Production Code: L
Season 2, Story Number 11
Each episode is identified with date of transmission, duration, ratings in millions, and (for 1963-1974 only) archive status.
The Powerful Enemy
02 January 1965 | 26'15" | 12.0 | 16mm t/r
09 January 1965 | 24'36" | 13.0 | 16mm t/r
Archive Status: Both episodes exist on 16mm telecine recordings. Negative film prints of both episodes were recovered from BBC Enterprises circa 1978. Telesnaps (off-air camera photographs) from this story exist in the hands of private collectors.
(Dr. Who), William Russell
(Ian Chesterton), Jacqueline Hill
(Barbara Wright), Maureen O'Brien
(Vicki), Ray Barrett
(Bennett / Koquillion), Tom Sheridan
Arriving on the planet Dido in the 25th-century, the time travellers come upon a crashed spaceship from Earth. Its two occupants - a paralysed man, Bennett (Ray Barrett), and a young girl, Vicki (Maureen O'Brien) - are living in fear of the imposing figure of Koquillion, a native of the planet, whose people have apparently killed the other members of the human expedition. However, it does not take the Doctor long to deduce that Koquillion is in fact Bennett in disguise; it was actually he who killed the others in order to conceal an earlier murder he had committed on the ship. Confronted by two of the humanoid Didonians (John Stuart, Colin Hughes) - whom he thought he had completely wiped out - Bennett falls from a high rock ledge to his death.
On discovering that Vicki's father was amongst the murdered crewmen, and that consequently she is now an orphan, the Doctor offers her a place aboard the TARDIS, which she gratefully accepts.
Synopsis from Doctor Who: The First Doctor Handbook by David J. Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker, reprinted with permission; further reproduction is not permitted.
(Assistant Floor Manager), Mervyn Pinfield
(Associate Producer), Daphne Dare
(Costumes), Raymond Cusick
(Designer), Dick Bush
(Film Cameraman), Jim Latham
(Film Editor), Tristram Cary
(Incidental Music), Sonia Markham
(Make-Up), Verity Lambert
(Producer), David Maloney
(Production Assistant), Dennis Spooner
(Script Editor), Brian Hodgson
(Special Sounds), Howard King
(Studio Lighting), Richard Chubb
(Studio Sound), Delia Derbyshire
(Theme Arrangement), Ron Grainer
Originally entitled "Doctor Who and Tanni,"
after the first choice for a new companion's name, this story introduced the series' first new cast member, Maureen O'Brien, as the teenage castaway Vicki. The name "Sydney Wilson" was credited on part one for Koquillion; it is a combination of Donald Wilson and Sydney Newman to hide the identity of Koquillion (Both Newman and Wilson, who was Head of Serials, helped create the series.) "Desperate Measures" was the first Doctor Who episode to break into the top ten listings for most watched programmes of the week.
For more in-depth information about the contents of this story, a complete episode-by-episode detailed breakdown can be found at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
Released as "The Rescue/The Romans" box set in the UK [September 1994] and Australia/New Zealand [November 1994] (BBC catalog #5378), US/Canada [March 1996] (WHV catalog #E1313); cover art by Andrew Skilleter; episodic format. The video release has the "Next Episode" caption deleted from "Desperate Measures".
Novelised as "Doctor Who - The Rescue" by Ian Marter (Target #124), first released in 1987, with cover art by Tony Clark. The novelisation was actually completed by Nigel Robinson because Marter died during the writing of the manuscript.
For more details on the various novelizations of this story, with additional background material, artwork and details of both UK and foreign releases, visit On Target
Descriptions of each story screen capture above right, top to bottom:
- The crashed spaceship on Dido
- an horrific creature outside the ship
- Vicki (Maureen OBrien) greets Bennett (Ray Barrett)
- the nasty Koquillion terrorizes Vicki