Genesis of the Daleks Review

The Fourth Doctors first battle with his archenemies. Genesis of the Daleks also marked the introduction of their creator Davros who would go on to be a staple of Classic era Dalek stories from this point on.

Long regarded as one of the greatest Doctor Who stories ever made. Genesis of the Daleks has been repeated many times since its transmission and earned a place in popular culture like few other stories.

Plot

The Doctor, Sarah and Harry are abducted by the Time Lords whilst trying to return to the Nerva Beacon.

A Time Lord agent tells the Doctor that they have been taken to Skaro the home planet of the Daleks. Apparently at some point in the future the Daleks will destroy all other life forms in creation, having risen to a level of power where not even the Time Lords can stand against them.

The Time Lords tell the Doctor that he must do one of the following. Erase them from history altogether. Change their development so that they become less aggressive creatures. Or slow down their development at least so that other races are given enough time to catch up to them.

The Doctor agrees to do this mission for the Time Lords and the agent before departing, hands him a Time Ring which will allow him to reunite with the TARDIS once the mission is over.

The Doctor, Sarah and Harry discover that they have been teleported in the middle of a war zone. With the soldiers using a mix mash of weaponry from different times. Along the way the Doctor and Harry are separated from Sarah in a gas attack.

The Doctor and Harry are able to make their way to a city, where they encounter the native humanoid life forms, the Kaleds.

The Kaleds reveal the history of Skaro at this point to the Doctor. A war has been raging between two humanoid civilisations, the Kaleds and the Thals for 1000 years. All cities and civilisations have been destroyed except for one from each race.

The use of nuclear and atomic weapons has slowly over the centuries destroyed the surface of Skaro, turning it into an irradiated wasteland. Both the Kaleds and the Thals have begun to slowly mutate. Whilst the mutants, disparagingly referred to as Mutos are cast out into the wilderness to die. More and more Mutos are born every generation on both sides. Davros meanwhile a crippled and brilliant scientist is the head of the Kaled scientific elite.

The Doctor and Harry are taken to the Kaled bunker, whilst Sarah is abducted by a group of Mutos. The Mutos want to kill Sarah, but one of them named Sevrin saves her. Sadly however Sarah and Sevrin are later captured by the Thals who force them to work on their rocket.

The Thals are building a rocket to launch at the Kaled city which they believe will finally exterminate their enemies.

Meanwhile in the Kaled bunker, the Doctor discovers that Davros is creating something far worse. Davros has discovered that the Kaleds are all destined to mutate more and more over the next few generations. Davros is eager to find out what their final mutated form will be, and so he has taken living Kaled cells and subjected them to the same radiation that is polluting the air of skaro.

Davros has discovered that the Kaleds are destined to mutate into a hideous, amorphous blob like creature. After creating several of these Kaled mutants, Davros creates robotic casings to house them.

However he also tampers with the Kaled mutants minds. He removes all emotions that he considers weak such as love, compassion and pity from their minds, but and programmes a strong aggression towards all life forms that are different to them as well.

Davros believes that one race must dominate the others in order to survive, and so he wants to make sure that this new race of Kaleds will treat all other life forms as their enemies.

Davros christens his new creation a Dalek. Several of the Kaled scientists who are working on the project grow scared that what Davros is creating is evil. One of these scientists named Ronson, helps the Doctor and Harry to escape to the city of the Kaleds to warn them about what Davros is creating.

The Kaled government tells Davros that they will investigate and though Davros agrees, he decides to betray them to the Thals, declaring that they have signed the death warrant for the whole Kaled people.

Davros gives the Thals the secrets they need to breach the Kaleds protective dome. Despite the power of the Thals rocket, it will not even scratch the dome and so Davros gives them a chemical that will dissolve it.

That Thals are initially quite skeptical as to why Davros is helping them to exterminate his own people, but Davros, and his vile assistant Nyder claim that they want this war to end.

The Doctor and Harry meanwhile who had arrived in the Thal city to try and help Sarah, overhear Davros’ plans. The Doctor tries to sabotage the rocket, whilst Sarah and Harry try to make their way back to the city and warn the Kaleds.

Sadly however they all fail and the Thals exterminate the Kaled city. Davros subsequently frames Ronson for betraying the Kaleds to the Thals and has the Daleks exterminate him.

Davros then sends a squad of Daleks to the Thal city where they begin exterminating them.

The Doctor is able to help a few Thals escape and tells them to work with the Mutos as its their only chance. Most of the Thals are exterminated by the Daleks in the city.

The Doctor, Sarah and Harry are then captured by Davros and Nyder when they try to re-enter the bunker. Davros, having read Ronson’s interrogation, learns that the Doctor is from the future.

The Doctor pleads with Davros to stop the development of the Daleks by telling him of the horrors his creations will commit. When the Doctor lets it slip that the monsters will lose in the future, Davros demands to know how and proceeds to torture Sarah and Harry to make him talk.

Meanwhile in the Kaled bunker more scientists begin to question Davros, including Gharman. They attempt to organise a rebellion against Davros, and the Doctor at one point is able to wire the Daleks incubation chamber up to explosives.

He sadly however gives up a golden opportunity to exterminate the monsters. He wonders if he has the right to kill them, and that if perhaps, for all their evil some things might be better with them, as various races will unite in mutual fear of them.

Sadly Gharman’s rebellion is crush by the Daleks. Davros only allowed it to carry on to discover which of the Kaled scientists were truly loyal to him. 

The Doctor however working with the Thals and Muto survivors is able to blow up the corridor leading to the Kaled bunker, and the Daleks and Davros are sealed in under thousands of tons of rubble.

The Doctor says that it will take them thousands of years to escape, and to recover the work that has been destroyed. This will be enough to prevent the Time Lords vision of the future from coming to pass by giving other races enough time to catch up to them.

Trapped in the bunker together, the Daleks soon turn on Davros and begin exterminating the Kaled scientists who remained loyal to him, including Nyder.

Davros pleads with the Daleks, but they refuse to listen declaring themselves to be the masters. Davros realises the horror of what he has created just as the creatures turn on and exterminate him too. The leader of the Daleks then declares that though they have been entombed, they will eventually escape and take their rightful place as the supreme power of the universe.

As the Thals and Mutos leave together, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry leave Skaro using the time ring. As they vanish through the vortex the Doctor is confident that they have done the right thing.

Review

Genesis of the Daleks is one of the most highly regarded Doctor Who stories and its not hard to see why.

Its not perfect of course, as no story is. There are some moments where the production values let it down such as the giant clam scene, but overall Genesis much like the first Dalek story,  is an exciting, action packed boys own adventure on the surface, with a lot of depth underneath.

Genesis returns the Daleks to being frightening allegories for the Nazis, as well as fascism and racism in general.

The few stories before Genesis like Death to the Daleks and Day of the Daleks, though having done some interesting things with the monsters, had still in some ways reduced the Daleks to being more generic invaders.

With Genesis however the monsters are finally given a fuhrer figure in Davros.

Genesis shows us how evil, twisted men like Davros are able to seize power not just through their own cunning and guile, but rather through the inaction of those around them.

The Kaleds have so many golden opportunity’s to stop Davros but they never take them. The Kaled government give him time to plot against them when they should have just shut the bunker down right away, whilst Gharman and the other rebellious Kaled scientists similarly rather than just imprison Davros, play right into his hands and decide to hold a vote to see who should lead them.

No one except for the Doctor is aware of just what Davros is capable of until its too late.

At the same time we also see how Davros is able to play on other people’s weaknesses to his own advantage to such as the Thals who as he puts it, are so hungry for victory that they don’t care how untrustworthy Davros obviously is.

Davros can not only spot the weaknesses in others, but there is also no low that he won’t sink to either and that’s the real reason he wins. His enemies are simply not as dirty and underhanded as he is. They are reasonable, which is something he sees as cowardice.

Everything about Davros is perfect for this story. His characterisation is both complex and frightening.

To start with it merely appears that Davros is doing all he can to ensure the survival of his people, the Kaleds. However it soon becomes obvious that he is actually intending to reshape his entire race in his own image. Davros ironically despite being unable to even defend himself, despises those he considers weak, which includes even his own people the Kaleds.

The Daleks are what Davros likes to think he is. Strong, ruthless, and never willing to compromise like the supposed weak and pitiful Kaleds, such as Gharman who he derides as “someone who’ll listen to a thousand view points and try and satisfy them all.” Or even the Doctor who Davros sneers at for having compassion for his friends which he exploits when torturing them.

Its a brilliant irony at the end of the story when Davros discovers that as wretched, selfish and ruthless as he is, ironically even he is capable of some compassion and mercy after all. When the Daleks who are completely devoid of any pity turn on his most loyal followers, Davros ends up pleading with them, just as the Doctor did for Sarah and Harry’s lives earlier.

Davros learns in this moment that compassion isn’t a weakness, as ironically the Daleks are slaughtering people who could help them, even their own creator, because they are incapable of anything else. Davros finally realises just what a monster he has created in his final moments. Nothing has ever existed like the Daleks before. Even the most evil person like Davros can still show mercy to people who are loyal to him.

In this respect I can understand why some fans and critics were annoyed at Davros being brought back. His ending here is just so perfect, when he finally realises that his creations are evil, and actually tries to destroy them himself. Also I love the way the Daleks make no big deal of killing Davros, their creator, as they see him in exactly the same way as they would a lowly Thal soldier. Both of them are just other life forms and therefore the enemy.

Furthermore there is also a fantastic irony the way that Davros is forgotten. The Doctor despite being the archenemy of the Daleks had never even heard of him. The Daleks were obviously intended by Davros as being a way for him to live forever. Monsters created in his image who would terrorise the cosmos and make his name one that people would curse and fear for all eternity.

However ironically he won’t even be a footnote in the history of the universe as previous Dalek stories showed. The Daleks themselves will make sure no one remembers him as they don’t want people to know that they were created by a lesser creature.

Sadly later Dalek stories will undo all of this and simply have Davros going back to try and rule the Daleks, completely ignoring his development at the end of this story.

I do love the later Davros stories, and I think the writers did a good job in developing him from there, but I am at least sympathetic to the “Davros should never have been brought back” argument as his ending is just so stunning in Genesis. In fact its my favourite moment in any story.

Another reason Davros is so spectacular in this story is Michael Wishers performance, which is easily among the top 5 in the entire history of Doctor Who.

Wisher captures all of the fanatical, bitter qualities of the villain, as well as his craven cowardice too such as in his final moments with the Daleks.

There are moments where Wisher is eerily calm such as when he disturbingly talks of dissecting Gharman’s brain, then there are the moments where he screams so hysterically he almost sounds like one of his creations, such as during his brutal torture of Sarah and Harry.

All the other actors who would go on to play Davros after such as Terry Molloy and Julian Bleach would attempt to emulate this aspect of Wishers performance, and whilst they were both very good, I don’t think anyone ever managed it as well as Michael.

Some fans and critics have argued that Davros’ appearance here negatively impacts the Daleks who are pushed to the background. Personally however, whilst this does happen in later Davros stories, I definitely don’t think that’s the case in Genesis.

To start with we are taken to the very depths of the Daleks evil in this adventure to a far greater extent. Here we see how even the most evil humanoid like Davros, a man who has carried out a double genocide is shocked at how ruthless they can be.

Also something which is often overlooked in reviews of this story is how formidable the monsters are too. A mere 20 Daleks exterminate an entire city of Thals with no effort whatsoever.

Director David Maloney also shoots them in such a way where they seem large and foreboding, such as when the Thals and Mutos cower in the Trenches as they slowly glide by.

The Dalek voices in this story are my favourites as well. Roy Skelton, by this stage a long standing Dalek voice veteran gives them the perfect, screeching , rasping voices.

Far from seeming like nothing compared to Davros, at the end when the Daleks make him beg for the lives of his scientists and exterminate him, they’ve never seemed more evil and powerful. I love the Daleks final speech. Roy Skelton’s delivery is absolutely perfect as the Dalek’s leader spews its hatred and anger towards the rest of the universe.

This story also elevates the Daleks to being a threat to the Time Lords too. Though the Time Lords had sent the Doctor on a mission to deal with them before in Frontier in Space, here its different.

In Genesis the Time Lords are absolutely terrified of the Daleks after having seen a future where they are able to triumph over the Time Lords. They are actually willing to break their most important law and change all of history to stop the Daleks!

Understandably some people felt that this story contradicted the first Dalek story which gave a brief overview of the Daleks origins that were different to this story.

Personally however I don’t see it as that big a contradiction as after all in the Daleks, all we had were a few scant historical records, where as Genesis gives us a first hand account.

Furthermore Genesis also explains why the Daleks behave the way have done in every previous story to this brilliantly. Prior to this adventure every single Dalek that we had ever seen acted in exactly the same way. From the lowliest drone to the Emperor, they were all devoted to their cause of exterminating all other life forms in the universe. There were no Daleks who were merciful, but there were also no Daleks that even had ambitions and desires of their own.

They all thought exactly the same, despite being organic life forms. Here however we find out why. Davros had conditioned their minds to all think exactly the same, and all be devoted to exterminating other life forms.

This revelation not only explains why the act the way they do, but it opens up a whole new aspect to the Daleks personalities.

Now we know there can never be a good Dalek. Before we had just assumed that the Daleks all think the way they do because they come from a war like culture, like say the Klingons in Star Trek.

Here however we see that they are all conditioned to be ruthless, and can never change how they are.

Whilst it makes them far more terrifying, it also makes them somewhat more sympathetic ironically. The Daleks unlike say the Master, or even the Cybermen who willingly chose to convert themselves, have never had a choice in what they were. They did once, when they were Kaleds, but sadly Davros took that from them and has trapped them in this hideous state forever. There will never be a Dalek that thinks what they are doing is evil and tries to free the rest of its people, and worse they will never stop trying to conquer as they literally have no other desires or feelings, other than a lust for conquest.

Genesis really is what establishes the Daleks as the Doctors most dangerous and evil adversaries more than any other story, as it shows them not only becoming the biggest threat to the Time Lords (as well as the rest of the universe in the future), but also finally establishes once and for all that the Daleks can never be anything but evil conquerors.

Aside from Michael Wisher the other stand out performance in this story is Tom Baker.

Its a very subdued, and thoughtful performance. That’s not to say that there aren’t moments of Tom’s brilliant trademark humour, such as when he clobbers the two Thal guards, but for the most part his Doctor is a man with a very heavy burden.

Its not just as simple as blowing up the Daleks this time. The Doctor will be wiping them from history and so he has to actually think about what that means. Not only will he be committing genocide, but who knows what might change by erasing the Daleks?

For all the Doctor knows without the Daleks planets like say the Earth and Draconia may wipe each other out in a war, where as thanks to the Daleks they become united against them. Similarly perhaps the challenge of the Daleks will cause certain species to up their game and make great advances which benefit them in all kinds of ways, which they wouldn’t have done otherwise.

Its a brilliant twist in that to start with it seems like a more straight forward adventure of “destroy the evil Daleks and save the universe”, but ultimately when its crunch time, the Doctor discovers that there are no easy ways out of this situation, and the story doesn’t necessarily say that he has done the right thing either. Sarah even says that she believes they have failed at the end. Furthermore later stories will show the Doctor still struggle with the decision, and indeed over 40 years later, fans on message boards, and in reviews are still torn over whether or not the Doctor should have destroyed them.

It shows you how Nation could inject nuance into his scripts, as even when dealing with whether or not the Doctor should destroy the Daleks, his archenemies and the most dangerous creatures in the universe. He was still able to raise points, and show different sides to the dilemma to an extent that it’s still kept people talking decades on.

The Doctor’s interactions with Davros are also brilliant too. I love the way the Doctor is able to see exactly the type of person Davros is. Davros claims that the Daleks will be a power for good, as when they rule over all other life forms they will do so benevolently.

The Doctor however can see that a weak, pathetic little man like Davros just wants to use the monsters to tear everything down because it makes him feel strong.

Really there is very little to fault with Genesis. Again other than a few production gaffe’s everything about the adventure works.

It has brilliant performances, its wonderfully directed, its well paced. Even at 6 episodes it doesn’t drag, and contains some of the best cliffhangers in the shows history, such as Davros’ torture of Sarah and Harry, and the Dalek mutant choking the 4th Doctor.

Overall Genesis is not only a fantastic Doctor Who story, but one of the best pieces of British television ever made.

Trivia

  • This was the last Dalek story for 4 years. Though their return in Day of the Daleks had led to a mini revival in Dalekmania (which was still going strong during this story) and all of their subsequent appearances had been big ratings hits. Script editor Robert Holmes hated the Daleks and decided to retire them after this adventure. Fans and viewers apparently sent complaints to the BBC next year as they had gotten used to having a Dalek story every year.
  • Terry Nation who wrote this adventure said it was his favourite out of all the stories he wrote for the series.
  • David Tennant has named this as his favourite story, and the story that made him a Doctor Who fan.
  • Philip Hinchcliff and Terrance Dicks said that very little was changed from Terry Nation’s first draft for this story, which was unusual. Though some scenes from Nation’s original script were edited due to budget reasons (such as the Time Lord meeting the Doctor in a garden on Gallifrey.) Ultimately it remained mostly true to Nations original script. Hinchliff later joked that Terry’s first drafts were often his final drafts as they rarely needed to work on them.
  • This story follows on directly from the Sontaran Experiment (which followed on from the Ark in Space) and leads directly on to Revenge of the Cybermen, which in turn leads directly on to Terror of the Zygons.

 

Death to the Daleks Review

The Third Doctors final Dalek story. Death to the Daleks cast the monsters in a somewhat more unusual position of making them more vulnerable.

Plot

The Doctor decides to take Sarah Jane Smith to the planet Florana. Along the way however the TARDIS becomes stranded on a desert planet where the TARDIS is drained of power. 

As they explore, the Doctor and Sarah become separated. Sarah soon finds a large and beautiful city in the distance. The Doctor and Sarah however become separated and both are attacked by cloaked monsters. Sarah is taken by to their base, an underground cave system where they tell her that she is to be sacrificed for gazing upon their god (the city.)

The Doctor meanwhile is saved by a group of humans who take him back to their ship. They tell him that there is a space plague sweeping the galaxy that is killing millions.

The only known cure for it is parranium, which though rare around the rest of the universe, is as common as sand on this planet, Exxilon. Sadly however when the humans ship arrived it was drained of all power too just like the TARDIS.

