++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

This Loose Cannon production is no longer available in this original format.
Instead a new, updated version has been released - please see here for the latest version

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

Loose Cannon Production 06
The Savages

BBC Production Details
Production Code: AA
Original Transmission (UK): Saturday 28th May 1966 -
Saturday 18th June 1966
Season: 3
Number of Episodes: 4
Writer: Ian Stuart Black
Producer: Innes Lloyd
Director: Christopher Barry

Download a free cover
as designed by Chris Salt

Loose Cannon Production Details
Production Release Date: April1999
Episode(s) Reconstructed: Episodes 1,2,3,4
Source Material: John Cura's telesnaps
Audio recorded by Graham Strong
  Surviving clips
Other authentic pictures
Tape length required: UK / Australia: E180
USA / Canada: T120
Special Note:    

No episodes of this serial are known to survive. If any should resurface and be released at a later date, please purchase such an official BBC video release to complement our reconstruction.

Support The BBC Video Releases.


++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

This Loose Cannon production is no longer available in this original format.
Instead a new, updated version has been released - please see here for the latest version

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

++ UPDATE ++

Request a copy here
Please note recons are ONLY available on VHS quality.


Loose Cannon Says:

The Savages is one of the most unpopular serials of all the Doctor Who stories ever written. However, we feel it offers a few things that are quite unlike other stories. For one, the menace of the story is a highly advanced, civilized race who subjugates the primitives and drains their life force from them.

Another interesting aspect of this story is the wonderful score and incidental music used. It really adds to the suspenseful feel of the story. This story also has a wonderful performance from Frederick Jaeger, who played Jano, the leader of the advanced race. His imitations of the Hartnell Doctor are priceless.

This was Peter Purves' last appearance as the companion, Steven.

Please note, that being a conventional telesnap type reconstruction this tape provides an adequate representation of the original story. However, since this reconstruction was produced our production standards have risen above all our expectations. In particular, the quality of the source material and overcoming the loss in quality when converting to and from video formats. Not wanting to deter potential viewers from watching our earlier work by all means obtain and enjoy this reconstruction but please do not judge all our tapes by the standard of these early versions. For a balanced view of what we can achieve please be sure to check out the later reconstructions as well as the early ones.


Materialising on an idyllic world, the Doctor, Steven and Dodo are welcomed by the apparently highly civilised Elders and taken to their capital city. However, on a tour of the city Dodo discovers that the Elders have a terrible secret.

The Elders' advanced society is maintained by draining the life force and energy from a group of primitive Savages who share the planet. While the Doctor decides he must try to prevent the exploitation of the Savages, the leader, Jano, has other plans.

Review by Charles Daniels

The Savages was another unique viewing experience for me. A recon of this story had been attempted before which I avoided due to its lack of captions. People always said to me, though, "Get the Savages Charlie, I think you'll really like the story!" Which is somewhat funny as most of them DIDN'T like the story much but figured it was the sort of thing I personally would enjoy.

It is somewhat disturbing that these people were correct! I do really like this story. It is unusual in Doctor Who history because it is a story in which no one dies. That's the little piece of trivia for this adventure. Hartnell and the supporting cast hold up very well in the story and the plot is rather good showing the conflict between a highly advanced barbaric culture and the noble savage. This story is one of morality. Indeed it reminds me of The Aztecs where Susan and Barbara wonder how such an advanced society can have such hideous practices hand in hand.

The reconstruction itself is in many ways a further testament to Rick Brindell. The story flows very smoothly with just pictures. In my mind now there is some confusion as many parts seem more like I had sat down and actually watched them then just seen the recon of them. There is one rather annoying problem with the audio however. Even though it is very clear and easy to follow and understand, every so often it drops out for a split second or two. This problem runs throughout the story and even though for quite sometime luck stays with us and nothing at all important is lost but some background sounds; eventually luck runs out and we start to miss words in dialogue. This problem thankfully only occurs once every so often but noticably so. I imagine this is a problem with the original tape source as it was taped off television over some 30 years ago.

On the side of Rick's own introduction to the story it was very nice to see a picture of Ian Stuart Black, the writer of the programme. Rick always includes something interesting before the recon itself starts. This one was a bit sparse compared to some of the others but I really like to see little things like pictures of those people involved with the writing and directing. Often when we think of the early days of Doctor Who we think of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton long before we would ever think of John Lucarotti, Christopher Barry, David Whitaker, Brian Hayles, or the countless people who made the show week to week behind the cameras.

In closing I have to say that The Savages impresses with a good story, great dialogue, and that moment of sadness whenever a companion leaves the series.

Review by Matt Fitch


Another great recon from Rick Brindell. Much as I hate to say it, as in doing this it moves my favourite story (Fury from the Deep) down a notch, I rank this recon second only to Evil of the Daleks. Once again Rick has produced incredibly clear scans and matched them to an almost flawless soundtrack. Equally remarkable is the synchronisation of 8mm(?) off-screen footage with the audio. While this is a bit murky in part, due no doubt to both its source and age, in all cases it is clearly evident as to what is going on.

