Doctor Who (1963–1989): Season 1, Episode 42 - Prisoners of Conciergerie - full transcript

Ian finally delivers his message to James Stirling but in order to secure Susan's release he and Barbara are forced into a dangerous spying mission.

Here they are.


Your friend has betrayed us!

You brought the soldiers!

No, I came alone and unarmed.

Ask your friend.

We came alone, my boy.

We made a bargain.

Let him speak. He holds Susan prisoner.

What can you have to say to us?

- Please! I come as a friend.
- A friend?

- Ian will tell you that what I say is true.
- I will?

Well, surely you realise that your escape from prison was arranged?

I saw to it that you got the key and I took care of the jailer.

Why? Why should you do that?

I was certain in my own mind that Webster gave you a message to deliver.

You had to have the opportunity to deliver it.

Unfortunately, I don't have enough time to wait now.

- I have to collect.
- Collect?

Yes. I am James Stirling.

Stirling? You?

Is it so surprising?

You must have already decided

that to be of any use I would have to hold some position of authority.

Why have you not made yourself known here before?

Webster had been told about me.

I've been in France several years.

When I came over you must have been unknown to us,

although I'm not sure I would have contacted you even if I could.

I prefer to work alone.

You could have made yourself known to me in prison.

Yes, but I didn't know whether I could trust you.

There again, I could have been overheard.

No Ian, I took the only course possible.

That's all very well, Lemaitre, Stirling,

or whatever your name is,

but the only reason I brought you here was to help Susan.

And I've kept my part of the bargain.

I know, but let me explain my position...

I certainly will not! I want my granddaughter out of that prison!

She already has been out of that prison and she was rearrested.

I will help you if you will help me.

Don't you see?

I can use my authority to get safe passage for all of you to whever you want to go.

- But look here...
- He's right, Doctor.

No harm will come to Susan, I promise.

I gave orders that she was to remain in the cell.

Now you know that's true.

The jailer would die rather than see that cell door opened again.

Very well. Very well.

If you must, t... tell your story then get on with it.

First the message.

Oh, Webster said very little.

He was badly wounded as you know.

Yes. I know that.

I read reports of all arrests in case something like this happens.

It's why I came to your cell, I realised that he could have been Webster.

I've been expecting to be contacted for months.

...know where you were, or even where I could find you.

No. The plan was that he was to look for and recognise me.

He was a good friend. Ian, the message?

He said you were to return to England immediately.

It seems that whatever information you have is wanted there urgently.

Nothing more?

That was all Webster said.

Are you sure?

Well, he mumbled occasionally.

Odd words. But, what I've just told you was all he asked me to tell you.

What were these mumblings about?

Oh, well, they didn't really make sense.

He was unconscious.

He said, ah... strange things.

I can't really remember now.

He may have realised that he didn't have very much time.

Yes. I'm afraid I can't remember them.

Well, I'm already planning my return to England.

But, before I go, and before I can give Susan

and you safe passage, there is one more piece of information I must have.

But, you asked for our help.

What can we do? You have all the power.

Robespierre sent for me today.

There is another plot to depose him.

Good. Will it succeed, do you think?

Possibly. He gave orders that I should follow Paul Barrass,

a deputy, and report back on a meeting...

Barrass! Meeting! Webster did speak of that.

What did he say?

Well, nothing specific but he said Barrass, meeting,

and something about a sinking ship.

No. No, The Sinking Ship.

That was it!

Just a moment.

There's an inn called the Sinking Ship on the Calais Road.

It would be ideal for a secret meeting.

Right. Better than following him, we can plan a reception committee.

If I can discover the results of this meeting,

I'm ready to return to England and I'm free to help you.

Have you any idea who Barrass is meeting?

No, but whoever he is, he could be the next ruler of France.

I still don't understand why you need our help.

Barrass knows me by sight, I'm sure of that.

He could even know of you, Doctor.

Now my plan, if you agree, is for Barbara and Ian to attend the meeting.

Nonsense! It's far too risky.

