Friday, 17 October 2014

013 The Edge of Destruction Episode 2: Brink of Disaster

EPISODE: The Edge of Destruction Episode 2: Brink of Disaster
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 15 February 1964
WRITER: David Whitaker
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 9.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: The Beginning Boxset

"You know dear child, I think your old Grandfather is going a tiny bit round the bend!"

Turns out it's Ian trying to strangle the Doctor. Ian faints, the Doctor accuses Ian of faking and that the teachers are plotting against him. Ian yells a warning to not touch the console but the Doctor wants to throw the teachers off the ship. There's a danger signal from the fault locator saying that everything is wrong which the Doctor says means the ship is on the point of disintegration and they're all to blame.....

"we had time taken away from us but now it's given back to us because it's running out" What ????

And in the middle of all that Ian suddenly brings up the Doctor having drugged them with the drinks he served at the end of the last episode!

A white flash, the central column moves and the Doctor announces they have 10 minutes to survive. Barbara thinks they've been getting clues and the Tardis has been warning them all along. More white flashes.
My head is in my hands. This is mad. Viewers must have been turning off in their millions. (They were: half a million of them after last weeks episode)
The Doctor believes he's worked out what is happening outside the Tardis:

"I know. I know. I said it would take the force of a total solar system to attract the power away from my ship. We're at the very beginning, the new start of a solar system. Outside, the atoms are rushing towards each other. Fusing, coagulating, until minute little collections of matter are created. And so the process goes on, and on until dust is formed. Dust then becomes solid entity. A new birth, of a sun and its planets. "

It's a few minutes of Hartnell talking straight to camera in a darkened room but he does it really well!

It turns out the quick return switch is jammed on because the spring to release it is broken.
Quick return switch labelled in felt tip so Hartnell can find it!)


and it's at this point that the console room noise, missing for the last two episodes, is restored.

The Tardis lands somewhere very cold where Susan has found a HUGE footprint...


"You know dear child, I think your old Grandfather is going a tiny bit round the bend!"
Me too after having to watch this. Again.

I stuck the documentary on the Beginning DVD on to watch after viewing this episode and the way the people on there are talking they think it's the best thing ever and very clever. I found it a confusing mess. Surely a sensible fault locating system would have said "Stuck Quick Return Switch" instead of instigating the confusion seen here!

Please, *PLEASE* don't make me watch these a *FIFTH* time!

While the first episode was directed by Richard Martin, who worked on the previous story, the Daleks, this episode is directed by newcomer to the series Frank Cox. This is his first credited screen work and he would go on to produce and direct for a number of other series. His only other contributions to Doctor Who come in the form Kidnap & a Desperate Venture, the fifth and sixth episodes of the Sensorites.

Oh ****** I'm going to have to watch that again too aren't I?

The surviving Edge of Destruction prints were found in BBC Enterprises when Ian Levine first visited there in the late 1970s. Edge of Destruction was the first story my friend Sean taped me off of UK Gold when they started showing Doctor who. He brought it back to University, I watched it and I'm not 100% sure I made it to the end of the second part! It was novelised for Target Books in October 1988. The episodes were released on video in 2001, coupled with a version of the pilot episode and on DVD as part of The Beginning Boxset on 30th January 2006.

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