The Evil of the Daleks – Story #036

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Jael’s Judgement:

I was not a huge fan of this one. For the most part liked the first part of the story, but Jamie seemed a bit too smitten with Victoria’s “beauty.” Nothing against Victoria. I do not really know her all that well yet. But once I like someone, I tend to feel a sense of propriety. And I like Jamie. Nothing silly, I am writing this blog with the love of my life after all. But I relate to Jamie and don’t want him to change too much because of some helpless girl.

The good news is that Jamie questions the Doctor’s motives and whether he trying trying to do what is right. I think it is important to question what you think and believe. This way you can have a better understanding of what you think and who you trust.

Why does the Doctor keep counting himself as human? This seems so odd.

Disturbingly I yet again find myself agreeing on a point with the Daleks. They tell Victoria to stop feeding the flying pests. Birds, what terrifying creatures.

As I said, the first part of this story is alright. But it is soooo long. Near the end I had no idea what was going on any more. We suddenly found everyone in the middle of Daleks yelling and fighting each other. I cannot even remember how the story-line resolved itself.

  • Story Grade: C-

 

Tony’s Take:

Space-time jumping, Daleks, a new companion, and the “Human Factor”?!  What a full story here!  Sure, most (if not all) stories from the Old Who era could have been trimmed up a bit (especially 1960s Who), but going with the normal style of story-telling, this wasn’t all that bad.  I am guessing that listening to 5 out of the 6 episodes instead of viewing them also tends to skew the “grading” down a bit.

While I agree with Jael that the Doctor saying he is human or implying that he is human; I believe that this was just a fault of the writing group, hoping to make The Doctor easier to access for the audience.  This “human factor” that the Doctor applies to himself and the term human itself could easily be re-written to make it not be the Earth-bound version, but more of a characteristic that we “Earth humans” share with other similar advanced beings (be it looks, intelligence, etc.).  Where I have a problem with the Doctor being human is in the TV movie… but that will be covered many months from now.

As for Jamie in this story?  He not only gets a female counterpart (who he has a thing for), but he is questioning the Doctor – rather intelligently.  It’s almost as though Jamie is getting the hang of being a companion.

Then there is Victoria; yes, she was the typical damsel in distress, but her life, in just one story, gets incredibly complicated.  Imagine traveling time, meeting a boy totally head over heels for you, and then at the end your father dies… then you are sent with the Doctor to travel space and time.  Wow.

Lastly, the Human Factor and the Daleks: at least it wasn’t “Evolution of the Daleks” bad…

DW_S3.5_Evolution

Introducing Daleks to human qualities is nothing new, not only has it been done many times, but it is probably the greatest struggle shown throughout Doctor Who.  The show really hammers home the importance of these human emotions and feelings and how they separate us from becoming like a Dalek (xenophobic).  It’s kind of ironic that this was coming during a time where Civil Rights were being fought over in my home country (USA), women were still treated much lower than men (see Victoria’s stereotypical role), and don’t even try talk about sex during this era (at least in the US) – though the hippie movement would put a few cracks in this wall.  We (humans) were incredibly xenophobic, but even then, compared to the Daleks, we were not entirely evil.

…And we know that not all the Daleks were destroyed, right?

  • Story Grade: B-
  • Packed with many ideas and set in multiple times and planets, we truly begin to see the seemingly eternal struggle between Daleks and humanity.

 

Thanks to the writer of this story, David Whitaker (and the script editors, Gerry Davis and Peter Bryant).  While times were not perfect – we are still fighting xenophobia on our home planet – you made us take a look at ourselves and make a decision: be like the Daleks and die or be the good side of humanity and live?

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The Power of the Daleks – Story #030

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Jael’s Judgment:

Wow! Am I ever invigorated by this second Doctor!!

I committed to soooo many adventures throughout 2013 that I find most of them go by in a blur. This is not unusual for me, as even in real life my “adventures” often blur together and linger in my mind only as moments and feelings. Now as we listen to and basically meet Troughton’s incarnation as the Doctor, I realize how slow moving the first Doctor and his adventures were. I am not saying I didn’t enjoy them, but a couple months of such a snail-like pace was loosing my interest.

