DESTINY OF THE DALEKS

Mary TammWhen we heard the news about Mary Tamm last week, we were stunned. We’d both been thinking about Mary quite a lot over the last few weeks, thanks to the blog, and one of the main reasons why The Key to Time season scored so highly with Sue was Mary’s performance. Beautiful, clever, witty, resourceful, and one of Sue’s favourite companions, Mary Tamm’s Romana was a constant delight.

Rest in peace, Mary. We will miss you.

 

We had planned to start this story the night before Mary died, and I even got as far as cueing up the DVD when fate (aka Gary) conspired against us and we agreed to delay it until the following day. And when that day came, we just couldn’t face it.

Several days later, we tried again.

Episode One

Destiny of the DaleksEven though my heart wasn’t really in it, I still managed to hide this story’s author and title credit from Sue. I was pretty subtle about it, too: if I’d told her to look away from the screen, she inevitably would have concluded that it was called The Something of the Daleks, The Something of the Cybermen or The Something of the Master. So I had to choose my moment carefully, and just a few seconds before the title came on screen, I distracted her with a red velvet cupcake that Nicol had baked earlier. Incidentally, thanks for all your emails but no, Nicol isn’t single.

The episode begins with the Doctor tinkering with K9’s electronic brain.

Sue: So, he never mentions Romana ever again? She just returns to Gallifrey between stories? That’s so sad.

Yes, I threw spoilers out of the window last week; Sue knows that we’ve seen Mary’s last episode.

The Doctor calls for his companion.

Sue: Eh?

The person who appears in the console room is the spitting double of Princess Astra from The Armageddon Factor.

Sue: What’s she doing there?

Romana is regenerating.

SDestiny of the Daleksue: But she’s wearing the same clothes as Princess Astra. She’s even wearing the same bracelet. If that’s supposed to be Romana, where did she get them from? I don’t get this at all.
Me: Patrick Troughton’s trousers regenerated, remember?
Sue: I’d managed to forget that, thanks.

The Doctor tells Romana to change into something else.

Sue: What? Another dress?

Romana returns a few seconds later, this time as a blue dwarf.

Sue just looked at me as she furrowed her brow.

Romana changes again.

Sue: It’s Lady Diamond, the drag act from Sitges.

The Doctor sends her away.

The Doctor: It’s what’s on the inside that matters. That’s what’s important, isn’t it, K9?
Sue: If that’s true, why does he keep turning down selections based on their external appearance? What a hypocrite.

When Romana appears with Princess Astra’s face and the 4th Doctor’s costume, Sue makes me pause the DVD.

Destiny of the DaleksSue: Right, where do I even begin? Okay, so this tells us that Time Lords can regenerate whenever they feel like it, and they can look like any person or species they want, yes?
Me: Well, yes.
Sue: So why did Jon Pertwee look like Jon Pertwee all that time, when he could have turned himself into Peter Gordeno or somebody like that? He could have done something about his nose at the very least.
Me: Well, he can only regenerate so many times and that would be wasting a regeneration, I guess.
Sue: Like Romana is doing right now, you mean?
Me: I suppose it’s even more irritating because she’s wasted four of them.
Sue: Ah, yes, but she said she was “regenerating” not that she had “regenerated”. It’s not as bad as it looks.

No, that wasn’t a typo. Sue actually said that.

We even agree that Pertwee couldn’t alter his nose because he’d already finished regenerating and he didn’t have a mirror handy at the time. Ditto for Eccleston’s ears.

Sue: So Mary never got a leaving scene? That’s very sad. Does this woman –
Me: Lalla Ward.
Sue: Does she play the part like Princess Astra? I really hope she doesn’t. I don’t think I could stand it.
Me: Wait and see.
Sue: What did you make of this when you were nine?
Me: I was living in New Zealand when this was broadcast, and they were years behind the UK, so I missed this season when it originally went out.
Sue: Where are we now? 1979?
Me: September 1st, 1979.
Sue: That would have been three days before my 18th birthday. You know, I can’t remember what I did on my 18th birthday. Isn’t that sad?
Me: No. It means it must have been a good one.

Destiny of the DaleksI resume the DVD and Romana emerges dressed in a pink version of the Doctor’s costume, which I love to bits, but Sue isn’t that fussed about. It takes 30 seconds of banter with the Doctor for Sue to make up her mind about Lalla Ward.

Sue: It’s going to be okay, she’s still Romana.

The TARDIS materialises at their next destination, and the Doctor is overjoyed when the scanner shows them lots and lots of rocks.

Sue: Why are they going outside? It’s a radioactive quarry. Why don’t they ever land somewhere nice, like Monte Carlo or Barcelona? That would be nice. Why are they always attracted to shit holes like this?
Me: They can’t control where they go. They are using a randomiser so they can avoid the Black Guardian, remember?
Sue: Yes, but who says they have to leave the TARDIS every time they land on a dump? They should keep going until they land somewhere half-decent. With a beach.

The Doctor and Romana explore the planet’s surface.

Sue: This feels like it’s the start of a new season. Apart from the new Romana, there’s something about this that feels very different to the last one, but I can’t put my finger on it yet.

Destiny of the DaleksThe Time Lords arrive at some ruins.

Sue: That’s a nice doer-upper.

The Doctor and Romana spy a group of shambling humanoids who are burying a deceased comrade beneath a mound of rocks.

Sue: It’s Night of the Living Dead. I love zombie films. They are the only horror films I can bear to watch.
Me: Don’t get your hopes up, love. Zombies aren’t exactly renowned for burying the dead.

The Doctor runs down a steep sand dune, where he is met by Romana at the bottom.

Sue: She’s not daft. She wasn’t going to get her new coat dirty. So where’s K9?
Me: He’s stuck in the TARDIS with laryngitis.
Sue: Laryngitis?! What? Why would a computer get laryngitis?
Me: You know, they covered this right at the beginning of the episode.
Sue: I wasn’t concentrating. I was thinking about Mary Tamm and feeling sad.

The Doctor is trapped by some falling masonry, and while Romana goes to retrieve K9, he amuses himself by reading Origins of the Universe by Oolon Colluphid. At this point, Nicol entered the room with even more cakes.

Me: Does the name Oolon Colluphid mean anything to you, Nic?
Nicol: Of course it does. It’s a Hitchhikers reference. Is this written by Douglas Adams? Why didn’t you come and get me?

Destiny of the DaleksThe Doctor is rescued by three Movellans.

Sue: It’s Boney M.
Me: (Singing, badly) Ma Ma Ma Ma – Tom Baker.

The Doctor is taken to the Movellans’ ship.

Sue: Is their leader a ladyboy?

