Episode 013 – “The Brink of Disaster”, and My Thoughts on Story 003

Turns out the rather masculine hands glimpsed last episode belonged to the only other male on the TARDIS. Who would have guessed?

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This is such a short serial that I’ll review this episode and this story as a whole all in this one article. Fun times!

We learn a fair amount about the way the TARDIS functions in this episode, including the idea that it thinks, after a fashion. We also start to get some idea of just how powerful the machine is. Though the fact that the fast return switch’s label is clearly written by hand amuses me.

We also get some more wonderful character moments, and a really interesting monologue by the Doctor. Hartnell really does quite a good job throughout this episode.

As for the story itself, it’s a good one. Solid and suspenseful, with some wonderful scenes of distrust and paranoia morphing into trust and teamwork. It’s great to see everyone really coming together and starting to gel.

In many ways, this is the end of the beginning. We’ve had three stories that work well as their own little set of adventures, and by the time we’re done, everyone is in a different place mentally than they were at the start.

The odds series often takes some hits, including some from me, about a lack of development of the characters, but these stories are a real exception to that rule, and they’re all the better for it.

Cast
Production
Writer David Whitaker
Director Richard Martin (episode 1)
Frank Cox (episode 2)
Script editor David Whitaker
Producer Verity Lambert
Mervyn Pinfield (associate producer)
Executive producer(s) None
Incidental music composer stock music
Production code C
Series Season 1
Length 2 episodes, 25 minutes each
Date started 8 February 1964
Date ended 15 February 1964

Next story: “Marco Polo”

Next episode: “The Roof of the World”

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