Pulp science fiction magazines and comics of previous decades often featured space heroes of the Buck Rogers type rescuing scantily-clad damsels in distress from the jaws, claws, or appendages of hideous, salivating bug-eyed monsters. Galaxy 4 gives this a new twist.
The Doctor, Vicki and Stephen land on an unnamed planet devoid of life. They find two crashed spacecraft, one crewed by the Drahvins, a race of female warriors, and the other occupied by the Rills, hideous ammonia-breathing creatures confined to their ship as they are unable to breathe air. The Drahvins explain that the planet is due to explode, and as they cannot repair their ship they seek the aid of the Doctor to take over the Rills' ship and make their escape.
Meanwhile, the Doctor has found that the destruction of the planet will happen sooner than expected, he and his companions must also escape. The travellers soon make contact with the Rills via their robot servants, which Vicki calls "Chumblies", and it turns out that things are not what they seem at first glance...
The unnamed planet is not in Galaxy 4, it is presumably in our galaxy. The Drahvins originate from Drahva, in Galaxy 4. At the time of production, Peter Purves (Stephen) was not all that happy with his role. The script was originally written with Ian and Barbara in mind, so Stephen was left to do and say things that Barbara would, and Stephen probably wouldn't. The Drahvin parts were originally written for men, but as an added twist women were ultimately cast to play the Drahvins, and female villains were certainly not commonplace in the mid-1960s.
Galaxy 4 featuring William Hartnell as the Doctor was sadly one of the last stories junked in 1978, and no complete episode exists any more. In 1998 extracts of episode 1, removed for another use before the story was junked, were returned by a collector. There now exists a nearly continuous clip of approximately six minutes duration (from the Doctor, Vicki and Stephen first entering the Drahvin ship, up to the Chumblie "attack"). This material is available on the documentary tape "The Missing Years", which is included in "The Ice Warriors" video package.
Click to read the script for:
Introduction by GARY ZIMMER (email@example.com).