Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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The Faceless Ones: Episode 1 

The TARDIS materialises on the runway of Gatwick Airport, where Polly witnesses a murder only to be kidnapped before she can report it.


Gerry Mill


David Ellis (by), Malcolm Hulke (by)


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Episode complete credited cast:
Patrick Troughton ... Dr. Who
Michael Craze ... Ben
Anneke Wills ... Polly
Frazer Hines ... Jamie
James Appleby James Appleby ... Policeman
Colin Gordon ... Commandant
George Selway ... George Meadows
Wanda Ventham ... Jean Rock
Victor Winding Victor Winding ... Spencer
Peter Whitaker Peter Whitaker ... Inspector Gascoigne
Donald Pickering ... Captain Blade
Chris Tranchell Chris Tranchell ... Jenkins


The TARDIS materialises on the runway of Gatwick Airport, where Polly witnesses a murder only to be kidnapped before she can report it.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

8 April 1967 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Nurse Pinto was originally named Nuse O'Brien. See more »


[first lines]
Jamie: It's a flying beastie!
See more »


Featured in Highlander: The Jamie McCrimmon Story (2005) See more »

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User Reviews

Faceless, perhaps not faultless but certainly not fruitless - this is really good.
28 August 2014 | by A_Kind_Of_CineMagicSee all my reviews

Review for all 6 episodes:

This adventure sadly at present cannot be seen in all its glory due to BBC wiping of tapes leading to these being some of the 'lost' classics. Reconstructions available using what is left (all the sound of every Doctor Who episode survive thank goodness, added to still photographs and surviving portions of film) still provide thoroughly impressive sci-fi entertainment.

The adventure involves an alien race stealing humans from 1966 Gatwick Airport in order to use their bodies to replace their own damaged forms.

The contemporary Earth setting was still hardly used at this stage so this was a forerunner of the numerous Quatermass type, 'Earth under attack in the present day' stories which were to follow. It is a great prototype as it has good thrills, action, good intelligent alien threat, great relevance to viewers fears of alien attack on their own world with sufficient realism. The writing by Malcolm Hulke (the first of his great writing contributions) and David Ellis, acting by the whole cast and direction from Gerry Mill are all of high quality and the characters are good.

The lovely extra companion for this adventure, Samantha played by future film star Pauline Collins, works well. It is sad though that Polly (Anneke Wills) and Ben (Michael Craze) are sidelined in their last adventure. Polly had not quite maintained her feisty early form and had been turned into more of a 'screamer' but she was still a good companion and Ben was a great, tough companion throughout his time.

This story is very strong all round with aliens which are well realised and cleverly characterised. The only substantial flaw is two snippets of dialogue in episode 5 regarding how many people are missing. A captured villain reveals 50,000 young people are to be taken which is highly unbelievable without it being very noticeable to many relatives. We could imagine this plan, which would bring about huge attention, is in the early stages except he then compounds his comment by saying it is too late to save the 50,000 young people. I suppose if the events we see are part of a worldwide operation it is remotely possible a rapid set of disappearances are only starting to come to light but this revelation is hard to accept. As a result I mark that otherwise superb episode down to 7/10 but the rest of the adventure is brilliant.

My Ratings: Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4 & 6 - 10/10, Episode 5 - 7/10

Overall: 9.5/10

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