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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

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Loose Cannon Production 07
The Smugglers

BBC Production Details
Production Code: CC
Original Transmission (UK): Saturday 10th September 1966 -
Saturday 01st October 1966
Season: 4
Number of Episodes: 4
Writer: Brian Hayles
Producer: Innes Lloyd
Director: Julia Smith

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as designed by Chris Salt

Loose Cannon Production Details
Production Release Date: April 1999
Episode(s) Reconstructed: Episodes 1,2,3,4
Source Material: John Cura's telesnaps
Audio recorded by Graham Strong
  Surviving clips
Other authentic pictures
Pictures from other stories / sources
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:

This story offers lots of good old-fashioned deceit, deception, betrayal and murder. The characters of Pike, Cherub and the Squire are extremely well played by their respective actors. This is one of Dr. Who's classic historical adventures at its best! Make sure you do not turn your back on anyone while watching this story. You may find a knife in it!!

This reconstruction is fundamentally a telesnap style reconstruction. However, a few extras are thrown in for good measure. The inclusion of the Australian censor clips means that as the recon starts to move the viewers know that they are going to be treated to some violent excerpts. Also, within the recon are a few shots from the colour cine film taken on location during the actual filming. Wherever possible sections of these have been included, most notably the abduction of the Doctor. The full version of the colour cine film is added as an extra at the end of the tape.

We dedicate this reconstruction to the memory of the late Michael Craze.

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.


The Doctor, Ben and Polly arrive on a beach in 17th century Cornwall and soon become caught up in a web of intrigue. Pirates led by the villainous Captain Pike are searching for a hidden treasure, while a smuggling ring led by the local Squire is trying to offload contraband.

Ben and polly are arrested for the murder of the local churchwarden. Meanwhile, the Doctor is kidnapped by Pike's men after overhearing a cryptic rhyme that holds the key to the treasure's location.

Can the TARDIS crew prevent the slaughter that seems inevitable, and still escape with their lives?

Review by Patrick Furlong

I had awaited this story because being a fan of history, in particular smuggling (because I am writing a story about smuggling), I thought I would enjoy it after liking Marco Polo, The Aztecs, The Reign of Terror, The Crusade (episode 3), The Time Meddler, The Myth Makers and The Massacre.

After watching it once, I decided that this is a GOOD example of a Hartnell historical. Brian Hayles' scripts come up to their best standard. Rick uses his scrolling captions again along with the occasional static caption. The use of the behind the scenes material (originally filmed on 8mm silent colour film in Cornwall) - converted into black and white is good and considering the age, very good quality. The Australian Censor Clips were also in there, however, these weren't in top quality, but were very good.

The telesnaps and the audio were crystal clear - as one would expect from a Rick Brindell recon. I also like the way Rick uses a clip from another Hartnell story in one episode, but I won't tell you what or where it is - I'll let you find that out for yourself.

The idea of dedicating this release to the memory of Michael Craze was a brilliant one and hopefully the recon of The Celestial Toymaker will be dedicated to John Wiles, seeing he and Donald Tosh commissioned and developed it.

Even though I am mentioned in the SPECIAL THANKS TO section, the only help I gave Rick was to stick this recon with his many others on my website. I should be thanking Rick because of all the support he has given me over the last 8 months...

Another top quality recon from Rick... OVERALL 11/10 (the extra point is for using the behind the scenes footage)

Last Word: "You must have a double" Like the classic body snatcher movies of the 50s, the Faceless Ones is weird and wonderful, and can be seen playing in a VCR near you thanks to Loose Cannon Reconstructions.


Review by Martin Edmonds

This is the first recon I've seen and I must say that I was very surprised. I had found the BBC reconstructions more than a little dull - but I found this tape very enjoyable.

The story flows extremely smoothly considering the lack of clips and held my attention throughout.

I found the story itself very enjoyable, with William Hartnell in excellent form. The colour home movie footage is used to excellent effect.

Highly recommended - I'm off to have a look at Galaxy 4 now!


Review by Stuart Palmer

The Smugglers is bright, breezy and rather fun. Closely related in style to The Highlanders, this one wins hands down for its pace and engaging characters, not to mention the fact that every time someone gets stabbed, the reconstruction springs to life with a short clip!

Polly comes over particularly well as a resourceful woman, rather than the screamer she would soon become, and William Hartnell turns in a superb performance, nowhere near the doddery final throes of a man about to be retired from the programme.

The reconstruction is excellent, as we've come to expect. The telesnaps are generally quite crisp and clear and the sound is sharp and very audible. No need to strain to hear what's being said.

I knew nothing about this story before viewing it and it has come as a pleasant surprise. Not a great Doctor Who adventure, but a diverting and pleasing four episodes, nonetheless.


Review by Shane Moody

Ii was really looking forward to this recon as I am very familiar with this story. I use the novel version of this story as an extra reading novel for my British Literature students in high school. As the penultimate historical story of the early years, I was very impressed with the story as it unfolds in the novel. Being Ben and Polly's first adventure in the Tardis makes it even more unique as the Doctor has to deal with their discomfort due to being abruptly removed from their time. Maybe I was expecting too much, but I was rather let down by this story. I don't exactly know what made this adventure dissappointing, but you can't like them all. To me, the telesnaps were way too bright and the soundtrack not as clear as with the other recons I possess. I really thought this story would excite me more as the mystery of where the gold is hidden and the added smuggling storyline is quite good. Overall, I was hoping for more.

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