(Not the last time we'll see this episode title!)
Hello all, the Historian here, along with Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm and Kroroboros, gathered to watch this final episode of the second serial. Let's get to it!
Episode summary: First aired 1st February, 1963. Ian is holding onto the stone wall for dear life, but Antodys cuts the rope, falling to his death. Ian and Barbara's party discover a path into the Dalek city. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Susan, having been captured last episode, are pleading with the Daleks not to release their radiation bomb (essentially) into the atmosphere, where it will kill everything--except the Daleks, of course. But their pleas fall on deaf ears. Alydon meanwhile begins the frontal assault of the city, eventually meeting up with Ian's party. They discover the control room, and a battle ensues, during which the release mechanism for the bomb is disabled and, somehow, the Dalek power source is destroyed. Without their power, the Daleks die. Later, the Doctor and his companions take their leave of the Thals. The Doctor tells Alydon that perhaps he'll be back to check on their grandchildren and Barbara and Ganetus have a touching farewell. The TARDIS takes off, surprising the Thals. Inside, though, something goes terribly wrong. Their is an explosion in the central console, and the crew falls, blacking out....
A strong ending to this groundbreaking serial. I quite liked it; Terry Nation did a fine job of keeping the tension ratcheted up, especially using the Dalek bomb countdown. Will Ian and company get there in time? Just a nice job. The actors are generally well-served by the script, though (I have to admit) there was some occasional giggling. One shortcoming in the script I have to mention, though, was the somewhat...vague way the Dalek power was destroyed. My theory was a bit more complex than was probably necessary: the Daleks had stopped their reactors to gather the radiation and thus stopped their reactors from making power...somehow. Thus, they destroyed themselves. Somehow. Of course, Schmallturm's theory of "something got destroyed in the battle and the power got destroyed" is probably closer to Nation's rather vague thinking.
The development of the Doctor's character continued nicely. Note that when the Daleks are destroyed, Ian's first thought was to fix the TARDIS, whereas the Doctor insists that the first thing they must do is examine the Daleks' reactors to ensure no radiation is leaking. He then takes the time to check the soil to give the Thals' advice in survival. In fact, he is much more convivial to his new friends, a much friendlier, more helpful Doctor. Barbara gets some time to shine as well, with her flitation with Ganetus takes a momentary serious turn...but she still goes back to Ian and the crew in the TARDIS, rather than remaining.
All in all, even with last episode's slow...episode, I've quite enjoyed "The Daleks." A great baddie, the coldly logical, scientific Daleks, fearful and hating all others are a fantastic creation and this is a great beginning to a very long legacy.
Getting right to it, The Good - yay, an episode that clips right along! For once I didn't get the feeling of running around in circles (although they did a bit) or suffer long drawn out bits where nothing happened. Lots of juice, if unintentionally humorous action, a bit of suspence, and a nice clear resolution and lead into next week.
I also found interesting the parting scene between Barbara and the Thal who was infatuated with her. A bit of touching melancholy, yet didn't go over the top.
The fun - at one point Barbara does say "it's easy to get lost in here as the coridors all look alike," which given that they were basically walking down over and over from multiple angles.
The silly - the fight choreography was pretty goofy in this one. Almost disappointing after the pretty impressive one from the cavemen story. And there was one Dalek destroyed at the end who's eye stalk goes straight up in the air after a rather whiny death cry that was pretty snicker worthy.
Okay, that's all from me for this week, as the laptop battery's going...
NEXT WEEK: "THE EDGE OF DESTRUCTION"