‘THE EVIL OF THE DALEKS’
Please feel free to comment on my review.
The Dalek Factor with the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria
For Deborah Watling
‘The Evil of the Daleks’ is a ‘Doctor Who’ story worth having!
It’s exciting, it’s clever and it’s seven episodes of non-stop Dalek action adventure. This is one of the best Dalek stories from the 1960s, coupled together with ‘The Power of the Daleks’. It also happens to be the TV season finale for Patrick Troughton’s first year as the Doctor in ‘Doctor Who’ (Season 4)!
The story is by David Whitaker, who was the first script editor on the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series in the 1960s. David has a knack of capturing the atmosphere and tension of Dalek stories from Terry Nation. This is a seven-part TV adventure and it was very gripping to listen to from beginning to end.
Sadly most of the story is missing as there’s only one episode of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ in existence, which is ‘Episode 2’. This can be found on the ‘Lost in Time’ DVD, which features all the surviving TV episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ from the 1960s. This really shocked me when I discovered about this fact.
I didn’t think that all but one of the episodes of this story had been wiped from the BBC Archives. The TV soundtrack on a 3-disc audio CD is the only way to enjoy ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ in its entirety, unless you wish to see the telesnap version, which in my opinion is not the best or exciting.
I suppose it’ll take a while before they animate the missing episodes for a complete story of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ on DVD. But if they can do it with ‘The Power of the Daleks’, why not this one?! Saying this, the CD is worth having as it has linking narration by Frazer Hines, who played Jamie in the story.
It’s nice to listen to the story with Frazer providing the narration. It helps to know where you are in the story. The story was made for television and it would be difficult to know what sounds come where and what people are doing when talking. This is very different to a full-cast audio drama. ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ CD is now available as a part of ‘The Lost TV Episodes: Collection Four’ CD box set.
With the surviving ‘Episode 2’ of the story, I was able to refer to the characters with regards to what they look like on audio with clarity. The episode is also exciting to watch, especially with its suspense and cutting to the chase with Doctor and Jamie getting captured and also taken back in time to 1866.
‘Episode 2’ also happens to feature the very first appearance of new companion Deborah Watling as Victoria Waterfield. I’ll talk about this later. I also like the confrontation between the Doctor and the Dalek in this episode, when it comes out of a cupboard and it gets revealed who is behind all of this.
In terms of surviving episode of the story, it’s the only time we get to see Patrick Troughton’s Doctor confronting the Daleks in one episode out of the seven of the story. I found the Dalek killing Kennedy moment very chilling and it does add plenty of menace with Roy Skelton voicing the Daleks.
Now that I’ve talked about the TV soundtrack on audio CD and the surviving ‘Episode 2’, let’s talk about story itself. ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ is a story about the Daleks capturing the Doctor in 1966 and bringing him back to 1866 so as to help them with an experiment to provide ‘the Human Factor’.
I really enjoyed the 1966 setting of in ‘Episode 1’ of the story. It was a joy to hear the 1960s music in the background when the Doctor and Jamie are in the coffee shop. The shift from 1966 to 1866 was truly inspirational! It gives the story a ‘classic’ feel, reminding me of the BBC classic dramas I’ve seen.
As I’ve said before, this story introduces the new ‘Doctor Who’ companion, Victoria Waterfield. I’ve met the lovely Deborah Watling at ‘Doctor Who’ conventions. Her role as Victoria in this tale is brief, considering she’s in the captivity of the Daleks most of the time. But it was so nice to see her in this!
I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ TV soundtrack signed by the lovely Deborah Watling at the ‘Fantom Films @ Memorabilia Birmingham’ event in November 2011 and by Frazer Hines at the ‘Stars of Time’ event in July 2012. I am pleased to have had the story’s CD cover signed by them.
