Trash Culture’s Doctor Who Reviews – The Edge of Destruction (1964)

by Chad Denton

Due to the explosion – although on reflection I think it was supposed to be a flash or something – everyone is lying around the console unconscious. Barbara and Susan are the first to wake up and, for a moment, they can’t recognize each other. Also Susan feels a sharp pain in her neck and head. Once Ian wakes up as well, Barbara finds he also doesn’t recognize where he is, thinking that he and Barbara are back at the school they teach in. Wounded and still unconscious, the Doctor only mumbles, “I can’t take you back, Susan!” As Susan goes to try to find something to treat the Doctor’s head wound, which was caused by the fall, she discovers that the doors and other equipment on the TARDIS aren’t working properly. Susan panics and thinks some alien force has invaded the TARDIS. When she tries to operate the controls, she faints. Once she recovers, she reacts with suspicion and anger when Ian comes to check on her, threatening him with a pair of scissors until she collapses again.

Now fully recovered, the Doctor sets about deducing what happened, claiming that it would be impossible for the TARDIS to crash. Susan appears, again armed with scissors, and accuses Ian and Barbara of lying to her about something being on the ship, but Barbara calms and disarms her. Trying to rationalize with Susan, Barbara asks where an intruder would have to hide. Susan answers, “In one of us!” As soon as Susan finds out the Doctor is about to turn on the TARDIS’ scanner, she tries to stop him before he also collapses from trying to use the console, but the Doctor discovers that he can operate the device without any ill effects. However, the scanner only shows prerecorded images of England and a planet the Doctor and Susan visited before meeting Barbara and Ian. Suddenly the Doctor angrily accuses Barbara of plotting with Ian to sabotage the TARDIS in order to force him to return them to England in 1963. The resulting argument is interrupted when Barbara sees that the hands on the TARDIS’ timepiece are missing. Now calm again, the Doctor serves drinks to everyone, pointing out that they’re all “overwrought.”

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