The Rescue


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The Rescue

Serial Code


First Transmitted

2 January 1965

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

William Hartnell (Dr Who), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara), William Russell (Ian), Maureen O Brien (Vicki)

Guest Cast

Ray Barrett (Bennett), Tom Sheridan (Space Captain), Sydney Wilson [1], Ray Barrett [2] (Koquillion)


Written by David Whittaker
Directed by Christopher Barry
Produced by Verity Lambert


The Doctor, Ian and Barbara arrive on the planet Dido in the 25th century, where they find a crashed space craft in which two survivors wait for a rescue ship from Earth. The female survivor, Vicki is instantly friendly, unlike her paralysed companion, Bennett, who remains a mystery.


  • The first story featuring Vicki.
  • The Doctor, perhaps because he missed his recently-departed grand-daughter, asked Vicki to come with him and the others, thus making her the first companion that The Doctor was seen to willingly invite to travel in the TARDIS. Being invited to travel with him would later become an important hallmark of the Doctor’s companions.
  • All episodes exist in 16mm telerecordings.
  • Negative film prints of both episodes exist and were recovered by the BBC in1978.
  • Telesnaps of this story are held by private collectors.
  • The story was originally known as Doctor Who and Tanni. It was originally intended that the new companion would be named Tanni. Other names previously thought up for Vicki were: Valerie, Millie and Lukki. The name Tanni was still in use when the following story, The Romans was written.
  • Vicki’s last name is not revealed in this story, nor is it ever mentioned on screen in any future stories. This places Vicki in the select company of Polly, Mel and Ace as Earth companions whose last names are never revealed on screen. Spin-off media have given Vicki the last name Pallister.
  • Koquillion was originally creditsit as Sydney Wilson (a combination of Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson) to hide his true identity.
  • This story leads directly into The Romans.
  • Desperate Measures was the first episode of Doctor Who to make the UK’s top 10 most watched programs list.
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