Doctor Who #170: The Evil of the Daleks Part 6

"I was merely telling my friend that the day of the Daleks is coming to an end." (Wrong story, Doctor.)TECHNICAL SPECS: Again missing from the archives. A reconstruction will have to do. First aired Jun.24 1967.

IN THIS ONE... Everyone ends up on Skaro where the Doctor comes face to face with the Dalek Emperor.

REVIEW: There is something bizarre and creepy about the humanized Daleks, which seem as unnatural as their mirrors, any number of Robomen or indeed, Maxtible by the end of this story. It would seem species should be true to themselves, and an unDaleked Dalek is just wrong. Not to say humans are necessarily the good guys, as Maxtible proves. In a way, we're asked to decide what's worse. A cold, ruthless evil, or a greedy, self-serving evil. Fascism vs. Capitalism, is it?

As the Daleks destroy Maxtible's house, the episode becomes an escape to Skaro, represented by a whole new city model. Unfortunately, there's quite a bit of padding once the heroes get there, maneuvering ledges and precipices... are these supposed to pay tribute to the original Dalek story. Because that was padding via geography as well. At least we can give props to Jamie for not wanting to leave Earth until he knew Victoria was on the alien planet, and then to Victoria who pulls herself up and stands ready to face the Daleks with Kemel. A brave pair of kids, surrounded by older men all ready to compromise their ideals (the Doctor and Waterfield) or become completely corrupted by them (Maxtible).

Thematic concerns aside, the episode is cool, of course, because it marks the first appearance of the Emperor Dalek. It's not just the Queen Bee in the middle of technological web, but it's the first major Dalek redesign in the monsters' history. It's HUGE, with a voice to match! The Emperor appears to be a match for the Doctor in a way other Daleks have failed to be, manufacturing a victory from an apparent failure. The Doctor may threaten that the human Daleks will start a rebellion, but that's as maybe. That the Daleks hope to reverse the human factor into a Dalek factor that can be injected into humanity through all history turns the Doctor's cleverness against himself with a plot worthy of today's cranked-up epic Doctor Who finales.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium - The Evil of the Daleks consistently brings it when it comes to cliffhanger scenes, but it's the getting there that's frequently slow (though the lack of video is likely a big part of the problem). And yet, there's always some moral question to ponder for the attentive audience member.



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