Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 4

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

Saturday 10 June 1967

So this episode is all about Jamie's 'test'. He's unaware he's being tested by the Daleks and last week's episode ended as he was confronted by a Turkish wrestler called Kemel. Now as you may know, I'm unable to see the video in many of these episodes, instead having to follow the soundtrack, with a glimpse of an occasional frame. Usually, this works ok and it's fairly easy to follow what's going on. This week it's a little more 'visual' than usual however and it starts with a rather protracted fight between Jamie and Kemel. And to make matters even more 'entertaining', Kemel is mute. I'm not a big fan of fight scenes at the best of times, finding them rather dull even when there are pictures, so as you can imagine I'm struggling a bit with this.

So, in a nutshell, it's the old cliche: Jamie gets the upper hand and runs into a room, closing the door. Kemel comes charging in and forgets to stop, falling out of the window. Jamie saves him from falling so they become pals.

All this action gives me a chance to appreciate the incidental music at least. It's by Dudley Simpson, and whilst I try not to mention 'the future' in these reviews, I'm surprised how similar it is to 'classic' Dudley from the mid-late 70s. Similar to the better soundtracks from that era in fact.

There are more Tomb Raider style traps, such as swinging axes and spikes. Jamie's compassion towards the Turk is rewarded as he himself is saved from being axed. From what I can make out, the Doctor and a Dalek are, like the viewers at home, watching all this on a screen. The Daleks are trying to identify the 'Human factor" but the chap accompanying the Doctor is struggling to understand one aspect of this: the compassion that Jamie showed. The Dalek just sees this as weakness and needs the Doctor to point out that if the boy hadn't been compassionate then Kemel wouldn't have saved his life. I think this is going to take some time...

The two 'contestants' do a bit of bonding and it turns out that Kemel is a big old softy and has a bit of a crush on Victoria. The two of them agree to work together to rescue the girl. Well, Kemel can't actually talk so he presumably suggests this via the medium of Charades.

Maxtible and Waterfield get rid of Toby's body. I'm surprised they paid Windsor Davies to appear in this episode as a corpse. Having been exterminated last week, you'd think that would have been it for the character. There's some bickering between the two men. Waterfield seems a bit flaky, regretting his involvement, but Maxtible takes a harder line, and reaches for a gun. Then Terrall leaps towards Maxtible and grabs him, saving Waterfield from the bullet. I'm not sure "Waterfield does not die yet" would be of much comfort the Victoria's father. Terrall's "You will obey" is very clever if it's supposed to be a reference to his alien superiors.

Elsewhere there's a bit of hide and seeks between Jamie and his new pal, and the Daleks. Victoria is interrogated by the Daleks but they seem to have difficulty remembering her name and can't get past that. Over and over they ask her. I don't know whether this is a studio set or a real house interior but I love all these shots of the hallways and gallery. The gallery is shot low, with impressive curved ceiling in view, and some nice high angled shots of the patrolling Daleks below.

A scene with Terrall bullying Mollie the maid, and acting like a crazy man, insisting that Victoria is in Paris.

Maxtible has an argument with a Dalek and it actually knocks him over with its sucker arm. I didn't realise they were so strong. The lady of the house, Ruth, enters wondering what all the commotion was about. Maxtible explains that in return for cooperation the Daleks promised him the secret of the alchemists: turning metal into gold. Well, this is a novel motivation for a Doctor Who baddy.

Jamie and Kemel manage to destroy a Dalek, but end up trapped and surrounded by several more...

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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Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 4