Doctor Who Reactions: "Destiny of the Daleks" (SPOILERS)

Re-watched this last night, a few random thoughts:


1)"Romana, the dog's got laryngitis." Setting up the fact that David Brierley would be taking over for John Leeson. No offense to Brierley, but Leeson was too identified with the part for anyone else to work in it for me.


2)"What are you doing here?" "Regenerating."  Ah, yes, Romana's regeneration.  I gather Mary Tamm regrets not getting to do a regeneration scene, but she says that she wasn't asked.  One thing that bugs me a little about the scne is that she regenerates for no apparent reason, other than that she liked Astra's looks, and decided to copy them. (She also seems to have copied Astra's dress!)  This seems like a somewhat shallow reason to undergo regeneration - especially if Time Lords have only a limited number.  I've seen different fanboy theories as to why she regenerated. One was to change in order to assume a personality that would mesh better with the Doctor's - this seems unlikely to me, it makes Romana seem a little too pliable, changing herself to suit him.  (Although she did change into an outfit that echoed his!)Another is that Romana was suffering ill effects from her torture at the hands of the Shadow in the previous story.  This seems somewhat more plausible, except that if it's true, she certainly showed no sign of it at the end of "The Armageddon Factor". 


3)We see the Doctor reading Origins of the Universe, by Oolon Coluphid. Do you suppose the script editor added that in?


4)I thought the Movellans were kind of lame, especially as they were meant to be rivals for the bad, bad Daleks.  It doesn't help that look at them and think"Milli Vanilli in space". It's also kind of a design flaw, them having such easily-removed power packs. The fact tha tthey are bewildered by  "Rock=-Paper-Scissors" isn't too impressive, either.  Lucky for them, the Doctor didn't try to teach them tic-tac-toe, or something.


5)I quite liked Tim Barlow's performance as Tyssan - I liked his quiet resourcefulness. Apparently the actor was profoundly deaf. Not that that stopped him, obviously, I'm just always interested how people can overcome handicaps like that.


6)David Gooderson does OK as Davros - he's easily my fourth favorite, right after Wisher, Bleach and Malloy. The main problem I have with his performance is the way he wobbles when he moves - it makes it too obvious that he's scuttling away inside of his chair.  The main problem I have with bringing back Davros is tha the comes to dominate all of the Dalek stories for the remainder of the old series. Thank goodness the new show has avoided that so far. I did like the scene where he and the Doctor speak scientist-to-scientist.


7)Veldan was played by David Yip, who would apparently go on to become somewhat famous.


8)The Dalek casings in this look quite battered.  I gather they were somewhat cobbled together from whatever props they had available. They are pretty cagy in this, sneaking up on people alot. Nation makes alot of the Daleks being robots:

  • "The Daleks were originally organic life forms."
  • "Just another race of robots, no better than the Daleks."
  • "One race of robots fighting another."

This idea seems to have been ignored in all of their future appearances.


9)It's lucky for our heroes that the Daleks went so s-l-o-w-l-y on their way to blow up the spaceship.


10)I gather Ward enjoyed the scene where she got fight with Sharrel. She didn't really get to many fight scenes that I can recall.


11)I'm a little sketchy as to why getting blinded causes the Dalek to blow up.


12)Some fun quotes:

