THE DAEMONS

Episode One

The DaemonsA man is walking his dog in a raging thunderstorm when his pet is suddenly killed off-screen by some unseen, malevolent force.

Sue: Right! That’s a mark off straightaway. There was no need for that.

She doesn’t care about the dog’s owner of course, even when he meets the same horrible fate.

And then the action shifts to the Doctor tinkering with Bessie in his garage. As Jo starts bleating on about the Age of Aquarius, the Doctor berates her silly, superstitious ways, exclaiming that he’ll never make a real scientist out of her.

Sue: How is getting her to answer the phones all day supposed to turn her into a scientist? The Doctor can be so patronising, sometimes. He’s definitely got out on the wrong side of the bed again this week.

The Doctor proves that magic doesn’t exist by having Bessie drive around all by itself. It even honks its horn via remote control.

Sue: It’s not exactly KITT, is it? I mean, it isn’t even Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo.

The DaemonsMeanwhile a reporter for BBC3 is recording a piece to camera from Devil’s Hump, a Bronze Age burial mound that’s about to be excavated later that night.

Sue: It’s Most Haunted meets Time Team meets Nationwide.

Sue likes the way the media are on hand to deliver the story’s background exposition, and she hopes Alistair Fergus and his crew become integral to the plot.

Sue: This is great. It feels really fresh. I love it.

And then the Master turns up.

Sue: Oh no! Not again! Seriously, this is getting silly now. Is the Master in every Jon Pertwee story?
Me: No.
Sue: Good, I don’t think I could carry on with this if he was. Don’t get me wrong, I like the character, I just can’t buy into the idea that he’s responsible for absolutely everything. It’s just a contractual thing, isn’t it? Does he actually play an important role in this story? He better bloody had.

The Master is embroiled in an animated discussion about the human soul with the local White Witch, Miss Hawthorne.

Sue: Is this the first children’s television programme to feature a psychopathic vicar using the word “existentialism”? I want to be sure.

The Doctor and Jo race to Devil’s End in Bessie, but when an ill wind sends them in the wrong direction, the Doctor blames Jo’s map reading skills for the unwanted detour.

Sue: I hate it when the Doctor isn’t pleasant to Jo. There’s no need for it. Incidentally, I had a purple hat like Jo’s when I was growing up. I called it my Donny Osmond hat. I bloody loved that hat.

Deep in some catacombs, the Master prepares to unleash hell.

DaemonsSue: Why is that gargoyle smoking a cigarette?
Me: That’s his tongue, Sue.
Sue: **** off, Neil, that’s a Woodbine!

When the tomb is opened, the Doctor is knocked unconscious by an icy blast, although this detail is completely wasted on Sue.

Sue: The quality of this print is horrendous, Neil.
Me: I’m sorry but this is the only copy I have. It’s a digital rip of a VHS. It’s the best I can do.
Sue: It looks like we’re watching a snuff film.

 

Episode Two

Benton and Yates tune into BBC3 just in time to see Jo cooing over a prostrate Doctor. And then the channel cuts the live transmission.

Me: “In place of our advertised programme, here’s an episode of Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps.”
Sue: Or My Fat Dog Smells Like Cheese.

The DaemonsThe Doctor has been frozen solid.

Sue: It’s not exactly Han Solo in The Empire Strikes Back, but it’s close.
Me: I know.
Sue: How long has the Master been living in this village? Weeks? Months? Did he have to give weekly sermons in order to blend in with the local community? Did he open many fetes? Christen any children? Did he marry anyone? Would it still count if he did? Is there any fan-fiction written about this period in the Master’s life?
Me: That’s niche, even for Doctor Who fans.

Yates can’t reach the Brigadier because he left the opera and went on somewhere else without leaving a contact number. I casually suggest that Alistair is conducting an extramarital affair.

Sue: He had better not be!
Me: He is. With a nice woman named Doris.
Sue: I don’t believe you.

Benton and Yates decide to fly to the village by helicopter. Probably because it’s cooler than driving there in a battered Austin Maxi.

Sue: There’s a lot of padding in this story.
Me: Yes, and that’s just Mike’s jacket.
Sue: It’s got a decent enough budget, though. UNIT really like their helicopters, don’t they?

When they reach their destination, Mike decides to change into something more comfortable.

Sue: One minute he looks like Action Man, the next minute he looks like an Open University lecturer.

Things are so bad, the Brigadier has to be woken up.

The DaemonsSue: Is he in bed with his fancy woman?
Me: No, he’s sneaked back to his poor wife.
Sue: You’re winding me up. The Brig is a good man. He’d never cheat on his wife like that. He’s the Brig!

The Master learns that the Doctor has been poking his enormous nose into his affairs.

Sue: Why is the Master so surprised? The Doctor always stumbles across his stupid plans. Wait, don’t tell me: the Devil will betray the Master and he’ll have to ask the Doctor for help, just so he can get out of this stupid mess he’s made. And then he’ll run away. I could write this, you know.

