The Space Museum

Doctor WhoThe Doctor, Vicki, Ian and Barbara experience a number of completely inexplicable phenomena. Their clothes are suddenly different, and broken glasses instantly leap back into one piece. The TARDIS has arrived on a bleak planet whose only sign of civilization is a museum of space vehicles and hardware – and, as they discover to their horror, travelers. At first, no one else in the museum can see, hear or touch the Doctor or his friends, and they soon find out why – they’re already exhibits in the museum, a fate they must now try to avoid.

written by Glyn Jones
directed by Mervyn Pinfield
music not credited

Guest Star: Peter Sanders (Sita), Peter Craze (Dako), Richard Shaw (Lobos), Jeremy Bulloch (Tor), Salvin Stewart (Messenger), Peter Diamond (Technician), Ivor Salter (Commander), Billy Cornelius (Guard), Murphy Grumbar (Dalek), Peter Hawkins (Dalek voice)

Broadcast from April 24 through May 15, 1965

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Though there are a number of interesting moments – including the amusing sight of the Doctor popping out of a Dalek casing and Ian demonstrating his hand-to-hand combat expertise – these moments are peppered throughout a story that really doesn’t make a lot of sense. Other shows, including future Doctor Who stories, made much better use of the potential paradox of time travelers interfering in events in which they’ve already participated – Back To The Future Part II springs immediately to mind as one of my favorite examples – but this one just doesn’t come together for me. Why should the Doctor and friends become ghost-like because they’ve crossed their own time lines? On that pseudo-scientific basis, none of the many later classic “multiple Doctor” stories would have happened.

In a rare instance of irreconcilable continuity, the Doctor says that he has always found comprehending the fourth dimension extremely difficult – but remember that, at this time, no one had even imagined his Time Lord origins, a plot point that wouldn’t be written for four more years. Also, look for a very weird glimpse of an icon from another cult British TV show (which didn’t exist yet at the time The Space Museum was shown) – when the Doctor is interrogated about the means of transport he used to arrive at the museum, he projects an image of a pennyfarthing bicycle onto the screen. Is he a number, or a free Time Lord?

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