Friday, March 4, 2011

"Golden Death"

Hello everyone, the Historian here with the next episode in the Dalek story that may very well never end. Joining me was, as always, Ketina and Ronelyn, with Schmallturm, Spoo, MiniSpoo and Photobug. Anyway, let's get to the summary!

Episode summary: First aired 8 January 1966. On Kembel, the countdown as reached an end! Three, Two, One, Zero! The Dalek machine disappears, en route to meet the enemy ship--wherever they are! The Supreme announces, "Report to Skaro. Our time machine is now in pursuit. Nothing can match Dalek technology! The universe shall be ours! Conquest is assured!" Around him, Dalek voices ring out, all with one word: "CONQUEST! CONQUEST! CONQUEST..!"

Ancient Egypt. A Pyramid can be seen in the distance. With a wheezing, groaning sound, the TARDIS materializes.

Inside the Dalek time machine, the task force leader, a red Dalek, reminds Mavic Chen that the recovery of the Taranium is his responsibility. "I welcome it," says Chen. "Guile and cunning will succeed where force would fail." The Red Dalek reiterated that the humans will be exterminated. Chen, noticing the time scanner, asks if that's where the time travellers have landed. The Red Dalek says they will be arriving in four Earth minutes and Chen wonders why the other ship hasn't bothered to take off to try and elude the Daleks.

In the desert, the Doctor is working on repairing the TARDIS lock while Steven is on the lookout for the Monk's ship. In answer to Steven's question, the Doctor says he doesn't know how long it will take for him to fix the lock; the Monk may have done more damage than he'd thought. Steven is impressed with the pyramid. "Well, they've finished it, you think?" he asks. "There doesn't seem to be anyone around." The Doctor, meanwhile, is still working on the lock. He absentmindedly asks Steven for a tool, but angrily gets it himself when the astronaut fails to give him the right one. Steven notes there isn't much cover on this side of the pyramid; he should be able to see the Monk's TARDIS if it lands on their side. But to get a better viewpoint, he decides to go up a ramp to see further. After he leaves, the Doctor, still working on the lock, continues to talk to Steven...until he notices, with a laugh, that his young friend is already gone.

Inside the Dalek time machine, all is in preparation for landing. The craft materializes in the desert.

From his vantage point, Steven sees the ship (which he assumes is the Monk's) appear. He runs down to the TARDIS just as Sara emerges from it to tell the Doctor that whatever was following them has stopped registering on the instrument. Steven tells them what he's seen and he and Sara go to investigate while the Doctor continues to work on the lock. So deeply engrossed in his work is the Doctor that he doesn't notice he is being watched by a native...

The native, Tuthmos, runs off to the tent of the pyramid builder, Khepren. He is dining with Hyksos, the captain of the local guards. Tuthmos gasps out his news and Hyksos immediately goes to gather his troops.

Steven and Sara are slowly approaching the time machine. Steven is surprised that the Monk's TARDIS (which is what he believes the ship to be) hasn't changed. He explains to Sara that even the Doctor's TARDIS is supposed to change appearance to blend in with its surroundings. Sara wonders if, perhaps, the Monk hasn't bothered with the change, but Steven thinks it must be supposed to be automatic. The two approach the ship, but draw back as Mavic Chen and a Dalek emerge from it! Steven and Sara retreat, hoping to warn the Doctor, but they run right into Hyksos' patrol! The guards grab them, knock them out and take them away while Hyksos and the rest of his patrol go to confront the invaders! It...does not go well for the Egyptians. Armed with spears, they confront the Daleks who mow many of them down--as Chen dives for cover. The Dalek leader orders, "Pursue and exterminate!" Hyksos, having managed to escape with a few men, runs to get reinforcements. The Daleks, meanwhile, consult. They have sustained no damage. The order comes through: exterminate the natives of this time on sight!

Back at the TARDIS, the Doctor has finished his work and put away his tools. He calls for his friends, but, getting no answer, decides to try and find them. He walks around the pyramid building sight, impressed at the grand scale of the work. Suddenly, he hears a familiar wheezing, groaning sound. The Doctor takes cover and sees...a large stone block materialize! The Doctor stifles a laugh. After a moment, the Monk emerges from the "stone block." Still dressed in his cassock, he looks up at the bright sun, shielding his eyes, and then disappears back into his ship. He comes back out a moment later, now wearing a pair of sunglasses! The Monk walks off, looking for the Doctor's ship. The Doctor, now laughing openly, walks out into the open. He looks at the Monk's ship and laughs again, but then stops. "Who was it landed here before, then?" he muses, but the answer comes to him with a shock. "The Daleks!"

