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“You would make a good Dalek!”
This episode is by Robert Shearman. It was the first ‘Doctor Who’ episode I ever saw! Honest it was!
For this Dalek story, I’ve had the original DVD cover of ‘Doctor Who – Series 1 – Volume 2’ signed by writer Robert Shearman and Dalek voice artist Nicholas Briggs at the ‘Regenerations 2011’ convention in Swansea, September 2011. I’ve also had the DVD cover signed by Barnaby Edwards, the Dalek operator for this TV story, at the ‘Pandorica 2015’ convention in Bristol, September 2015.
This was the first time I saw Rose and the Ninth Doctor and it was the first time I saw a Dalek. I have fond memories of this ‘Doctor Who’ story, since it got me mad into watching the series and it changed my life.
As I’ve said before, I met Rob Shearman and Nick Briggs at ‘Regenerations 2011’. It was great to meet and chat to them. I shared my memories of watching ‘Dalek’ and ‘Doctor Who’ in general to them.
This story is set in an underground museum in Utah, 2012. It’s owned by a millionaire and claimed ‘owner of the Internet’ called Henry Van Staten, who collects alien artefacts that have fallen to Earth.
One of these alien artefacts is a lone survivor of the Time War – a Dalek. The Doctor encounters this Dalek and is determined to destroy it, since the Daleks cost him the lives of his people, the Time Lords.
I didn’t know what Daleks were before I watched this episode. Seeing the Dalek in this really terrified me. The things that a Dalek could do with its voice; the way it looked and exterminating people was frightening.
The Dalek can kill people with its ray gun and sucker stick. But the fact that the Dalek has a ‘burning intelligence’ and being clever in getting what it wants is disturbing. It can also be very manipulative.
The voice of the Dalek is very chilling to listen to and Nicholas Briggs does a fantastic job voicing it on TV. Nick delivers a lot of layers on the Dalek voice, from being so pathetic to being extremely hostile.
I found the scene between Rose and the Dalek very moving at first. It seemed to be ‘dying’ and Rose had some sympathy for it. Eventually, when Rose places her hand on the Dalek’s casing, it’s all a trick.
The Dalek revitalises and escapes its ‘cell’ to cause havoc and to exterminate. Throughout the story, there are deaths left; right and centre and the Doctor is determined to go to great lengths to stop it.
Christopher Eccleston’s performance as the Doctor is very powerful. He goes from wanting to kill the Dalek to getting shocked and upset about Rose’s ‘demise ‘and ‘death’ and blaming Van Staten for it.
Billie Piper as Rose is brilliant. I love her empathy towards the Dalek once she sees it looking so pathetic. She’s soon horrified when it kills people. I did think that Rose would get killed by the Dalek in this.
Bruno Langley (of ‘Coronation Street’ fame) guest stars as Adam Mitchell. Adam works for Mr Van Statten in this episode and he may be a potential companion for the Doctor at the end of this story.
The final showdown with the Dalek is very inspirational. The Doctor’s about to blow up the Dalek with a big gun, but is stopped by Rose who sees him turning into a monster and it’s pretty emotional.
We get to see inside the Dalek when it opens up its casing to reveal the mutant creature. It looks so pathetic and horrible inside. The Dalek exterminates itself when it considers itself no longer fit as a Dalek.
‘Dalek’ was my first memory of ‘Doctor Who’ and is one I’ll never forget for the rest of my life. It’s considered one of the best episodes ever made in the new TV series and it’s very easy to see why that is.
The DVD/Blu-ray special features for this episode are as follows. There’s an audio commentary with Bruno Langley, Nicholas Briggs, writer Robert Shearman and visual effects supervisor Dave Houghton. There’s also an ‘On Set with Billie Piper’ video diary that includes a behind-the-scenes look on ‘Dalek’. There are also some BBC trailers on ‘Aliens of London’/’World War Three’ and ‘Dalek’ to enjoy. There’s also the ‘Doctor Who Confidential’ episode ‘Dalek’.
The two stories ‘Aliens of London’/’World War Three’ and ‘Dalek’ are a great way to get into the new series of ‘Doctor Who’, especially if you’ve just started and you want to know about the Daleks. You’ll also get to have tremendous fun in enjoying a two-parter featuring Downing Street and stinky aliens.
‘Dalek’ rating – 10/10
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