onsdag den 18. marts 2009

Who Review #37 - the Evil of the Daleks

Only episode 2 of seven exists in another of the stories regarded as a classic. (Windsor Davies pops up in this story.)

The TARDIS is driven away from Gatwick Airport. Jamie and the Doctor go to a warehouse and learn the name of the company that took it; unknown to them, they are being observed. The Doctor is suspicious of the warehouse attendent and they follow him. At an antique shop, we see a Mr. Perry looking at the wares with its owner Waterfield. The latter has ordered the TARDIS be taken. Hall and his accomplice (Kennedy) fight; the is latter is knocked out. The Doctor and Jamie find him. They find matches and the name of a coffee shop; they go there. Waterfield talks with Kennedy; the matches were deliberately left there, and heshows Kennedy photos of the Doctor and Jamie to get confirmation that they are the people he is interested in. Waterfield opens a secret door to a room with alien technology; he collects a Victorian ornament from it. In the shop, he talks with Perry and requests he meet the Doctor and Jamie at the coffee shop and ask them to come to the antique shop that evening. Waterfield re-enters the secret room. Kennedy grows curious. At the coffee shop, the travellers sip a mug and surmise it is a trap whilst the Seekers and the Beatles (Papeback Writer) play on the radio in the background. Kennedy hears Waterfield talking to somebody. Perry delivers the message to the Doctor. Kennedy enters the secret room; a Dalek materialises and asks "Who are you?"

It exterminates him and dematerialises again. The travellers enter the antique shop. Jamie reasons that Waterfield must have a time machine if all the antiques are genuine and brand new. Waterfield talks with a Dalek . it says that only one form of life matters: Dalek life. Waterfield is distraught at Kennedy's death and doesn't want to be a part of that. Perry sneaks into the shop and the Doctor questions him. Waterfield leaves half of a picture in a box, which he lays in the alien machine. The Doctor and Jamie find Kennedy's body; he has the other half of the Doctor's picture. They get into the secret room and open the box; gas knocks them out. Waterfield, the travellers and the machine dematerialise. The Doctor comes to in a Victorian house in 1866. A maid brings in some refreshments, by order of a Mr. Maxtible. The Doctor meets Maxtible and Waterfield. The latter is working for an evil power because his daughter is being held captive. Victoria (Deborah Watling) is being held by the Daleks; she hasn't been eating and a Dalek guard orders her to eat or else she will be force fed. Maxtible and Waterfiled show the Doctor the principles of their time machine and explain how, during an experiment, creatures came out of their machine. The creatures ordered Waterfield to lure the Doctor into a trap. A Dalek enters the room. The Daleks want the Doctor to aid them in a test on Jamie. The Dalek leaves again. Maxtible explains that the Daleks want to know why they lose to humans and discover what factor is responsible. Jamie comes to and meets the maid and Ruth Maxtible. Unknown to him a ruffian enters and knocks him out. He abducts him. The Doctor and Waterfield find the unconscious maid. The Doctor glumly explains that if the test is delayed the Daleks will kill everyone in sight will take great pleasure in killing him. The Daleks want to start the test.

Jamie meets a man called Terrall. He seems to be afflicted by rapid memory loss; he doesn't remember asking the ruffian to knock Jamie out. The Doctor overhears this and gets Jamie. Victoria is moved from her cell. The Doctor reassures Waterfield that Jamie will cooperate (he is evesdropping) and they set off to look for Maxtible. He is in the lab, discussing the test with a Dalek; he calls in Kemel who shows his strength by bending an iron rod and chopping a plank of wood in half. Kemel is ordered to look out for Jamie, who is described as evil. The Daleks want to introduce "the human factor" into the Daleks; embryos have been brought from Skaro. The Doctor is forced to go along with the test on Jamie, otherwise the TARDIS will be destroyed. The test consists of Jamie rescuing Victoria. In the living room, Jamie meets Terrall again, who cannot remember Jamie. He suddenly is afflicted again and rushes out. The maid tells Jamie that Terrall has been suffering mood swings lately and that the house is haunted. The Doctor enters; Jamie and him have an argument. Waterfield enters and confirms what the Doctor has said about the Daleks. Jamie walks off in a temper; the Doctor knows he will set out after Victoria when his temper cools. In the barn, the ruffian wants more money from Terrall; he knocks him out and takes the housekeys, intent on theft. Waterfield, Maxtible, the Doctor and a Dalek discuss the etst; Jamie's feelings will be monitored to discover the Human Factor. Jamie and the maid move towards the sealed off southwing. The ruffian is exterminated by a Dalek. In the southwing, Jamie comes face to face with the waiting Kemel.