The guards bring Sara and Steven to a room and throw them roughly to the floor at the feet of Khephren and Tuthmus. Hyksos runs in and explains that these intruders are "plunderers" and "murderers." Hyksos tells the architect and his slave that he will journey to the next settlement to gather reinforcements to "do battle with their fire-throwing machines." Khephren, in turn, will take his slaves to the tomb. They will place the treasures that Pharaoh has sent inside the tomb where they will be easier to guard. Steven, surreptitiously tests his bonds. Hyksos tells his colleagues that he will return "when the sun is above us." The three exit, leaving a guard to watch over Steven and Sara. Steven asks the guard how long they'll be kept here. The guard answers they'll be kept until their "friends" come to join them. Then all will be made to answer for their crimes. Steven protests that they have nothing to answer for--they're not interested in the Egyptian treasures! Not even the old man? asks the guard. Then why was he seen examining that blue box so carefully? Steven replies that the blue box belongs to the "old man." The guard says, "Now I know you lie! Everything the slaves hauled here across the desert belongs to Pharaoh!" The guard leaves. Sara has backed against a wall and is tugging at her bonds. She tells Steven that she's found a sharp piece of pottery and is trying to use it to cut through her bonds.

The Monk is delightedly tromping through the sand around the building site. He is completely oblivious to the Doctor, who is following his quarry with amusement. The Monk catches a glimpse of a figure ahead and decides to bluff it out by using his "monk" act. He walks forward, head bent, and greets the figure with a "Good morning, my son." Lifting his head, he yelps as he sees what exactly he has run into, "A DALEK!" He moves to flee, but the Dalek aims its gun....and Mavic Chen yells, "Wait!" Chen turns on his charm. "So, you have heard of the Daleks," he says. "Yes, yes. By reputation," replies a still rattled Monk. Then you must not be from this time, Chen continues. "No. Oh no. Certainly not," replies the Monk. "No. Just a passing time-traveller, anxious to be on his way. So, if you'll excuse me, I'd..." He tries to retreat, but is stopped by a Dalek. Chen continues, "Three time machines in one infinitesimal speck of space and time! Of course, a coincidence is possible - but hardly likely. You would agree?" The Monk babblingly agrees. Then why are you here? asks Chen. "Yes, well... the odd one out belongs to a certain Doctor..." says the Monk. "The enemy ship!" pipes up a Dalek. The Monk seizes on this. "Yes, that's right," he says. "The enemy. I have an old score to settle with him. But I'm sure yours is the prior claim." Chen, still polite, asks if the Doctor is a friend. "Friend? No, no. An enemy! An enemy to end all enemies!" He raises his voice to make sure the Daleks have no doubt. "I came here to inflict a terrible vengeance on him! I mean, we are all on the same side here, aren't we?" At this point, Chen's amusement is growing at about same level the Monk's panic is rising. But you do know him? asks Chen. "Well... in a manner of speaking, yes... and again, in another manner of speaking, no," the Monk replies. "Could you gain his confidence?" Chen asks. The Monk responds with panicked enthusiasm, "Certainly. If you wanted me to. No question about it! No doubt at all." "Then you may have a slight chance of saving your life," says the Guardian of the Solar System. "The Doctor and his friends have in their possession a full emm of Taranium." The Monk reacts with a bit of forced shock. A whole emm! "It belongs to the Daleks," Chen says. "You will recover this and return it to us within one Earth hour." Oh, of course, of course, says the Monk. "I need hardly remind you that the Daleks will reward failure on your part with elimination," says Chen. The Monk nods quickly. "Elimination. Thank you. Elimination! Oh, you'll get it back. Have no fear." He begins to leave, but Chen, who is having problems not actually laughing, directs him towards the Doctor's TARDIS. The Monk changes direction.

