Sunday, 23 January 2011

3: The Edge of Destruction - Written To Offset Overspends On Previous Stories.

The TARDIS Kitchen/Lounge/Bedroom.
Written by: David Whitaker
Companions: The Doctor, Susan, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright
Monsters/Villains: Ummm... a Spring?
Brief Synopsis: The TARDIS crew go inexplicably mental inside the TARDIS...
Rating: 2/10

This is bonkers!! I sat down with my girlfriend Katie quite late to watch this one, after having been to the cinema to see Black Swan. Which is wonderful and well worth seeing by the way. This whole thing is just so bizarre. Katie is wonderfully supportive of my DW pilgrimage, and has promised to join me for the occasional story. This unfortunately for her was her first.

Okay so the episode starts with everyone getting knocked out. The group awake one by one, but with random bouts of memory loss. Everyone is acting strangely. Ian goes all monosyllabic and "special" and tries to throttle various people. Susan goes psychopathic, ominously and threateningly wielding a sharp pair of scissors. What we see here, really is very disturbing and urges Katie to question: Was this meant to be a kids programme?

I almost want to re-watch this again, to see if knowing the conclusion, would help to understand exactly what the hell is going on. At one point Susan suggests that something has entered the TARDIS and is controlling one of the crew. There are strange monster nosies from the open TARDIS doors. The crew check the scanner and are shown photographs of previous places the TARDIS has travelled to. They look at a clock, freak out and throw their watches across the room. Anyone got any idea what's happening yet? 

Not getting anywhere the crew decide to retire to sleep. This could be exciting! We might get to see more of the TARDIS!! Oh no, Susan, Barbara and Ian all sleep in the same room, on these weird ergonomic beds that pop out of the wall located in the same room as the food machine. You'd think that with the size of the TARDIS, in all it's dimensionally transcendental glory that there would at least be separate digs for kitchen, lounge and bedroom. Also Susan and Barbara don these odd black smocks. While Ian get's a silk dressing gown. Where have these TARDIS Pyjamas come from? 

Ergonomic TARDIS Bed.
Everyone's got neck pain. The TARDIS console seems to be the centre of the problems. The fault locater's going haywire. The Doctor then says that the TARDIS' "power" which "lives" under the main column is being tempted away by the energy from the big bang. Oh okay, that makes sense. Wait! No it doesn't! Why is everyone acting barmy? 

Ian asks Doctor where he intended to send them when he set the machine in motion. And he says he was trying to take the pair of school teachers back to Earth, so he pressed the fast return switch. Then Jaqueline Hill as Barbara, who is somehow excellent and really fully commits to this nonsensical story manages to put together some of the above's occurrings to discover that the cause of all their problems, is a broken spring in the fast return button, which has cause it to remain pressed. Oh, right. That makes complete sense.

The whole thing is very odd indeed. And even an analytical brain such as mine couldn't put it all together. There is one redeeming feature, a wonderful scene towards the end of the second episode. It's after all the "trouble" is everted by the amazing, deductive discovery of the broken spring. The scene is between the Doctor and Barbara. The Doctor apologises for his harsh treatment of the two teachers, saying "As we learn about each other, so we learn about ourselves." This is actually a really important moment. After nearly expelling Barbara and Ian from the TARDIS, he finally appreciates them, admitting that without "valuable" Barbara, they wouldn't have survived whatever it was they just faced. In seriousness, the Doctor has learned that travelling with others can be useful. This lesson will stick with him for a very long time to come.

The Spring of Destruction.

Silly Musings

1) A brilliant line fluff by William Hartnell that he declaims with such vigour: "we're on the brink of deruc.... of destruction"

2) Katie and I found the Doctor's wonderful explanation of the broken spring, informative and very entertaining. The Doctor explains the broken spring by using a torch. This is my version of the scene. I call it: The Spring of Destruction:

The Doctor: You see Susan, if I hold the button down on the torch the light comes on. If I let go of the button a tiny spring shuts it off. And if the spring was broken it would think I was still pressing the button.

Susan: I see Grandfather. That explains the broken spring. Thanks. Now please tell me why a broken spring meant that we all just went mental for the last hour and I tired to kill people with scissors....

Maybe if I read this I'll be able to
make some sense of it all...

There is a Target novelisation of this story. I am going to buy it and try and work out what the hell is actually going on.

At the end of the episode the four arrive at a new location and exit the TARDIS only to find a giant foot print...

Join me next time for the first of the lost stories and a personal favourite, Marco Polo.

No comments: