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The Massacre (of St. Bartholomew's Eve)


by John Lucarotti
first broadcast - 26th February, 1966


(ANNE has spent the night alone in PRESLIN'S shop. STEVEN pounds on the door startling her until she hears his voice.)

STEVEN: Anne! Anne, are you there? Anne!

(ANNE answers the door and lets an exhausted STEVEN in.)

ANNE: Oh, monsieur! I'd given you up for lost when you didn't come back last night and I thought the guards must have caught you.
STEVEN: (Breathless.) Yes, they nearly did. I managed to shake them off. I'm sorry, the curfew rang before I could get back last night. The guards were still looking for me this morning. That's why I've been so long.

(He takes his sword off.)

ANNE: Did you see Monsieur Muss and give him your message?
STEVEN: Oh, yes. The warning was too late.

(He puts his sword down.)

ANNE: What will you do now? Go back to your friend? The Doctor.
STEVEN: (Despondent.) I can't Anne. He's dead.
ANNE: (Shocked.) Monsieur!
STEVEN: I saw his body lying in the street by the Abbot's house. Before I could do anything Roger Colbert saw me and sent the guards after me again. Heaven knows what I'll do now.

(He thinks for a second.)

ANNE: Return to England?
STEVEN: I can't. I've got to find the key to the TARDIS.
ANNE: What Monsieur?
STEVEN: The Doctor has a special key. Without it I can't leave.
ANNE: Well do you know where it is?
STEVEN: No. If the Doctor had it with him then I'm lost. I...I didn't had time to look for it. My only hope is that it's still with his own clothes.
ANNE: Could it be at the Abbot's house?
STEVEN: Oh, no. No. He'd have had to change before he went there. The only other place I think he's been to the shop.
ANNE: Oh, but we've already searched here, monsieur, looking for clothes for you.
STEVEN: Anne, we must do it again! Please help me. Open every cupboard, every box. I must find that key.
ANNE: Right, monsieur.

(They start to search.)


(SIMON is reporting to MARSHAL TAVANNES.)

MARSHAL TAVANNES: It may hinder the inquiry into the attempted assassination of de Coligny.
SIMON: Surely the King is insisting that de Coligny is avenged?
MARSHAL TAVANNES: He is. But by blaming the death of the Abbot on the Huguenots we may be able to cover our tracks.
SIMON: Will the King pay any attention to the Abbot's death?
MARSHAL TAVANNES: I don't know. Fortunately the Admiral himself is helping us. He doesn't want the inquiry yet so that may give us a little time.
SIMON: Therefore the Englishman must be caught.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: And killed. He must not be allowed to get back to the Abbot's house.
SIMON: The men are searching Paris for him.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: He must be found tonight. Tomorrow is St. Bartholomew's Day and it will be all too easy for him to evade us in the revelry.

(A messenger knocks at the door and enters, giving a written message to TAVANNES. He reads it.)

MARSHAL TAVANNES: The Queen Mother. She commands me to go to her. No doubt she has thought of some further scheme to protect her good name.

(He goes to the door.)

MARSHAL TAVANNES: Wait for me here, Simon. I may have more instructions for you when I get back.

(He leaves. SIMON picks up the message and reads it.)


(STEVEN and ANNE have almost ransacked the shop in their search for the DOCTOR'S clothes. Items of clothing litter the floor. ANNE comes from another part of the shop after her search.)

ANNE: Nothing, monsieur. There's no sign of your friend's clothes anywhere.
STEVEN: They must be here.
ANNE: All I've found was this.

(ANNE shows STEVEN the DOCTOR'S stick.)

STEVEN: But... but this is his stick!
ANNE: Your friend's?
STEVEN: Yes. Well his clothes must be here somewhere! Where did you find it?
ANNE: In the back, monsieur. But there are no clothes there.
STEVEN: Are you sure?
ANNE: Yes. I've searched everywhere!
STEVEN: Then why the stick? He...he couldn't have pretended to be the Abbot dressed as he was. So he must have changed somewhere. But where?
ANNE: Perhaps he went away somewhere with the apothecary who used to live here?
STEVEN: With Preslin? No he couldn't.
ANNE: Why not?
STEVEN: Because Preslin is either dead or in prison.
DOCTOR: He is not.

