|(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 Chesterton),
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....
In-Depth Analysis Review
by Martin Izsak
WARNING: This review contains "SPOILERS", and is intended
for those who have already seen the program.
To avoid the spoilers, read the
Buyers' Guide version instead.
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 (although the three people
exit the police box in a different order to the one in which
they exit the interior set). The Doctor's character goes through
some interesting new twists and developments as he deals with
his granddaughter's absence, 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 had her moments, but
Vicki is on the mark much more consistently.
Bennett is a strange character, and writer David Whitaker
has to perform some elaborate maneuvers to make sense of Bennett's
motivations, but he manages to do the character fair justice
in the end. Once again, the concept of friendly, but misunderstood,
alien characters comes up, and the ensuing conflict is much
better done here than it was in
"The Sensorites" (story no. 7).
plus is the Doctor's clinging loyalty and belief in the aliens'
benevolence, bringing up a question to be answered in the story:
"What happened to change them?" Our 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. The set/prop is fine to look at, with its
fascinating carved face hiding the Indiana Jones style trap
really well, but the trap itself is ludicrous. Ian isn't being
believably forced over the edge, as he could easily stand still
and wait in the huge gap between swords, or step up on top of them,
after which the flimsy things will probably break off. Not
The second episode is really good for the Doctor. William
Hartnell turns in one of his best performances as he wins Vicki's
confidence, trust and admiration with compassion and understanding.
The script is particularly good at this point, and both William
Hartnell and Maureen O'Brien make the most of it. Next the Doctor
investigates and solves a mystery single-handedly. As Vicki gets
to know and like his other two companions as well, the Doctor
alone confronts the villain of the piece, and the climax of the
story is tense and dramatic with a few surprise twists thrown in
for good measure. Conclusions like this are not only riveting in
their own right, but are also excellent for establishing the
Doctor's heroic nature, something that is sadly lacking in much of
the first Doctor's era. David Whitaker has proved to be the
best writer for William Hartnell Heroism so far.
The story ends with a few heart-warming scenes of Vicki
joining the crew, which also manage to demonstrate the TARDIS
extremely well for anyone who might have seen nothing but this
one half-hour episode. There's also a moral to the story emphasized
by the final scene - a warning about where the lack of respect for
other cultures can lead. Very excellent!
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 pricing and availability:
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for the North American market:
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|DVD PAL Region 2
for the U.K.
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