The episode concludes with a gargoyle threatening the Doctor and Jo.

Sue: There’s something very Weeping Angel about this monster. Although the Weeping Angels looked great, and this looks stupid.

 

Episode Three

The Doctor keeps Bok at bay with a Venusian lullaby.

The DaemonsSue: Look at the Master’s face when the gargoyle runs away – because it’s scared of a trowel, I might add. It’s the look of a man who’s used to disappointment.

The Doctor gets his slide projector out and begins lecturing everybody about the plot.

Sue: How does Jo know where the planet Dæmos is? Does the Doctor give her private lectures in the evenings, after she’s finished answering the phones all day?

The Brigadier threatens to call in an airstrike; the Doctor calls the Brigadier an idiot; the Brigadier relents; Jo says the Brig was stupid to call in an airstrike; the Doctor bites Jo’s head off.

Sue: What a hypocrite! He’s called the Brigadier a lot worse than that, and now he decides to humiliate Jo while she’s defending him! What a pompous, unlikable ****! Pertwee makes William Hartnell look like Patrick Troughton!

The Doctor explains that the Dæmon is small enough to be practically invisible.

Sue: If this Dæmon is so tiny, why don’t they just stamp on it? Just jump up and down on the floor – you might get lucky.

The Master calls a meeting of the villagers so he can scare the living crap out of them.

Me: It’s one of those rare meetings where something actually got done.

The DaemonsAs the Doctor races to the heat barrier in Bessie (so he can be rude to a technician in person), the helicopter, which has been commandeered by one of the Master’s followers, swoops in to pester him.

Sue: This is completely unnecessary. Exciting but unnecessary. And badly directed, too. What is the helicopter trying to do, exactly? Besides annoy the hell out of the Doctor? And Yates is effing useless!

The helicopter flies into the heat barrier and explodes.

Sue: Listen to that wind! And yet Pertwee’s bouffant hasn’t moved an inch. Now that’s what I call magic.
Me: That sound isn’t the wind – it’s the heat barrier.
Sue: They should have used a nice low hum instead. This is bloody torture.

The episode ends with the Master cowering in fear before the mighty Azal.

Sue: He definitely hasn’t thought this through. Again.

 

Episode Four

Sue: I bet it was a pain in the arse to put the ‘a’ and the ‘e’ together on a 1970s title generator…

The DaemonsWe get our first good look at Azal’s feet.

Sue: Oh look, the devil wears stockings. And Jimmy Choo shoes, too!

Azal bosses the Master around.

Sue: This has turned into Monty Python, now. The devil will ask the Master to bring him a shrubbery, next.

When Mike realises that Jo has sneaked away, he calls her a “little idiot”.

Sue: Is it ‘Be A Total Bastard to Jo Day’, today, or what?

But at least the village of Aldbourne looks nice.

Sue: It’s beautiful. I’d love to live there. Well, once they get things back to normal again. Do they run Doctor Who tours around the village? I’d probably reconsider if they do.

When the Doctor finishes patronising the UNIT technician, he gets on a motorcycle and races back to the village.

Sue: Meanwhile on Top Gear… Look, it’s no good. I can’t get into this story. There’s something about it that just isn’t working for me.
Me: Is it anything in particular?
Sue: I’m bored of the Master. Even the actor who plays him is bored. It’s as if he isn’t taking it seriously any more. And the story doesn’t know what it wants to be, either. Is it a comedy? Is it supposed to be scary? Is it James Bond? What the hell is it? Oh, and now it’s turned into The Wicker Man.

The DaemonsThe Doctor is assaulted by Morris dancers.

Sue: Why haven’t you got any Morris dancers in your Doctor Who doll collection? They’re a lot scarier than the Ice Warriors.

The Master prepares to summon Azal once again, but when the Time Lord reaches for a ritual sacrifice – in this case a big fat hen –Jo breaks cover to stop him.

Sue: Jo must really love those chickens. Bless her.

Azal is revealed in all his majesty.

Sue: Does that mean the Master killed that chicken? Marks off!

As Azal’s features fill the screen, Sue sighs.

Sue: That’s a bit clichéd.
Me: I know! That’s the whole bloody point!
Sue: Shouting at me won’t make it any better, love.

 

Episode Five

My copy of this episode is so atrocious, the first few minutes are practically unwatchable. It’s pixelated, it’s smeared with artefacts, and the bloody sound sync is miles out. I’ve scoured torrent sites, newsgroups and other reliable sources for an alternative, but it’s always the same problem. Annoyingly, the original VHS tape is sitting in my attic, but I don’t have a VCR to play it on.

Despite this, Sue battles bravely on as Bok blocks the entrance to the church by defiantly folding his arms.

Sue: If your name isn’t on the list, you’re not coming in.

As UNIT prepare to punch a hole in the heat barrier, Sue decides it’s time to name her Man of the Match.

