In this two-part story, the TARDIS materializes in a cave on the planet Dido, where a young orphan girl named Vicki (Margaret O’Brien) and a paralyzed man named Bennet (Ray Barrett) are waiting in a crashed spaceship to be rescued, the rest of the crew having been murdered by natives. They find the ship, broken in pieces. They are surprised by a spiky alien creature. Ian goes back for The Doctor, whereupon the alien throws Barbara off a cliff and causes a rockfall which buries the TARDIS in the cave.
Vicki and Bennet are being held prisoner by the alien, who tells Vicky the TARDIS crew is dead. Vicky, having found Barbara injured at the bottom of the cliff, hides her from the alien, whose name is Koquillion. The Doctor and Ian, after much travail, free themselves from the cave, find Barbara with Vicki. The Doctor breaks into to Bennet’s room to talk to him, and finds him gone, tracks him down and discovers that Bennet and Koquillion are the same. It was he who killed the spaceship crew and the planet’s natives, hoping that the awaited rescue ship would not discover his crimes. But the Doctor had been to Dido before, knew the natives could not be killers and Koquillion was a fake. Vicki comes with the time-travellers in the TARDIS.
William Hartnell had been devastated by Carole Ann Ford’s departure. Maureen O’Brien’s Vicki was to be her replacement, and The Rescue was little more than a vehicle to introduce her. She reminds me of Miranda in The Tempest, and there was even a Caliban. The Rescue was really a two-part introduction to the four-part Romans story that followed. Both stories are sold in the same DVD box. Maureen O’Brien quickly found a place in the four-person cast—she was able to make the irascible Hartnell laugh when he had become irritated and short-tempered.