‘THE DESTROYERS’ (THE DALEKS)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Daleks with Sara Kingdom
After enjoying ‘Prison In Space’ so much in ‘The Second Doctor Box Set’, I expected the same of ‘The Daleks: The Destroyers’. Sadly however, I found this audio adventure very hard-going and uninspiring.
This is the unaired TV pilot of a Dalek TV series by Terry Nation. Nation had wanted his successful creations to have their own US TV series. Sadly it did not happen and only the TV pilot script remained.
Many years later, Big Finish discovered this TV script for the Dalek pilot and decided to adapt it into an audio episode. Tasked with adapting this TV script into audio were Nicholas Briggs and John Dorney.
Rather than making it a full-cast production, Nick and John decided to keep with Terry Nation’s script and stage directions and have it done as a narration piece in the style of ‘The Companion Chronicles’.
The story features Sara Kingdom, who was a short-term companion with William Hartnell’s Doctor on TV. I assume that this TV/audio pilot episode would have taken place before ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’.
Sara with agents Mark Seven and Jason Corey are on a mission to stop the Daleks who have attacked Explorer Base One on an unknown planet. The agents soon discover a terrible plan to invade the Earth.
Jean Marsh is the narrator of this story. Meaning no disrespect to Jean, but I’m afraid I found her as a narrator hard-going. I found Jean’s voice monotonous which made the story so dull and slow in places.
But I enjoyed Jean as Sara Kingdom. This is Sara before she met the Doctor and Steven. She’s on this planet with two other Space Security Agents and she’s on this mission to rescue her lost brother David.
David?! Sara has a brother called David. I thought her brother was Nicholas Courtney as Bret Vyon. We know so little about Sara Kingdom that it’s so great that Big Finish can develop her character here.
Alan Cox guest stars as Mark Seven. Mark is an android who’s human in appearance, but is mechanical inside. Alan brings a cold blankness to Mark who doesn’t show any compassion which was interesting.
Chris Porter also guest stars as Jason Corey. Jason seems to be the leader of the group. He seems rough and battle-hardened, but he also shows compassion to Sara when concerned about her brother.
The Daleks are very good in this adventure. I get a thrill and shiver when Nick Briggs does the voices. The Daleks have an agenda to invade the Earth, as they always tend to do when it comes to conquests.
In this episode, the Daleks are pretty ruthless when they are exterminating the humans at Explorer Base One. I did enjoy that catchy incidental music when the Daleks are gliding through in this episode.
The episode has a fitting catchy theme tune for the Dalek TV series, which would have suited very well in the veins of an American TV series like ‘Star Trek’. I’m sure it would have caught on well in the 60s.
‘The Destroyers’ episode is divided into two acts with the theme music to provide the intermission parts. I suppose it would’ve been the case for many American TV shows on channels with commercials.
I found the story’s conclusion anti-climactic. It ends on a cliff-hanger with the Daleks about to invade the Earth. It was supposed to continue, but we don’t know what comes next which left me unsatisfied.
I do wonder what would have happened had ‘The Daleks’ TV series continued beyond its pilot episode. I assume it’s a tie-in to the events of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, but there isn’t very much to go on here.
‘The Destroyers’, whilst an interesting audio experience, didn’t do it for me. I found the narration rather lacking and the pace was pretty slow. If only they did the US TV series as Terry Nation intended.
Disc 4 of ‘The Second Doctor Box Set’ contains an hour’s worth of bonus features including behind-the-scenes interviews on the making of ‘Prison In Space’ and ‘The Destroyers’. The bonus features are divided into three sections. The first two are on ‘Prison In Space’ whilst the third is on ‘The Destroyers’.
The third section focuses on the behind-the-scenes making of ‘The Destroyers’ with cast and crew interviews. The interviews are with Jean Marsh, Alan Cox, Chris Porter; Alex Mallinson who played David, director Lisa Bowerman and co-writer John Dorney. They’re conducted by producer David Richardson.
At the end of Disc 4, there’s a trailer for the lost Season 27 of ‘Doctor Who’ with Sylvester McCoy and Sophie Aldred, most specifically on ‘Crime of the Century’ instead of ‘Thin Ice’ for some strange reason.
‘The Second Doctor Box Set’ has been a pretty enjoyable listening experience for me. Whilst ‘The Daleks: The Destroyers’ didn’t rate highly for me, ‘Prison in Space’ was a worth a listen with Frazer Hines and Wendy Padbury as the Doctor, Jamie and Zoe. I’m sure you’ll enjoy the tales in this box set.
‘The Destroyers’ (The Daleks) rating – 4/10
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