Saturday, August 6, 2011

Doctor Who #3: The Edge of Destruction

Oh man. Even though this is only a two-episode story, it's crazy fun. The whole thing takes place on the TARDIS -- apparently because there were production delays for sets and costumes with story #4, Marco Polo! But that's cool, because this story is awesome. Obviously I'm going to give spoilers -- if that's a problem, get out now! So... leaving Skaro (in a hurry) there is suddenly an explosion on board the TARDIS, and everyone is knocked out. Everyone seems to be suffering some kind of space madness featuring amnesia and moodiness. On top of that, the TARDIS is behaving very strangely. It just shows a series of pictures on the scanner screen, outside the doors is pure whiteness, and it shocks people who touch certain parts of the console. And, oh yeah, all the clocks have melted. After two episodes of this incredible weirdness (the second episode is called The Brink of Disaster -- hee) -- they figure it out. In their hurry to leave Skaro, the Doctor hit the "fast return" switch (You know it is the fast return switch, because someone wrote "fast return" with a black marker next to it), which is kind of like the "last channel" button on your TV remote. It is supposed to take you back to where you just were. (Side note: Really? Is this a for-real button on the TARDIS? Because it would have been incredibly useful in, oh, I don't know ALMOST EVERY EPISODE OF THE SHOW!) Anyway, it turns out that it got stuck down -- physically stuck down, when the Doctor pushed it... and so... it appears that it whizzed the TARDIS back in time, past 100,000 BC Earth, and all the way to the Big Bang... the start of the Universe, before there was time, and thus, the melting clocks. The Doctor doesn't say this, per se... he rambles a bit about how exciting it is to be there for the birth of a star... but, uh, the story is way better if it's the big bang, so, I'm going with that.

There is a ton of stuff that makes no sense in this episode... Susan has a psycho moment, and appears to lose control of herself, fighting urges to stab Ian with scissors; the Doctor drugs everyone for no reason, and later everyone is amused by that; every though time has stopped, time on the TARDIS is still going, and if they don't do something soon the TARDIS will be destroyed,  etc. But... it was a super fun episode. We got to learn more about the characters, and we learn the most about the TARDIS. Apparently, it can think for itself, "machine thoughts" as the Doctor explains... but it just can't communicate very well. It clearly has a kind of safety system it will use to protect itself and it's inhabitants... this is definitely the first time the TARDIS is shown to have intelligence, something that is revisted many times in future episodes.

Quotes and Notes:

  • Barbara is still wearing Thal pants!
  • Ian listens to the Doctor's heartbeat... but doesn't notice his second heart. Heh -- maybe one of them stopped!
  • "I can't take you back Susan... I can't!"
  • The food machine doesn't work at the beginning of time... for some reason...
  • Susan uses special ointment from the TARDIS first aid kit -- when the wound is healed, it turns white.
  • Susan has a bed? Turns out Susan and Barbara are roommates. 
  • Susan's psycho scene was totally horrifying. 
  • "I must check the coordinates." <-- Why are the coordinates so far from the console?
  • "I recognize that... That's where we nearly lost the TARDIS, four or five journeys back." "Yes, the planet Quinnis, of the fourth universe." <-- do they mean Galaxy 4?
  • "Did I ever tell you that the ship has a memory bank, hmm?"
  • It would appear William Hartnell forgot some lines for the melting clock scene... rendering it somewhat unintelligible. 
  • "One man's law is another man's crime."
  • The ending of episode 1 was awesome. 
  • The danger signal? I guess this is the cloister bell?
  • "We had time taken away from us, but now it's given back to us, because it's running out!"
  • Interesting fact: The height of the column rise on the console tells how much power the TARDIS is using.
  • "You know, I acquired that ulster from Gilbert and Sullivan." "Really? I thought it was made for two." :)
These old episodes are totally fun. 

1 comment:

  1. I read in some crazy old book that the Doctor's second heart grew when he first regenerating...guessing that was written in well after it happened though.