He returns to his own ship, and emerges with some kind of energy detector device. It bleeps as he moves through the desert. Of course, he is unaware that the Doctor has been following him the whole time. The Doctor, watching the Monk wander off, is delighted with the opportunity he has been handed. He enters the Monk's TARDIS. After a moment, the ship changes shape! From a stone block, it becomes a stagecoach, a Conestoga wagon, a tree, a tank...and then finally settles on a battered Police Box--just like the Doctor's! He emerges from the Monk's ship, carrying some kind of device he has removed from it. Laughing, he walks after the Monk.

Back in the chamber, Sara has managed to cut through her ropes. She quickly frees Steven and the two manage to overpower their guards. Well, Sarah does most of the overpowering, thanks to her judo. "Remind me not to pick a fight with you," says Steven. "Come on." They leave.

Khephren's slaves have finished moving the TARDIS into the pyramid's tomb. Nearby, the Monk is approaching the area, tracking the Doctor's ship. He enters the tomb area. The Pharaoh's treasures litter the room, but the Monk's detector lead him right to the corner of the room where the TARDIS stands. He approaches it and tries to open the door. Suddenly, he hears a voice behind him. "You're wasting your time. You won't get in." He whirls around to see--the Doctor! The Monk, trying hard to regain his composure, accuses the Doctor of following him. "For a time, yes. For a time," he says. "I've been glad to. You know, I don't think that I would have found my TARDIS without the help of that energy counter." The Monk agrees, and then adds, "You know, Doctor, if your machine would blend in with its surroundings, people wouldn't be able to find it. And then we wouldn't have all this trouble." "Yes. Like your machine, I suppose, hmm?" says the Doctor. Exactly, the Monk replies. The Doctor jokes that the Egyptians obviously thought enough of his box to bring it in here. "As for your machine," he says, "Well, it's probably disguised as a... what... a sort of... a block of stone? Hmm... Hm...?" The Monk face cannot disguise his absolute shock, but, with an effort, he manages to almost regain control. "Now, Doctor, it's a pity that we're having this feud, you know." he says. "By the way, you didn't track me on your time curve indicator this time, did you?" Not your machine, the Doctor replies, and the Monk beams, missing the Doctor's meaning. He used a trick and jumped a time track to avoid detection. He suggests that the Doctor join him in the TARDIS and he'll show the Doctor a few tricks. "And then you would be able to see the Taranium too." smiles the Doctor. It takes the Monk a moment to realize that the Doctor must have overheard his talk with Chen. "Do you know, I knew there was something I had to tell you," he says. "I've come here to warn you about the Daleks." Oh? "Yes. I played them along their own game, of course, for quite a time, but they don't like you, you know. They don't like you at all." "Why didn't you?" asks the Doctor. What? says the Monk. "Warn me," says the Doctor. The Monk grasps a bit. "Oh... well," he says. "You were talking at the time. I didn't want to interrupt." The Doctor chuckles. "You know, I think, before I go, I shall put you safely out of the way," he says, and begins to advance on the Monk, who backs away. "Come now, Doctor. Surely you don't think that I was going to help the Daleks?" he says. I did, replies the Doctor. "Now Doctor," says the Monk, increasingly desperately. "Look, let's talk this over like civilised time-travellers. It's the Taranium core they want, not you. Why don't you give it to them. Then we can be all on our way." The Doctor laughs. "If you believe that, my friend, you will believe anything!" he says, still advancing. The Monk has been backed into a corner of the room. "Doctor, don't do anything you might regret. Doctor? DOCTOR!"

In the Dalek time machine, a Dalek reports to its captain that the time traveller (i.e. the Monk) has not made contact. The captain responds, "He has betrayed us. Prepare a task force to attack. All the humans will be exterminated." "I obey," replies the other Dalek.

Steven and Sara, after escaping the hut, have arrived at the original TARDIS landing site. They see signs that the ship has been dragged away and head towards the tomb. Steven calls for the Doctor as they enter the tomb, but there is no answer. Sara, noticing the TARDIS, wonders if the Doctor is inside, but the door is locked. Steven starts to call again, but Sara sees something behind them. "Steven! Look!" The lid of the tomb's coffin is being lifted by a hand covered with bandages....!


Ketina's Transcripty Thingy

H: Historian
K: Ketina
R: Ronelyn
Sc: Schmallturm
S: Spoo
MS: MiniSpoo
P: Photobug

K: The Meddling Monk is totally my favorite bad guy now.

H: I love the Monk. Ray Bans FTW! So, can we officially say we're back to the plot now?