The two men begin to fight. Jamie knocks him over and makes a run for it. Kemel pursues and in the chase falls off a balcony. Jamie hands Kemel rope to haul himself up from the ledge, saving his life. They stop fighting. A Dalek plants Victoria's handkerchief on a chair for Jamie to find. He goes to pick it up but is pushed aside by Kemel, saving him from an axe that falls down. A Dalek and the Doctor oversee the test. The Doctor explains it took courage to fight Kemel (the Dalek says they are afraid of no-one). The Dalek dismisses the act of saving the Turk's life as human weakness. The Doctor says that if the Daleks want the human factor, some of it must include mercy. Maxtible and Waterfield find the thief's body; Waterfield is racked by guilt that another person has died; he says he will get his daughter back then confess his part in all this. Maxtible gets a gun. Jamie and Kemel "talk"; the strongman is mute. He writes his name on a dusty table. The two become allies and set off to find Victoria. Waterfield and Maxtible take the body to the barn. Maxtible intends to shoot Waterfield but is prevented by Terrall, who says Materfield must not be harmed yet. Kemel and Jamie conceal themselves as a group of Daleks pass by; but one of them spots them. It does nothing. They are nearly killed by another booby-trap. In the control room, the Doctor explains that Jamie used instinct to avoid the trap. Jamie and Kemel find the room where Victoria is being held and begin thinking about how to get her. (The Doctor explains self-presrvation.) Terrall finds the maid ; she swears she has heard Victoria. Ruth Maxtible implores Terrall to come away with her, but he refuses. in the lab, Maxtible pushes for his part of the deal to be honoured; the Dalek he speaks to knocks him to the ground and orders him to obey. Ruth enters and starts asking about Victoria; her father tells her he is on the verge of learning how to turn metals into gold. Jamie and Kemel destroy a Dalek by pushing it into a fireplace. They climb up to Victoria's room; a door opens behind them, to reveal a Dalek.

They run in time; they lock a door and meet Victoria. The Doctor talks with Terrell because he interests him - Terrall doesn't eat or drink. The Doctor is called away. Terrell goes to drink but suddenly clutches his head as the word "Obey" is repeated. Victoria tries to explain how she was captured; she can't seem to remember; Jamie realises someone in the house is aiding the Daleks. Maxtible begins to hypnotise the maid so that she will forget what she has seen and heard; he is helping the Daleks. Terrall is order to fetch Victoria. The Doctor tells Waterfield that the experiment is nearly over - the positronic brain has most of the nobler features in humans. A Dalek orders the Doctor to report when he is finished. Waterfield pleads with the Doctor to stop the experiment, fearing humanity's future. The Daleks begin breaking down the door. Terrall grabs Victoria and Jamie and Kemel rush down the secret passage in pursuit. Jamie and Terrall start fighting. The Doctor arrives and persuades Terrall to leave the house - the latter is coming back to his senses again. Kemel finds Victoria in the lab, where he is then ordered by a Dalek to take her to the time cabinet. All three disappear. Jamie and the Doctor have an argument, where Jamie calls the Doctor callous and unthoughtful. Three Daleks come in, the ones given the human factor. They start to play a game with the Doctor. An amusing game, says a sinister looking Maxtible.

