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Doctor Who Original Series 03 - Edge of Destruction [Mar. 6th, 2008|01:33 pm]
[mood |chipperchipper]

A short one

1.12 Edge of Destruction Pt. 1 - Edge of Destruction Written by David Whitaker, Directed by Richard Martin

Something has gone wrong with the TARDIS, leaving the crew in a state of confusion.

A bizarre episode, everyone is acting odd. There's no background sound and almost no use of music, making it feel even stranger. Susan's freakout with the scissors is still rather full-on, and both the Doctor and Barbara have great flashes of anger. The idea that something may have gotten into the ship and is hiding inside one of the travellers is sold creepily when delivered by Susan, with Barbara's reaction giving it some weight.

David Whitaker is a top writer, and knows that human drama is what carries things along, so he gives us plenty of that over the course of the episode.


"I know know who's responsible. You are! You sabotaged my ship!" - William Hartnell (Doctor Who)

1.13 Edge of Destruction Pt. 1 - The Brink of Disaster Written by David Whitaker, Directed by Frank Cox

The crew discover that they only have a limited amount of time left before the TARDIS is destroyed.

The second half settles the crew down and gives them a chance to figure out what the real problem is. But again it's the interaction of the characters that keeps the interest up.


"Originally, the machine wasn't at fault, we were. And it's been trying to tell us so ever since." - Jacqueline Hill (Barbara)

Edge of Destruction 7.5/10

In some ways it's a hard watch - the cast and crew seem so out of kilter and stilted that at first it's hard to know whether they've forgotten how to act - but the drama of them trying to sort out what is happening keeps things ticking along. The idea that the TARDIS itself is trying to warn them in its own limited way is rather good for the time.

[User Picture]From: angriest
2008-03-06 04:16 am (UTC)
I found it very bold, and and you say Susan's freak-out is rather full-on for family television, but overall it's a bit of a filler really.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-03-06 04:49 am (UTC)
Actually, from a character perspective, it's rather more important than filler.

The end sees the point at which the Doctor finally starts to really trust Ian and Barbara. All the arguments and animosity of the previous episodes is dealt with once and for all as the crew have to band together against something that hasn't come directly or indirectly as a result of their own actions.

The story is filler, but Whitaker knew what he was doing with regards to the Doctor's character arc. That arc continues all the way to The Sensorites, as the Doctor learns and changes from his contact with Ian and Barbara.
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[User Picture]From: angriest
2008-03-06 04:51 am (UTC)
I can see the progression, I just can't help but think there should have been a better way to show it.

I noticed what you say here about The Sensorites the other day, when watching it. That's another mixed bag of a story.
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-03-06 07:06 am (UTC)
The story may have been better if Whitaker had had more time, it was written in two days, after all. It really was a last minute decision brought about by a number of factors, not the least of which was one of the departments claiming that the series was already dreadfully over budget thanks to the TARDIS set.

There was also the concern that the Beeb may choose to execute the first of their 13 week vetos, which at that point would have been two episodes into a 7 part story.
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[User Picture]From: angriest
2008-03-06 07:10 am (UTC)
I managed to find info on the BBC's opt-out clauses. There were allowed to cancel the show after:

13 episodes ("An Unearthly Child" to "Edge of Destruction")
20 episodes (hence "Marco Polo" as a seven-parter)
26 episodes (hence "The Keys of Marinus" as a last minute six-parter)
36 episodes ("The Aztecs" and "The Sensorites" completing the first production block. "Reign of Terror" seems to have been produced at least on paper as the first serial of series two.)
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[User Picture]From: dalekboy
2008-03-06 09:30 am (UTC)
Cool! Didn't know about the 20 week or 36 week opt out.

The Beeb were bastards, eh? 'Give us a 52 week program, be contracted to do it for that long, but we want to be able to stop it at any almost any time, if we feel like it.'

I knew Giants and Dalek Invasion were effectively first season stories held back for second, but didn't realise it went back as far as Reign.
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[User Picture]From: purrdence
2008-03-06 04:20 am (UTC)
I remember rewatching this after watching the end of the Eccelston season and getting a bit smug when I pointed out to Drhoz that the 'heart of the TARDIS' wasn't a bit of RTD reconning.
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[User Picture]From: angriest
2008-03-06 04:44 am (UTC)
No, it is instead proof that RTD & co are shameless, shameless nerds.
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