Wednesday 28 December 2022

Countdown to 60: A Daughter of the Gods

" She didn't understand. She couldn't understand. She wanted to save our lives, and perhaps the lives of all the other beings of the Solar System. I hope she's found her Perfection. Oh, how I shall always remember her as one of the Daughters of the Gods. Yes, as one of the Daughters of the Gods...".

The Doctor always won. Good always triumphed over evil. If you travelled with the Doctor, he would keep you safe.
Then, in the fourth instalment of The Daleks' Master Plan - The Traitors - everything changed. Within a few minutes of the episode opening, Katarina sacrificed herself - opening an airlock so that she and a convict named Kirksen were sucked out into the vacuum of space. Before the episode had closed, Bret Vyon, who had become a sort of surrogate companion over the previous three weeks, had been brutally gunned down. His replacement - and killer - was Sara Kingdom, and she too bit the dust before the story was done.
We hadn't really got to know Bret, but he was a space security agent so lived in a dangerous world anyway. Likewise Sara. Katarina on the other hand was simply a handmaid from ancient Troy - a gentle soul who had been foreseeing her own death almost from the outset. 
In real life, the actor playing Katarina - Adrienne Hill - had foreseen her character's demise, as it was the very first thing she recorded, long before appearing in studio for the fourth and final episode of The Myth Makers. Producer and story editor had quickly realised that a figure from so far back in history would be difficult to write for - having to have everything explained to her. The next production team brought in a companion from 1746, and another from 1866 - and got round the Katarina issue by simply ignoring it. Jamie and Victoria hardly ever questioned anything.

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