Doctor Who: The Rescue (Story #11)

6.0 Overall Score
Story: 6/10
Acting: 6/10
Visuals: 6/10

Introduces the Doctor's new companion Vicki

A little too short


A face only a mother can love

The TARDIS has landed on Dido where a ship has been stranded and awaits rescue.  Having just left Susan, the Doctor (William Hartnell), Ian (William Russell), and Barbara (Jacqueline Hill) encounter a creature named Koquillion who seems to be threatening the wreckage survivors Vicki (Maureen O’Brien) and Bennett (Ray Barrett).  The Doctor’s investigation into the mysterious Koquillion reveals the real danger and the Doctor uncovers that an escape from Dido must happen quickly.

Doctor Who:  The Rescue was a two part serial airing from January 2, 1965 to January 9, 1965 in the second season of the long running BBC series.  The episode titles for the serial were “The Powerful Enemy” and “Desperate Measures” and the serial followed Doctor Who:  The Dalek Invasion of Earth.  Doctor Who:  The Rescue has been collected as part of The William Hartnell Years as Story #11 (along with the four part Doctor Who:  The Romans (Story #12)).


Worst trap ever…Ian beats it with a coat.

With the leaving of Carole Ann Ford, Doctor Who had its first opening.  Ford left due to her character’s lack of development and I felt her departure was rather abrupt and unrealistic (he pretty much abandoned her with a guy she just met in a dystopian Earth future).  It also made traveling with Barbara and Ian a little odd since they only hooked up with the Doctor due to their relationship with Susan Foreman.  Here, Maureen O’Brien becomes the Doctor’s first new companion as Vicki…who we don’t get much of a feel for this serial.  At least Vicki’s reason for traveling with the Doctor is a bit more legitimate than many of the Doctor’s other companions since she would be abandoned on Dido without him.


So want to travel time & space with a crazy man who could dump you at any time for “your best interest”

The episode has the classic “cheap” feel of old Doctor Who.  I have to say the “monsters” in this serial are pretty goofy.  You have Koquillion who is actually revealed to be Bennett so it gets a pass since it is a disguise, and you have the other monster which is just a person dragging themselves on the ground…I also personally like the worst booby trap of all time which includes slow, climbable spikes coming from a wall.

I have to say that old Doctor Who episodes often run too long.  I really enjoy these short run stories, but oddly find that they often are too short and underdeveloped.  Doctor Who:  The Rescue falls into this category because it could have been one episode longer to better flesh out Vicki and Bennett and build more mystery.  Doctor Who:  The Rescue was followed by Doctor Who:  The Romans.

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Preceded By:

Doctor Who:  The Dalek Invasion of Earth (Story #10)

Followed By:

Doctor Who:  The Romans (Story #12)

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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