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While travelling through time and space in Doctor Who's (William
Hartnell) time- and spaceship TARDIS, the crew - the Doctor, his niece
Susan (Carol Ann Ford), and schoolteachers Ian (William Russell) and
Barbara (Jacqueline Hill) - have to realize there's suddenly something
terribly wrong: the TARDIS has suddenly stopped at a very random point,
opening its doors at random to nothing and randomly showing pictures of
past locations she has been to on the scanner, plus dealing out electrical
shocks from its main console rather at will. It is as if someone had
sabotaged the ship, but since nobody could have come in (or could they),
it must be one of the crew ... and soon enough the Doctor comes to the
conclusion it must be Ian and Barbara - and he even wants to throw them
out of the TARDIS into nothing ... until Barbara figures it must be the
ship's self defense mechanism ... and suddenly the Doctor notices the Fast
Return switch has gotten stuck annd they have gone back tot he
beginning of time - and from here on, the TARDIS couldn't go any further,
which is why it acted all weird. But once everything is fixed, everythinhg
is back to normal again - and the Doctor even apologizes to Barbara for
having suspected her ...
After having gone to the stone age (An Unearthly Child) and an alien
planet (The Daleks) the budget for the first 13 installments of Doctor Who
was pretty much spent after 11, so for the final two installments that
made up The Edge of Destruction, the series had to be confined to the
TARDIS-set, the only recurring set of the series, and to its four
principal players ... and against all odds, the concept works just fine in
a tense story that uses its restrictions to its own advantage, that has
the characters at each others throats, amd that at times even seems
reminiscent of an existentialist drama (the Sartre quote l'enfer, ce
sont toujours les autres - hell are always the others readily
springs into mind). Only the appeasing end somewhat takes the sting of the
story and brings one back into the realm of kids' TV.