I have wanted to experience this story in its entirety somehow ever since I saw the second (and only existing) episode (of seven) on the “Lost in Time” DVD set. I don’t know if this one, being a Dalek story, was ever adapted into paperback, but even if it was, I don’t have it. I have long thought of Doctor Who as “Weird Science” to Dark Shadows’ “Tales from the Crypt,” and the similarities between “The Evil of the Daleks” and Dark Shadows’ make the comparison even more striking. Among them, the similarities include: a 19th century man inventing a method of traveling through time; an odd-looking 19th century eccentric with an interest in an unusual “science”; a portrait; a pretty young heroine named Victoria W.; a questionable antique shop.
I had intended to provide an episode-by-episode summary of the six-parter, but I abandoned that plan because I didn’t think I’d do a good enough job of it. Besides, concise episode summaries are available online. Suffice it to say that the TARDIS has been stolen and a series of cryptic clues lead the Doctor and Jaimie to an antique shop owned by Edward Waterfield. It soon becomes clear that an elaborate trap has been laid for them by the Daleks in an effort to secure the “Human Factor,” something the Daleks believe will help them in their quest for universal domination.
A few comments on episode two: Victoria Waterfield joined the TARDIS crew at the end of this story, but episode two marks her first on-screen performance. Also, the theory behind Professor Maxtible’s time machine (a combination of polished mirrors and static electricity) is ludicrous, but is it really and more laughable than (the first) Quentin Collins’ “stairway through time”?
For this story, Terry Nation (half share owner of the Dalek copyright, as you you didn’t know) agreed let David Whitaker script two Dalek stories for season four (the first having been “The Power of theDaleks”) with the understanding that “The Evil of theDaleks” would show ‘the final end’ for the Daleks and Skaro. It damned near did, there next appearance being five years in the future, but it did ring the curtain on the black and white era of the Daleks.
By the end of the serial, the Doctor has met the malevolent Emperor Dalek on the planet Skaro and episode seven concludes with a huge battle. As a bonus feature, scenes 21-27 are presented a second time without narration for one long (seven and a half minute) uninterrupted take. Other extra features include a Dalek voice session and a introductory voiceover sequence in which the Doctor relates the story to Zoe when this serial became the first ever to be rebroadcast by BBC1.
NEXT: The Abominable Snowmen
I know I've seen some of the surviving parts of this - I particularly remember a scene where Victoria is feeding some birds and is berated by the Daleks "Do not feed the flying pests!", and another where Jamie is distrustful to the Doctor in a way that shows the Second Doctor to be as much of a schemer as the Seventh one would later be.
I believe that I once owned a cassette tape (remember those?) of the soundtrack of this story. I think I only listened to it once before the tape was lost or destroyed. (Maybe the BBC came over to my house and taped over it!)
The "Do not feed the flying pests!" line is from episode two. In fact, there are a lot of great Dalek lines in this story. For example, the three Daleks which have been altered by the "Human Factor" are very child-like at first, and play a game of "train" with the Doctor, wheeling him around in a chair. "Train? Traaaaain? Train!"
I'm not certain about that particular scene between Jamie and the doctor (whether it was in episode two or not), but Jaime comes across really well in this one. He doesn't take any guff from the Doctor, and interracts with him more or less as an equal. In "The Abominable Snowmen" (which I started listening to this morning), there's a scene in which Jamie and Victoria track what they think are abominable snowmen back to their lair. Jamie advises turning back, until he learns they're really men. "A wild beastie is one thing, but I'm not afraid of a man."
I have the cassette audio version of "EVIL OF THE DALEKS", and during my last marathon, I listened to it in between "THE WAR GAMES" and "TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN".
Speaking of Doctor Who/Dark Shadows “crossovers,” if “The Evil of the Daleks” is a little “Dark Shadows-y,” then the new Dark Shadows audio I received in the mail yesterday, “The House by the Sea,” is a little “Doctor Who-y.” It stars Collin Baker. I’ve listened to the first 30 minutes or so thus far and hope to post some thoughts to the “Dark Shadows” discussion in the next day or so.
Watched Episode Two of this last night. Not much to add about the show except that Maxtible calls Waterfield "Whitefield" at least once.
There was a novelization by John Peel - as I recall, it (along with "Power of the Daleks") was one of the last stories to be novelized and was done in a different format than the other novelizations. I'm pretty sure I have a copy of it somewhere.
Deborah Watling, who played Victoria Waterfield beginning in this story, has died.
This story is to be animated.
Ep. 2 was included in the Lost in Time collection, along with ep. 2 of The Abominable Snowman, and Ms Watling did commentary tracks for them.
Maxtible was played by Marius Goring. Ms Watling observes at that point he may have been the most prestigious actor to have appeared on the show. He'd appeared in more British than American films, but film buffs who don't know his name may find they've seen him in something. I'm particularly fond of Ill Met by Moonlight, which is like a jokey, cheaper counterpart to The Guns of Navarone, only based on an actual operation. Goring plays the German general the British kidnap.
(Animated) DVD release pushed back to November 16, 2021.