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on 10 February 2002
The Faceless Ones, a Patrick Troughton era story,(Ben and Polly's final story), is wonderful story to slip into, away from the real world.Landing in an airport, the Doctor and his companions quickly find themselves in an adventure as hundereds of teenagers aredissapearing and copies of them appearing. Suddenly, Polly dissapears...
This story will centainly keep you on the edge of your seat until the closing credits as it's not quite a happy ending...
The only minor downfall of this fantasticly surreal story is the fact that the addversaries are less courageous than the average Dr Who monster! But apart from that trivia thing, I strongly recommend all who enjoy a classic sci-fi story to buy it immediately and then close their eyes, and listen to the story that caused many to hide behind the sofa...
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on 26 July 2004
I purchased the Audio CD of The Faceless Ones after seeing episodes one and three on 'The Reign of Terror' VHS box set.
The story's length is fine and allows the plot to develop properly. The linking narration by Frazer Hines is great and makes up for the lack of pictures on the action shots.
The story sees the departure of both Ben and Polly, although they have relatively minor parts in the story, which is a bit disappointing. Patrick Troughton is, as always on top form with his voice, which is always engaging and comes up with some memorable lines during the story.
If you are a fan of Patrick Troughton, The Faceless Ones is a great story to own.
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on 20 February 2002
The Tardis materialises at Gatwick airport, and Ben and Polly are kidnapped by mysterious aliens. The Doctor, ably assisted by the resourceful Jamie, begins an investigation, while being hunted by both the aliens and the airport authorities.
He discovers that thousands of young people have been kidnapped by a tour operator, Chameleon Tours, and that someone on the airport has access to technology not known on Earth.
The six episodes fly by, as the plot twists and turns in a very entertaining way. There are some marvellous character roles (the Airport Commandant, the police officer investigating the disappearance of one of the missing youngsters, and the Chameleon leader), and of course the eccentric and lovable Pat Troughton, who's on top form in this story.
Sadly, it's Ben and Polly's last appearance in Doctor Who, so there's also a "will-they survive or won't-they?" aspect to their disappearance.
The story is - for once - not about monsters, but is a mystery; and the Doctor has to win a race against time before the aliens' plans can be completed. He isn't helped when the Chameleons start replacing his friends with doubles - as he never knows who will be the next to be replaced!
Some lovely acting, too, by Wanda Ventham, Colin Gordon, Donald Pickering, and Pauline Collins in some of the guest roles.
A classic Troughton story, with a surprise ending...
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on 24 January 2012
The Faceless Ones is a 6 part serial from one of the greatest seasons of Doctor Who ever, season 4. All 7 stories that were broadcast in this season are unique and special. The Faceless Ones, airing late in the season is a 6 part story featuring new alien badies the Chameleons who have come to earth to steal the identities of 50,000 young earthicans. Thusly, the plot revolves around our 4 heros saving the day. By this time, Second Doctor Patrick Troughton has settled in to the role and here asserts his natural leadership over his companions and the staff at Gatwick.

If The Faceless Ones suffers from one weakness, its its length. The story really could have been a more thrilling 4 part affair. The Highlanders, The Underwater Menace, The Moonbase and The Macra Terror are all classics in my eyes because they are short, to-the-point and exciting. I have always enjoyed Doctor Who's 4 parter's. The Faceless Ones does not drag as badly as some other 6 part stories I can think of, but still, it could have done with shaving a few minutes off its run time. That aside, what we have here is a classic story starring a stella cast. The highlight for me in this serial is Colin Gordon's Commandant. He bounces off Troughton's Doctor wonderfully, as does Bernard Kay's Crossland. Unusually, Ben and Polly are absent for the vast majority of the serial, only appearing right at the bitter-sweet end where they decide to stay behind in 1966 London. Their performances are emotionally moving, especially Polly's. I always liked Ben and Polly so for me its sad to see them leave.