The natives, the Exxilons are savage degenerates who worship the city. Having already killed some of the crew, the humans mission looks set to be a dismal failure.

Just then a second craft arrives on the planet. Thinking its a rescue ship the humans and the Doctor go to investigate. Unfortunately they soon discover that it is the Daleks!

The Daleks order that the Doctor and the humans be exterminated, but when they try to fire it is revealed that they are also affected by the same power drain, with their weapons being totally useless.

The Daleks and the humans regrettably form an alliance with one another. The Daleks lie to the Doctor and the humans that the same space plague is affecting them and that they are dying in millions.

In truth however the Daleks simply want to steal the parranium, destroy the surface of Exxilon to prevent anyone else from getting it, and then use it to hold humanity and the other species that are suffering to ransom. 

Along the way to the mining dome, the Daleks and the humans are attacked by a horde of Exxilons who kill one of the human party and one Dalek, by beating it to death.

All including the Doctor are captured. When the Doctor comes across the Exxilons torturing Sarah using their poison, the Doctor attacks their high priest, and he is sentenced to death as well. The leader of the Daleks meanwhile tries to bargain with the leader of the Exxilons for the Dalek and human party’s (but obviously not the Doctor and Sarah’s) freedom.

Back on their ship however the Daleks are able to replace their dead ray guns with machine guns which prove effective against the Exxilons. These Daleks slaughter their way through the Exxilons and round them (alongside their former human allies) up in labour camps to mine the parranium. 

The Daleks also attempt to exterminate the Doctor and Sarah, who escape through the cave system in the commotion. 

The Doctor and Sarah encounter a renegade group of Exxilons led by a man named Bellal.

Bellal after helping them escape the Daleks reveals the history of his planet. Originally Exxilon was one of the most advanced societies in the universe. They even visited other planets (such as the earth at an early point in its history.) 

Sadly their time came when they constructed a gigantic, sentient city. The city eventually turned on the Exxilons and nearly wiped their race out. 

The survivors split into two factions. One who worship the city as a god, and the other, Bellals group who want to destroy the city. 

The Doctor agrees to help Bellal make his way through the city to destroy its brain. The Daleks meanwhile have also realised that the city is the source of the power drain and so they not only send two humans to destroy the beacon, but two Daleks into the city as well.

The Doctor and Bellal make their way through the city’s traps and puzzles with the two Daleks behind them.

Along the way they find the corpses of previous Exxilons who failed the tests.

Sarah meanwhile along with a member of the human crew, Jill Tarrant is able to get the parranium off of the Daleks ship and onto the humans one, replacing the Daleks parranium with bags of sand.

The Doctor and Bellal make their way to the city’s brain. As the Doctor attempts to scramble it, the city creates two zombies to attack them. The zombies however are distracted when the two Daleks show up.

The Daleks machine guns have no effect on the zombies who beat the Daleks whilst the Doctor and Bellal escape. 

The Daleks bomb destroys the beacon and power is restored. Now at full strength, the Daleks reveal their true plans and state that they will launch a plague missile on Exxilon, rendering further landings on the planet impossible.

As they take off however, one of the humans named Galloway uses the Daleks own bomb to destroy their ship. 

The Doctor tells the two surviving humans that they need to get the parranium back to the colonies. As they prepare to leave however they notice the city of the Exxilons, as a result of the Doctors actions, dying. 

As it crumbles to pieces the city actually screams. Though the Exxilons are now free to rebuild their planet, the Doctor remarks that the City of the Exxilons was one of the 700 wonders of the universe, and that its a pity that now the universe only has 699 wonders.

Review

Death to the Daleks has always been one of my favourite stories. It demonstrates all of the strengths of Terry Nation as a writer.

We have a planet with a rich and detailed history, non stop action, morally grey characters, and wonderful, scary monsters.

Though its true that there are some of his old tropes here, such as a long dead city, and space plagues, its not done in a way that negatively impacts the story.

First and foremost I think Death to the Daleks is often overlooked (by everyone except for Nicholas Briggs) for the interesting way it portrays the Daleks.

In the previous Pertwee Dalek stories the monsters were not only portrayed as incredibly powerful, but also in a position of control too.

Here we see them unable to even defend themselves, and be forced to rely solely on their wits. Even when they do manage to replace their guns, then they are still vulnerable. as many of the monsters on Exillon are immune to bullets, such as the giant mechanical root that tears several Daleks to bits, and the zombies in the city that beat them to within an inch of their lives.

Whilst some critics have argued that this makes the Daleks seem weak, I don’t think so. The Daleks are shown to be extremely cunning as a result of the extra problems they have to overcome throughout this story.

For instance they are able to fix the power loss, not the humans. They not only construct weapons that are effective, but they are also able to pinpoint the source of the power drain and destroy it too.

Furthermore having the Daleks overcome all of the tests in the city reinforced to me at least how they are the Doctors equals in intelligence too, as the Doctor had been the only person that had managed to overcome them before.

The Daleks also manage to successfully dupe everyone about their real intentions until the end of the story too. Furthermore I like the way that the Daleks overall plan is not just a direct invasion. Its a very sneaky, underhand plan to steal the only cure for a lethal plague that is affecting the humans.

We haven’t seen the Daleks be portrayed as this manipulative and cunning since Power of the Daleks when the monsters were similarly put in a vulnerable position. In Power however they arguably had a bigger advantage as no one save the Doctor knew who they were.

Here however they are dealing with a group of humans who know exactly what they are capable of (including one who at first refuses to work with them after his father was killed by in the last Dalek war.) Furthermore the Exxilons are savages who want to kill them regardless, and so the Daleks are pushed to even greater extremes, but they still manage to overcome them.

The Doctors interactions with the Daleks are also quite fun in this story. Once again Pertwee works his real life dislike of the monsters into the script quite well with the Doctor not only taking a great delight in their helplessness, but also cheering a mechanical monster as it literally rips the Daleks to bits! “Yes sir palpable hit!”

Galloway, a member of the human crew takes up the position of the devious humanoid character that the Daleks work with in this adventure. Galloway’s a very interesting character overall. At first he just seems like a ruthless glory seeker. He has no regard for the safety of other members of the party, including the Doctor and Sarah, and worst of all is show to be willing to help murder innocent lives if it means he can get the parranium back to earth.

His crew mates don’t trust him at the best of times, including even their former commander who insists on his death bed that Galloway is not fit for command.

This coupled with the fact that he seems to work better with the Daleks make him seem like a villain, but ironically he ends up as the hero of the piece when he blows the Daleks (and himself) up just as they are about to launch their plague missile.

Galloway was just practical and devoted to his duty to get the parranium back to earth that he seemed ruthless to those around him. He viewed everyone’s lives as expendable, including his own for the greater good, and whilst that did lead him to do shady deals with the Daleks, ultimately he put his money where his mouth was and sacrificed himself to destroy the Daleks and saved countless lives in the process.

In a way Galloway is kind of like a precursor to Avon from Terry Nation’s later series Blake’s 7. Avon similarly could come across as a villain at times. He was not above hitting women, shooting people in the back, or even attempting to murder his friends like Vila. However his actor Paul Darrow never saw him as evil per se, more just practical to such a degree that he could appear as ruthless, and a lot of the time Avon often saved the day just like Galloway in spite of, or perhaps because of his ruthless actions.

Sadly aside from Galloway the rest of the human characters are a bit wet or bland. Still the Exxilons fortunately are fantastic creations.

Once again Terry Nation gives them a great detailed backstory, and fills their world full of strange creatures from the city to the mysterious giant hostile roots that live in the waters and caves of the planet.

The design for the Exxilons and their voices are creepy too, particularly when they first capture Sarah.

The city itself meanwhile is a very interesting concept and the sets are magnificent. I was always scared as a boy at the way the previous Exxilons who had tried to make their way through the city’s corpses were just left to rot in there.

Imagine being one of the Exxilons who failed the first intelligence test and seeing the corpses of all the others around you, knowing that you’d just be left to rot in here forever.

There’s a really effective moment when the Doctor and Bellal make their way to the centre of the city, and the Exxilon who was previously seemingly in control and monitoring their tests melts into nothing.

Its never really explained what he was, but I always thought he was a previous Exxilon who had made his way into the city, possibly hundreds of years ago, only to be ensnared by the zombies who then rigged him up to its brain, making him a part of it, and making use of his intelligence (which would explain why it has tests in the first place.)

As soon as the Doctor and Bellal arrive, then it has no further use for him and he just is disposed of. Had it not been ironically for the Daleks timely intervention, then the Doctor and Bellal would have been suffered the same fate.

The final sequence where the city screams as it dies is also very memorable too.

The only problem with the city is that the traps are a bit too simplistic and easy. Its hard to believe that so many great minds could have been stumped by them.

Aside from Galloway, the other standout supporting character in this adventure is Bellal. Bellal is an extremely lovable character. He has a somewhat child like quality to him, such as when he hugs Sarah in fear of the Dalek, yet at the same time he is also smart enough to be of use to the Doctor in the city, and a brave character when it matters, who is fighting to save his people.

His design is also brilliant. The shinning effect on his skin is very striking, whilst the mask allows the actor more flexibility in his performance at the same time too.

Many fans have said that Bellal should have become a companion and I do think he would have been a fantastic addition to the TARDIS, though the actor who played him, Arnold Yarrow might have had a hard time always dressing in that uncomfortable make up!

The only real faults I have with Death to the Daleks are very minor. Some of the production values are a bit weak, such as the root, which you can see is held up with string. Also some of the incidental music is quite grating. Some of its very good, such as the music when the Sarah first stumbles upon the city, and when the city is dying. However I would agree that the notorious jazz tune that follows the Daleks everywhere they go is terrible and inappropriate for the monsters.

Still other than these minor quibbles, Death to the Daleks is an imaginative, action packed, exciting story that uses the Daleks in a unique and interesting way.

Trivia

  • This story was originally called The Exxilons. Its name was changed to Death to the Daleks at the behest of Robert Holmes who hated the Daleks.
  • This was the first story that acclaimed Doctor Who writer Robert Holmes served as script editor on (though he was uncredited.)
  • It was during the filming of this story that Jon Pertwee decided that he would leave the role of the Doctor after 5 years.
  • The Daleks colour scheme was changed back to white for this story as the director felt they looked more menacing that way. It would ultimately be changed back to grey after this story, though white Daleks would be featured alongside Grey Daleks in Revelation and Remembrance of the Daleks.
  • Nicholas Briggs, the voice of the Daleks in the revival has regularly cited this story as one of his favourites, and has mentioned it as being a big influence on much of his work with Big Finish.

Planet of the Daleks Review

Jon Pertwee’s third outing against Skaro’s finest. Planet of the Daleks was also Dalek creator Terry Nation’s first story in almost ten years.

It also featured the first appearance of the Thals, the Daleks old enemies since the first Dalek story.

Plot

Jo Grant helps a wounded Doctor into the TARDIS. The Doctor sends a telepathic message to the Time Lords, asking them to help the TARDIS follow the Dalek spaceship to their base. In the last story Frontier in Space, the Doctor prevented the Master from provoking a war between the earth and Draconian empires. Though he was successful, he discovered that the Master was working for the Daleks, who were assembling an army to invade both empires regardless. The Masters plan was to simply make things easier for the Daleks conquest.

The Doctor blacks out after sending the message. As soon as the TARDIS lands on a new jungle planet, Jo ventures out to try and find help for the wounded Doctor.

Jo is attacked by a plant monster that poisons her before a group of blonde haired, blue eyed humanoid aliens are able to take her to the safety of their ship.

They tell Jo that they are Thals, and that they are here on an important mission. They promise to try and help her friend, but insist that she stay here for her own safety.

Whilst they are away however, an invisible creature breaks into the ship and kidnaps Jo who has passed out from the poison.

The Thals are able to pull the Doctor who has now recovered from the TARDIS. The Doctor knows of the Thal people from his first visit to Skaro and realises that they are here to deal with the Daleks plans too.

Along the way the Doctor and the Thals discover a Dalek that has mastered the power of invisibility, though doing so ultimately drained it of all power.

The Doctor also learns the name of and history of the planet he has landed on. The planet is called Spirodon, and its inhabitants, the Spirodons are a race of primitive creatures who are invisible.

The Daleks easily conquered them, slaughtered most of their population and have turned them into a slave force. According to one of the Thals named Vabor, there are only a few Daleks on Spirodon, but they are working on not only becoming invisible, but a new secret weapon that will allow them to conquer the galaxy.

Vabor clashes with the leader of the mission, Tarrant who he considers to be weak and scared. He believes that they should strike now whilst the Daleks are weak. At one point things become so tense between Tarrant and Vabor, Vabor actually pulls a gun on his commander!

The Spirodon who captured Jo meanwhile cures the poison in her arm. When she comes too he tells her that his name is Wesker, and that he is part of a tiny resistance movement against the Daleks. Jo tells him that she wants to find the Doctor, but Wesker tells her she needs to rest for now.

The Doctor meanwhile is captured by the Daleks along with one of the Thals named Codal. Two Daleks find the Thals spaceship first and decide to destroy it. The Doctor however thinking that Jo is still in there, pleads with the Daleks for her life, but the monsters stun him (as they want to interrogate him) and destroy the Thal ship.

The Doctor along with Codal is able to escape from the Daleks cell ironically by turning the tape recorder Jo left him into a makeshift weapon.

On the other side of Spirodon another Thal ship arrives. One of its team Rebecc tells Tarrant that somewhere on this planet there are over 10 thousand Daleks!

The Thals are able to make their way into the Daleks base where they are reunited with the Doctor and Codal. Though the Daleks corner them, and exterminate one of their number along the way named Marat. The Doctor and the Thals are able to escape up a ventilation system.

Jo Grant meanwhile manages to sneak into the Dalek base with Wesker’s help. There she discovers that the Daleks are planning to unleash a virus capable of destroying all life in the galaxy. After she escapes Jo is later able to stop a group of Daleks from stealing the Thals bombs by setting one off and destroying them.

She then reunites with the Doctor who is overjoyed to see that she survived, and the rest of the Thals. Despite this however tensions continue to rise between the group which results in yet another fight between Vabor and Tarrant where Tarrant assures him that next time he will kill Vabor.

Enraged and tired of Tarrant’s lack of action. Vabor takes the two bombs and attempts to launch a kamikaze attack on the Daleks. Along the way however he is jumped by Spirodons who take him too a Dalek partol. The Daleks exterminate Vabor when attempts to flee, despite Tarrant and Codal’s attempts to rescue him.

Unfortunately the two Daleks follow them back to the camp. The Doctor however is able to defeat the Daleks by pushing them into a lake of molten ice which kills the mutants inside. One of the Thals then gets inside the Dalek, whilst the Doctor and a handful of Thals disguise themselves using Spirodon cloaks (the Daleks make the Spirodons wear purple cloaks to see them.)

Wesker meanwhile having found out what the Daleks are planning foils their plot to unleash their poisonous plague on planets across the galaxy by releasing it into the Daleks base. The Daleks section leader is forced to seal himself and his subordinates in a small room to prevent the plague from escaping, as they were the only ones who were immunised, if it escapes it will kill everything on Spirodon, including the Daleks themselves.

The Doctor and the others are soon discovered by the Daleks who chase them to the lower levels of the base. 

Meanwhile the Dalek Supreme, a member of the high council arrives on Spirodon to check on the progress of the plans. He is angry at the loss of the plague and exterminates one of his subordinates in response. He demands that their army be awoken from the ice to begin the invasion of the galaxy.

The Doctor however in the lower levels is able to use the last of the bombs to cause an explosion which sets off the ice volcano near the base. The entire Dalek base as well as their army is buried under several tons of molten ice.

The thals then use the Dalek Supreme’s ship to escape from Spirodon back to Skaro. The Dalek Supreme and a few of his subordinates who escaped meanwhile chase the Doctor and Jo through the jungle, but the two are able to escape in the TARDIS. 

Despite these setbacks the Dalek Supreme insists that the Daleks have been delayed, but not defeated as the Daleks are never defeated!

In the TARDIS, the Doctor wonders if Jo, who got close to one of the Thals named Latep has regrets about not going with him back to Skaro when he asked her, but she tells the Doctor that she just wants to go back to her own planet and the Doctor obliges.

Review

Planet of the Daleks is definitely one of the weaker Classic era Dalek stories. In fact I’d say its probably the weakest of the 70s after Destiny of the Daleks.

Still that does not mean its a bad story, as all of the 70s Dalek stories are excellent (in fact they include two of the all time greatest stories from that decade, Day of the Daleks and Genesis of the Daleks.)

I’d say that Planet is an above average story. Above all else its extremely enjoyable. Nation always knew how to pace his stories brilliantly. There’s just non stop action and what’s great is that all of the cliff hangers to this story help move the plot along too. Sometimes, particularly with longer Doctor Who stories the cliff hangers can feel like they are just tossed in there at the last minute to have our characters be in some kind of peril. That’s not the case here however.

A lot of people have knocked the cliff hanger for the first episode when the Doctor acts surprised to find a Dalek on the planet despite having followed them there. However the Doctor is not surprised to find a Dalek, simply an invisible Dalek.

Nation also does a brilliant job in making Spirodon feel like a fully fleshed out world, by filling it full of diverse and bizarre creatures. Nation’s planets always felt a bit more fleshed out for this reason than other authors.

Compare say Telos in the Tomb of the Cybermen. All we see is the Cybermen and their city and that’s it. We don’t know what animals live on the planet, its history, or even see much of the planet except for the city and a few landscapes.

With Aridius from The Chase however, which only plays a minor role in the story, we get the full history of the planet’s ecosystem, of how it used to be a an ocean world before it dried up, we also get to see its animal life such as the Mire beasts, as well as the main humanoid life forms, the Aridans.

Similarly with Skaro in the first Dalek story we were also given a glimpse of the various animal life forms, such as the mutants in the lake, the petrified lizard like animal in the forest, as well the history of the planet, and various different set pieces from the jungles of the planet, to the treacherous cave system our heroes have to journey through, to the Dalek city.

Planet of the Daleks continues this tradition brilliantly. We see the Spirodons, the main humanoid life forms, as well as various forms of intelligent and hostile plant life, and hostile animals who attack the Doctor and the Thals during the night. We also get to see more of the planet, discover how it functions, and how its various species survive and live with each other too.

The Daleks themselves meanwhile in some ways are more effective in this adventure than previous Pertwee Dalek stories, whilst in others they are less.

