So the message I get from the first minute of this episode? Apparently someone named “Doctor Who” is required. I believe I can deliver that.
Ignoring the fact that the BBC/producers of this series didn’t then, and sometimes still don’t, know what to call the main character, we see that this scene also provides Basil Exposition and friends a chance to lay out WOTAN’s sinister plot. It’s beyond me how a computer with less power than a cell phone from, say, 2009, is able to plot anything, but there you are.
Ben, Polly, and the Doctor are hanging around the nightclub waiting for Dodo to arrive. She does this in due course, and throws out a line about meeting up with some old friends. The Doctor challenges this, but folds quickly.
Meantime, some not-at-all sinister men in overcoats are watching Dodo and the Doctor, but before they can intervene to kidnap him, a cab pulls up. It discharges an old homeless man, and then our team ride off, as the homeless man goes looking for a place to crash. The camera follows him, and we find him in a warehouse where a bunch of boxes with WOTAN’s logo are waiting. He goes inside to poke around. This ends poorly for him.
The Doctor calls the bad guys to have a conversation, not knowing they’re the bad guys. The try to zap him with their hypnosis, and Hartnell does a very good job of mugging for the camera. Dodo thinks he’s already under their control, and starts spilling the plot to him.
The Doctor recovers and starts to deprogram Dodo, with a close-up on her face as he does. So basically the last time we see Dodo, she’s staring straight into the camera and then passes out. And with that, Dodo’s time as a companion is done. Not possibly the best way to get rid of a character.
Ben shows up to land a hand and is told that Dodo has gone to the country to recover. There’s a part of me that wonders if this might be akin to sending a dog to live on a farm upstate.
Anyhow, Ben goes to investigate what’s happening, and is cornered by a war machine! To be continued!
Next time: Part three!