From Classical Gallifrey:
Companion: Jo Grant
Written by: Bob Baker and Dave Martin
Directed by: Christopher Barry
Background & Significance: Having just come off their first story "The Claws of Axos", Bob Baker and Dave Martin decided to do a story based on some real life issues. The idea they pitched that proved most sexy to script editor Terrance Dicks was an allegory about British colonialism in Africa, specifically the then-current "Apartheid" of South Africa, which was a form of racial segregation that kept the different racial groups segregated based on what quadrant they best corresponded to.
In their defense (and I'm normally on such an offensive when it comes to them that I don't see why I shouldn't at the very least throw them a defensive bone once in a while; and this is the last time we're doing a Baker/Martin script so I might as well, right?), this sorta thing is ripe for a good science fiction story. Slap in a bit of a mythology and some crazy out there madness (in this case, Barry Letts's inclusion of the "the natives evolve" angle because he liked moths or something) and you're off to the races with a Doctor Who story based on some crazy expensive high concept shit which is your standard Baker/Martin affair.
The biggest obstacle (in this case) to Baker/Martin's script was the inclusion of director Christopher Barry, previously known for his work on a bunch of major Doctor Who stories, including "The Daleks", "The Power of the Daleks", and "The Rescue" and who would later go on to direct "Robot", "The Creature From the Pit", and "The Brain of Morbius". See, Barry's problem was that he just wasn't interested in all that Apartheid in South Africa stuff. He really liked the sci-fi (did you see the other stories he worked on?) and so was more interested in all the science fiction trappings of the mutations and the space station and (in particular) the asshole of a station commander.
Needless to say, this story is in something of conflict with himself.
That said, it is always nice to see the Pertwee era do something off planet, even if this story is something of a bit of a stumble. The other offering this season, for example, did a much better job with it if you ask me, and it does provide an interlude between the season's two Master stories.... so... that's something. But enough gabbing. Let's just judge the damn thing.
Read the full review here