Daleks should be seen, but not heard. It’s the voice. It is truly
atrocious. I suppose it is ok for the odd ‘exterminate’, but just imagine a half hour lecture on existential philosophy?
So we were really lucky with this little sucker (or should that be plunger) because we got to see just the right amount of
Daleks in a really interesting story.
This episode was another of those ‘commemorative’ milestone stories
that they drag out every so often, sort of like the James Bond film – ‘Die Another Day’ – full of
homage to its own history. If you have seen ‘Die Another Day’ you will also know that this concept can go horribly
wrong. You can almost see the producers sitting around after a few wines saying to themselves ‘why do we need to waste
money on scriptwriters when we can just ignore the plot and pinch the concepts from old material’?
they didn’t do that one here. It’s a well written story. The plot for this story is all merely part of Sylvester
McCoy’s darker more manipulative Doctor’s master plan for keeping the universe safe from nasty types such as the
Daleks. Of course the Doctor’s well laid plans go a bit awry when he realises that there are not one, but two Dalek
factions roaming around greater London. How no one noticed a bunch of very peculiar aliens proclaiming universe domination
in such a heavily populated city as London I don’t know – and have you ever heard a Dalek whisper?
I am not giving too much away here, but the Doctor does in fact defeat the Daleks. He actually kills one off simply by chatting
to it – a more manipulative Doctor with secret powers or a lousy conversationalist? You decide. Some people like it,
some don’t, but it does add a little mystery. This story continues the theme that implies there is something to the
Doctor that we don’t know. He even tells Davros that he is much more than ‘just another Time Lord’.
best part of this story is that the Daleks look like they have all been spending far too much time down the pub. Apparently
they redesigned the Daleks so they now ran on big balls or some such and they wobble, quite a bit, in fact an awful lot. However
you can amuse yourself for hours on end imagining a group of rowdy Daleks wobbling home from the pub on a Friday night singing
‘we are not defeated, only delayed…. One day we will conquer and you will be our slaves’, then perhaps stopping
to get a curry.
On this note, if you can, get the DVD. It has a wonderful commentary from Sylvester McCoy and Sophie
Aldred. It is refreshing to know that while you think the actors are emoting their hearts out they are actually trying not
to laugh at drunken Daleks and such.
This story is also historic as it is the historic episode where it is revealed
that Daleks do not need wheel chair access. They can climb stairs.