The Doctor, Barbara and Ian rescue a surrogate granddaughter from the clutches of a madman on the planet Dido
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The Doctor, Barbara and Ian arrive on the planet Dido for no apparent reason. The Doc is understandably despondent, missing his dear granddaughter, who is no longer a member of the band. Guess he shouldn’t have left her in post-apocalyptic London with one shoe and a fiancé who, let’s face it, was never properly vetted.
Anyway, naturally, the gang gets split up; Barb and Ian encounter a dagger-faced alien who subsequently chucks Barb off the side of a cliff; and Barb miraculously survives and is taken in by soon-to-replace-Susie, Vicki. It transpires an English spaceship crashed on Dido, only two members of whose crew are still alive, namely, Bennett (who is severely suspect) and Vicki (who sports the shortest dress in the galaxy and promptly bends over to flash her pants to the shocked viewers of 1964).
She and Bennett are being kept hostage in the spaceship wreckage by local sociopath and aforementioned dagger-faced maniac, Koquillion, and it is now up to the gang to rescue the survivors from him, while eluding harmless, slow-moving, vegetarian Sand Beasts, and figuring out their group dynamic will suffer greatly if they don’t substitute Susan asap. Neatly bookended.
This Doctor Who story is not a “real” serial. A two-parter, it acts mainly as exposition for Vicki, although one might argue that she was, at least in one scene, a tad over-exposed. If unclear, see screenshot above. Unsurprisingly, our review of this serial got a bit out of hand in that we mainly just took the piss out of it.
The Ratings & Review Section of this podcast starts at 59m19s.
Big thanks, not unlike last time, to Gina, JD and Davis for sending in their mini-reviews, all of which are also included in this podcast episode and posted here below.
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Really don’t have to much to say about The Rescue other than the Edge of “Descrusion” at least was entertaining. I cant wait to hear you guys tear this story apart. I was bored through the first episode and fell asleep during the second. I did appreciate the Doctor forgetting Susan was gone and appearing fairly melancholy which I felt William Hartnell acted beautifully. I also did like that they landed on a planet the Doctor had been to before and had actual knowledge of. I had figured out pretty early on that Bennett was Koquillion which was very unsatisfying. However, I did find Bennett’s abusive treatment of Vicki hilarious because it reminded me of season 1 doctor. Vicki is not much better than Susan, naive, young and easily distressed. Not sure if you guys noticed the look the Doctor gave Vicki after being reunited with Barb, its quick and only for a second, but he looks like he wants to kill her. The ending with the ghosts or people was just plain lazy writing.
Overall I would give this a 0.5 because this is the first time the Doctor changes his approach and willingly invites someone to travel instead of his go to method of kidnapping. Love you guys!!
In what has to be the best episode so far, the TARDIS crew land in Dalek Invaded Lond… oh… crap… this episode was so bad it made me hallucinate it was last week again … anyway… the TARDIS crew land on a planet, there is a murder mystery with only one suspect and Susan returns in the form of Vicki, making you wonder why they got rid of Susan in the first place.
Slim pickings here – Barbara, now in the throws of bloodlust from Dalek killing last week kills a hand puppet… and Vicki whinges.
Barbara’s reaction to being called 500 years old… as a guy approaching my 40th birthday, I can relate to her face at this point.
Ian, who has been quiet the last few episodes makes me laugh out loud with the “Kocky-Licken'” scene
Kocky-Licken is the worst villain so far, even worse than the Sensorites.
The Didonians have the WORST Death Traps ever. Ian managed to climb around one. Plus they were going to push him into a pit with a sand beast which we are told are HERBIVORES… so what were they going to do, lick him to death!
Vicki is so obviously just there to be Susan, futuristic child woman thing with a past. This was Maureen O’Brien’s very first acting role, and sometimes it really shows. But she is a scouser like me, so I’ll give her a slight break for that.
…and then the ghosts arrived and solved the plot.
I’m going to make myself feel better by watching Edge of Destuction.
Hey, look at me doing a full review for once! I absolutely loved episode 1! The pit alien was done amazingly, along with Koquillon’s costume. And the literal cliffhanger in episode 1 was so good! Love the suspense. Also enjoyed Ian calling Koquillon “Cocky ” around the 7 minute mark of episode 2.
Unfortunately, the story fell apart quickly into episode 2. The writers decided to diverge into a two minute scene of Barbara killing Vicki’s pet, then lots of crying. Then the pet is never mentioned again. Also, Vicki gets really annoying, really fast. And she stays with them?!?! That was an awful idea. At least we got to see Bennet pull a Ferris Beuler with his “You can’t come in” tape recording.
All in all, I rate this story a solid 3.0, being so high because it started out so wonderfully. Too bad about episode 2. Oh well.
When a spaceship looks like it belongs in the Thunderbirds it’s bound to crash. That’s what I used to think anyway. I used to hate the model shots in here but I’ve grown to appreciate them.
When an alien in a serious scifi drama looks like a reject from a Dr Seuss book it makes me angry. That’s what I used to think anyway. I’ve since realized that it’s not the alien, but a primitive ceremonial costume for the alien inside, and that made all the difference in the world.
When a story has only three interesting scenes it’s no doubt a last minute throw away story that ultimately will satisfy no one. At least that’s what I used to think.
Come to think of it, I still feel that way.
