The TARDIS lands on an apparently idyllic planet inhabited by the advanced
Elders and the barbaric Savages. Dodo and Steven discover that something
is wrong in this paradise: the Elders are fuelling their wondrous culture
by draining the life energy from the Savages. Worse still, the Elder
leader, Jano, is eager to gain the life energy of one person in
particular: the Doctor.
Ian Stuart Black got his start in film before shifting his attention to
television, where he wrote for programmes such as HG Wells' The
Invisible Man and The Saint, and co-created Danger Man.
Around December 1965, on an impulse following a script conference at the
BBC, Black visited the Doctor Who production office and enquired
about writing for the series. A regular viewer of the show, Black thought
that a Doctor Who credit would impress his children.
Black was asked to compose a storyline for delivery in mid-January 1966.
In the interim, producer John Wiles and story editor Donald Tosh resigned
from Doctor Who and were replaced by Innes Lloyd and Gerry Davis.
On the strength of his storyline, Davis commissioned Black to write
“The White Savages” on January 19th. For a time, it was
thought that this serial might replace Donald Cotton's comedic The Gunfighters, which neither Lloyd nor Davis
liked; in the end, however, “The White Savages” would follow
it into production. Since The Gunfighters
(Serial Z) had exhausted the alphabetical method of assigning production
codes, “The White Savages” was designated Serial AA.
Innes Lloyd felt that Steven Taylor did not work well as
an object of audience identification
When Peter Purves received the contract extension which culminated with
Black's story on February 24th, it had been with the proviso that this
would be his last Doctor Who adventure. Lloyd and Davis felt that
his character, Steven Taylor, was rather shallow and did not work well as
an object of audience identification. At the time, Purves was himself
beginning to weary of what he felt was Steven's lack of development after
a promising genesis, and was already considering leaving Doctor
Who. Black was therefore asked to incorporate Steven's departure into
his scripts; it was planned that Steven's replacement, Richard (or
“Rich”) would join the Doctor and Dodo in the next serial, The War Machines, also written by Black. The
event was announced to the press on April 26th; by this time, it was known
that Jackie Lane would also be leaving the series midway through The War Machines. Lane was contracted for her
final six episodes on the 28th.
Filming at the Ealing Television Film Studios took place on April 27th
and 28th; by now, the adventure's title had been truncated to The
Savages. The director assigned to handle it was Christopher Barry,
whose last Doctor Who work had been on The
Romans. The Savages then went on location for two days.
April 29th was spent at Shire Lane Quarry near Chalfont St Peter in
Buckinghamshire, filming scenes set in the craters. May 1st saw cast and
crew visit Callow Hill Sandpit in Virginia Water, Surrey, which doubled as
Studio recording for The Savages began on May 13th. As usual, each
installment was taped on consecutive Fridays in Riverside 1. One change
instituted by Lloyd was to cease the practise of giving each Doctor
Who episode its own title, and this took effect with The
Savages. Unusually, the first eight scenes of part four were recorded
on May 27th after the completion of the third episode. This was done
because both the concluding scenes of the latter and the opening moments
of the former required the use of dry ice, and in this way Barry could
avoid having to mount the effect twice.
June 3rd marked Peter Purves' final work on Doctor Who. In 1967 --
after a period of unemployment which Purves blamed on bad luck deriving
from the Trilogic Game prop he had been given after the completion of
The Celestial Toymaker -- he was hired as a
presenter on the children's programme Blue Peter, a job he would
enjoy for more than a decade. Since that time, Purves has continued to
work as a presenter and has also become a successful producer with his own
company, Video Projects. More recently, Purves has put his vocal talents
to good use as narrator of some of BBC Audiobooks' releases of incomplete
Doctor Who stories -- including The Savages.
- Doctor Who: The Handbook: The First Doctor by David J Howe,
Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker (1994), Virgin Publishing, ISBN 0
426 20430 1.
- Doctor Who: The Sixties by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and
Stephen James Walker (1992), Virgin Publishing, ISBN 1 85227 420 4.
- Doctor Who Magazine #295, 20th September 2000, “Archive:
The Savages” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.
- Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #7, 12th May 2004,
“I'm Into Something Good” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing
||28th May 1966
||4th Jun 1966
||11th Jun 1966
||18th Jun 1966
|Ian Stuart Black|
|Title music by|
|Ron Grainer and|
|the BBC Radiophonic Workshop|
|Incidental music composed and conducted by|
|Costumes designed by|
|Episode 3 (0'03" in 1 clip)|
|Episode 4 (0'41" in 12 clips)|
|The White Savages|