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Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 2

My continuing mission: to watch classic television exactly fifty years after original broadcast date...

Saturday 27 May 1967

"You seem to be well acquainted with the creatures."

Best incidental music so far! There hasn't been a score like this before. We've had lots of specially composed music of course, as well as stock library music, or no music at all. Or as with The Moonbase, ambient sounds doing the same job. The first story had some creepy piano tinkling, there was some marvellously ominous music in the first Dalek one, re-used in Troughton's debut. The Savages had some great orchestral music but as with most of the previous stories it seemed sparse overall. This one has a proper 'full' score by Dudley Simpson with small orchestra as well as Radiophonic synthesiser. Something we will become used to...

So Kennedy has unleashed a Dalek which appears behind him and he is soon exterminated. The Dalek disappears again immediately.

Doctor sneaks into antique shop with Jamie, who doesn't seem to understand the concept of keeping quiet. The Doctor speaks in a whisper and Jamie just blurts everything out loudly, completely oblivious to their situation. It's like trying to break into a shop with a drunk guy. After some shushing from the exasperated Doctor all the clocks go off! And then Jamie nearly knocks something over after being told not to. This whole scene was very well played, and made me smile. I find this sort of thing a much better balance of drama and humour than the later style of rapid fire one liners that will become the norm.

Despite his apparent inebriation Jamie has worked out part of the plot - that someone might have built a time machine in order to make heaps of money from antiques imported from the past - but the Doctor doesn't think it's likely. I like it when the Doctor's not always right.

Waterfield discovers Kennedy's body and the Dalek is back again. Why did it come back? It's just suddenly there again, barks angry stuff at Waterfield then disappears again.

Like Edward from The League Of Gentlemen, the Doctor says he thought he heard shouting. There was a flippin' Dalek as well! And it was only in the next room! A fairly unmistakeable voice I'd have thought... Perry arrives and they agree to swap info.

Meanwhile Waterfield rips the BBC publicity photo of Patrick Troughton in half and places one half in Kennedy's hand, and the other sticking out of a box on the floor.

A door opens by itself and the Doctor and the other two enter the room to find Kennedy clutching the half photo. The Doctor figures out that there's a secret room as he notices the dimensions don't seem right. I'd thought last week that the Doctor was in Sherlock mode. The room measuring is definitely out of Sherlock Holmes.

They work out how to access the secret room and have a look inside. I love the look of delight on the Doctors face! He seems to be loving all this. The photo in the box is a booby trap; Jamie springs it and they pass out from a spray of gas. Shortly afterward Perry arrives with a couple of police officers, but the Doctor and Jamie are nowhere to be seen. I wonder if they're the same policemen who investigated the Chameleons.

A scene change and we're in a Victorian house. It's a lovely contrast from the pokey night time antique shop shenanigans, all sunshine, bright airy room and piano music. There's a maid, Molly and an elderly man with lots of hair. The man is Theodore Maxtible. He's rich and owns the house. He informs the groggy Doctor that it's 1866 and they are apparently near Canterbury. Now in my youth I've had some experience of the effects of binge drinking; the occasional blank period, wondering how I made it home, but I've never woken up in Canterbury in 1866. So the Doctor and Jamie have travelled in space as well as time then. Or were they taken from 19th century Gatwick by carriage?

There is much mention of 'they', and how 'they' have kidnapped Waterfield's daughter Victoria. "Is that your daughter?", asks the Doctor, indicating a huge portrait. No, he is told, it's Waterfield's late wife, but Victoria is the image of her mother. We then cut to a close up of, presumably the girl in question. Wait a minute, she doesn't look anything like the woman in the portrait!

This must be Victoria then, being threatened and shouted at by a Dalek, telling her not to feed the 'flying pests' outside. Nice to know the Daleks don't view all other life forms as pests. "Speak when you are told to speak" he snaps. What a bully. This Dalek has clearly absorbed the strict paternal Victorian ethos. Coming from this era Victoria might well be used to being spoken to like that.

There are no Dalek spoilers for the Doctor though, who is oblivious to the story's giveaway title and is told by Maxtible and Waterfield (who's made an appearance here by the way) about inhuman monsters of the devil who have brilliant minds. They explain how Maxtible has been funding Waterfield's time travel experiments, but it all went pear shaped when 'creatures' emerged from the cabinet.

This business about reflections in mirrors and static electricity seems a bit hokey. The Doctor seems to find mention of static unusually interesting. Why? I get that the Daleks used it to travel, but static is just static, and is a natural phenomenon everywhere so why be alarmed by that?

He gets his fears confirmed: a Dalek appears, referring immediately to the Doctor by name. It seems that Victoria was kidnapped by the Daleks and the Doctor and Jamie were lured into the trap by Waterfield and Maxtible in exchange for her release. The Doctors dawning realisation of what he's up against is marvellous. Troughton is so good in this, you see the penny drop.

They want to 'test' a human and have selected Jamie. "I will not be your slave!", the Doctor shouts indignantly. I don't recall ever seeing the Doctor so angry. He is really cross, both at the Dalek and the two human accomplices: "What have you done with your infernal meddling?"

Maxtible has figured out the other half of the plot, and although he says he's only surmising he's actually completely spot on. Wow, this man is sharp. He suggests that the Daleks want to test a human to try to understand how their minds work. No doubt so they will learn how to defeat them and become better Daleks.

Meanwhile, Jamie has a hangover. A new character arrives: Ruth Maxtible. She repeats that thing about the portrait of Victoria's mother. How Waterfield's daughter looks just like her. No she doesn't!

After Ruth leaves Jamie has a snoop around and gets koshed by Windsor Davies who obviously enjoys his work as he's grinning delightedly. Molly then comes in and gets koshed too.

The Doctor finds the unconscious Molly, and with Jamie missing he builds to the cliffhanger, saying that the Daleks will destroy everyone, and that their greatest pleasure will be in destroying him. But then...no cliffhanger after all. The scene continues with the Dalek: "Begin the test!", he shouts. There's the cliffhanger!

Nick Brown
Nick Brown

I've embarked upon an open ended mission, pretending to travel back in time and watch classic television on (or close to) the fiftieth anniversary of original broadcast date; getting a sense of the context, the magic of that first viewing.

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