(They turn round. The DOCTOR has entered the shop!.)

STEVEN: (Shocked.) Doctor!


(GASTON has come to visit a still weak DE COLIGNY.)

GASTON: The Catholics will not rest until you are dead!
ADMIRAL DE COLIGNY: (Weakly.) You are too impetuous, Vicomte.
TELIGNY: The King is determined to prevent a further attempt. Why else do you think he's put so heavy a guard on this house?
GASTON: A Catholic guard under a Catholic commander! The Admiral could hardly be in the care of a greater enemy.
TELIGNY: He is under the protection of the King.
GASTON: And the Queen Mother.
NICHOLAS: Gaston, you are tiring the Admiral. Doing yourself an injustice. You had better return to the Louvre.

(He goes over to DE COLIGNY.)

GASTON: If I were to leave Paris it would be better for you and for us.
NICHOLAS: The surgeons said the Admiral must not be moved.
GASTON: Then may God protect you.

(GASTON leaves the house.)

ADMIRAL DE COLIGNY: (Weakly.) I hope Henri of Navarre realises how dangerous it is to have such a hothead in his service.
TELIGNY: He must be wrong. The commander wouldn't dare to disobey the King after what has happened.
NICHOLAS: Let us hope so. Is there anything you need, Admiral?
ADMIRAL DE COLIGNY: (Quietly.) Stay with me.
NICHOLAS: Of course.
TELIGNY: We must be grateful that the wounds are not poisoned. So that there is no fear of you dying.
ADMIRAL DE COLIGNY: I do fear death. I only hope that we have nothing to fear from my staying alive.


(STEVEN has told the DOCTOR of the recent events.)

DOCTOR: Oh, my dear boy, had you stayed at the tavern all this mix-up could have been avoided.
STEVEN: (Angry.) I did stay in the tavern, you didn't turn up!
DOCTOR: Yes, well, I was unavoidably delayed. Never mind that now. Come along, we must go. Come along.
ANNE: You can't now, monsieur. The curfew's rung.
DOCTOR: What? Oh that wretched curfew is the start of so much trouble.
ANNE: It'd be easy to leave Paris in the morning, monsieur. Tomorrow is St. Bartholomew's Day and everyone will be celebrating.
STEVEN: Huh! With all the trouble that's going on I can't see what they've got to celebrate.
DOCTOR: I told you not to get involved.
STEVEN: Look, I tried not to but the Abbot did look like you. If I hadn't found out about Admiral de Coligny being the 'Sea Beggar' then...
DOCTOR: (Interrupts.) What's that?
STEVEN: I tried to tell you before. Admiral de Coligny is one of the Huguenot leaders. The Catholics tried to shoot him.
DOCTOR: (To ANNE.) Did you say tomorrow was St. Bartholomew's Day, child?
ANNE: Yes, monsieur.
DOCTOR: What year is this, my boy?
STEVEN: I don't know. What difference does it make?
DOCTOR: What date is it, child?
ANNE: Date monsieur? August the twenty-third. As I said, tomorrow's...
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, yes, I know that. The year, the year... hmm?
ANNE: (Smiles.) 1572, monsieur. But surely you know that?

(The DOCTOR, worried at this information, thinks, then...)