The Daleks continue to play games. The Doctor gets dizzy, whereupon the Daleks say: "Dizzy...dizzy...dizzy Doctor!" These Daleks have a sense of humour and don't speak in the normal Dalek manner. They are similar to young children, although they will grew up in the space of hours. They ask who Jamie is: A friend, he replies. The Daleks say "Hello, friend." The Doctor gives them the names Alpha, Beta and Omega. They go because all Daleks have been ordered to return to Skaro. Maxtible leaves for Skaro. A bomb is primed; Waterfield, Jamie and the Doctor are forced to go into the time machine too. Maxtible explains that they are on Skaro to Victoria. The Doctor and co. enter the Dalek city. An alarm sounds. One of the human factor Daleks is stopped and asked about the mark on its casing. The human factor Dalek replies it is its name; the Doctor gave it and he is a friend. Victoria and Kemel are sheparded into a room containing Maxtible. He is led away by a Dalek and his terrible scream can be heard. Victoria is next. The Doctor and co hear Victoria's scream; they meet Dalek Omega, only it is an imposter. The Doctor destroys it. But they are taken by two Daleks. They enter a room and see a massive Dalek that looks completely different to all the others - the Emperor Dalek. The Doctor says the end of the Daleks is nigh, as the human factor Daleks will start a rebellion. The Emperor says that the experiment was done to determine the Dales' strengths. the Dalek factor. It tells him that he will use the TARDIS to spread the Dalek factor through the history of Earth.

The Doctor and co, , Maxtible and Victoria are held in a cell. The Doctor pulls out his recorder, whilst trying to figure out what the Daleks are going to do to persuade him. The Daleks are ready to proceed with the Dalek factor experiment. Maxtible is revealed the secret of transmutation of metal. He goes to the machine and is given the Dalek factor. The Emperor receives a report that a Dalek questioned an order - it was one of the human factor Daleks. Later, Maxtible goes to the cell. He mesmerises the Doctor; he follows and is subjected to the Dalek factor. He begins to speak in a dalek like voice. He is taken to a machine which will spread the Dalek factor; pretending to examine the machine, the Doctor switches the human factor for the Dalek factor. The Doctor talks to the Emperor; it orders Daleks to pass through the Dalek factor machine to eradictae the human factor Dalek. The Doctor helps the prisoners escape. Waterfield sets off after Maxtible. Some Daleks have already got the human factor; they chant: "Dizzy...dizzy...dizzy Daleks!" A black Dalek orders them to continue working; they ask why, The black Dalek exterminates one of the human factor Daleks; it in turn is exterminated by the remaining Daleks. Civil war breaks out. The black Daleks fall back to defend the Emperor. Waterfield saves the Doctor and asks him to look after Victoria before he dies. The companions start their escape. Kemel dies protecting them. The Doctor leaves the city as it begins to explode. The Doctor remarks that this is the final end of the Daleks. In the city, it looks like one Dalek is still alive though.

The Daleks are once more at their evil best in this story. It was simply a delight though when the three human factor Daleks appear and play games with the Doctor. He himself is much darker than before, which adds to the drama. The plot seems a little too contrived at times, which is why I don't regard it as quite the classic others make of it; on the whole, it is a great story with many memorable scenes.

The incidental music was good and varied - going from ordinary instruments to a radiophonic "da-da-da-dum" sound, similar to the theme music, in Dalek scenes. Apropos sound, I really like the electronic background noise of the Dalek city (used before in the Daleks from season one) as well as the characteristic electronic throbbing sound of Dalek control rooms, used many a time afterwards.

And of course, there is the introduction of Victoria. I have mentioned in previous reviews what I call the companion crisis. That finally settled here. Troughton would have either a Jamie/Victoria or Jamie/Zoe duo for the rest of his tenure. Ben and Polly were vastly underutilised, especially Anneke Wills. Troughton, Frazer Hines, Deborah Watling and Wendy Padbury formed some of the best partnerships in the show's history.

An entertaining end to what was otherwise a lacklustre season four. (The highlights for me are Tenth Planet, Power of the Daleks, the Highlanders and this story.) Season five makes amends for that, in arguably one of the show's best seasons.


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