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DVD Review

DVD cover

Doctor Who
The Monster Collection


Starring: Tom Baker and David Tennant
Distributor: BBC DVD
RRP: £10.20
Certificate: PG
Release Date: 30 September 2013

Here we have another in the Monster Collection. The releases have been a mixed bag, in terms of quality, but this is probably one of the best, but only if you don’t already own the stories.

The Monster Collection: Davros has another two stories and as the creator of the Daleks, you get a double dip of villains with Davros and his creations.

The first time the Daleks appeared little was spoken about why biological creatures ended up in weaponised travel machines. There were allusions to a devastating war with the Thalls, but from their first outing this seemed somewhat unrealistic. The Daleks were pure killing machines, whereas the Thalls were a bunch of hippies. It was inevitable that at some point in the show's history that the tales of the Daleks creation would have to be told and every creation needs a creator, Davros.

Genesis of the Daleks (1975 - Colour) and Tom Baker, as the Doctor, is sent by the Time Lords to the planet Skaro, were war has continued for so long that both sides are exhausted, facing a mutual defeat. With his companions Sarah Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen and Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) the Doctor gains access to the Kaled dome and meets Davros. When he is introduced to the new war machine he instantly recognises it as a Dalek, a creature which would bring untold death throughout the universe. Unable to bring himself to kill a whole race, a problem which didn’t seem to bother him in The Daleks, he tries to get Davros to change their programming, but to no avail.

This turned out to be not just a great origin story but introduced a new megalomaniac to the show, a creature which made The Master look like an amateur. The real pathos comes from a story of a man, so blinded by his own ambition, that he becomes a captive of his creations, a theme which would follow Davros throughout his Who journey.

We skirt forward in time, past the imperial Daleks and the civil war to the point where the last war with the Time Lords led to their destruction. Having rebuilt the fleet, the Daleks move towards expanding their empire.

The Stolen Earth & Journeys End (2008 - Colour) and David Tennant is back as the Doctor, with a plethora of companions. Through the year planets have been disappearing and now Earth is stolen. Travelling with the Earth the Doctor reaches the Dalek fleet and the machine with which they intend to destroy the whole of reality. If the Daleks represent unthinking hostility, below their decks an almost greater evil exists. Twisted by death and misfortune Davros is leading his children to the end of everything.

This two-parter is a real roller coaster, at turns funny, sad with loads of action it was a fitting swan song for the Doctor. Both the old and the new story barely show the passage of time and with Davros being an actor in a mask there is less shock for a modern audience when we see him for the first time.

It’s a good package and the picture, in both stories, is strong, but the discs have no extras.


Charles Packer

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