Day of the Daleks part 2
17 May 2014 at 16:56 #27560Craig @craigEmperor
The Doctor is mistaken for the diplomat, Sir Reginald, and is threatened with execution. The guerrillas want to know who he is. The Doctor is more interested in ‘when’ they have come from.18 May 2014 at 13:06 #27588PhaseShift @phaseshiftTime Lord
A nice little consolidation episode which slowly starts to answer some of the questions the first episode posed. Clearly, the terrorists from the future think Styles is evil, so perhaps this is their Hitler Paradox (as in, if you could travel back in time, would you Kill Hitler). I think the pace certainly lets you see some tensions in their group. Shura (he of the ‘tache) is clearly a bit of a hothead. The Dalek version of the future obviously has gone well for women, with Anat being the obvious leader.
I think this episode is the one where the SE comes into its own – the dialogue scenes with the Daleks are much better, and the new disintegration effects look brutal. The re-edited fight as the Ogrons assault the house looks spiffy.
How controversial do you think it would be these days to see the Doctor pick up a gun and casually disintegrate a foe? The internet would melt!
Great cliffhanger as the Doctor chases the terrorists to come across a materialising Dalek.18 May 2014 at 13:31 #27590ConfusedPolarity @confusedpolarity
Love the Doctor’s sang-froid in dealing with the potential executioners, you never for a moment think he’s in less than complete control of the situation. I’m rather less comfortable with his casual use of the gun, though; I don’t mind him using his fists (or his martial arts skills) in close combat, but did find that jarring.
So, are Anat and co good guys after all? I had to check the end credits to identify the clean-shaven one as Carnell from Blake 7! And is Jo really naïve enough to trust that very shifty-looking 22nd century chap with a crew of Stepford assistants? I mentioned in last week’s comments I can find her more than a bit annoying – she’s so very “ickle girlie” at times 🙂 – but I can understand why she’d think a mob of intruders with guns and in one case a stinking bad attitude are a bunch of thugs!
The pace is building up nicely though, and the cliffhanger’s an absolute classic. Love the Doctor commandeering the Brigadier’s jeep without so much as a “by-your-leave” and his running right into a materialising Dalek is great.
Were the Daleks just a lot chattier in those days? Except in chorus, I’m finding their speech a lot less ominous and I’m not sure whether it’s the tone itself or the manner of their speech.18 May 2014 at 14:11 #27594wolfweed @wolfweed
I love this story. It’s so solid and I like the cast.
The unspecial edition might have effects that are lacking but it’s only real problem is the woeful Dalek voices. ”Who-ev-ah-is-op-a-ra-ting-the-time-ma-chine-is-an-N-M-E-of-the-Daleks.” Only ‘Dr Who The Movie’ has a more misjudged Dalek sound (Smash mashed-potato Robots).
Guerrilla fashion doesn’t date. This lot have come for Sir Reginald Styles. His name sounds like a classy makeover show.
Jo does a good owl impression. But even that and the fact that the cellar door is fairly ajar aren’t enough for our UNIT heroes to think to search down there (A classic ‘hiding in plain sight’).
So the Blinovitch limitation effect means – Time can be rewritten, but only so many times…
I wonder if Jo said it was 1977?18 May 2014 at 14:13 #27595Anonymous @
Well, that was quite fun and I echo @phaseshift‘s thoughts that the SE really does improve this episode. The effects work is great and I love the creepy exterior shots of future Earth.
I was also going to pick up his point that this story really does give the lie to the idea that the Doctor never picks up a gun or harms another living being. He’s really quite trigger happy here — and continues to be so if I remember correctly. So no more guff about Solomon’s fate being somehow OOC please.
I’m afraid @confusedpolarity that I find Jo quite delightful in this story. Certainly when compared to the Doc reverting to being a patronising arse in the cellar. I agree that Aubrey Woods as the Controller is a bit obviously creepy here but I quite like him. He’s always stuck in my head as one of the more memorable one-off villains of the Classic show and I think Woods’s performance is quite effective. This is presumably the part that would have been played by the Master if they’d gone with the original iteration of the story.
And on that note, am I the only one who finds it bizarre that the Controller communicates with the Daleks via a monitor screen when they’re clearly only through the bulkhead in the next room. Shades of William Shatner in Airplane 2, I think….18 May 2014 at 14:46 #27603Nick @nick
Conceptually I rather like the idea that the Daleks couldn’t really be bothered to deal with their slave functionary (ies presumably) in “person”; it makes sense to me that they would have total disdain for their slaves, that they prefer to spent their time on their X-box equivalent playing Call of Duty (insert your favourite here) (or writing Dalek poetry perhaps).