Rick has also decided to use a number of "camera tricks" with this venture, such as "pulling back" from the main action, a feature I must say Ive wondered as to why it has never been (to my knowledge) used before in a recon. Also being used is a sort of split screen technique for a section of conversation between The Doctor and Jano in Episode 1. Sadly these techniques are not used terribly often, though this is understandable as it may be both difficult to produce effect-wise and if done too often could become distracting.

I must also confess that after Episode 1 I began to feel let down, and at first thought this to be a fault of the recon. However, after careful consideration I found the problem to in reality be the story itself. After years of relying on the Target novelization for a translation of the story (which I must say highly intrigued me), I can now see why so many rate the story poorly, as it is a trifle boring at times. Still the recon is faultless and must be rated as such.



Review by Stuart Palmer

The Savages is one of those stories that never gets good press. It's from that "tired" period in the third season, it's got no monsters, and it's got nobody championing it and calling for its return to the archives. Most people either hold no opinion at all, or a low one based on the perceived weaknesses of the stories around it.

This wonderful reconstruction finally gave me a chance to evaluate The Savages fairly and properly, and it's a good little tale when all is said and done. What it has, which is I think unique in the history of Doctor Who, is a very strong sense of moral outrage. This is most clearly expressed by the Doctor, who gets all the best lines on the subject, but comes across too in other characters. This really presses home how horrific the Elders' process is and makes the drama the more gripping and the plight of the savages all the more tragic.

It has often been said that there are no characters you can identify with in the story, but this simply isn't true. Of the savages, Chal comes across well, with a quiet dignity, and Nanina gets an unusually strong role. Her cries for help in Episode One are very disturbing and this makes her tenderness towards a wounded Exorse in the final episode extremely touching. Exorse too gets some character development that is unusual for such a minor role.

Unusual is a good word to describe The Savages. It doesn't play like standard Doctor Who. We have that moral outrage, a first episode that goes against the traditional set-up of a first episode by having the Doctor immediately welcomed rather than locked up, a strong and suspensful third episode that hinges on Steven's resourcefulness, and a villain who turns out to be the saviour (and Frederick Jaegar's Hartnell impersonation is absolutely brilliant). It isn't dry and dull as some people claim, but intelligent and stylish.

Of course, the fact that I can review this story at all is testament to the skill which has gone into reconstructing it; a first class effort that made me feel like I'd watched the genuine episodes rather than a soundtrack, a series of stills and one or two clips filmed from the screen at the time of transmission.

A rare treat for Doctor Who fans.

Did I mention it's unusual?


Review by Jonathan Witchell

This is by far one of the best recons with practically no telesnaps being used more than once. The story is visually very clear with a few audio weaknessess, however the story continues to run fluently. A sad ending for Steven with the Doctor's remark "We mustn't look back" showing he has become accustomed to his friends leaving him by now. This is one of my favourite recons - 10/10 superb!


Review by Jerome Jones

After leaving the earlier LC recons till last in terms of obtaining them, this is in fact one of first I have actually sat down and watched!

Other reviews have mentioned the sound. Well, it does cut out every so often, but the quality is very good compared to say, The Space Pirates or Galaxy 4 which are the other two I have watched recently.

The quality of the telesnaps is frankly rather poor with very blurred pictures in some cases. The scrolling info messages are well written, but sometimes a little jerky. LC recons have certainly improved massively since this effort. I was very aware of "holding" on a certain image for a fair length of time rather than any cutting or panning/zooming that we would expect nowadays.

As for the story, I really REALLY enjoyed it. I would love for episode 3 in particular to be recovered. The impressions of the doc are really good and the savages are good characters. Also I really like Steven now and so I do like his stories too.

All in all recon 6/10 and story 8/10.

I very much look forward to this being one of the "revisited" recons in the future, but for now, great work as ever guys and thank you for bringing this story to me.


Review by Shane Moody

This story does not get enough credit. Although it is not one of the best, it is not as poor as most of fandom makes it out to be. First, a huge thanks goes to the Loose Cannon team for again attempting to faithfully create a missing story from Doctor Who. Their usage of the telesnaps was good, although at times (especially during the cave sequences) it was hard to determine what was being shown. This could easily be due to the lighting of the scene when it was originally shot. The soundtrack and scrolling highlights were good and helped make for a better presentation. Now, the story itself gives us possibly the best acting job of a supporting cast member in the history of Doctor Who. Frederick Jaegar's impersonation of William Hartnell's Doctor is so top notch that I actually hit my rewind button to hear it again. I could not believe how accurate he was. The storyline is a powerful statement of the treatment of people. No one no matter their position in life should be looked at as substandard or be made to feel this way. I thought the Doctor, Steven, and Dodo do a good job of fighting against this problem and the abuse of the savages in this adventure. Definitely a story that needs to be reevaluated by all of us.

Click the link to submit your own review