R: I hope so.

Sc: We're free of the curse of Terry Nation now.

R: “You've screwed it all up! Gimme the pen!”... “No, I'm not done adding this swamp.”

H: The thing is that Nation couldn't finish this story because he was too busy with other writing jobs. It was more like “Here, you do it, I've got more important things to do.”

R: “I've gotta finish writing this period comedy... also set in a swamp.”

H: Okay, enough with the Nation bashing.

S: I was fully prepared to make fun of this episode. "Mock like an Egyptian" (strikes a pose)... That must be how they were able to defeat them in combat so quickly. Because they fought like this (makes Egyptian hand pose). Lamest kung fu ever.

R: I think they lost because the Daleks have giant ray guns and the Egyptians were a bunch of simps with pointed sticks.

H: It could have been worse, they could have been armed with fresh fruit.

S: But I liked it. The writing, the pace, the subterfuge.

H: Sort of subterfuge.

R: “I would ne—ver do an---nything to betray the Daleks” (attempting to impersonate the monk impersonating Chen impersonating Star Wars' Nute Gunray. Very meta-joke, sorry).

H: I'm glad they were able to cut away from William Hartnell early on so he could manage to get a drink of water because his voice was so hoarse.

S: Why did the Daleks let the Monk go off and have his hour to go back to his TARDIS? Why didn't the Monk just escape when he reached it?

H: Well, the Daleks could have followed him like the were following the Doctor. And I think his reaction was like “Daleks! Oh crap, I've got to work with them.”

Sc: But why didn't he just escape there?

S: A blemish on an otherwise spiffy and speedy episode. I'm also glad we're not getting bogged down in Egyptian intrigue and they're just mooks to mow down.

H: There's been some criticism that there's no story here with the Egyptians.

S: But it also gives us some scale and scope that these weenie Egyptians are nothing on the Daleks, time travelers, and random Asian guy.

Sc: All I could think of was “Joseph and his Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with the Egyptians. But I enjoyed it. Chen is awesome.

H: The monk was great.

S: The monk was awesome.


P: Why were the Daleks repeating "Conquest" over and over at the beginning?

H: They conquest.

R: They're like robotic soccer hooligans.


Sc: Is this the first Judo Chop in Doctor Who?

H: Terry Nation did create Sara Kingdom with the Avengers in mind.

Sc: I don't recall her doing a Judo Chop before now.

H: But she's definitely influenced by Honor Blackman's Cathy Gale character.

MS: I liked it a little bit.

S: When you were looking up from your Nintendo DS?

MS: Well...

S: Did you like the Daleks? Yeah?


S: Are Daleks good at counting?

MS: No. They go like this: TEN... FIFTY.. TRY ONE HUNDRED... TEN.. AH.. NINE.. AH...

P: They must be the best at getting rid of termites. [Exterminator joke. Yyyyeah.]

H: I think some of the model work was the recon guys setting up models.

S: I loved the grinning Doctor photo.

R: Doctor got his coot on in a big way.

S: He was having a little too much fun with the Monk's TARDIS.

H: He was having a little too much fun with the Monk. It shows that the Monk isn't as smart as he thinks it is, but the Doctor does seem to be as smart as he thinks he is.

S: This was a really action heavy episode. Not a lot of subtly.

H: A lot happened though. I loved the Doctor changing the Monk's TARDIS's appearance.

R: The man is evil.

H: Evil on the side of good.

P: Troublemaker.

H: Mischievous.

P: So, there's no music. Very little special effects besides the time machine's appearance. How does the Doctor know what the TARDIS sounds like from the outside?

H: He's probably heard one before. We do know at this point that the Monk and the Doctor are from the same planet and the Monk is younger.

S: I thought the Monk wasn't a time lord, but stole a time machine.

H: No, he's from the Doctor's planet.

S: He's from Gallifrey?

H: No, no, no. We don't learn about Gallifrey for years to come. 1973.

S: Oh yeah.

K: Sunglasses on the Monk... best scene ever!

H: Because you knew it was coming.

S: I didn't. I figured he was getting a hat.

P: What was up with him still wearing a monk costume.

H: So we could recognize his character.

P: Because he was in a monastery last time.

Sc: It was airy and comfortable.

P: If a TARDIS is supposed to hide in plain sight, how can you have a TARDIS energy detector?