The Movellans tell the Doctor they are on the planet Skaro. Sue actually gasped at this point.

Sue: Daleks!

The episode concludes with Romana surrounded by the very same.

Sue: If they hadn’t told us we were on Skaro, that would have shocked me. But we knew they were coming. What a shame.
Me: Well, they do appear in the title.
Sue: So why hide it? Don’t do that to me again, please. It’s really annoying.

 

Episode Two

Destiny of the DaleksI didn’t distract Sue this time.

Sue: I should have guessed. It all makes sense now. That’s why the cliffhanger didn’t work. Terry ****ing Nation.
Me: You might like to know that Terry insisted that K9 didn’t meet the Daleks because he’d only show them up.
Sue: Terry %&!*^ing Nation.
Me: To be fair, Douglas Adams re-wrote a lot of this.
Sue: Don’t. That’s even worse given his track record so far.

Romana is interrogated by the Daleks.

Me: Behind the scenes of The Jeremy Kyle Show.

Destiny of the DaleksThe Daleks are ranting. And one of them strikes a chord with Sue.

Sue: That voice. it’s so familiar. Who is it?

Even Nicol, who has stuck around for this episode, looked up from texting HER BOYFRIEND.

Nicol: Yeah, that voice is very familiar.

I put them out of their misery, otherwise we’ll be here all night.

Me: It’s Zippy.
Nicol: Oh, yes, so it is!
Sue: We should definitely mention that on the blog. It’s very funny.
Me: I don’t think we’re the first people to notice this.

The Daleks chant in unison:

The Daleks: Obey! Obey! Obey!
Sue: They’d make an excellent barber’s shop quartet.

Romana is sent underground to toil in a mine. Sue doesn’t remember The Chinese Detective, so don’t even ask.

Destiny of the DaleksThe Doctor wonders what the Daleks could be looking for on Skaro.

Sue: I know.

Yeah, I bet she does.

Me: Go on then, love.

This will be good. I bet she’ll say something really stupid, like Rod, Jane and Freddy.

Sue: Davros.
Me: Hey, I’m impressed.
Sue: What else could it be? An overdue library book?

A Dalek glides through a corridor.

Sue: Ooh, I like the white Daleks.
Me: That’s just the lighting. It’s still grey.
Sue: Oh, for a minute there, I thought the BBC had splashed out on some new ones.

Destiny of the DaleksRomana fakes her own death so she can escape from the mine.

Sue: Time Lords can do that. She’s perfectly fine. See, I do remember things.

The Doctor and an escaped convict named Tyssan join forces with the Movellans and together they investigate the Daleks headquarters.

Sue: There’s definitely something different about this story. What is it? It’s bugging me.

She chews it over.

Sue: Are they using a steadicam?
Me: Yes, they are. But the BBC spell it with a y.
Sue: Y?
Me: I don’t know.
Sue: Well, it looks great, whatever they called it. It gives them so much more freedom. This is very well-directed, actually. The low angle shots of the Daleks are great and the camera work helps to make this appear much more claustrophobic and scary.

Destiny of the DaleksA Dalek pursues the Doctor to a ventilator shaft high up in the infrastructure.

The Doctor: If you’re supposed to be the superior race of the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us?
Sue: But they can fly. So that doesn’t make any sense.

Sadly, the Daleks aren’t impressing Sue.

Sue: The Daleks are a mess. They have been battered to bits. I’ve seen Daleks in better condition on eBay.
Me: Have you really been looking at Daleks on eBay?
Sue: I was just curious about how much they went for. It’s ridiculous. So don’t expect one for your birthday. I tried to bid on a TARDIS wardrobe last week – the people who were selling it lived ten minutes down the road – but I was outbid. It was probably for the best.
Me: You can say that again. I’m beginning to worry about you, now.

Destiny of the DaleksThe Doctor finds Davros in his bunker, covered in cobwebs.

Sue: Ooh, this is very exciting. The Daleks are searching for God. Or the Turin Shroud. But he’s dead, so I don’t see how that helps the Daleks.

The episode concludes with Davros’ third eye winking into life.

Sue: Now, that’s how you do a cliffhanger.

 

Episode Three

Destiny of the DaleksDavros is alive!

Sue: But he doesn’t sound anything like him!

Sue isn’t very happy about this development.

Sue: It sounds like he can’t be arsed!

The Doctor takes Davros for a quick spin in his chair.

Sue: Scream if you want to go faster!

It doesn’t take Davros very long to launch into a megalomaniacal rant.

Sue: The mask doesn’t fit him properly. It’s too slack. What’s gone wrong?
Me: They couldn’t get the same actor but they had to use the same mask. They are trying to make the best of a bad situation.
Sue: I don’t see how it could be any worse. He’s rubbish! I could play Davros better than him!

The Movellans decide to do some research on Davros.

Destiny of the DaleksSue: Their version of Wikipedia is a bit shit, isn’t it?

The Doctor and Davros catch up on old times.

Sue: This is a pretty good scene. I could watch these two chatting with each other all day. Tom Baker is very good in this. It’s just a shame that I can’t take Davros seriously. He was great in Genesis of the Daleks, but here he’s really, really crap.

The Doctor threatens to blow Davros up if the Daleks don’t stay back.

Sue: Spack off? Did he really just tell the Daleks to spack off?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Poor Tom. He must have mixed up “back off” with “stay back” and his brain couldn’t decide on which one to go with. I bet he had a couple of drinks at lunchtime.

The Daleks start executing slaves to force the Doctor’s hand.

Destiny of the DaleksSue: Look at this guy! He’s trying not to laugh even though he’s about to be killed. He looked at the camera and smirked!

The Dalek shoots the extra, who slumps to the floor with all the conviction of a man on a minimum wage.

Sue: Put some effort into it, man! I wouldn’t have paid that extra his wages. I would have asked for a refund.

Another slave is executed and, once again, there isn’t a scintilla of emotion.

Sue: Were they specifically told not to act?

When the slaves are eventually set free, thanks to the Doctor, they don’t seem very pleased.

Sue: Look at them! They are acting as if they’ve been given an extra 15-minutes for their tea break. They should be overjoyed that they’ve survived certain death but this looks like they are having a ****ing picnic. This story has some of the worst background acting I have ever seen.

The Doctor attaches a remote bomb to Davros’ chair, which he then threatens to detonate with his sonic screwdriver.

Sue: He’s bluffing. He would never do that.

The Doctor legs it outside, and when he reaches a safe distance, he whips out his sonic.

Destiny of the DaleksSue: What’s he doing?

The Doctor activates his sonic and the bomb explodes.

Sue: I’m really shocked by that. What happened to having the right and all that crap? Christ.

