Classic Doctor Who: “The Rescue”

The Doctor, Ian, and Barbara land on the planet Dido and find a crashed spaceship containing two survivors, Vikki and Bennett; Both of whom live in fear of an alien called Koquillion who has killed the other members of the crew. Now, it’s up to the Doctor to rescue the survivors and discover the secret that Koquillion is hiding.

Short and sweet at only two installments, “The Rescue” is an unambitious episode, but it tells an interesting story and has some of the most atmospheric scenes I’ve seen in the young series so far. Unfortunately, it’s all screwed up by a rushed ending that makes absolutely no sense.

William Hartnel’s Doctor has became a heck of a character by this point. He’s gone from Grumpy and mean to jovial, quick-witted, and silly… while at the same time, manipulative, clever and intelligent. While I enjoy the funny Doctor, I got the most joy from watching the Doctor at the end of the serial when he had already figured everything out and was waiting to gloat to Koquillion’s true face.

The sudden appearance of the Dido (who we had been told were extinct) was an out of nowhere resolution and was cheap as you could get, almost ruining the entire impact of the story and completely screwing up the climax. The villain’s death was equally bad as he basically backs up in fear off of a cliff.

In the end, “The Rescue” is a wonderful character-driven episode, refreshing in its briefness, but marred immeasurably by the lazy ending.

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