“We can travel anywhere and everywhere in that old box as you call it. Regardless of space and time… and if you like adventure, my dear, I can promise you an abundance of it.”
2nd – 9th January 1965
The Memory Cheats
This story introduces the new companion, Vicki. I only saw this serial for the first time a few years ago and quite liked it. My introduction to Vicki was The Web Planet where she is just as annoying as Susan if not worse, but in this story I think she shows promise. As I settle back into my seat on the way to San Francisco I remember the first time I saw this story I was also on a plane.
The Time Space Visualiser
Vicky appears and she seems to be wearing the Masters collar! It doesn’t take long for someone other than me finds Vicki annoying as the guy from the radio shouts that the ship is on its way ok!! Also the bloke in the bed is surely Rob Bryden. But it’s Bennett. Barbara falls to her death but luckily the only damage is to her hair which has become big! The Doctor identifies they are on the planet Dido through looking at a rock. Koquililon arrives and what a costume! The roof collapses and there are rocks everywhere. The TARDIS crew cannot even bother to make them look heavy anymore. You never see Bennett and Koquillion in the same place at the same time do you. Ian and the Doctor are walking on a ledge. Is it the same ledge from The Daleks and the Keys of Marinus? A bit of a rubbish cliffhanger as some spikes emerge that Ian can easily get round. The TARDIS crew are a long way from being pacifists. Barbara can’t wait to shoot Sandy and The Doctor picks up another couple of weapons to dispatch cocky leaky but is overpowered. Maybe that’s why he gave them up. Where do the two Dido men come from? Are they the last of the Didos? Where have they been? Vicki isn’t too bad in this one and The Doctor seems to be getting better and better. It is nice to have Ian and Barbara together again in this story. All in all, apart from the slightly disappointing denouement, it’s a great story. The Doctor here is a hero, a long way from his grumpy old man persona in the earlier stories, and Barbara is just amazing.
The Doctor is asleep when the TARDIS lands so this is the first time the TARDIS lands itself although Barbara does open the doors and is complimented patronisingly by the Doctor.
The first new companion and the first non Gallifreyan companion of the Doctor to join the TARDIS crew by choice. Though Vicki isn’t that new, she just Susan with lighter hair
Cocky Lickin’ Really! (Ian, Episode 2 7:10)
It was Bennett all the time! ‘And I would have succeeded to (in what I am not quite sure) if it hadn’t been for the pesky Doctor and his friends!’ Blonde Arian aliens.
The 500 Year Diary
2nd August 2493 am
Was asleep when the ship landed itself. Unusual for me. Think I might have left the brakes on. Perhaps Susan’s leaving has affected me more than I thought. Well at least Barbara’s stopped trembling!
Landed on this planet inside a cave. I went off to get a rock sample. Turns out we’re on the planet Dido! Lovely! I’ve been here before and its inhabitants are a peace loving race. They liked singing middle of the road pop songs too. There were only a hundred of them, so they worshipped life.
Well, I don’t know what’s happened. Ian’s been knocked out by the collapse of the cave wall caused by this apparently hideous creature and Barbara seems to have disappeared. Odd. We go for a look round, trying to escape. Ian says they spotted a crashed rocket ship, so maybe that will solve the mystery!
As we’re exploring we hear the terrifying sound of a monster down below. Then Ian gets caught in a booby trap. Metal prongs come out of the wall pushing towards the edge and certain doom! Who is this powerful enemy? And if the Dido people are so peace loving, why is it there?
2nd August 2493 pm
Happily, Ian managed to dodge the prongs and we work out how to retract them. Not a very convincing booby trap!
We arrive at the rocket ship just as Barbara has slaughtered this young girl’s pet which was called Sandy with a firework or something. That Barbara has a dark side! The young girl is called Vicki and she’s very angry. Turns out she’s alone with this Bennett and the mysterious Koquillion, who is terrorising them. I decide that we need to defeat Koquillion and bring this state of affairs to an end. Vicki gets quite irate – perhaps she needs a jolly good smacked bottom too…. Anyway, Ian & Barbara leave me alone to talk to her and I manage to convince her with my grandfatherly nature. Like old times.
I go in to see Bennett to discuss the plan, but he wants to be left alone. Odd again. Anyway, after getting no response, I push the door into the room and there is actual tape recorder and an intercom. In 2493! How quaint! Can overhear Ian & Barbara talking to Vicki… at least they’re saying nice things!
There’s a trap door in Bennett’s room. I follow a secret passage and it leads to an ancient temple. Then I’m face to face with Koquillion or Bennett. Well, it didn’t take a lot of working out really. He explained how he murdered a crew member before the ship crashed and to cover his tracks he gathered all the Dido people and the rest of the crew together and killed them. Desperate measures indeed! He only kept Vicki alive so she could vouch for him.
Well I was rather outraged. Next thing, he’s strangling me! The last thing I remember is two Dido people coming to my rescue! Where did they come from?
I come to in the ship. Ian & Barbara explain what has happened. That Bennett would have got away with it too, if it hadn’t been for us pesky time travellers! Vicki’s alone. I ask her if she wants to join us on our abundant adventures in space and time. Happily, she agrees.
And so we’re off again, but as we materialise, the ship topples over!
The Five Word Lords
Good Characterisation. Not much plot.