But the Daleks removed the bomb just in time and Davros lives to fight another day. He celebrates by hurtling down a corridor and slamming into a wall.

Sue: Oh dear, that was really shoddy. Why didn’t they cut away a couple of frames before he hit the flat? It’s lazy. Shoddy and lazy.

Meanwhile, on Skaro’s bleak surface, the Movellans conduct tests on their destructive Nova device.

Sue: That’s a funny place to install a shower cubicle.

Sue spends the rest of the episode slating the acting, whether it’s Tim Barlow as Tyssan or, well, any Movellan, really. And then she learns that the Movellans are really robots.

Sue: I didn’t see that coming at all. Their stilted delivery actually makes sense, now. Still crap, though.

Destiny of the DaleksThe Movellans place Romana in a perspex cubicle with the Nova device, which is slowly ticking down to zero.

Sue: This will be a good cliffhanger.

The Doctor struggles to free his companion and the episode concludes with the countdown reaching 33 seconds.

Sue: Rubbish. What a place to cut it. There’s was no attempt to generate any tension in that scene at all. I honestly get the feeling that no one can be bothered with this story.

 

Episode Four

Sue: There’s one thing I don’t understand.
Me: Only one thing?
Sue: Yes. Why is Davros helping the Daleks? They shot him in the face and left him for dead the last time we saw him. He’s awfully forgiving and eager to lend them a hand.

Destiny of the DaleksDavros can’t wait to give his creations the upper-hand.

Sue: I just can’t accept this actor as Davros. The voice is so important and this is just so wrong. It’s not modulated enough for a start. I just don’t buy it. And what is that ball doing on top of his chair? Is that his pet hamster in there?

The Doctor shows the Movellans how they have become locked in a perpetual stalemate against the Daleks with a quick game of rock-paper-scissors.

Sue: Well, that’s just bollocks, isn’t it?

A Movellan is left outside to guard the Nova device. It passes the time crushing rocks.

Sue: What the hell was that?
Me: He crushed a rock with his bare hands. It’s supposed to show you they have superhuman robotic strength.
Sue: Oh, I thought he was playing with some fossilised shit.

Destiny of the DaleksTyssan manages to disable a Movellan by removing the power pack from its belt.

Sue: That is a stupid design flaw. They might as well have a big ****-off switch on their backs.

The Movellan expresses his untimely death through the medium of dance.

Sue: I’ve just remembered what these robots remind me of: Hot Gossip.

Davros assembles a squad of suicide Daleks. Sue can’t stop laughing.

Sue: I know I shouldn’t laugh at this but it is very silly. It looks like a cartoon.

Davros gives the Daleks their orders, which he then has to repeat because it’s clear that none of the Daleks are in any hurry to blow themselves up.

Sue: That was very, very funny.

Destiny of the DaleksThe slaves storm the Movellan ship. At this point, Sue really lets the side down.

Me: I can’t believe you didn’t recognise Big Ron from EastEnders!
Sue: He’s the best extra in this. You can see why he went onto better things. I bet the rest of them never worked again.

The Daleks suicide squad head for the Movellan ship.

Sue: They may as well have little round bombs with TNT stamped on them. Hang on a minute, are the Dalek operators just standing up and walking?
Me: Yes.
Sue: Jesus Christ.

Romana rushes to stop a Movellan from setting off the Nova device.

Sue: Things are so bad, she has decided to get her coat dirty.

Destiny of the DaleksRomana and the Movellan fight on the sand.

Sue: It’s just like Get Carter, this. Oppps!

The Movellan’s arm goes flying through the air, and Sue collapses into a fit of hysterics.

The Doctor and Davros come face to face once again. A Dalek tries to intervene so the Doctor throws his hat on its eyestalk. Its vision is most definitely impaired.

Davros: Behind you!
Dalek: Malfunction.
Davros: Behind you!
Sue: This is a full-on pantomime now.

Is it any wonder that Tom Baker starts to take the piss as well?

Destiny of the DaleksSue: This is ****ing stupid. Is it supposed to be this stupid?

The Doctor manages to blow up the Daleks, and even that made Sue laugh.

Sue: Pathetic!

The episode concludes with Davros imprisoned in a block of ice – “Just like Indiana Jones” – yeah, I know – and as the credits rolled, I prepared myself for the worst.

 

The Score

Sue: I hated that. Was anyone taking it seriously? The acting was abysmal, the plot was ridiculous and the overall look of the thing was far too bright and comedic. The direction was pretty good, though, and Tom Baker was by far the best thing in it, but what a mess.
Me: What about the new Romana?
Sue: She’s alright, I suppose. It’s too early for me to compare them, and it wouldn’t be fair anyway. I’ll miss Mary Tamm’s Romana for a very long time to come.
Me: Well, you’ll be pleased to know that Destiny of the Daleks is Terry Nation’s final contribution to Doctor Who.
Sue: Is it Douglas Adams’ final contribution as well?
Me: No, he’s the full-time script editor, now.
Sue: ****.

2/10

 

Coming Soon

 

101

Comments

  1. Marcus Scarman  July 31, 2012

    Well it had to happen, Sue has finally rubbished a story I love although I do agree with all her points I view it with full blown nostalgia, the return of Davros let alone the Daleks was enough to send my younger self into spasms of delight, the sensation has never really left me when I revisit it these days. Glad to see that the option to view with the revised effects was not mentioned or picked up – by God they are terrible even allowing for enthusiasm adding laser beams from the Movellan ship.Iit’s the comedy I keep returning to this story for, I genuinely find it amusing and although the tag of “student humour” tends to be bandied about from this story onwards i find it well layered and not intrusive. Sue is right, Tom on top form and Lalla Ward finds her feet quite quickly and manages probably quite unintentionally to remain quite true to Mary Tamms’ portrayal. Oh and safe journey Mary – for my money you were the prettiest and noblest Romana of them all.

  2. CJJC  July 31, 2012

    The Olympic ceremony did have Who references, but the camera didn’t show them, apparently. It gained those points back and extra for extremely prominent Mike Oldfield action, anyway.

    Destiny really is quite disappointing. I wonder if we will ever know the truth of whether Nation wrote a full script and Adams hobbled it or whether The Tel just dropped off some notes and Douglas had to construct a script out of them.

    I love SPACK OFF! as much as I love charred cinders floating around in Spain, but it does make me sad that Ben’s fluff from The War Machines, “they’re gonna blow up the London!”, is not as widely celebrated.

    Bye, Mary, welcome Lalla. Prepare for fireworks. Occasionally incredibly frosty fireworks.

