“Day of the Daleks”

Third Doctor, Season Nine, Serial One

reviewed by Tom-Tom

Season Eight ended with the apprehension of the Master, the renegade Time-Lord responsible for almost every single conflict during the Jon Pertwee’s second season as the Third Doctor. The last serial had certain supernatural overtones which were debunked with the science of the Doctor. This serial begins with the apparent sighting of a ghost who attempts to assassinate a British politician using an alien weapon only to fade away. UNIT is called and the Doctor lends a hand in investigate the matter.  Along the way, Klingon-like aliens make an appearance attacking the would-be assassin who has trans-materialized (trans-matted in DW speak) to the middle of a country field. What’s going on? Perhaps the serial’s title might be of some help.

Indeed, the Daleks are behind these events but unlike previous serials featuring the egg-whisk and toilet plunger armed pepper pots, they have a few layers between them and the front lines: some humanoids and some Klingon (circa TNG onwards) looking aliens called Ogrons. At the end of the first episode, we hear a Dalek speaking each syllable rather slowly as if trying to kill time with English pronunciation to complete the quota for airtime. Thankfully from the second episode on, they speak normally, well for Daleks anyway. The camouflage clad assassins are hell bent on killing the aforesaid British politician, a Reginald Stiles. It becomes apparent that they are time travelers from the future. Before you know it, the Doctor and Jo Grant are warped to the 22nd Century where the Daleks are in charge (perhaps this is the age wherein the First Doctor met them on Earth). The Controller, a human at the behest of the Daleks, runs the world which consists of slave factories that produce supplies for the stalk eyed buggers. He disarms Jo and not so much the Doctor with his smooth talking.

The camouflaged guerrillas aren’t entirely ineffective as they rescue the Doctor and Jo from the Daleks and the Controller, who explains how much he has done to keep things from getting worse. It seems the Reginald Stiles in question assembled all of the world’s leader only to murder them all in a great explosion. The actual origin of the bomb is, um, to use Tenth Doctor and onward parlance, timey wimey.

Daleks once again are seen on 20th Century Earth soil with their Ogron slaves in the final episode which ends so abruptly it makes you wonder whether it had to make do with one episode the content for two. Despite being a Doctor Who fan, I don’t really find Dalek serials interesting. They have no depth as characters, it is always exterminate, exterminate, exterminate. Aside from “Remembrance of the Daleks,”  “Dalek,” “Daleks in Manhattan,” and “Asylum of the Daleks,” I don’t think I’ve yet seen a serial featuring them that I’ve really liked. “Day of the Daleks” is no different, unfortunately.

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