Although “The Curse of the Black Spot” was only the second full-fledged period pirate tale featured in DOCTOR WHO, there have been other televised adventures in which the TARDIS has landed in the middle of swashbuckling, sea- or space-faring scurvy dogs in full eye-patch and parrot-y regalia.
Let’s take a look back at the other times the Doctor and companions shivered their timbers! (Note to the dedicated fans: I’ve automatically discounted Blackbeard’s brief appearance in “The Mind Robber” because it’s not a major part of the story, and we’re only doing actual TV WHO, not the novels, audios or what-have-you.)
1. The Smugglers (Season Four, 1966)
The First Doctor (William Hartnell), Ben (Michael Craze) and Polly (Anneke Wills) drop into a treasure hunt as Captain Pike (Michael Godfrey, not Jeffrey Hunter) of the Black Albatross seeks the lost gold of his former commander, Avery. Wait a minute…Avery? That’s right, new WHO fans, if you want you can pretty much consider “The Curse of the Black Spot” a prequel, but if you don’t want to, you can ignore it too.
2. The Space Pirates (Season Six, 1969)
In the Second Doctor’s (Patrick Troughton) penultimate adventure, and sadly one that is nearly completely missing from the BBC archives, the TARDIS crew helps to defend beacons and bases from marauding, well, space pirates. Could these be the descendants or colleagues of Avery’s team post-“Curse?” That’s for the fan forums to debate.
3. The Pirate Planet (Season Sixteen, 1978)
While seeking one of the six parts of the fabled Key to Time, the Fourth Doctor (Tom Baker) and Romana (Mary Tamm) have to face down the laughable Captain (Bruce Purchase) and his robot parrot as well as the decrepit but still dangerous Queen Xanxia. Andrew Robertson’s toadying Mr. Fibuli seems to have taken acting lessons from Arte Johnson.
4. Enlightenment (Season Twenty, 1983)
Long before Captain Avery set off into space, another human pirate crew led by Eternal Captain Wrack sailed an actual pirate ship, the Buccaneer, through the stars as part of a cosmic race. The prize is Enlightenment itself, and The Fifth Doctor (Peter Davison) has to trust that shifty companion and Black Guardian (Valentine Dyall) disciple Turlough (Mark Strickson) will make the right choice when the time comes.
5. The Infinite Quest (Series 3, 2007)
In the new show’s first animated miniseries produced as a special extra adventure, the Tenth Doctor (David Tennant) and Martha Jones (Freema Agyeman) must stop the evil Baltazar (Anthony Head) from getting his hands on an ancient craft called The Infinite. Along the way they have to deal with pirate Captain Kaliko (Liza Tarbuck) who sports a datachip earring and an eye-patch she might have borrowed from Bruce Purchase’s Captain. “Mr. Fibuli!”
Click on the link for AX’s review of DOCTOR WHO episode “The Curse of the Black Spot”
CLICK HERE for a review of DOCTOR WHO – Series 6 premiere – “The Impossible Astronaut”
CLICK HERE for AX’s List on “THE FIVE QUESTIONS WE HOPE DOCTOR WHO – SERIES 6 ANSWERS”
CLICK HERE for Neil Gaiman talking about scripting his Season 6 DOCTOR WHO episode
CLICK HERE for brand new photos from DOCTOR WHO – Season 6 – including new poster
CLICK HERE to view the new EXTENDED SEASON 6 DOCTOR WHO trailer
CLICK HERE for Actor Mark Sheppard talking about his role in a Season 6 episode of DOCTOR WHO