fredag den 3. april 2009

Who Review #69 - Planet of the Daleks

Episode 3 of this six parter is in black and white.

The TARDIS is sent to a jungle world by the Time Lords. The Doctor is unconscious, recovering from his injury; Jo goes outside to look, keeping a record for the log, and is followed by an invisible creature and her hand is also covered in ooze that is squirted from a plant. The Doctor recovers and discovers the TARDIS doors won't open and that the air is running down. Jo finds a spaceship, with a dead pilot. She then meets two humanoids called Taron and Vaber (Prentice Hancock - some Dr.Who and Space:1999). The men move off at the sound of a patrol, whilst Jo hides in the ship. An invisible being enters the ship but doesn't find Jo. The Doctor begins to lose consciousness again but the humanoids, alerted earlier by Jo, scrape away the fungus from the TARDIS doors and carry the Doctor out. The Doctor realises the humanoids are Thals (the Daleks); the Thals remember the legend of the Doctor, Barbara, Ian and Susan as well as his TARDIS. Jo has been infected by the deadly fungus. The Doctor learns that the planet is Spiridon, a particularly inhospitable place. They hear a noise and investigate; a colour spray reveals the hitherto invisible shape of a Dalek.

The Daleks are learning to use the Spiridon's invisibilty. Jo grows worse and worse; a Spiridon finds Jo. The Thals and the Doctor make their way back to the ship; a Dalek patrol shoots the Doctor when he tries to stop them destroying the ship. The Doctor is taken captive by the Daleks and placed in a cell at their complex. He listens to the recording made by Jo; she, meanwhile, is being cared for by the Spiridon Wester. The Doctor and a thal Codal plan on escasping. Wester explains how the Daleks invaded, using plague weapons to kill many of his people and render resistance impossible; also, Jo learns the Doctor is well. Another Thal ship lands (containing Marat, Latep and Rebec); the Thals unite and rebec informs Taron that there are 10s of thousands of Daleks on Spiridon, not merely a dozen.

Jo and Wester move towards the Dalek city; Jo plans to rescue him. The Thals study the area; the Daleks use an ice volcano as a coolent, and thus the Thals think they might find a way into the city, down tunnels, to destroy the Daleks. The Doctor has rigged a device which he hopes will incapacitate a Dalek at short range - it works. Jo, hidden in a box that was carried in by Spiridon slaves, is in the city. The Doctor and Codal remove a grill that allows Taron et al to get out of a cooling duct that is closing because of an ice eruption. They manage to escape, except Marat who is exterminated. The Daleks gain possession of a map revealing where the Thals have hidden their explosives; Jo follows a patrol out of the city. The Daleks cut through to the Doctor and the Thals; they have made a balloon, but it doesn't seem to be full of enough hot air to lift them up a shaft.

The balloon lifts off as the Daleks enter; they escape. An anti-gravity disc is used to lift a Dalek up the shaft, whilst a patrol moves towards the surface exit. Jo rescues two of the Thal explosive devices. The Doctor and co. make it to the top in time. Jo is reunited with them. The Daleks plan to use a plague weapon to destroy anything not immunised. The Doctor's group make their way to a plateau to keep warm, but must protect themselves from all the hostile animal life; the Thals contemplate blowing up the Daleks' freezer unit. Vaber and Taron argue; whilst everyone rests, Vaber heads off alone with the bombs. Some of the Thals set off after him to stop him. Vaber is captured by Spiridons.

Taron and Codal follow the Spiridons. Wester brings news of the plague bomb the Daleks are preparing. Vaber tries to escape but is exterminated. Taron and Codal manage to retrieve the bombs and escape. Jo and Latep lure a Dalek patrol to the plateau; the creatures are pushed into an ice pool and become immobilised. Wester sacrifices himself by opening the plague capsule, thus the Daleks cannot break quaranatine without destroying their army. The Doctor, Taron, Codal and Rebec enter the city disguised as Spiridons and a Dalek; the Doctor is spotted though and a Dalek raises the alarm.

The Doctor throws a Spiridon cloak over the Dalek and they run, just managing to get away. They head off for the basement and the coolent unit. The Dalek Supreme arrives to take control. Latep falls for Jo as they head off for the unit. The Supreme Dalek order the reactivation of the Dalek army and it also exterminates the leader Dalek for failure. Latep and Jo make it down and hold off the Daleks with their bomb. They reunite. Codal sets his bomb, which explodes and set of an ice eruption that buries the Daleks. The Supreme Dalek evacuates and sets a self destruct. The Thals make their way back to Skaro, using the Dalek ship. Jo is asked to come back with Latep, but refuses. The Doctor and Jo make it back to the TARDIS just in time before the surviving Daleks arrive. The Supreme Dalek says that they have been delayed, but not defeated. The Doctor sets a course for home - Earth.

Planet of the Daleks is miles better than Day of the Daleks in numerous ways: there are more Daleks, the voices are better and they look better too. The story has some nice reminders from past stories, esp. with the Thals. The jungle world of Spiridon looks very impressive and brings to mind similar excellent set work on the Daleks Masterplan; there is a sense of danger with the deadly fungi and the animal noises, also used previously.

Unfortunately, it does seem rather too easy for the Doctor and co. to waltz in and out of the Dalek city!

In a way, this is a double review as I have listened to some of the audio book. I haven't heard it all because I sometimes use it to fall asleep to - it was narrated by Jon Pertwee, and his recognisable voice is soothing. Top marks for his narration, plus the Dalek impersonations he did.

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