Thursday, September 01, 2005

'The Daleks' episodes I - IV

THE DALEKS
7 episodes

'The Daleks' - or 'The Mutants': see the last post for a note on the trouble with naming stories at this initial stage. Either way, the Doctor's greatest enemies were also the very first we were to meet; I've never seen this, the first Dalek story, so it should be good to catch their debut appearance.

I like the way the early stories flow into the next without so much as a pause for the travellers to get their breath back! No sooner have they escaped the cavemen than they are touching down on Skaro. Fun hi-jinks with the food replicator machine; it seems we get a relatively high incidence of detailing what the different TARDIS components actually do at this time, with the Geiger counter, fault detector, fluid links etc. The Doctor comes over all Machiavellian on us again, such is his desire to visit the alien city - well, it is visually a lot more impressive than the lacklustre prehistoric locale last time out. His scheming is rather endearing this time, actually, even if it is presumably going to put the group in mortal danger again... The city is well realised inside, too. And there we have it - our first ever sink-plunger cliffhanger!

We get the Daleks in their full glory in Episode 2, plus some more-humanoid aliens in their rivals the Thals. Ian gets a mini-extermination where only temporary paralysis of the legs is suffered - evidently the Daleks decided to get tougher after this... Episodes 3 and 4 are full of fun escape shenanigans, especially the comedy moment where Ian hijacks a Dalek and tries to pull of an authentic impersonation through the voicebox. Good use of what were presumably limited sets. And we get some proper exterminating going on! A discussion about the creatures' mutated origins finally ensues, and just when it looks like things might wrap up neatly at the end of part 4, the travellers have to turn around and head back to the Dalek city once more...

Might leave the last three episodes for tomorrow - at least I'll have managed eight today, so that'll be a solid start if nothing else...!

Episodes watched: 8
Episodes still to watch: 714

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