Friday, April 3, 2009

C1 - The Edge of Destruction

Finally, a decent and correct episode title for once! (And don't you dare try and tell me that this story is called Inside The Spaceship.)

The episode carries on from the ending of the previous Dalek story where some strange explosion stops the TARDIS in its tracks and knocks everyone down, out, and senseless. Then things take on a weird bent. I have to admit - I've watched this story a few times now and I still don't necessarily know what's going on. It kind of smacks of an experimental high school play with better acting and only slightly better production values. There's a couple chilling scenes with Susan brandishing a pair of scissors (gosh, Verity Lambert treaded awfully close to the line of decency in those days), and William Hartnell gets an early start on his habit of fluffing all of his lines.

The episode is an early attempt at being surreal for Doctor Who, and it pulls it off well, fulfilling the two primary qualities of surreality - it doesn't make any sense, but you want to keep watching. More weirdness to come in Episode 2...


James said...

I have always had a soft spot for this story which whilst very sureal draws the viewer in with the desire to understand what is happening. The acting at the very beginning of the episode is so distinct from the previous episodes that the viewer must have agreed with Susans suspicion that there was an alien in the ship possessing the various crew. Knowing how the story ends I think that this may have been better. By creating an alien that only existed in the bodies of the regulars they could have still made the story with the same budget and told the story of the disputes between the crew of the ship.

The only scene I really want to comment on is the one with the scissors, I can remember Verity Lambert on the DVD commentary being a little suprised she got away with this and I don't know how they did. People talk about the playgrounds being full of children pretending to be Daleks but what about the children threatening each other with scissors and stabbing their beds, I bet this wasnt broadcast in Australia.

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