    • Frankymole  August 2, 2012

      If we’re talking Ben fluffs I’ve always enjoyed “That planet Mandos”.

  3. Lewis Christian  July 31, 2012

    Sue continues to make me laugh but, Neil, you’re also bloody great with write-ups like “Davros lives to fight another day. He celebrates by hurtling down a corridor and slamming into a wall”. Just brilliant!

    And “I know I shouldn’t laugh at this but it is very silly. It looks like a cartoon” is precisely why I adore this story so much! It started so well, for Sue, and I thought her mocking comments meant she found it fun. I’m really not holding out hope for McCoy when his time comes now 🙁

    But anyway. Good to see you back, and it’s nice to have a fun commentary to raise the spirits after the sad passing of Mary Tamm. (For Romana I fans, there’s a series of Tom and Mary due out early next year, so there’s more Romana I goodness on the way.)

    Can’t wait for the next one!

  4. Red Howard  July 31, 2012

    I still can’t believe you showed a picture of Nicol. What were you thinking?

  5. Robert Dick  July 31, 2012

    “Sue: I wasn’t concentrating. I was thinking about Mary Tamm and feeling sad.”

    Beautiful.

  6. John Williams  July 31, 2012

    “It sounds like he can’t be arsed!” – excellent stuff.

  7. Warren Andrews  July 31, 2012

    It’s Ken Grieve’s camerawork that makes me like this one and he gets a lot of movement into the visuals but there’s so much wrong with it.

    It’s Adams vrs Nation, with them seemingly writing alternate scenes. A bad clash of styles. Despite Gooderson’s performance, you can’t take Davros seriously as the script doesn’t.

    I’m so glad that Sue responded so well to Mary Tamm as Romana, it’s a wonderful tribute at this sad time.

  8. Wholahoop  July 31, 2012

    About 4 marks more than I would have given it. To quote Edmund B “It starts badly
    It tails off in the middle and the less said about the ending the better”

  9. John Williams  July 31, 2012

    Sue’s reaction to Davros really reminds me of the first time I watched Destiny. I was incredibly excited by the end of Episode Two but crushingly disappointed the instant Davros started speaking in the following episode. It was all wrong.

  10. Dominic Francis  July 31, 2012

    Unfortunately, it’s a bit long to stick on a cup but this made me laugh out loud:

    “Sue: Is it Douglas Adams’ final contribution as well?

    Me: No, he’s the full-time script editor, now.

    Sue: ****”

  11. chris-too-old-too-watch  July 31, 2012

    Bit generous Sue surely?
    Personally I’d give this a 1 merely for Lalla Ward. The rest is absolute pants. And when did the Daleks become absolute slaves to logic anyway? Isn’t Nation confusing them with the Cybermen?

    • Gavin Noble  July 31, 2012

      Isn’t Naton free to do what he wants with his own creations then?

      • chris-too-old-too-watch  July 31, 2012

        Entirely depends how much he ignores his previous stories to shoe-in a major plot point, and by doing so insults the intelligence of his audience. I’ve never been impressed by anything Nation wrote, and lets not forget the main design of the daleks was the responsibility of someone else.

    • Lewis Christian  July 31, 2012

      Only in this story where they’re robots. These Daleks are just one faction. The rest, out in the Universe, are still ‘proper’ Daleks.

  12. John S. Hall  July 31, 2012

    Does this mean that “Terry ****ing Nation” has been officially replaced by “Douglas ****ing Adams”, then?? 😉

    • DPC  July 31, 2012

      There’s a lot of ****ing going on…

      I like it!! 😀

      Sue’s complaints of this story are well-made to be sure. The premise is good, but everything else about it is so ****ed up that it can’t be taken seriously. Especially as Terry Nation, taking a page fro Gerry Davis, retcons his critters into robots rather than organic bits put into mechanical components. Ugh…

      I like the Movellans, though, even if the power packs are external and held on by an apparently low-powered magnetic field.

      • ythri  July 31, 2012

        I disagree. The premise isn’t any good either. Since when were Daleks robot slaves to logic?

  13. encyclops  July 31, 2012

    I really like this one up until Davros wakes up. Romana’s regeneration scene is priceless; as with Drax, you can see it either as unforgivable and unfunny or you can see it as opening up ideas about the differences between Time Lords in much the same way as Neil Gaiman’s lines about the Corsair in “The Doctor’s Wife.” I go with the latter in all three cases. It’s way more interesting to me to imagine that if you’re a brainiac like Romana you can control the regeneration and do it voluntarily, than to imagine that you only get to do it when you’re dying. In my mind the Doctor snoozed through those classes, or is just too in love with the luck of the draw to bother tailoring himself. (Then again, he rarely gets the luxury of a long window-shopping period.)

    I also really dig the Movellans, goofy as they are. Whether you like or hate the look, it’s really striking and different. We don’t often see that kind of androgyny in Doctor Who and it’s a show that deserves more of it. I even like their guns and played with makeshift versions when I was a kid. Their power packs are ridiculous but not much more so than the Sontaran probic vent. “If you can get close enough to take my power pack then I deserve to die as a failed warrior.”

    And as everyone has pointed out, the direction and Steady/icam work are pretty special for this time in the show.

    But yeah, the story itself leaves much to be desired. It’s bad enough that Daleks look like robots without every story insisting they’ve become robotic; the new series has remembered there are organic beings in there, but it still contrasts “humanoid” with “computer” and files Dalek mutants on the “computer” side (and it’s even worse with Cybermen). And we all know Davros was brilliant in Genesis, and in my opinion he should have stayed there. Yes, he’s a face on the Daleks with an actual personality, but there’s something so pathetic about seeing him trotted out after that. There’s one exception to this, of course, but ah, spoilers!

    • Jazza1971  July 31, 2012

      I was thinking along similar lines, that the Doctor prefers to leave his regeneration to chance (the “What have you got for me this time?” approach). Of course, The Doctor didn’t have any choice about how he turned out as Pertwee, as this was forced upon him after he couldn’t make up his mind.

      When “Destiny” was shown, this was only the second time we had seen anyone but the Doctor regenerate on-screen, the first time being K’anpo, but there was nothing to suggest he hadn’t already chosen what he would look like after his regeneration, surely it is no co-incidence that Cho Je looked exactly like you’d expect a Buddhist Abbot to look! So the theory fits.

