The Massacre, sometimes marketed as The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, was the fifth serial of season 3 of Doctor Who. Both versions of the BBC's official online episode guides use the shortened form — as do the novelisation and most releases of the audio track from the serial.
This serial is one of the worst hit by the BBC's now-abandoned junking policy, with not only all four of its episodes missing, but no footage or official telesnaps whatsoever existing to provide a visual reference point. Only promotional photographs are left to identify some of these lost moments. One of many lost moments was a landmark for Doctor Who, featuring one of the first times an actor playing the Doctor performed double roles as the main character and a look-alike: William Hartnell starred as both the First Doctor and the Abbot of Amboise, but unlike The Chase, in which Hartnell appears in some scenes as a robot duplicate, the Doctor and the Abbot never meet during the course of the story.
As of 2021, the story remains missing from the BBC Archives.
- 1 Synopsis
- 2 Plot
- 3 Cast
- 4 Crew
- 5 References
- 6 Story notes
- 7 Continuity
- 8 Home video and audio releases
- 9 External links
- 10 Footnotes
The TARDIS materialises in Paris in the year 1572 and the 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.
War of God (1)
A small boy is kicking a paper ball along a provincial street when he hears a strange whooshing sound coming from behind a tall fence. Frightened, the boy runs away.
The Doctor and Steven emerge from a gateway leading to the yard where the TARDIS has materialised, and onto the street. The Doctor deduces they are in France by reading a sign and from overhearing Nicholas Muss and Gaston de Leran talking about 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 about germinology. In order to blend in, he goes back to the TARDIS to fetch some more suitable clothes.
In a nearby tavern, a band of Huguenots are drinking raucously. Gaston insults the wine they are drinking, referring to it as cheap Catholic wine. Simon Duval, a Catholic, overhears this and takes it as an affront to the newly married Catholic Queen Marguerite. The men exchange cross words but Duval comes off the loser. Duval bribes the barman to spy on the Huguenots and feed back any information to him. The Doctor and Steven enter the tavern. The Doctor convinces Steven that there is no need for him to also go find Preslin, and Steven seems happy to sightsee on his own. They agree that they will meet back at the tavern come evening. As the Doctor leaves, a man, Roger Colbert, who was about to enter the tavern, stops as he recognises 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. Having only gold, which the landlord cannot turn into coin, Steven is unable to pay. Nicholas, seeing Steven's financial difficulties and recognising him as a foreigner to Paris, pays Steven's bill of two sous. Having lost the opportunity to follow the Doctor, Steven asks Nicholas for help in finding Preslin's shop. Nicholas says that he will show Steven the way, but that Steven should first have a drink with them.
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, in fact, a fellow scientist. Preslin invites the Doctor to talk.
Gaston is extremely suspicious of Steven and questions Steven as to his business in Paris and where he has travelled. Steven surprises Nicholas by mentioning having travelled to Egypt. Gaston reacts to Steven's ignorance to Parisian politics with a brief explanation of the rivalry between the Catholics and the Huguenots.
With Preslin no longer afraid, he and the Doctor discuss 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 the existence of germs. However, he is still downhearted with regards to the oncoming visit of the Abbot. The Doctor seems to come up with a plan.
Steven extricates himself from the Huguenots and leaves the tavern. No sooner has he done this but a servant girl, Anne Chaplet, runs into him before entering the tavern and is quickly followed by four guards. In the tavern, the girl hides, and because the guards are Catholics and the girl is 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 overheard the guards mention Wassy and "It will happen again before the week is up", implying another Huguenot massacre perpetrated by the Catholics.
The guards return to the Captain to report Gaston's behaviour. The Captain is furious the guards let the girl go free with the information that she now possesses and tasks them with finding her immediately.
Nicholas decides to hide Anne in the kitchen of his master, the Admiral Gaspard de Coligny. As Gaston takes her there Nicholas explains that all of this points to a Catholic attempt to kill the Huguenot king, Henry of Navarre, who has just been married to Queen Marguerite in an attempt to heal the religious rift. Steven decides that, as the evening is nearing, he will simply wait for the Doctor at the tavern instead of searching for him. As he waits, Duval enters and questions the landlord as to why his guards were unable to capture Anne and is informed that Steven, still present, was with 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 he 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 eventually accepts. They instruct the landlord to inform the Doctor that if he arrives, that Steven is staying at de Coligny's house.
Simon returns to the house and reports his findings to the Abbot, who is revealed to have the exact appearance and voice of the Doctor.
