Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction

In an effort to find something quick that can be written as part of Daily Doctor Who, we are kicking off Say Something Nice, where I look back at each of the Doctor Who stories and pull out one cool thing about it.

(Daily Doctor Who #26)

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the series’ third story…

The Edge of Destruction

Featuring the same core cast as last time–an uniquely, featuring only that cast–of William Hartnell as the Doctor, William Russell as Ian Chesterton, Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright, and Carole Ann Ford as Susan Foreman. Written by David Whitaker (the Story Editor at the time) and directed by Richard Martin and Frank Cox. Also known as Inside the Spaceship, or sometimes, completely erroneously, Beyond the Sun, in an effort to better break down the stories from back in the day when every episode had its own distinct name.

Even better known by the individual episode names–The Edge of Destruction and The Brink of Disaster

Say Something Nice…

(Named for Missy–aka the Master–and her catchphrase from her first full appearance in Dark Water)

The two part “bottle episode” is something I always enjoyed because I really like the original cast of characters, especially Ian and Barbara. And it’s cool that the story positions the Doctor and Susan as the potential “villains” of the piece because really, they were the ones that the audience was supposed to feel a little uncomfortable with. So it’s nice to see that brought out. The emotional resolution, which is really between the Doctor and Barbara–with the Doctor coming to terms a bit better with how awful a person he’s been–is quite satisfying.

But because we’re equal-opportunity fans here, we’re not going to only be sycophantically complimentary.

You craven-hearted spineless poltroon!

(Another cry from the Master, but not exactly a catch-phrase, this time from The Deadly Assassin)

Some of the actors seem better-suited to the format of this particular story than others, with both Carole Ann Ford and William Russell seeming to struggle a bit. The actual story resolution is theoretically interesting but isn’t really explained in a way that is very logical–the ship is in danger so it starts to drive everyone crazy? That doesn’t seem very helpful.

Catch you next time!

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