Classic Doctor Who Review #2: The Daleks
The Cult Factor is continuing with its reviews of Classic Doctor Who, continuing with The Daleks:
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Sydney Newman: We want to do a science fiction
serial. Legitimate stuff, though.
– No tin robots or BEMs.
Verity Lambert: BEMs?
Sydney Newman: Bug-Eyed Monsters! You know…
mutations and Death Rays.
Brains in glass jars,
that kind of crap.
It’s going to run all year.
So a good-looking guy,
a good-looking girl
and a kid who gets herself
into all kinds of trouble.
Plus an older man. Quirky.
I’ll come back to him.
They travel about in space
and time getting into scrapes!
Verity Lambert: That’s a lovely idea!
Sydney Newman: You know me. Pop! Pop! Pop!
1963: Those words were what Sydney Newman specifically said to Verity Lambert, regarding The Daleks1. Of course then they were just a vision, but what Verity did know that she wanted them to be Bug-Eyed Monsters.
2015: Fast forward to today and The Daleks have already been labelled, worldwide as the Doctor’s main adversary, with their Trademark: “Exterminate”. Though they aren’t, in my opinion as scary as they were in the past (addressing that in a later retrospective. ), however they are still very iconic and well known in British Culture. And on Saturday 21st December 1963, viewers were treated to a rather spine chilling cliff-hanger.
You can see how cleverly they staged the cliffhanger, Who thought that a sink plunger and an egg whisk would become one of Britain’s infamous mascots. Great job Doctor Who. :):):) Let’s drink (tea and jammie dodgers) to you. No one’s irreplaceable, eh?
The story’s title is self explanatory, it’s about
The Cybermen The Daleks’ first appearances. What’s not mentioned is that another species, The Thals are also living in that society and they aren’t the best buds, you know, sticks and stones but sink plunger and an egg whisks in their place. And lasers. And death rays. And paralyzing. And…
Please see below.2
As I said before, the story introduced the Doctor’s first adversary. The concept is deluding; a sink plunger and an egg whisk on a mobile killing machine. Still however, Sydney did not support the decision for this creature. It was during taping of the story when JFK was assassinated, possibly further contributing to Sydney not willing to continue. But if you see how they turned out, they are stupendous albeit they are used too frequently.
There are some parts of the story that just make you think Ian was a genius and others where you feel sorry for the team. When he discovers he can controls a Dalek from the inside, he does just that and the other three push him down a corridor. Sadly, the Daleks realises that he has been duped and sounds the alarm.
The whole story is basically a war between the Dalek’s and Thals. It is a very engaging plot with some fantastic plot, superior to the first story as we know all the main characters. There is a few deaths and a moment where you think all the Daleks, but he doesn’t… 🙁 What is it with this show?!
Enough waffling on. More importantly I need to talk about performances, which were superb. Hartnell shone and the other members of the crew were just as good. You really felt sorry for Ian when he was paralyzed by the Daleks. I just wish they added this back in, rather than kill people. It would make every episode of Doctor Who much more interesting. I miss the first 2 stories, I just hope, all stories to follow will stack up.
1. These words were said by Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, and may be fictionalised.
2. As similar to before, These words were said by Sydney Newman and Verity Lambert in the docudrama An Adventure in Space and Time, and may be fictionalised.