      Since then, there have been quite a few more on screen regenerations, none have involved the character choosing how they will look. Jenny regenerates into Jenny(!), so maybe there was an element of choice their, but neither the Master or River Song seem to have any choice in the outcome. You could say that River Song doesn’t have any choice because she is human…maybe the Master doesn’t have a choice either as he had been human as a result of using the Chamleon Arch. And perhaps that is why the Doctor can’t choose either, as we all know he is half-human on his mothers side… 😉

      • encyclops  July 31, 2012

        All these examples you’ve given make me want to think of it as something where different Time Lords have very different approaches — it’s not just pot luck or endless tailoring. You might in fact draw an analogy to the way humans approach fashion: some people pay very close attention to what they wear and what it communicates, and they have an eye for how it fits. Others just buy whatever’s on the rack and throw it on without paying much attention — or perhaps have incredibly gaudy taste that looks insane to most ordinary people.

        It’s interesting as well to note that the Doctor’s personality changes fairly drastically with regeneration, while Romana’s still more or less the same woman. In fact, the Doctor is the ONLY Time Lord I can think of offhand who seems to die and return with a different personality as well as body. Maybe this is because he tends to regenerate under unusually trying conditions; maybe it’s something to do with his backstory under the Cartmel Masterplan; or maybe it’s to do with the way he sees himself, as we learn in “Amy’s Choice” — he’s always reacting to who he was and hoping to be someone new this time. Then again, there are always SOME consistent threads, which is why the Ninth Doctor seemed such a departure to me; I love his performance but have trouble perceiving him as the same individual.

        I agree that K’anpo seemed entirely under control. If you accept that Jenny is even possible you might assume she’s a little different because of where she came from; ditto River Song, really, but she does seem pretty happy with where she’s ended up and there might have been some subconscious control there (personally I would have liked to see her in her previous form a while longer, but hey). As for the Master, I see strong resemblances between some of his forms (trying to tiptoe around spoilers here) and in the new series he does have dialogue that suggests to me he either directed it a bit or got just what he wanted. But I also don’t have a problem with the idea that it’s a learned skill, and that not everyone is going to have the same facility at it.

        And of course the “still regenerating” idea comes into play in the new series, too, with David Tennant. I don’t know if this freaked pedants out at the time, but these days I think there’s a lot of support for the idea that we can relax about it.

        • Simon Harries  July 31, 2012

          I think you’re all thinking about it all a bit too much…

          • Jazza1971  July 31, 2012

            I agree absolutely. But it is the summer holidays, so I have to find something to do to pass the time!

          • encyclops  July 31, 2012

            Yes, but this is one of those things that’s fun to overthink. If not this, then it’d be something like the Dalek timeline, which would make me want to nap inside a Nova device.

        • John Callaghan  July 31, 2012

          I like the fact the Doctor’s not much cop at regeneration. It’s another Time Lord ability he’s only passable at compared to the rest of the superbeings (like telepathy, feigning death and hypnotism, perhaps). It’s his unique personality which makes him exceptional and our hero, rather than his physical superpowers.

          So the Master regenerates into John Simm without hardly a pause for breath, and Romana and River are very casual about it all. For the Doctor, it’s a huge palaver!

          I have a friend who was hiding behind the sofa with his sister when the Movellans came on, until his mother came up behind them both with a mop. Scared the pants of them.

          • encyclops  July 31, 2012

            I agree entirely with your first two paragraphs and it’s why I rail against the “lonely god” complex.

            I love your third paragraph. Awesome.

  14. Thomas  July 31, 2012

    I always thought that Adams was responsible for the good stuff in the story- the rest is all just Nation being way past his prime. But yeah, not one I’m a huge fan of.

    It’s interesting, though- comparing this with Creature from the Pit (Lalla Ward’s first actual story, production-wise), Ward is very good in this story, but the writing for her character is just absolute crap. Whereas the writing for Creature is much, much better, but Ward isn’t as strong, what with it being her first story and all. Luckily we’ve got City of Death right in between them, where the writing and the acting are both top-notch, so it doesn’t damage her too much overall.

  15. Sarah Hadley  July 31, 2012

    I think Sue has assessed this one perfectly, and like her, I can’t exactly say I’d be thrilled about more “Douglas ****ing Adams.” It’ll be quite interesting to see what she thinks of “City of Death” next time.

    I feel I’ve joined this blog (having read its *entirety* over the weekend) at just the right time. New script editor, new tone, the waning days of awful Williamsness before the bright shiny new producership kicks in…it’s a good time to be following the Wife in Space!

    I wonder whether she’ll fall in with the season 17 or season 18 crowd…

    • DPC  July 31, 2012

      Agreed!

      In 1979/80, the show – by critics – was often deemed “too silly” and needed a change… But I’ll save most of this for the appropriate venue… I can fathom what she might say for some of season 18’s earlier stories…

    • Dave Sanders  July 31, 2012

      I’m guessing, with one or two notable exceptions, probably neither.

    • encyclops  July 31, 2012

      Though there’s a lot in 17 that’s hard to defend, I really love them both, for entirely different reasons. I’m not sure I think they’re best in series, but even the more embarrassing elements are enjoyable for me. There’s only one story that doesn’t do anything at all for me, and it’s in season 18 (and I haven’t seen it in probably 20 years so there’s still a chance I might warm to it).

      By contrast, as much as I admire some of the later McCoy stories, I still find them difficult to love. I suspect the age I was when I first watched them makes a lot of difference.

    • Thomas  July 31, 2012

      Aw, I like the Williams era…

      I mean, yeah, it’s got its share of bad stories, but for the most part it’s a lot of fun.

    • Frankymole  August 2, 2012

      Hopefully (having hidden the title/monsters/writer for this one), Neil will not immediately reveal the three (plus?) writers behind David Agnew next time.

      • Neil Perryman  August 2, 2012

        Too late. Nicol won’t stick around for David Agnew.

        • Frankymole  August 2, 2012

          Just as long as she appreciates Adams only contributed approximately one third of the script 🙂

          • Frankymole  August 2, 2012

            PS I hope the next story doesn’t lead to a “We hate DNA”/”We love DNA” argy bargy vetween the ladies of the house! With luck Sue will be converted…

  16. Ryan Hall  July 31, 2012

    I remember being very excited to see this as a 4 year old, i think they trailed it quite abit during august , i also remember accepting Lalla ward instantly as Romana and falling in love with her ( in a gay boy way hahaha ) , my biggest memory of this is Romana’s pink outfit, my mum bought me a blonde haired doll to go with my Dr who denys fisher toys as Romana and i pestered her for weeks to make a pink coat for it…eventally getting one hahaha only to be told that she’d seen a trailer for city of death on BBC1 and not to ask for the up coming outfit from that hahaha.