In terms of being a direct threat they are far less dangerous. In Day of the Daleks and Frontier in Space we saw how just a few Daleks were able to slaughter their way through dozens of heavily armed humans without being slowed down for a second. Here however we see Dalek grunts get overpowered and killed by unarmed Thals and humans!

I wouldn’t say the Daleks are feeble in this story however. They are suitably ruthless such as when they ignore the Doctors pleas for Jo’s life and when they later shoot Vabor in the back as he attempts to flee. (I always loved the way that one of the Spirodons who chased Vabor is caught in the Daleks blast, but the Daleks just don’t give a shit at all.)

I think not having that many targets for the Daleks to shoot is a big problem in this story. In Day they had dozens of UNIT soldiers to mow down at the end, but here the supporting cast is just a tiny group of Thals.

Apparently Terry Nation did intend to have the Daleks exterminate all of the Thals in the final episode, but this was vetoed by Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts who were still concerned about the previous complaints of violence directed towards the series.

I think its a shame that they took this approach as had all of the Thals been killed then it would have made the story much darker, and would have certainly made the Daleks seem more formidable. Finally it would have also perhaps lessened the comparisons to the first Dalek story too.

Also another drawback is that the Daleks are not given a slimy, devious humanoid villain to play off either. In fact this is the only Classic era Dalek story after The Daleks Masterplan that doesn’t give them this type of character to interact with. Even their brief appearance in Frontier in Space gave them the Master to play off of.

Without this character the Daleks do feel a bit more like generic invaders. Its an important ingredient in the Dalek stories that I think should always be included.

Still the Daleks being an intergalactic power is explored in greater detail here than in other stories.

I like the way that the Spirodons are not freed from the Daleks rule at the end. They suffered an invasion every bit as bad as the earth in the 22nd century. The Daleks bombarded their planet, exterminated most of their population, have turned the unlucky survivors into a slave force, and have performed the most horrific experiments on them.

There is a disturbing scene where Wesker tells Jo Grant after the Daleks have captured the Doctor that if they perform their experiments on him, he would be better off dead. One can only wonder what Wesker has seen them to do other members of his kind, including most likely his friends or family.

Weskers fate is also a very dark moment as he is forced to kill himself in order to stop the monsters.

As seen with Wesker the Spirodons are clearly a race capable of both evil and good like humanity, but they are left to suffer at the end of the story. Its not because the Doctor doesn’t care about them, its because there is genuinely nothing that he can do to free them.

What’s worse is that no one else will probably even be aware of the Spirodons either. They aren’t a big galactic power like Earth or Draconia. They are just a primitive race,  who exist in a barely inhabited solar system, far away from earth or anyone else. They’ll continue to be dominated by the Daleks until the monsters have no further use for them after which they will most likely exterminate the Spirodons.

Its disturbing to think that there will be thousands, even millions of other races the Daleks will have done this too. Whole cultures they will have wiped from existence, and the Doctor, nor anyone else will ever have any idea who they were.

The same thing would have happened to humanity too in the 22nd Century. We just lucked out in that the Doctor, because of his grand daughter Susan, took a particular fondness to our planet.

But that’s the point however is that sadly the Doctor can’t help every planet that the monsters take over. Some like Spirodon he won’t even be aware of, and this story reinforces that.

That’s actually the scariest thing about the Daleks. They are a swarm across the universe, capable to erasing whole species in the blink of an eye, and the Doctor no matter how hard he tries can never hope to fully wipe them out. All the Doctor can hope to do is keep their numbers down, and save the planets that he is aware of like the earth.

When the Dalek Supreme says that they have been delayed, not defeated he’s right. Its not just the usual “you win this time hero”. The Doctor has stopped them from launching their plague and their army, but he hasn’t dented their empire, and hasn’t actually freed any world from their influence either.

Furthermore all they will have to do is free their army and recover the data that was lost about the plague, which will take them time. Maybe enough time for Earth, Draconia and other powers to regroup, but ultimately the Daleks will recover, and the Doctor will have to be ready for them.

To me this is far more frightening than in other stories where the Daleks are completely wiped out at the end. That to me makes them seem more like cartoon villains, who have to be completely defeated by the hero at the end of every story. This story instead makes them a grand force that the Doctor can have small, sometimes notable victories against, but that’s it.

I also like the way that all of the Daleks enemies in this story are aliens too. Again constantly having the Daleks be obsessed with humanity can often make them seem small. They are supposed to have the greatest empire in the universe, yet they are always obsessed with destroying, and constantly lose to our small, seemingly insignificant planet?

Here however you get the feeling that that they are a danger to the whole universe, with humanity just being one of many races they intend to exterminate, and again the fact that its not earth they have conquered means that there is no reset button where all of the Daleks have to be wiped out on Spirodon and the planet goes back to normal in a short time like in stories such as Doomsday and Journey’s End.

The Daleks are also far more active here than in Day of the Daleks. Director David Maloney really handles the Daleks well, shooting them in a way where they seem large and imposing, yet also quite fast too, which was difficult given the limitations with the props.

The Doctors interactions with the Daleks are also quite interesting in this story too. Here the Doctor is actually shown to take a sadistic delight in murdering a Dalek, exclaiming “for a man who abhors violence I must admit I took a great satisfaction in that”.  The idea of the Doctor taking a pleasure in destroying the Daleks is something that we’d see in later stories.

Its a key ingredient in their relationship that helped the Daleks to stand out as the Doctors worst foes, as whilst the Doctor is always prepared to kill, the Daleks are the only monsters he’s ever shown to be positively giddy when slaughtering.

Planet of the Daleks is the first story that really begins this aspect of their relationship.

The Doctors grief at Jo’s apparent death is also well acted on Pertwee’s part. His rage and hatred against the Daleks and desire to avenge Jo are there, but they’re subtle, and you can see it reflected when he murders the Dalek in the cell.

As for the guest characters, well they are by and large just bland good guys. The only one with any kind of personality is hot head Vabor, but he’s a complete moron.

Still Tarrant the Thals leader is played by one of the shows best guest actors, Bernard Horsefall. Its a slightly unusual part for Horsefall, as normally he tended to play more edgy or even villainous characters like Goth and Gulliver.

Still he’s really good at the dashing, square jawed hero, and he and Pertwee have a brilliant chemistry with each other too. I think Horsefall would have made an amazing Dan Dare based on his performance in this serial.

The story does have some negative qualities. As almost every review of Planet of the Daleks has pointed out, this story reuses elements of not only the original Dalek adventure, but other Terry Nation Dalek stories too. There are the invisible aliens from The Daleks Masterplan, the hostile jungle planet which is similar to Kembel, the city of the Daleks that our heroes must cross a treacherous cave system to enter, and finally there is even someone who hides inside a Dalek casing in both stories too.

Also I think the anti war message of this story is very heavy handed and clumsily done too. The final speech about not glorifying war goes on too long and sadly just comes across as patronising. It seems like either Terry Nation or Terrance Dicks were trying to emulate Star Trek here, as Kirk was often fond of giving big speeches to aliens such as the famous “We’re not going to kill today”. Sadly whilst it worked most of the time for Kirk, I just don’t think its quite as good a fit for the more alien, distant Doctor.

The production values for Planet of the Daleks are also quite shoddy in places. The scene of the monsters attacking the campfire are laughable. Its a shame because its really well written, and the actors give it their all, but all the great writing, directing and acting in the world can’t hide the fact that the monsters are just a pair of cheap eyes on the wall.

Still the jungle set is impressive, as is the set for the city of the Daleks too and most of the time Mahoney is able to get round any limitations.

The biggest fault with Planet of the Daleks is that it doesn’t really follow on from Frontier in Space that well. Other than a brief mention in episode 4 about the events of Frontier in Space are barely acknowledged. Also I think it would have been more interesting seeing the Draconians and the humans have to overcome their differences against a common threat, and the Master and the Daleks working together.

Sadly however its all tossed in the bin, and Frontier in Space and Planet of the Daleks despite being billed as essentially a 12 part epic, are really two completely unrelated stories, linked by a cliff hanger ending.

Still despite these faults, overall Planet of the Daleks is a very enjoyable, and exciting action packed adventure and a welcome return for Terry Nation to the series.

Trivia

  • The Dalek Supreme prop that was used for this adventure was an old recycled prop from the second Cushing Dalek movie. It had been given to Terry Nation after the film, and he loaned it to the BBC for use. As a further homage to the Cushing films, a few notes of music from the movie Doctor Who and The Daleks play when the Dalek Supreme first emerges from his ship and later when he first enters the city.
  • During the filming of this adventure David Bowie and his band at the time The Spiders From Mars visited the set and mingled with the cast. Bowie was a huge fan of science fiction series like Doctor Who and Dan Dare.
  • Two different stories across two different mediums have returned to the setting of this story. In the comic strip Nemesis of the Daleks, Davros escapes to Spirodon (after being captured in Revelation of the Daleks.) And revives the frozen Dalek army. In Return of the Daleks however the Daleks attempt to free the frozen army instead.
  • Whilst the Doctor foiled the monsters plans to invade, spin off material shows that there was still a war between the Daleks and the alliance of humanity and Draconia. The novel Prisoner of the Daleks featuring the Tenth Doctor is set in this time. The last great Dalek war is also mentioned in their next television appearance, Death to the Daleks.
  • This story marks the first and only time in the Classic era where the Doctor is shot by a Dalek.

Frontier in Space Review

The first of a two part story. Frontier in Space also marked the first time any of the Doctors enemies met, in this case the Daleks and the Master.

Though it would sadly be Roger Delgado’s last story as the Master, Frontier in Space is one of the best Pertwee era stories and a fitting send off for one of the greatest villains in the shows history.

Plot

The Doctor and Jo arrive in the far future. The earth empire is expanding into space, but it has come into conflict with another great power, the Draconian empire. The Draconians are a race of sentient reptile people. Though a generally peaceful race, tensions have been building up between the Draconians and the earth men for many years.

Recently both have begun to attack each others ships in hit and run attacks. Though the governments of both races deny having involvement in the attacks, war between the two empires seems an inevitability.

The Doctor and Jo arrive on a cargo ship where the crew instantly assume that they are Draconians. Jo meanwhile sees the crew as Drashiggs, ferocious giant carnivores she had encountered on a previous adventure.

Later the ship is attacked by Ogrons who the earth men still see as Draconians. The Doctor deduces that a third party is using some kind of hypnotic device to make people see what they fear the most. Jo Grant saw a Drashigg, whilst the humans of the ship saw Draconians, who humanity fears the most. Meanwhile when the Ogrons have attacked Draconian ships they have seen them as humans, as the Draconians fear humanity.

Whoever this third party is that’s employing the Ogrons (who as mere mercenaries would not have been able to think of this plan on their own.) They are responsible for all of the attacks on both the earth and Draconian ships, and hope to set both empires against each other so that they can emerge in the aftermath and take over.

When the crew come to after the Ogron attack they believe that the Doctor and Jo are traitors who were helping the “Draconians” and Jo and the Doctor are imprisoned.

On earth the Doctor speaks to the President, and at one point is kidnapped by the Draconians who believe that he is a double agent set to discredit them.

Sadly he is unsuccessful in convincing either that there is a third party plotting to provoke a war between them.

The Doctor is later sent to a prison colony on the moon. There he discovers that the third party employing the Ogrons is his old enemy, The Master!

The Master has using a forged identity become the chief of police and has framed the Doctor for several crimes. He decides to take the Doctor and Jo to meet his employers. It turns out that the Master is in the service of a greater power interested in provoking a war. The Master doesn’t say who they are, but tells the Doctor that they are very interested in meeting him.

Along the way there however the Doctor escapes and after a fight with the Master, the ship drifts into Draconian space where all three are captured by Draconians.

They are taken to meet the Draconian emperor himself. There the Master is rescued by Ogrons, and once again thanks to his hypnotic device, the Draconians see the Ogrons as humans. 

In the ensuing fight however, the Doctor is able to knock out one of the Ogrons, and after the Master escapes and the effects of the machine wear off, the Draconians are able see the Ogron for what it really is. 

The Draconians decide to use the Master’s ship to get back to earth, with the Ogron as proof of the Doctors claims. 

The Master however is able to intercept their vessel and capture both Jo and the Ogron.

Back on earth the Doctor and the Draconian Prince again attempt to convince the President of what is really going on. The Doctor asks to be allowed to use a vessel to travel to the planet of the Ogrons.

Though the President agrees, her attempts are shot down by General Williams, who had earlier torpedoed the Doctors attempts to convince the President.

The Draconian prince calls out Williams bigotry, telling him that years ago he destroyed an unarmed Draconian vessel which helped to kick off the current hostilities. Williams insists that the vessel was not unarmed, and that it was a battle cruiser. The Prince however points out to Williams that the cruiser was unarmed, as its weapons were empty, and that they had only chosen a battle cruiser as that was the only way a nobleman of Draconia could travel. 

Feeling guilty for his past sins, Williams agrees to help the Doctor find the Ogron planet. 

When the Doctor, Williams, the Draconian Prince and the team arrive on the planet however, they not only find the Master waiting for them, but that he has summoned those who employed him to provoke a war, the Daleks!

The Daleks slaughter Williams entire crew except for the Doctor, Williams himself and the Draconian Prince who are all taken prisoner.

The Gold Dalek declares that the Doctor will be exterminated, but ironically his life is saved by the Master. The Master tells the Daleks that he wants to torture the Doctor more by showing him the earth, and the galaxy that he loves so much in ruins before killing him.

The Gold Dalek agrees and leaves to prepare the army of the Daleks to conquer the Earth and Draconian empires after they have destroyed each in other in the Masters war.

The Doctor, Williams and the Draconian Prince are locked in a cell with Jo Grant. There Jo tells the Doctor that the Master has the TARDIS on this planet (which he had hoped to use to lure the Doctor into a trap.)

Jo also during a previous failed escape attempt had managed to steal the Masters fear device. The Doctor is then able to use it to hypnotise an Ogron into thinking he is a Dalek. The Ogron releases them, and Williams and the Draconian prince flee back to their home planets to warn their people of the Master and the Daleks plans. 

As the Doctor and Jo attempt to leave in the TARDIS they are ambushed by the Master and a group of Ogrons. Using the Master’s own fear device the Doctor scatters the Ogrons, but the Doctor is wounded by the Master in a shoot out before the villain flees.

Jo helps a wounded Doctor get back into the TARDIS. There the Doctor sends a telepathic message to the Time Lords, telling them to help him make his way to the Daleks base so he can stop their plans.

To Be Continued. 

Review

Frontier in Space is an overlooked gem in my opinion. A part of what makes it work is the world building it does.

We are taken into the future of humanity in so much more detail than other Doctor Who stories. Like many later sci fi series such as Firefly, Frontier in Space doesn’t present the future as either being rosey like Star Trek, or completely terrible like in Terminator.

Instead much like today technology and quality of life has improved for vast swathes of the population, but there is still sadly terrible corruption at the top, and vast inequalities and prejudice in other areas of society too.

We see many problems in the future that aren’t necessarily integral to the plot, such as the prison colony on the moon, and the radical left wing resistance movement who though fighting against an unfair system are still terrorists.

All of these help the viewer to feel as though they are watching a proper, fully fleshed out world.

Its also interesting the way the Doctor isn’t able to fix all of the problems in the future too. For instance the rebels on the moon who tried to help him escape are just left to rot after the Master captures the Doctor. Again it gives the setting a tinge of realism, as after all the Doctor can’t fix everything. When he arrives in modern day for instance he is only able to fix problems like the Axons invading the earth, rather than the energy crisis.

So here its the same. He can stop the Daleks from destroying all of humanity, but ultimately even if there are huge inequalities and problems facing human society, and good people suffering. He has to just step aside and let humanity sort its own problems out.

The main characters are also well fleshed out and acted too. The President played by Vera Fusek is quite an interesting character in that she is shown to be a fair and just woman, yet at the same time she is completely powerless against those around her, such as General Williams.

You’re not sure whether she is someone doing her best to fight against an unfair system, or just a spineless puppet who is easily manipulated by those around her.

Williams meanwhile starts out as the typical petty bureaucrat that Jon Pertwee’s Doctor has to deal with, but over time you can see that his hatred of the Draconians is really more his way of justifying his past actions

He knows that he acted rashly in destroying the Draconian ship, so the only way he can not feel guilty is if the Draconians are total monsters.

When he is faced with irrefutable proof that he did commit murder, then he realises that he must try and make amends and ends up becoming a heroic character, helping the Doctor and the Prince foil the Master.

The Draconians themselves are brilliant aliens. Their costumes are very well realised. As Jon Pertwee himself was often fond of pointing out, the Draconians benefited from having a design that could allow the actor a chance to actually use their facial expressions in their performance. You can tell that Jon Pertwee really enjoyed working alongside them which works even more in universe, as the Doctor has a great admiration for the Draconians and their culture.

Much like with his other more famous monsters the Silurians, Hulke goes to great lengths to make the Draconians seem different to humanity, but no more evil or good.

The Draconians ultimately just wish to survive. They have no desire for conquest, or any real hatred of humanity. Their culture isn’t exactly rosey, as they view women as inferior and refuse to even allow them to speak without the permission of males.

At the same time however the Draconians are shown to be far less xenophobic than humanity. Not only did the humans provoke the initial hostilities, but they also are more desperate to go to war than the Draconians are too. Its not just General Williams, the whole earth population is in support of a conflict as seen in the famous moment when a rabble rouser on the streets is shown to drum up support for exterminating the Draconians.

In contrast the Prince though arrogant and condescending, is desperate when he first meets the Third Doctor to prevent any bloodshed, whilst the Emperor is practically the only figure of authority on either side who gives the Doctor a fair hearing too and has no hatred or prejudice towards the humans.

The Emperor of the Draconians is shown to be respectful of the humans too. He even allows Jo Grant to speak in his presence, as even though women are forbidden to do so in Draconian culture, he respects that it is allowed in Earth society. The humans meanwhile regularly refer to the Draconians as Dragons in a degrading way and appear repulsed by their very presence.

The relationship between the Draconians and humanity is a metaphor for Cold War tensions. In this respect many have compared Frontier in Space to various episodes of the original Star Trek series involving the Klingons.

The frontier in space between both races is a very similar concept to the neutral zone. In some respects however I think the Draconians are a superior take on the whole cold war in space idea than any episode involving the Klingons in Star Trek TOS.

