The TARDIS has been stolen from Gatwick Airport. The Doctor
and Jamie follow a set of cryptic clues to an antiques shop
owned by one Edward Waterfield. An elaborate trap has been
laid for them, which takes them back in time to 1866 and thence
to Skaro, the home planet of the Daleks...
Power of the Daleks,
this story was originally issued on cassette in 1992, with
narration by Tom Baker, then re-released, in a remastered
form, with new narration by Frazer Hines (Jamie), as part
of the limited-edition 40th anniversary Daleks tin
The improvement in sound quality is even more remarkable than
that of The Power of the Daleks, since the original
cassette release of this story was of a very poor standard
indeed, with pronounced hissing on the "s" sounds. Furthermore,
two scenes in Episode One, set in the Tricolour coffee bar,
had been excised due to their use of copyrighted tracks by
The Beatles and The Seekers. Both scenes have been reinstated
for this triple CD.
visual appeal from this classic story is, naturally, lost
on audio. Scenes such as the opening search for the TARDIS,
which was filmed on location, numerous fights with the mute
Kemel (Sonny Caldinez), who communicates via sign language,
and later scenes set on Skaro, simply don't work as well as
they would have done on television (though some footage of
the Daleks' "final end" can be seen on the DVD releases of
The Tomb of the Cybermen and The Seeds of Death).
there is still plenty to enjoy. David Whitaker's script is
full of superb dialogue, which ranges from the comic ("If
only the laird could see that!" gasps Jamie, as he beholds
a girl in a very short kilt) to the deadly serious ("The Daleks
will take pleasure in killing everyone in sight," says the
Doctor, "and their greatest pleasure will be in killing me").
Though we cannot see the corridors of the Dalek city during
Episodes Six and Seven, fans will appreciate the welcome return
of sound effects from the original Skaro story, The Daleks.
Evil is also blessed with excellent incidental music,
from Dudley Simpson, which includes a Dalek-style variation
on the Doctor Who theme.
also witness Patrick Troughton's Doctor at his most Machiavellian,
appearing to assist his enemies, to the consternation of Jamie,
who has a heated argument with his travelling companion.
David Whitaker stocks in trade are evident, including his
ongoing love affair with the mysterious force that is static
electricity, which he previously explored in The Power
of the Daleks. Like Lesterson in Power, Edward
Waterfield (John Bailey) suffers an equally convincing breakdown
as a result of his involvement in the Daleks' diabolical plan.
In common with Whitaker's subsequent Wheel in Space
Cybermen script, the monsters' scheme seems a little over-complicated.
The Daleks make contact with Waterfield in 1866, send him
through time to 1966 to steal the Doctor's TARDIS and set
a trap. They arrange for the Time Lord to be brought back
to 1866, and then forward in time again for a trip to the
planet Skaro. I can't help thinking there must be simpler
ways for the Daleks to ensnare the Doctor and harness the
so-called Human Factor.
all this obfuscation keeps the seven episodes ticking along
very nicely indeed. The changes of time and location ensure
that the serial is never dull. Structurally, what we have
is a four-part central segment set largely in 1866, which
is preceded by an opening instalment that takes place in 1966,
and followed by a two-episode conclusion on Skaro.
addition, the third CD contains some rather appealing extra
features. These include an original Dalek voice recording
session and the final seven minutes of the serial sans
narration. Best of all is the inclusion of the opening to
the 1968 repeat screening of Evil, which features an
introductory voice-over by Troughton. It's a pity that a complete
set of non-narrated MP3 files could not also have been included,
as they were in the CD releases of The Daleks' Master Plan
and Marco Polo, but that's my only technical complaint
about this excellent product.
Evil of the Daleks is not without its flaws, but it remains
a classic nonetheless.
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