Production Code: C
The Edge of Destruction - 08/02/1964 17:15
The Brink of Disaster - 15/02/1964 17:15
As they slowly recover from the shock of being thrown to the TARDIS floor, the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara all seem to be acting strangely. A number of unexplained events occur and suspicions are raised that some alien force may have entered the ship. The Doctor at one point even accuses Ian and Barbara of sabotage.
It gradually dawns on the travellers that what they have been experiencing is an attempt by the TARDIS itself to warn them of something. The Doctor ultimately realises that the 'fast return' switch he used when leaving Skaro has stuck, and the ship has been plunging back to the beginning of time and its own destruction.
Once the problem - a faulty spring - is corrected, the TARDIS returns to normal and the Doctor is forced to make some apologies.
Having drugged his companions' drinks with a sleeping draught, the Doctor returns to the TARDIS control room. There he inspects the controls and is about to try operating them when he is interrupted by someone apparently intent on strangling him.
The TARDIS arrives in a new location where the weather is very cold. Leaving the ship to explore, Susan and Barbara find what appears to be a giant's footprint in the snow.
Haunted house stories.
The Time Machine.
The claustrophobic atmosphere is reminiscent of The Outer Limits.
Barbara Wright : [To the Doctor] "Accuse us! You ought to go down on your knees and thank us! Gratitude's the last thing you'll ever have... or any sort of common sense either!"
Barbara Wright : "We had time taken away from us and now it's being given back to us... because it's running out!"
The Doctor : "As we learn about each other so we learn about ourselves."
The TARDIS's power source is held beneath the central column. The TARDIS has an inbuilt memory of previous locations, and the console features a fast return switch (the malfunctioning of which causes the crisis). [The alarm sound the fault locator makes is an early version of the Cloister Bell.] Susan and Barbara share a very spartan sleeping area.
Skaro is seen on the TARDIS scanner.
Susan and the Doctor have a telepathic link, both to each other, and to the TARDIS: its stranger attempts to warn them seem to be visionary in nature. It takes the Doctor a long time to work out what's going on, and he seems very afraid, suggesting some degree of unfamiliarity with the TARDIS.
Ian would surely have mentioned had he heard more than one heartbeat from the Doctor (cf The Sensorites).
Inside the TARDIS.
The Doctor and Susan have visited the planet Quinnis in the 'fourth universe' ('where we nearly lost the TARDIS four or five journeys ago,' notes Susan). [Since the Doctor seems not to learn about parallel universes until Inferno, Susan must mean 'galaxy' (cf Galaxy 4).] The coat the Doctor loans Ian is said to have been given to him by Gilbert and Sullivan.
The Doctor shows astonishment at the suggestion that the TARDIS might actually be alive.
This story had the working title Beyond the Sun. (This was a working title for the previous story, The Mutants.)
The story was written as a late addition to the schedule because the sets for Marco Polo were not ready in time. (It was a late addition, but the real reason was that Donald Baverstock, the Chief of Programmes for BBC1, had yet to give his approval for any more than thirteen episodes to be made. Thus, with 100,000 BC at four episodes and The Mutants at seven, an additional two part story was required in case the series should then be cancelled.)
'Fast Return Switch' is written in felt tip pen on the console.
William has a bit of a nightmare, completely throwing the others during one scene by saying the same line ("It's not very likely") twice, and fumbling "You knocked both Susan and I unconscious". He also omits the scripted explanation for the melted clocks
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - William Hartnell
Barbara Wright - Jacqueline Hill
Ian Chesterton - William Russell
Susan Foreman - Carole Ann Ford
Director - Richard Martin
Director - Frank Cox
Assistant Floor Manager - Jeremy Hare
Associate Producer - Mervyn Pinfield
Costumes - Daphne Dare
Designer - Raymond P Cusick
Incidental Music - stock
Make-Up - Ann Ferriggi
Producer - Verity Lambert
Production Assistant - Tony Lightley
Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
Story Editor - David Whitaker
Studio Lighting - Dennis Channon
Studio Sound - Jack Brummitt
Title Music - Ron Grainer and the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, arranged by Delia Derbyshire
Writer - David Whitaker