Friday, 2 January 2015

052 The Rescue Episode 1: The Powerful Enemy

EPISODE: The Rescue Episode 1: The Powerful Enemy
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 02 January 1965
WRITER: David Whitaker
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Dennis Spooner
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 12 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who: The Rescue & The Romans

"Vicki, watch out for Koquillion!"

The Tardis materialises in a cave. Nearby lies a crashed and badly damaged United Kingdom rocket ship. It's radar picks up the Tardis landing: young Vicki, hears the radar and assumes it's the rescue ship they're expecting. She runs to tell Bennet, her friend who is injured and confined to bed. He warns her to beware of Koquillion. She contacts the Rescue Ship who tell her they are seventeen hours away yet: Vicki wonders who it is who's landed. In the Tardis the Doctor has slept through the landing. The Doctor calls for Susan, forgetting she is no longer there. Ian & Barbara explore while the Doctor returns to the Tardis for a nap. As they leave a strange spiked alien figure approaches the Tardis. Ian & Barbara see the Spaceship, they are approached by the alien who questions them: he wishes to meet the Doctor. Ian returns to the Tardis but Barbara is attacked by the alien and falls off the ledge at the cave mouth. The Doctor works out that he's on the planet Dido which he has visited before and remembers the people who live there. The alien aims a device at the cave mouth causing a rock fall which seals it, with the Doctor & Ian within. The Doctor tells Ian he remembers the people, who are similar to the description Ian gives, are friendly, which Ian finds hard to believe given his recent encounter. The alien returns to the ship and questions Vicki: she has been out and heard an explosion. The alien lies to her about what has happened to the Tardis crew and claims to be protecting them. He goes to talk to Bennet. This alien is Koquillion. Vicki has been hiding the injured Barbara in the ship. Vicki tells Barbara that Koquillion has been keeping them here and that the aliens killed all the crew including Vicki's father in an explosion. Bennet who was injured was the only survivor. Vicki tells Barbara the Koquillion has killed her friends. Bennet stumbles into the room Vicki uses telling her of his encounter with Koquillion while she tells him that there was a survivor. The Doctor & Ian are trying to find their way out of the caves and are threatened by an alien beast in the chasm bellow. Ian sets off a booby trap in the caves and finds himself surrounded by spikes that threaten to push him over the ledge he's standing on......

Yeah,so so episode. Nothing spectacular, just a quiet little run-around for the three remaining regulars. The monster is nice but the ending, with blades coming out the walls, looks like it's been lifted straight from a 40s serial!

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How can you tell the rocket is from the United Kingdom? It's got a Union Jack on it's tail fin!

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Playing Vicki is young actress Maureen O'Brien in her first television role. You can hear her interviewd by Toby Hadoke for Who's Round #95. The main guest actor in The Rescue was the rising Australian star Ray Barrett, who plays Bennet. He'd been in Emergency Ward 10, one of the first UK television Soap operas, as well as voicing Commander Shore & Triton in Stingray. He would later provide the voices of John Tracy, the Hood and many background characters in Thunderbirds as well as taking a lead role in the successful series The Troubleshooters.

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Koquillion is credited as being played by "Sydney Wilson", a name made up by the production team in tribute to two of the creators of Doctor Who, Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson, in order to preserve the identity of the character disguised as him. However given there's only two other characters in the episode it's not that hard to work out who it is!

We're into Doctor Who's second recording block and there's a major behind the scenes change: We've a new Script Editor in charge, Dennis Spooner, who wrote Season 1's Reign of Terror which I enjoyed a lot. He wastes no time commissioning his predecessor, David Whitaker, to produce this story the entire function of which is to introduce the new young female companion to replace Susan. We have a return for Director Christopher Barry last seen directing the earlier episodes of The Daleks which Richard Martin didn't. Of the two I think Barry's episodes are done better yet he gets a 2 parter on a ruined moon and a comedy Romans story while Martin gets the Daleks big return!

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