I enjoyed Victoria’s introduction in this ‘Doctor Who’ story. Sadly her father gets killed, but she’s let in by the Doctor and Jamie to join them at the end of the story and have adventures in time and space. I’m so pleased that Victoria Waterfield’s first episode in ‘Doctor Who’ has managed to survive.
We get to see how Victoria started out as a character on TV. I also like the idea of a Victorian girl travelling in the TARDIS. Put that with a Highlander and a Time Lord, it makes a pretty good team. Victoria’s relationship with her father is heart-warming and it’s so upsetting he was killed by the end.
I also like Victoria’s relationship with Sonny Caldinez as the mute wrestler Kembel. It signifies more to this lovely girl than meets the eye. I’ve had nice chats with Debbie about her time in ‘Doctor Who’ and how much she enjoyed working with Patrick Troughton and Frazer Hines through the TV series.
Back in November 2011, Debbie and I reflected on how sad it was that most of the stories she was in were wiped from the BBC Archives. Lately, ‘The Enemy of the World’ and ‘The Web of Fear’ have been found, which I’m so pleased about and it’s good Debbie got to witness the two stories’ return!
Patrick Troughton as the Doctor and Frazer Hines as Jamie are also brilliant! Patrick comes into his own in this story, as he’s grasped the role of the Doctor wonderfully and made the character his own. As this is the season finale, he becomes so heroic and thoughtful throughout this TV adventure.
The Doctor crafts together his own plans in this story, whilst he’s playing the part of the fool. That moment when the Doctor passes through the archway to condition himself as a Dalek really made me wonder whether this was the end for the Doctor. But of course the Doctor isn’t a human, is he?!
In the story, the Doctor manages to outwit the Daleks once more. His relationship with Jamie has developed during Season 4 and it’s at its most strongest in this story. Those scenes where Jamie doesn’t seem to trust the Doctor and they have arguments are quite tense and gripping to listen to.
But it works well for some really good character development between the Doctor and Jamie It’s obvious that Frazer Hines and Patrick Troughton work well together. They have some good moments in terms of comedy and drama and I enjoyed seeing them together during those comedy moments.
I found it funny in ‘Episode 2’ when the Doctor tells Jamie not to knock anything over in the antique shop. He knocks something over with Jamie catching it just in time! 😀 It’s nice that Jamie gets more to do in this story, as Polly and Ben left the TARDIS in ‘The Faceless Ones’ and he comes into his own.
Jamie gets to be heroic when he’s rescuing Victoria Waterfield; defying the Daleks and having a healthy interest in women. This is where Jamie’s character really starts to work well as a ‘Doctor Who’ companion compared to earlier in Season 4. It is great that this continued to develop later on.
The story’s guest characters are great and interesting as well. I liked John Bailey as the troubled character of Edward Waterfield, Victoria’s father. Waterfield is desperate for her daughter to be returned safely to him by the Daleks, since he’ll go to great lengths to capture the Doctor and Jamie.
Waterfield’s horror of the Daleks’ callous disregard for humans and killing them without a second thought makes you sympathise with him, as he realises what he’s getting himself into. It was interesting how he first appeared as an owner of 60s antique shop before truth of him was revealed.
I also like Marius Goring as Theodore Maxtible in this story. He seems to be gentlemanly and intelligent at first, but then his greed for wealth overwhelms him. It gets revealed that he made a bargain with the Daleks and that he was responsible for having Victoria get captured by them in this.
Theodore Maxtible is a character you really want to loathe in this story. His Dalek conditioning towards the end pays the price for what he’s done. It was interesting how Maxtible became obsessed for the secret of transmutation from metal into gold by the Daleks, which becomes absurd.
The other characters I like from this story include Geoffrey Colville as Perry and Griffith Davies as Kennedy in ‘Episodes 1 and 2’. There’s also Jo Rowbottom as Mollie Dawson, who I found a very sweet, gentle character as she attended to the Doctor and Jamie in ‘Episode 2’ of this TV adventure.
