Galaxy 4 (1966)

Galaxy 4 is the first story of Series Three which is the weakest series so far. The opening story has a clear message of never judge by appearances. It’s not the most original message ever and sometimes it can be done a bit too much. Sadly this story doesn’t exist in audio and I can remember the first time listening to this story I wasn’t overly impressed with it. This is William Emms’ only contribution to Doctor Who and it’s a shame because the story does have potential but it gets lost.

The planet that the Doctor, Steven and Vicki land on is not know but is in Galaxy 4. They first meet the Drahvins who are a group of cloned females from Drahva who are lead by Maaga (Stephanie Bidmead). The story centres on the battle between the Drahvins and the reptilian Rills who are in charge of the stupidly named Chumblies. They don’t look particularly good but somehow end up saving the day in the end. The planet has a limited lifespans, due to be destroyed in 14 planetrary cycles and the Drahvins want to use the Rills spaceship to return home. To make matters worse (and fill the four episodes), Steven is captured and the Doctor and Vicki are placed in charge to try and capture the ship. There is a lot made of the fact that they Drahvins are the more important but as soon as the revelation from the Rills come that all changes and it’s quite an important in the telling of the story. It’s at this stage that the never judge a book by its cover because the Drahvins are portrayed as the goodies with the Rills played as the baddies but when it revealed that the Rills have offered to take the Drahvins with them but Maaga refused. This leads to a battle where the Drahvins are going to kill the Rills and take their ship though this being Doctor Who this is where the Doctor gets involved and defeats the Drahvins.

There is a nice tie-in to the next story ‘Mission to the Unknown’ where none of the regulars appear. Vicki is looking at the scanner which is focused on a planet and it then moves to a man shouting “must kill!”. Great ending but all in all, Galaxy 4 is not a story that I am a massive fan of though there are things to like about it. I think this particular period in Doctor Who history isn’t one of the finest and apart from The Daleks Master Plan, it wasn’t going to get any better. Galaxy 4 I think suffers slightly in the fact it only exists on CD/MP3 which isnt the fault of anyone involved in the story. As it stands, the a good opener.

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