The Crusade was the sixth story of Season 2 of Doctor Who. It is the only incomplete story of that season. It was the last story David Whitaker wrote for Hartnell and the first story directed by Douglas Camfield on his own.

Most of the actors in this story had either just been in a Doctor Who, or were just about to do so. Namely: Gabor Baraker, Zohra Sehgal, Walter Randall, Jean Marsh, Reg Pritchard and Bernard Kay. It was also the first story to have coloured actors in it as opposed to just painting the face. The latter was a common practice at the time. Nicholas Courtney was briefly considered as a replacement for Julian Glover and Jean Marsh would go on to play Sara Kingdom.

This story was also notable to the Doctor's actions. He justifies stealing clothes based on the fact they were already stolen. He talks about how he admires bravery and hates fools. Strangely, he tries to push through the King Richard's peace plan, even though he must know it won't work. In a sort of in-joke, The Web Planet saw Ian comment on ants eating through a house and being threatened by the ant-like Zarbi and here he is about to be eaten by a colony.


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.


The Lion (1)

The chop

Ian is attacked.

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, and bound and gagged, while the rest of the TARDIS crew stop the attackers from killing William de Tornebu, an associate of King Richard the Lionheart. 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, whose bonds and gag have been removed, are presented to the Sultan Saladin's brother Saphadin by El Akir, who mistakenly believes them to be King Richard and his sister Lady Joanna. Saphadin and Saladin in turn see through their disguises, humiliating El Akir. des Preaux admits the truth, and begs for Barbara to be treated mercifully. Saladin is intrigued by Barbara, who tells (honest) tales of her travels, and wishes her to tell more "beguiling" tales—like Scheherazade—or die.

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 she rots.

The Knight of Jaffa (2)

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.

The Doc rages

The Doctor rages.

El Akir plots to gain his revenge on Barbara, and Genoese merchant Luigi Ferrigo willing inserts himself in the situation, hoping to profit financially. He pretends to help Barbara escape, but in fact delivers her into El Akir's hands. El Akir rides away with her to Lydda.

Joanna befriends the Doctor and "Victor" (the Doctor decides to disguise Vicki for her safety). But the two travellers soon find themselves accused of theft by the chamberlain, and by the shopkeeper from whom they did indeed steal from. However, the man who originally stole the clothes and delivered them to the shopkeeper is revealed to be under the chamberlain's command, and the Doctor is cleared of any crime.

Ian is knighted, and 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.

Ferrigo is allowed an audience with the Sultan and his brother, but in the presence of des Preaux, admits to helping kidnap Barbara. Barbara, meanwhile, has escaped from El Akir and flees through the streets of Lydda.

The Wheel of Fortune (3)

Barbara is taken in by Haroun ed-Din. He is sympathetic because El Akir killed his wife and son, and kidnapped his daughter. The truth about Vicki is revealed to Joanna, but the two are able to placate her and Vicki is offered her protection.

Haroun leaves his remaining daughter Safiya with Barbara as he scouts around, but is knocked out by El Akir's patrolling men. They search Haroun's house, and while protecting Safiya Barbara attempts escape, but is recaptured and returned to El Akir. Ian, on the way from Saladin's court to Jaffa, is attacked by bandits and knocked out.

King Richard announces his plans to his assembled nobles, including the blood-thirsty Earl of Leicester. The Earl is appalled, and the Doctor and he argue eloquently about the plans. The King's mind is made up, but the Earl becomes suspicious of the Doctor.

The Sultan tentatively agrees to the King's plan, to the pleasure of his brother, but is suspicious and plans to be ready for any duplicity.

When Joanna learns of her brother's marriage plans for her, the Doctor is politically caught between the two royals. She is infuriated, and tells her brother she will never consent. The King turns on the Doctor, believing him to have exposed his plan prematurely, and orders them out of his sight. El Akir taunts Barbara with threats of death.

The Warlords (4)

Barbara 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.

When Ian wakes he is bound, and finds a bandit hovering over him. Ian claims to have no money, so the bandits daub him with honey while he sits helplessly in the hot sun. They tell him the ants will loosen his purse strings. 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. 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 and Vicki, back in the good graces of the King, are advised to leave court to avoid further entanglements. They use this opportunity to make a break for the TARDIS. The Doctor 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, 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.

On board the TARDIS, the crew enjoy a relieved 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.
  • "The Wheel of Fortune" exists in 16mm telerecordings
  • "The Lion" was found in New Zealand by film collector Bruce Grenville some time well before 1998 and languished amidst Grenville's vast 16mm film collection for several years. In 1998, Doctor Who fan Neil Lambess asked if he had any Doctor Who film in his collection. When he answered thad he had something called "The Lion", Lambess realized he might have a missing episode. He brought his friend Paul Scoones to Grenville's farm to videotape the screening, just in case Grenvile had the real episode. After it was determined that Greenville's print was genuine, he readily agreed to have it sent to the BBC for copying. Scoones shipped it to the BBC Film and Videotape Library, and in 1999 the BBC made a Digi-Beta print of Episode 1, and returned the print to Grenville.
  • The story of the recovery of "The Lion" generated a great deal of press interest in the United Kingdom. As a result, Bruce Grenville appeared on one of BBC One's most-watched programmes, one of the variations of The National Lottery Draws, to tell his tale.
  • 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
  • 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

Production errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • In The Lion, Julian Glover refers to Sir William Des Preaux as "Sir Richard."




File:Ian Chesterton Returns.png
Since the episode does not exist in its complete form, video releases generally feature William Russell appearing as Ian to offer narration before segments of the episode. In these segments, Ian has aged considerably, which may contradict the suggestion made by Sarah Jane Smith in SJA: Death of the Doctor that Barbara and Ian had not aged since the 1960s. Sarah Jane however, noted that this was only something as "rumour had it". It is possible that the rumour was untrue, or a metaphor for their youthful personalities. However, it should also be noted that no time period is mentioned in the appearance, therefore could quite easily be set far into the future.

DVD releases

Released as Doctor Who: Lost in Time Boxset

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 releases

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.

Audio release


An audio release of the of the television story remastered was released in 2005 by BBC Audiobooks with linking narration by William Russell on 2 CDs plus bonus interview with William Russell part of the Doctor Who TV Soundtrack Releases. (ISBN 0-563-52322-0)

Novelisation and its audiobook


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

Main article: Doctor Who The Scripts: The Crusade

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

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+