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Doctor Who - The Edge of Destruction

episode 3

UK 1963
produced by
Verity Lambert for BBC
directed by Richard Martin, Frank Cox
starring William Hartnell, Carole Ann Ford, William Russell, Jacqueline Hill
written by and script editor: David Whitaker

tv-series
Doctor Who, Doctor Who (William Hartnell), Doctor Who (classic series)

review by
Mike Haberfelner

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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.

 

review © by Mike Haberfelner

 

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Robots and rats,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

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Tales to Chill
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ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
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Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner

 

Out now from
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On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide
WHICH IS WORSE!!!

 

A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
starring
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD