Production Code: Z
A Holiday for the Doctor - 30/04/1966 17:50
Don't Shoot the Pianist - 07/05/1966 17:50
Johnny Ringo - 14/05/1966 17:55
The O K Corral - 21/05/1966 17:50
The TARDIS arrives in the town of Tombstone in the Wild West and the Doctor, having hurt a tooth on one of Cyril's sweets, decides he must visit a dentist. The local dentist is Doc Holliday, currently engaged in a feud with the Clanton family. Lawmen Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson are meanwhile doing their best to keep the peace.
The Doctor, Steven and Dodo narrowly survive a lynch mob, the attentions of Holliday and Earp and various other dangers; they finally return to the TARDIS after witnessing the famous gunfight at the OK Corral, in which the young Clanton brothers and their gunman ally Johnny Ringo are all killed by Holliday, Earp and Earp's brother Virgil.
Having been set up by Doc Holliday, the Doctor makes his way back to the Last Chance Saloon, wherein the Clanton Brothers are making Steven and Dodo sing and play the piano while they wait to kill Holliday upon his arrival.
The Clantons decide to lynch Steven in order to try to get the Doctor (whom they still believe to be Doc Holliday) to face them. They give Earp an ultimatum: either the Doctor comes out of the jail house or Steven will be hanged.
The other Clantons come to rescue their brother Phineas from jail. Warren Earp, one of Wyatt's brothers, is shot, and all the Clantons escape.
In the TARDIS control room, the Doctor announces to Steven and Dodo that he believes he knows exactly where they are: in the future, at a time of peace and prosperity. As the travellers leave the ship, the scanner shows the image of a savage-looking man approaching.
Westerns, particularly High Noon and Gunfight at the O K Corral.
Kate's performance is very Mae West.
Carry On Cowboy.
Oscar Wilde's Impressions of America.
The Doctor : "You can't walk into the middle of a Western town and say you've come from outer space! Good gracious me. You would be arrested on a vagrancy charge!"
The Doctor : [In the dentist's chair] "I never touch alcohol."
Holliday : [Taking a swig] "Well, I do."
Steven : [On being forced to find a tune to play] "Let's hope the piano knows it."
"Never figured you for a backshooter, Ringo."
The Doctor can get toothache and tonsillitis, and keeps a gun collection in the TARDIS. He never touches alcohol, preferring milk. He knows who the Clantons and Johnny Ringo are, but still tries to stop the historic gunfight at the O K Corral [deciding it's not so important as to avoid meddling]. He is named Deputy Sheriff of Tombstone. The given aliases for the party are Miss Dodo Dupont, Steven Regret, and Dr Caligari [from the owner of the magical cabinet].
Dodo can play piano a little better than Steven can sing. Steven always wanted to be a cowboy.
Tombstone, [a few days leading up to 26 October 1881].
Thunderbirds voice artistes David 'Brains' Graham and Shane 'Scott Tracy' Rimmer appear as Charlie the barman and Seth Harper respectively. Graham had also provided Dalek voices for a number of earlier Doctor Who stories.
The caption at the end of the final episode reads 'Next Episode: Dr. Who and the Savages'. The Gunfighters was the last story to have individual episode titles.
Patrick Troughton was one of the actors considered for the role of Johnny Ringo.
The Gunfighters was the lowest-rated Doctor Who story ever. (There were a number of stories with lower ratings, including The Savages, The War Machines and The Smugglers.)
Sheena Marshe, who played Kate Fisher, was director Rex Tucker's daughter. (She was unrelated to him; his daughter Jane Tucker, later to find fame as one third of the Rod, Jane and Freddy group of children's entertainers, did however appear as a walk-on in the story.)
Episodes one and two have the world's quietest gunshots, and in episode four's climactic gunfight Earp and Masterson apparently walk through a withering barrage of fire unscathed.
In the ballad, 'earning your gunfighter's wings' is anachronistic, the phrase being coined in WWI.
The Clanton gang have amazing accents, Billy obviously having been to finishing school, and Johnny Ringo to the RSC.
Steven's OTT cowboy outfit.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - William Hartnell
Dodo - Jackie Lane
Steven Taylor - Peter Purves
Bat Masterson - Richard Beale
Billy Clanton - David Cole
Charlie - David Graham
Doc Holliday - Anthony Jacobs
Ike Clanton - William Hurndall
Johnny Ringo - Laurence Payne
Kate - Sheena Marshe
Pa Clanton - Reed de Rouen
Phineas Clanton - Maurice Good
Seth Harper - Shane Rimmer
Virgil Earp - Victor Carin
Warren Earp - Martyn Huntley
Wyatt Earp - John Alderson
Director - Rex Tucker