Doctor Who #168: The Evil of the Daleks Part 4

"Oh, I see. You can't talk? Aye. Well, you're a sight better than a number of people I know who can."TECHNICAL SPECS: Missing from the archives. I've used a reconstruction to help review it. First aired Jun.10 1967.

IN THIS ONE... Jamie is tested by the Doctor and the Daleks, and he befriends Kemel in the process.

REVIEW: Though Dudley Simpson's music continues to fill the story with adventure and romance (by which I mean the pretty Victoria theme), it cannot possibly replace the missing video, and this is an episode with a number of silent sequences. Jamie has a fight with Kemel, ultimately saves his life, avoids a deadly pendulum, destroys a Dalek, climbs up to Victoria's cell... all without the benefit of video. Worse still, his partner Kemel is a mute who communicates through gestures! Reconstructions do their best to tell the story, but without a script handy, much is lost. That's not really the episode's fault, but it's the only way to experience it. There's a strange poetry to the fact we must do so almost second-hand, because that's also how we learn about Victoria. She's a pawn in this story, with not much to say or do besides blubber as the Daleks force her to move or speak, but we do discover her kindness to Kemel in a dry flower he keeps about his person.

Jamie's adventure is observed and analyzed by the Doctor and a Dalek who are rather honest with each other. The Daleks point blank says he doesn't trust the Doctor, and the Doctor seems to show his hand when he reveals mercy to be part of the human factor recipe (along with instinct and self-preservation). Still, it's hard to carry on a witty conversation with a Dalek, so the crux of the episode on audio doesn't lie there either. No, it's to Waterfield and Maxtible we must turn for the really interesting bits. John Bailey as Waterfield is excellent as his breakdown continues, a man devoured by guilt who can't abide the atrocities the Daleks require him to keep quiet. Marius Goring's Maxtible, as ever, is the one justifying his actions as a necessary evil, but even that's dishonest. In truth, he's quite insane, and believes the Daleks will give him the secret of the philosopher stone. Dude, you just invented time travel. How about your rest on your laurels for a while?

Goring's crazy look - visible in the tele-snaps - works well in and of itself, but he goes further by giving Maxtible the same tone as a Dalek voice's in one particular scene. A great little detail, and one that will prove to be foreshadowing. We're made to feel apprehensive when, after Maxtible almost kills Waterfield for wanting to confess to the police, his daughter Ruth starts asking too many questions. Will he kill his own flesh and blood? Or will he make her fiance Tarrell do it instead? Not a family you want to be a part of.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - The Jamie A-story is too visual to do much more than frustrate in the audio format - too bad, because it's a great showcase for the companion, as he proclaims his independence from the Doctor - but the guest characters may just save the show.



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