The Sea Beggar (2)
At Admiral De Coligny's house, Gaston is enraged by his master, Henry of Navarre, not taking the possible threat to his life seriously whilst Nicholas tries to pacify his friend, speculating that what Anne heard implied another massacre as Wassy may not refer to the previous massacre, and the "it" may refer to something else entirely.
Meanwhile 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. 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 is also there in hunt of Anne. When Steven looks out the window, he is surprised by the appearance of the man and professes him to be 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 tries to argue his point vociferously but Gaston is unconvinced. Steven convinces Nicholas to let him try to 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 the Abbot that he will send word later concerning "the Sea Beggar". Hearing "the Sea Beggar" as he enters, de Coligny takes this 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 Mother.
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 neighbourhood 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, 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 puts any doubt about Steven's guilt as a Catholic spy out of Gaston's mind.
Meanwhile, Steven has made his way to the Abbot's 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 Mother. 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 Steven is 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 tries to engage Steven in a sword fight, but, annoyed that Steven won't fight back, he forces Steven to leave. When Gaston tells Nicholas of the incident, Nicholas does not believe that Steven was spying and that Steven had discovered crucial information and had returned as he said he would.
As Steven skulks through the streets of Paris, he discovers Anne following him through the streets, hoping that Steven will help her as she no longer has any place to go. Steven asks if she knows who the Sea Beggar might be, but Anne doesn't know. Without a place to stay or a plan, Steven and Anne decide the safest place is Preslin's abandoned shop, and they head for it.
Admiral De Coligny returns to his residence, and Nicholas informs him that the king has finally decided to aid the Dutch after his persuasion. He boasts that the King even gave him a nickname — the Sea Beggar, a title he'd be proud of.
Priest of Death (3)
Steven and Anne wake 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 so as to not be recognised by the Captain of the Guards, who is still in search of Anne and him. Anne is reluctant to return, but Steven convinces her there is nowhere else to go. They set off to the Abbot's house.
Meanwhile, at the Louvre, the Queen Mother, the King, the Marshal, the Admiral, and Charles de Teligny argue about the political and economic issues concerning France's military aid to the Dutch. The issue cannot 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 and the Marshall are at loggerheads on all issues. In his bid to persuade the king, the Admiral insults the Queen Mother by warning the king that the Queen Mother's power may be too great. This causes the Queen Mother and the Marshal to leave. The meeting is over; the king invites the Admiral to play tennis with him, but the Admiral declines as he has business to attend to.
At the Abbot's house, Steven and Anne 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 disturbs the Abbot, who comes out. Steven tries to signal to the Doctor that it is he, but the Abbot does not recognise Steven who, with the priest still in the room, tells the Abbot that he has brought back the girl. The Abbot then dismisses Steven and Anne into another 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 recognising Steven, informs the Marshal that the Englishman who was lodging with the Admiral was there and was seen running from the building. The Marshal is angered by the Abbot not finding out who Steven was, and, believing that Steven and Anne overheard the conversation, sees the Abbot as an increasing liability. Steven hurries to de Coligny's house to inform Nicholas of the impending assassination. When he gets to the house he bursts in and informs Nicholas of the location of the assassination and Nicholas runs off.
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.
At the Abbot's house, 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 Abbot's fault, and when Roger enters and confirms that the Admiral was merely wounded, he orders the guards to kill the Abbot. The guards seem reluctant, but the Marshal orders them.
Back at the Admiral's house, Steven fills Nicholas in on the events of the previous day. When he identifies Roger, who serves 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. News reaches Steven and Nicholas that there has been a great Huguenot uprising and the Abbot has been killed. Steven rushes to the Abbot's house, insisting that it is the Doctor and not 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 on his friend's 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. The king's anger dies at this revelation.
Steven arrives at the Abbot's house. Outside, an angry Catholic crowd has formed around the dead body of the Abbot and is calling for Huguenot blood to avenge 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. Recognising 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. The Abbot's body lies forgotten on the ground.
Bell of Doom (4)
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 the St Bartholomew's Day celebration. A servant enters, giving Tavannes a note, summoning him to the Queen Mother.
Anne manages to find the Doctor's cane, but nothing more than that. Puzzled by not finding his actual clothes, Steven wonders where the Doctor could have changed into the Abbot's garb. Anne suggests that the Doctor left with Preslin, but Steven tells her that is impossible because Preslin was arrested. No sooner is this said, then the Doctor appears and tells them that this is not the case, much to the shock of Steven.
