Episode One

Me: I’m sorry, but I need you to close your eyes during this title sequence.
Sue: Why?
Me: Because the title of this story is a massive spoiler.
Sue: Wait, don’t tell me… Is it The Return of the Master?
Me: No.
Sue: Is it The Return of the Cybermen?
Me: Look…
Sue: The Return of the Daleks?
Me: Stop it!
Sue: It had better not be The Return of the Toymaker.
Me: Just close your eyes.
Sue: Okay… Can I look now?
Me: Hang on… Wait… Okay, you can open them now.
Sue: This had better be worth it, Neil.

The story begins when Sir Reginald Styles, organiser of the Second World Peace Conference, narrowly survives an assassination attempt by a guerrilla who vanishes into thin air. UNIT are called in to investigate.

Sue: Do UNIT change their base of operations every week? Do they ever appear in the same location twice?

The Doctor is playing with his faulty dematerialisation circuit.

Day of the DaleksSue: He still can’t get his skateboard working properly. And my, doesn’t Jo look pretty today. That’s a very good look for Jo.

The Doctor and Jo are visited by projections of their future selves.

Sue: You know, I’m sure they’ve done this gag before.

Meanwhile the guerrilla who failed to kill Styles is desperately trying to run away from something.

Sue: He looks like Tom Petty.

Suddenly, two hulking, ape-like Ogrons appear from nowhere and shoot him dead.

Sue: Are they Klingons? Is it called Doctor Who and the Klingons?

The Ogrons report to their Controller.

Sue: This guy looks like David Cameron.

And then this happens:

Sue: He’s having a laugh! Did he think he was still in rehearsals? Why didn’t the director demand a re-take? Was he sacked? Has anyone ever tracked him down and interviewed him for a DVD extra? I think he should explain himself.

Sue: He’s having a laugh! Did he think he was still in rehearsals? Why didn’t the director demand another take? Was he sacked? Has anyone ever tracked him down and interviewed him for a DVD extra? I think he should explain himself.

And then, thanks to me, Sue enjoys a nice surprise.

Sue: Ooh! It’s a Dalek! Right, okay, I understand now. I bet the kids were made up when they saw that. Brilliant.

The Doctor takes the place of Sir Reginald, and as he waits for the guerrillas to return, he passes the time eating cheese and drinking wine.

Sue: He really is a pompous twat, isn’t he?

Jo wants to feed Benton some strong cheese, but Yates wants the Sergeant to check on the UNIT patrols instead.

Sue: How is Yates superior to Benton in rank, exactly? How is that even possible?

The episode concludes with three – count ’em – Daleks announcing to the world that they’re back and ready to kick ass.

Day of the DaleksSue: It’s nice to see the Daleks again. It’s not really Doctor Who without them.
Me: Do you notice anything different about them?
Sue: They’re in colour?
Me: Well, yes, obviously. Anything else?
Sue: They sound different?
Me: I know! Isn’t it terrible?
Sue: I like the new voices. I can actually understand them.


Episode Two

Sue: What the hell? Is there something wrong with our DVD?

She’s referring to the opening recap, which also includes the music sting from last week’s cliffhanger. It’s very jarring and Sue’s convinced that the director, Paul Bernard, couldn’t give a shit. He hasn’t thought through the doors in this futuristic city, for a start.

Day of the DaleksSue: You wouldn’t catch me standing under a door like that, it could snap back and slap you in the face.

Meanwhile the Brigadier, surrounded by a pool of clattering typists, is on the phone to the Ministry.

Sue: It’s like Dickie Davies on World of Sport… The Brig is always on the phone, isn’t he? He’s always juggling some balls in the air.
Me: Maybe that’s how he keeps his affair with Doris a secret.

Time-travelling guerrillas capture the Doctor and Jo, but when she complains about this development, the Doctor gives her a good dressing down.

Sue: Does Jon Pertwee ever mellow out, like William Hartnell did? Jo’s saved the Doctor’s life several times now, and yet he still talks to her like she’s shit on his shoe. And at the same time he wants her to treat the people who have tied her up with compassion and respect! It’s totally inconsistent.