DOCTOR: Go home, Anne. You must leave here at once.
ANNE: No, I've got nowhere to go!
DOCTOR: Where were you working?
ANNE: At the Abbot's house.
DOCTOR: You go back there.
ANNE: (Shouts.) I can't! They'll kill me!
DOCTOR: You must leave this shop, child.
STEVEN: Doctor, what's happening?
DOCTOR: Oh please don't interfere. (To ANNE.) Now, my dear, there must be somewhere you can stay in Paris?
ANNE: No, there's only my aunt's place, and they'll kill me there.
DOCTOR: Oh, nonsense. Tonight, you will be quite safe. Now you go carefully through the streets, hmm?
ANNE: Well, what about the curfew?
DOCTOR: Well you've been out in the curfew before haven't you?
ANNE: Yes, but the guards...
DOCTOR: Then you know how to avoid the patrols. You go back to your aunt; you'll be quite safe. And you take my advice and stay indoors tomorrow. Now do you understand? It's too dangerous for you to stay here. Now off you go, child. Come along, off, off, off!
STEVEN: But, Doctor, I don't think it's...
DOCTOR: Ah, shh, shh, shh!
ANNE: Goodbye then, Steven. Safe journey.
STEVEN: Doctor, I don't think she should go.
DOCTOR: Now out you go, my child. Off you go.

(ANNE leaves.)

STEVEN: Bye. (To the DOCTOR.) Look, are you sure she'll be all right? The guards are waiting for her.
DOCTOR: My dear Steven, the Catholics will have other things on their minds tonight. She will be quite safe. Now then, you and I must leave Paris at once. Come!
STEVEN: Look, Doctor, what is going on?
DOCTOR: There is no time for me to explain. Come along, boy. Come along!


(The Queen Mother enters the study of TAVANNES where he is writing a paper. He does not look up.)


(TAVANNES gets quickly to his feet.)

MARSHAL TAVANNES: Madame, I apologise, I thought...
CATHERINE DE MEDICI: Never mind. I have it here - the order signed by the King. Our plans for tomorrow can go ahead.

(She passes him a document which he quickly reads.)

CATHERINE DE MEDICI: God had very little to do with it.

(TAVANNES in turn passes her the paper he has been writing.)

MARSHAL TAVANNES: The list, madam. When those Huguenots are killed we need have no further fear of a Protestant France.
CATHERINE DE MEDICI: We have no need of lists, Marshall. The good people of Paris know their enemies. They will take care of them.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: (Shocked.) The good people...? Madam, if you rouse the mob the innocent will perish with the guilty.
CATHERINE DE MEDICI: Innocent? Heresy can have no innocence. France will breath a pure air after tomorrow.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: And,... Navarre, madam? Your son-in-law? Is he to be slaughtered with the others?
CATHERINE DE MEDICI: Tomorrow Henri of Navarre will pay for his pretensions to the Crown.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: Madam, we must not kill Navarre.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: Protestant Europe will merely shed a pious tear over the death of a few thousand Huguenots. The death of a prince will launch a Holy War.
CATHERINE DE MEDICI: (After a thoughtful pause.) If one Huguenot life escapes me tomorrow, we may both regret this act of mercy.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: Not mercy, madam. Policy.
CATHERINE DE MEDICI: (Considers.) Very well, Marshall. Then you must get him out of Paris. After tomorrow, even I will not save him.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: I will see to it, madam.
CATHERINE DE MEDICI: And, Marshall - close the gates of the city now.

(The Queen Mother leaves the room. SIMON enters.)

SIMON: Well, my lord?
MARSHAL TAVANNES: The order has been given. You may begin.
SIMON: My men are ready. Where is the list?
MARSHAL TAVANNES: There is no list.
SIMON: But I thought...
MARSHAL TAVANNES: We are to unleash the wolves of Paris. None are to be spared.
SIMON: (Pleased.) Even better, my lord.
MARSHAL TAVANNES: Is it? I wonder...Simon, when you have passed on the order I have a special charge for you.
SIMON: My lord?
MARSHAL TAVANNES: Henri of Navarre.
SIMON: I am to have the honour?
MARSHAL TAVANNES: Yes. But not of killing him. You will escort him out of Paris.
SIMON: (Cries out.) But, my lord...
MARSHAL TAVANNES: Did you not hear me? You will be responsible for his safety. You will have to leave tomorrow's work to others. Now get out.

(SIMON leaves.)

MARSHAL TAVANNES: At dawn tomorrow, this city will weep tears of blood.


(Two soldiers are on guard.)