The DaemonsSue: That poor technician with the glasses is the best character in this story. He’s brave and resourceful, and he’s put up with loads of shit. Does he become a regular character? What’s his name?
Me: I have no idea.
Sue: Well, I guess that answers that question, then.

The Brigadier delivers one of his most famous lines – “Chap with the wings, there. Five rounds rapid!” – but Sue couldn’t care less.

Sue: Benton and Yates should have been given their own spin-off series. It would have been like The Professionals, but with more sexual tension. Actually, that reminds me: where are Torchwood when all this is going on? You’d have thought this would have been right up their street.

The Doctor fights back with sarcasm.

Sue: The Doctor just referred to Hitler as a bounder. That’s almost as bad as calling the 911 terrorists “folks”.

But Azal isn’t having any of it.

Sue: Could someone please give Azal a tissue? He’s dribbling all over himself.

The DaemonsUNIT try – and fail – to take out Bok (“Just imagine how rubbish they’d be against a Weeping Angel…”), so Benton brings out the heavy artillery.

Sue: Benton’s smirking at Yates because he’s got the bigger gun.

Azal assaults the Doctor, but Jo throws herself in front of the psychic bullet. Azal takes this very badly indeed.

Sue: I’m sorry, but I can’t understand a word he’s saying.

When the Doctor explains that Azal was killed thanks to Jo’s irrational behaviour, Sue ignores the sexist undercurrent and decides to focus on the positive instead.

Sue: So Jo saved the entire world yet again, then? If the Doctor is nasty to her ever again, I’m going to stop watching this rubbish.

Benton apprehends the Master on the village green.

Sue: Just shoot him in the head! No, wait, don’t! Lock him up and don’t let him out for several episodes. Oh wait, he’s going to escape! Benton, you are pathetic!

Thankfully, the Master is stopped by Bessie (“Does Bessie count as a companion?”) and the story – and the season – concludes with Yates asking the Brigadier for a dance.

Sue: See! I told you!

Although the Brigadier would rather go for a pint.

Sue: I bet that’s code.

 

The Score

Sue: That was definitely the worst Jon Pertwee story so far. It just didn’t do anything for me. It didn’t know what it wanted to be. And the Master is beyond a joke now. Although he did come quite close to pulling off his evil plan this week, so he’s getting better, I suppose. Just give him a rest. And is it just me or is the music actually getting worse?

4/10

 

While we were watching The Dæmons, something rather remarkable happened.

Galaxy 4Me: They’ve found two episodes of Doctor Who! In somebody’s shed!
Sue: I told you we should have kept looking but “No,” you said, “there’s no point,” you said. I knew I should never have listened to you. Is one of them The Tenth Planet Episode 4?
Me: No, they’ve found the third episode of Galaxy 4 and Episode 2 of The Underwater Menace.
Sue: I suppose those names should mean sometime to me but –
Me: You gave both stories 2/10. One is a William Hartnell story that featured a giant poo and some vacuum cleaners, the other is the Patrick Troughton story that featured Fish People and a really mad East European scientist. Remember?
Sue: So, not very good episodes, then?
Me: It could have been a lot worse, they could have found The Celestial Toymaker or more episodes of The Space Pirates. You should count yourself lucky.
Sue: As exciting as this may be – be still my beating heart – I don’t see what this has to do with me. Hang on, we don’t have to watch them, do we?
Me: Well, that all depends on whether they are released on DVD (or someone sends them to me in a plain brown envelope) before we finish this experiment. If they do, we will have to go back and watch them. So mote it be.
Sue: Are you telling me that I’ll have to watch more black and white episodes?! And shit ones at that?

A cushion is thrown.

Sue: Let’s hurry up and get this bloody thing over with before the bastards find any more.

 

75

Comments

  1. BWT  December 14, 2011

    My thoughts exactly – thank you Sue. I’ve always felt this one is overrated by quite a wide margin. Yes, it’s all very jolly and cosy for the regular cast to have a weekend away from the office but it doesn’t exactly jump off the screen and beat me about the head with classic-awesomeness…

    Pertwee is definitely at his most arseholishness here. And Hitler: a “bounder”?! That jackanapes, the cad… Why not say “jolly hockysticks”, marry our cousins and have done with it…

  2. Simon Harries  December 14, 2011

    Wow! 4/10 for “The Classic Pertwee” seems a tad harsh… This story is fondly remembered by the cast because they had a lovely jolly in Wiltshire whilst making it. I liked it as a teen but I seem to be going off it, the older I get (I’m nearly 40, you know?!) while other Pertwee stories grow more to my personal taste.

    The phrase, “It’s not exactly X is it?” stood out a couple of times in this review. No it’s not exactly KITT or Herbie or Han Solo, but then how could it have been? Other than that, another amusing review. Your cushions must be in need of refurbishment 🙂

    • Alisaunder  December 14, 2011

      Yeah, I like it because of the village I think. I cant explain, I just like to get out of the studio and its one of the better locations.

