The Evil of the Daleks

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“I am not a student of human nature.. I am a professor of a much wider academy of which human nature is merely a part.” The Doctor

20th May – 1st July 1967

The Memory Cheats

The legendary epic. The final end. The last 60s appearance by the mechanical mutants. The Emperor Dalek looked out menacingly from the pages of the tenth anniversary special and kept me captivated with wonder and excitement. So when the BBC chose to release the story on something called a cassette, I was very pleased to get a chance to listen to it, whilst looking at the telesnaps in Doctor Who Magazine. I think Episode 2 must have been on one of the BBC VHS compilations. I can’t say I was that impressed, though I did watch a YouTube reconstruction a couple of years ago and really did enjoy it.

The Time Space Visualiser

It’s all very Avengers again at the start with the stealing of the TARDIS and a lot of fisticuffs. The mystery builds really well and we are clued into the appearance of Victorian artefacts.

Maxtible is a great Wellsian Victorian Gentleman with a touch of Conan Doyle’s Challenger. He is a wealthy man with an interest in time travel and his daughter is Thelma off of the likely lads. It is so good to have this episode as it gives us a fleeting glimpse into Troughton’s interaction with the Doctor’s greatest foe. I am not entirely sure how Maxtible and Waterfield invented time travel but many Victorian’s were fascinated by the concept. It’s all mercury and mirrors! I am not sure why he still wants to turn metal into gold. Surely the invention of time travel will mean that he is loaded. Also, why has Maxtible got a picture of Waterfield’s wife in his house? Isn’t that a bit weird?

Windsor Davies is playing Fagin. The whole thing with Jamie and the Doctor’s manipulation of him is quite strong. It is unsettling as Jamie is the sole companion at this stage. It almost reminds me a little of the First Doctor, although I am sure this is all part of a plan. (To rescue Victoria we later find out.) When they finally find the human factor they get it out of Jamie and inject it into the Daleks. How this happens remains a mystery. Is that a bit of innuendo? Also, if Jamie is so essential to the Dalek’s plan, why are they intent on killing him?

The dizzy dizzy Daleks are great and the moving scenes must be Loose Canon reconstructions. The slightly unhinged voices are very menacing. This concept has been used again and again but it is great and really makes them scary again. Then we find out we are going back to Skaro. I think this is the first time we return. We get to meet the Emporer Dalek and Maxtible learns too late to never trust a Dalek. They are evil you see!

What a great story. Of course some of it is nonsense, but the regulars are on form and some good performances all round. This story deserves epic status just because of the final scenes, which thankfully we can view because someone filmed it with his cine camera. The Daleks are also great again, making The Chase a distant memory.

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Racist Moment of the Week

‘His brain is undeveloped.’ So says Maxtible of Kemble. Even allowing for the time that the story was made, and in which the story was set (freak shows and that sort of thing) it is extremely uncomfortable watching this now.

Notable Firsts

The first appearance of an Emperor Dalek, and surely the best. Resurrection paid homage to the comics and the new series had another giant one, voiced in tribute to this one by Nicholas Briggs.

Trivial Pursuits

This story was given a revised repeat after ‘The Wheel in Space’ where the Doctor asks Zoe to be sure about joining the TARDIS crew as they meet dangerous creatures. Using a telepathic projector she gets to see the whole adventure! I have looked on eBay for a telepathic projector but they are as rare as sidewinding body belts.

Fascinating Facts

Simon Cowell when watching this story came up with the title for another popular Saturday evening show the X Factor when he heard about the human factor watching this story. It wasn’t until he saw Opportunity Knocks that he decided what the show would be about.

Terry Nations invented the Daleks after he watched some salt and pepper shakers dancing.

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The 500 Year Diary

20th July 1966 night

Someone’s stolen the TARDIS! Jamie and I follow it on the back of a lorry. The TARDIS towed away on a lorry! We come across this not very helpful air mechanic who later gets knocked out. The assailant leaves a few clues that lead us to Treacol, a rather trendy coffee bar, where they’re playing the Beatles and the girls like Jamie’s kilt.

Perry tells us that we need to meet Edward Waterfield, a Victoriana antiques dealer, at 10pm. What is this all about and will I get the TARDIS back?

2nd June 1866 am

Two eccentric Victorian gentlemen have only gone and invented time travel. With mirrors! More on that later…

We arrive at the shop before 10 and snoop around. These aren’t antiques. They’re brand new! Next thing, we find a dead body and a secret room. Unfortunately, Jamie is a bit quick to investigate and we get knocked out.

So we wake up in 1866 at the house of Theodore Maxtible. Not only has he been meddling with time, but also summoned the Daleks who have kidnapped Waterfield’s daughter. They also have my TARDIS and will destroy it unless I help them with an experiment involving Jamie to identify the Human Factor and thus make Super Daleks. What choice do I have? However, Jamie has disappeared. If we don’t get him back quickly, the Daleks will destroy everyone and their greatest pleasure will be destroying me.

2nd June 1866 pm

Jamie returns, but he’s not as compliant as I originally thought. He stands up to me accusing me of collaborating with the Daleks (which I am!). He was eavesdropping and heard all about the experiment and won’t co-operate although a little bit of reverse psychology about not rescuing Victoria appears to work.

2nd June 1866 eve

Monitoring Jamie’s progress in the tests alongside Kemel. He really is a rather feisty, brave companion full of compassion and instinct. He survives all the various traps, although on reflection, I have placed him in a great deal of danger.

3rd June 1866

Waterfield pleads with me to stop the experiment, but I know what I’m doing….

Discover that Mr. Terrall is under the influence of the Daleks and encourage him, Ruth and Mollie to leave immediately. Once again, Jamie has a go at me – he has lost his faith in me.

The Human Factor Daleks awake. They trap me, but all they want to do is play trains! Dizzy Doctor!

3rd June 2966 pm

And so we’re all in Skaro. I remember my first visit here with Ian, Barbara and Susan. Life seemed to be a lot simpler then. No sign of any Thals though. Didn’t want to return, but the Daleks’ bomb in Maxtible’s house left us no choice!

One of the Daleks recognises me claiming to be Omega (yes, I named the Daleks – Alpha, Beta and Omega – Daleks with names, rather sweet really), but realise it’s an impostor so push it off a cliff!

Eventually, we find ourselves in a big chamber with the huge Emperor Dalek.  I boast that my plan all along was to humanise the Daleks and thus start a revolution. However, identifying the Human Factor has meant they can pinpoint the Dalek Factor which they are going to spread through history using my TARDIS!

3rd June 2966 pm eve

I refuse to do what they ask and we’re all locked in a cell. Next thing, Maxtible is lured through an archway by an alchemy machine (he wants to make a fortune by turning metal to gold which is a bit odd as he seems rather rich already and besides he’s actually discovered the secret of time travel – that must be worth something – although I would have had to stop him) and as a result acquires the Dalek Factor.

Lured away by Maxtible, I pretend that I have been converted. This just gives me the opportunity to change the archway convertor to the Human Factor. This leads to some Daleks asking ‘why?’ and general defiance. This leads to civil war in the city and I only survive as Waterfield throws himself in front of a Dalek energy blast.

Poor Victoria. An orphan. I promised Waterfield that I would look after her, so she’s coming with us. Everyone dead except us three. We witness the explosive final end of the Daleks.

Or is it……? 

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The Five Word Lords

Epic, ultimate, superlative. A classic.

Artwork:Hisi79 Deviant Art:


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