    • encyclops  July 31, 2012

      I always have this feeling about Romana, that she has some special additional appeal to those of us who aren’t heterosexual, but it’s hard for me to put my finger on why that would be, especially if I don’t want to be reductive about it. Maybe part of it is that so many companions, starting in the 70s, are either females who are more or less subordinate to the Doctor or males who have some negative qualities (sympathy or outright collusion with villains, romantic antagonism, dangerously irresponsible behavior), and only Romana is on an equal footing with him while also being poised and stylish and sexy. I guess those are reasons for ANYONE to love her, though, so who knows?

  17. Philip Ayres  July 31, 2012

    Everyone always assumes the “climb up here after me” line is about the Daleks not being able to climb stairs….. but look at the size of the hole, you’d never fit a Dalek through there.

    I was 6 when this went out and it was the first timr I’d seen the Daleks on TV. It’s my favourite Doctor Who story. Not the best (Inferno) but my favourite. If I want one to sit, watch and enjoy it’s this.

    • Frankymole  August 2, 2012

      “Why don’t you try climbing after us” must be a Douglas Adams “joke” because Terry Nation got hopping mad if the Daleks were made fun of. It does devalue the threat, because as all kids of the 60s and 70s knew, Daleks didn’t need to climb stairs (though they could, even flying up a chimney at one point), they just destroy the entire staircase/building/city/planet instead.

      • Leo  August 2, 2012

        They did the same joke in The Chase.

        Terry Nation did actually comment on the joke in this story, saying that although on the one hand he wouldn’t have written the line, that on the other, he did think humans or humanoids were far more flexible and adaptable than Daleks were, and that it indicated that quite well.

  18. Dave Sanders  July 31, 2012

    “Oh look – a crock!”

    There’s no point griping at Tim Barlow, Sue, he can’t hear you.

    • Simon Harries  July 31, 2012

      Naughty!

      • Frankymole  August 2, 2012

        He got his hearing back later… a very interesting man!

  19. Mr Fred  July 31, 2012

    for a couple weeks after this showed in the US, my brother, sister, and I would play “Got your power pack!” after which we’d do the Movellan slo-mo fall down. 🙂

    • Marcus Scarman  July 31, 2012

      That is a beautiful image, wish I had thought of that when I was a kid.

  20. Ozzy Baxter  July 31, 2012

    If Sue doesn’t give CITY OF DEATH 10/10 then I really have no more interest in her opinions. Douglas Adams was the best thing to ever happen to Doctor Who, outside of Tom Baker himself. ;p

  21. P.Sanders  July 31, 2012

    I enjoy Destiny despite the flaws, and I think it has my earliest Who memory (Davros waking up). I suspect that Season 17 won’t get an easy ride, even City of Death – will the wit be enough?

    • Dave Sanders  August 2, 2012

      The wit and the sheer charisma.

  22. Paul Mc Elvaney  July 31, 2012

    Only saw this story once a couple of years ago and the only thing I can really remember is the final battle between the Daleks and the slaves outside the Movellan ship, where one extra gets shot and, rather than fall dead dramatically, just sort of slowly gets on her knees and lies down like she’s taking a quick nap!! The only moment I actually laughed during it, which isn’t a good sign…

  23. jsd  July 31, 2012

    I could predict this would be Sue’s reaction. I am much more forgiving of this story’s faults (and, objectively, it has a ton of them). It’s hard to not view these things through the lens of nostalgia and when I was a kid, this was the coolest thing ever. EVIL ROBOT FIGHT!

    I do think the Adams/Nation writing styles clash badly and you can easily tell who’s written which bit, but when you get classic bits of humor like “Oh, look! Rocks!” and pretty much all of the opening TARDIS scene, I’m not going to complain.

  24. Paul Shields  July 31, 2012

    Glad Sue spotted Spack Off. Pity the tribute Eccleston did got cut before transmission…

  25. Simon Harries  July 31, 2012

    Lots of priceless comments in this review, but the one that made me laugh out loud at my desk today was this one: “Oh, I thought he was playing with some fossilised shit.”

  26. Damon  July 31, 2012

    “”Sue: Yes, but who says they have to leave the TARDIS every time they land on a dump? They should keep going until they land somewhere half-decent. With a beach.””

    Just wait about five more stories, Sue. 🙂 (six if you’ll be watching the Shada fragments)

  27. Tom's Scarf  August 1, 2012

    “Their version of Wikipedia is a bit shit, isn’t it?”

    So is ours.

    • Doug  August 1, 2012

      I have stopped using Wikipedia now. If you go into your Google preferences you can filter the site out of your searches.

      From anecdotal evidence, it seems to me that a lot of people have stopped using it. It was an interesting experiment but it hasn’t delivered and is falling out of fashion now.

      • PolarityReversed  August 1, 2012

        Yup. Crowd wisdom without accountability, moderated on a sliding scale between self-interest and anarchy.
        Wikipedia is banned as a source in most reputable news organisations.

        Course, you can always find what you want to find these days.

        • DPC  August 1, 2012

          And colleges… but that doesn’t stop people from exploiting crowdsourcing, etc…

        • CJJC  August 2, 2012

          Usually in places that have sourced their info from Wikipedia.

  28. Jane  August 1, 2012

    All done by Christmas? Sounds like a perfect time to start up the sister-site, Hubby In Space, to review all the Revival stories. 😉

    • Tom's Scarf  August 1, 2012

      Yes, you definitely have to go on and do the RTD and Moff era stories. I will be interested to see what Sue thinks of RTD now – IMHO, his stories are already starting to date quite badly.

      • PolarityReversed  August 1, 2012

        They were already dated when they first aired… Sailed too close to the zeitgeist, I reckon.
        Tennant carrying the torch seems fun now. Where were the unathletically flattering baggy white pyjamas, eh?
        Beckhams for daleks – marvellous. Actually, now I think of it…

        • Dave Sanders  August 3, 2012

          Nothing dates like the future, they say. Hogwash, I reply; nothing dates like the present if you’re using pop-culture fripperies as story background instead of any actual world-building.

  29. Doug  August 1, 2012

    I don’t think you should rush your schedule, guys. No point in gorging yourself on episodes. Just watch one or two a week and if you go into the new year, so be it. We are all enjoying the ride.

  30. Katie Linton  August 1, 2012

    I just discovered this site. Hilarious!

  31. Paul Scoones  August 1, 2012

    “I was living in New Zealand when this was broadcast, and they were years behind the UK, so I missed this season when it originally went out.”

    In fact Destiny of the Daleks was seen by New Zealand viewers no more than 15 months behind the UK. That was remarkably up-to-date for NZ. Half a decade earlier, we had been a full five years behind.

    This set of stories screened in production order here, first time around, so I saw them in New Zealand in this sequence: Creature – City – Destiny – Nightmare – Horns, from Oct 1980 to Feb 1981. I can recall my confusion at Romana’s regeneration scene, given that I’d previously seen this ‘new’ Romana in two other stories!