It suddenly becomes apparent that time-travel assassination paradoxes are going to play a big part in Day of the Daleks.

Sue: It’s The Terminator. Years before The Terminator, mind. I’m impressed. Seriously, I am.

Yes, The Outer Limits did something vaguely similar even earlier than Doctor Who (badly, I might add), but I can’t be arsed to get into that now. Sue’s impressed, let’s just leave it at that.

Day of the DaleksSue: It’s impossible not to love Jo, but she isn’t written very well. She’s written with mild contempt, actually. Annette (she means Anat) is a strong female character, which proves that it can be done, so why is Jo written so badly?

At least she likes the Ogrons.

Sue: They’re proper scary. They remind me of the Orcs from the Lord of the Rings films.
Me: Well, Peter Jackson is a massive Doctor Who fan…
Sue: Yeah, I bet when they were making Lord of the Rings, Peter Jackson put this story in his DVD player and said, “I want the Orcs to look exactly like that!” I bet that’s exactly how it happened.

I can’t tell if she’s being sarcastic or not. Anyway, Sue is fascinated by the Controller’s make-up.

Sue: He looks plastic. He’s not an Auton, is he? Or is that silver paint on his face? It’s very New Romantic, whatever it is.

The Controller asks Jo for the date where she comes from, but – and this is crucial – he doesn’t ask her for the year.

Me: Damn it.
Sue: What’s wrong?

I pause the DVD and explain the basics of the UNIT dating controversy to Sue. She can’t be arsed, frankly, although she does point out that BBC3 doesn’t come along for several decades yet, so either the Pertwee era is set in the 2000s or “It’s probably just 1972?. So that’s another controversy cleared up by Sue.

Sue: These Daleks sound okay to me. Obviously they sound better nowadays when Briggsy (sic) does them, but I don’t have a problem with them. As long as I can understand them, I’m happy.

Day of the DaleksThe Doctor picks up a gun.

Sue: You don’t see that every day… Bloody hell! He just killed an Orc! And he didn’t show any remorse! What’s he doing?

She’s so convinced that the Doctor couldn’t possibly have shot an Ogron in cold blood like that, she makes me rewind the DVD.

Sue: Oh dear. That can’t be right…

The episode climaxes as the Doctor runs into the Daleks.

Sue: I’m surprised he didn’t start shooting at them.


Episode Three

Day of the DaleksIn a moment of madness, I convinced myself that switching to the Special Edition of this story mid-stream, without telling Sue first, would be a good idea. Mainly because I wanted to see how long it would take her to realise that she was watching Day of the Daleks with 21st century special effects…

Sue: The Brig should be a lot stricter with the Doctor. He lets the Doctor walk all over him. He needs to toughen up a bit. Hang on a minute, that wasn’t like that before, was it? Eh? What?

The next thing that throws her are the Dalek voices, which are now provided by “Briggsy”.

Sue: Have they changed the Dalek voices? They sound different all of a sudden. Did they change the settings between episodes? Or are there two different timelines with two sets of Daleks? I’m really confused now…

The Daleks practically wet themselves when they realise who they’re up against.

Sue: I love how the Daleks freak out whenever they hear the Doctor’s name. They do that in the new series as well.

And then we’re treated to a glorious CGI landscape.

Sue: That’s nice. There are some lovely visual touches in this story.

Seriously, I am not making this up. I only wish I were.

Sue: You know, these Daleks sound great. I don’t know why people don’t like the Dalek voices in this story.

When the Controller begins talking to a female technician, Sue has an issue with the actress’ eye-line.

Sue: Is that woman blind? Did she just hand him something written in Braille? It might be a dictatorship but at least they’ve got an equal opportunities policy in the admin depart. Oh, maybe not… She’s looking straight at him, now. Well, that was very odd.

But not as odd as…

Day of the DaleksSue: It’s Rob Shearman!