The tension between babs, Ian and Q in the cave when they first meet is so thick and subliminal it’s mind blowing. The emotion in the scene with the killing of the creature was simcere and honest. Accidents and mistakes happen, but we can still be upset and angry about them. And the superiority displayed by the dr in the temple chamber, along with the “is it a hallucination? Is it real? Is it the rescue party? Left for a tense and thoughtful scene. What does it all mean? It makes one think.
The rest of the story is filler, fluff and exposiated. Regurgitated backstory that we aren’t fully vested in enough to care to hear.
It was slow and not much fun. Another three passes at the script, more characters. And some flashbacks would have made this story at least a satisfactory introduction for Viki. 1.6
One last thought to Ponken. Though it’s almost I’mpossible to tell in black and white, and in low quality STD. Def. Television. I’m convinced upon close examination (wow wow) that Viki is wearing either pink or tan leggings/pants under her dress. While still fun to joke about, I don’t think the infamous shot is what it really seems. The savages…now that’s one to talk about for sure! Can’t wait until that one…and someone even got a telesnap of it!
On the planet Dido a spaceship has crashed. Out of the crew, only two survive: a grumpy grizzled one called Bennet and a squeaky hyperactive one called Vicki (absolutely not short for Victoria; spelled V-I-C-K-I, apparently). The TARDIS lands in a nearby cave and while the Doctor elects to have a nap, Ian and Barbara go for a wander.
They meet a scaly creature carrying a spanner, get separated, get lost and eventually team up with the spaceship crew to solve the mystery of Koquilion. It’s not a particularly complicated mystery, but they take their time over it and finally they all return to the TARDIS, taking the squeaky one with them.
This story is a bit thin on the ground in terms of Majesty. There are some nice scenes at the beginning of Episode One. The departure of Susan is acknowledged with sorrow; there is some friendly banter between the remaining crew; Hartnell is clearly enjoying a more humourous approach to his role in this story, and for all that Vicki is somewhat irritating, it is good to bring the total number of regulars back up to four. There’s also a nice little bit of trick photography with the Doctor and Ian on a ledge above a monster.
After the huge canvas of the previous story, we are telling this story on a postage stamp. We have a tiny cave and a tiny spaceship and that’s everything. Despite only having 2 guest cast, their characters are never developed. Vicki gives us her backstory in blow by blow monologue, but her acting is not up to scratch and she has very little charisma in this story. As with Susan, she is constantly referred to as a girl, despite being clearly in her 20s.
The level of peril or problem in this story is also minor. Ian dodges an Indiana Jones-style trap, which moves so slowly it would only be an obstacle for 3-toed sloths. Koquilion claims to have killed people that we already know are still alive. The monster that appeared so threatening that it brought on the cliffhanger for episode one turns out to be a herbivore which Vicki has christened Sandy. The whole thing is just lame. And then there is a deus ex machina ending that wraps the whole thing up (almost offscreen).
– The Doctor sleeps through the TARDIS landing. As he says, he was ‘deep in the arms of Morpheus’. Barbara tries clumsily to explain. “Doctor the trembling has stopped”. “Oh my dear,” he replies, “I’m so glad you’re feeling better”. LOL!
– The Doctor yawns widely before apologising profusely.
– In a notorious shot, Vicki bends over to look in a cupboard while wearing an insanely short skirt. We have to hope that she was wearing skin-coloured leggings: otherwise we are all getting quite an eyeful!
– Ian and the Doctor are edging along a narrow ledge when they hear a monster roar. “What’s that?” Ian cries, shining his massive torch right in the Doctor’s face. “It’s not me, is it!” blusters the Doctor. It’s a brilliant comic turn from Hartnell.
– Despite Vicki’s anguished cry of “No don’t!”, Barbara fires a flare gun straight into the heart of herbivorous pet Sandy, who dies screaming in agony. Vicki goes into hysterics and if any kid watching this had just had their kitten run over recently, I can imagine the equivalent hysterics in front of the TV. It’s a remarkably gruesome death for something that it turns out is a pet. It’s the sort of thing that would be done for comic effect in an Austin Powers movie and it’s totally out of character for Barbara to be so unaware.
– Ian refers to Koquilion as ‘Cocky-licken’. Not quite sure how that was sneaked past the censors in a childrens show.
– The Doctor tries to force Bennet’s door open, as according to the script it’s locked. However, it’s quite visibly standing ajar… Indeed why is it that when the Doctor hears the message “You can’t come in”, his first thought is “Let’s break down the door”? After all, what if he enters to find Bennet half way through a particularly troublesome toilet break or some equally embarrassing situation.
– The words “You can’t come in” are played by a tape recorder. You need to press a button to play the recording. So who is pressing the button when the room is supposedly empty?
– The Doctor’s plan is a bit daft: confront Bennet and then what? Expect him to come in quietly? If the others had been there as back-up it might have been a bit more manageable, but one old man against a strong fellow in the prime of his life? The Doctor tries a bit of fencing with his umbrella, but really by this stage he’s out of his depth.
It’s only two episodes, so there is that. But the plot is so flat, the characters so dull and the consequences so… inconsequential that the whole story feels like a waste of time. It’s the first time a new character has joined the series, so perhaps the producers were unsure how to do it. But the story cannot stand up by itself and it’s only redeeming features rely on the viewer being an existing fan who likes Ian, Barbara and the Doctor already.