Doctor Who #301: The Daemons Part 1

"Always in such a hurry, you towns folk. All be the same in a hundred years time, sir!" "I can assure you, sir, it will be no such thing!"TECHNICAL SPECS: This story is available on DVD. First aired May 22 1971.

IN THIS ONE... The Master summons the devil in a church basement.

REVIEW: After the experimental comic book of The Claws of Axos and the gray moralizing SF of Colony in Space, The Daemons looks properly Gothic and thus, awesome! Thunder, wind and rain. A village called Devil's End. A pub with a cloven hoof on its sign. A church sitting on an ancient Pagan site with gargoyles in the cellar. An ancient tomb about to be opened at midnight. A modern witch warning of a curse. A vicar who leads a Satanist cult (inevitably, the Master). A lot of it on atmospheric film. Finally an episode in the color era that isn't afraid of shadows and darkness! And perhaps scariest of all, how the Doctor insists that something is wrong, even if it seems to mean he believes in the occult when he starts the episode denying its existence.

My favorite thing about the episode is how it shows and contrasts how much stock in these supernatural stories. Obviously, you need the Master to tap into these dark forces (so they MUST have a scientific explanation, right?) and at least one believer in town warning everyone of the danger. Similarly, there's an archaeologist who denies the existence of magic. But we also have gullible Jo Grant, who's into the trendiest New Age stuff. The TV journalist who uses the occult cynically, to get ratings. The people down at the pub who have lived with these legends all their lives and can laugh at them or choose to believe them, depending on the situation. Benton and Yates, showing more interest in the football - doomsday is just another news segment on the telly. (The Brig is squeezed out of the equation, he's off to somewhere official in his fancy uniform.) Somehow, the Doctor knows something that puts him in an odd "extremist believer" position, which isn't where you'd imagine him to be. Especially not after that scene where he drives Bessie with a remote control to make a point about the unexplained. So whoever this Azal devil is (or should I say daemon to satisfy the censors?), he's got to be explainable.

- Nicely atmospheric, the episode also explores the characters' relationship to faith. A very effective introduction.


LiamKav said...

Chickening out of having to copy and paste "Dæmons" every single time, are you? :)

Siskoid said...

I also don't use the combined "oe" thingamagig in many French words.

If it's on the keyboard, it can kiss my ass. ;-)


Blog Archive


5 Things to Like Activities Advice Alien Nation Aliens Say the Darndest Things Alpha Flight Amalgam Ambush Bug Animal Man anime Aquaman Archetypes Archie Heroes Arrowed Asterix Atom Avengers Awards Babylon 5 Batman Battle Shovel Battlestar Galactica Black Canary BnB 2-in1 Books Booster Gold Buffy Canada Captain America Captain Marvel Cat CCGs Charlton Circles of Hell Class Comics Comics Code Approved Conan Contest Cooking Crisis Daredevil Dating Kara Zor-El Dating Lois Lane Dating Lucy Lane Dating Princess Diana DCAU Deadman Dial H Dice Dinosaur Island Dinosaurs Director Profiles Doctor Who Doom Patrol Down the Rabbit Hole Dr. Strange Encyclopedia Fantastic Four Fashion Nightmares Fiasco Films Within Films Flash Flushpoint Foldees French Friday Night Fights Fun with Covers FW Team-Up Galleries Game design Gaming Geekly roundup Geeks Anonymous Geekwear Gimme That Star Trek Godzilla Golden Age Grant Morrison Great Match-Ups of Science Fiction Green Arrow Green Lantern Hawkman Hero Points Podcast Holidays House of Mystery Hulk Human Target Improv Inspiration Intersect Invasion Invasion Podcast Iron Man Jack Kirby Jimmy Olsen JLA JSA Judge Dredd K9 the Series Kirby Motivationals Krypto Kung Fu Learning to Fly Legion Letters pages Liveblog Lonely Hearts Podcast Lord of the Rings Machine Man Motivationals Man-Thing Marquee Masters of the Universe Memes Memorable Moments Metal Men Metamorpho Micronauts Millennium Mini-Comics Monday Morning Macking Movies Mr. Terrific Music Nelvana of the Northern Lights Nightmare Fuel Number Ones Obituaries oHOTmu OR NOT? Old52 One Panel Outsiders Panels from Sheena Paper Dolls Play Podcast Polls Questionable Fridays Radio Rants Reaganocomics Recollected Red Bee Red Tornado Reign Retro-Comics Reviews Rom RPGs Sandman Sapphire & Steel Sarah Jane Adventures Saturday Morning Cartoons SBG for Girls Seasons of DWAITAS Secret Origins Podcast Secret Wars SF Shut Up Star Boy Silver Age Siskoid as Editor Siskoid's Mailbox Space 1999 Spectre Spider-Man Spring Cleaning ST non-fiction ST novels: DS9 ST novels: S.C.E. ST novels: The Shat ST novels: TNG ST novels: TOS Star Trek Streaky Suicide Squad Supergirl Superman Supershill Swamp Thing Tales from Earth-Prime Team Horrible Teen Titans That Franchise I Never Talk About The Prisoner The Thing Then and Now Theory Thor Thursdays of Two Worlds Time Capsule Timeslip Tintin Torchwood Tourist Traps of the Forgotten Realms Toys Turnarounds TV V Waking Life Warehouse 13 Websites What If? Who's This? Whoniverse-B Wikileaked Wonder Woman X-Files X-Men Zero Hour Strikes Zine