lucarotti credit for all four episodes. However, the credit for "Bell of Doom" in these documents is curiously for "copyright", rather than "script" or writing.

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: The Massacre
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - The Massacre
  • Production information and transcripts of The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
  • Loose Cannon Productions reconstruction of The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
  • Wikipedia - The historical St Bartholomew's Day Massacre
Season 3
Galaxy 4  • Mission to the Unknown  • The Myth Makers  • The Daleks' Master Plan  • The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve  • The Ark  • The Celestial Toymaker  • The Gunfighters  • The Savages  • The War Machines
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve. 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 Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.

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