Number : Season 17, serial 1 of 7.

Which One : Davros is back.

Cast : The Doctor : Tom Baker
Romana : Lalla Ward
Davros : David Gooderson
Commander Sharrel : Peter Straker
Agella : Suzanne Danielle
Lan : Tony Osoba
Tyssan : Tim Barlow
Jan : Penny Casdagli
Veldan : David Yip
Movellan Guard : Cassandra

Written By : Terry Nation and Douglas Adams.

Produced By : Graeme Williams

First UK Broadcast : 1 – 22 September 1979.

Length : 4 x 25 minute episodes.

Plot : Romana decides to regenerate into the form of Princess Astra. Meanwhile, the Doctor inadvertantly lands back on Skaro, unearthing Davros; right in the middle of a critical phase in the Dalek’s war, with the Movellans.

Whats good : Inventive return of Davros. The war between Daleks and Movellans. Unintentionally funny.

Whats bad : Romana regenerating several times by choice – is just bizarre. Davros is played by a different actor and it is jarring. The Daleks are made to look slightly foolish. Davros being wheeled around by the Doctor – undignified. Daleks referred to as – ‘robots’. The Dalek props look unfinished. The Movellan’s dated 70’s disco look. Unintentionally funny.

Review With Spoilers : Destiny Of The Daleks is the follow-up Davros and the Dalek story, to Genesis Of The Daleks.

Although the timeline is muddled (due to the time-travel element), we can assume that – after the origin story of Genesis Of The Daleks, all of the other Dalek adventures follow – in order, including the actual original Hartnell introduction The Daleks.

Whilst all of these other Dalek adventures, take place as they did. Davros must have remained buried on Skaro, until the events of Destiny Of The Daleks .

Meanwhile, aboard the Tardis – Romana bizarrely regenerates – a number of times, into different forms. Before finally settling on the form of Princess Astra, from previous season finale The Armageddon Factor.

It was brought in, simply because Mary Tamm didn’t return as Romana – and Lalla Ward was offered the part. They could have written the regeneration transition way better though; as it suggests a Time Lord can (wastefully) burn through a few regenerations, whilst choosing a desirable form; absolutely ridiculous!

The Dalek’s war with the cyborg Movellans, is an interesting turn of events – in the Dalek story. Both sides are waging a battle computer war, which has yet to see either side fire an actual shot; because of computer stalemate.

The Daleks want to find their creator Davros, to give them an edge in the war. Likewise, the Movellans want the Doctor to help them stop the Daleks.

The Movellans look pretty ridiculous – in this, like they should be boogying at Studio 54 – in New York. Rather than waging war against the Daleks, with their tight-white disco lycra jump-suits and silver afro-wigs.

The Dalek’s themselves, are cast as a bit bungling and ineffective, in this. Tom Baker berates them for their obvious lack of stair-climbing ability; which probably – forever hurt their scary appeal. The Doctor easily dispatches one by covering its eye-stalk, with a hat – and then dispatching it with a Dalek explosive charge.

“If you’re supposed to be the superior race of the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us? Bye-bye!”

Still, the biggest humiliation is reserved for Davros himself, who is forcibly pushed all over the Dalek city, in his wheelchair, by the Doctor; in a comical attempt – to evade the Dalek-force.

Davros actor – David Gooderson, doesn’t cut the same commanding performance, as predecessor (in Genesis Of The Daleks‘s) Michael Wisher.

Using the same mask that was worn by Wisher, which obviously doesn’t fit; quite the same. Michael Wisher was unavailable to reprise the role, so Gooderson took over but the change is noticable – and Wisher is a miss.

The image of Daleks wearing explosives strapped around their waists, as impromptu suicide bombers – on their way to the Movellan ship, is striking but a bit uncomfortable now; especially in this age of modern terrorism.

Destiny Of The Daleks is slackly handled, dated overly humourous – and unintenionally laughable. However, it is still more than entertaining to watch and there is enough good, to counteract the bad.

Tom Baker’s integrity helps make it work and it furthers the Dalek story somewhat, much further; than than follow-ups; Revelation Of The Daleks & Resurrection Of The Daleks.

It was always going to be a hard-act, to follow-up on defining; Genesis Of The Daleks but Destiny Of The Daleks does this adequately enough – in the most bizarre fashion. It never threatens to rise to the level of it’s predecessor.

???⚪⚪ (3/5)

Old Doctor Who

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