She’s pointing at the Senior Guard, who a) Deserves a much better credit, and b) Looks a bit like Rob Shearman if you squint really hard and watch this episode in the wrong aspect ratio.

Sue: It’s difficult to argue with someone while you’re lying on the floor, but Jon Pertwee is doing a pretty good job of it here. And when the bad guy says his family has ruled this sector for three generations, it means he’s definitely related to David Cameron.

As the Controller defends the status quo, the Doctor becomes more and more angry.

Sue: That’s the best the Doctor’s been in ages. That’s how the Doctor should act all the time.

The Doctor and Jo escape from an Ogron guard by smashing a bottle of wine over its head. The Doctor makes a joke about the wine’s vintage.

Sue: Leave the James Bond stuff to James Bond, thanks. That’s exactly how the Doctor shouldn’t behave.

Jo and the Doctor escape on a trike.

Sue: Is there anything this Doctor won’t drive?

Day of the DaleksA trike that isn’t exactly turbo-charged.

Sue: James Bond never would have lowered himself to this level. He’d have walked instead.

And then Sue notices something odd about the Ogron’s weapons.

Sue: There are green rays coming out of their guns, now. They didn’t have that before. This looks like Star Wars.


Sue: Hang on a minute!

Yes, it took her all of 19 minutes to figure it out. I’m not making this up.

Sue: I thought it looked too good.
Me: I can’t believe you didn’t work it out sooner.
Sue: People will think I’m really thick, now. I knew something was up, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Thanks for that, Neil.

As the Doctor is subjected to the Dalek’s mind analysis machine, his past incarnations flash before his eyes.

Me: Does it give you a thrill to see all the old Doctors like this?
Sue: No, not even remotely. Sorry.


Episode Four

Sue: Can we watch the Special Edition version, please?
Me: The blog’s readers will hit the roof.
Sue: Pretty please?
Me: Okay, but only if I can show you the original climax as well.
Sue: Two climaxes in one night. You really know how to spoil a girl.

Sue wants to know more about the Special Edition.

Sue: So what else do they change? Is it just the effects?
Me: Well, they take out, “No complications”, for a start.
Sue: You can’t blame them for that. I would have done the same thing. And at least you can watch the original version if you feel the need, Neil. It’s not as if the BBC have done a George Lucas on you or anything.

Day of the DaleksSue adores Aubrey Woods.

Sue: He’s very good. It’s a subtle and believable performance. The Master would have been chewing the scenery by now.

When Jo suddenly jumps to her feet, Sue gets an eye-full.

Sue: Jo is wearing red knickers this week.
Me: Damn it. I missed that.
Sue: Yeah, of course you did, Neil.

The Brigadier’s in a bit of a flap over the amount of security required for the peace conference at Auderly House.

Sue: The Brig is having a nightmare this week.
Me: He’s appearing in his own personal sitcom. An unwanted vicar will drop in on him any moment now.

The guerrillas want the Doctor to travel back in time and kill Sir Reginald, but the Doctor doesn’t want anything to do with cold-blooded murder.

Sue: You just killed an Orc! You didn’t have a problem with that!

The Doctor describes Styles as, “Vain to the point of arrogance, a trifle obstinate, perhaps, but basically a good man.”

Sue: Pot. Kettle. Black.

And then the Doctor tells the guerrillas that the future – the future they are so desperately trying to avoid – was created by their own, frankly stupid, actions.

Day of the DaleksSue: Oooh. That’s clever. I didn’t see that coming. And Jon Pertwee is really going for it this week. This is very good. And it has nothing to do with the new special effects, either.

The Controller could stop the Doctor and Jo before they escape back to their own time, but he decides to let them go instead.

Sue: I knew he’d come good in the end. He can’t be related to David Cameron, after all. Oh no! Rob Shearman knows!

The Senior Guard grasses the Controller up to the Daleks. It’s as if he knows that a vacancy will open up as soon as his boss is exterminated.

Sue: Rob Shearman’s been promoted, and he’s chuffed to bits!

Meanwhile the media are out in force at Auderly House.

