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

1)Terry Nation returns to write what is essentially a re-hash of the first Dalek story. Terrance Dicks has said that Nation was the only writer to ever get rich off of Doctor Who, and he managed to do it by selling Barry Letts the same story over and over again.  Nation made a thing out of never naming the Daleks in the first episodes of the serials he wrote, which probably worked alot better back before they started naming them all "Hey, Look, It's the God-Damned Daleks Again!"  You don't even have to see the credits to hear Michael Wisher doing one of the Dalek voices.  Something I never knew - apparently, Nation worked on the first two seasons of MacGyver, which might explain the scene where the Doctor builds an anti-Dalek weapon out of stuff he found in his pockets.  The Dalek army in the cave are pretty obviously toys.  This story was the only time the program showed the Daleks using an anti-gravity disk, which I guess was invented for the comics.  The Dalek Supreme apparently is a re-painted prop form one of the Cushing films, which Nation happened to have around his house.

 

2)There's a shot where the Doctor is lying unconscious, and the camera is pointing straight up Pertwee's nose.

 

3)The TARDIS oxygen supply runs out pretty quickly - you'd think  they'd have that problem more often if it carries that little air.

 

4)A couple of familiar faces among the Thals, including Prentis Hancock as Vaber and Bernard Horsfall as Taron.  I always thought they ought to have the Thals turn up again sometime. I particularly liked their reaction to the Doctor - imagine having a figure out of legend show up! The Thals ship is the sort of thing that gave the old show its reputation for "wobbly sets."

 

5)I've often wondered if there is such a thing as "allotropic ice".

 

6)It's funny how the Doctor and the Thals have so much troulbe escapign form the Dalek base, and Jo just sort of wanders out without much trouble.

 

7)The Spiridons are all invisible, but then they wear those furs so you can spot them.

 

8)Some Fun Quotes:

  • "Enter!"  "'Enter'? What happened to 'come in'?"
  • "It's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway." The Doctor's take on courage.
  • "You know, for a man who abhors violence, I must say I took great satisfaction in doing that."
  • "We can never leave here! Never, never, never!"  The Dalek sounds as thought it's about to cry.
  • "Don't make war sound like an exciting and thrilling game."
  • "We have bene deleayed, not defeated. The Daleks are never defeated!"

 

9)Cliffhangers:

  • Episode One: The spray paint reveals an invisible Dalek!
  • Episode Two: Rebec announces that there are ten thousand Daleks on Spiridon!
  • Episode Three: The Doctor's improvised hot air balloon isn't working!
  • Episode Four: Vaber is captured by the Spiridons!
  • Episode Five: The Daleks see through our heroes' disguises!
  • Episode Six: Jo is eager to return to Earth!

 

Overall:

Not bad, if not particularly innovative.

 

[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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My comments from the blog...

My main problem with this story has always been that, as boring as "FRONTIER IN SPACE" was, with its incessant runaround, and The Doctor getting captured & imprisoned, then escaping, then getting captured again, and on and on, was that, unlike most stories of that nature, it actually seemed to be building to something. But then you get to the end of Part 6, and you expect it to keep building...

...and then "Part 7" (figuratively speaking) seems to have NO connection with the previous 6, nor does anything that comes after. I've seen "PLANET" multiple times by now, and it seems to me, it never builds any momentum in its entire 6 parts.

Well, actually, that's another problem. Make that 5 parts. Because what I saw on PBS in the 80's-- and what I still have in my collection-- is missing either part 3 or part 4. I did read the novelization, so that helped. But, not much.

This last time around, I skipped straight from "CARNIVAL OF MONSTERS" directly to "THE TIME WARRIOR". Yeah-- really.

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