Monday, 4 May 2015

The Edge of Destruction

11thDoctorAdventures @11thDoctorComic · 60s theme tune <3 

Still the best, probably :-) 

Departing Skaro, the unwilling companions suffer a bit of turbulence in the TARDIS... 

It's a great title, isn't it?  

50dw50 @50dw50 ·  "At The Side Of Doom"? maybe not
11thDoctorAdventures @11thDoctorComic · The Brink of Disaster's quite a good title too.
MAW Holmes @MAW_H · The Rim of Catastrophe...? 

And it's always lovely to see the late great David Whitaker's name appear on screen.

How odd to think the first three stories could have been it - one encapsulated 13 episode run, with this as a coda. 

Everything's still so unknown, so pioneering. They still don't really trust each other till this story's over. 

John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland First saw this as part of BSB's Doctor Who weekend in 1990. They broadcast the episodes the wrong way round... they put it on later and broadcast it the correctly. I wasn't really much the wiser.

That must have confused a few people!
James Cooray Smith@thejimsmith Hardly less peculiar than watching it in the right order, tbh. 
50dw50@50dw50 as i recall the picture was so murky it was hard to make anything out anyway! 

Barbara and Susan pull themselves together. Ian and the Doctor are unconscious. 
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Proof, if ever it was needed, that Babs is best! 

Ian is discombobulated at first, thinking they're still at school, as if the last two stories were a dream. 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H They're toying with us... dangling writer's cop out cliche number one... "it was all a dream"
50dw50@50dw50 from the off they act so oddly it reminds me of one of those experimental theatre productions i used to inflict on myself 

Lass Productions in Manchester put on a cracking version of this very story, by all accounts, though we missed out on seeing it. Their adaptation of the episode Midnight was amazing. 

All those mini episodes of Smith's era were scenes inside the TARDIS, it's a bit like that. 

Always great to see the food machine. 

Susan panics when she sees the control room doors are open. 

It's never really occurred to me before but I wonder if this bit with Ian testing out the doors is what made its way (in far more "humorous" form) into the first Cushing Dalek film... 

Barbara bandages the Doctor's noggin bump and he starts to regain consciousness.

Those beds don't look comfy at all, but I definitely want one of those food machines. 
50dw50@50dw50 Billy must have hated this one with so many lines to learn! 

Very dodgy stuff with the scissors, but judging by her mad hair, Susan could probably do with at least a trim. 

I love all the creepy stock music in these 60s stories. Though I associate this more with the Moonbase, to be honest. 

The Doctor begins to theorize, though dismisses the ideas of the teachers... 

...and checks out the fault locator instead. 
MAW Holmes@MAW_H "All hail the mighty Fornicator!" 

Barbara wonders if they've been invaded by... something. 

Susan wonders if one of them is possessed... 
MAW Holmes@MAW_H ...or repossessed, given that they stole a TARDIS! 

They're all out of sorts, of course, but you're reminded in this one that Susan really is alien.  

Ian tells Susan that the Doctor's going to turn on the scanner and Susan suddenly panics... 

Nothing much on telly. 

Ian quizzes the Doctor as to what it all means but the old man points the finger at the teachers. 

With the travellers at each others' throats, the TARDIS has another shock in store... 
50dw50@50dw50 it has a swimming pool?
MAW Holmes@MAW_H she's really a woman...?
50dw50@50dw50 that Clara is hiding behind a table? (she is in every story now)

Stop the clocks AND MELT THEIR FACES!

The TARDIS is a bit of a psycho, really. 

Ian suggests an apology to Barbara is in order.  The Doctor suggests he sticks it where the sun don't shine. 

Exhausted, the teachers fall asleep. 

The Doctor creeps around, making sure he's alone... 

Then heads for the console - where he's suddenly attacked! 

Whew! Tense! Great little cliffhanger - is that Ian strangling the Doctor... or has someone else come aboard?!
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Kal sneak into tree... 

Well, it is Ian... but he doesn't look in control of himself... Or that dressing gown. 

MAW Holmes@MAW_H "Well helloooooooooooo..."

Mary Whitehouse's blood pressure now on The Brink Of Disaster. 

The TARDIS seemingly bleeps a foul-mouthed tirade from the Doctor with a foghorn. No more fornicators! 

The Doctor's going to dump Ian and Barbara on the hard shoulder. 

It suddenly dawns on the Doctor that the teachers are not to blame; "all four of us are to blame!" 
MAW Holmes@MAW_H Bloody family therapy... 
50dw50@50dw50 we are lucky it was not "all bore of us in the drain"#BillyFluffs

That's Planet of Giants!

"There's a strong force at work somewhere, which is threatening my ship." 

"It's so strong that every piece of equipment can be out of action at the same time." 

The TARDIS is never going to pass its MOT. 

"We had time taken away from us, and now it's being given back to us because it's running out." Errrrr.... 

Everything starts to come together when they finally all start pulling in the same direction. 

"We have five minutes only. When the end does come, they won't know anything about it." 

An absolute masterclass from William Hartnell now. 
50dw50@50dw50 we mock but he was superb. 

A quick jiggle and job's a good 'un. As they say.

So the whole nightmare was caused by a stuck spring. The TARDIS isn't fit for purpose, I tells ya! 

The Doctor dumbs it down for Susan as he sheds some light on the principle. 
50dw50@50dw50 maybe she did not go to one of the better timelord academies? 

Rejected from Prydon, Arcalia and Patrex, she ended up in Hufflepuff. 

The Doctor finally admits to Barbara "we all owe you our lives..." Not quite an apology but it'll do. 

This is really all over now. 

All this is just the beginning of the next story. 

If only we really could watch that next story. :-( 

Is that Gilbert & Sullivan reference Doctor Who's first name drop? 

"Look at this huge footprint. It must have been made by a giant." 
50dw50@50dw50 Dr Who in an exciting adventure with the massive feet 
John Mark Frankland@JMFrankland Hartnell does great stuff in The Edge Of Destruction and it has a lovely ending. Who says Doctor Who has to make sense anyway? 

It strikes me that much of the first episode of the Mind Robber is similar, down to seeing things on the scanner.

Yes, The Mind Robber is psychedelic so we have a context for it, so it's better remembered and understood... Whereas Edge is very early 60s and absurdist (maybe) so there's not the same way 'in'... Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying it's a great piece of drama or that Whitaker is up there with Beckett and co!

lol! We can at least fairly say it has a creepy psychological quality that remains quite uncommon for the show :-) 

Coming Soon... Marco Polo


  1. Had this DVD for my birthday last week. Lovely couple of episodes. Had to chuckle at the felt pen "Fast Return" on the console!

    1. Well, there have been rare occurrences of labeling in the TARDIS, so maybe the Doctor was labeling things as he figured out what they were... ;-)