All of the black and white episodes of Doctor Who watched and reviewed, from the very first episode.Join in by leaving your comments below...
Well after that emotional send off for Susan we get a little two-parter which exists to present a new character. Which it does. The story which this hangs around is ok but nothing more. A man, Bennett, has killed a crew of a spaceship and the whole native species of the planet because he has been arrested for murder. So quite why he is allowed out to go to the Didonians feast of welcome is unclear. And it's pretty careless to allow him access to explosives as well. He then dresses up in ceremonial garb to scare Vicki into believing the Didonians wish them harm. Which he does by protecting them. Hmmm. Confusing to me. Then Didonians that survived appear at the climax and scare Bennett into falling over a ledge. So why not appear before? The storys' brevity is one of its' strengths so you don't really think too much as it goes along. The biggest strength it has though is the marvellous performance by William Hartnell. Tetchy with Ian, though in a friendly way, sensitive with Vicki, and showing his comedy abilities in the opening with Barbara. Having slept through the landing his reaction to Barbaras line " the tremblings stopped" is a joy. "Oh I'm so glad you're feeling better". And it is genuinely moving when he forgets Susan has left and Barbara asks him to show her how to open the doors.As I said at the top the story exists to introduce Vicki. Maureen O'Brien is pretty good in the sweet and fun parts but when she has to emote about her dead father or get angry at Barbara it's all a little bit stage school for my tastes. Overall, though, she is alright. Which I guess is my overall feeling for the story. A slightly dull 4/10 from me.
One other thought. The energy weapon is so clearly a spanner that they actually put in a line saying "with a head resembling a spanner". I think it's genius!!!!
I'm going to keep this review short.The Rescue introduces us to the new companion Vicki.I honestly can't see why two episodes of a paper thin story was needed to introduce a companion. The Doctor is terrific, and there are some nice moments from Hartnell, especially when he forgets Susan was left behind.Other than that, the story does not really hold up at all, and I lost patience with it really fast.On the plus side, Vicki seems like a promising young gal.can I have a proper story now please?2/10
A sweet little two-parter with an interesting twist.As mentioned above already, this isn't full of plot. Which comes as a bit of a relief, really, after The Dalek Invasion of Earth. And indeed, what plot there is doesn't make sense after a moment's thought. (The Didonians are completely peaceful - apart from the deadly traps with razor-sharp blades that they build to kill people. Eh?)Although Vicki gets most of the screen time, the lion's share of the acting goes to William Hartnell. The sense of loss on his face after he absent-mindedly asks Susan to open the doors, and realises that she's no longer there. Or trying to decide whether or not he can bluff Ian into believing that he guided the Ship here deliberately rather than by accident.William Hartnell also maintains his reputation for great entrances with the words "I can still hear you, you know!" as he sticks his head out of the Tardis after Ian and Barbara have been talking about him.In the arena of sexual politics the girls, once again, get to lay the table and make dinner. Though Barbara does get to pick up a gun and kill a ravening monster! Oh, no, hold on, it was actually just Vicki's pet. Heh, girls, eh? Just can't trust them to do a man's job.Is this also the first time we've talked about the Tardis landing? "Excuse me, materialised is I think the better term." Sweet. Competent. Fun. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it.Next.
I like The Rescue. I like that the story opens with the situation the Tardis is going to land in rather than with the crew. I like the story. I love the design of Koquillion, and the remains of the Didonian society, and the rocket. I like the silent spooky Didonians, even though I’m not sure they’re real. I don’t like the deathtraps of the peaceful planet of Dido, or the slightly pathetic monster, Barbara blasting the shit out of said monster with a freakin’ flare gun, or the way neither Vicki or Barbara notice that Koquillion leaves a room with one door without passing them. But I can get over all that because I really like Vicki. She’s animated, and excited, and fragile without being a basket case, she’s desperate for human interaction (presumably this explains her reaction to the death of Sandy, her only friend. (Oh Sandy...)). She also strikes an instant rapport with the Doctor, becoming his much needed Susan replacement.The confrontation between The Doctor and Bennett is brilliant, before it descends to fisticuffs (with the Doctor trying to bludgeon the baddie to death with a space spanner). That moment where Hartnell is in the foreground and reacts to Koquillion entering is stunning.Also, this is a story with no real aliens in it, discounting poor old Sandy, it’s just a sad story about a murderer deceiving a child while he evades justice.Better than – The SensoritesNot as good as – The Edge of Destruction