There’s a very good story hidden carefully in this six-part tale. It’s a story about a race of dying aliens who come to Earth, steal people’s identities, and try to use that to live. It’s something revisited in the new series with the Zygons, and it’s not a terrible idea. But there are two things that hold this story back from greatness. One of those things is built-in, and the other, an accident. You can probably guess what they are.
As was so often the case, this was a great four-part story stretched to six. It suffers less from this problem than some other stories from the early years, but it is still an issue.
The other major problem is that it’s a reconstruction, and we all know by now how fond of those I’m not.
Those issues aside, there is indeed a decent tale here, and plenty to do for the Doctor and Jamie both. Polly and Ben are, alas, shuffled aside in what turned out to be their last on-screen appearance. They do at least get a farewell in the final episode, but otherwise their departure is as abrupt and clumsy as that of Dodo.
I did like that they did some nice location shooting at Gatwick, and the sets looked quite neat. The acting was spot-on and there were several wonderful moments of dialogue. Overall this was a decent story, and one that I’d like to see recovered.
|Writer||David Ellis and Malcolm Hulke|
|Script editor||Gerry Davis|
Peter Bryant (associate producer, episodes 1-3)
|Incidental music composer||Stock music|
|Length||6 episodes, 25 minutes each|
|Episode(s) missing||4 episodes (2, 4-6) (material missing from episode 3 due to damaged print)|
|Date started||8 April 1967|
|Date ended||13 May 1967|