Doctor Who: The Edge of Destruction (Story #3)

7.5 Overall Score
Story: 7/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Interesting short series

Sometimes a bit confusing


Lets take a nap in the TARDIS!

The TARDIS stops in space and the Doctor (William Hartnell), Susan (Carole Ann Ford), Barbara (Jacqueline Hill), and Ian (William Russell) all suffer a strange blackout.  When they come to strange things begin to happen.  Has something gotten into the TARDIS or is something trying to get out?

Doctor Who:  The Edge of Destruction falls in the first season of the long-running British TV series Doctor Who.  It aired in two parts on February 8, 1964 and February 15, 1964 and is sometimes also called Doctor Who:  Inside the Spaceship.  The episodes have individual names with the first episode actually called “Edge of Destruction” and the second episode called “The Brink of Disaster”.  It follows Doctor Who:  The Daleks and has been collected in The William Hartnell Years as Story #3 (which has been gathered with the first two episodes in Doctor Who:  The Beginning).


I will kill you!

Doctor Who is still really finding its feet in this serial.  The characters aren’t very fleshed out and either is the origins of the characters.  Here, we learn a bit more about the TARDIS.  The story reveals that the TARDIS has sentient intelligence and has the ability to try to protect itself and its crew.

The TARDIS’s reaction to the threat is pretty creepy.  The crew seems to become possessed at various points and the insanity seems to spread (including Susan’s scary knife attack and the Doctor’s threats to kill Ian and Barbara as spies).  The episode does serve to rectify the problems between the Doctor and Ian and Barbara are settled for a less bumpy ride.  Up until this point, the Doctor had been pretty cold and untrusting of them (Susan already knew them through school).  I don’t like the Doctor’s portrayal in the early episodes so I hope that after this episode he starts to calm down and begins to have that sense of exploration that makes the Doctor fun.


Someone here is a traitor!

Doctor Who:  The Edge of Destruction is a fun, short serial.  The entire story takes place in the TARDIS minus the brief ending which sets up the next episode.  I often feel that Doctor Who episodes have too many parts and really drag out the story in an almost soap opera effect, but here the episode seem to flow much better and seem better paced than some of the later stories.  Doctor Who fans should definitely check out Doctor Who:  The Beginning collection to see how it all began.  Doctor Who:  The Edge of Destruction leads directly into Doctor Who:  Marco Polo (which is also the first “missing” episode of Doctor Who).

Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Daleks (Story #2)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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