Sue: I like it when the programme uses the media to tell the story. They should do this every week. It feels really modern.

The Doctor tries to evacuate the building, but Styles won’t listen to reason.

Day of the DaleksSue: Is the Doctor going to make sure that the Dalek timeline doesn’t happen, yes?
Me: Yes.
Sue: I thought the Time Lords exiled the Doctor to Earth so he wouldn’t interfere with stuff like this? It’s not really working, is it?

And then we enjoy the spectacle of UNIT battling Daleks and Ogrons. It really doesn’t get any better than this.

Sue: This is very exciting. Sure, the new effects definitely help, but the plot has an urgency to it. It’s a great way to start a new season.

The Daleks are blown up and the timeline returns to normal (we think).


The Score

Sue: I enjoyed that one a lot. It had a great plot, a great script, some really nice performances and an excellent twist. The direction was all over the place – excellent one minute and appalling the next – but it had plenty of pace, and there were some outstanding moments. Plus it was only four episodes, which is the ideal length for a Doctor Who story. What’s not to like?


Me: We have to watch the original version now.
Sue: Do we have to? I think I can imagine what it looked like, thanks.

But a deal’s a deal…

Sue: (Irritated) There aren’t enough Daleks. There. What else do you want me to say? It looks crap. Oh dear, that Dalek can’t get through that door. Look, just switch it off, Neil. I’ve seen enough.
Me: Do you want to change your score?
Sue: Not really. I’m much more interested in the script and the characters. And it was a bloody good story.




  1. Derrick  December 16, 2011

    Another fantastic edition. I hope you know that should you and Sue ever divorce, many of us would be lined up to marry her.

    Also, I was not in the survey, but I would buy the Book.

  2. Glen Allen  December 16, 2011

    When I said in the survey, the worst bit was waiting for the next installment I really didnt expect you to have it up (as it were) in a day or two.

    Oh and I read out the bit :
    Sue: He really is a pompous twat, isn’t he?
    my two friends almost spat their drink out. I think you may now have some nooooo members

    • Frankymole  December 17, 2011

      “No complications”. Teehee. The Einstein of Ogrons.

      Glen, at that moment of expulsion, did your friends decorate the carpet with wine? (and/or cheese) 😀 I do like to imagine a civilised Pertwee style soiree-stroke-cellar-raid going on.

  3. Newbunkle  December 16, 2011

    I love how Sue manages to sneak in a dig at Cameron every week. Well deserved of course.

  4. Dave Sanders  December 16, 2011

    We’re not hitting the roof yet, the Special Edition really is that awesome and the special features documentaries totally justify it. More than George Mucus ever did, anyway.

  5. Tristan Alfaro  December 16, 2011

    Are we now in some alternate Doctor Who timeline? One in which Day of the Daleks gets a higher rating than The Daemons? This is just crazy talk.

    The most disappointing thing about Day is that we never got to see the other side of the scene of the Doctor and Jo meeting themselves after the Doctor messes with the console. Was that scene meant to be filmed?

    I also took part in the survey but I want to say it here (again). Neil, this blog needs to be published as a book! And get Gary to do the foreword.

    • John Callaghan  December 17, 2011

      I believe that final scene is in the Target novelisation.

      • John G  December 18, 2011

        It was certainly meant to be filmed, and may even have been filmed, but was left out owing to lack of time.

        • Garrett Gilchrist  December 22, 2011

          It was meant to be filmed, but wasn’t filmed.

  6. John Callaghan  December 17, 2011

    A really fun read! I particularly relished the idea of the Brigadier being trapped in his own personal sitcom. Now there’s a plot they should have done!

    Doubtless you’ve informed Sue that the Doctor no longer cold-bloodedly slaughters the Ogron; he’s shot at first. It’s Han Solo all over again.

    If you’re avoiding titles with spoilers in, can I make a plea for you to do so with story 4J? The title does rather give the game away a couple of episodes early. Actually, as the Daleks don’t usually appear until the final shot of the first episode normally, you could do that for quite a few. And don’t show Sue the box to Earthshock, either!

