Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Doctor Who 'Death to the Daleks' Review

'Death to the Daleks' DVD cover

‘Death to the Daleks’ is one of my all time favourite Doctor Who serials, starring Jon Pertwee my all time favourite Doctor.  The story begins with The Doctor and Sarah Jane travelling in the Tardis when they are draw off course.  The Tardis materialises on an unknown planet and is drained of all of its power.  In fact, something on the planet is draining every source of power, not even torches work, forcing the characters to explore in darkness.
From here the Doctor and Sarah Jane find themselves caught in the middle of a struggle between a group of stranded humans who need a mineral found on the planet to help save the lives of millions suffering from a disease, the planets primitive inhabitants the Exxilons, a rebel faction of the Exxilons and The Doctors oldest enemy, the Daleks.

From here the story begins to evolve into an engaging, and at often times frightening, mystery story as The Doctor attempts to find the source of the power drain and free the Tardis.  What is truly interesting about the story though isn’t necessarily the mystery of the power drain, but seeing Daleks without the ability to kill forced to work with The Doctor and the humans towards a common goal.
The Doctor is forced to work with his oldest enemies, the Daleks.

The story of the ‘Death to the Daleks’ is one of Terry Nation’s finest, showing the Daleks in a situation we have never seen them in before, and seeing The Doctor have to adapt to these changes as an uneasy alliance is born, with both sides ready to turn on the other at any second.

The opening ten minutes is also one of the finest of Doctor Who, as the powerless Tardis lands on the planet Exxilon The Doctor and Sarah Jane are forced to explore the dark and spooky surroundings in almost complete darkness.  The music score and gloomy lighting help to make these scenes truly scary, with the cloaked forms of the Exxilons stalking our heroes, blending in easily with their surroundings, creating a foe that could come from any direction at any moment.
The Exxilons prove to be one of the creepiest races in Doctor Who.

The supporting cast of humans is also very well created, with a great back story and characters you can quickly come to care about, so rather than being the usual monster fodder you will find yourself becoming more and more attached to them as the story progresses, feeling the loss of each death.

The main focus of the story, the mysterious power drain and the ancient Exxilon city, are very intriguing and offer some insight into the history of the Doctor Who universe, and even the far distant Earth.  The city itself is an amazing piece of model work that gives the story a sense of grandeur and scale.  Although the tests The Doctor has to pass in order to gain access to the interior of the city are not the greatest in the show it still cannot detract from the over all quality of the story.
The mysterious ancient Exxilon city.

‘Death to the Daleks’ is one of the finest examples of a Dalek story and is the best story of Jon Pertwee’s final year in the role of The Doctor.  An all time great episode that is still loved by many fans today it was even referenced in the opening episode of series seven ‘Asylum of the Daleks’.  If you like the third Doctor or the Daleks, or even just want to try something new, this is one of the best stories to try.  10/10


1 comment:

  1. Jon Pertwee has always been one of my favorite Doctors, he always felt like he was in control of the situation no matter what happened. The amount of cop out endings that seems to infest the new Who like a plague was always a lot less blatant when it seemed the doctor was always thinking ahead. If it weren't for Sylvester McCoy I think I could easily call Pertwee my personal favorite.

    Also nice review, its one of the third doctors best story arcs, hope to see more in the future :)