Back at the Admiral's house, Gaston is arguing with Nicholas and the Admiral imploring them to leave Paris. The Admiral refuses to do this and says that he doesn't fear death. Gaston storms out. He asks Nicholas to stay with him to face the might of the Catholics.
The Doctor blames the whole mishap on Steven not staying at the tavern, and when Steven presses the issue of the Doctor not returning he is brushed off. When the Doctor decides that it is time for them to leave, Anne reminds him 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 realises the danger that they might be in. The Doctor presses Anne for the year that they are in and learns that it is 1572. He orders Anne to go to her aunt's, despite the curfew. Steven protests, but the Doctor convinces her. As soon as she's gone, 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 proceed with their plans to slaughter the Huguenots. The Marshal protests the turning of 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 Marshal seems to doubt whether this massacre is a good idea, but it is now too late.
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. As they dematerialise, Catholic forces enter the Admiral's house.
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. In his rage, Steven disregards the Doctor's plea that history cannot be rewritten and says he will leave wherever the TARDIS lands next. Once the TARDIS has landed, Steven does just this, but checks the scanner for safety before he does so. The Doctor, aware of his solitude, begins to reminisce over all of the companions who have left him. He briefly wonders if he should return to his own planet, but decides that he cannot. He goes over to the console, weary and dejected.
Just then, a young woman runs into the TARDIS, thinking that it is a real police box; she needs to call an ambulance because a little boy has been knocked down by a car. Steven then hurries back in, telling the Doctor to take off as two policemen are approaching. The Doctor hastily dematerialises the TARDIS with the young woman and Steven aboard. Steven is initially outraged at the Doctor hijacking the young woman, but she states she doesn't mind as she lives with an aunt who won't miss her; and isn't fazed when Steven reveals the details of the machine she is aboard, pointing out that the TARDIS's unreliability means she may never get home. The young woman introduces herself as Dodo Chaplet. Steven is amazed, knowing that Anne's surname was Chaplet, and on discovering that Dodo's great-grandfather was French his mind is put to rest that Anne survived the massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve.
- Dr. Who / Abbot of Amboise — William Hartnell
- Steven Taylor — Peter Purves
- Dodo Chaplet — Jackie Lane
- King Charles IX — Barry Justice
- Queen Mother — Joan Young
- Admiral de Coligny — Leonard Sachs
- Marshal Tavannes — André Morell
- Charles de Teligny — Michael Bilton
- Charles Preslin — Erik Chitty
- Gaston, Viscount de Lerans — Eric Thompson
- Nicholas Muss — David Weston
- Simon Duval — John Tillinger
- Roger Colbert — Christopher Tranchell
- Anne Chaplet — Annette Robertson
- Old Woman — Cynthia Etherington
- Landlord — Edwin Finn
- Captain of the Guard — Clive Cazes
- Servant — Reginald Jessup
- Priest — Norman Claridge
- Officer — John Slavid
- 1st Man — Will Stampe
- 2nd Man — Ernest Smith
- 1st Guard — Jack Tarran
- 2nd Guard — Leslie Bates
- Small Boy - Robert Bartlett (DWM 233)
- Tavern Customers - Edward Granville, David Ronowski, Emmett Hennessy, Ken McGarvie, Ken Dougall, Les Conrad, Charles O’Rourke, Peter Day, Dennis Plenty (DWM 233)
- Cardinal's Guard — Vic Taylor (DWM 233)
- Passers-by - Valerie Cox, Katie Heal, Valerie Taylor, Jean Channon, Elizabeth Forbes, Susan Lane, Susan Farr, Tom Sye, David J. Grahame, Reg Cranfield, John Berrbohm, Ernest Smith, John Lawrence, Bill Howes, Charles Erskine, Fred Rawlings, John Pollock, Charles Gilbert, Daryl Richards, David Olive (DWM 233)
- Old Man - Juba Kennelly (DWM 233)
- Priest - Hugh Cecil (DWM 233)
- Guards - Pat Gorman, John Freeman, Dennis Plenty, Nigel James, Derek Chafer, Montagu Howard, James Haswell, Geoffrey Witherick, Roy Pearce, James Appleby, Mike Reid, Arthur McGuire (DWM 233)
- Double for Steven - John Clifford (DWM 233)
- Usher - George Romanov (DWM 233)
- Councillors - Graham Tunbridge, Nigel Bernard, Leslie Shannon, Robert Pearson (DWM 233)
- Secretary - Norton Clark (TCH 7
- Assassin - Tom Sye (TCH 7)
- Citizens of Paris - Ralph Katterns, Derek Martin, Eddie Davis, Yanos Jurchi, Rikki Patterson, Peter Stewart, Valerie Stanton, Andrea Cameron (TCH 7)
- Parisians - Elisabeth Digby-Smith, Elaine Laniado, Marguerite Young, Leila Forde, Ursula Granville, Joanna Hobson, Margo Abbot, Harry Mitchell, Harry Hymes, Jerry Holmes, Barry Noble, Declan Cuff, John Terrell, Alan Wakeling, Pat Leclerc, Len Russell, Edward Phillips, Eric Mills, Donald Campbell, Fred Taylor (DWM 233)
