Which One : Meet new companion Vicki
Cast : The Doctor : William Hartnell
Ian : William Russell
Barbara : Jacqueline Hill
Vicki : Maureen
Bennett/Koquillion : Ray Barrett
Space Captain : Tom Sheridan
Didonians : John Stuart, Colin Hughes
Written By : David Whitaker
Produced By : Verity Lamb
First UK Broadcast : 2 – 9 January 1965.
Length : 2 x 25 minute parts.
1) “The Powerful Enemy”
2) “Desperate Measures”
Plot : The Doctor follows a distress signal to planet Dido, where he meets a young girl Vicki and a man called Bennet – who are survivors of a crashed spaceship. They are being harrassed by an alien called Koquillion.
Whats good : Twisty and interesting plot. Short and brisk pacing. More emphasis on character development. Koquillion is cooly designed.
Whats bad : Bennet’s Koquillion act is perhaps a tad obvious.
Review With Spoilers : The Rescue is a short 2-part adventure, writtenly specifically to introduce the new companion character; Vicki.
Vicki was intended as a direct replacement for Susan, following Carole Ann Ford’s departure from the series – due to lack of character development.
The Rescue plays much like a fun Scooby Doo yarn, especially the Koquillion subplot to the episode.
Koquillion is infact – Bennet’s alter ego (and he would have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for those pesky kids) who has not only murdered all of the crashed ships crew but all of the Didonians aswell, in a carefully crafted explosion.
“…..and if you like adventure, my dear [Vicki], I can promise you an abundance of it. Apart from all that, well you’ll be amongst friends. Hmm? Well? Now, suppose I leave you here for a moment to think about it, hmm?” The Doctor
Criminal Bennet intends to keep Vicki alive, to act as his alibi; once the Earth rescue team arrives. That it was all Koquillion’s doing and nothing to do with him. However, the arrival of the Doctor unspins his clever little yarn.
The end of part 1 has the Doctor and Ian about to be skewered by spikes or pushed off a cliff, in a very memorable B-movie-esque cliffhanger, even for a Who.
The episode is more character driven than previous episodes. In some rare extra companion characterisation, for early Who; the seeds of distrust and dislike are sown between Barbara and Vicki, when Barbara accidentally kills Vicki’s sand lizard pet with a flare gun; believing it to be about to hurt her. The two never really connect again after this.
Like a classic horror film, the murdered Didoians come back to haunt Bennet as be attempts to choke the Doc out and he then throws himself off of a cliff.
The Rescue really just serves as an introduction to Vicki and is short at 2 parts. It is nonetheless quite entertaining and gets straight down to business – with a fun brisk twisty plot and good character driven moments.