I highly recommend that you grab a copy of The Faceless Ones, I'm certainly glad I did. A very enjoyable romp with Pat and the crew in 1966's modern day Gatwick airport. Special final note has to go to Mark Ayres brilliant restoration of this classic. The audio is as clear as anything on T.V. today, so you should have no problem getting right in to the events of this lost classic.

Thank you very much for your time.

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on 8 February 2011
A well written and acted episode from the lost era of Doctor Who. The Doctor lands by mistake on the runway at Gatwick airport and is quickly drawn into a mystery concerning holiday-makers who have vanished into thin air. The trail leads to the shadowy company Chameleon Tours and a sinister plan is uncovered.

The story has a Twilight Zone feel about it, playing on our fears about flying at a time when it was becoming a form of mass transport for the first time. The tension builds nicely throughout as the characters piece together the jigsaw. There are some genuinely creepy moments and some quite effective surprises too.

It is a good example of the Troughton era at it's best with the Doctor gleefully putting a spanner in the works at every opportunity, countering his cold and logical opponents with wit and mischief. There is plenty of humour in the episode, especially from Jamie, who is encountering the modern world for the first time.

The CD can be listened to in isolation as the linked narration works very well. I listened to it whilst looking at the telesnaps of the episode available on the BBC website, or you could let your imagination do the work. Episode 1 and 3 can be found on the Lost in Time DVD.
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VINE VOICEon 17 January 2010
Fantastic story from the Troughton era, a tightly plotted suspense story which keeps the listener gripped for the full six episodes. The Doctor and co arrive in contemporary Gatwick airport where they encounter a plot to kidnap passengers of Chameleon Tours. The Doctors allies and companions also begin to disappear raising the stakes as the story progresses. Frazer Hines provides linking material in this story that see's the end of Polly and Ben (do they survive or not? listen to find out) and a one off appearance of Pauline Collins as Samantha Briggs in a semi companion role.
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on 22 December 2006
"The Faceless Ones" is a largely earthbound adventure set, uniquely, in the bustling surroundings of Gatwick Airport. Aided in the two surviving episodes (available on the DVD set "Lost In Time") by a good use of location filming on the runways and the airport concourse and elsewhere by careful use of ambient sound including the PA system, the setting is fairly convincingly conveyed.

The plot of the story is standard alien abduction / replication fare, such has been seen in many sci-fi programmes since, including "The X-Files". However, David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke's script handles the matter in a typically low-key "Doctor Who" way, managing to be both engaging but also somewhat slow-moving. The six-part story takes the time to avoid ludicrous intuitive leaps on the part of the regulars, and the supporting characters, on both sides, are treated with the respect they deserve. Captain Blade (Donald Pickering) performs his role of impassive villain well, and there's a decent guest turn by Pauline Collins as Liverpudlian would-be-companion Samantha Briggs. The story really belongs, however, to Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines, who take the limelight as the Doctor and Jamie and do so with aplomb.

"The Faceless Ones" is the last outing for companions Ben and Polly, and the means of their departure is one of my main reasons for not giving the story a higher rating. Actors Michael Craze and Anneke Wills were clearly only contracted for two episodes' worth of filming, and as such both characters (whether in original or in duplicate) vanish completely from the narrative by the third episode, only reappearing for their departure scene at the end of episode six in what was clearly a pre-filmed sequence. This ignominious exit for two popular characters is, to my mind, second only to Dodo's departure in "The War Machines" for shabbiness.
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on 17 June 2013
Good classic doctor who story with clear narration from Fazer Hines. Re Masterimg Very Good. It is wonderful as a classic doctor who fan to have these sound recordings now that the tele recordings have benn wiped
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on 2 April 2002
At six episodes, this story drags. There is far too much padding and some of the acting is dreadful (Pauline Collins usual ability with accents fails her here!)
Pat Troughton is, as always, delightful, but even he sounds like he's looking forward to getting on to the next (Dalek-based) adventure.
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