I cannot get over how much I am enjoying Troughton!! I thought the recorder was going to be annoying, but I find myself enjoying it. I say that now, we’ll see how I feel in a few weeks…

Unfortunately the women in the story are incredibly disappointing. The lady scientist is pushy, cold, and gets used by the wrong side. Polly is helpless. Ugh. I got the initial impression that she was some sort if scientist, but maybe she was just some sort of assistant? I don’t know, even just working with scientists you would think she couldn’t be that stupid. Yuck, she is horrible. Can you tell I am not crazy about Polly? I guess I am being a bit tough on her, but really I am not seeing her value.

Sucker stick, sucker stick, sucker stick. That is the phrase the narrator keeps using for the Dalek plunger. I wonder if that’s what they call a plunger in the UK… I don’t think so, but I am too tuckered out to confirm it now. Anyway, those words keep sticking out to me… sucking me in… Oh man, cracking myself up! Onward ho!

The Daleks were excellent in this story. Maybe they are so easy to enjoy when all you have is audio, because the main form of acting for these characters is in fact their voice. I mean, swiveling, moving forward & back, movement of the eye stock, and waving of their sucker stick and shooter arm. That’s really not much. We know what they look like and they are easy to imagine. Just picture the Dalek’s eye stock giving you the stare down as it rolls out of the room, after checking up on the liquid/secret poison given to the human for hydration. You can feel its condescending and tricky, evil stare.

Whoever does the voice of the Daleks performs splendidly. I like the way the Daleks say “I am your servant” questioningly at first. Because we all know they don’t actually believe it, cleverly alluding to the falseness of the statement. Eventually though, their tone while saying this sentence becomes more menacing. The narrator starts using words like indignant when describing the Daleks. And they become more and more reluctant to say, “I obey.”

What fun! I am looking forward to more adventures with this odd Doctor and hopefully some more permanent companions.

  • Story Grade: A

 

Tony’s Take:

This might as well be one of those rare stories where I let Jael run with her observations and say next to nothing.  I mean, what could I say?  She is spot on, Troughton is a HUGE breath of fresh air; the Daleks are even quirkier (maybe due in part by The (new) Doctor’s attitude); and yes, the role of women, especially in early Who, is quite limited and sexist.

There was a very nice quote from this story, one that is obviously meant to be deeper than just the surface application towards the second Doctor:

“Life depends on change and renewal.”  Well said, Doctor/Troughton!

  • Story Grade: B+
  • I could really get used to watching Troughton’s Doctor, if only more episodes had survived.  Stupid BBC policy!  Though there are some great reads on missing stories HERE.

 

Thank you, Patrick Troughton.  Even though you are well in your 40s, you give The Doctor a new playful (positive) attitude.  Thank you to Richard Molesworth for putting together such a great book (Wiped! Doctor Who’s Missing Episodes), I’m excited to get the second edition in the near future.  Again, thank you to all of the early hardcore Whovians who were wise enough to record the TV show in audio form.  Without those recordings, we would not have such a great preservation of these lost stories.

“Mission to the Unknown” – Story #019

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Jael’s Judgment:

(Still not sure why Tony makes me give these grades. We looked back and my average is something like a B-. So right there, if a C is average, I am obviously not grading accurately.)

Alright, let’s get on with it.

This was an odd story. Only one episode and no Doctor. How many Doctor Who stories are there with no Doctor? The characters/voices got a little confusing for me. I wish we could have watched the story, but alas it was an audio only. I kept wondering what the Varga plants looked like.

Gardeners beware: While recently discussing the reoccuring adversaries of the Doctor with my brother, I realized how often plants evolve into threatening, sentient beings. Or other creatures are taken over by plants to become plant/animals. Never really the same types of beings, so they are not a specific reoccurring enemy. But man, watch out for those plants!

Overall, OK story. But probably not needed to understand future stories. I am guessing William Hartnell needed a break.

  • Story Grade: C+

 

Tony’s Take:

The first one episode story and the only one for MANY years.  We are used to one-parters in present day Who, and when they are a two-parter that means something special to us; so it’s strange to “see” such a short story early on and WITHOUT the Doctor.  This was a teaser (or something we may now call – albeit incorrectly – a prequel) to the upcoming story, “The Daleks’ Mater Plan”.

I don’t know that there is much to talk about, so here are some interesting notes about this awkward story:

From the TARDIS wikia:

Terry Nation wrote this episode partially as an attempt to develop and sell the idea of a Dalek television series divorced from the larger Doctor Who universe. The proposed series would have followed the adventures of the Space Security Service, an elite organisation tasked with hunting Daleks. This approach can be seen in short stories and comic strips written for 1965’s The Dalek Outer Space Book (cover dated 1966). An unmade pilot titled The Destroyers was written, but the series concept was never sold. The Destroyers was later produced as an audio play by Big Finish Productions.