Why not use your own men?

You would still learn the details.

True but then they would also know and they may talk.

Then I have no advantage.

I think we should go. Ian?

It's risky. But, we're not going to get away without help.

Quite so, and there's Susan to think about.

- Then you agree to go?
- Yes.

- We agree.
- The Doctor and I will remain here.

If we're seen it could hinder you, or worse.

I'll take them to the inn, Stirling, if you've no objection.

Good. I was going to ask you to.

Now, when you get there I suggest that the innkeeper...

You can leave it to us, Stirling.

Sorry. I know I can.

You should have little difficulty getting there tonight.

Stay the night and return here tomorrow morning.

That way you won't run into any patrols.

Now, where exactly is this inn, Jules?

It's a good two hours ride.

We'll take the Calais road and ride due north.

When we reach this fork we'll see a forest.

We'll circle it and ride west.

Thank you.

Well, if this is a typical night's trade, I'm not surprised this place was chosen.

I've bound and gagged the innkeeper and left him in the wine cellar.

He'll be found when we leave.

Ian's nearly finished.


You know, if Barrass doesn't arrive soon, he'll find the place closed.

Perhaps that's what he's waiting for.

- You're through.
- Yes, I know. That'll do it.

Many out there?

Just two. They look set for the night.

And Jules of course. He's put the innkeeper in the cellar.

Good. Yes, looks all right.

Aye. Now we're ready for them.

Ah, let me take your cloak, citizen?

Horrible night.

Where is Jacques?

Ah, Jacques? Oh, he's sick.

He asked me to help him out.

You must be the citizen who ordered the room.

This way. This way citizen.

Here we are.

Can... can I get you anything, citizen?

Ah, yes. Some wine.

How many guests are you expecting?

Just the one.

There'll only be two of them.

- Goodnight!
- Goodnight!

As soon as his guest comes you can lock up.

- Did you see who it was?
- No. Did you?


Well, I'm delighted you could get here, general.

Barbara. Barbara.

It's Napoleon. Napoleon Bonaparte!

We're quite safe here.

I made certain I wasn't followed.

The meeting place was well chosen.

I, um... assume from your presence here that you're interested in my proposition.

Interested, obviously. But, no more.

At least, not until you disclose the full details.

Robespierre will be arrested after tomorrow's convention meeting.

Will be? It won't be the first attempt.

But it will be the successful one.

He'll be tried and executed before his friends have time to reorganise.

You make it sound simple, Barrass.

I think you underestimate Robespierre.

He has a talent for commanding support.

Only if he is allowed to speak.

And he won't be able to.

As far as I'm concerned, your success or failure means very little to me.

Oh, possibly. But, only for the immediate future.

Success could well mean that I would take control of the governing committee.

It would be within the constitutional rights?

And then the constitution could be amended.

Oh, I'm well aware of your disgust for politicians,

tearing France to pieces while her enemies wait to pound us.

Exactly what is your proposal?

I believe that to rule a country successfully,

one needs a certain support from the people being governed.

Agreed. And how do you plan to raise that support?

With you.

Your victories, inspiring victories, in the Austrian Wars have made you a public figure.

You're a hero in the people's eyes.

And in your eyes?

A useful prop for your new government.

No. Come general.

You would be more than just a figurehead.

Yes. I know I would. I'm glad you appreciate it.

Which capacity
would you require me to serve?

The constitution amendment would call for a government of three consuls.

You would be one of them.

When would you require my decision?


If I refuse?

You're in a strong position, Bonaparte, but hardly indispensable.

There are other young men equally ambitious.

I accept, dependent on Robespierre's downfall.

In the event of failure, I shall of course deny this meeting ever took place.

I will summon you to Paris as soon as a suitable time has elapsed.

I shall be ready to take over.

Napoleon? Napoleon as ruler of France?

Yes. As one of three consuls.

He won't be content with that.

I've watched his promotions.

Bonaparte's clever and ambitious.

If he gets a foothold to power, one day he will rule France.

