Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Review: Serial 36 - The Evil of the Daleks

From Classical Gallifrey

Doctor: Patrick Troughton (2nd Doctor)
Companion: Jamie, Victoria

Written By: David Whitaker
Directed By: Derek Martinus

Background & Significance: The first four seasons of Doctor Who saw the show at its first peak of being "super popular". It happened early on and virtually almost overnight when The Doctor and his crew first went up against "The Daleks". Now I don't need to tell you because you already know, but The Daleks were popular. No like really. Super mega popular. There were Dalek toys and games and vernacular. The whole country had been seized by Dalekmania.

Of course, this bled into Doctor Who, helping to make the show the super popular phenomenon it eventually became, and without The Daleks, the popularity might never have come and Doctor Who might have died after just a few seasons.

And Terry Nation was smart enough to know this.

Because of their popularity, Terry Nation wanted to create a Dalek show, milking all he could out of his greatest creations. He pitched and wrote an idea for the BBC which would have featured Sara Kingdom and spun out of "The Daleks Master Plan". The BBC rejected the idea (although a production of the story was later released by Big Finish just over a year ago...) and Terry Nation turned to the United States to see if they'd be interested. Because The BBC realized that Nation wanted to go a separate way, they decided to write The Daleks out of Doctor Who for good and planned for the end of the show's fourth season.

As Terry Nation wasn't available, the production teamed hired "Power of the Daleks" writer David Whitaker to pen the adventure, meaning that the guy who wrote what is almost certainly the greatest Dalek story ever made returned to bring The Doctor into a final showdown with his oldest and greatest foe. And this was supposed to be it for them. Sure, they returned later in the Pertwee era and beyond all the way to today, but for all intents and purposes, this was their last appearance ever. And the fact that they were gone for seven years shows you how seemingly serious they were about it. For perspective, they were out of the show for as long as Tom Baker was The Doctor and for longer than the Nu-Who has been back on the air.

But even beyond that, it's a turning point for the show. It's the first story that really (and I mean really) utilizes the fantastic team of 2nd Doctor/Jamie and it's the first appearance of Victoria. So... yeah. Turning point.

Read the full review here

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