11) THE RESCUE

2 - 9 January 1965

Average Viewing Figure: 12.5M

Plot

The Doctor and companions help two stranded crew members of a crashed rocket from the mysterious, Koquillion 

Cast

William Hartnell (The Doctor), William Russell (Ian Chesterton), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara Wright), Maureen O'Brien (Vicki)

Ray Barrett (Bennett), Tom Sheridan (Space Captain)

Uncredited Cast

Tom Sheridan (Sand Monster Sandy), John Stuart, Colin Hughes (Robed Figures)

Crew

When The Tardis crew is shrunk down in size they must avert the plans of Forester and his insecticide 

David Whitaker (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Tristram Cary (Incidental Music), Daphne Dare (Costume Supervisor)

Sonia Markham (Make-Up Supervisor), Raymond P Cusick (Designer), Mervyn Pinfield (Associate Producer), Verity Lambert (Producer)

Christopher Barry (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Delia Derbyshire (Theme Arrangement), Dennis Spooner (Script Editor), Valerie Wilkins (Assistant Floor Manager), Dick Bush (Film Cameraman)

Jim Latham (Film Editor), David Maloney (Production Assistant), Brian Hodgson (Special Sound), Howard King (Studio Lighting)

Richard Chubb (Studio Sound)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 2

  • Riverside Studio 1

Deaths

  • Bennett [falls to this death from a ledge]

  • Sandy [shot and killed by Barbara]

Production Days

  •  4 days between Monday 16 November - Friday 11 December 1964

Production Errors

  1. During, “Desperate Measures”, a stagehand can be seen behind Sandy the Sand Monster.

  2. The Doctor mentions that he never obtained a medical degree when questioned about his qualifications. However during The Moonbase, The Second Doctor tells Polly he achieved a degree whilst studying under Joseph Lister in 1888. The Doctor goes onto provide contradictory information regarding his medical qualifications throughout his incarnations.

  3. When exiting The Tardis, the cave wall is visible since The Tardis has no back to it.

  4. Throughout the serial, one of the Tardis windows falls inwards. Evidently it had not been fixed from the previous serial where the prop suffered the same issues.

  5. The Doctor mentions that the Didoans are a peaceful race that does not understand violence. If that is correct, then why is there a place called the Hall of Justice, and why is there a trap wall with lethal spikes attached? Was the Hall of Justice erected in a small period of time, after Bennett killed a vast majority of the population? This seems unlikely since only two seemingly survived.

  6. It’s plainly obvious that Bennett is not in the room when Koquillion opens his room door.

  7. When Barbara fires a shot at Sandy, the firework, which is the shot, falls off the back of the gun.

  8. How did Bennett find out what the ‘Koquillion’ mask was used for? He couldn’t have known about Didoan customs since the UK-201 was heading for a different planet. Did he ask a Didoan before blowing everyone up to cover up his crime? And what are the odds, that the customs fits him almost perfectly?

  9. When Koquillion goes into Bennett’s room to speak to him, time passes, and Bennett emerges saying that Koquillion has left. Shouldn’t it have seemed odd to Vicki that Koquillion has vanished into thin air? There is no back door in Bennett’s room, and the control room and Bennett’s room are connected by a corridor, with no door on either side. How did Koquillion get out without Vicki seeming him?

Working Titles

  • Doctor Who and Tanni 

Verdict

The Rescue marks the first time where Doctor Who tries and fails to do a whodunnit narrative, where the big reveal at the end is neither surprising nor wholly satisfying. For such a short narrative, very little actually happens, where the plot hangs on a thread, hoping and failing to convince the audience that Koquillion is a genuine alien, and not ‘some bloke’ playing dress up. 
Vicki’s introduction is squeezed in between the bloke under the mask and the mysterious crashed spaceship narratives, but she shows promise to be a worthy successor to Susan. The Doctor has always been made out to be a heroic and highly intelligent being, using his wits and intelligence to save the day. Here, The Doctor doesn’t actually solve the mystery behind Koquillion and the crashed spaceship, but rather he just stumbles upon clue after clue as if he’s just guessing what he should do next. On a more positive note, The Doctor is shown to be a person of many emotions, hurting at the loss of Susan, but then adopting Vicki who has no family left to return to later on, the pair of them going hand-in-hand. The direction is generally solid, the model shots and sets, the Sand Monster, and Koquillion ‘himself’ is a solid character and a would-be-monster for the children to be frightened of, but sadly the budget just wouldn’t stretch far enough to allow Koquillion to be used in a more fitting manner. The Rescue just about works and could have worked, but on the whole feels more like a filler adventure, than proper drama. Still worthy of a watch. ***