Obviously overall the Klingons are far better aliens as their society has naturally been fleshed out over the years, unlike the Draconians.

However though the Klingons were a good metaphor for the horrors of the Soviet Union. A problem I feel there was with some of the TOS Klingon episodes, was that the Federation, who were meant to represent the USA, where portrayed as whiter than white.

In the real cold war of course we know it was far from the truth. America was responsible for invasions of other countries such as Vietnam where they used some of the most obscene chemical weapons ever devised as they bombed their enemies “back to the stone age”.

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They also backed and supported some of the most brutal regimes and dictatorships such as the Khmer Rouge, and Augusto Pinochet too.

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With this in mind as much as I like Star Trek, it can feel a little bit rich when we see the Federation portrayed as the absolute good guys with no faults at all.

Frontier in Space however offers up a more nuanced and fair approach, by showing corruption, inequalities and labour camps in both societies, and not painting either as strictly the good guy.

In this respect the Daleks can be seen to return to their original role as the Nazis as they are the force that unites both the soviets and the west. The Daleks and the Nazis aren’t just fascists who want to consolidate their power. They actively want to exterminate anyone who doesn’t fit in with their idea of the master race, so naturally everyone ends up becoming their enemies too.

This idea is explored later in Genesis of the Daleks. One of the reasons the Doctor spares the Daleks is because he feels that many future worlds will become the allies with each other because of their fear of the Daleks. I’d like to think that Draconia and Earth were an example of this.

The Daleks and the Master are used effectively in this story. The Master’s plan is one of his best, to make his enemies destroy one another rather than just another invasion. Throughout the story he generally is two steps ahead of the Doctor and Jo, with both regularly playing into his hands, alongside the humans and Draconians.

Throughout most of this adventure the Doctor is desperate and struggling to get people to listen to him, whilst the Master is a respected member of the police force. That was always the best thing about the Master. Unlike the Doctors other enemies like the Daleks and Davros, the Master could turn the people the Doctor was trying to protect and even in some cases care about against him.

Delgado’s performance is excellent as always. I love the way he switches from appearing charming with Jo one minute. Jokingly telling her that she has his sympathies when the Doctor bores on about the Time Lords exiling him, but then turn vicious in a second when he stuffs her into an airlock and taunts the Doctor that he will eject her into space.

To me this is far more terrifying than making the Master just a cackling psychopath as here you never know when he is going to snap. Furthermore you can actually grow to like him when he is joking around with the Doctor and Jo, which just makes it all the more horrible when he threatens Jo and tries to brutally murder her without a seconds hesitation.

Delgado is also able to work a lot of great humour into the villain too, in moments such as his tantrum at the Ogrons for being cowards, his speech about preserving law and order (which prompts the Doctor to ask him if he is feeling well?) And his reading War of the Worlds as he provokes a war between two planets.

The only disappointing thing about this story is that it offers no conclusion to the Delgado version of the Master. To be fair it was never intended to. The plan was for Delgado to reappear next season in Jon Pertwee’s final story.

Sadly however Delgado was killed in a car accident not long after filming Frontier in Space, so it ended up becoming his swansong. As a story to go out on, he couldn’t have asked for a better script, but it is a bit of anti climactic end to his character, just to see him retreat back into the shadows for good.

The Daleks role in this story is obviously limited as they only appear at the end, but even then the writers make sure to treat them as a big deal.

Much like in Day of the Daleks, just three Daleks are shown to be dangerous. They completely slaughter a heavily armed earth expedition without breaking a sweat, and the Doctor tells the Draconian prince and Williams not to even bother firing at them as their weapons won’t even make a dent in the Daleks armour.

The voices supplied by Michael Wisher (who later went on to play Davros.) Are much better than those for Day of the Daleks. Wisher adds a the proper hysterical quality to the Daleks screeching voices.

The only disappointment is that we don’t get to see the Daleks and the Masters alliance in great detail. Though in a way I suppose its good that unlike in Doomsday neither are undermined for one another.

Still I would have liked to have seen how the two villains came to work together, as well as how they planned to stab in each other in the back. We only get a tiny glimpse of that when after the Daleks have left the Master sneers at them, that they’ll see who rules the universe once the war is over. Its a great moment, and I loved the way that the Master calls the Daleks “stupid tin boxes”, but sadly other than that this story doesn’t make much of the fact that it was the first time any of the Doctors archenemies met on screen.

Overall Frontier in Space is pretty much a perfect story for me. It has a brilliant, intelligent and engaging storyline, interesting supporting characters, a fully fleshed out world, and in spite of its ending, is a fitting send of for Roger Delgado’s Master, one of the best villains the show has ever seen.

There isn’t really anything I can fault in the story. Even from a production stand point, the sets are very well realised and the Ogron and Draconian costumes are very effective too. The only special effects failure that might have let the story down, the giant Ogron eater was thankfully cut, and only gets a fleeting cameo where we get a glimpse of how big it is.

Overall to me Frontier in Space is a brilliant story that deserves more appreciation.

What Could Have Been

In the top right hand corner is a concept drawing for the design of the Cybermen originally slated to appear in Frontier in Space.

Originally this story was to feature the Cybermen in place of the Ogrons as the Masters soldiers to attack both the Draconian and Earth ships.

The Cybermen would have been working as equals with the Daleks and the Master to provoke a war, rather than as their servants like the Ogrons (with all three planning to stab each other in the back once the war was over.) The finale episode where the Daleks capture the Doctor, would also have taken place on Telos, the adopted planet of the Cybermen, with the sets from Tomb of the Cybermen being recreated.

Sadly this was scrapped at the last minute and the Ogrons were used instead. Personally as much as I like the Ogrons, I think that it would have been better with the Cybermen. It would have marked the Third Doctors only encounter with the Cybermen. He would go on to encounter them in 20th Anniversary story The Five Doctors, but sadly he was the only Classic era Doctor never to encounter them during his era.

Also I think that had the Cybermen been used then it would have been more genuinely surprising when the Daleks showed up at the end. As it was, because the Ogrons had been introduced as their servants, then it was obvious that the Daleks had some kind of involvement from the start.

As to why the Cybermen were scrapped, no reason has been given, but there are 4 possible reasons.

1/ Terrance Dicks, the script editor during Jon Pertwee’s time HATED the Cybermen. He considered them to be boring, dull and useless. Dicks also appeared to dislike Kit Pedler, one of the creators of the Cybermen personally too. He called Pedler whiny, difficult to work with, and said that Pedler was no where near as talented as he thought he was. He said that all Pedler was good for was the occasional idea and scientific knowledge.

Dicks hatred of the Cybermen would later lead to him having them get slaughtered memorably by the Raston Warrior Robot in The Five Doctors.

With this in mind its not exactly surprising that the Cybermen didn’t appear in the 5 years he was script editor. Though they were still considered for this story, perhaps Dicks ended up putting his foot down on the decision.

2/ Jon Pertwee who played the Third Doctor wasn’t exactly enamoured with the Cybermen either. Though its true that he didn’t like the Daleks who appeared 4 times throughout his era either, the Daleks were simply far too popular to be left out of the show. Furthermore in contrast to the Cybermen, Terrance Dicks felt the Daleks were effective and got a long well with the creator of the Daleks, Terry Nation who he became friends with.

3/ Its possible that Terry Nation didn’t like the Daleks and the Cybermen meeting in this story. Whilst Nation was good friends with Cyberman co-creator Gerry Davies, he still didn’t like his monsters having to share the screen with other monsters and vetoed an attempt to bring the Daleks and the Cybermen together in the 1960s. When the Daleks and the Cybermen did finally meet in the 2006 story Doomsday, it was ten years after his death in 1996.

4/ They may not have simply had the budget to not only make the new Cybermen costumes, but also recreate the ice tombs of Telos. To be honest this seems like the most likely explanation, as the planet of the Ogrons, yet another quarry was obviously cheaper, whilst it would also have been cheaper to use the old Ogron costumes too.

Whatever the reason, sadly the Cybermen were not used, and their only appearance throughout the entire Pertwee era, is a tiny cameo in the preceeding story Carnival of Monsters.

Trivia

  • This was Roger Delgado’s last story as the Master. He was killed in a car crash not long after finishing the story. The death of Delgado, a close friend of Pertwee, as well as the departure of Katy Manning who played Jo Grant, both contributed to Jon Pertwee leaving the show next year. The Master would return just 4 years later where he was played by actor Peter Pratt instead.
  • This story and the next Planet of the Daleks, were originally conceived as one twelve part epic, with Letts hoping that it could rival The Daleks Masterplan. However again part way through production, Letts worried that one story wouldn’t be able to hold audiences for 3 months, and so they were split into two connected, but ultimately separate stories.
  • The end of this story where the Time Lords help the Doctor follow the Daleks to their base, marks the first time that there is any kind of conflict between the Daleks and the Time Lords in general, not just the Doctor.
  • Jon Pertwee always named the Draconians as being his favourite monsters. Pertwee praised them for the way you were able to see the actors mouths and eyes and therefore could act off of them properly unlike the Daleks or the Cybermen.

 

Day of the Daleks Review

The first Dalek story of the 1970s. Day of the Daleks is one of the few stories of the classic era to actually use time travel as integral part of the plot, rather than just as a way to get the Doctor somewhere.

Hugely popular at the time, Day of the Daleks helped to kick off a mini revival of Dalekmania throughout the 70s. Sadly it has become a somewhat polarising story in the decades since, with some critics slating its low key production values and poor Dalek voices.

Still overall I’d rate this as one of the best Dalek and 70s Doctor Who stories in general.

Plot

The Doctor and UNIT are called in to investigate the mysterious appearances of ghostly soldiers who have been appearing and then vanishing at Sir Reginald Styles house.

Styles is due to hold a peace conference which many (including the Brigadier) see as the last chance to prevent World War 3.

The Doctor discovers a highly advanced weapon near the house, whilst UNIT later stumble upon a soldier who has been beaten half to death. As they take him to the hospital however, the soldier vanishes into thin air.

The Doctor and Jo decide to spend the night in the house whilst Styles is away to find out what the real problem is.

In the morning they encounter more soldiers wielding futuristic weaponry, who are battling hideous, savage, ape like creatures called Ogrons. 

The soldiers leader explains that they come from over 200 years in the future. They have come to kill Styles who they claim will cause a third world war. According to the rebels Styles is a radical who will blow up all of the delegates, and himself too when he holds the conference in a few days time.

In a confrontation with the rebels, Jo Grant is accidentally sent forward into the rebels time. The Doctor then follows the rebels back to their time, where he discovers much to his horror that the Daleks now rule the earth.

After the world war that Sytles kicked off destroyed most of humanity, the Daleks saw their opportunity and conquered what was left of the human race. Most humans were rounded up into labour camps where they were forced to build weapons for the Daleks and mine the planet earth for resources.

The Daleks essentially turn the earth into a giant factory to build weapons and star ships to conquer other planets. The Daleks are also served by a race of ape like monsters called the Ogrons.

The human rebels who tried to kill Sytles are the last tiny pocket of resistance. With the aid of an inside spy, they managed to steal some of the Daleks own time travel technology with which they hoped to kill Styles and change history so that the war never happened. 

The Doctor searches for Jo in the wasteland of the future, but he is captured by Ogrons and brutally tortured by the Daleks human servants (who assume he is just another spy) for information.

The Controller however (latest in a line of the Daleks human servants who monitors the camps.) Halts the interrogation as he plans to use other means to find out what the Doctor knows. 

Jo Grant had earlier materialized in the middle of the Controllers base. After speaking with her, the Controller learned of the Doctor. Naturally when the Controller later mentioned the Doctor to the Daleks they were terrified.

The Controller believes that the Doctor can’t be broken, so he tries to trick the Doctor and lie to him that the rebels are the villains. 

Though Jo falls for his lies, the Doctor knowing who is in charge, and having seen the Dalek labour camps is disgusted by the Controller and brands him a Quisling. 

The Daleks do not recognise the Doctor (as he has regenerated since they last saw him.) So they torture him with a mind probe to discover his true identity. The Doctor resists the torture until it almost kills him, but his true identity is eventually discovered.

The Controller once again stops the Daleks from killing the Doctor, claiming that he can get more information out of the Doctor.

The Doctor however still refuses to tell the Controller anything. The Controller tells the Doctor that he does not serve the Daleks willingly, but that he thinks its futile to try and fight them as all who have tried have failed miserably. The Controller argues that he has made things easier for the people in their camps and has even saved lives, but the Doctor still views him as a traitor however.

The rebels meanwhile learn from their spy that the Daleks fear the Doctor, and so they decide to rescue him. Though many are killed in the fight, their mission is successful. The Doctor stops the rebels from killing the Controller, who is subsequently given just one more chance to find the Doctor by the Daleks.

The Doctor is able to figure out from working with the rebels that ironically Styles was not responsible for the explosion that kicked off the war. One of the rebels named Shura blew the house and himself up in a kamikaze attack against Styles. Unfortunately he was unaware that the peace conference was going on at the time. 

The Doctor and Jo head back to stop Shura, but along the way they are ambushed by the Controller and and a group of Ogrons. The Doctor convinces the Controller that he can finally free humanity from the Daleks. The Controller is skeptical at first, but eventually comes to believe the Doctor after having seen how scared the Daleks were of him. He also releases the Doctor as he feels he owes him for sparing his life when the rebels attacked.

The Daleks exterminate the Controller for his treachery, and decide to launch an attack on the conference to make sure that their version of history isn’t changed.

UNIT however are able to hold off the Dalek and Ogron attack force that arrives in the past long enough for the Doctor and the Brigadier to get Styles and the other delegates out of the house in time.

When the Daleks finally make their way into the house, they are killed in Shura’s explosion instead.

The story ends with the Doctor telling Styles to make sure his conference can go ahead as planned now, as he and Jo have both seen what will happen if he fails.

Review

Day of the Daleks is a brilliant reintroduction for the Daleks. At this stage the monsters had been absent from Doctor Who for 5 years (their longest ever break from the show, not counting the hiatus between 1989 and 2005.)

The Daleks needed a strong story that would remind older viewers why they had been such a big deal in the first place and show the new generation of Who fans how special they were.

Day of the Daleks accomplishes this by playing on all of the strengths the monsters had in previous stories.

Just like in great 60s stories like The Power of the Daleks, we get to see a manipulative side to the Daleks here, as the monsters create a situation where the humans ironically destroy themselves.

The Daleks are clearly aware that it was the rebels who destroyed the conference from the start, but they are able to trick the humans by letting them think that they have scored a victory in stealing their time machines, and planting a spy in their base. They even send Ogrons back to try and fight them in the past, all of which makes the rebels think that they have finally beaten the Daleks, when ironically they are playing right into the monsters hands.

This story also gives the Daleks a devious, manipulative human character to play off of too, which again had always made the monsters more interesting in the 60s (and would do so again for many decades to come.) Previous examples included Mavic Chen, Lesterson and Maxtible. The Controller from this story however might actually be the most interesting example of this type of character outside of Davros himself.

The Controller is not just a greedy, corrupt, power mad megalomaniac like Mavic Chen. There are moments that show he clearly enjoys being the Daleks right hand man, due to the power he can wield over other people, such as in a memorable scene where the Controller threatens the family of one of his subordinates.

Aubrey Woods plays the scene brilliantly, with the little sadistic smile on his face as the man pleads with him not to hurt his loved ones.

Still despite this its obvious that deep down the Controller does mean what he says when he tells the Doctor that he is doing all he can to help the people suffering in the Daleks camps.

He genuinely pleads with the Daleks for their slaves sake several times in the story, and is utterly horrified when the Daleks show no regard for their well being. I love the way that even with a lifetime under their rule, the Controller can still be surprised at how evil the Daleks can be. It shows you how there truly is no limit to the Daleks cruelty.

Ultimately the Controller proves where his true loyalties lie in the end when he lets the Doctor escape which costs him his life.

The Controller is someone who has spent his entire life under the Daleks thumb. He has seen countless people try and face them only to all fail miserably. Furthermore his father, his grandfather, his ancestors all lived their lives in exactly the same way too. So really its no wonder that he feels its hopeless to fight them, and that the rebels will ultimately only make things worse for future generations under the Daleks rule.

With the Doctor however he is the one person the Daleks have ever shown fear of. Whilst the Daleks have never shown even the tiniest bit of concern over the rebels. Even with all of their attacks and supposed victories, the mere mention of the Doctors name is enough to make the Daleks literally shake and panic, something which the Controller could have never conceived of before.

Ironically for all his sins, the Controller dies a heroes death. His final act of defiance to the Daleks before they shoot him is excellent as he finally tells the monsters who have dominated his entire life that he may have finally brought about their end.

The Controller also spares the Doctor because the Doctor prevented the rebels from killing him as well, further showing that unlike Chen or Maxtible or the later Davros who were all just greedy and selfish. The Controller was capable of genuinely selfless acts for others.

The Daleks finally are also portrayed as powerful and dangerous. Throughout the story they are creatures that humanity knows it can never possibly beat in a fair fight, so they have to basically cheat and change history.

People often knock the final battle between UNIT and the Daleks because there aren’t that many of the monsters on screen. In reality there were only 3 Dalek props at the BBC at that time.

Still I think this works to the benefit of the story as much like the later Dalek, and the earlier Power of the Daleks, here we see the massive damage just a few Daleks can do.

UNIT have been shown to be capable of fighting off hordes of the most dangerous aliens in previous stories. Look at their first story The Invasion where they blow up dozens of Cybermen with their rocket launchers, then there are stories like The Silurians, Spearhead From Space and Claws of Axos where they are shown to be able to hold their own against monsters like the Autons and the Axons.

Even in this story they blast their way through dozens and dozens of Ogrons. With just three Daleks however? The Daleks absolutely slaughter UNIT, who aren’t even able to slow down one Dalek!

Honestly this story I think sold the idea of one or two Daleks being capable of destroying everything in sight better than any other Classic era adventure.

Power of the Daleks showed us how they were able to manipulate people, but we never actually got to see how much physical damage a lone Dalek could do, as by the time they were ready to attack they were an army.

Here however we get to see how just 3 of them can decimate UNIT in matter of minutes. They do feel like mini tanks that just roll their way through bodies of men no problem.

The only real drawback with the Daleks portrayal is their voices. The actors (who only supplied them for this one adventure) don’t capture the anger and hysteria that the Dalek voices need to have.