  32. grufaine  August 1, 2012

    It would appear Sue and I have the same birthday!

    I have a soft spot for Destiny since it was one of the first Doctor Who DVDs I bought, but definitely recognize a lot of its faults. It’s clunky and Davros is weak and the premise doesn’t really work. I hope Sue will enjoy City of Death, if nothing else this season. Fingers crossed.

  33. DamonD  August 1, 2012

    “He celebrates by hurtling down a corridor and slamming into a wall.”

    One of my favourite bits of crap Who ever. Davros jiggling wildly as he pedals, veering all over the place then clanging into the wall always makes me laugh.

    Destiny is pretty tragic all round, and not in a deeply affecting drama kind of way. I’m still not feeling in the mood really to tear into something due to Mary Tamm’s passing (and Geoffrey Hughes now too) so Destiny gets off lucky today. Frankly, my dear, they didn’t give a damn.

  34. Richard Lyth  August 1, 2012

    You have to feel sorry for Douglas Adams, finally getting his dream job as script editor on Doctor Who only to find his first job was trying to salvage a tired old Terry Nation script. There’s a few scenes where you can see he’s trying his best to inject some sort of fun and life into it, but well before the end you can tell he’s given up and gone off to write City Of Death instead. Definitely my least favourite Dalek Story, 2/10 is about right.

    • Graeme Robertson  August 1, 2012

      “you can tell he’s given up and gone off to write City Of Death instead”

      ISTR it was the other way round and Adams was still wrangling with “Destiny” while they were in Paris, so it was a difficult delivery.

      Re the gay-boy love for Romana thing. Not for me with Romana II anyway – I remember her as smug and snotty and much preferred Mary Tamm’s version. However, this might have been an unfair hangover from me remembering Lalla Ward’s smug & snotty character from “The Duchess of Duke St” a couple of years earlier.

  35. Merast  August 1, 2012

    Not to go off topic, but the video you posted of Dalek Zippy had me in stitches the first time i saw it a while ago, especially the part where they terrorise Romana with their close harmony singing! Great to think that one of your childhood favourites had such a sinister start in life.

  36. BWT  August 1, 2012

    “Boney ‘M’ for Movellan: Ma Ma Ma Ma – Tom Baker.”

    Now THAT’s a T-shirt.

    • PolarityReversed  August 3, 2012

      Ra- ra – Rasputin,
      Baker on the silver screen…

  37. Doc Whom  August 1, 2012

    Sue’s right. Davros was a joke after GENESIS when he became just a ranting madman. To go from “to hold in my hand a capsule that contained such power” to a saggy mask was a scandal.

  38. P.Sanders  August 1, 2012

    Again I like that She’s background makes her appreciate production aspects that fans can easily miss – for instance the use of Steadycam here and the fact that a lot of the direction is actually quite good (even if other production aspects don’t work as well). And once more it’s gaggles of extras that let things down. I know that very often extras are shunted in at the last minute with very little scene-setting, but “you’re about to be shot by daleks” should be pretty bloody obvious motivation-wise.

    Regarding Romana and us gays, I think it’s because she was independent, witty and a bit alien (both literally and as a posh otherworldly lady in fab gear). Not only does she not need saving as often, buy she actively helps save the day herself, and often has her own mini-adventures (eg Nimon; Meglos). So she was your cool, clever friend who came from somewhere far more interesting than wherever you were, you could have witty platonic banter while saving the world together and you didn’t need to hang around waiting to be saved by the Doctor cos she was ever so clever and alien, just like you wanted to be.

    • P.Sanders  August 1, 2012

      Should be “Sue” not “She” in the first line, obviously – “She” of course being the cat’s mother.

      • Frankymole  August 2, 2012

        H Rider Haggard’s Cat’s Mother Who Must Be Obeyed? Better than “Her Indoors” though…

    • chris-too-old-too-watch  August 2, 2012

      Dr Who Assistants as Fag-Hags – discuss (?)

  39. Harry  August 1, 2012

    This story is kind of rubbish, I can see that, yet there are enough elements there that show that it COULD have been a lot better, with little work. Even as it stands, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine, the outdoor scenes in the gravel pit with no or almost no incidental music really stand out, and, while I agree that maybe more tension should have been wrung out of it, the cliffhanger to Episode 3 is an enduring image. Romana II settles down well after THAT regeneration scene (which was a bit too much for me, but I’m willing to forgive it), Tom doesn’t ham it up too much, if only they’d bothered at least modulating Davros’s voice properly (or imagine if Michael Wisher HAD been available), the Movellan ship was an interesting design (even if, as some have said, the interior was very 1979, but that’s not necessarily a BAD thing) and so on. Also, a bit odd to see Tony Osoba, who is arguably most famous for playing MacLaren in “Porridge”, playing a Movellan here…MacLaren wouldn’t dress like that! 😉

    • PolarityReversed  August 1, 2012

      Oh, come on. It was a decent enough quarryalong, settled Lalla in quite well and sticking a dalek origin number in after a season of new stuff made sense. Not a very good dalek origin number, but fair play.
      Good spot re Tony Osoba: he should, of course, be playing football with dalek bombs or climbing a roof to be talked down by Norman Stanley Doctor.
      As to Davros – well, he has been offline for [add fan-approved figure] years and is liable to be a bit croaky. If only Sir Paul had the same excuse of being offline for a few centuries…
      (Though, to be fair, a friend of mine from LIPA informs me that he does actually have a serious frog chorus going on in his throat.)

  40. Paul Mudie  August 1, 2012

    Lots of classic stuff from Sue there. I thought this one was great when I was a lad, but I think I must have just been very happy to see the Daleks again, because it’s a load of old bum really.

  41. Broton  August 1, 2012

    …and I’ve finally caught up.
    Not sure where Sue gets the idea that the Doctor is a pacifist from – he’s killed hundreds if not thousands before, and there’s more to come! The difference is he never glories in killing and it’s always a last resort.

    Looking forward to the next few reviews!

  42. Perry Armstrong  August 2, 2012

    Back in the days when I wrote (snail-mail) fan letters, one of the nicest people to ever correspond with me was Terrance Dicks. In one of his replies, he included a page of the ‘Destiny of the Daleks’ shooting script to illustrate a point. Along with his letters, that page remains amongst my most cherished possessions to this day. How sad is that!

    • Dave Sanders  August 2, 2012

      Less sad than the amount you’d probably get on eBay for it.