H: Early on the Doctor uses a TARDIS homing detector, so there's some way to detect it.

K: In "The Chase" no less.

H: You're right, it was.

P: If you're using the device to detect the TARDIS, how does it work if you're near your own TARDIS?

R: Good point.

H: The Monk's TARDIS is a different model.

P: At some point the story is moving along by magic.

H: It's science!

R: You can detect two airplanes with a radar dish. Unless the Monk's TARDIS is in an exact line with the Doctor's TARDIS, he should be able to detect it.

Sc: Why do you have a problem with a thing that can detect two things?

P: Because at that moment that I saw it my disbelief stopped being suspended.

H: Huh. I didn't get that.

P: First he hides his ship but not himself. It's a rock, he's still a monk. And why didn't he detect the third time machine?

Sc: Well, he didn't get the device until after he'd seen the Daleks.

P: It just pulled me out of the story. Both because I've seen later episodes, and because I think like a scientist. Anyway, the sci-fi budget was pretty small in this episode.

H: There was the materializations, the Monk's TARDIS changing, and the Dalek guns.

K: And the choreography of the fight scene.


R: I was trying to visualize the fight there. [Note: Due to the nature of the reconstruction, the fight was limited to various stills and the soundtrack. --H] So Steven cleverly sneaks up by climbing a book shelf?

S: I'm going to hand wave that as a limitation of the recon.

H: It sounded like a good fight.

R: I'm all down with sisters kicking butt.

H: Finally Sara Kingdom stops being wimpy. She rescues them, beats up the bad guys.

P: What happened to her gun?

H: Steven took it away a while ago and we haven't seen it since. I guess he threw it away.

S: Fight scenes would be more interesting if the Daleks used hand to hand, or hand to plunger, combat.

MS: I wonder if Daleks vote for Dalek presidents?

H: They have a leader called the Dalek Supreme. I don't think they vote.



Sc: I enjoyed it. Yeah. Nothing specific, sorry.

P: Seriously, what is stopping Daleks from just kicking butt.

K: They can't climb stairs!

H: You mean, forget the time destructor, just kick butt?

P: Just kill the Doctor, grab the key, and be done with it.

Sc: All the Daleks who've tried to kill the Doctor and take the key are dead now. So that clearly doesn't work.

MS: This really.. the sunglasses and the hood... really? I think they are just trying to make people laugh.

H: You think the Monk was just there to make people laugh?

MS: I think he was just there to trick people. And I don't know where the Doctor got that hat.

S: Hat rack, my boy.

MS: As soon as the Monk helped to betray the Daleks... Daleks have just too many people to fight.

P: You think they're taking on too big of a fight? Why do you think they fight everybody?

MS: Because they hate humans and they want to conquer the world.

S: This week proves again that script by Spooner and idea by Nation is infinitely better than the other way around. A+++, I would watch it again.

R: This is the second time I've been greatly amused by the on screen appearance by a Scottish Egyptian.

H: I didn't hear it.

R: It was [adopts a brogue] “Capture them! And destroy the others!” He got better later, but it was distinct with that line. [Note that the other Scottish Egyptian Ronelyn is referring to is the Sean Connery character in the movie "Highlander."]

K: More Monk! This is his last story, isn't it?

H: I'm just going to keep mum about that. And who knows what's coming in the future.

P: The future may come in the future!

R: I'm thinking Chumblies.

H: So, I remember reading things about that, people complained that these episodes were like filler stretching the plot out. But I think this was fun. Yes, it's stretching the plot out, but in a good way. I'm looking forward to see what's in Egypt next week.

P: In more than one way. (referring to the current real life politics in Egypt going on at the time we watched this).

H: Good point.


And there we leave things for this week. As I seem to always say these days, my apologies for the lateness of the post, but this time the delay in summary writing was caused by our journey to Seattle's Emerald City Comicon. Ketina, Ronelyn, MisterMother and I (Photobug and his lovely wife were around somewhere, but we never ran into them) had a wonderful time wandering the floor. Ketina bought too many Doctor Who toys, I got my wife a new sonic screwdriver and got some fantastic Doctor Who sketches from some great artists. We also did a small amount of networking, although the business card thing fell through. (Next year!) So, hello to any new readers!

Oh, and don't forget--Loose Cannon Productions for your recon needs! Check them out, they rock!

Until next time, I remain



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