The Daleks are not like the Cybermen who just speak in dull monotone voices. There has to be an emotional content there, as the monsters are driven by an irrational hatred of other life forms.

Still overall I think this is a great showing for the Daleks. It doesn’t do anything new with them per se, but it does use them in the most effective ways it can.

Jon Pertwee is also on top form in this story. Ironically he hated the Daleks in real life, but I think he works his disdain for the monsters into his performance really well. You can really feel the Doctors disgust for the monsters when he comes face to face with the gold Dalek.

Its in the scenes with the Controller however that Pertwee really shines. I love the way the Doctor doesn’t buy into the Controller’s bullshit for a second and tears into him for seemingly selling out his own people. When he condemns the Controller as a Quisling. Pertwee’s anger is understated, but powerful.

At the same time however what’s interesting about the Doctors portrayal in this story is that it actually the Doctors compassion that saves his life.

Had he not spared the Controller then his replacement, who later sold the Controller out to the Daleks and was shown to be genuinely greedy and power hungry, ould not have allowed the Doctor and Jo to escape when he cornered them.

The story overall also moves along at a great pace. There’s no padding, the mystery around the house builds up well throughout the first episode, but doesn’t drag and there is also plenty of action right the way through even with the budget limitations.

The twist that the rebels created their own horrible future is brilliant and helps the story to stand out from the usual more straight forward aliens invade earth adventures that had come to dominate the series at that point. Whilst the Daleks are the main threat. Ironically its entirely the humans who bring about their own downfall.

Even before the Daleks show up, humanity has already exterminated itself. Later the Controller describes the years of the war as being the hardest humanity ever endured, including the Dalek invasion!

Overall Day of the Daleks is a an enjoyable, action packed, intelligent story and a brilliant way to start the next generation of Dalek stories.

Day of the Daleks vs Days of Future Past

Day of the Daleks was the main inspiration on the classic X-Men story arc Days of Future Past. Its author, Johnny Byrne was a big Doctor Who fan, and openly admitted to being inspired by this story. He even joked that he was lucky not to get sued!

Days of Future Past revolves around a dark future where mankind has been overrun by gigantic robots called the Sentinels.

The Sentinels were originally created to deal with mutants, but soon turned on and exterminated most of humanity. The few unlucky survivors are rounded up into ghettos and work camps. A tiny pocket of resistance remains however, and one of the X-Men, Kitty Pryde is able to travel back to the 80s to stop the mutant Mystique from assassinating the president, which sparked anti mutant hostility and eventually led to the creation of the Sentinels.

Days of Future Past would later be adapted in various X-Men animated series including the classic 90s series, and as the 2014 blockbuster Days of Future Past (where Wolverine took the place of Kitty Pryde.)

Both Days of Future Past and Day of the Daleks follow the same basic idea. In the future humanity has wiped itself out in a war. The survivors are then taken over by horrifying, xenophobic, mechanical monsters who round them up into camps. The last pocket of resistance knows that they have no hope to beat them in a fair fight, so they travel backwards in time to change things.

In both cases the war that wiped out humanity was not only caused by a political assassination, but by a radical who believed that they were ironically helping their people. Mystique who thought she was standing up for Mutant’s rights, and Shura who thought he was killing Styles and preventing the war.

Days of Future Past is not just a rip off of Day of the Daleks. Its a classic piece of Sci Fi in its own right, that has been adapted successfully across many different mediums.

Still you can see how Day of the Daleks was its predecessor in a number of ways.

Notes/Trivia

  • Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning said this story was their least favourite.
  • This appeared to be the only Dalek story by another author that Dalek creator Terry Nation was pleased with, calling it an exciting batch of episodes.
  • The Daleks made their third appearance on the cover of the radio times to promote the first episode of this story.

  • In order to accompany this story Terry Nation wrote a short story for the Radio Times called “We Are The Daleks” which explained their origins. This story was different to the later Genesis of the Daleks.
  • A special edition of this story was later released on DVD that featured new and improved effects and a new Dalek voices supplied by the voice of the Daleks in New Who and Big Finish, Nicholas Briggs.

What I Would Have Liked To Have Seen In The Peter Capaldi Era

Its hard to believe that the Peter Capaldi era has come and gone. It only feels like yesterday that the former “Thick of It” star wandered onto our screens after being announced as the 12th Doctor. Holding his lapels in a Hartnellesque fashion with the promise of a new and wonderful era ahead of him.

Sadly however as I am sure all of my regular readers know, I wasn’t that keen on his era.

In this article I am going to run through things I would have liked to have seen happen during his era. I’m not saying that all of these ideas would have been better objectively.

These are just things that I personally would have been interested in. Let me know what you think in the comments below. PS its also worth noting that not all of these ideas are mine. A lot of them are actually fan theories and ideas, as well as pieces of spin of material too.

Lets get started then.

1/ The 12th Doctor

Peter Capaldi’s Doctor as he stands now is probably the best thing about his era. Sure there were some terrible moments with his Doctor like the Tank bit, but overall Peter Capaldi did always give a brilliant performance, and there were some interesting aspects to his characterisation.

Still there were many huge problems with the 12th Doctor, though none of them can be attributed to Peter Capaldi.

First and foremost I would not have had the 12th Doctor be doubtful of himself. I didn’t like the “Am I a good man” story arc. It made no sense.

The previous Doctor had discovered that he had saved Gallifrey. Furthermore the war on Trenzalore, though long and protracted, still surely laid any doubt to rest about the Doctor being a hero?

He wore down his final life to protect a small village for over 1000 years and was given a new lease of life by the Time Lords because they, the people he thought he had burned, believed he was a hero.

So really why would the Doctor go back to doubting if he was a good man after that?

Also I really don’t think it was a good idea to have 12 be in love with Clara either as not only was it not a good fit for Capaldi and Jenna, but by this stage the whole Doctor/companion romance was really quite tired and boring too.

With 12 and Clara they basically repeated all of the previous Doctor/companion love stories from New Who.

We had the tedious love triangle between the Doctor, his female companion and her clingy, jealous boyfriend with Danny, Clara, and Capaldi.

We also had a mad woman who starts out as an evil psychopath that wants to kill or harm the Doctor but then he makes her a better person and she falls in love with him (River Song, Missy.)

We had the Doctor and his female companion get too attached to each other to the point where she becomes reckless and arrogant which leads to bad consequences for her (Rose and 10 in season 2, with it being their actions that create Torchwood that separates them, Clara and 12 in season’s 8 and 9, with it being Clara’s arrogance that leads to her own demise in Face the Raven.)

Then there was the Doctor being unable to accept his lovers death and doing something that allowed her to live just a bit longer as an immortal. (River Song in the Library, Clara in the TARDIS with Me.)

And finally we had a male character go through an unimaginably long hard time just to save the woman he loves. (Rory and the box for Amy, the Doctor and smashing his way through the wall for Clara.)

Be honest you could replace 12 and Clara with 10 and Rose in this scene and it wouldn’t be any different.

I think it would have been better if they had made 12’s story arc be about finding Gallifrey. That was basically what we were promised at the end of the 50th when the Curator tells 11 “oh you’ve got so much work to do.”

Turns out he didn’t. Gallifrey was back and it wasn’t even mentioned how! The search for Gallifrey story arc could have opened the door for many interesting story options.

For one thing the Doctor could be torn about bringing them back. On the one hand he would want to see his home in the sky, and his people happy and prosperous again. On the other the fear of the Time War returning would obviously still be on his mind too.

Yet perhaps the Doctor would want the Time War to start a new. Look at it this way, the Daleks are still free to roam the universe, destroying all other life forms. Whilst the Time War was a terrible thing it did severely limit the Daleks power across the universe.

Its kind of like World War 2 in a way. Yes World War 2 was a terrible thing, but in the end it was for the good of humanity. Would you have rather that the Nazi’s continued to march all over Europe unopposed?

So perhaps the Doctor might think after seeing more atrocities being carried out by the Daleks that he had a duty to bring the Time Lords back and lead them this time so that they don’t become corrupt, to finally destroy the Daleks once and for all.

Or perhaps he would be determined to wipe the Daleks out himself because he knew that when they were around he could never stand among his people.

These could all be serious moral dilemma’s for the 12th Doctor that could develop over time. Also his feud with the Daleks could have become more intense as the Daleks would naturally now view the Doctor as the only chance of the Time Lords returning and become even more determined to destroy him.

I also think that 12 should have been utterly ruthless to his enemies too. Again think back to what we were promised with his Doctor. We were told he would be the angry kick up the arse Doctor and this was how he made his entrance.

Yet we never really saw anything to demonstrate this on screen apart from a few moments of him being rude to people for no reason.

Take his dealings with the Daleks. He just threatens them a couple of times and that’s it. Okay he clearly hates them, but so what. Pretty much every Doctor hates them. I might add he was made to feel guilty by Clara for daring to think that the Daleks are beyond redemption.

Also his Doctor was fooled by Davros being unbelievably mopey too (well okay he knew there was a chance that Davros was tricking him, and so he had a back up plan.) Still 12 arguably showed more compassion to Davros than any other Doctor.

Then there was his relationship with the Master. 12 was the most lenient on the villain there has ever been. At certain points 12 even outright helped her to escape such as lying to Clara, Kate and UNIT about her still being alive (which put all of their lives in danger) or saving her from a public execution.

Also look at how he dealt with Bonnie the mass murdering terrorist Zygon. He forgave her and gave her a bloody job at UNIT! Bonnie is ironically going to be working alongside the friends of the people she slaughtered in cold blood like Jac!

Are there any examples of 12 being really vicious, and ruthless in dealing with any of his enemies?

The nearest is when he may have pushed the Half face man off of the edge of a building, but even then we have no idea if he did push him or not?

Now you might be thinking “well okay maybe they wanted 12 to be a lighter Doctor”, but that’s certainly not how they advertised him.

Steven Moffat Its Time For A Kick Up The Arse Doctor

Also more importantly look at the way the 11th Doctor was portrayed in his last few stories. You can clearly see that they are heading towards a darker and more mature Doctor.

We didn’t see many instances of this with Matt, but it’s obvious during 11’s final year that he was not only becoming more willing to kill (as seen with Solomon the Trader.) But that he was also getting more than fed up of dealing with the same enemies over and over again.

Take a look at this quote from A Town Called Mercy.

“But they keep coming back, don’t you see? Every time I negotiate, I try to understand. Well, not today. No. Today, I honour the victims first. His, the Master’s, the Dalek’s, all the people who died because of my mercy!” 

In addition to this 11 near the end of his time finally says goodbye to River too, showing that he has grown up and accepted that he needs to move on from her. His final action is also to dedicate himself to protecting Trenzalore until he becomes an old man, and after that he finally accepts his death.

Then of course there is the War Doctor, a more old school type of Doctor telling 11 that he (and 10) basically needed to grow up and act their age, and he wonders if he is having a mid life crisis when he sees them.

 “Oh, we might as well get started. Help to pass the timey-wimey. Do you have to talk like children? What is it that makes you so ashamed of being a grown up?”

The 12th Doctor as a more old school, serious Doctor, played by an older actor, who finally wants to dispose of his most dangerous enemies, fix mistakes he had made in the past (like sparing the Daleks in Genesis) and find his home would have been the natural progression from where 11 was headed in his last few stories.

Sadly however by the end of Capaldi’s first series this is all tossed in the bin. The 12th Doctor reverted back to being a cuddly hipster like 11 was, is still in love with his 20 something female companion like 10 and 11 would have been, and is ridiculously merciful to all of his enemies.

It could be argued that perhaps they wanted to go in a 1st Doctor, 6th Doctor, 9th Doctor direction, of making 12 start out as more ruthless and then get softer as time went on.

I wouldn’t have minded that at all, but my problem was just that they never really showed him being dark to begin with, and then just instantly reverted to making him more like Smith and Tennant.

So much for growing up eh? So much for no longer acting like a child jumping about, lusting after women not much older than Susan. So much for honouring the victims. Yeah you really honoured Osgood (and Kate) by snogging their killer and later covering for her when she escaped, or outright saving her when she was kidnapped. All that development from 10 and 11 realising that they were too easy on their worst foes. and 11 in his last few stories realising that he needed to grow up and be “the Doctor” again is just tossed in the bin so we can get more Master/Doctor slash fan fic bullshit, and more Doctor crying over his 20 something, latest one true love.

The 12th Doctor was not only written to be more of a zany, younger Doctor, but he was also I feel made into quite an ineffective and weak hero too.

In his first two season finale’s for instance he doesn’t save the day. Missy hands him victory (and even then its Danny Pink who blows the Cybermen up. Seriously what does the Doctor actually DO in that entire finale?)

In Hellbent meanwhile he creates the problem. Similarly in the Zygon Inversion though does stop the war, he created the problem in the first place! He was the idiot who thought it was a good idea to let 20 million hostile aliens live on earth. (I might add the only reason they came here was to fucking invade! Bit much to ask humanity be kind to their invaders!)

Why did 12 not you know use his TARDIS to take them to an uninhabited planet like he promised to do for Dalek Sec and his new Dalek people?

Does he really think a race so advanced that they fought in the Time War would be happy with pretending to be humans, working a dismal 9-5 job, signing on the dole, watching youtube videos, and downloading shit on Netflix?

Yeah cause the Doctor loved being trapped on earth didn’t he? And he LOVES humans, unlike the Zygons who wanted to destroy them, and took a delight in hurting them (see Osgood’s Zygon double.)

12 really suffered from also having no real big enemies to play off of. His villains were either dreadful versions of past glories like Missy, or they were crappy one off foes like the Lion man, or the Monks, or the eye boggie monsters from Sleep No More.

His biggest heroic moment is obviously enduring the torture for Clara’s sake in Heaven Sent. I got to give him that, it is pretty badass to endure 4 billion years worth of torture for your one true love.

Sadly however even this is ultimately undermined in Hell Bent as ultimately we find out that the Doctors plan for saving Clara would have risked destroying all of time and space! So actually 12 just ends up looking like an emo adolescent that can’t cope with loss, and is willing to put his own happiness over the rest of the universe, rather than the ancient, wise alien he should be.

I think the main problems with the Capaldi era can be summed up with the production team simply not having enough faith in Capaldi to carry the series ironically.

To start with they clearly got a bit scared at making the Doctor older in his first series. Clearly they were worried at losing their young audience, so they ultimately went back to making him act like the younger Doctors.

Take a look at this scene.

This clearly shows that they were more unsure of Capaldi right from the start, as the previous actor has to come in and basically beg Clara (and through her the audience) into accepting Capaldi!

Its very insulting and to be honest I don’t think Matt Smith should have agreed to do it. It was kind of stepping on Peter Capaldi’s toes.

Also more importantly I think that the PC pandering during Capaldi’s era made the team lose faith in him as well simply because he was another white male.

Now I’m not going to go too much into the SJW pandering again as obviously its a subject that I have covered extensively. Still it does need to be mentioned as its certainly a large part of why Peter didn’t get a fair crack at the role.

Capaldi was cast after the feminist backlash against Steven Moffat had begun, but before the push for a female Doctor really became all consuming. That only really happened after Matt announced he was leaving.

As a result of this I think Moff who clearly wanted to win favour with the feminist critics that had ruined his reputation over the past few years actually came to regret not casting a woman instead of Peter.

How these people treated Steven Moffat circa 2012-14

University Study on How Sexist Steven Moffat Is

Steven Moffat Tweets Against Accusations of Misogyny

The Terrible Problem Of Steven Moffat’s Doctor Who

Of Dice and Pen Sexism in Moffat Who

Steven Moffat’s Women: Amy and her skirt

Consent in Moffat Era Who

Steven Moffat Sexism

Sexual Assault in Doctor Who

Doctor Who Thunderingly

Whovian Feminism Reviews Time of the Doctor

How they reacted to Peter Capaldi’s casting

Something An Actual Person Said About The Doctor

Whovian Feminism We Need To Talk About Peter Capaldi’s Casting

Doctor Who’s Dude Preference Is Lazy

Examples of Moffat ADMITTING to pandering to them (as well as proof that the sexist accusations bothered him)

Steven Moffat: Doctor Who Needs More Women Writers

Steven Moffat Denies He Has Made Show More Sexist

Steven Moffat Slams Sexist Claims

As a result of this Moffat cared more about setting things up for a female Doctor to atone for casting another cis white het dude, than in actually focusing on Capaldi himself.

You can see that when Missy first prances onto screen in Deep Breath. Right there in Capaldi’s first episode Moff is thinking more about setting up the next female Doctor, than in giving Capaldi a nemesis that is right for him (which most certainly is not Missy.)

Similarly in this scene Moff has the Doctor shoot an innocent Time Lord in cold blood, simply so that he can shoe horn in yet another gender bending regeneration.

This scene is utterly disastrous to the 12th Doctors character in so many ways.

To start with he’s a huge fucking hypocrite. What he is unable to kill Missy, a sadistic, mass murdering psychopath, even when she murders his friends and the daughter of his oldest friend right in front of him and gloats about it, but he’ll happily shoot an unarmed man in cold blood?

Also the General risked his life to defend the Doctor from Rassilon and this is how the Doctor repays him?

You might be saying that “well he didn’t kill him as its just a regeneration” but even then each incarnation lasts for 1100 years, so the Doctor just shed a good chunk of the guys life off.

Again though Moff doesn’t care about how this negatively impacts the 12th Doctors character, as his main priority is in setting up a female Doctor. To hell with the current white dude. He’s just there to fill time.

Furthermore I think Moff, whilst not wanting to undermine Capaldi intentionally, actually became scared at the thought of just making Capaldi the strong, central heroic figure that previous Doctors like Jon Pertwee or Tom Baker had been, as that would appear sexist in his feminist critics eyes.

So naturally in order to overcompensate for this type of criticism, Moffat put too much focus on Clara to a ridiculous degree, and regularly had her actively undermine the Doctor by slapping him back into place and later finish the series by basically becoming a better Doctor than him.

All this silly backstage politics coupled with the fact that in many ways the production team wanted him gone so they could virtue signal with a female Doctor meant that Peter Capaldi really wasn’t given the attention or frankly the respect an actor of his calibre deserved in the role.

It would have been better if they had allowed Capaldi to play the role more the way he wanted. If they had given his Doctor a chance to show how dark he was in really vicious confrontations with his enemies like the Master. If they had given him a consistent character. And finally if they had made him a strong figure, NOT always doubting whether or not he was a good man and being slapped into place by his companion.