  43. Dave Sanders  August 2, 2012

    Lawrence Miles in his ‘1979’ essay sums up everyone’s differing viewpoints of this story pretty well:

    “You may notice a certain increase in enthusiasm since 1978. This is largely because Doctor Who had come back to TV in September 1979, on a shockwave of publicity, and… had done everything right.

    It’s not in my nature to describe the Terry Nation landfill of “Destiny of the Daleks” that way, especially when its disco-wig androids made the gap between Boney M and Outer Space seem narrower still. As I’ve suggested before, what’s weak with the eye of hindsight may have been startling at the time, or at least perfectly-camouflaged for its own historical environment. “Destiny of the Daleks”, in so many ways an archetypal (or my archetypal) sterile, cardboard-flavoured Graham Willaims story, did its job beautifully. It brought back Daleks, for those of us who had no living memory of them but somehow knew exactly what they sounded like, a knowledge passed down to us like an older sibling’s clothes. It put the Doctor in the middle of a war between two inhuman factions, dead on-key for the cinematic SF of the time, but also suggestive of the news stories that even us young-‘uns had seen about Idi Amin in Uganda or the “unpleasantness” in Iran. It regenerated Romana in a way that, first time around, seemed too bizarre to be silly. Then it put her in a slave-camp, let her feign her own death in order to dig her way out of a shallow grave, and dumped her in a plastic explodo-tube as a cliffhanger. It strapped yellow canisters to Dalek suicide bombers and showed us Daddy Cool robots being confused by rock-scissors-paper. It ended with Davros on ice.

    No other story I can think of looks so crass now, but seemed so clued-up at the time. No other story so divides my childhood self and grown-up self… It renewed my interest in TV-Doctor Who, as nothing in what we now call Season Sixteen could have done.”

    • James C  August 2, 2012

      That is very good.

  44. Richard L  August 2, 2012

    Haven’t seen this in years, but couldn’t the whole robotic Dalek thing be explained by the fact that it is the Dalek battle computers that are locked with the Movellans and that a race dependent on technology doesn’t have the unique view that the Doctor and Davros have that the answer is simply to turn them off?

    I don’t remember specific dialogue but does it specifically refer to the Daleks themselves as pure robots?

    • PolarityReversed  August 2, 2012

      I thought the point was that the daleks use and are totally dependent on computers for their battle planning, rather than them being themselves robotic. They come back to dig up Davros because they want him to reprogram their computers. They may have been deliberately bred as psychopaths, but they’re not robots.

      But then so little dalek history post-Genesis makes much sense to me…

      • encyclops  August 2, 2012

        I feel as though the result is the same: the Daleks still come off looking like dullards who could barely tie their own shoes even if they could wear them. Their increasing dependence on “humanity” in some form to keep them going seems on paper like a worthwhile theme to explore, but in practice just makes you wonder how they ever invaded anything larger than a linen closet.

        • PolarityReversed  August 3, 2012

          Well, if they have lavender or chemicals in their plungers, they’re welcome to invade mine.
          “Moth alert! Thread count down to 200 rels!!!!”
          Maybe they could do some hoovering while they’re here.

          • encyclops  August 3, 2012

            I can’t imagine why there isn’t already a Dalek Roomba.

        • Dave Sanders  August 3, 2012

          Yep. Nothing lets down Destiny quite like the Daleks themselves do, since we don’t get to see them do anything except behave like playground bullies hiding behind their Dad. DO MY HOMEWORK! DO MY HOMEWORK!

  45. Frankymole  August 2, 2012

    “Sue: I’m really shocked by that. What happened to having the right and all that crap? Christ…”

    We had this out in the “Genesis” discussion. Later in that very story, the Doctor says his earlier prevarication was wrong and goes back to commit genocide at the Embryo Room.

    Can’t wait ’til Resurrection when Davo goes gunning for Davros.

    • Leo  August 2, 2012

      That’s because there’s no chance of it preventing them from coming into being by then, as large numbers of them are already at liberty. It’s become a desperate attempt at getting an advantage rather than anything on the scale of the difference between a species existing and not existing.

  46. Ritch Ludlow  August 2, 2012

    *cough*”ladyboy”isconsideredtobetransphobiclanguageyoumightwannaremoveit*cough*

  47. Billy Smart  August 3, 2012

    Destiny includes two actors who were given unfortunate typecasting credits in ‘The Professionals’ – “Pretty Girl – Suzanne Danielle” and “Handsome Negro – Tony Osoba”

    I think that as a six year-old child, I understood the relationship dynamic between the Doctor and Romana as working in the same way as Larry Grayson and Isla St Clair in ‘The Generation Game’, which followed on on a Saturday evening.

  48. Ryan Hall  August 3, 2012

    I do wonder if Nation wasnt botherd about K9 meeting the Daleks how much he would been actully used in this story anyway , not much methinks.

    • John G  August 3, 2012

      One advantage of K9 not featuring is that it is one fewer story in which we have to put up with David Brierley. If Sue doesn’t like Davros’ new voice I dread to think what her reaction will be when K9 gets over his laryngitis…

  49. John G  August 3, 2012

    Hmm, not a great start for Season 17, and Sue’s reactions to this one don’t bode well for the rest of it, though I strongly hope the next story will be an exception…

    I’m a bit late to the party this time, but I would like to add my strong agreement to Sue’s appreciative views about the late, great Mary Tamm. Lalla was a worthy replacement, and her chemistry with Tom was of course second to none (when they were getting on), but Mary had a style and poise that Lalla was not quite able to match. Still, she does do well here and is one of the better things about a decidedly humdrum story. I have more time for it than Sue, and the Movellans are a striking, memorable creation, but in general this feels like Nation going back to the same old well once too often. The Daleks are also at their most monotonous and dull, while David Gooderson can’t hope to equal Wisher as Davros, though I think his attempt is a creditable one.

    I am sure many hearts have been broken among readers of this blog at the news that Nicol is attached, but such is life! Incidentally Neil, are you going to tell us how you ended up in New Zealand?

  50. STEVEN  August 3, 2012

    I can’t agree with this score at all. Whilst it obviously isn’t great and can agree with some of the comments made, it does have merit. Scoring a 2/10 just isnt cricket, a 6 or even 7 would suffice. As mentioned by yourselves, you entered into watching this with Mary Tamm naturally on your mind. I dare say even the next story, City, would drop a few marks because of your mindset at the time.

    In essence, if your marking fairly, you need to adopt a fairer approach to each story and not bring into baggage for want of a better expression. I recommend a re-marking on this occassion. Although Sue is bang on the money in regard to Douglas Adams.

  51. Steve  August 3, 2012

    Sue: Is their leader a ladyboy?

    If that doesn’t end up on a mug I don’t know what will

    I fear its a fair score for this one…