And here we are. This is the final, the very last, existing First Doctor episode. It’s such a shame that more stories aren’t intact, and an even greater shame that some don’t exist at all.
Anyhow, it’s been a long voyage, but we’re just about done, so let’s get to it!
Pretty much immediately, the Doctor passes out, and will be unconscious for the rest of our episode. You know, I’m kind of amazed that Hartnell was walking around alive at all by this point. To paraphrase Pratchett, he wasn’t so much at Death’s door as he was inside the hallway, admiring the carpet and commenting on the drapes. I suppose it kind of works that the Doctor is down, given what goes down in the next episode, but it still detracts a bit.
Meantime, the commander of the South Pole base has decided that it’s time to trot out a doomsday weapon, which seems a bit of an overreaction, but there you are. I do also have to mention that not only was there a black guy on the spacecraft that blew up in the last episode, but there’s also one in the headquarters of the UN (or whatever it is). It’s nice to have a bit of color in the series.
I’m…very puzzled about this z-bomb. Apparently if they use it to attack Mondas, it could dump tons of radiation onto the Earth (?), and cause the planet to go supernova (?!). To call this confusing is a bit of an understatement. I’m also a little confused as to why there’s such a weapon at a base at the South Pole.
Polly and Ben are understandably concerned and try to stop all this. Ben gets put into custody and Polly gets assigned to make coffee. Ben, naturally, escapes fairly quickly and embarks on a plan to sabotage the scheme to bomb Mondas.
Up the surface, the Cybermen are massing in an attack that must’ve used up a huge percentage of the season’s costume budget. The humans at the base have sensibly decided to defend it using captured Cyberman weapons. This repels the attack rather quickly.
Ben gets caught tampering and is rather aggressively flung some distance! He’s ok, though, and the plan to attack Mondas continues unabated.
One can somewhat empathize with the base commander. He’s not some evil, bloodthirsty bad guy; he just wants to save his son’s life. Sadly, the plan he has in mind to do so will result in lots of badness. So that sucks.
And the last live-action episode of the First Doctor’s run ends with a missile launch!
Next time: Part four!