It seems to me like Capaldi wanted his Doctor to be kind of a cross between 1 and 3. Those seem to be his two favourite era’s. He’s always talking about them after all, and just about everything he wanted to see come back comes from those two era’s, like Susan, Mondasian Cybermen, Axons, Daemons etc.

You can see how these two Doctors and era’s are on his mind more than any other.

So I think ideally his Doctor would have been a dashing, physical Doctor who was incredibly brave, and serious about everything like Jon Pertwee, yet also at times somewhat ruthless, more alien and at times even distant like William Hartnell.

Sadly however whilst there were shades of this in his characterisation such as in this scene.

Most of the time he was just another modern, whiney, emo Doctor complaining about his girlfriend.

A final thing to mention is that I would have given Capaldi the original TARDIS interior.

Nothing can top the original white, roundrels, look. The proof of that is that that look stayed more or less with very few changes for close to 26 years, whilst all the others, 9 and 10’s TARDIS, 11’s TARDIS with the upstairs, the wooden TARDIS, the steampunk TARDIS in the movie and 12’s library TARDIS have all come and gone in a few years each.

It would have been so much better if they had just gone back to this. It would also have tied into 12 returning to his roots better as well.

2/ Captain Jack Harkness

Its hard to believe that its been 7 years since he last appeared in Doctor Who. Captain Jack Harkness was in my opinion one of the best things in all of New Who.

He was an interesting character overall, but it was really John Barrowman, one of sci fi’s greatest leading men of the past 30 years that elevated the character to being a legend.

I was really hoping that Captain Jack would become like the new series version of the Brigadier.

The Brig met all the classic era Doctors, and it became a rite of passage for the Doctor to meet him. It would always be such a wonderful moment when the Doctor would bump into the Brig who’d comment on him changing his face yet again.

I miss having a character like that in Doctor Who and Jack I think would be a great choice to fill that role after Nick Courtney’s passing.

Like the Brig, Jack is a man of action which serves in brilliant contrast to the Doctor. The Doctor as we know will use a weapon and kill if need be, but he is ultimately a more cerebral hero, and more willing to try and find a peaceful solution.

The Brig and Jack are very much shoot first, ask questions later type of characters. Both Jack and the Brig also run organisations designed to track down extraterrestrial threats and know the Doctor through multiple lives too.

Sadly however they stopped Jack meeting the Doctor after 10 which now just kind of makes him a Russell T Davies thing.

The first thing I’d have done would have been to bring Jack back and make him a recurring character throughout 12’s time.

Okay so he missed 11 which I think was a great pity, but you could always have him meet 11 in the 60th anniversary special.

He really needed to come back for 12’s era in order to be a rite of passage for the new Doctors. You can miss one Doctor, like the Cybermen missed the Third Doctor (until the 5 Doctors) but once a characters missed two in a row, then I think they end up becoming more like the Sontarans instead, IE a fan favourite, but not something that every Doctor has to meet.

The great thing about Jack is that much like the Brig he’s a character you can bring back at any point. He doesn’t have to take over a story, his relationship with the Doctor, though it changes, is still always relatively stable. You can just bring him back and have him help the Doctor, shoot some badguys and that’s that.

I think you could continue to bring Jack back to encounter future Doctors after 12, despite the fact that the character is an immortal. For one thing John Barrowman is ageing well (he looks at least 20 years younger than he actually is.) Also Jack is still meant to age. He just does it very slowly. You could simply have set Jack’s stories set in the very far future when John looks far too old.

There would be a lot of value in bringing Jack back besides simply creating a wonderful new tradition for the show.

To start with he has a massive fanbase. In fact John Barrowman himself has a huge fanbase among mainstream audiences and genre fans outside of Doctor Who thanks to his roles in shows like Arrow and Desperate Housewives.

Even those who didn’t grow up with Jack might be interested in seeing Barrowman in the show.

Also I think Jack and 12 would have a great dynamic with each other. The thing about Jack is much like the Doctor he is an old soul trapped in a young man’s body. He has lived for thousands of years, endured unimaginable hardship and loss. Everything from his brother, to his soul mate, to his grandson!

Just like the 10th and 11th Doctors, Jack often puts on a cheery, youthful facade to cover up his pain. When he met 12 however who was no longer trying to cover up the fact that he was so old, Jack I feel could actually be himself more, and I think he and the Doctor would develop a much closer relationship than ever before as a result.

I would also like to see Jack meet other 12 era characters like Osgood for instance (John Barrowman and Ingrid Oliver were good friends in real life, so I think they would have a good dynamic.)

Overall I think they definitely missed a trick in not making Jack the new Brig of the show.

3/ Clara Oswald

Now we all know that I am not the biggest fan of Clara. For the record I do like Jenna Coleman and I liked her with Matt. She just wasn’t a good fit for Capaldi.

I would have kept Clara for one year with Peter to ease the transition and then dumped her.

I would have had Missy be revealed to be the Time Lord version of Clara that we saw in Name of the Doctor.

In The Name of the Doctor, Clara throws herself into the Doctors timestream which creates splinters of her all over time and space that save the Doctor from the Great Intelligence.

One of them is shown to live on Gallifrey and even tells the Doctor which TARDIS to steal.

I would have revealed that this version of Clara later regenerated into a new incarnation, (played by Michelle Gomez.) This version of Clara would then have been the woman in the shop who would have brought 11 and Clara together so that she could have been born.

Missy/Clara would later decide that she would still help the Doctor by downloading the minds of all the people the Doctor had failed to save on his journeys into a virtual heaven, though she would later go on to download the minds of good people from all over the universe into her matrix.

In order to power this matrix she would drain energy from a nearby star. The matrix on Gallifrey remember draws energy from the eye of harmony, a compacted star. Doing so however would have eventually caused the star that she was draining to eventually die, leading to the destruction of all the planets in its solar system.

Clara/Missy would have destroyed many solar systems this way, but she would view it as being worth it as all of the lives she destroyed in each solar system would be downloaded into her matrix.

Clara/Missy though having simply started out as wanting to help the Doctor would now see her cause as the greatest in the universe.

She would also create a virtual hell where she would download the minds of the most evil humans who ever lived. We could see plenty of past evil people like Solomon the Trader and Madame Kovarian being tortured in Missy’s hell.

The Doctor would find this out in the season 8 finale. The promised land would be the planet Missy had her Matrix on and therefore would have been the place the aliens in previous season 8 episodes would have been heading too.

The Doctor would be forced to work with aliens whose sun was being drained by Missy to shut down Missy’s matrix in order to save the countless worlds she would destroy to power it.

In a further twist, Danny Pink who would still die’s soul would be sent to Missy’s hell for the murder of the child he carried out in battle.

After the Matrix had been shut down and the souls released, Clara would decide to leave the Doctor, feeling that after seeing Missy she wanted to reconnect with her human side back on earth.

You could still have her pop up now and again as a recurring character like Martha. You could also have the Missy/Clara escape and be a foe for the Doctor. She would at first be furious that he had shattered her dreams, (particularly when she had done so much for him.) Later however she would forgive him and could work alongside him now and again.

I wouldn’t play up a romance between them, but you could have her slowly become his friend.

In my opinion this would have been the best option for many reasons. To start with I think the Time Lord Clara would have been a better role for Michelle Gomez. I’ve often said that Gomez would have been good as the Rani, and she would, but I think Clara would have been an even better role for her. It would have been more of a going against type part for Michelle.

Gomez is often cast as villains and over the top lunatics. The Time Lord version of Clara however would be a genuinely good character who believed that what she was doing was right and would later become a hero. Gomez would get a chance to do more than just “IIIII’MMMM CRAAAZZZZYYY!!!!”

Gomez said that her favourite year in the role was series 10 because she got to show more sides to Missy, such as her guilt and remorse. It was an all around excellent performance from Michelle, but I feel that it would have been better if they did that with Time Lord Clara than the Master.

4/ Other Companions

As regular readers of mine will know I really like Ingrid Oliver who plays Osgood and I had hoped for her to become the next companion after Clara. Having said that Bill played by Pearl Mackie turned out to be a perfectly charming companion in her own right, but more on that later.

Osgood I think would have been good choice for a number of reasons. Ingrid Oliver who plays her is a brilliant actress who really loves the show and would really I think throw herself into the role (well she pretty much already did in the limited time she was given.)

Peter Capaldi and Ingrid Oliver also had brilliant chemistry with each other. It was more natural because they could adopt a traditional father/daughter dynamic. As I’ve said before the problem with Clara and Capaldi was that they didn’t really have anywhere to go. They couldn’t go down the romance route as clearly as they did with Clara and 11, or 10 and Rose

They also couldn’t go down the classic father/daughter route, due to 11’s feelings for her. Finally Capaldi and Clara also couldn’t be just friends like say 11 and Amy, or 2 and Jamie as they didn’t really have anything in common with each other.

With Capaldi and Ingrid however you can see shades of Jo and Jon Pertwee, William Hartnell and Maureen O’Brien, and Sylvester McCoy and Ace even just in this little still. You have the bright young female companion in many ways being a surrogate figure for Susan to the Doctor.

Also I think the fact that Osgood admires the Doctor could be interesting if handled right.

I would tone down the cosplaying aspects. In fact I’d ditch them completely as soon as she boarded the TARDIS. I don’t like the meta aspects to Osgood’s character. Its never a good idea to have a character represent the fans.

I would however reveal that Osgood’s mother was the character called Laird from the 5th Doctor story Resurrection of the Daleks. Laird was a mousy scientist who worked for the military. Much like Osgood she was overly anxious and prone to panic and scream in tight situations but she was still brave when it mattered.

She is brutally gunned down by the Dalek agents when trying to flee from them. Now Laird to me looks exactly like Osgood and has the same personality too.

You can see the resemblance. In my opinion Laird is Osgood’s mother and it was Laird’s tragic death that inspired Osgood to follow in her footsteps. Osgood wanted to find out what it was that really happened to her mother (having not bought the cover up story) and eventually came to work for UNIT.

There she found out about the Daleks and the Doctor and came to admire the Doctor because he had done more than anyone else to fight the monsters that killed her mother.

I think this would be a good link to the classic era and it would also flesh out Osgood’s character. Think of what her reaction would be when she comes face to face with a Dalek!

Also you could later have Osgood learn that the Doctor spared the Daleks in Genesis and lose her faith in him somewhat as technically her mothers death would be his fault.

The other companion for 12 I would have accompany Osgood would be Journey Blue. Journey Blue was played by Zawe Ashton. She was a soldier who fought the Daleks in the far future as seen in the story Into the Dalek.

Now we didn’t see much of her character, but I’ve always thought she would have been a good candidate for a companion for a number of reasons.

First of all Zawe Ashton is a brilliant actress. Also I’ve always wanted a companion who had lived under the Daleks. It would help increase their menace as here we would have someone who’s family had been killed by them, who had spent years maybe in a Dalek camp and never known a life that wasn’t constant fighting, misery and pain because of them.

Also I think that Journey’s more aggressive, gun ho nature could put her at odds with 12, in a Brig, Jack kind of a way.

Finally I think that Journey would be a good choice opposite Osgood. At first glance both are totally different characters.

Osgood physically is a total wimp. She is also someone who believes in finding non violent solutions and shows compassion to even her former tormentors like her Zygon sister.

Furthermore Osgood is also a scientist who relies on her brains and resourcefulness to get out of tight situations.

Journey in contrast physically is very strong, fearless, uses weapons as a first option and having spent her life fighting against the Daleks is much more willing to kill.

Also in terms of their relationships to the Doctor they’re polar opposites. Osgood adores the Doctor, he also is very fond of her, and she’d be more willing to do what she was told, and build up his ego too kind of like Jo Grant and Vicki.

Journey however would definitely clash with him, question his authority more and might even do things her own way, much like the Brig sometimes did (such as at the end of the Silurians when he goes behind the Doctors back and slaughters the titular creatures.)

Also finally in terms of what they wanted to get out of travelling with the Doctor they’d be complete opposites.

Journey would be desperate to escape the horrible life she had fighting the Daleks, whilst Osgood would be desperate to explore other planets and times.

Things could be quite tense in the TARDIS with Journey and Osgood at first not liking each other. Osgood could disapprove of Journey’s violent methods, Journey could view Osgood as being a liability for being too weak and scared.

Still you could later have the two bond over losing their loved ones to the Daleks. I think you could have quite a good scene where Osgood shares with Journey the pain of losing her mother at such a young age, whilst Journey would tell Osgood of how her parents were killed, how she and her brother were among the few survivors of the Dalek invasion who were taken to live in the Dalek camps for years. They both would have suffered greatly with Journey doing all she could to protect him until they were eventually rescued when the Dalek camps were liberated, after which the two joined the resistance against the Daleks, before her brother was finally killed.

You’d then have the two bond over their suffering at the monsters hands, with Osgood coming to understand why Journey is the way she is, and Journey in turn coming to respect Osgood.

You also have Journey and 12’s relationship similarly improve too, with Journey by the end of her travels with the Time Lord coming to appreciate all of the great things she was able to see because of him.

For 12’s next companion after these two meanwhile, I’d have a character who came from the year 100 trillion. In Doctor Who it is established that humanity survives to the year 100 trillion and possibly becomes the last species left in the universe in the story Utopia.

I think it would be great to have a companion come from that time. Here we would have a companion who was eager to see a universe when it was young and healthy. Who could see planets like the earth that she had only heard about in ancient legends.

Imagine what her reaction would be at just seeing the earth during the day, having always scraped a living on a barren rock near the end of a universe that was slowly burning away into nothing!

I did not come up with this idea. I saw it on a forum (sadly I can’t remember who came up with it.) And I always thought it would have been a brilliant idea for a companion.

As for who could play this companion, well there are many actresses that I’d love to see in Doctor Who.

Jenny Hulse is a Scottish actress who I think is very underrated and would make a good choice for the companion to the Doctor.

(I am aware I have suggested a number of Scottish actors like Dawn Steele, Robert Carlyle and Jenny Hulse, but that’s not because I give two fucks about Scots representation. I simply know more obscure Scottish actors because I live here and I am exposed to Scottish forms of entertainment more. If I lived in England I’d know more local, obscure and underrated English actors too.)

Jenny Hulse, a very underrated actress who would have made an amazing companion to the Doctor.

Alison King is also a great actress too and would make a good companion. It might be more interesting to give the Doctor a more mature female companion. Barbara, Donna, Liz Shaw, and Romana 1 all represent a female companion who isn’t in awe of the Doctor as they are all much more mature.

Some people would say that these companions don’t work as well, as the younger audience prefers a younger companion they can identify with, but Barbara, Liz, Donna and Romana 1 were all very popular companions with both fans and the public.

To be honest though I’d be happy with Pearl Mackie. I suppose that’s one good thing about the Capaldi era is that it did give a number of lesser known actresses like Ingrid Oliver and Pearl Mackie a larger boost.

Pearl Mackie was a perfectly lovely companion. She was charming, funny, and had great chemistry with Capaldi. Also refreshingly whilst she was a strong and capable character in her own right she didn’t undermine him like Clara.

I did have some problems with how Bill was written however. I would have wanted Pearl Mackie to play the companion from the future and NOT Bill.

Bill though a likable character was ultimately yet another sassy, 21st century girl who works a boring job and wants to get away from it with the Doctor.

I really would have liked something new, like an alien, or at least someone from another time.

Also like many other fans I felt Bill’s sexuality and race was handled in quite a clumsy way. I have no problem with a gay character on tv. Furthermore I have no problem with a character constantly mentioning that they are gay either.

We get plenty of straight characters talking about their sexuality after all like say Joey on Friends, so why not have a gay character be unbelievably promiscuous like Joey?

It was more the way it was done. It felt like an obnoxious “I’m going to teach you plebs at home that gay people and black people matter too!” attitude from the writers.

The reason I think this was because, first of all Steven Moffat openly said that he cast Pearl Mackie for representation.

Steven Moffat Diversity

I really don’t think you need to cast anyone for the sake of representation anymore. Yes back in the 60’s when our society was racist, homophobic and sexist then it was important, but now I think the free market is the only fair way to judge it, though I 100 percent acknowledge that I did not always feel that way.

For the record I actually went through a tiny bit of an SJW phase in 2015. I always hated the idea of a female Doctor its true, but I felt after having been so hostile to the idea, and to the SJW’s criticism of Moffat that maybe I was being too harsh on them (added to that I was also more ignorant too and so I didn’t know that a lot of their complaints like the gender wage gap were bogus.)

So in 2015 I was open to things like representation, and women in refrigerators (I hypocritically said that Osgood’s death was sexist whilst praising the murder of Perdicus in Xena, even though they are both exactly the same. Steven Moffat should have kept her dead, much as I like Osgood just to piss people like me back then off!)

I also complained about sexualized images of female characters being harmful, and whilst I mostly defended him I did still think some of Steven Moffat’s work was a bit sexist too.

It was only during 2016 that I finally came to the conclusion that actually my initial reaction was right and the SJW’s complaints against Moffat (and in general) were completely bogus.

So with this in mind I think Moff might very well just be misguided and could actually come to regret some of the decisions he made with the show, RE pandering to the SJW’s, in years to come. Still whatever his reasons I think Moffat ultimately had the wrong attitude when casting Pearl Mackie.

Furthermore the character of Bill constantly went on about how she suffers bigotry and persecution too which is ridiculous. Okay there are still individual racists and homophobes, but come on here. What are the chances that a young, black, gay woman who works at a university, and hangs around with other 20 something young women would constantly endure racism and homophobia?

Whenever Bill would say she was gay, it wasn’t like it was just a natural fact of her character. It wasn’t like she’d just hit on a woman she thought was cute, or mention a woman she had a crush on, or even just be in a relationship with another woman.

Instead she would always have to sit down and explain to another character how she was gay and it would be presented as this big shocking thing of”OH MY GOD DO YOU PEOPLE AT HOME REALISE BILL IS GAY! I BET YOU’RE ALL SHOCKED AT THAT!”

Ultimately I think Bill reeked of being nothing but more SJW pandering which was a shame as Pearl Mackie was definitely one of the better companions in the series.

5/ The Master

The Doctors archenemy was probably the character who suffered the most after the Doctor himself during the Capaldi era (though he/she has some stiff competition from the Brigadier.)

Its a shame as I think that the Capaldi era could have marked a really good come back for the character.

We hadn’t seen him at that point for an entire Doctors era, so his return could have been a huge Earthshock style surprise.