    As Sue becomes more and more drawn into our world, we’ll doubtless need Gary as a Rory-figure for contrast, to remind us of the strange world of normal people…

    • Dave Sanders  December 17, 2011

      The Brig trapped within his own sitcom? They did that already, it’s called The Time Monster.

      • John Callaghan  December 17, 2011

        I like it!

        For Day Of The Daleks, Neil experimented with altering the show and seeing how long it took Sue to notice. I propose he puts a laughter track on Time Monster and edits in Garth Merenghi-style interview excerpts. It’s only a matter of time before someone does this!

        (And I believe that on one of the US stations, a laughter and sound effects track was indeed added.)

        • Dave Sanders  December 17, 2011

          Canned laughter on the US transmission? Now you’re comparing The Time Monster to M*A*S*H. Stop it at once. 🙂

          • John Callaghan  December 17, 2011

            Monster… M*A*S*H… You can see why I got mixed up. 🙂

          • PolarityReversed  December 18, 2011

            Okay, but please allow us the Adric out-credits with Terry & June soundtrack. I had to take a mop to the ceiling…

  7. CJJC  December 17, 2011


    • Dave Sanders  December 17, 2011



  8. Jamie  December 17, 2011

    Please can you restrict story reviews to one a week.
    It’s like the 1976 repeats of Top Of The Pops: too much of a good thing….

    • Alisaunder  December 17, 2011

      I dont think I could stand a week. Twice a week is ok by me, as I dont want to run out too fast, but a whole week would be torture.

    • Neil Perryman  December 17, 2011

      I can’t win, can I?

      • John Callaghan  December 17, 2011

        Keep doin’ what you’re doin’!

        • Dan  December 17, 2011

          Yes, please. I’d be very happy with more than one a day, but if it takes a week I understand!
          – yours, the “silent majority”.
          Seriously, I’ve really appreciated the faster pace, but the fact you’re both getting through this at all is something people should value.

  9. Alisaunder  December 17, 2011

    Briggsy? She knows him? Does this mean that when you run out of tv episodes she might be willing to listen through Big Finish? Please oh please say yes! I heart Big Finish. They got me through the Tennant gap year easily.

    I am surprised, I liked this episode myself but so many dont that I wasnt expecting much above a 7 maybe.

    Pertwee is my First Doctor, and I love his James Bonderisms and flair and wardrobe, but I had never really noticed how mean they are to Jo. When I first met her she was on her second trip to Peladon and then he died, so I never caught it later catching up via DVDs and VHS.

    I do love the mansion though. Anytime they get out of the studio and we get to see a bit of actual England (or Spain or Amsterdam).

    • Neil Perryman  December 17, 2011

      No, she doesn’t know him. She just thinks that’s his name.

    • Nigel  December 17, 2011

      You never met her at all then – that was Sarah Jane. The exasperating production treatment of Jo is partly a reflection of the times, partly the preconceptions of individuals. It’s so revealing in Barry Letts’ memoirs when he explains the “chitinous” pronunciation gaffe: “chitinous, as in ‘some chit of a girl'”!

      • PolarityReversed  December 18, 2011

        Pronunciation gaffe:
        Ecclestone pronouncing “charnel house” with a CH.

        • Nigel  December 18, 2011

          Ah, clearly the universe rebalancing itself.

  10. Frankymole  December 17, 2011

    “Tom Petty” looks like the not-so-small one out of the Small Faces to me (the one who was sacked for not being Small)… or was that another one of the guerillas (not the gorillas or the cigarillos that both also appear)?

    • PolarityReversed  December 17, 2011

      C’mon, everyone looked like that at the time. Absent the sheepskin and they were pretty much interchangeable…

      • Frankymole  December 17, 2011

        Three years earlier and everyone had ridiculous sideburns, from Patrick “Steed” Macnee to Patrick “Seeds of Death” Troughton. And the War Lords. (Though the Brig saved his for the early/mid-70s, when UNIT hairlines got below collar-length) Oh fashion, what crimes are committed in your name.

