Number : Season 2, episode 3 of 9.
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 Lambert
First UK Broadcast : 2 – 9 January 1965.
Length : 2 x 25 minute episodes.
1) “The Powerful Enemy”
2) “Desperate Measures”
Plot : The Doctor follows a distress signal to planet Dido. Where a young girl called Vicki and a man called Bennet, are survivors of a crashed spaceship. They claim that they are being harrassed by an alien, called Koquillion.
Whats good : Twisty and interesting short two-episode story. 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 two-part adventure, written 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 in the previous episode; Dalek Invasion Of Earth
The Rescue plays much like a fun Scooby Doo yarn, especially the Koquillion sub-plot.
Especially with the reveal that Koquillion is infact Bennet – in disguise (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 ship’s crew but all of the native Didonians aswell, in an 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
Bennet intends to keep Vicki alive, to act as his alibi; once the Earth rescue team arrives. To vouch that it was all Koquillion’s doing and nothing to do with Bennet. However, the arrival of the Doctor unspins Bennet’s clever little yarn.
The end of episode one 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 Doctor Who.
The serial is more character-driven, than previous episodes. In some rare extra companion characterisation, for early Doctor 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 strangle the Doctor and he throws himself off of a cliff, to his death.
The Rescue really just serves as an introduction to new companion Vicki and is short at two episods. It is however, nonetheless quite entertaining and gets straight down to business – with a fun brisk twisty plot and good character-driven moments.
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