Reviewed By: traves8853
Review Date: 1/16/16 2:21 pm
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At the beginning of, 'The Edge of Destruction' an unconscious Doctor lies on the floor muttering, "I can't take you back Susan, I can't..." Over the years, there has been fan speculation whether Susan was even his granddaughter or whether he had kidnapped her! - Much like he had plucked Ian and Barbara from the normality of their day existence (An Unearthly Child) and then spent two years trying to get them back, even though he seemed unable to navigate his own ship. He showed no hesitation at abducting the two teachers if it prevented his granddaughter leaving.
For a filler story on a budget of ten pounds with no new actors, no new sets or costumes this acquits itself very well indeed. It's a classic character-driven piece. I love stories with a certain amount of isolation and focus on dialogue. Something like Beckett's 'Waiting for Godot' or Mamet's 'American Buffalo'; in the right mood there is nothing better. Imagine the Tardis is a vast sprawling shadowy mansion stuck in acres of wilderness being looked after by an elderly and sinister caretaker and his granddaughter who has accepted a couple of guests. The Mansion is haunted and slowly driving its inhabitants mad. Sound familiar? Classic Doctor Who has always merged Sci-Fi and Horror genres better than any other show I can think of whilst often avoiding the pitfalls of both and compounding its strengths. There must be enough room on the disc to include and alternate version with words fast return switch CGI out and a bit of steam added to the melting clock, that wouldn't go a miss for me. We all owe this fantastic journey of events to a dodgy spring. I really like the sense of scale there, just a silly little spring in one of the most powerful machines in the universe causing so much trouble.
The change of Director for the second episode does make the transition from episodes clunky in terms of style and pace but perhaps that wasn't as noticeable when they were broadcast a week apart, and I don't think they pushed the menace in this story enough. Also, Starting off with disorientated character is a bit more confusing than mysterious and I feel it is something that should have crept in gradually but it is quite a short story. Still, though, this is packed full of good ideas. Today, 'Doctor Who' is so notable in our collective memories that Sydney Newman's wonderfully abstract concept of a box being larger on the inside is taken for granted; add in the idea that it is alive and perhaps partially sentient which is a wonderfully abstract concept and totally original concept.