  3. Jay  December 14, 2011

    It is the KOOKIEST. Sadly I didn’t have anyone around to ask “did you see that too?” That was a few weeks ago and I’ve been eagerly anticipating this. I can only imagine what Sue’s reaction to Mawdryn Undead will be, I was certain I had a head injury.

  4. Matthew Kilburn  December 14, 2011

    I can’t say I blame Sue for her comments about the third Doctor’s attitude to Jo in the first scene. I showed The Daemons to my then girlfriend in 1998 or 1999, and she asked how I could watch it when the Doctor was such ‘a git’.

  5. Matthew Kilburn  December 14, 2011

    Oh, and there is definitely fan fiction about the Master’s period as a vicar in Devil’s End:

    http://churchontime.livejournal.com/6598.html

    • Simon Harries  December 14, 2011

      I bet he was a hysterical rector.

      • Jeremy Phillips  December 14, 2011

        There’s fertile ground for a crossover with Rev, and having Delgado boss Tom Hollander around or getting the Ogrons to hand around the collection plate.

      • John S. Hall  December 14, 2011

        @Simon — So when Mister Magister was forcibly removed from Devil’s End, does that make it a hystericalrectormy??

        :innocent:

        • Simon Harries  December 14, 2011

          I expect he found himself on the horns of an enema.

    • James  December 14, 2011

      Don’t have a link but ages ago I once saw one where he performed the marriage of former companions Ben and Polly!

  6. Dave Sanders  December 14, 2011

    ‘Is this the first children’s television programme to feature a psychopathic vicar using the word “existentialism”?’

    Ace Of Wands might have got there first.

  7. Adam Westwood  December 14, 2011

    I await the arrival of a “Let’s hurry up and get this bloody thing over with before the bastards find any more” t-shirt with gleeful anticipation. Nice to see that I’m not alone in being a little underwhelmed by this story – I always put it down to having been instructed, prior to viewing, that it was the creme de la creme, which can only really ever set one up for a fall.

  8. John S. Hall  December 14, 2011

    Yeah, Pertwee’s definitely got up on the wrong side of the bouffanter for this story!

    THE DAEMONS will always be one of my favourite Third Doctor stories, but I can see where people can’t understand the fuss over it.

    And Sue had nothing to say about Miss Hawthorne?? :-/

    Loved her reaction to the missing episodes’ recovery! 😀

  9. charles yoakum  December 14, 2011

    now you’ve got your next t-shirt: an image of Bok, tongue sticking out and all: “If your name isn’t on the list, you’re not coming in.”

    thanks goodness sue didn’t take to this one. I always thought it was a boring hodge podge and Jo gets way too much shit from everyone in this story. This is clearly when i went on her side and not the Doctor’s.

  10. Jarad  December 14, 2011

    Haha! Sue is the only person in the world that would every say “Let’s hurry up and get this bloody thing over with before the bastards find any more.”

    Let’s hope the bastards find many more!

    I’m sure many will be surprised that Sue didn’t like this one, considering many think of it as a classic. However I have always found it a bit muddled – it needed a better focus and be only 4 episodes long.

  11. Loki  December 14, 2011

    Oooh 4/10! Even I didn’t dislike it that much. Of course I don’t remember the treatment of Jo or the irrationality thing. Or maybe I did- the story was forgettable. Though I did say at the end, “That was it? THAT was the famous Daemons?”

    Silly as this sounds- my problem was with the believability. Sure, it has a pseudo-semi-sciency explanation but…gosh. A guy dressed up in a gray suit with a tail and wings was hard enough to suspend belief on, but then they just ran around and caused chaos. If they’re an alien race that reached Earth, shouldn’t they be more advanced than that?

  12. Andrew W.  December 14, 2011

    My favourite t-shirt quote:
    “Why haven’t you got any morris dancers in your Doctor Who doll collection? They’re scarier than the Ice Warriors.”

  13. Dave Owen  December 14, 2011

    This was the first story I watched, although I think it was the Christmas omnibus, so my 40th anniversary is just coming up. I too have a VHS tape of it, and no machine on which to play it. Despite being a pathological declutterer, I couldn’t part with it.

  14. Paul Greaves  December 14, 2011

    I think this is the story that formed the basis of my dislike for Pertwee’s Doctor. The way he speaks to Jo is unforgivable and his attitude just gets worse from here on. When you find yourself not liking the main character, you’ve got a problem. The story isn’t too bad but I agree that it’s over-rated. I much prefer Terror of the Autons, even with the dodgy CSO.

  15. Frankymole  December 14, 2011

    Is Osgood played by the same guy as Jericho in “Robot”?

    He looks a bit like Eddie Hitler from “Bottom” in this.

    • Leo  December 14, 2011

      Jellicoe is the name of the character in Robot. Yes, it is the same actor, who also played Stengos in Revelation of the Daleks. Alec Linstead.