There are also faces I recognise from ‘Episode 2’ appearing in this story. There’s Brigit Forsyth, who starred in ‘Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads’ as Ruth Maxtible, Maxtible’s daughter. There’s also Windsor Davies, who played Sergeant Major Williams in ‘It Ain’t Half Hot Mum’, as Toby. WOW!
The Emperor Dalek makes his first appearance ‘Doctor Who’ in this story. I remember seeing ‘The Parting of the Ways’ from the new series of ‘Doctor Who’ where the Emperor Dalek appeared. The Emperor Dalek in this story is far different to the one I saw in ‘The Parting of the Ways’ in the photos.
But I could still imagine the foreboding presence of the Emperor Dalek when I listened to the TV soundtrack on audio CD. I was thrilled to bits when hearing the Doctor’s confrontation with the Emperor Dalek. The cliffhanger moment in ‘Episode 6’ was very thrilling and so engaging to listen to.
I was eager to find out what would happen to the Doctor and Jamie when they were being threatened by the Emperor Dalek to implant ‘the Human Factor’ into the human race. I first listened to that moment on ‘The Dalek Conquests’ audio CD. I could easily visualise it when I heard this scene.
I also love the friendly human Daleks in the story. They are Alpha, Beta and Omega! I couldn’t help but giggle at hearing those three Daleks in their friendly if somewhat deranged manner when they chatted to the Doctor and Jamie or when they talked to the ‘normal’ Daleks in the last two episodes.
It adds to the comedy and it was interesting how these Daleks can speak very unusual things to what they would normally say in character terms. Their questioning of Dalek orders makes them unique and I like the moments when they question and stand up for themselves against the ‘normal’ Daleks.
There’s also ‘the final end’, which is the Dalek civil war on Skaro. This had huge explosions and the Emperor Dalek shouting, “Do not fight in here!” which made the story seem really epic. I saw some surviving footage of that ‘final end’ and I really thought those scenes made the whole thing climatic.
It was deliberate and intentional that this would be the final appearance of the Daleks ever in the ‘Doctor Who’ series. This of course never happened, as the Daleks keep coming back to our TV screens to this day! I know what will happen in the future of the ‘Doctor Who’ TV series. More Daleks!!! 😀
If you have the ‘Lost in Time’ DVD, there’s a behind-the-scenes making-of film about ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ called ‘The Last Dalek’ on Disc 2 to enjoy. There’s also a commentary on ‘Episode 2’ of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ with Deborah Watling, moderated by Gary Russell. There’s an audiobook trailer on Disc 1 for the missing episode stories of ‘Doctor Who’ on audiobook CDs. There’s also a documentary on Disc 3 called ‘The Missing Years’ which looks into the missing episodes of ‘Doctor Who’, presented by Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling.
At the end of Disc 3 of the original audio soundtrack CD of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’, there’s a nice audio except of ‘Episode 1’ from the 1968 repeat of ‘The Evil of the Daleks’. This has audio narration of Patrick Troughton as the Doctor when he’s showing the story to Wendy Padbury as Zoe, following the events of ‘The Wheel In Space’. There are also the closing scenes of ‘Episode 7’ without the linking narration by Frazer Hines. There are also some audio excerpts of how they did the explosions in ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ and some Dalek voice sessions from ‘The Power of the Daleks’.
All in all, ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ is a very good ‘Doctor Who’ story and I’ve enjoyed it thoroughly on audio CD. There’s so much to talk about, but I’ll let you find out what you make of this story. ‘The Evil of the Daleks’ is worth having, especially with the audio CD and ‘Episode 2’ on the ‘Lost in Time’ DVD.
The story is also worth having for seeing Deborah Watling’s first appearance as Victoria Waterfield in ‘Doctor Who’. The story doesn’t have Victoria doing much, but it’s a decent introduction to her and it was nice how she joined the Doctor and Jamie in the TARDIS following the death of her father in this.
‘The Evil of the Daleks’ rating – 9/10
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