After a lengthy pause, the old favourites return!
I actually stayed at home to watch the first episode whilst my parents and sister went to the circus. (I don't like circuses these days; there is something very wrong in keeping animals, the delightful elephant and the majestic big cats, and making them do tricks. I simply detest clowns FULL STOP. I've yet to meet someone who hasn't got some sort of neurotic dislike of the bastards! There is a marvellous Gary Larson cartoon which puts it well: somebody goes to the cinema to watch a film called "Catch Willy and Make Him do Tricks".) Goodness knows what would be made of my parents' decision today - leaving a small kid alone at home, even if he did insist (and was bratty) on watching the Daleks!
The whole Romana regeneration scene is just silly. I expected the Python knight to emerge and hit Baker and Ward with a rubber chicken.
The Daleks are a disappointment. They disappoint because the entire plot revolves around them finding Davros in order to defeat the Movellans; also, not for the first or last time, the Dalek dialogue is so excrutiatingly limited and bad. So limited, they repeat an order several times during a scene.
I have never really liked the idea of bringing Davros back. Michael Wisher's Davros in Genesis of the Daleks was the dog's whatsits; it should have been that character's only story. The Daleks are reduced to a subordinate role because Davros returns. And please...! The Doctor throwing his hat on a Dalek eyestalk , pushing it and destroying it somehow, was pathetic. David Gooderson fails to impress in Destiny, although he does give it a good shot. His voice just sounds wrong and his movements are jerky, not the smooth motions we saw in Genesis.
The Mavellans are interesting. It is one of the great sci-fi ideas: a race of beings that are intelligent and sophisticated, 100% robotic - with computers for brains - and utterly ruthless and emotionless. Such a race is the nightmare of human endeavour in cybernetics, computer science and so forth. Despite that, they do look daft in their silvery dreadlocks...well, with the exception of the gorgeous Suzanne Danielle, who could wear a bin bag, etc, etc. They can be destroyed by removing an exposed power pack located on their arms, which is weak plotting.
The location filming in a quarry, plus the return of that electronic howling sound as background planet noise, work well and transport us to Skaro. There is a very desolate, unfriendly and inhospitable feel to those shots. Episode 1 magnifies that because we hear some unknown subterranean noises. (Location filming, though, has always had one big drawback for Doctor Who : the beautiful song of the Skylark . It would seem Skaro has Skylarks, as did the miniscope's Drashig pen in Carnival of Monsters.)
Despite its faults, I like Destiny. The plot is weak but many scenes are well made and strong.
Season 17 marks the Graham Williams/Douglas Adams producer/script editor duo.
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