  16. Tangocow  December 14, 2011

    I was wondering if Sue would remark on the fact that Episode 4 actually concludes with a cliffhanger where the threat is directed at the Master, rather than any of the heroic characters…

  17. John G  December 14, 2011

    “Sue: That poor technician is the best character in this story. He’s been very brave and resourceful and he’s has put up with a lot of shit. I hope he becomes a regular. What’s his name?

    Me: I have no idea.

    Sue: Well, I guess that answers that question, then”

    That’s classic, certainly more so than The Daemons itself! I don’t dislike it as much as Sue, because the ideas underpinning the story are pretty good, and the location work is very beguiling. However, Sue is bang on with her indictment of the Doctor in this one, as he is totally obnoxious for sizeable chunks of the story, especially to poor old Jo. I know he must be annoyed to be stuck back on Earth after his day trip to Uxareius, but there really is no excuse – just as well then that this would prove to be the nadir of the third Doctor’s characterisation, as he would mellow out considerably in Season 9. Interestingly, although cast and crew have always spoken warmly of what a good time they had making the story, Katy Manning has said it was the only occasion that she and Pertwee had an argument (during the map-reading scene, apparently) and we now know that John Levene came within a whisker of decapitating his co-stars with the helicopter blades!

    Still, onwards to Season 9. Sue will doubtless be grateful for a bit more variety in the villains department, and I hope she likes the first two stories. The season gets a bit more ropey after that, before tumbling off a cliff at the end. If Sue doesn’t like The Daemons, I can’t wait for her reaction to The Time Monster…

  18. Russell Watson  December 14, 2011

    ah, shame on you, I loved the Daemons. No, I can “kinda” (lol) see where you’re coming from with it. Would need to see again to see the likes of Jo’s mistreatment.

    I first saw this in 92? when they repeated a few, this was the recently colourised Daemons. One of the first Pertwees, if not the first, that I saw. I had seen the B&W version of Ep6 on The Pertwee years and was astounded that Berts costume was actually just made of newspaper when I saw it in this.

    Two of the best lines ever in this though, can’t believe there was no reaction to “Chap with the wings there” & “I’d rather have a pint”.

    I think this is due out on DVD soon, I may inflict it on my wife, see if she can stomach it, lol.

    Cheers & looking forward to S9.

  19. PolarityReversed  December 14, 2011

    I really liked the naff Hammer/Bessie Rides Out/Quatermass/rural vicar runs coven-ness of it all. Must dig out Night of the Demon tonight…

    Dodgy denouement thought – sadly prescient of the modern era “feisty companion explodes monsters with the power of lurve” rubbish.

    Best dialogue was exchange between TV producer and archaeologist in ep 1. Surprised that went unSued…

  20. Simon Harries  December 14, 2011

    Interesting if inconsistent that Sue tolerated the death of Barney, Mrs Seeley’s dog in Spearhead from Space and gave that story a 10/10, yet knocked a point off for the death of the dog in part one of this story…

    • Paul Greaves  December 15, 2011

      Yeah, but in Spearhead the dog was actually a man doing a rather bad impersonation of a dog, so it probably doesn’t count!

  21. Dan  December 14, 2011

    Is this a classic case of the book being better than the serial?

    • Dave Sanders  December 14, 2011

      No, I didn’t think Sue would take to this one very well since until Tom Baker gets let off the leash, The Daemons is about as whimsical as Doctor Who gets. Yes Neil, even more than The Time Monster. That one goes off in several mad directions, but for better or (mostly) worse, it’s a free-flowing story; encasing The Daemons within the heat barrier after episode one immediately gives it a cosier, stagier level of artifice rather like a zoo enclosure for our benefit. Come to The Daemons after watching Carnival Of Monsters extrapolate an entire plot out of this principle, and it’ll be impossible not to notice. Similarly, once you’ve heard the anecdotes of how much fun the whole cast had making this one, you’ll be constantly aware of it bubbling under the surface – they’re putting on a show for you, and all the characters are pretending not to know it. Even the brig is more remembered here for his catchphrases than his stoic stiff-upper-lip.

      What really eggs this on is that Jo has totally become the audience-identification character by this point, to the level where the entire story is being related to us as if through her eyes. All the exaggerated mannerisms on display – Pertwee’s rudeness, Yates and Benton’s boyish chumminess, Miss Hawthorne’s eccentricity, the Master being more loveably cardboard than ever, and booed at as he’s led away – are pitched like Katy Manning’s fond memories on a DVD commentary, said in her bubbly ‘little girl’ voice. Christ only knows what the Brig must make of Jo’s UNIT work reports, but they must look something like this.

      http://tachyontv.typepad.com/waiting_for_christopher/2007/03/mondae.html

  22. Matthew Turnage  December 14, 2011

    For t-shirt quote, I like “Pertwee makes William Hartnell look like Patrick Troughton.”

    • James Van  December 14, 2011

      I second that.