- Servant - Alan Viccars (DWM 233)
- Passer-by on Common - Marguerite Young (DWM 233)
- Writers - John Lucarotti, Donald Tosh
- Assistant Floor Manager - Fiona Cumming
- Assistant Floor Manager - Richard Valentine
- Costumes - Daphne Dare
- Designer - Michael Young
- Film Cameraman - Tony Leggo
- Film Editor - Bob Rymer
- Make-Up - Sonia Markham
- Producer - John Wiles
- Production Assistant - Gerry Mill
- Script Editor - Donald Tosh
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Dennis Channon
- Studio Sound - Gordon Mackie
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- The men in the tavern are drinking wine.
- Working titles for the story were The War of God and The Massacre of St Bartholomew. The former was slightly amended to War of God to become the title of the first episode.
- No episodes of this four-part story exist in the BBC Archives.
- Some original production documents state the name of the serial as The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, although this is historically speaking 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". As such, the middle two episodes are the only episodes of the series in which no actor is credited as playing the Doctor. He also appears as the Abbot towards the end of "War of God", 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".
- Anne Chaplet was considered to become a main companion. As with Katarina, it was decided that her origins made her less than ideal for viewer identification.
- 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 TARDIS prop was required out on location for the end of "Bell of Doom", but it was also needed back in the studio for some other shots and so the decision was made to split the prop apart. The front wall section would go out on location, while the rest of it remained back at the studio for other recording needs. A set of mock-up pieces were constructed to "complete" the prop for location — this included a set of very basic (and highly inaccurate) walls and windows, a base and an oversized roof.
- 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. However, Denton was still credited in Radio Times as it was too late for this to be corrected.
- Cynthia Etherington (Old Lady) is credited as "Old Lady" for "The Sea Beggar", and as "Old Woman" for "Priest of Death".
- Michael Bilton (Teligny) is erroneously credited as "Toligny" in Radio Times for "Priest of Death".
- According to the book Companions by David J. Howe and Mark Stammers, the final episode of the serial was to have included an in-joke 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. In the finished programme, the departure of the TARDIS is witnessed by a woman (Marguerite Young, who was a friend of Paddy Russell) walking her dog on Wimbledon Common. (DWM 233)
- This serial is notable as being one of the very few in which the Doctor does not meet the villain(s) in person.
- Production of The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve occurred concurrently with that of the film spinoff Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D..
- This is one of three missing 1960s Doctor Who stories — the other two being Marco Polo and Mission to the Unknown — which exist only as audio recordings, with not one frame of footage known to survive either on 16mm black & white film or 8mm cine film taken off a television screen.
- This is the first of two appearances of the Louvre on the series. It would later appear in its capacity as an art gallery in City of Death in 1979.
- This was the first Doctor Who story to be directed by a woman, namely Paddy Russell. There would be another that year: The Smugglers, directed by Julia Smith.
- In the DVD featurette Paddy Russell: A Life in Television (included on the DVD release of Horror of Fang Rock), Russell said that William Hartnell had never worked with a female director before and, therefore, he found this serial to be a very bizarre experience. She was surprised to get on so well with him, noting that "he was having a lovely time arguing with John Wiles anyway". She coached him not to let the Doctor show while playing the Abbott.
- This is the first story where the Doctor's actions could be argued to have changed history. When he encounters Preslin, he is dispirited and unwilling to continue his studies in science; however, the Doctor's information with regards to the forthcoming invention of the microscope buoys him on.
- No tele-snaps were commissioned for this story, which means most of the visual aspects are completely lost, including the appearance of the Abbot of Amboise, as no production photos exist of Hartnell in costume as the Abbot.