        • PolarityReversed  December 18, 2011

          Get your ‘air cut, you ‘orrible lot!
          Actually, the flared hair thing continued for years. Hairy Sullivan? Mind you the Navy was always a bit more relaxed about tonsorial stuff.

        • Tristan Alfaro  December 19, 2011

          Hey, it’s almost 2012 and I’ve STILL got ridiculous sideburns!

          • BWT  December 20, 2011

            I just got rid of my ridiculous sideburns. Mutton chops they were! For a show, may I add…

  11. Jazza1971  December 17, 2011

    My suggestion for a t-shirt quote: “Jo is wearing red knickers this week”!

  12. Loki  December 17, 2011

    Your survey didn’t include my age! (But just barely) I’m really interested to see this new SFX version of DotD. And don’t worry Sue. A friend of mine watched the 2005 relaunch and said, “Wow this is really good for 1963!”

  13. Steve O'Brien  December 17, 2011

    My two Laugh Out Loud moments were: “the tension was so unbearable, I felt like I was in a bloody Hitchcock movie” and “Does it give you a thrill, seeing the old Doctors like that?” “No, not even remotely. Sorry.”

  14. Al  December 17, 2011

    Superb, as always.

    “No complications” for the t-shirt, perhaps?

  15. Alex Wilcock  December 17, 2011

    I love Sue’s wildly divergent timelines here (though I wouldn’t show most of the SE versions, tempting though the Vardans are).

    “He really is a pompous twat, isn’t he?”
    Made me laugh, too, though at least he’s better here than in The Dæmons or Terror of the Autons – and for the first time in ages, I find Pertwee gripping in those scenes in the final episode when he’s working it all out (he seemed to grab Sue, too. No wonder she gave it high marks). On the other hand, I can’t help agreeing with her that Jo’s “written with contempt” here. When I was a boy and reading the novels, I never liked Jo much, precisely because she was written so feebly in stories like this. The one bit of the Pertwee stories that won me over far more on screen, much later, was Katy. Still, she gets much more to do – including putting Pertwee down at long last – in the next story, so I hope Sue can cheer for her then.

    But Rob Shearman? Nah. It’s Ken Livingstone. He’s got the voice and everything.

  16. Steve White  December 17, 2011

    I love the way you turned down the sound when you changed the discs over… I would have completely forgotten to do that…

    Neil: Does it give you a thrill, seeing the old Doctors like that?

    Sue: No, not even remotely. Sorry.

    She’s faking… She’s got to be, she’s a Ming-Mong now…

    • Dave Sanders  December 17, 2011

      I’d quip ‘two climaxes in one night, she’s got to be faking’, but Neil would throw more than cushions at me.

    • John G  December 18, 2011

      “She’s faking… She’s got to be, she’s a Ming-Mong now…”

      I can’t say it surprises me too much – after all, Sue hasn’t had to wait over 5 years to see Hartnell again and 2 years to see Troughton! I suspect that she will also be fairly blase come the opening story of Season 10…

  17. Nigel  December 17, 2011

    Sue: Diamonds Are Forever *cough* (but you know that).

  18. Chris Reynolds  December 17, 2011

    The disparity in ratings between Sue’s scores and the averaged poll ratings in DWM/received fan wisdom are one of the most interesting features of this experiment. I think the ratings owe a lot not only to the quality of the story being viewed, but also a lot to the accumulated effects of previous episodes. The Daemons is going to seem a lot less great if you’ve just seen (for the first time) 4 stories in a row before it all with the same villain and mostly with roughly similar plots. Similarly Day of the Daleks gets a boost from a long drought of dalek episodes.

  19. Richard Lyth  December 17, 2011

    I’m in two minds about this Special Edition. I always like it when they add improved visual effects (they should do the same to Blakes Seven next) and the new final battle is a big improvement, but it’s a bit heavy-handed to chop out things like the “No complications” bit just because the DVD producer doesn’t like it. It’s hilarious! If you start taking out all the dodgy line-readings you’ll end up with some very short episodes…

    Sue’s dead right about Day Of The Daleks though – it’s a great story, way ahead of its time with all the back-and-forth time travel going on The Daleks are probably the weakest element really, it wouldn’t have made that much difference to the plot if the future Earth was ruled by the Ogrons. Pertwee is a lot more likeable here than he was in the last season as well – all that boozing makes him seem a lot more human.