      • Illusionator  December 15, 2011

        I third that 🙂

        • Brandon  December 16, 2011

          Fourth!

  23. Mark Taylor  December 14, 2011

    “Let’s hurry up and get this bloody thing over with before the bastards find any more.”
    This has got to be a T-shirt, if not a mission statement for the entire site!

  24. Dave Sanders  December 14, 2011

    Show Gary the remade version of Day Of Three Daleks on the DVD, and pretend it’s the original. See how long it takes him to work it out.

  25. Gabriel  December 14, 2011

    If Sue was offended by the Doctor being mean to Jo in this story, I wonder what she’ll say when you get to the Colin Baker stories, where he lays the bitchiness on with a trowel. (And Peri mostly suffers through her stories anyway, which makes it harder to take, unlike the mostly cheerful and bubbly Jo.)

    I think I’d give The Daemons 6/10. It has lots of charm, imagination, and (especially with the documentary) style. I’d take points off because it’s pretty weak in the plot department, though.

  26. PolarityReversed  December 15, 2011

    Day of Three Daleks! ROFE.
    My child mind back in the day had some problems with “guerrillas” and gorillas…
    Proper non-crappily-wappily time paradox though.
    Idle conjecture – any bets next year’s season will contain teasing references to an elusive fat bloke called Higgs Boson?

    • Dave Sanders  December 15, 2011

      If Ricky Gervais is playing Higgs Boson, I’m leaving this fandom NOW.

      • PolarityReversed  December 17, 2011

        I’ll fight you to the death for the last ejection pod.
        And if they ever cast Sue Must-Have-Incriminating-Polaroids, Rapidly-Becoming-the-Distaff-Version-of-Stephen-****ing-Fry, Sodding Perkins, so help me I’ll hire a team of international mercenaries to forcibly part Matt Smith’s hair differently.

        And breathe…

    • Simon Harries  December 15, 2011

      What does ROFE stand for? Rolling on the floor ejaculating? Is the Day of the Daleks SE really THAT amazing?!?!

      • PolarityReversed  December 16, 2011

        Oh come on.
        … Exterminating.

        Maybe there’s a new M&S ad I haven’t seen yet:
        “Would … you … like … a … mince … PIIIIE!”

  27. jedienigma  December 15, 2011

    I have bad news for Sue. They already have begun to find old episodes, and start the archive process.

    http://videotechnology.blogspot.com/2011/12/47-year-old-television-signals-bouncing.html

    The Wife in Space site could take an interesting turn if you actually tried to watch the episodes bounced back from space.

    • Matthew  December 15, 2011

      That blog has fallen for a mocked-up BBC news page. This is the site they linked to:

      http://www.rimmell.com/bbc/news.htm

      Look at the date.

      The blog has updated to acknowledge that the story isn’t confirmed. You’d think the fact that story can’t be found on the actual BBC site would be a pretty good clue. And that’s before thinking that if this discovery was made in 2009, we’d have been able to see something by now.

  28. Tristan Alfaro  December 15, 2011

    The killer quote this time is definitely “Pertwee makes William Hartnell look like Patrick Troughton”.

    Can’t say I’m surprised by Sue’s reaction. While personally I find The Daemons to be excellent I have to wonder how much of that is because the Target novelisation scared the living shit out of me some time in the early 80s. We are really living in the age of reanalysing traditionally held fan lore on what is and isn’t good Who, aren’t we?

    • Frankymole  December 15, 2011

      Possibly, we are living in a re-evaluating age (especially following the release of material from “missing” stories on reconstructions and audio CDs) but I thought the massive Pertwee-backlash started in the early 1990s?

      • Matthew Kilburn  December 15, 2011

        There certainly was a substantial backlash against fan reverence for the Pertwee era in the early 1990s, but since then I think fandom’s attitudes have become more difficult to chart, principally because the internet allowed different streams (national, levels of intensity, among others) to become exposed to one another. There are still people who hold the entire Pertwee era in high regard in a way which would be recognisable to the relatively uncritical fan attitude which seemed to be in the majority in the 1980s; there are others who respect it for ‘what it is’ rather than swallowing the myths of the past; and others who are free to favour or disfavour some or all of the period.

        There are sub-branches of 1990s revisionism too: that season 7 is the only decent Pertwee season, for example, and that Inferno is the best of that run. Both these views were once fashionable, but no longer are held so widely.

        • charles yoakum  December 15, 2011

          the oddity now, of course, is when you have the material in front of you, and you find yourself agreeing with many of the long-held fan opinions! I’ve come round, after all these years to really thinking the season 7 is the best pertwee ever got, which is not an opinion that i used to have 20 years ago. And that comes from actually watching the stories as opposed to the Target novelizations.

          Yes, there are some stories that are ok, but too often Pertwee isn’t really challenged like he was in Inferno or Spearhead, and that really is when he did his best work. We’re moving into a number of stories that i just don’t enjoy so i’ll be curious to see if sue likes them.

