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Doctor Who story number 11
With the departure of Susan at the end of the previous story the writers needed to introduce another young female character. Unlike Susan the new character was to be human, to aid audience identification.
The story itself is a simple, minimal cast affair, but it works quite well. I have only read the novelisation, but as a vehicle to introduce a new companion for the Doctor it does so better than other stories, rather than having one of the supporting characters join the crew of the TARDIS after a conventional monster story the new companion joins them because of the events in the story.
This story has 2 episodes with individual titles:
- The Powerful Enemy
- Desperate Measures
The TARDIS materialises on the planet Dido, in the year 2943. there is a crashed spacecraft from Earth, with only two inhabitants, A paralyzed man, Bennet, and Vicki, a teenage girl. Bennet tells The Doctor that the Didonians massacred the crew of the ship, which arouses his suspicions. Vicki tells them of Koquillion, a native who is protecting them from the wrath of the rest. The Doctor says the last time he visited there were only 100 inhabitants of the planet, and they were all peaceful.
As the travellers explore the planet they find an ancient hall of justice, where the ceremonial costumes are kept, along with booby traps. Ian finds a missing costume, and they see the label: Koquillion.
The Doctor confronts Bennet, who he guessed was responsible for the deaths of the ships crew. He murdered someone on the ship and caused it to crash - After the ship crashed he slaughtered the crew of the ship and the Didonians when they met in a formal meeting, and has set up a beacon to signal for help. He plans to have Vicki, convinced he is a nice guy, testify on his behalf that he could not have done the first murder. As the Doctor confronts Bennet he realises he is alone with a mass murdering lunatic. Suddenly two surviving Didonians appear and Bennet is overcome with fear, and backs over a cliff. As the travellers prepare to leave the Doctor asks Vicki to come with them, and she accepts.
Ray Barett - Bennet/Koquillion
Tom Sheridan - Captain/Sand Monster
John Stuart, Colin Hughes - Didonians
- Vicki got off lightly with her name. She was originally going to be Millie, then Valerie, then Tanni(!) and then Lukki (pronounced 'Lucky'). She finally was named Vicki, though never got a last name. Under the circumstances I think she should be grateful they stopped there.
- Episode 2, Desperate Measures, was the first time Doctor Who episode to break into the top ten programmes. It was watched by 13 million viewers on January 19th, 1965.
You're sorry for me aren't you? I'm perfectly all right, you know. I don't care if nobody ever comes. I'm fine. I'm perfectly all right! - Vicki