Our only concern now is Susan.

She's only part of it, Doctor.

If they take Robespierre to the prison we might find it hard to get in there,

let alone get out.

You made a bargain with us.

And I'll keep to it.

You knew this might happen.

Yes. But, I had no idea Barrass was so strong.

Jules. What time is this convention meeting?

It will be over by now.

Then Robespierre could already be under arrest.

I must find out. There may still be time.

You'd keep Robespierre as ruler of France.

If I thought it was the only way...

We need a strong government, but not a military dictatorship.

- And it could happen.
- It will happen!

Oh, save your breath, my dear.

Do as you think fit. I'm going off for Susan.

Take Barbara with you.

Let her hide outside the prison. Jules?


Get a carriage. Take her to the prison.

If there are crowds, wait until they disperse,...

- ...Barbara will watch out for you.
- Right.

If you can get Susan, take her and join Barbara and wait for the carriage.

Ian and myself will join you as soon as we can.

And where shall we go?

To the palace. We'll get news of Robespierre.

If you're not outside the prison when we return I'll come for you.

Go with him, my boy.

You can't help me but at least you can make sure that he helps us.

All right. I'll see you outside the prison. Good luck.

Take care, Ian!

What is it? What do you find so amusing, hmm?

Oh, I don't know. Yes, I do.

It's this feverish activity to try and stop something

that we know is going to happen.

Robespierre will be guillotined whatever we do!

I've told you of our position so often.

Yes, I know. You can't influence or change history.

I learnt that lesson with the Aztecs.

The events will happen, just as they are written.

I'm afraid so and we can't stem the tide.

But at least we can stop being carried away with the flood!

Now, Susan and the prison.

_____ him.

Come out! Do you hear?

____ break it down.

_____ citizen. Issued by the governing committee!

Oh, don't be fools, citizens!

They're traitors. All of them. Traitors!

Don't be fools, they're just using you.

They'll never succeed in taking over the government of France!

They'll never succeed!

Within hours I shall be as powerful as ever I was

and the traitors will pay with their lives.

If, citizens, you swear your allegiance to me now, I will promise your safety.

I promise to save France. I will promise...!

That'll keep you quiet for a while _____.

Come on! _____.

You should have let me go in, Ian.

No, Stirling. Robespierre's finished.

We were too late.

Yes. Did you hear the men?

They're taking him to the prison.

Yes. It's up to the Doctor now.

I think we're going to have quite a storm.

Yes. We were lucky to find shelter so near the prison.

Hmm. We've waited around here long enough.

Far too conspicuous.

I think the carriage might be here when I return.

- Will you be all right?
- Yes, of course.

I think I'll go and get Susan.
Or, at least, try. Be careful.

Up with the Revolution.

You! You came back!

I can see you did not expect me.

No. But I am glad you came.

I still have a score to settle with you.

Really? I see you haven't heard the n... the news yet, my man.

Who hasn't?

Robespierre has been overthrown!

- Yes. And Lemaitre was shot trying to run away.
- Lemaitre, shot?

Shot. And now we're going to deal with his accomplices.

Who are you?

Why do you think a high-ranking official like myself came to Paris, hmm?

I was part of the plan.

I came to make sure of Robespierre's downfall.

I didn't know, citizen.

No. You didn't, did you?

And that is why you didn't expect me to come back.

You thought you'll get away with it!

Get away with what?

Being Lemaitre's accomplice. Take him!

You were Lemaitre's accomplice, weren't you?

You did help him to carry out his torturous actions?

I only carried out the orders I was given, sir.

Orders? Orders?

Don't tell me that, my man, I was there, remember?

I saw you conniving with him all the time.

- I didn't, citizen.
- Didn't what?

Do what you just said!

It was you that betrayed me to Lemaitre, was it not?

Well, after all, citizen, you did hit me on the head.

And how was I to know Lemaitre was a traitor?

And... Well, you citizen...

You... Well, that was a secret wasn't it?

Well, I suppose there's some logic in that.

