Doctor Who #102: The Abandoned Planet

"Although we are all equal partners with the Daleks on this great conquest... some of us are more equal than others."TECHNICAL SPECS: Part 11 of the Daleks' Master Plan. Again, a missing episode, but we have reconstructions to keep us warm at night (Part 1, Part 2). First aired Jan.22 1966.

IN THIS ONE... Everybody's back on Kembel. The Daleks and Mavic Chen finally betray the delegates. Freed by Steven and Sara, they leave to hopefully turn their forces against the Daleks.

REVIEW: So we get back to Kembel and the story basically picks up from where it left off to do a sequel of The Chase (because that story was soooooo good). The Monk's directional unit burns out, so there's no gain for the heroes, though there is for Mavic Chen and the Daleks, now back in control of the teranium core. (Have them recapture the core before the Doctor makes a copy, and you've just about got a 4-episode story.) And though the A-plot reasserts itself, there STILL isn't a whole lot happening, mostly due to the Doctor being absent for most of it. So Sara and Steven focus on finding him, even of their plan to do so isn't very well thought out - call the Daleks to the control room with the loudspeaker and hopefully, they've got the Doctor in tow and then, what, jump the Dalek timeship and race to warn Earth of the impending invasion?

But this is an episode full of strange plots and plans that don't stand up very well to scrutiny. I continue to wonder what the Galactic Council is all about, acting like the Parliament and surprised Mavic Chen would draw a gun and kill one of them. Chen reassures them they will have control of their own galaxies, but will report to him and the Daleks. I thought they already HAD control of their own galaxies, so why join the Daleks at all? Or did the Daleks help them conquer their galaxies in the first place? But if they did, and the dialog don't confirm that, why is it such a pain to conquer the Earth system with their combined forces? Do they really need a time destructor? Can't conventional warfare, the element of surprise and an inside man at the very top do the job? And then why would the Daleks imprison the delegates? Why make an alliance with them at all if you're just going to betray them? Or indeed, why not kill them when you're done with them? Now they're all gonna go back to their fleets and turn on you...

As for Chen, dude's insane, so that's pretty much the only explanation I can find for his behavior. He gets trapped with the delegates after shooting one, pretends to feel betrayed by the Daleks, destroys his own ship to fake his death, and then shows up again on the Daleks' side minutes later. I hope it pays off for him.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-Low - The show has been on Chase mode for so long now, it seems to have forgotten how to tell a coherent story. Just counting the minutes until Master Plan is over.

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