This is the final story with Ian and Barbara, and this is their final episode. It’s quite sad in that way.
But before we get to that, we need to take a look at the rest of the episode, including the rather bizarre Mechonoids.
These robots are…just odd. They look odd, they talk strangely, and they’re just weird. However, it’s reassuring to see that even on planets in the far reaches of space, there are still awkward moments in elevators.
The Mechonoids seem to talk in some bizarre programming language that’s not entirely dissimilar to BASIC. I don’t know what it’s actually based upon, but it is kind of neat.
And then…Steven arrives!
Ah, Steven Taylor, space pilot. Here he is, stranded in this strange alien place. Peter Purves really does an incredibly good job playing someone who’s been alone for way too long, and has given up hope of rescue, and now sees salvation. It’s very good. It’s also worth noting that he’s very handsome in this episode.
Turns out the Mechonoids were on this planet to basically terraform it. The expected settlers never arrived, and so now they’re just kind of doing their thing.
So the inevitable fight between the Daleks and the Mechonoids happens. It’s…a thing. Rather oddly shot, but I suppose it works well enough. And with that, our heroes make their escape!
Team TARDIS examines the Dalek time machine and as they do, Babs and Ian realize they can use it to go home. The Doctor is less than happy with this idea. He’s somewhat relieved to hear that Vicki intends to remain with him, and that seems to give him the strength he needs to do what must be done, though it makes his heart(s) break to do it.
The time machine works, and Ian and Barbara find themselves back in London, two years after they left. Ian detonates the time machine, and the two go off to live their lives, together, as we all know they must, and the sheer joy on the faces of the actors is indeed something wonderful to behold.
Goodbye Babs and Ian! We’ll miss you.
Next time: “The Watcher”