Since the story “Planet of Giants” was originally meant as a 4 part story but was edited down to a 3 part story, this left a one episode hole in the contract with the BBC and Doctor Who production team.  The original cast (speculation here) already fulfilled their contract and were too expensive for the show, so they decided to take Terry Nation’s idea and do a one-off teaser for a future story.  Since they would use the sets in the 12 episode story, this meant that there was very little addition cost associated with the production.

With all of this said, William Hartnell is still credited as “Doctor Who” because his contract said he would have lead credits in all episodes, even if he did not appear.

Notes:

Varga plants only on Skaro, they take over the brain and tell you to kill and you become half plant.
Now to warn Earth of the Daleks coming.
I’d like to see this jungle set; wait, actually I wouldn’t, the sound is probably better than the props.
Cory is really infected by the plant, not good.
  • Story Grade: C
  • Short, very short.  This isn’t a bad thing, but a 25 minute episode of Doctor Who without The Doctor can only go so far.  This was a great initial run for the Tardisodes and “prequels” that we get today (even if they weren’t directly because of this fluke of a story).

 

Thank you, Verity Lambert.  This was her last story/episode as producer.  We Who fans owe her all of our thanks for bringing this show to us.  Without Verity, we would not have this show, plain and simple.  Thank you to the BBC as well, they broke the stereotypical mold by going with a young female to run a show.  I am sure that the conditions were far from perfect, and she was probably given Doctor Who because they wrote off the show, but you have to start somewhere.

The Dalek Invasion of Earth – Story #010

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Jael’s Judgment:

Although the group is very split up in this story, with several different story lines taking place at once, the main vein is obviously Susan’s departure. They are preparing us for it throughout the entire story. At first I thought this was nice and well done, but having seen this particular histoire multiple times my opinion evolved. By the end of the story I was bored with how unceasingly it was drilled into us that it might be the right time for Susan to leave. Susan relying more on her new beau than her grandfather. Susan complaining about not feeling as though she belongs anywhere. Just moving from planet to planet with the Doctor to escape danger. Well, I’ve got news for Sus, it seems like the humans are just running on earth too!

Anyway, I thought it a rash decision. She only met the guy a couple days ago and already she’s in love?! I don’t think I was in live with anyone at 16 or whatever age she is. But hey, maybe that’s the way to make decisions and be happy in life. And maybe she had a wisdom beyond her years. And maybe it can all be explained away by Susan’s desire for committed companionship. When they first landed, Susan did ask Barbara if it is selfish to want to stay together.

The music at the very end creeped me out. As did The Doctor when he told Susan that she should “live normally like any woman should do”? What does that mean? Was it sexist or just implying woman meant human?

Overall I thought it was a little anticlimactic for Susan’s last show. :/ I will miss her character. If I was her I probably would have kept the necklace as a keepsake, but whatevs. My overall, mostest, bestest, favorite part is how the Doctor leaves Susan with only one shoe. Hah, that’s what you get for leaving!

Aside from all if the above, I enjoyed seeing more of the early Daleks. It could be just me, but it seemed like there was more variation in the different Dalek voices, giving the impression of slightly more individualized personalities than many of the newer stories. Although now that I think about it there is individuality shown in Asylum of the Daleks and whenever the Cult of Skaro shows up. Visually there were some interesting differences as well. Our view from the Dalek’s eye stock is just a regular camera in a circle. It is not the blue we see now.

Finally, Barbara’s hair is so darn big. I know it has always been big. It is just so big.

And what was up with the slither?? What was that?

  • Story Grade: C-

 

Tony’s Take:

Jael, I do agree with your assessment of the sexist side of Doctor Who, but I will cover that (more in depth later).  But firstly, I disagree that the entire episode was just a set up for Susan’s departure.  Sure, it was a major theme and this plot (as with most plots in Classic Who) was easy to see through, but it there was more going on.  This story was the first true Dalek story in my eyes.  We see Daleks on a different planet (Earth) trying to take over and run a new planet; even saying “EXTERMINATE”.  The shots we see of the Daleks early on, roaming the streets of London and crossing the bridges, and those shots are signature shots of the Daleks.  It’s incredible, because we all know that the Daleks come from Skaro, but as a viewer of a TV show, we also associate them as British, nay, Londoners.