  • "Oh, look! Rocks!" I love Baker's delivery on that line.
  • "You've got all the makings of a first class navvy!"  Apparently the Time Lord Academy teaches you how to make cement and concrete.
  • "Underworld dentist?"  Sounds like a Staurday Night Live skit to me.
  • "Who was it said the living are just the dead on holiday?" Maurice Maeterlinck, apparently.
  • "Can't a fellow get any sleep around here?"
  • "Don't go away, will you?" "I'd rather hoped you'd resist the temptation to say that."
  • "You know the Daleks?" "Better than you could possibly imagine." 
  • "Humanoids are useful work machines."  Well, some are.
  • "We cannot allow aliens to see us in death."
  • "If you're supposed to be the superior race in the universe. why not try climbing after us?"  Smartarse.
  • "Yes, they taught me at school how to stop my hearts."  "'Hearts'? How many have you got?" "One for casual, one for best."
  • So, the long darkness has ended, and the eternity of waiting is over.  The resurrection has come, as I always knew it would."  Really?
  • "Davros, you don't look a day older and I'd hoped you were dead."  "I do not die."
  • "You're misquoting Napoleon!"
  • "Spack off"?
  • "Self-sacrifice illogical, therefore impossible."  Except that in the next episode, they go off to sacrifice themselves without a second thought.
  • "Every moment we remain on Skaro, we are vulnerable to attack."  Why do they need to call for a ride?  Were they dropped of fthere? Wouldn't it have made sense for them to have left them at least a shuttle or something, rather than make them wait six hours for a pick-up?
  • "He may be mad, but his compute rskills are almost as good as mine."
  • "Paper wraps... jelly baby?"
  • "Also, I'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing."  Just like me!
  • "All elephants are pink, Nellie is an elephant, therefore Nellie is pink. Logical?" "Perfectly." ": You know what a human would say to that? " "What?" "Elephants aren't pink." "Humans do not understand logic."  "They're not slaves to it like the Daleks or the Movellans."
  • "Make mistakes and confuse the enemy."



  • Part One: The Daleks capture Romana and say "Do no tmove!" to her alot!"
  • Part Two: Davros begins to move!
  • Part Three: Romana is trapped in a tube with the Nova Device!
  • Part Four: Our heroes leave Skaro!



A little creaky in parts, plot-wise, but overall not too bad of a story.


[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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As with Nation's other Dalek stories, the Daleks put in a surprise first appearance at the end of the first episode. The descriptions of the Daleks as robots could be due to rewriting by Adams.


I think the Doctor sticks a bomb on the Dalek after he blinds it.


I have a theory that part of the reason the Daleks make good opponents is they plot to outwit the Doctor while he plots to outwit them. The stand-off sequence is a case in point.

Mark S. Ogilvie said:

I liked the idea of the Movelans and the Daleks just hanging in space waiting for the battle to start as both battle fleets computers try to out think each other.  That's a nice concept.


It's like Captain America vs. Batman!

Captain Movella vs. Bat-Dalek!  ("Criminals are a cowardly, superstitious lot...THEY MUST BE EXTERMINATED!")

I think the Doctor sticks a bomb on the Dalek after he blinds it.


OK, that makes sense.

"If you're supposed to be the superior race in the universe. why not try climbing after us?"  Smartarse.

Ever since the early 60's, Daleks-- at least n the COMIC-STRIPS-- were shown to be able to HOVER.  But we didn't get to see this on TV until a VERY-BADLY-DONE shot in "Revelation of the Daleks" (I had to see it 3 times to be sure, and that was only after reading about it).  We got to see a Dalek properly coming up the stairs in "Remembrance of the Daleks". Because the earlier shot was so badly done, I bet most WHO fans thought the shot with McCoy was the first time we'd ever seen them hover.

Wouldn't it have been a GREAT moment in "Destiny", if, right after The Doctor said what he did, the Dalek he was taunting had suddenly started hovering upward toward him? Imagine the look on his face if that had happened, especially right after he said what he did!

"He may be mad, but his computer skills are almost as good as mine."

I LOVE the pained expression on Romana's face after he says this.

"I'm a very dangerous fellow when I don't know what I'm doing."

Another great line.  Now, WHY do I think all the best lines in this story came from Douglas Adams, NOT Terry Nation?