    • PolarityReversed  December 17, 2011

      Blake’s Seven without Atari hairdryers?
      I say, no no no.

    • Rollocks  December 18, 2011

      I remember reading (in DWM?) a few month back that this was intended to be a single disc release with the special edition scenes breached into the standard edit.

      This meant that the revised material had to follow the exact time codings (literally to the frame) as the standard edition. The person interviewed did seem to express a little frustration with 2 Entertain’s late in the day decision to make this a double as having to worry about breaching with old footage would have allowed a lot more scope for the edits and improvements to the special edition.

      • Rollocks  December 18, 2011

        I really should learn to read my comments before hitting ADD.

        That last part obviously should read:

        “…as NOT having to worry about breaching with old footage would have allowed a lot more scope for the edits and improvements to the special edition.”

  20. Noodles  December 17, 2011

    She’s going to hate Colin Baker, isn’t she?

    And surely the plural of “Perryman” is “Perrymen”?

    • PolarityReversed  December 18, 2011

      Perryman/men – would that be in the Hartnell/Troughton pronunciation?

  21. Jane  December 18, 2011

    You need to make some V-neck t-shirts available.

  22. BWT  December 18, 2011

    “He really is a pompous twat, isn’t he?” – Best. T-shirt. Ever.
    *** Although, “Doctor Who and the Klingons?” would also be a strong contender.

    Yes, like many others this story is well ahead of its time – for the first time we see a story with an intelligent incorporation of the time-travel paradox element to the premise. It’s about time. And – for my money, at least – Aubrey Woods is one of the forgotten best actors to have appeared in the series; he really gives a subtle, powerful performance here. Absolutely superb – it’s a wonder he’s never been asked back.

    “It had better not be The Return of the Toymaker.” – just think: in 1986 it very nearly was. Oh dear…

    Additional: Yates, Benton and the ranking debate? As an ex-soldier myself there are many things I could say about this – for and against both sides of the argument – but I won’t…

  23. Marty  December 18, 2011

    Nice to see Sue judged it on script and characters and not on effects or anything, she’s really becoming a “specialist”.

    I can never take the guard seriously, it’s his silly hat.

    Favourite Pertwee moment is the wine scene “a touch sardonic, rather like myself…”.

  24. Nathan  December 18, 2011

    Marked far too high again. We need more Gary.

    • PolarityReversed  December 18, 2011

      I disagree – okay, maybe an 8. Excellent, clean use of time paradox. Ever seen this one, RTD, Moffatt and crewily-wooily? Now we’re coming up to the Christmassy-wistmassy specially-wessially…?

  25. Matthew Kilburn  December 18, 2011

    Day of the Daleks launches a season which is really pivotal in the development of Doctor Who. Sue’s comments where ‘Return of the Master’ gives way to ‘Return of the Cybermen’ gives way to ‘Return of the Daleks’ are a summary of the ways several viewers must have looked at Doctor Who in the 1963-1971 period, but in reverse. After two seasons which were concerned about being ‘new’, Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks start bringing in elements from the Troughton and Hartnell eras – they were approaching writers who hadn’t been involved in Doctor Who for several years – as well as continuing their policy of reworking their own ‘greatest hits’. ‘Pot kettle black’ – the guerillas didn’t make a mistake, did they?

    • PolarityReversed  December 19, 2011

      Shame they never gave the pert one a cybertwirl. Would have been fun to see him put them down as “walking calculators” or such.
      Can’t wait for Curse of Eurodon. Alpha Sarkozy, Izlyr Merkel and Silvio Pelasconi!

      • Dave Sanders  December 20, 2011

        And the foppish, Tory Doctor’s new chum Cleggador, the Case of Pyjamas.

