Rewatching... Doctor Who: The Evil Of The Daleks - Part 5

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

"I am a professor of a far wider academy..."

Saturday 17 June 1967

I'm really enjoying this story. It's a very different Dalek tale to what we're used to. But then Power Of The Daleks was unusual too, and also brilliant. The Daleks haven't actually been in this one all that much so far, and I wonder how the children watching feel about that. When we do get to see them, gliding along the corridors of a Victorian manor house, its marvelous. As with having a new Doctor, this Dalek revival has felt like a new lease of life for the programme.

Jamie and Kemel get out of their Dalek-surrounded cliffhanger by lassoing them with a rope and sending them toppling over he balcony. They then reach Victoria's room. Everyone seems very pleased to see each other and Jamie gets to play the chivalrous hero to a beaming Victoria, handing her back her monogrammed handkerchief.

Meanwhile, the Doctor's knocking back the claret while Arthur Terrall looks on. The Doctor is very funny here, in full on cheeky mode pestering Terrall and trying to get him to eat or drink. When Terrall says he prefers his own company the Doctor replies "How very unsociable"! What's he playing at? Terrall's getting really wound up and the Doctor follows him out of the room. Ah...so he has suspicions and has noticed that Mr T never eats or drinks. And that he's magnetic. He's really probing him for answers now, and Terrall warns him to stop meddling. That's a great line from the Doctor after Terrall observes that he seems to be a student of human nature: "No Mr Terrall, I am a professor of a far wider academy of which human nature is merely a part. All forms of life interest me."

Shortly afterward Terrall hears voices in his head telling him to "Obeeey! Obeeeey!" Is that meant to be a Dalek voice? Doesn't sound like one, it's sort of whispery. Perhaps that's what Daleks sound like when they whisper. Anyway Terrall is clearly not himself and having a hard time.

In Victoria's room clever Jamie has deduced that the Daleks can't have kidnapped her without help. I'm not sure why he thinks that (too many stairs in old Victorian manor houses?) but he happens to be correct as the next scene demonstrates. Maxtible is trying some good old fashioned classic Victorian hypnosis on Mollie the maid, spinning a crystal in front of her face. He's telling her that she only dreamed hearing Victoria's voice. After this Maxtible orders Terrall to bring Victoria to him via a secret passage.

The Doctor explains to Waterfield that he's got this "positronic brain" thing which has Jamie's emotions imprinted onto it, and he plans to implant one of these into each of three Daleks and drive them mad.

I like the Doctor's reaction when Waterfield gets an attack of guilt suddenly. "You should have thought of that some time ago."

Jamie and Kemel re-enact their Dalek destroying routine from earlier to impress Victoria. Jamie is such a show off. But then some Daleks try to break into the room and while the two men are barricading the door Victoria is grabbed, Scooby-Doo style, by Terrall emerging from a secret doorway in the wall. She manages to break free and run off though.

Then we get another dreary / exciting fight scene as Terrall and Jamie have a sword fighting dual. Before long Terrall collapses. The Doctor arrives and removes a small control box from the back of his head. How primitive, you'd expect the Daleks to use an implant.

Kemel finds an inexplicably unconscious Victoria. I really have know idea how she came to be unconscious. Presumably she tripped over her dress and hit her head. People are constantly falling unconscious in Doctor Who. You almost never see that in real life, where it takes a lot to render one unconscious. In this programme (and many others from the era) a slight tap on the head is all that's needed. A Dalek appears and orders the Turk to put the girl in the time cabinet.

And then we get the strangest cliffhanger in three and a half years of Doctor Who. The three Daleks wake up after the Doctor's implanted the positronic whatsits in them, and it ends on a laugh as they play like children and the Doctor has a ride on one of them. Blimey...

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 5