Having dug out "The Key To Time", without having watched ANY other WHO stories for months (well, except "The Gunfighters"-- heehee), I pondered whether to then watch the following season, if only because, as lame as some of the production was, it's slowly become one of my favorite seasons, mostly because it's just so damn much FUN to watch.  So I did.  It's a shame someone felt compelled to do "Destiny of the Daleks".  The best thing I can say is, awhile back when I decided to watch ONLY the stories I LIKED, and skip any I didn't, I actually wound up watching EVERY Tom Baker story... EXCEPT "Genesis of the Daleks", which, like "The City on the Edge of Forever" (another "fan favorite") is just too damn DOWNBEAT, depressing and hopeless. Plus, I've seen it too damn many times, and after the previous run when I watched EVERY single story in my collection, I decided that that was the LAST time I would probably EVER watch "Genesis".  So, yes, crazy as it no doubt sounds to some, I find "Destiny" more watchable than "Genesis".   That doesn't mean I don't wish Michael Wisher had been in it.  Replacing Michael Wisher, AND John Leeson, AND Mary Tamm, ALL in the same story... well, it was a bit too much.

On the down side, I now definitely like "The Power Of Kroll" MUCH more than this story.  (Isn't that a shock?)

Which makes me think... I wonder that nobody thought to replace Michael Wisher's voice with Phillip Madoc's? HE might have made a terrific Davros. (Then again, he might have made a FANTASTIC Master.  As would Peter Jeffrey.)

I've always liked the design of The Movellans, although they don't necessarily make the most impressive baddies. Watching last night, it struck me-- I think it was the hair, color scheme AND material of their outfits-- that they looked VERY much like they might have been a design left over and unused from the intended (and never-filmed) 2nd season of UFO.  That was supposed to take place 19 years further into the future (yes-- "1999"). Imagne if the women crew at the expanded SHADO moonbase had been dressed like that!  Even the interior of their spaceship screamed "SHADO" to me.  It looked much more "Gerry Anderson" than "BBC".

To understand what happened with Romana, one has only to watch "Planet of the Spiders".  (See Kam'Po and Cho-Je.)  To know WHY... well, that's a bit more difficult.  But it's clear Romana got to like and admire The Doctor the longer they were together, but perhaps felt her personality was getting in the way.  At least, that's what some fan writing into the DW Magazine once suggested, and I've always like that idea.  Her messing with him by wearing first, the same outfit he had, and then, a variation on it, seems to suggest that's exactly the case.

I enjoy watching "Genesis", it's just that anything longer than a four-parter is too long for me watch too often.  I think I've only watched "The War Games" through only four times, for example.  "Mind of Evil" is due out next Tuesday, I wonder how long that one was?


As for "Destiny" - I like the story, but the Movellans put me off it - I just don't like the design. That and I always come back to the fact that Nation seems to have forgotten that the Daleks aren't robots.



I was surprised in that episode when they brought Davros back, and I often wonder about his life from that point. He goes from the Daleks needing him, to be shunted off in a power play with the emperor dalek (he had one tangle with Sylvester McCoy's doctor I think) and yet somehow he ends up leading the daleks or at least being with them during the Time War and rebuilding the dalek race enough to threaten the multiverse itself. How that all happened has got to be an interesting story.

"The War Games" shocked me the first time I saw it, as, at 10 episodes, it DOESN'T seem too long!  Mind you, PBS broke it up over 2 weeks (each half being "only" 5 parts, which isn't as bad as 6).

"The Mind Of Evil" is 6 parts, but the way it's structured, it's much easier to watch than any of the 3 7-parters from the year before.  Of course, Roger Delgado makes it.  As does Katy Manning, who goes a long way to "redeeming" her first story by single-handedly stopping a prison break (well, the first one, anyway). The writing on Jo is inconstent depending on the script-- for example, someone pointed out that in "Day of the Daleks", the script seems to act like she's a child, suggesting it had been written when Troughton was still on the show.  Either that or the writer did his research by reading the COMICS...)

I'd be happy at this point if they just NEVER did another Dalek story...

"One thing that bugs me a little about the scene is that she regenerates for no apparent reason, other than that she liked Astra's looks, and decided to copy them."

The real reason behind Romana's regeneration is revealed in the audio episode "Lies" (Gallifrey 2.1).

In part one, Romana finds the book the Doctor had been reading lying on the ground, picks it up, looks at it, drops it and races off to look for him, and every time I watch that, I think, "Don't leave his book behind, you fool!"

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