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Death to the Daleks

Reviewed By Alden Bates


'The Daleks are in command. You will obey.'

Firstly, Death to the Daleks was once my favourite all-time Doctor Who story. This was way back when I only had the novelisations for company and, well, it had my favourite Doctor in it, and it had the Daleks getting gratuitously blown up. I therefore jumped at the chance to review the video for TSV in order to see how my opinions have changed over the fifteen years or so...

I could start by moaning about the special effects: the spacecraft that looks like a model, the root that looks like a vacuum cleaner hose with a lamp on the end, the Dalek which had orange lights when the rest had white ones; however this is Doctor Who, and it's not about effects, so I won't.

I will moan about the fact that the tape is in movie format. I like cliffhangers, even if the episode one cliffhanger was ruined by bad timing, Other than the cliffhangers, I don't think anything else has been cut, which is something to be thankful for.

There is little, sadly, in the way of intelligent plot. The Doctor attempts to explain that the Daleks move by telekinesis and therefore aren't affected by the power drain. This still doesn't explain how they can use their computers to analyze the puzzles in the city. I'd also like to know how the bombs worked. Clockwork? It's also not explained how a mineral can cure the plague, and the reason that the Daleks want the stuff is implausible.

The acting was of a good quality. The Exxilons were in good voice. Even Bellal and his kind manage to convey the impression of an alien race. It's a pity the Daleks were even in it; if they'd used another race which didn't rely so much on power and had a bit more personality, they would have improved the story no end.

In the end, I wondered where the drama was. The Daleks restrict themselves to shooting every thing except the humans and committing suicide on the slightest excuse. The egress into the city was largely padding.

Three exploding Daleks out of five.

This item appeared in TSV 49 (November 1996).

Index nodes: Death to the Daleks