Though the writing gets more and more sophisticated over time, nearly every Dalek story follows this story’s plot-line; Invade Earth (another planet), take over, threaten the people with extermination, The Doctor saves the day.

Now let’s revisit the piece where we do agree.  Sexism in 1960s Doctor Who.  Sexism was not just in Doctor Who, it was a plague in all of business and even at home.  Coming off of the 1950s (at least in America), women knew their places, in the kitchen.  Their goal in life (as dictated by society) was to get married and make babies.  Yes, verity Lambert was the show-runner at the time, but she was still playing a man’s game and the over-whelming majority of the writers were men, so yeah, good luck being able to turn this ship around on a dime.

Jael already mentioned The Doctor telling Susan to do what a woman does, and she already mentioned that Susan fell rather quickly for David.  David was mostly a decent enough guy, but it seems as though Susan had much more to offer the universe than being trapped on Earth.  The writers reduced her to a screamer, but there were other times where she showed great depth and a will to explore.  I would have loved to have Susan find her own TARDIS and find her own companion(s).  As touching as The Doctor’s speech was at the end, the whole sentiment of Susan leaving was not nearly as pretty.

We will see many women leave the show throughout the series leave the show to get married, it’s almost a default was to leave.  Sure, some women and men will want to get off the TARDIS because of love, but to think that it would be due to a week long stop and sparks fly seems naive.  I am sure there are more things I can find when it comes to sexism in this story (and a whole book can be written if you include the entire series), but my concentration level is next to empty since I am watching Coupling right now.  (Check that show out if you haven’t already.  It’s Steven Moffat’s much more impressive version of Friends, and yes, there are a few Doctor Who references in the series.)

I apologize for the quick ending here, there is also the topic of racism in Doctor Who (mention of the RED Indians in the story seems to ring a bell), but I will cover that when we have a much larger showing of racism (say, Talons of Weng-Chiang?).  Read my notes below, there are a few nuggets of decent thoughts, even if they are just fragments.

If you want further detail, here are my notes:

Right away we see a sign about dumping bodies, should be eerie.
Susan twists an ankle and the bridge falls.  The Doctor is still crabby about this and blames Susan, since it blocked the TARDIS, so much so that he threatens to spank her when he and Ian return.  WHAT?!
Bodies floating in the river, men saying they are trying to help Barbara and The Doctor finds out it 2164.  Then we have a weird helmet for picking up radio waves.
The robo-men almost look like Cybermen.  Even the idea of them is similar.
A Dalek coming out from the river, wow!
It’s weird, the first Dalek story was very cool since its the first time we see them; but this story is more of a classic Dalek episode, since they are trying to take over a planet.  Move them from Skaro and suddenly you have true classic Daleks.
Ian and The Doctor get taken by the Daleks.  A man is killed by the Daleks and the rays that kill him sound like very loud and poorly recorded waterfalls.
It will work! – say the resistance team to Barbara’s plan of acting like robo-men with the extra helmets.
Hold that and shut up would you? – The Doctor to the other prisoner after his plan to get the key works.  (Magnets and light, nice work.)
Episode two closes with the initial attack commencing.
The Doctor is saved by two rogue warriors with Susan and Barbara waiting outside.
The ship is cleared and Daleks are tipped.  We also see the Daleks using their laser guns, though it looks more like something used for mating on the Discovery channel.  Ian remains on board, but not locked up.
Finally in episode three do we get to see the Daleks iconic stroll on the London bridges.  The music is even kind of fun, although a bit too upbeat, not just heart pounding intense action.  I’m getting a big Prisoner vibe from this scene and music.
Good, they got the scientist to his headquarters in order to fix his problem with the bomb.  Turns out it’s the metal they are made of, Dalekanium.
Then the scientist sacrifices himself to see if the bomb works.
After a bit of everyone positioning themselves I  the story the cliffhanger for the 3rd ep. is a Dalek bomb!
The Daleks using slave labor to mine definitely has some comparisons to Nazis.
Susan seems to be challenged by the one boy, even as far as liking him. (David)
Wow, Barbara SMASHES the Daleks with a big-rig.
Alligators living in the sewers of London after escaping the zoos.  How cool is that?
Susan cannot climb a ladder.  She nearly falls into the water where a tiny lizard, I mean full grown alligator (wink wink) is awaiting a meal.
Look out for the Slither, Ian!
The Doctor takes out a robo-man with a cane, wicked!  Susan’s is just getting closer and closer to David.
It has resorted to brothers killing brothers.
Susan and David nearly make a baby when he surprises her with a fish.  Full on smooching!
Removing the core of the planet, that sounds like an easy task.  Probably tough with Ian in the capsule though.
YES!  Racism in Classic Who: “I was talking about RED Indians.”  Thanks Barbara, and thank you writing team.  It’s so cringe-worthy, and as much as it was the times, I cannot stand behind that cop-out.
Just don’t call him Doc, thank you.
The view through the Dalek eye-stalk.  Barbara and The Doctor’s impersonation of the Daleks was priceless.
Robo-men turn on the Daleks, thanks to the great voice acting.
I wonder how the BBC could afford such a large explosion; certainly wasn’t stock footage.
Starting a new beginning, a new civilization, but Susan is staying behind to help the new world.  The Doctor knows that this is the end and is hurting because if this.  This is the first time we see him have such raw emotions (besides anger) and the first time he is nearly speechless.
David wants love AND marriage right away.  Susan has to choose between David and The Doctor.
The Doctor decides to just leave her. His speech is touching and very fatherly.  One day he shall come back!  (Oh if he’d only come back.)
And so concludes the first companion send-off.
  • Story Grade: C+
  • There are some very iconic shots and moments in this story, unfortunately they come early and late, while the middle part drags quite long.

