Tuesday, September 10, 2013

"The Evil of the Daleks"

Aired May 20 – Jul 1, 1967

7 Episodes

Story 36

Written by David Whitaker

Directed by Derek Martinus



Synopsis


The TARDIS has been stolen by antiques dealer Edward Waterfield, who lures the Doctor and Jamie into a trap. They are transported back to Waterfield's own time, 1867, where his daughter Victoria is being held hostage by the Daleks to ensure his cooperation in an unknown experiment.

The Daleks force the Doctor to monitor Jamie's performance of a test, the rescue of Victoria, with the supposed intention of identifying “the human factor”: the special quality possessed by humans that enables them always to defeat the Daleks. The Doctor, having succeeded in this task, implants the human factor into three test Daleks, resulting in them becoming friendly and playful!

Everyone is transported back to Skaro where the Doctor discovers that the Daleks' true aim has been to isolate “the Dalek factor”, the impulse to destroy, and implant it into humans, creating a race of allies that will serve their aims. The Emperor Dalek informs him that his TARDIS will be used to spread the Dalek factor throughout all time.

However, through a ruse, the Doctor is able to infect many more Daleks with the human factor. A civil war breaks out between the two Dalek factions and they are apparently all destroyed. As Waterfield has been killed during the battle, the Doctor offers Victoria a place aboard the TARDIS. From a hill-top, Jamie, Victoria and the Doctor watch the Dalek city in erupt in flames as the civil war continues. The Doctor pronounces this as the final end of the Daleks.Though in the rubble of the city, the lights from a lone overturned Dalek begins to pulse…



Analysis

Troughton's inaugural season concludes with an absolute classic, an epic battle against the programme's definitive foes that was meant to kill them off for the foreseeable future. Terry Nation was at this point putting all of his energy into setting up a Dalek TV series with NBC in America, and this meant the implacable monsters weren't going to be available for Doctor Who. The Evil of the Daleks was meant to give them an epic send off, and as Nation was too busy with negotiations to write the story, the scripting duties went to former script editor David Whitaker.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"The Faceless Ones"

Aired Apr 8 – May 13, 1967

6 Episodes

Story 35

Written by David Ellis & Malcolm Hulke

Directed by Gerry Mill


Synopsis

The TARDIS arrives on at Gatwick airport in 1966. Polly witnesses a murder in a nearby hangar and is then kidnapped by the perpetrator, Spencer of Chameleon Tours. Subsequently Ben also vanishes.

The Doctor and Jamie are left to try to convince the skeptical airport Commandant that there has been foul play.

It transpires that other young people have also vanished, all of them while on Chameleon Tours holidays. With the help of Samantha Briggs, the sister of one of the missing persons, the Doctor and Jamie uncover a plot by the alien Chameleons to kidnap humans in order to take their identities; the Chameleons have lost their own in an accident on their home planet.

After foiling their plan to replace a multitude of humans, the Doctor offers to help the Chameleons find another solution to their problem and the kidnapped humans are released.


The Doctor and Jamie are reunited with Ben and Polly. They decide to remain in their own time after discovering the date is the same as the day they first left with the First Doctor. The Doctor and Jamie head back to the TARDIS but can only watch as it is driven off on the back of a van!



Analysis

Reviewing the missing stories is always a challenge and often surprising in what they reveal. While you never escape the feeling that something is lost, some stories wind up working well in their audio form (like The Crusades), others suffer greatly. The Faceless Ones is one of the stories that suffers, I'm afraid, and it's a real shame because it actually is a cracking good story and an unusual one. However, it relies more heavily on visuals for its atmosphere and therefore you really lose a lot with their absence.