        • PolarityReversed  December 20, 2011

          And the unfilmed final scene where the Doctor leaves a note for the real Earth delegate, which reads: “Join the Federation if you want, but I’d steer clear of the currency if I were you”…

  26. John G  December 18, 2011

    I think Day is one of those stories where fans often get too hung up about the production deficiencies, though I will admit that the Special Edition is a considerable improvement. What matters however, as Sue so rightly points out, is that the script and characterisation here are excellent, and it makes such a nice change to see the old series engaging seriously with the paradoxes inherent in time travel. The Daleks were of course shoehorned into the story at the last minute, but their presence certainly does not jar with the plot, and it must have been very exciting for long-term fans in 1972 to see them again after so long. Aubrey Woods is indeed excellent as the Controller, bringing genuine pathos to the role, and I really can’t understand why Barry Letts is so critical of his performance on the DVD commentary – I haven’t heard the commentary for Planet of the Spiders yet, but if Letts is going to criticise Woods he ought to give both barrels to Jenny Laird…

    I’m also glad Sue enjoyed Pertwee’s performance so much more this time. Apart from the one unkind comment to Jo while they are tied up in the cellar, the Doctor is far more likeable here and I think this is the point where he and Jo start to become a really close team, something that will be further ramped up in the next story. Overall, there isn’t much I would criticise about Day – it’s just a shame the Brig doesn’t get up close and personal with the Daleks, as he would never meet them again…

  27. John S. Hall  December 18, 2011

    I can hardly wait for Sue’s reaction to Alpha Centauri in the next story! 😀

  28. Paul Mudie  December 19, 2011

    I’m in two minds about the special editions, but it’s nice that someone has gone to the effort. And Sue is right, it’s nice to have the luxury of choice, with both versions on the discs. 🙂

  29. Shachar H  December 19, 2011

    I’m glad Sue liked this serial, I personally think that it’s one of the very best serials from before the Tom Baker era.
    Most notable is the fact that this is possibly the first serial to use the messy consequences of time travel as an important part of the plot (I may be wrong, I’m not sure; but it’s at least one of the first serials to do so).

    P.S. I’m liking your increased frequency of posting.
    At this rate, soon enough you’ll be watching Tom Baker – and I’m looking forward to read Sue’s comments on how the 4th doctor enters the show in “Robot”

    • John G  December 19, 2011

      I would say The Space Museum was the first story to exploit the paradoxes of time travel to any great degree, but the show didn’t really do so again until Day.

  30. Karl M  January 9, 2012

    “I pause the DVD and then I attempt to explain to Sue the fundamental basics of the UNIT dating controversy…”

    Good God man! Are you sane?

  31. farsighted99  January 21, 2012

    First, I only saw the original version, not the souped-up Briggsy version (honestly, if only they just used a better voice-actor for the Daleks, it would have been sooo much better; it was really, really bad!). But the script was excellent! Some timey-wimey stuff before it was even defined. I loved the last episode, it was just amazing, eh?

    This Doctor really is a “pompous twat,” isn’t he? He certainly loves a good glass of wine though. I really do miss Troughton.

    Also, there’s very little humor in this story; I kind of miss that; and no music to speak of… everyone seems to be so serious. Nobody smiles. Maybe that was the way it was back then.

    Is this the first time we actually see the Doctor using a different type of time travel besides TARDISes and SIDRATs? An early version of a vortex manipulator? Though a bit bigger, and bulkier. I liked that, especially since his TARDIS seems to be grounded by those pesky Time Lords.

    They could have used a few more Daleks to make it a bit more scarier… I did like the way they were floating around that mansion, but it it true, one was too big to get in the door? LOL!

    And was this the first time they ever showed the earlier Doctors? Since there were only 2, it was easy, but I liked the way they did it.

    The Ogrons didn’t do much for me… oh no, I just looked them up on wikipedia and they show up in other episodes! Oh well…

    It was an interesting story that cleverly written and thought out… ahead of its time. 8/10