FIRST GUARD: Oh well, it's nearly dawn.
SECOND GUARD: How many more nights have we got to watch over this Huguenot's house?
FIRST GUARD: Till the King decrees otherwise.
SECOND GUARD: But why does it have to be us?

(Out of sight of the GUARDS, the DOCTOR and STEVEN can see that their way is blocked.)

DOCTOR: We shall have to get past them to get back to the TARDIS.
STEVEN: Can we make a run for it?
DOCTOR: Oh no, no, no. It's far too dangerous.
STEVEN: What do we do?
DOCTOR: For the moment we just wait.

(The GUARDS continue their conversation.)

FIRST GUARD: Won't be sorry to see the night over.
SECOND GUARD: Hello, what's this?

(Some more soldiers are marching towards them.)

FIRST GUARD: More orders I expect.
OFFICER: You're relieved. Go back to your quarters.
FIRST GUARD: Relieved, sir? It's not due for an hour or more.
OFFICER: Don't argue. Go quickly!

(The two GUARDS depart. The others take their place.)

STEVEN: Look, Doctor, soon it'll be light.
DOCTOR: I know, I know. Just keep quiet.

(The curfew bell begins to sound.)

DOCTOR: There's the Tocsin! The curfew's been lifted.

(He and STEVEN skirt round the soldiers and dash through the concealing gate and into the TARDIS. the soldiers begin battering at the door of DE COLIGNY'S house.)

OFFICER: Open up! In the King's name! Open this door!

(The TARDIS dematerialises. The sound can now be heard of the Paris mob rampaging through the streets slaughtering Huguenots. The massacre has begun....)


(Within the TARDIS, STEVEN broods on what has happened, then...)

STEVEN: Surely there was something we could have done?
DOCTOR: No, nothing. Nothing. In any case, I cannot change the course of history, you know that. The Massacre continued for several days in Paris, then...then spread itself to other parts of France. Oh the senseless waste. What a terrible page of the past.
STEVEN: Did they all die?
DOCTOR: Yes. Most of them. About ten thousand in Paris alone.
STEVEN: The Admiral?
STEVEN: Nicholas?
DOCTOR: (Quietly.) Probably.
STEVEN: (Angry.) You had to leave Anne Chaplet, there to die!
DOCTOR: Anne Chaplet?
STEVEN: (Shouts.) The girl! The girl who was with me! If you'd brought her with us she needn't have died. But no, you had to leave her there to be slaughtered.
DOCTOR: Well, it is possible of course she didn't die, then I was right to leave her.
STEVEN: (Shouts.) Possible! Look, how possible! That girl was already hunted by the Catholic guards. If they killed ten thousand how did they spare her? No, you don't know, do you? You can't say for certain that you weren't responsible for that girl's death.
DOCTOR: I was not responsible.
STEVEN: Oh no! You just sent her back to her aunt's house where the guards were waiting to catch her. I tell you this much, Doctor, wherever this machine of yours lands next I'm getting off. If your... 'researches' have so little regard for human life then I want no part of it.

(The ship travels on in uneasy silence for a few moments more, then starts to materialise. The DOCTOR checks the controls. On the scanner appears an image of woodland.)

DOCTOR: We've landed.

(He activates some more controls.)

DOCTOR: Your mind is made up?

(STEVEN opens the TARDIS doors and turns to leave.)

STEVEN: Goodbye.
DOCTOR: My dear Steven, history sometimes gives us a terrible shock. That is because we don't quite fully understand. Why should we? After all, we're all too small to realise its final pattern. Therefore, don't try and judge it from where you stand. I was right to do as I did. Yes, that I firmly believe.

(STEVEN walks out of the TARDIS without a word. The DOCTOR is totally alone.)

DOCTOR: Even after all this time he cannot understand. I dare not change the course of history. Well, at least I taught him to take some precautions. He did remember to look at the scanner before he opened the doors. Now... they're all gone. All gone. None of them...could understand. Not little Susan...or Vicki ...and yes ... Barbara and Chatterton... Chesterton! They were all too impatient to get back to their own time. And now... Steven. Perhaps I should go home, back to my own planet. But I can't. (Upset.) I can't.