Sadly by turning the Master into a woman they kind of ruined this. Everybody guessed that Missy (Mistress) was the Master from her first episode because of all the ridiculous hype about a female Doctor.

Missy is the Master According To Radio Times

If they had kept the character a man and brought him back at a later date however then they could have made his return a genuine surprise.

Worse however as I have been over before many times was the way that Steven Moffat threw everything about the character that made him interesting away.

His hatred of the Doctor, his insane lust for power and control, and his miserable cowardice, All gone and in its place was basically just a third rate River Song.

I think that during the Capaldi era, they should have first and foremost played up the Masters desire for power and control as his main motivation, rather than wanting to renew his “friendship” with the Doctor.

To me that’s always been the most fascinating aspect of his character. In those early Roger Delgado stories the Master could almost justify himself to the Doctor as he believed that when he ruled things would be better.

He argued that all the evil he was committing now actually was for the greater good and that the Doctor and the Time Lords were the real villains.

From his perspective the Doctor and the Time Lords had the power to help planets like the earth. They could with their advanced technology end all of their problems like disease, famine, poverty, and with their knowledge of the future they could avert catastrophic disasters like the Dalek Invasion and protect them from alien races such as the Cybermen by making sure they were advanced enough.

Yet the Time Lords just sit back and do nothing. The Doctor meanwhile helps out where he can, and so the Master at first has a bit more respect for him and even initially sees the Doctor as a potential ally. You can also see why the Doctor and the Master were friends back on Gallifrey with this in mind. Both were among the few members of their kind not content with just sitting back and doing nothing.

Ultimately however the Doctor does not believe in imposing his will on others. He will help those in need, but he will still let them choose their own destiny.

As a result of this the Doctor and the Master both come to view the other with even more contempt than either view the High Council.

Take a look at these quotes from spin off material and television stories with the Delgado Master to see what I mean. It amazes me that people often miss this great aspect of the character.

MASTER: Well? You waste time. I order you to kill him, Azal! 
AZAL: I command. I do not obey. 
MASTER: But I called you here and you came? 
AZAL: I answered your call because the time was come for my awakening. The time has come for the completion of the experiment or its destruction. 
MASTER: Then fulfill your mission by granting the ultimate power to me. Who else is there strong enough to give these humans the leadership they need? 
DOCTOR: I seem to remember somebody else speaking like that. What was the bounder’s name? Hitler. Yes, that’s right, Adolf Hitler. Or was it Genghis Khan? 
MASTER: Azal, I have the will. You yourself said so. 
AZAL: I am still not convinced. 
DOCTOR: I’m very pleased to hear it. 
AZAL: You wish to see this planet destroyed? 
DOCTOR: By no means. You see, I have an alternative. 
AZAL: State it. 
DOCTOR: Leave humanity alone. Just go. You’ve done enough harm. 
AZAL: We gave knowledge to man. 
DOCTOR: You certainly did. Thanks to you man can now blow up the world and he probably will. He can poison the water and the very air he breathes. He’s already started. He can 
AZAL: Enough! Is man such a failure then? Shall I destroy him? 
MASTER: No! A strong leader can force him to learn. 
AZAL: You are right. I have decided. I shall pass on my power. 
MASTER: O mighty Azal, I thank you. 
AZAL: But not to you. To him. 
DOCTOR: No! No, I don’t want it!

MASTER: That’s absolutely fascinating. The whole story is here. 
DOCTOR: Is it? Well, perhaps you’d be kind enough to explain it to me? 
MASTER: Well, this city was once the center of a great civilisation. 
DOCTOR: Yes, I had rather gathered that. 
MASTER: By genetic engineering, they developed a super-race. That priest we saw must be a remnant of it. 
DOCTOR: You deduced all that from these pictures? 
MASTER: Well, not exactly. I knew it already. The files of the Time Lords are very comprehensive. 
DOCTOR: Oh, so that’s more like it. You mean that you stole the information? 
MASTER: Well, it seemed an awful pity not to make use of it, you know? But of course that’s typical of the High Council of the Time Lords. Know everything, do nothing. 
DOCTOR: Tell me, why are you so interested in the history of this planet? 
MASTER: Well, this super-race developed a Doomsday Weapon. it was never used. 
DOCTOR: Why not? Super-weapons usually are eventually. 
MASTER: Who knows? Maybe it was due to a degeneration of the life strain. 
DOCTOR: I see. And so the super race became priests of a lunatic religion worshipping machines instead of gods. 
MASTER: So it would seem. 

DOCTOR: You’re going to use this weapon? 

MASTER: Not unless it’s absolutely necessary. Well, don’t you see, Doctor? The very threat of its use could hold the galaxy to ransom. 
MASTER: Doctor, why don’t you come in with me? We’re both Time Lords, we’re both renegades. We could be masters of the galaxy! Think of it, Doctor, absolute power! Power for good. Why, you could reign benevolently, you could end wars, suffering, disease. We could save the universe. 

JUDGE: Counsel for the defence may now cross examine the witness

THE MASTER: Thank you, your honour.

THE DOCTOR: Of all the infernal… You don’t mean to tell me he’s defending himself?

THE MASTER: Sadly, yes. Sir Roderick met with a most unfortunate accident.

THE DOCTOR: Yes… I’m quite sure that he did.

THE MASTER: Would the court please make note of the witness’s hostile attitude. The Doctor is a very old, and, may I say, a very dear aquaintance, but sometimes a little incautious and hot headed in his choice of language.

THE DOCTOR: I’m not hot headed, you scoundrel. 

THE MASTER: Do make a note of that.

THE DOCTOR: Now see here…

THE MASTER: I really think, Doctor, it may be best if you take a nice deep breath. I say this, speaking as a friend.

THE DOCTOR: I am no friend of yours!

THE MASTER: Indeed? The whole court has heard you give an impassioned speech asking for me to be shown clemency. Who but a friend would do that?

THE DOCTOR: A merciful man.

THE MASTER: A humane one?

THE DOCTOR: Yes.

THE MASTER: But it is these very humane humans of yours that wish to put me to death.

THE DOCTOR: Well… you’ve killed hundreds and tried destroy their planet half a dozen times.

THE MASTER: I dispute that last statement. I really must protest. I have not tried to destroy this planet. I will admit I have, perhaps encouraged regime change on several occasions.

THE DOCTOR: You admit it!

THE MASTER: The human race is not very advanced is it Doctor? They still, for example practise the death penalty.

THE DOCTOR: Yes…

THE MASTER: They regard all alien life as hostile and frequently wipe it out in their encounters with it.

THE DOCTOR: That is regrettable.

THE MASTER: You see, ladies and gentlemen of the court, please don’t take this amiss, but as a species you’re not experienced enough. You are likely to misconstrue the actions of other species simply because you cannot yet comprehend them. You may perceive our actions as a threat when really they are a benevolent attempt to bring you advancement. Would you not agree, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR: I would not!

THE MASTER: So, when you brokered a peace treaty with the Silurians, what was the reaction of the human race?

THE DOCTOR: They, er, well, they blew them up.

THE MASTER: They destroyed an ancient civilisation? Dear me, hardly the action of an advanced species. Is it, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR: No. No, on that I must agree. But humanity is… well… I mean, for a level 2 civilisation, they’re doing remarkably well.

THE MASTER: A level 2 civilisation! Would you care to define a level 2 civilisation?

THE DOCTOR: I’m not really sure I should.

THE MASTER: Come now, Doctor. You introduced it into evidence?

THE DOCTOR: Very well. A level 2 civilisation is one that has discovered elementary space travel, hydrocarbons, antibiotics and the principles of nuclear fission.

THE MASTER: A capital definition. And what do most level 2 civilisations do with the discovery of nuclear fission?

THE DOCTOR: They build power stations.

THE MASTER: But what, would you say, is the principal use made of it by humanity?

THE DOCTOR: Oh, that’s hardly fair. Its how humanity learns, they find a thing and their first use is always.

THE MASTER: Yes Doctor?

THE DOCTOR: In weapons. They make nuclear weapons.

THE MASTER: And how would such a development be viewed by, say, a level 3 civilisation?

THE DOCTOR: As barbaric. But..

THE MASTER: Barbaric! And tell me Doctor. What level is our own race?

THE DOCTOR: Ah, ah, well, a level 12 civilisation.

THE MASTER: So would you say you are more qualified to judge humanity’s actions than they are?

THE DOCTOR: Er…

THE MASTER: I’ll rephrase the question. Are they qualified to judge your actions?

THE DOCTOR: Certainly not.

THE MASTER: So are they qualified to judge me? All right let me put it to you. I stand here accused of being now what is it, ah yes under article 18B of the Emergency Powers Act of being of hostile origin or association, and of committing acts prejudicial to public safety. Doctor I dispute these allegations, and you are going to help me prove them false.

THE DOCTOR: I have absolutely no intention of helping you.

THE MASTER: Since arriving on this planet, would you not agree that I have revolutionised the efficiency of the plastics manufacturing industry?

THE DOCTOR: Yes, but

THE MASTER: Thank you. I’ll admit my methods were aggressive, but oh so human. And have I not also had remarkable results with the elimination of psychopathic tendencies in the criminal mind.

THE DOCTOR: Only by

THE MASTER: I’m afraid its a yes or no question.

THE DOCTOR: Yes, but

THE MASTER: And finally, did I not offer humanity a remarkable solution to its energy crisis?

THE DOCTOR: Fine, yes fine. But in every case

THE MASTER: I know, I know. My good intentions were rebuffed and misconstructed. Surely, however even you can agree with my actions in Devils End.

THE DOCTOR: Not in the slightest.

THE MASTER: Come now. Who better to sit in judgement on a level 2 civilisation than its creator, Azal of the Daemons. We can both see the mess this species is in. You can choose to do nothing. I tried, oh how I tried, and then when that failed, I appealed to Azal, hoping he could shape and reform it. Instead regrettably, he wrote the experiment off. Wasn’t that what happened, Doctor?

THE DOCTOR: Well… yes. If it hadn’t been for Miss Grant. You’re leaving out your actions on Uxarieus, where you tried to take control of.

THE MASTER: Where I attempted peacefully to adjudicate on a dispute between worthy pioneers and a legitimate mining concern. But I’m fairly certain Doctor that events on ther planets are outside the jurisdiction of this court, and should not be brought into play. 

THE DOCTOR: They prove that you want to play God.

THE MASTER: Merely to improve the existence of the common lot, I assure you. I am on this planet for its own good.

THE DOCTOR: If not the good of its population.

THE MASTER: Now, that is unfair, Doctor. I try my best. What more can anyone say? 

Later versions of the Master after Delgado would be portrayed as more vicious however.

I don’t think this was inconsistent. There was always a vicious side to Delgado, such as when he karate chops a man from the top of a tower in Terror of the Autons, and you can see this side slowly emerge towards the end of Delgado’s time too. Its also obvious that despite what he says about bringing order to the universe, he still regards all other life forms as lesser than him, hence why he is happy to sacrifice as many humans as possible in a petty feud with the Doctor.

The later Masters from Pratt to Simm simply represent this twisted side becoming more dominant due to other factors, such as whatever it is that leaves him more emaciated in The Deadly Assassin, and the Time War.

All post Delgado Masters are still always desperate for power over the galaxy, but they’ve dropped the supposedly altruistic reasons that the Delgado incarnation claimed.

Take a look at these quotes from all of the later Masters from the emaciated incarnation to Simm.

MASTER: Rassilon’s discovery, all mine. I shall have supreme power over the universe. 

MASTER: A turbulent time, Doctor, in Earth’s history. 
DOCTOR: Not one of its most tranquil, I agree. 
MASTER: A critical period. 
DOCTOR: You could say that. 
MASTER: Oh, I do. The beginning of a new era. 
PERI: Doctor, do you get his drift? 
DOCTOR: I’m afraid I do, Peri. 
PERI: He wants to pervert history. 
DOCTOR: Not that the Prince of Darkness here would see it as perversion. 
MASTER: Maudlin claptrap. The talents of these geniuses should be harnessed to a superior vision. With their help, I could turn this insignificant planet into a power base unique in the universe.
DOCTOR: And where will you take your toy next? 
MASTER: Does it matter? You’ll not be there to greet me. 
DOCTOR: I may not need to. You forget, Kamelion does have a mind of his own. 
MASTER: He obeys only my will. 
DOCTOR: Yes, but for how much longer? 
MASTER: For as long as I command it. Kamelion will not turn on me. 
DOCTOR: No? 
(The Doctor tries to change Kamelion, and fails. The Master laughs.) 
MASTER: You’re getting old, Doctor. Your will is weak. It’s time you regenerated. 
DOCTOR: You won’t win, not ultimately. 
MASTER: You’re mistaken. With Kamelion’s unique ability at my command, it’s only a matter of time before I undermine the key civilisations of the universe. Chaos will reign, and I shall be its emperor. 
DOCTOR: Earth is a primitive planet. You won’t succeed so easily elsewhere. 
MASTER: Where I cannot win by stealth, I shall destroy. That way I cannot fail to win. 

MASTER: Tomorrow, they launch. We’re opening up a rift in the Braccatolian space. They won’t see us coming. It kind of scary. 
DOCTOR: Then stop. 
MASTER: Once the Empire is established, and there’s a new Gallifrey in the heavens, maybe then it stops.

MASTER: My masterpiece, Doctor. A living Tardis, strong enough to hold the paradox in place, allowing the past and the future to collide in infinite majesty. 
DOCTOR: But you’re changing history. Not just Earth, the entire universe. 
MASTER: I’m a Time Lord. I have that right. 

Really it isn’t until Missy that the Masters desire for power is completely dropped with Missy giving up the chance for ultimate power (an indestructable army of Cybermen) outright saying that she doesn’t need an army. “Armies are for people that think they’re right dear”. That’s the opposite of Delgado actually being able to make Pertwee doubt that he is in the right!

I would have returned to the Master thinking that his evil is for a greater good in Capaldi’s time which would make more sense after Simm’s incarnation.

When we last saw the Master he came to realise just how evil he had become when he faced down Rassilon who had implanted the drums in his head (which in Davies time at least contributed to his madness.)

Now it can be debated as to whether or not the Master wanted to help the Doctor or just get revenge on Rassilon, but at the very least it cannot be denied that the villain for the first time demonstrated some self awareness here.

Look at what he says “You did this to me. All of my life. YOU MADE ME!” So clearly even he regrets what a monster he has become, and wishes that his entire life would have gone differently.

It would have been interesting if they continued this in the next Masters characterisation.

The next Master having realised how far he had fallen would have been desperate to redeem himself. Sadly however as we have seen, being a good guy in the Masters mind would be trying to bring order to the universe.

The Masters relationship with the Doctor would also change as a result too. The Master would now view the Doctor as an obstacle he had to get rid of, but didn’t care as much about as he felt he had wasted too much time in his previous lives feuding with him.

The Doctor ironically would be more desperate than ever to destroy the Master meanwhile.

To start with this would make most sense for 12. As we have been over, just before the end of 11 the Doctor was nearing a stage where he wanted to finally be rid of his oldest enemies.

I can imagine 12 would be the most devastated of all to find out that the Master had survived and was still out there after having been rid of him for over 1100 years!

Also as the rest of the Time Lords are now back he would feel no desire to help the Master anymore.

Finally as the Doctor had last seen the Master seemingly give up his life to stop Rassilon then he would be even more disgusted with the Master for reverting back to being the villain.

He’d have the attitude of “Okay you had your chance to change. You saw just how far you’d fallen, I’d shown you ridiculous mercy that you didn’t deserve as David Tennant, and even then you’re still an asshole. Enough’s enough“.

People always go on about how the Doctor would never kill the Master because he loves him, but that is bullshit.

Thing is in Classic Who the Doctor was almost always willing to kill the Master. There were a few instances where the Doctor didn’t want to kill the Master because he was unarmed, simply because he never kills enemies when they are unarmed.

The same was true of Davros in Resurrection, but it doesn’t mean he had any affection for him.

I feel that so many fans (including Steven Moffat) often get the Doctor and the Master’s relationship completely wrong.

Steven Moffat goes as far as to say that Delgado and Pertwee NEVER played it as enemies, and that they were always friends.

He seems to have been watching a different show to me?

DOCTOR: I still don’t see why you want to help them. What can you possibly gain? 
MASTER: The pleasure of seeing the human race exterminated, Doctor. The human race of which you are so fond. Believe me, that’ll be a reward in itself. 

JO: But I don’t see why you’re so upset. If you give him (the Master) back the circuit and he hands over the missile 
DOCTOR: You just don’t understand, do you, Jo? Once he gets that circuit back he’s free to roam through time and space. We’d never catch him. 
JO: Then you’ll just have to give in. The Master’s got the missile and all we’ve got is this wretched machine. 
DOCTOR: Jo, will you stop stating the obvious. What did you say? 
JO: I said all we’ve got is this machine. 
DOCTOR: Well, that’s it. That’s the answer. We’ve got the machine and we’ve got our friend, Barnham. 
JO: I don’t understand. 
DOCTOR: With a little help from you, old chap, we can destroy this machine and the Master at the same time.

MASTER: (After the Doctor attempted to trap him in a place that was about to blow up) Ah Doctor I was afraid you’d be worried about me, so I thought I’d let you know that I’m alive and well.

DOCTOR: I’m extremely sorry to hear that!

DOCTOR: Well, I didn’t actually see him fall, you know. I was quite busy. 
ENGIN: Oh, but if by some miracle he survived the fall into that chasm, he was dying anyway. 
DOCTOR: There was a good deal of power coming out of that monolith, and the Sash would have helped him to convert it. 
SPANDRELL: Are you suggesting he survived? 
DOCTOR: No, no, I hope not, Spandrell. And there’s no one else in all the galaxies I’d say that about. The quintessence of evil.

I’m not saying that the Doctor and the Master were never friends. They had once been friends, but now they were the bitterest of enemies as their ideologies had driven them apart.

Colony in Space really marks the final end of their friendship. Here it becomes obvious that the two will never be on the same wavelength as one seeks total control, whilst the other simply wants to explore.

From then on the Master sees the Doctor as a threat and wants rid of him, but the more the Doctor foils him, and the more his killing genuinely is for nothing, the further the Master is pushed down a dark path until he becomes a total monster consumed with hatred for the Doctor.