- "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 the production of the first three episodes he was still on BBC staff as Doctor Who's story editor.)
- Anne's surname is "Chaplette". (This appears in a number of secondary sources and presumably originates from the idea that Dodo's surname would be an Anglicised version of Anne's. However, Anne's surname is clearly pronounced "Shap-ley" on the existing audio recordings, which would be spelled "Chaplet". It is the pronunciation of Dodo's surname that is Anglicised, not the spelling.)
- A fan in Australia recorded some of "Priest of Death", including a scene with the Abbot of Amboise; and "Bell of Doom", including Dodo's first appearance, on 8mm cine film, but the footage was lost during a house move. (There is no evidence to support this.)
- Ealing Television Film Studios
- Riverside Studios (Studio 1), Crisp Road, Hammersmith, London
- Windmill Lane near Wimbledon Common (Dodo enters the TARDIS)
- The suggestion during the closing scene of "Bell of Doom" that Dodo may be Anne Chaplet's descendant (taken from the existing episode soundtrack) does not come across well, as William Hartnell inadvertently omitted some of the explanation — making it appear somewhat muddled in the finished episode.
- It is never explained in "Bell of Doom" as to how Dodo can be descended from Anne and yet still have the same surname.
- The Doctor faced another double of himself in TV: The Enemy of the World and The Almost People (and in some sense The Chase, Meglos, and Arc of Infinity). His companions meet natural doubles (as opposed to androids or shape-shifters) of themselves on other occasions, such as Romana I in TV: The Androids of Tara; Nyssa in TV: Black Orchid; Polly Wright in PROSE: That Time I Nearly Destroyed the World Whilst Looking for a Dress; and Peri Brown in AUDIO: The Church and the Crown.
- Steven says that he's been to Egypt. (TV: The Daleks' Master Plan)
- The Doctor asks Steven if he agrees that Dodo bears a resemblance to his granddaughter Susan Foreman, who previously left the TARDIS. (TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth) Steven reminds the Doctor that he never met Susan as he did not join the TARDIS crew until after her departure. (TV: The Chase)
- Dodo later told James Stevens that she researched her family tree for a school project and discovered that her ancestors were Huguenots who fled France due to religious persecution. This seems to confirm Steven's theory that she is one of Anne's descendants. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)
- The Doctor and Steven previously visited France, specifically Vendée, during the French Revolution. (AUDIO: Fields of Terror)
Home video and audio releases
- No telerecordings of this story exist in the BBC archives. No telesnaps or clips exist. Loose Cannon Productions have created a video reconstruction from a fan-recorded off-air audio soundtrack and several composite images created from various sources.
- This story's soundtrack was released on CD and Cassette by BBC Audio, with linking narration by Peter Purves, 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 CD 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 story was re-released in two box sets, first in the Adventures in History set (released August 2003), and second in 2011 as part of the box set The Lost TV Episodes - Collection Two.
- The Story was released again on Vinyl by Demon Records, also with the Peter Purves narration, on 29 August 2020 to coincide with Record Store Day.
- The Massacre at the BBC's official site
- The Massacre of St Bartholomew’s Eve at RadioTimes
- The Massacre at BroaDWcast
- The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Massacre at The Locations Guide
- Loose Cannon Productions reconstruction of The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve
- Archived BBC online programme guide
- Version of the BBC online programme guide active in 2017
- Because no footage exists of any title sequence, it is difficult to say with certainty exactly how the writing of this story was credited on-screen. According to an interview with Donald Tosh conducted by Loose Cannon Productions, John Lucarotti may not have received any on-screen credit, and the first three episodes may have broadcast without any writer's name caption. However, according to Shannon Sullivan, a view which seems to have the most support from BBC sources, Lucarotti disagreed with Tosh's script editorial changes to his script and thus requested that his name be withdrawn from the credits. However, the BBC declined this request, and the story went out with Lucarotti's name on each episode, with both he and Tosh being credited on "Bell of Doom" — and this is also the case with the programme listings in Radio Times. According to the official BBC Radio Collection release and the official BBC episode guide, Lucarotti received the writer's credit for all four episodes, and Tosh was credited as co-writer of "Bell of Doom". Nevertheless, contemporary internal paperwork credits only Lucarotti as writer for all four episodes. However, the credit for "Bell of Doom" in these documents is curiously for "copyright" rather than "script" as this reads on those for "War of God" to "Priest of Death".