(Outside, a young GIRL, looking very anxious, runs down the lane beside the TARDIS. She passes a woman bystander, sees the police box and bursts inside.)


(Breathlessly, she stares around her. The DOCTOR spots her.)

DOCTOR: Who are you?
GIRL: Where's the telephone?
DOCTOR: What did you say?
GIRL: The telephone, I've got to ring up!
DOCTOR: Oh, pull yourself together, child. I... I think you've made a mistake.
GIRL: Who are you? Are you the police?
DOCTOR: Oh good gracious of course not, hmm.
GIRL: Well, this is a police box. It says so outside.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes. I, I know. But it isn't, if you know what I mean. Now run along and find another police box. In any case, child, what do you want to do with the police?
GIRL: There's been an accident. A little boy's been hurt and I've got to 'phone the police.
DOCTOR: Oh well, I'm afraid I can't help you. No, you must run along and 'phone the police somewhere else. And the same time 'phone for an ambulance.
GIRL: Wait a minute, if this isn't a police box, what is it? And who are you?
DOCTOR: Well, my dear, er, I'm a doctor of science, and this machine is for travelling through time and relative dimensions in space. Now you...
GIRL: Come again?
DOCTOR: Oh never mind, my dear. Never mind, run along. (He laughs.)
GIRL: There's something odd going on.
DOCTOR: (Exasperated.) Oh please, child...

(The DOCTOR is interrupted by STEVEN charging back into the TARDIS.)

STEVEN: Doctor, quick! You've got to take off.
DOCTOR: Oh, so you've come back, my boy!
STEVEN: Yes, yes, I've come back. We can't go into that now. There are two policemen coming over the common towards the TARDIS.
DOCTOR: Policemen? Coming here? Good gracious me! They'll want to use the telephone or, or something like it.

(The DOCTOR closes the TARDIS doors and dematerialises the ship.)

STEVEN: Oh, that was close.
DOCTOR: Well, tell me, young man, what made you change your mind?

(STEVEN ignores the DOCTOR as he suddenly notices the GIRL.)

STEVEN: How did you get in here?
GIRL: On me feet, the same as you did.
STEVEN: Look, do you realise what's happening? We've taken off! We could land anywhere!
GIRL: Are we really travelling? Where to?
STEVEN: We're travelling in time and space. We're not on Earth any more. We could land anywhere in any age.
GIRL: (Laughing.) Tell us another one!
STEVEN: Doctor, how could you?
DOCTOR: What else could I do, dear boy? You don't want a couple of policemen aboard the TARDIS do you? You know you're the most inconsistent young man? Just now you were telling me off for not having that Chaplet girl aboard!
STEVEN: Ah, that was different!

(STEVEN returns his attention to the GIRL.)

STEVEN: This is no joyride you know. You may never get home again!
GIRL: I don't care!
STEVEN: What about your parents?
GIRL: I haven't got any. I live with my great aunt. And she won't care if she never sees me again.
DOCTOR: Oh, now, there you see! All this fuss about nothing! Hmm, hmm, hmm! Don't you think she looks rather like my grandchild Susan?
STEVEN: You forget, I've never met your granddaughter.
DOCTOR: Oh, no, no, no. No, of course not! No. Yes, but she does you know. What is your name, child?
DODO: Dodo.
DODO: It's Dorothea really. Dorothea Chaplet.
STEVEN: (Shocked.) Chaplet?! Yes, but you're not French are you?
DODO: Don't be daft! Me granddad was though.
STEVEN: Doctor, it's not possible is it? Chaplet? Anne's great great...
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, it is possible, my boy. Very possible. Welcome aboard the TARDIS, Miss Dorothea Chaplet.
DODO: Dodo!
DOCTOR: Ah, my dear! My dear!

(The DOCTOR laughs.)

Next Episode

Dr. Who



Marshal Tavannes


Admiral de Coligny




Catherine de Medici

First Guard

Second Guard



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