I can't decide whether you're a rogue or a half-wit or both.

However, I will give you the benefit of the doubt.

Get out.

Now, while we'll...

we're reconsidering the post of jailer you may stay here in a temporary capacity.

Thank you, citizen.

You won't regret it. I promise you!

I hope not. Now, Robespierre's friends smuggled him away after the convention.

The soldiers are after him.

He will be caught and probably brought here.

Ah, well we'll look after him, citizen.

Never fear.

Tomorrow there will be a new bunch of prisoners,

Robespierre's friends, so I hope everything will be ready, including the cells?

Well... Ah, shall I release the prisoners, citizen?

Certainly. Now let me have the key to the dungeon.

They've got Robespierre!

- The Doctor back yet?
- No. But, they've got Robespierre!

I've just seen them take him into the prison!

Yes, we followed them here.

Perhaps I'd better go and see what's happened.

You stay where you are, Stirling.

You set one foot inside that prison and you'd be arrested.

We must wait until Jules arrives with the carriage.

And you obviously didn't get to Robespierre.

No. We saw him taken.

He was shot in the jaw.

Jules going to be able to see us from here?

I think so.

At least this storm will allow him to pull up in front of the prison.

I shall be heading for Calais.

I can get a boat from there.

Good. We can save you some time.

We go the same way.

And while you're waiting, you might as well explain exactly

where it is you're making for.

Well, as far as I can remember from the map I saw in the hideout,

we head north of Paris...

Here's Jules!

Oh, grandfather!

There, Susan. We're all going back to the ship.

It's all over for you.

Where are the others?

Well, Barbara's outside and Ian should arrive at any moment.

We have a carriage waiting.

A carriage! Oh, that's better than _____.

Yes. I...

Well, what's happening?

They've just heard about the downfall of Robespierre.

A sort... a sort of celebration, you know?

Oh, look!


Yes. What is it about?

A prisoner for you.

Oh, citizen Robespierre?

This is indeed an honour.

Ah, don't waste your breath on him.

He can't answer you back.

He tried writing us a letter but, ah... too bad we don't read, ay?

Let's go back to the TARDIS.

Yes. Yes, Susan. The rabble are far too busy to bother about us.

Everybody lived in fear, yesterday, of that man, and today...?

Let's go, Susan. Let's go.

Yes, the fall of Robespierre has changed everything for me.

I'm sure it has, Jules.

What are you going to do now?

First I must find Jean.

Then I shall wait somewhere in the country

and see how this situation in Paris develops.

Going to be disturbed for a long time, I think.

Yes, I know. I wonder who will emerge as the next ruler of France?

Remember the name, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Corsican? Ruling France?

Well, if you're certain that's where you want to be left.

_____. We'll be safe there.

Yes, but I don't...

Please. No questions. Promise?

Very well, if that's what you want.

Now that I'm going home, I just can't wait to see England again.

Oh, England. I know how you feel only too well.

Why don't you all come with me?

Ah, no. We must travel our way.

Barbara. Who are you really?

Where do you all come from?

Here they are!

He's got Susan!


Now come along.
Don't stand around. It's dangerous.

Come along. Hurry.

Come Lemaitre. We mustn't keep them waiting.

I hope they have a pleasant journey.

So do I. But to where, Jules?

Funny. I get the impression they don't know where they're heading for.

Come to that, do any of us?

Well, I can assure you, my dear Barbara,

Napoleon would never have believed you.

Yes, Doctor, but ah, supposing we had written Napoleon a letter,

telling him, you know, some of the things that were going to happen to him.

It wouldn't have made any difference, Ian.

He would have forgotten it, or lost it, or thought it was written by a maniac.

I suppose if we'd tried to kill him with a gun, the bullet would have missed him.

Well, it's hardly fair to speculate, is it?

No, I'm afraid you belittle things.

Our lives are important, at least to us.

But as we see, so we learn.

And what are we going to see and learn next, Doctor?

Well, unlike the old adage, my boy,

our destiny is in the stars, so let's go and search for it.