 

My thanks go out to the writers for writing such a nice “first send-off”.  Thank you also to Carole Ann Ford; being the first true companion will always be looked back on by history, and you carried out the role wonderfully.  Thank you, Terry Nation (writer) for making a better Dalek story than the Dalek introduction.  The scenes of the Daleks rolling across town and on the bridge felt very powerful and very close to the present day Dalek stories.

The Daleks – Story #002

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Jael’s Judgment:

These early episodes are clearly a product of the times. With Neutron bombs and fear of radiation poisoning.

We learn a little bit more about our relatable characters. There are the sweet stories of affection. Ian trying to be chivalrous, comforting Barbara. But in the end Barbara is just charmed by the chivalry (or come-ons) of the locals.

I continue to enjoy Susan. She finds drawing to be soothing, which indeed it is. And I too would be delighted by a petrified flower, of course not one that oozes radiation… Her hysterics, in particular her running through the woods continue to be ridiculous. She is extremely difficult to understand when she becomes hysterical. That is a bit annoying.

However, the silly effects or unbelievable (not in a good way) acting are some of the reasons I find these early episodes charming. I enjoy chuckling with my hubby when Susan runs in place or Ian suggests, “let’s split up.” These qualities are endearing.

On a less endearing note we meet the Daleks. Their first appearance, yeah it’s kind of scary despite the corniness. My favorite quality of the Daleks is how they express the panic we all feel in certain situations. With their increasingly high and loud voices, repeating and repeating. Man, I sometimes hear that same voice in my head.

And then there are the Thals. With their white hair, tall statutes, and command of “do not be afraid” like angels.

I find serenity in the fun flirting, the petrified flowers, the smiles I share with my husband, the “other-worldly” Thals, and the fact that we all have our Dalek-esque moments.

  • Story Grade: B-

 

Tony’s Take:

First things first, I think that the only way that I am going to be “consistent” on this blog is the scale in which I grade the episodes (school grades: A+ down to F).  My motives and criteria for grading will not even be consistent; how could it be?!  Opinions are nothing more than subjective “me think”.  The format in which I lay out my ideas will vary widely, and with that, so too will the length.  So without further adieu, here is my review for “THE DALEKS!”  (Hey, they deserve to have their lead story told in all caps, it’s how they speak… and the exclamation point cannot hurt.)

Views on “The Doctor”:

  • He seems to be more focused on science in this story.
  • Calls Ian by only his last name, “Chesterton!”, more often than not.  I love this!  It’s a dynamic that plays to the viewer quite easily, as if The Doctor knows he is being viewed as second-fiddle, the non-hero of the story.  His way of ‘setting things straight’ is by being rather formal and not calling Ian by his first name, like a friend would, but by his surname in order to sound like a teacher or superior.
  • “Old fool!”  Words spoken by Ian, which sum up the lies and shiftiness of The Doctor quite perfectly.
  • It’s hard to draw the line between “The Doctor” and “William Hartnell”.  I wonder how much of tiredness and weakness is actually The Doctor or the old man playing the role.
  • “No, no, they won’t be suspicious at all!” says The Doctor to Ian as he is climbing into a Dalek’s casing!  Oh the simplicity of television of old.  I love how blatantly this statement is made.