          • PolarityReversed  December 15, 2011

            Mmmm… ontological.
            I had no idea there were such schools, strands and orthodoxies. Loved the show as a kid (3/4), got really into the books and never attended a convention or read a fanzine in my life. Still obviously fond as I’m here doing this.

            It isn’t possible to separate oneself from Dr Who – the one thing that is certain is that the show held audience fascination for nearly four decades. Everyone feels they own it, and that’s its great achievement. It’s a funnel into our childhood – whether you sat there glued to the floor every Saturday, read the books of the ones you missed (or to revisit), watched the reruns or got the DVDs decades later, or sat your kids down to do any of the above.

            Dr Who always was “of its time” and also a kid’s show. Most of the 70s was a horrifying dysfunctional time and I don’t think Pertwee’s overbearing disdain for what mankind was doing to itself was far off the mark at all.

            As for the age factor: Zoe’s arse and Peri’s boobs? If you were 8 when you first saw those scenes, it was all about the Tardis disintegrating or the Doctor dying. A few years on the clock and it would have more: “oi you, get in here and do the washing-up.”

            You always brought your own value system to Dr Who. The way it played with that is yours and the outcome is no more right or wrong than anyone else’s. It has the character of good art in that respect.

          • PSanders  December 16, 2011

            For me the DVD releases have really improved my opinion of the Pertwee era. As a kid in the 80s and 90s I too grew up reading the Target novelisations – Day of the Daleks and The Claws of Axos were two of my favourites and among the first “proper books” I ever read. So watching these stories for the first time there would always be an element of disappointment that it didn’t look how it did in my head. As time went on I became pretty disdainful of the Pertwee era – dated, cosy, cheap, padded… But watching them again on DVD has led to a real reappraisal – firstly I don’t have the memory of the books to compete with these days, but it’s the DVD extras that have especially helped, revealing just how pioneering the show was in those days when colour TV offered new possibilities. I wouldn’t say the Pertwee era was necessarily my favourite, but often if I fancy something fun to pass the time it’s either a Pertwee or a Williams-era Baker that I’ll pick rather than the more highly regarded stories
            from other eras.

          • PolarityReversed  December 16, 2011

            Well, my moniker probably gives away when I first entered the building. I’m unashamedly nostalgic about Pertwee and Baker, and see them as a progression of the same character (although arf’n’scarf was a more madcap comedic take). The worried prefect (Tristan Farnon without the hormones) didn’t do it for me, really, so I gradually lost interest thereafter.

            The Target novels were my DVD collection. Having YouTubed around the edges more recently, the missing nostalgia buzz is a big deal when watching the Hartnells and Troughtons. The likes of Tomb of the Cybermen existed, as you point out, in perfect form in my imagination and the real thing was bound to be a comedown. But I’m sure if I’d had my head in the telly five years earlier I’d feel differently.

            As you say, and many here will probably agree, the novelisations were pretty high-quality ambitious children’s fiction and fostered a lifelong reading habit for many. I hope we’ll able to say the same thing twenty years hence about a certain recently concluded book/film franchise that plays to the collector in a child’s psyche.

  29. Aged Chris  December 15, 2011

    As an aged fan (actually older than the entire series), I think other comments hint at why this was always seen as a classic – the novelisations. Back in the 60s/70s we didn’t have video recorders, and the BBC only showed the programme once. If you missed it, you’d never see it. The only way you could re-live the story was through the Target novelisations.

    If you look at the series that were seen as classic – for example The Daemons and The Doomsday Weapon (aka Colony in Space), the books expanded on the TV show, with characterizations and back stories that were exciting – yes and frightening. If you’d never seen the show at all, the descriptions of Azal and Bok (and your own imagination) were scary and frightening – certainly much more than Stephen Thorne in 40-dernier stockings and an unconvincing mask.

    More and more, re-watching the old stories show where the original series fell down: not necessarily bad acting from the main characters, but lack of budget, rushed shooting schedules and an adherence to the politics and morality of the time. Sorry, Sue, but the Doctor’s attitude to Jo was common of most men’s attitude to women at the time. Try watching some other contemporary drama shows to see how most women were treated.

    Having said that, it’ll be interesting to see Sue’s views on the delectable Sarah Jane in The Time Monster….

    • PolarityReversed  December 15, 2011

      Time Warrior.

      • Aged Chris  December 16, 2011

        Sorry Senior Moment there…

    • Frankymole  December 15, 2011

      Or watch “The Tomorrow People” made shortly after this (around the end of Season 10) to see just how spoilt we really were for production values.

      • Dave Sanders  December 15, 2011

        And subtler subtext. The Tomorrow People couldn’t have been more blatant if Terry Nation had had a go.

  30. CJJC  December 15, 2011

    The main question about the viewing itself was whether Sue was referencing the Mystery Science Theater 3000 version of Space Mutiny when referring to the “rare meeting where something actually got done”?

