A year or so into their full-time residence on Earth, the Doctor and Susan try to live relatively normal lives incognito. The Doctor has quietly been stealing electronic components to fix the TARDIS, while Susan attends nearby Coal Hill School. While spending time with her friends (who still regard her interests in science and history as unusual), Susan experiences a severe headache and is then attacked by her fellow students, who are acting strangely (and in some cases, violently). Moments after the Doctor arrives to take her home, a radio disc jockey makes a cryptic dedication to “the Doctor and Sue”, along with a message that makes it clear that someone knows they are time travelers. A newspaper advertisement for electronic parts draws the Doctor’s attention, and he’s not entirely surprised when it turns out to be a trap laid for him. Susan experiences more displays of violence by her fellow Coal Hill students, including some she regards as her friends. In the junkyard at Totter’s Lane, someone scrawls the message “ALIENS OUT” – but how far are they willing to go to make that happen?
Cast: Carole Ann Ford (Susan), Tam Williams (Cedric)
Notes: Susan mentions the (fictional) band John Smith and the Common Men (An Unearthly Child, Fanfare For The Common Men). She began school in the autumn term in 1962, the same time as new schoolmaster Colonel Rook (retired) first appeared. She is more interested in news of the space race than in news of the cold war. The dedication read by the disc jockey is a message from the eleventh Doctor (The Time Machine). The Telstar satellite was launched in 1962, but ceased to function in February 1963. This is significant in dating the story: the Beatles are mentioned as being chart-toppers, and their first UK #1 single, “Please Please Me”, didn’t reach #1 until February 22nd, 1963 – one day after Telstar stopped communicating with Earth. Perhaps the Doctor’s commandeering of the satellite is what caused it to shut down, thus placing this story on the 22nd of February 1963.
Timeline: after Quinnis and before An Unearthly Child
LogBook entry and TheatEar review by Earl Green […]