Quick bit on the TARDIS:

  • Bring back the automatic food dispenser!  This is one area where British television did things right, they were able to offer a bit of fluff and fun WITHOUT using a corporate sponsor (like Cadbury or some other food/drink company wishing to push their product).  I guess that’s due to how the BBC is a publicly owned entity and cannot sponsor privately held corporations… Good on you!

Two cents on Barbara:

  • Barbara seems like she is the go-to person for Susan, almost like Susan is reaching out for a mother or at the very least another female with which to relate.  Barbara is caring, but either it is the times or the fact that she is only Susan’s teacher, not her mother, that keep her from really owning that role as a full on mentor or guardian.
  • Barbara, when she does assume the care-taking role, does so because she sees just how inept and cold The Doctor can be.

…And now my thoughts on the unsung hero of early Who, Ian:

  • Ian is much more the hero in this show for many reasons, the first of which is that he is easily relatable since he is human.
  • Ian can also be a hero because he is also a science teacher, so he isn’t always totally overshadowed by The Doctor’s reasoning or understanding (like future companions sometimes are).
  • Age is on Ian’s side.  it’s true, he is the typical male role, since he is relatively young and in shape.  The Doctor cannot compete with Ian when it comes to anything physical.
  • Ian is also forced to be the level-headed one more often than not.  With the writers making the women in this show sound like banshees (is this not accurate given the screams of Susan and even Barbara at times?), Ian has to stay focused and keep everyone on track.  The Doctor is often cold and careless, Susan and Barbara are damsels in distress, so Ian is the glue.
  • “Why don’t we separate…?” says Ian.  This statement, meant to be a plot-driver, is one that is often followed in Doctor Who, but rarely said out-loud  especially in such a direct way.  Anyone who has ever watched a horror, action, or drama film/show can tell you that this idea NEVER works.

Overall:

As a story, this is where the long history of cheapness in Classic Who really gets its start.  The thrift of design on the costumes and monsters, the cheesiness of the sets, and the exquisitely bad model shots all make for terribly out-of-date and yet close to the heart television.  The model-shots of Skaro, though bad by many people’s standards, are not a complete failure… the black and white hid what could have been excruciating in color.  Another classic piece of the puzzle is the separation of companions and The Doctor, as described above.  I hope you enjoy this formula, because you have 25 more years of this in the Classic Who catalog.

“What about the Daleks, Tony?!”

Yes, yes, dear reader, I am getting there.  To see your first Dalek is magical, and the way they were teased at the end of the first episode was great… they only show a plunger at the end of a camera while it is threatening a companion.  **SLOW CLAPS**  Now THAT’S iconic, BBC!!  Another piece of classic Doctor Who would be corridors, and thanks to the Dalek city, there are plenty of corridors to get lost in.

The Daleks themselves appear nearly identical to future versions (slight updates are made here and there, but a classic monster needs little revision), and speaking of identical, how about their voices?  Yes, we have two people voicing the Daleks, but the trouble is that between the shouting and numerous Daleks on camera at one time, it’s hard to keep them straight.  Now, you could argue that you don’t have to keep them straight, which is true, but merely relying on blinking lights on a black and white story is a tough task for those who seek clarity.

Lastly, we come to the Thals.  The Thals are a race of alien that had fought against the Daleks for 500 years and become pacifists because of they tired of the constant fighting.  Though i do enjoy the Thals, and like my wife said above, they have a certain aura of peace and humanity about them, the second plot, which drove this story to 7 parts, was a bit unnecessary.  Seven episodes is LONG!  Either revise the script and make it more compact, or eliminate the number of plots that need solving.

I often wonder what the Thals would be like if they were reintroduced to New Who.  I think that they would still be peaceful, but there is still much that we do not know about the Thal people and their history (or what they would become, or who they evolve to be).

  • Story Grade: C
  • While the magic of revealing such a historic nemesis makes this story a delight, the 7 episodes make this way too long for its own good.  If condensed into a 4 part episode, easily in the B range or higher.

 

This post’s thanks go out to Verity Lambert, Terry Nation, Raymond Cusick, and everyone else involved in the creation of these storied adversaries of The Doctor.  Please do yourself a favor and watch the special features on the DVDs.  The story about the creation of the Daleks at the BBC and subsequent rousing make for a fun, yet educational, watch.