3.05 Mission to the Unknown Written by Terry Nation, Directed by Derek Martinus
On the planet Kembel Marc Cory finds a dark secret that threatens the galaxy.
This is a fabulous mini-story. Wonderfully melodramatic in a very 1940's British war movie style, it builds to a satisfying ending.
One wonders what it must have been like, back in the days where the vast majority of the audience would have sat down knowing nothing about Mission, for there to be a single episode without the Doctor and no warning about this. One can imagine the audience sitting there wondering when the TARDIS would appear all the way up to the end credits.
And more than this being just a Doctorless episode, this story was nothing less than a prelude to a much bigger story, one that wouldn't be seen for another four weeks. How many people expected the following episode to pick up where this one left off and were left scratching their heads?
The characters are simply but clearly drawn, the stakes are made known, and an old enemy returns. Terry Nation at his best.
This was Verity Lambert's last episode as producer. In some ways it's kind of odd that her last episode featured none of the show's regular cast. But another point of view is that she finished on a unique rule-breaking episode, which feels sort of appropriate given the television program she helped create.
"The seven of us represent the greatest war force ever assembled! Conquest is assured!" - Robert Cartland (Malpha)
Verity Lambert and five galactic delegates - L-R - Malpha, Verity Lambert, Gearon, Trantis, Beaus, Celation (some of the characters look different later, both due to make-up/costume changes, and recasting)