Friday, 25 February 2011

11: The Rescue - Short And Not Sweet!

Written by: David Whitaker.
Companions: The Doctor, Ian Chesterton, Barbara Wright.
Monsters/Villains: Koquillion.
Brief Synopsis: The TARDIS crew lands on the planet Dido, to discover two human survivors from a crashed spaceship from earth living in fear of a hideous alien.
Rating: 5/10.

When the rescue kicks off I find myself still sad due to Susan's untimely departure. But at first there is oddly no mention of her at all. Ian, Barbara and the Doctor are mearly discussing where the TARDIS will land next and that materialised is a better word than landed. Then as the TARDIS 'materialises' the Doctor goes to ask Susan to open the doors and then realises she's not there. It's a beautiful moment and you can really tell that Hartnell is genuinely sad to have lost, not just his granddaughter, but Carol Anne Ford herself. Barbara then kindly offers herself to learn how to open the doors. Ian and Barbara then ponder 'I wonder what Susan's doing now? If I know David, learning to milk cows...' What an odd idea.

This story is an odd one. The TARDIS arrives on the planet Dido and discovers a crashed spaceship with just two survivors. A girl, Vicki, and an injured man, Bennet. They are awaiting a rescue ship from Earth and are being oppressed by a terrifying native alien, Koquillion.

The terrifying alien Koquillion.
When Barbara and Ian venture out of the TARDIS alone, Koquillion spies them, causes some rocks to fall on Ian and pushes Barbara off a cliff! It's so shocking. I was thinking how on earth are they going to explain that one away. Barbara later says she broke her fall by grabbing a tree branch. Oh of course, that makes sense.

We soon learn that the rest of the crew of the spaceship are dead including Vicki's father, and with her mother being dead she is an orphan. Hmm... no ties, similar character to Susan, futuristic Orphan-type. I wonder if she's going to be the new companion?

Towards the end of this short, two part story the Doctor and Ian are inexplicably edging along a chasm, and we are issued a rather random unrelated cliffhanger involving sharp knives coming out of the wall to spike Ian and push him into a pit containing a sand beast.

Fortunately the Doctor is able to withdraw the spikes before they can impale Ian. Barbara then sees the same beasty making for Vicki and fires a flare gun at it, killing it. However, it turns out that the terrifying sand monster was actually Vicki's pet and an omnivore, called Sandy. The Doctor, Ian and Barbara are all reunited and Ian mockingly refers to Koquillion as cockaleekie. The Doctor is so kind to Vicki and you can tell he is already grooming her to take Susans place.

Poor Sandy.
The Doctor admits that he has been to Dido before and when he confronts Koquillion he recognises that what he is wearing is actually cerimonial garb and unveils Koquillion to be Bennet. It turns out that Bennet killed a member of the crew, for some reason, and caused the ship to crash, then killed the rest of the crew and the people of Dido as well to avoid being sentenced. He planned to blame the people of Dido for the massacre and dressed up as Koquillion to scare the unbeknownst Vicki into disliking the locals and to testify in his favour. Fortunately there are two survivors of the people of Dido who neatly take care of Bennet for us, without actually saying a word on screen.

It's not a bad little mystery and certainly has cross-overs with The Tempest, and acts as a good character introduction for, yep, you guessed it, the new companion, Vicki. At the end of the adventure the TARDIS 'materialises' as it shall henceforward be known, on the edge of a cliff. Being the first quite literal 'cliffhanger' of the series.

Join me next time for The Romans.


Anonymous said...

The killing of Sandy the Sand Beast is one of the saddest moments ever in Doctor Who. “No! No don’t! No!” screams Vicki as Barbara hefts the flare pistol, but Barbara doesn't give a toss, she has a gun in her hand now and her blood-lust is up. Barbara is clearly desperate to kill something, and right at this moment, Vicki's pet makes a perfect target. So, tragically, Sandy the Sand Beast is brutally shot with a flare and dies in terrible agony.

VICKI: You killed Sandy, why? What made you?

BARBARA: He was almost on top of you! (Lie. Sandy, who was very slow moving, was at lest 15 to 20 feet away from Vicki when Barbara decided to murder him.)

VICKI: How could you do it? Sandy only wanted some food.

BARBARA: But he was going to attack you! (Lie. Sandy, clearly couldn't have harmed a fly.)

VICKI: Sandy only ever eat plants. I trained him to come here for food.

BARBARA: Well...I didn’t know that did I...I, I mean how could I? (Well, by using your eyes and ears, you stupid cow!)

VICKI: I shouted, you wouldn’t listen.

BARBARA: Look, all I could see was its jaws. Anyway it suddenly started screeching I thought... (Lie. Sandy only started screeching after Barbara shot him.)

VICKI: (Distraught.) You killed him! (VICKI sits at the table and sobs.) You killed him!

But sadly, Vicki is unable to get justice for Sandy, and the blood soaked killer goes unpunished.

Barry Shitpeas said...

This story provides us
with more evidence that the 1st Doctor was a loony. In episode two
the Doctor goes to visit Bennett in his cabin. “Mr.
Bennett,” calls the Doctor. “You can’t come in.” Bennett
replies. The Doctor pushes the door, but only manages to open it a
little. “I want to talk to you!” But this time the Doctor gets no
answer. So what does he do? He picks up a steel girder and starts to
batter the door with it. No wonder Bennett legs it through a secret
hatch, and it also makes you wonder what life was like aboard the

DOCTOR: Are you in
there Barbara?

BARBARA: You can't come
in. I'm just getting dressed.

AMMERING THE DOOR WITH A CHAIR) But I want to talk to you!