Doctor Who #171: The Evil of the Daleks Part 7

"The end. The final end!"TECHNICAL SPECS: Missing from the archives, and though I'm getting a little tired from saying this, I've used a reconstruction. First aired Jul.1 1967.

IN THIS ONE... The Daleks destroy each other in a civil war and the Doctor adopts Victoria.

REVIEW: At the end of the previous episode, the Emperor Dalek had turned the tables on the Doctor, so it's only fair that the Doctor do the same thing to him this time around. The Daleks were less interested in the human factor than they were in a delivery system for their own Dalek factor, but having corrupted the Doctor's work into a Dalek-making doorway, he's more than justified in turning it into a human-making doorway, thus increasing the number of rebels on Skaro. When you look at it a little more closely though, there seems to be a disturbing interchangeability between the Daleks and the Doctor. Their goal was a form of genocide, turning all humans in History into Daleks, and the Doctor has done much the same to them. The rebels are pathetic creatures that question orders, but are as yet too immature to know why or how, so they blindly follow the Doctor's own commands. He's essentially sending children to war and in a moment that should raise a few eyebrows, actually puts a hit on the Emperor. If Daleks looked like people, it would be unforgivable.

The theme of interchangeability also appears in the Doctor's performance as a Dalek drone. He's faking, of course, as this is just another disguise for him (and I did note the Dalek who marked his own armor to disguise itself as one of the human Daleks). Maxtible isn't so lucky as is truly turned into a Dalek, reaching a crescendo of Dalek murderessness, repeating the word "kill" over and over again in a quick rhythm, well... When you thought Marius Goring was all out of creepy, he surprises you with more! We don't even know what happens to Maxtible, left on Skaro to witness the civil war. Is this the end of the Daleks? I don't believe it. Yes, they've got a human virus running through their population, and a devastating civil war, and the biggest explosions the program's ever done destroying their Emperor, but so what? They can rebuild, likely had Daleks off-world (or off-era). This may not be as far forward in time as is generally believed.

This major setback comes at a human cost. Waterfield and Kemel are both sacrificed, which leaves Victoria, played with pitiable sympathy by Deborah Watling here, to be adopted by the Doctor. He makes a promise to her father and means to keep it. I bet he would have had to make the same promise to Jamie had that not happened. It's a companion origin as yet untapped by the program. We've had many companions who didn't mean to travel in the TARDIS, but took to it well enough and had a place they hopes to return to. In Victoria, we have someone who has no choice but to follow the Doctor or else be stranded in a hell-world alone. How will this little screamer fare in the long run? Interestingly, the Doctor teases us about his homeworld again, and it would be almost criminal if this incarnation never made it back there (be careful what you wish for though). And so the season ends, on questions, but more unsettlingly, with the end credit music played over the sounds of carnage. See? This was isn't over and the fate of the Daleks is still up in the air.

VERSIONS: The novelization does not seem to contain any notable differences.

REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - A big special effects extravaganza, but an important one. People live, people die, and the Doctor makes questionable decisions. Food for thought and candy for eyes.

STORY REWATCHABILITY: Medium-High - Most of the episodes have an element of padding and suffer from the lost video, but the story is nevertheless thematically strong and provides a possible ending for the Dalek race. Add to that a good cast of guest actors, well-played conflict between the regulars, and the introduction of a new companion, and you've got one of the most important stories yet broadcast.



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