Thursday, August 7, 2014

ClassicWho Review: The Edge of Destruction

A/N: So this should have come before The Aztecs. Clearly the hypnotic powers of the Great and Powerful Barbara blinded me to my buffer order.

     If The Daleks showed a softer side of the Doctor, The Edge of Destruction forced him to undergo some character development.

     When the Doctor tries to fix the TARDIS so he can properly navigate it, an explosion happens, knocking out the crew. When they awake, Susan and Ian are suffering amnesia, and the Doctor starts accusing Barbara and Ian of sabotaging the ship.

     Meanwhile, the TARDIS starts acting very odd, blinking lights, turning the monitors on and off, and a broken clock that causes everyone to scream in horror for some reason. The Doctor decides to drug Ian and Barbara, Susan starts stabbing things with scissors and screaming, and it’s clear something is very, very wrong.

     This serial felt very claustrophobic, for good reason. It takes place entirely on the TARDIS, and with all manner of paranoia going on. It’s also a good excuse to show off just how awesome Barbara is (TV Tropes suggest that the first several seasons could have been called the “Why Barbara Is Awesome” show and no one would have minded). She is the only one that really keeps a clear mind, noticing the actual warnings behind the strange things that TARDIS is doing. She also makes the Doctor do the one thing he hates doing-apologizing.

     This was an interesting serial after the last two, which explored the ancient past and a different planet, respectively. Instead, we see a bit of the TARDIS workings, and how our protagonists react under pressure.

You don't want to know their reaction to Salvador's art...

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