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Button Maintenance or Madness - Yew Erdri Ming

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Previous Entry Button Maintenance or Madness Apr. 16th, 2016 @ 02:22 pm Next Entry


The Doctor (William Hartnell) seems to be channelling Nosferatu here over the TARDIS console. This is from The Edge of Destruction, the third Doctor Who story, from 1964, which I watched again this week. Set entirely on the TARDIS and only featuring the Doctor and his companions Susan (Carole Ann Ford), Barbara (Jacqueline Hill), and Ian (William Russell), it feels, as the Wikipedia entry notes, very like low budget filler. But it manages to be pretty intriguing for that.

If at some point in the upcoming season the Doctor and whoever his new companion turns out to be start trying to kill each other we could put it down to the fact that the mystery introduced in the first episode of this two part serial is never really solved. The tone shifts pretty dramatically from complete psychological confusion and terror in the first episode to the rapid resolution in the second that boils down to a broken spring. Oh, but I do love that, and the Doctor illustrating the problem to Susan by explaining how a pocket torch works.



Yes, Susan, that's why you tried to stab Barbara. There was a broken spring. What a perfectly reasonable solution the TARDIS telepathic circuits found. It's like Roald Dahl wrote the ending to a Samuel Beckett play. The fact that the Doctor spends the entire story wearing a bandage on his head completes the impression that we're seeing aimless madness.

I like how sinister the Doctor seems in the earliest episodes sometimes. It really helps give the impression that he matures later and that we're seeing him in something like his youth here.


S1xE12 - The Edge Of Destruction by WHOat50


S1xE13 - The Brink Of Disaster by WHOat50
Current Location: Inside the spaceship
Current Mood: lazylazy
Current Music: "Dead Man Walking" - David Bowie
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