    Odd to hear about Pertwee and Manning’s argument as it’s long been my understanding that they got on very well during the filming of this serial.

    • Frankymole  December 15, 2011

      From what I heard, Pertwee noticed Katy was reading the map upside-down as they were travelling to the location, and they arranged for it to be incorporated into the story later on when the Doc and Jo had a similar scene. How acid Pertwee’s original remarks were I can’t say! Probably depends how long they got lost for. Assuming it wasn’t an invented “excuse” for their unexpectedly late arrival, *ahem*…

      • PolarityReversed  December 15, 2011

        What goes on location stays on location…

  31. Cyberbagel  December 15, 2011

    My first comment – Hello!
    Have to say I agree with the scoring, as someone who came to Pertwee after the event (only caught his last 2 stories ‘live’) and therefore seeing The Daemons after all the hype, I do find the story incedibly overrarted.
    Yes it has its moments, but I guess you had to be there.

  32. Tim Cook  December 15, 2011

    How odd it would have seemed to us back in 1992 when the BBC repeated ‘The Daemons’ and released it onto VHS, that people in 2011 would be unable to view a decent copy!

  33. Marty  December 15, 2011

    No mention of carpentry in the church or pub?

    For that matter no mention of the destruction of the church.

    Though I never really noticed all the unresolved sexual tension that was in this story.

    • Neil Perryman  December 15, 2011

      Sorry, she did mention the explosion of the church but I forgot to jot it down. She thought it was “very nice”.

      When I told her that some people believed it was a real church, she said that was silly because ‘Doctor Who would never be able to afford that’.

  34. Barry Stavers  December 15, 2011

    I can see why people think of this story as over-rated, but it’s one of my Pertwee ‘guilty pleasures’
    I really love it to bits. There’s a line in this that cracks me up every time I watch it, when the OB director says in a very Python-esque manner: “Quiet please, let’s ‘ave of lots of lovely ‘ush. QUIET!!!!”

    • Simon Harries  December 16, 2011

      I love it when “behind the scenes TV people” become characters in dramas and comedies. In The Daemons, I think David Simeon does a terrific job of playing the TV presenter. While broadcasting on BBC3, Alastair Fergus comes across as smarmy and patronising. When the cameras are off, he’s a vain, superficial and charmless knob-end who berates his colleagues. A large number of TV presenters are just like that, even now.

      • Frankymole  December 16, 2011

        A large number of people in all sorts of jobs are like that!

        • Simon Harries  December 17, 2011

          I certainly am.

  35. farsighted99  January 19, 2012

    I thought this episode was a bit rubbish. So there’s the little daemon that looks like a gargoyle that shoots blasts that make people disappear (where did they go? Vaporized?); and a huge ugly one who came from a 4″ spaceship that weighed 7 tons and got really confused at the end of the story and blew himself up… someone from another planet, apparently, that can shrink himself down to microscopic levels in a matter of seconds? Uh. huh.

    Then the Master shows up, [WHAT, AGAIN?] disguised as a Vicar (now, that’s the perfect disguise for him, who would have thought). He wants the big bad Daemon to transfer his powers to him so he can control (and destroy) the world. Again. Yawn. Where does he find all these evil doers? Does he have a “Who’s Who of Bad Guys in the Universe” that he carries around in his TARDIS? He’s even worse than George Bush. Hasn’t he figured out by now that they always come back and bite him in the end?

    There were some interesting moments, though, like the Master wearing brainy specks (LOL!); the Doctor being somewhat like Harry Potter for a few moments (not “Expecto Patronum,” but it was close enough)…

    The Doctor being used as a Maypole was a little too much. And did we really need those dancers? I suppose anything to liven the story up a bit.

    And it was interesting to find out where that line from the Brig. came from: “Chap with the wings, there. Five rounds rapid.” It’s famous, but I’m not sure for exactly what.

    What happened to the little daemon anyway? He just turned back to stone?

    Humm. Meh. 4/10

  36. Jon Doyly  March 20, 2012

    Now that I’ve seen it again, in all its lovely colourful remastering, Bok is defo having a crafty smoke!!

  37. Chris Too-old-to-watch  April 2, 2012

    Love the extras on DVD: especially the story of the drunken morris dancers, and the final exchange between Yates and the Brigadier, when Katy Manning the concludes “So Yates is gay and the Brigadier’s a drunk”

  38. Huw  April 19, 2012

    I haven’t seen this since it was first broadcast; I remember it as one of Pertwee’s best, but now I will have to reavaluate it. Since I am now totally in awe of Sue, I feel sure my opinion will change.

    Shortly after this went out I actually met Pertwee, when he came to open a Summer Fete. He told me (OK, I was one of a very large group of kids clustered round him, hanging on his every word) about the fuss when the church was “destroyed”, and that Bessie wasn’t remote controlled at all – there were two guys pushing her from behind. When I passed on that second bit of information in school on Monday everyone refused to believe me.