Number : Season 1, serial 2 of 8.
Which One : Daleks.
Cast : The Doctor : William Hartnell
Susan : Carol Ann Ford
Ian : William Russell
Barbara : Jacqueline Hill
Temmosus : Alan Wheatley
Alydon : John Lee
Dyoni : Virginia Wetherell
Ganatus : Philip Bond
Antodus : Marcus Hammond
Elyon : Gerald Curtis
Kristas : Jonathon Crane
Dalek Voices : Peter Hawkins & David Graham
Written By : Terry Nation
Produced By : Verity Lamb
First UK Broadcast : 1 December – 1 Feb 1964.
Length : 7 x 25 minute episodes
1) “The Dead Planet”
2) “The Survivors”
3) “The Escape”
4) “The Ambush”
5) “The Expedition”
6) “The Ordeal”
7) “The Rescue”
Plot : The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara, land the Tardis on a strange dead world, which has petrified animals and forests. They see a bright shiny futuristic city in the distance and decide to investigate.
The quartet are sure they are being followed in the forest and that someone (or something), is watching them -from the city.
Whats good : Has a really effective ‘closed in’ claustrophobic quality. Due to the camera work. Especially, in the lead up to the first meeting with the Daleks. The Daleks first appearance. The Dalek city (model).
Whats bad : The Thal’s look like blonde catwalk models, rather than mutated people. They should have gone a bit more bold, with the Thal makeup.
Review With Spoilers : The Daleks is the second serial of season 1 and the first time, that the Doctor crosses paths with the Daleks (not including the later conceived time-line crossover with Tom Baker’s Genesis Of The Daleks).
The close quarter filming angles – and electronica SFX, help build a tense and claustrophobic feel. Especially once the quartet get to the Dalek city.
We also get the iconic moment of the Dalek’s first appearance on screen, when a lost Barbara is harrassed by a sink plunger; from the Dalek’s viewpoint.
These Daleks, though; for now, are confined to running around on static electric floor 9panels, within their city. Unable to leave the city, at least until later adventures have them invading Earth.
All of the events that transpire here, blame-wise – can be laid at the Doctor’s door. By selfishly pretending that the Tardis requires a resupply of mercury, as a ruse to persuade the others to go have a closer look at the Dalek city.
Later on, Ian is put in charge of the Tardis component and he accidentaly drops it during their escape from the city. The quartet have to return once again but this time they take a few Thals with them, in an attempted revolution.
“The only interest we have in the Thals, is their TOTAL EXTERMINATION!” Dalek.
Talking of the Thals, they are all 6-foot tall blond and green skinned attractive young actors. I suppose that this was supposed to be a twist on the fact that before we met them, the Daleks referred to the Thals as “mutants”. Which made us expect them to be alot more mutated and scarier-looking, than they infact turned out to
Anyhow, they should have made the Thals look abit more weird looking, to show the harsh desert conditions of living within the high-levels of radiation, on planet Skaro.
It did make me wonder though, what was inside the Dalek shells, if they consider the Thal’s to be mutated. The Doctor and Ian later find out, after they remove the insides of a disabled Dalek, using a blanket but all we get to see is a weird green hand (or claw) poking out of the blanket.
They remade The Daleks into a big-budget feature film, the same year; called Doctor Who & The Daleks – starring Peter Cushing, as the Doctor. It used almost exactly the same script and setup, as the television serial but none of the TV actors featured.
Overall though, the simple and claustrophobic appeal of The Daleks is left intact. Simply because it takes time to build-up, to a slow and suspenseful conclusion.
If you like Daleks and want to witness their evolution from small beginnings, then this is for you.
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