Doctor Who: The Evil of the Daleks
(4 episodes, s04e37-e43, 1967)
Grand Theft TARDIS.
Thematically, this one is about human greed and how easily the Daleks manipulate it. Human innovation inadvertently allows the Daleks to invade Earth to kidnap the Doctor and conquer humans by decoding the “Human Factor”. The Doctor forced to cooperate with the Daleks or lose the TARDIS forever.
I did like the trials with Jamie and Kemel as they attempt to rescue Victoria, and how they were used to decode the Human Factor. Jamie’s courage, mercy, instinct, and self-preservation assist the Doctor in turning the tables on his foes and overcoming the new electronic control the Daleks have over people. That brainwashing and (for lack of a better term) assimilation sheds some light on the Dalek agents from the newer episodes, which seemed to come from nowhere.
While I thought that the Factors were silly, it was neat to see the Daleks imprinted with the Human Factor to make them act like innocent children.
Of course, when the Daleks have what they want, they they return to Skaro and destroy the laboratory (and presumably the humans as well). Upon returning to the familiar tunnels and city, I wanted to know where the Thals were hiding. We do get to meet the Emperor Dalek (who was presumably hiding during The Daleks?) and Human Factor MacGuffin is its downfall.
Maxtible and his quest for the secret of alchemy made some sense from the Victorian time era, as did the desire to imprint all of humanity with the Dalek Factor (the Dark Side to the Human Factor’s Light?) once I got past the silliness of the Factors. The entire imprinting technique doesn’t work on the Doctor, because, well, he’s alien.
We get some more teases about what’s inside a Dalek can, and we get a new companion on the TARDIS. There was also an error in the serial reconstruction: The black domed Dalek confronts finds a clearly marked Alpha in the corridor, but the Dalek is referred to as Omega.
The big negative is right back to the problem of The Macra Terror: The Doctor’s actions precipitate what he presumes to be the “final end” of the entire Dalek species. We’re talking genocide for the second time in almost as many serials. That doesn’t seem like something he would do except as a last and final resort, and certainly not without significant remorse, and I can’t help but wonder if this is a hallmark of producer Innes Lloyd or something else.
Overall, this serial could have been an episode or two shorter, but it was still an enjoyable tale with a favorite (if sometimes uneven) enemy.
Rating: 4/5 – “Would you care for a jelly baby?”
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