‘THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION’
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Inside The Spaceship
This is a two-part story by David Whittaker and it sees the four TARDIS regulars in a tricky situation.
This is actually the transitional story between ‘The Daleks’ and ‘Macro Polo’. I enjoyed watching this story. I won’t admit to understanding it completely and it definitely predates the Steven Moffat era.
After leaving Skaro, the TARDIS gets stuck with the console exploding in mid-flight. With loss of memory and headaches, the TARDIS team behave strangely and erratically. Could this be the end?!
I liked how the TARDIS characters are in a strange situation and that they work out the problem as a team. It makes for some interesting drama on how they need to work together and trust each other.
William Hartnell is superb as the Doctor. He gets a bump on the head which gets bandaged. He accuses Ian and Barbara for sabotaging his ship and he gets mean to them before they work together.
Carole Ann Ford delivers an amazing performance as Susan. She shifts from being the sweet, lovely girl into a scary, almost murderous person. That scene with those large scissors was pretty terrifying.
William Russell as Ian is equally good. He’s baffled and confused when he recovers, and is shocked when the Doctor accuses him and Barbara for sabotaging his ship before he helps to solve the clues.
Jacqueline Hill as Barbara stands out well in this story. She stands up to the Doctor when he accuses her and Ian and she’s deeply hurt by the Doctor’s cruel words, even after they’ve solved the mystery.
The TARDIS plays a key role in this tale. It’s indicated for the first time that the TARDIS is more than a machine. This predates the new series episodes such as ‘Boom Town’ and ‘The Parting of the Ways’.
The TARDIS gives clues to the four regulars on how to escape the trap they have fallen into. It was interesting when they discovered that the ‘fast return switch’ on the console was stuck in mid-flight.
There were two directors for this story including Richard Martin and Frank Cox. I couldn’t tell the difference in approach of these two episodes by the directors, as the flow of this story was seamless.
The music for this story is pretty eerie and weird and it adds to the eerie weirdness and nature of the story. It certainly provides for the atmosphere of this story with its dark tones, making it mysterious.
I was very impressed by the soliloquy William Hartnell gave as the Doctor in the second episode by himself. Despite his tendency to forget his lines, he effortlessly pulled off that speech amazingly well.
The DVD special features are as follows. There’s the ‘Doctor Who Origins’ documentary; the ‘Over The Edge’ making-of documentary; the ‘Inside the Spaceship’ featurette; the ‘Masters of Sound’ featurette and a 30-minute tele-snap version of ‘Marco Polo’, which was pretty interesting to watch.
There is also a photo gallery of the story; an Arabic soundtrack for the second episode and PDF documents including ‘Radio Times Listings’ of the three stories in ‘The Beginning’ DVD box set and the script of the first episode of ‘An Unearthly Child’. There is also an information-text commentary option to enjoy.
‘The Edge of Destruction’ is an enjoyable two-part story that sees the four TARDIS regulars putting aside their differences and working together as a team and a family. I’m pleased they did a story like this since this allows the series to continue and for the Doctor to continue as a beloved TV character.
‘The Beginning’ DVD box set is a great collection of stories showing how ‘Doctor Who’ began in the early 1960s. I enjoyed watching the stories in this box set, especially ‘The Daleks’. It was great to see the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan and how they started having adventures through time and space.
‘The Edge of Destruction’ rating – 7/10
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