For this reason it also makes sense to me (as an adult) that they’d have a very limited force on Earth post conquest (or why bother with Ogrons or Human slave functionaries ?). The aesthetic that comes with a limited budget can be made to work if you want it to (once you’re past 12 anyway).
Nick18 May 2014 at 16:36 #27605Anonymous @
I must admit I quite like the idea of Daleks as slightly mardy teenagers…18 May 2014 at 21:22 #27629ScaryB @scaryb
Agree that Jo could be mind bogglingly naive at times (and that includes watching at the time) but she was feisty as well and the combination of the two could make her quite heroic. The context here of course is that she thinks the guerrilas are the bad guys, and why wouldn’t she from the experience she’s had so far? Also, although she’s the Doctor’s companion she’s had no experience of time travel to this point. And she’s never met a Dalek.
Terrorists loomed large in public consciousness in the early 70s, with groups like Baader Meinhoff and Black September coming to prominence, and the IRA. It’s easy to see the group teleporting in and wanting to assassinate Sir Reg as the bad guys. And yet they are obv opposing the Daleks so there are conflicting messages going on. Jo’s fled from a group of apparent killers and landed with people who appear sympathetic and rational. And she’s clearly disorientated from her trip.
It wasn’t the first and it won’t be the last time Jo’s volubility in being eager to help lands her and the Doctor in trouble.
Interesting about the use of weapons. The whole gadget/vehicle thing was much stronger in the Third’s tenure than in others – possibly to make up for the lack of a functioning TARDIS (as well as keeping Pertwee happy). Jason King and the Avengers have been mentioned as influences but there’s also a strong Bond vibe (which was around its peak in the early 70s).
writing Dalek poetry
That sets off a whole new train of thought!
And another great cliffhanger.18 May 2014 at 23:26 #27632Bluesqueakpip @bluesqueakpip
Well, I valiantly watched the original in all its wobbly glory – then rewatched with the Special Edition.
@phaseshift – Anat’s the leader, yeah, but I did wonder about her passing the newspaper to Shura. Was it that she wanted to keep her eyes on the Doctor, or was it that she can’t read? I can certainly imagine Daleks only allowing humans to learn to read if they need it for their work.
The new disintegration effect is indeed much more brutal. Bits flying everywhere… but the Dalek voices are such a huge improvement. There’s a very short documentary on the making of the Special Edition on the DVD, in which everyone is doing a variation on ‘the voices were utter crap’. The theory seems to be that the director didn’t know what a Dalek should sound like. (Nick Briggs actually says that he feels sorry for the two voice actors. )
I do get the impression that – while this is the first appearance of the Ogrons – the Doctor has met them before. He seems to imply as much when he tells the Brigadier that he’ll explain them later. Of course, if he knows they work for the Daleks, that would explain why he’s so trigger happy with them.
Yup. Variant of the Grandfather Paradox, a sort of Sir Reginald Styles Paradox. It gets even better – this story really does use ‘time travel’ as a major part of the plot instead of ‘we use time travel to get to where the plot will happen’.
@confusedpolarity – according to the documentary, the BG Daleks were generally a lot less insane than the AG Daleks are. Nick Briggs was asked to take it a bit lower. Mind you, I tend to rate any differences between BG and AG as ‘Time War, dear boy’. 😉
We, the audience, know that Jo is making a terrible mistake. It’s dramatic irony. As @scaryb says, as far as Jo’s concerned, she’s just escaped from a bunch of nutters with guns into what looks like some sort of Time Police control room. Why shouldn’t she help the nice policeman catch the obvious criminals?
@nick – I now have an image of Dalek Fred in his off-duty hours playing Invasion Earth, Reality Destruction, and Kill The Doctor. He’s probably complaining to Dalek Hans that he can’t get past Level Nine without being exterminated by the War Doctor’s TARDIS…19 May 2014 at 20:57 #27639Whisht @whisht
i’m liking this, and agree with all the above (hence not commenting!).
However the taking of the Brig’s jeep and his “oh, Doctor” eyebrow kinda makes him look dumb. I’d say ’emasculated’ but, though somewhat true, there are other inferences that word brings up that aren’t true.
anyway, enjoying this especially as I don’t remember it (as I was about 1)!24 May 2014 at 18:27 #27751Arbutus @arbutus
Changing historical is a very fanatical idea.
Frustrating as it is to watch Jo tell all to someone whom we know to be the bad guy, I understand her viewpoint. Terrorists with nasty weapons who almost killed them, tied them up in a cellar, and admitted being there to assassinate someone, or an authority figure who offers her a comfortable chair and behaves in a calm rational manner? I’d probably respond the same way.
And now, since I’m a week behind, on to part three!
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