|(Doctor Who Story No. 11, starring William Hartnell)
- written by David Whitaker
- directed by Christopher Barry
- produced by Verity Lambert
- music by Tristram Cary
- 2 episodes @ 25 minutes each:
- The Powerful Enemy
- Desperate Measures
Story: The TARDIS crew discover Vicki and Bennett,
two survivors of a space rocket that has crashed on the
planet Dido, who are now being harassed by an alien named
Koquillion. But the Doctor is deeply disturbed by the
disappearance of Dido's peaceful natural inhabitants,
and suspects there is more going on than meets the eye....
DVD Extras include:
- Audio commentary by
William Russell (Ian),
director Christopher Barry,
designer Raymond Cusick, and moderator Toby Hadoke.
- "Mounting The Rescue" making-of documentary (22 min.) adding
Maureen O'Brien (Vicki)
and Ray Barrett (Bennett).
- Pop-up Production Note Subtitles
- Photo Gallery
- bundled with the next story:
and all its extras....
Buyers' Guide Review
by Martin Izsak
(A more in-depth analysis, containing "SPOILERS" and intended
for those who have already seen the program, can be accessed
Quality in the television series picks up quite significantly with
both a strong script and Christopher Barry back in the director's
chair. This short little two-parter is definitely the best
of televised season two so far.
From here on, every season two story seems to do the TARDIS
justice, with satisfactory visual materializations synchronized
with the good old sound effect. The only thing not figured out
at this point was the improvement of reversing the sound for
landings and ending it with an extra characteristic "thud",
but the standards of the day are quite satisfying anyway.
Thankfully, for this story, the titles superimposed over the TARDIS
do not take away from the visual effect of its appearance.
The time travellers and the interior/exterior relationship of
the ship are also well introduced.
The Doctor's character goes through
some interesting new twists and developments,
making a moving and very watchable
Maureen O'Brien makes her debut as Vicki, and seems capable
of expressing a greater range of believable emotions than Carole
Ann Ford as Susan. She can appear vulnerable without appearing
desperate - an important quality considering life aboard the
TARDIS for the typical Doctor Who companion. She is much more
watchable and a stronger character. Susan has her moments, but
Vicki is on the mark much more consistently.
Writer David Whitaker
has to perform some elaborate maneuvers to make sense of everyone's
motivations, but he manages to do the characters fair justice
in the end. Once again, the concept of misunderstood
alien characters comes up, and the ensuing conflict is much
better done here than it was in
"The Sensorites" (story no. 7).
Other good pluses include the Doctor's loyalties and beliefs,
which bring up several questions to be answered in the story.
Our regular characters become quite
interested in this time/space location early on, even with the
Doctor spending so much time in the TARDIS in the beginning. Very
important, and rightly done!
Tristram Cary's music from
"The Daleks" (story no. 2) returns,
and once again
lends much to the creation of a creepy alien atmosphere for Dido.
It's re-use in this adventure was a good call, as it deserved
a second outing and this story was an excellent opportunity.
The acting and directing is back up to standard for a good
Doctor Who story, which can be a bit hard to come by at times
in these early years. Chris Barry appears to be a man who knows
what he's doing.
Music by Tristram Cary
has been made available on:
The only thing that really doesn't work for me is the
cliffhanger, but to avoid spoilers, I'll only go into such
details in the In-depth Analysis version
of this review.
This story is really good for the Doctor. As things unfold,
William Hartnell turns in one of his best performances as he
demonstrates most of the Doctor's best qualities.
The script is particularly good when he and Vicki are together,
and both William Hartnell and Maureen O'Brien make the most of it.
The climax of the
story is tense and dramatic with a few surprise twists thrown in
for good measure, something that is sadly too rare in much of
the first Doctor's era. David Whitaker has proved to be
one of the best writers for overcoming this so far.
The story turns out to be quite heart-warming,
demonstrates the TARDIS very well throughout, and has
a worthwhile message on top.
In actual fact, this is probably the best story of the entire second season,
largely because it remains so superior in delivering a satisfying ending,
in addition to being an interesting sci-fi that keeps up a decent pace
and showcases our regular characters so well. Still, season two has many
more intriguing story premises to continue to whet our appetites.....
This story has become available on DVD and VHS video.
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for the U.K.
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