They were never friends who wanted to reconnect. The closest they came to that was in New Who with Tennant. Even then however this can be attributed to the fact that the Doctor simply wants to save the only other existing Time Lord. (I might add as well that Simm NEVER wanted to reconnect with Tennant. He always wanted to torture and kill him. He actually died just to spite him!)

So I definitely don’t think that its ever a good idea to make the Doctor and the Master still want to be friends as it ends up undermining both characters. The Master is undermined as before as seen in stories like The Mind of Evil the Doctor wanted to kill him, but he escaped. A big problem with any recurring villain is that they have to lose, but in the Masters case I don’t think that applies quite as much.

Yes the Master fails in his plan to take over the earth, but at the same time the Doctor is never able to finish him off either despite wanting to most of the time.

Furthermore the Doctor isn’t even ever able to imprison him or stop him from causing more death and destruction. So neither really wins completely.

That of course is all thrown out the window when the Doctor never wants to kill the Master. Now the Master only survives because the Doctor goes easy on him and this in turn greatly undermines the Doctor as a hero as he wants to be friends with someone that has killed trillions of innocent people.

CLARA: Doctor. You sent Missy your confession dial.
DOCTOR: Well, we’ve known each other a long time. She’s one of my own people.
CLARA: My point is, we both saw her die on Earth, ages ago. And obviously you knew that wasn’t real. Or worse, hoped it wasn’t. Either way, I think you’ve been lying.
DOCTOR: I’m sorry.

How can anybody not view that as a come down for the Doctor and the Master from The Mind of Evil where the Doctor wanted to kill the Master to stop him from hurting anyone else, and the Master not only survived his attempt on his life, but phoned him up to rub it in!

The explanation they gave as to why the Doctor went out of his way to help Missy was the Doctor felt she was the only person who was like him.

DOCTOR: I pick a scenario, we drop her down into it, and we see how she does. 
BILL: How does that work? 
DOCTOR: Ah. We just take the Tardis for a spin and we graze for distress calls. We pick a good one. Our usual Saturday. 
(Bill drops the potatoes into the deep fat fryer pan.) 
BILL: And what if she just walks out and slaughters everyone just for a laugh? 
DOCTOR: Well, I will be monitoring you the whole time. 
BILL: Me? 
DOCTOR: Yes. You and Nardole. You can be her companions. See? 
BILL: Ah, nah! Forget it. Absolutely no way. 
DOCTOR: Nardole agreed. 
NARDOLE: No, I didn’t. 
DOCTOR: You did in my head, which is good enough for me. 
BILL: Why do you want to do this? 
DOCTOR: She’s my friend. She’s my oldest friend in the universe. 
BILL: Well, you’ve got lots of friends. Better ones. What’s so special about her? 
DOCTOR: She’s different. 
BILL: Different how? 
DOCTOR: I don’t know. 
BILL: Yes, you do. 
DOCTOR: She’s the only person that I’ve ever met who’s even remotely like me. 
BILL: So more than anything you want her to be good? 

But that’s shit. Hey Doctor what about this woman?

I don’t know she was a friend who was like you Doctor? And she wasn’t a sadistic, mass murdering genocidal psychopath either!

I’m not saying you can never explore the friendship aspect of the Doctor and the Masters relationship, but I think it needs to be from a, its sad that they were once so close angle.

Like Lex Luthor and Clark Kent in Smallville. They start out like brothers, but once Lex crosses a certain line and you know, starts killing people, and harming his friends like Chloe, and Lana, then that’s that!

Ironically this line from Death in Heaven I think sums up the two’s relationship really well.

I had a friend once. We ran together when I was little. And I thought we were the same. But when we grew up, we weren’t. Now, she’s trying to tear the world apart, and I can’t run fast enough to hold it together.”

That’s really the angle they should have gone down. Its okay to give the Doctor feelings of regret for how the Master turned out, but I don’t think that you should ever have the Doctor want to reconnect with the villain.

I think it would have been great if the Master had actually underestimated the Doctor. Thinking he had gone soft after 10 showed such mercy to him, and then being quite shocked when after he did something horrible, 12 shoved him up against a wall, choked him and said that he would never put him before humanity.

Another aspect of the Masters character that I think should always be portrayed is his manipulative streak.

That’s another part of what makes him so fascinating is the way he is able to twist the minds of those around him. Whilst the Master would often play on people’s greed such as Goth and Kassia, he was also capable of tricking decent people too and turning them into monsters. Hell there were times where he was even able to make the Doctor help him unknowingly he was so crafty.

TRENCHARD: You’ve attacked a government employee, and tried to harm a prisoner under my care and protection. 
DOCTOR: I’ve done no such thing. The Master knocked that guard out himself, as you very well know. 
TRENCHARD: And as for this UNIT pass of yours, I believe it’s a forgery. 
(Trenchard rips up the UNIT 10 pass.) 
DOCTOR: That’s absolute rubbish. Anybody at UNIT headquarters will vouch for me, if you’ll permit me to use the telephone. 
TRENCHARD: Prisoners are not allowed to make telephone calls. 
DOCTOR: Colonel Trenchard, why are you allowing the Master to use you like this? 
TRENCHARD: All right, take him away. 
DOCTOR: Look, you’re jeopardising your entire career. 
TRENCHARD: I have nothing further to say to you. The interview is over. 
DOCTOR: Didn’t anybody else warn you about the Master?

TRENCHARD: I can’t keep it up, you know. The lies I’ve told. How long before that device of yours is ready? 
MASTER: Oh, just a few hours now. 
TRENCHARD: What is exactly is it? 
MASTER: It’s a perfect replica of the communications device used by the enemy agents. We are going to use it to lure them into a trap. 
TRENCHARD: I only hope it works. If it doesn’t, I’m for it, you know? 
MASTER: Oh, it’ll work. Don’t you worry about that. Just think of it, Trenchard. You will be responsible for exposing some of the most dangerous saboteurs this country has ever known. I think you’ll find that a grateful government will give you anything that you ask for. 
TRENCHARD: Oh, don’t want any reward, of course. Just doing my duty. 
MASTER: Yes, of course. I’d better get back to my quarters. 

HART: Doctor! 
(He has spotted Trenchard’s body.) 
HART: I don’t understand why. 
DOCTOR: The Master had no further use for him, that’s why. 
HART: But why did he help the Master in the first place? 
DOCTOR: What would you say was Trenchard’s strongest characteristic? 
HART: Oh, I don’t know. Patriotism, I suppose. 
DOCTOR: Exactly. And the Master used that patriotism as a weapon.

MASTER: You there. You were in the lane smashing machinery. 
JACK: Right, never mind the machinery, what’s thou doing here? 
GREEN: That’s easy. He’s one of brainy ones arrived early for this meeting. 
JACK: Aye, come to rob us of our jobs. 
MASTER: Hold hard. I intend you no harm. 
RUDGE: Talks funny, don’t he? Hold hard? This hard enough? 
(He threatens the Master with a large stone.) 
MASTER: Imbeciles. Are you incapable of using your brains? What advantage do you think that’d bring you? You let the man you should have destroyed go free. 
JACK: I did? What’s tha on about? 
MASTER: In the lane. He pretended to help you. Help? He’s a friend of Stephenson’s, an inventor. He’s here to mechanise the mine. 
GREEN: Does tha know what he’s getting at, Jack? 
JACK: Aye, he’s just trying to save his own skin. 
MASTER: Ask him. Ask him why he’s trying to take the bread out of your mouths. 
LAD: We’ll do more than that! Where is he, dost tha know? 
MASTER: He’s gone into the pit. 
(The young man rushes the barred gate.) 
MASTER: Let me. You can’t mistake him, he’s mean looking. 
(The Master uses a sonic lance to burn the iron bar on the inside of the gate.) 
MASTER: Wears yellow trousers and a vulgarly coloured coat. But go carefully, he’s treacherous. 
(The men run into the pit. The Master stays outside.)

LUCY: How should I know? 
VIVIEN: But I’ve got plenty of research on you. Yes, good family, Roedean, not especially bright but essentially harmless. And that’s why I’m asking you, Lucy. I am begging you. If you have seen anything, heard anything, even the slightest thing that would give you cause to doubt him? 
LUCY: I think 
VIVIEN: Yes? 
LUCY: There was a time when we first met, I wondered. But he was so good to my father, and he said. 
VIVIEN: What? Just tell me, sweetheart. 
LUCY: The thing is, I made my choice. 
VIVIEN: I’m sorry? 
LUCY: For better or for worse. Isn’t that right, Harry? 
MASTER: My faithful companion. 

GALLEIA: You’re a man who knows what he wants, Lord Master. 
MASTER: And takes it. 
GALLEIA: You want the crystal? 
MASTER: I am going to possess it. 
GALLEIA: Not without my consent. 
MASTER: Of course not. But I am confident that you will give it. 
GALLEIA: Why should I help you? 
MASTER: For the sake of Atlantis, Lady. Would you not see her restored to her former glory? Rich, powerful, magnificent among the nations of the world? Who would not be ruler of such a country? 
GALLEIA: Nothing must happen to Dalios. 
MASTER: Why should it? He will rule for many years, the beloved sovereign of a beloved prosperous people. 
GALLEIA: But surely you would want to 
MASTER: Well, purely because of Lord Dalios’ great age, it might be well if he were relieved of some of the more onerous duties of kingship. But the reins of power, Lady Queen, should be in stronger hands. Hands such as yours. 
GALLEIA: And yours? 
MASTER: It would be a pleasure to serve you. And then, when the end comes for Dalios, as it must come for all men, then perhaps? 
GALLEIA: The crystal shall be yours.

DOCTOR: Then satisfy my curiosity now. Are they indeed alive, or are they dead like King Dalios? 
GALLEIA: The King is unharmed. 
DOCTOR: The King is dead, Madame. 
JO: It’s true. We were there when he died this morning. 
GALLEIA: You were there? You saw him? Is this true? Is this true? Is the lord Dalios, your King, no longer alive? Answer me. 
MASTER: He died this morning. He was an old man. 
DOCTOR: And you were responsible for his death! 
GUARD: Quiet! 
GALLEIA: You promised                                                                                                        MASTER: I promised you power, and you shall have it. Power to realise your most ambitious dreams!
GALLEIA: You promised he should not be harmed!
MASTER: He was an old man. And he was stubborn!

THE DOCTOR: You intend to escape.

THE MASTER: Oh why bother? Someone will come for me. After the last war, both the Russians and the Americans snapped up Hitlers rocket designers. You have made me famous. I owe you a great debt, Doctor. The finest criminal mind on the planet. Didn’t your friend the Brigadier have trouble avoiding my extradition to… well, lets start with Geneva, New York, Moscow. Correct?

THE DOCTOR: Yes.

THE MASTER: In fact, that’s why this fine example of British justice is being beamed into the offices of every state leader around the world. Isn’t it?

THE DOCTOR: You’ve certainly brought a lot of attention to yourself. You always were a conceited show-off.

THE MASTER: Thank you, Doctor. Tell me — when you find a piece of alien weaponry lying about, what do you do with it? Do you hand it over to the Brigadier?

THE DOCTOR: Certainly not. I deactivated those fusion mines you left for me. They could have blown up an entire country.

THE MASTER: Indeed. An amusing little toy. I can rig up something similar in a trice. I really must thank you for proving my point so neatly, Doctor. You really should have arranged for my deactivation when you had the chance. You’ve just reminded everyone watching that I am the most valuable weapon in the world. And I very much look forward to doing business with all of you.No further questions.

THE DOCTOR: Now see here!

THE MASTER: No further questions! 

Personally I’m not keen on the Master just being a shouting, screaming lunatic. He’s at his best when he is turning people against the Doctor or sitting like a spider on someone’s shoulder spitting poison in their ear.

Finally as for who I would have liked to see play the Master in the Capaldi era, well as I have said before, Robert Carlyle I think would have been the best choice opposite Peter Capaldi.

Carlyle is a similar type of actor to Peter. Both are older, Scottish, known for playing angry, violent, often villainous characters and so you could continue the idea of the Master being like a dark twin of the Doctor that they had explored in Tennant’s time with Simm.

Also Carlyle I can see perfectly capturing the villains sneaky, manipulative, yet affably evil side as seen in this clip here.

You can see shades of the Classic era Master there. The magnificent bastard that’s able to dupe everyone around him, even the main hero and always manages to get scott free away with all the heinous things he has done.

At the same time however Carlyle is also brilliant at playing psychopaths too. Most of his career has been spent playing crazy bastards!

Carlyle thus I think could every now and again show us how the twisted crazy side of the villain as seen with the Simm Master and Ainley Master wasn’t completely away. Deep down despite the new more charming facade he was still a hateful, vicious sociopath.

Its sad that Peter Capaldi ironically despite being in more stories with the Master than any other Doctor never actually got a chance to face the Master. A sneaky manipulative, power mad villain who could turn anybody (including even the Doctors companions loved ones) against him.

The closest Capaldi got to a proper Master confrontation where his few moments with John Simm at the start of The Doctor Falls. If you ignore Missy or pretend she’s just the latest person he’s duped like Galia, then that’s actually a brilliant Master/Doctor confrontation when the two are on the rooftop.

Simm’s Master is completely in character with the others. There’s his petty hatred of the Doctor (to the point where he spent 10 years with Bill just to fuck her over to hurt the Doctor.) His insane lust for power over the Mondasians, and even his love of disguises.

Also Capaldi gets a chance to be more heroic as he is genuinely enraged at the Master after he’s hurt his friend and not you know snogging him! Sadly however Simm and Capaldi didn’t get enough scenes together, and Missy also weighed the episode down.

Not because of Michelle Gomez whose performance in The Doctor Falls was fine (though it still was NOT the Master in any way shape or form), but the idea of the Master wanting to shag himself turned it into a total comedy.

Still at least this episode gave us a glimpse of what a proper Capaldi/Master confrontation could have been like.

6/ The Daleks

My favourite villains. The Daleks have been used less frequently in the Capaldi era than in those of previous New Who Doctors like Matt Smith and David Tennant.

Now I do understand why Moffat did this. A lot of fans were complaining that the Daleks had been horribly overused in New Who and were actually glad that they were given a rest.

Now this is just personal taste I freely admit. Its not like the Master where I feel objectively they made a mistake, as they threw out his entire characterisation and only cast a woman for PC posturing.

Still I do think that the Daleks actually should have been the main villains of Capaldi’s time. Not only did they play off of him arguably better than any other villain, but there was also a lot of scope for interesting stories with the monsters in his time due to the search for Gallifrey story arc (well that is if they had gone down that route.)

First of all I think they should have tried to give the monsters a story arc in the Capaldi era. In my opinion its always better when the monsters have a story arc, as that justifies them returning in the eyes of the viewer.

Take a look at the Davies era. People wanted to see the Daleks show up every year, because each Dalek story would end with a tease for the next one, where one or more of the monsters had clearly escaped; leaving viewers eager to find out what happened to it.

Similarly from 1975 on there was the Davros story arc too which sometimes ended with a tease for the next story, such as Davros being frozen at the end of Destiny of the Daleks.

To me the Daleks are at their worst when they are just brought back for the sake of it. You can see this in the Matt Smith and Jon Pertwee era’s. Now I am not saying I dislike the Dalek stories from those eras. Day of the Daleks in particular is a classic, but still you can tell how the Daleks are kind of aimless in 3 and 11’s time.

Its not like the 60’s where there was no story arc, but the monsters were so fresh it didn’t matter. In the 60’s ideas that are cliches and staples of Doctor Who nowadays like the monsters invading earth, or travelling in time were exciting new ideas.

In later era’s I feel that its better to develop a story arc with them, or else it does just feel like “hey lets have the Daleks again”. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good story with them like Asylum or Day, but a story arc gives them more of a purpose.

Now in 12’s time there was a potential for 3 great story arcs with the Daleks. I would have liked to have seen more with the Daleks war with the alliance of planets in the future as seen in Into the Dalek, the Daleks trying to stop the Doctor from finding Gallifrey, and finally Rusty the Dalek who hates other Daleks.

All 3 of these story arcs could have been woven together in quite an interesting way. You could have had the horrors the Doctor witnesses with the Alliance’s war against the Daleks perhaps convince him that the Time Lords should return to destroy the Daleks, with Rusty being the Doctor and humanity’s ally in the war against the Daleks too.

Incredibly enough we have never actually had a story that focuses solely on a war with the Daleks, apart from Into the Dalek (even then the focus was really on can you have a good Dalek or not?).

Most Dalek stories involve the Doctor trying to stop the Daleks from waging a war like Frontier in Space, or Planet of the Daleks, or they will deal with the after effects of a full scale war like in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, and Day of the Daleks where humanity has already been conquered, or they’ll be little low key events set on some remote location like Death to the Daleks, The Chase, Asylum of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks or Dalek.

Sure we’ll see plenty of invasions like The Parting of the Ways, Doomsday and Journey’s End, but even then I wouldn’t really call those Dalek wars. The humans (and the Cybermen) have absolutely no chance against them. Its really just a massacre.

I suppose the closest we see to this is in the 50th anniversary story, which revolved around the Time War. Even then however the Daleks are barely in the story.

Really I’d like to see an adventure that’s set in the middle of a huge conflict with the Daleks that has been going on for years, maybe even centuries, and that has seemingly no end in sight.

Personally I think this would have been an interesting avenue to explore as we could see things that have only ever really been talked about before. Like how the Daleks are so destructive other races will often be forced to go to such drastic measures to bring them down, like the Time Lords who ended up becoming monsters during the Time War.

Also a story arc around a Dalek war could get round another one of the monsters problems that they always have to lose.

You could have one story where humanity loses many planets to the Daleks in the war, with even the Doctor failing to stop them. At the end things would look bleak, but humanity would still have a fighting chance against the monsters which could be continued in the next story.

You could even have the Doctor and humanity lose in several stories in a row, before finally pushing the Daleks back, and even then they wouldn’t wipe the Daleks out, just drive them back from completely destroying humanity, and there would still be hundreds of planets under their rule with there being nothing that could be done to help those worlds.

You’d play up what’s really scary about the Daleks that they are a swarm across the universe. You can stop them taking over one planet, but all you’ve done is set them back a bit. There are still hundreds, thousands of planets across the universe that are suffering under their rule.

Planets who have with rich histories, advanced cultures, who could have gone on to do great things, who’ve now been extinguished forever and the Doctor will never know anything of them, never mind be able to save them.

Also a story line about a war with the Daleks could allow you to explore all of the main 4 interpretations of the Daleks.

As I have written about extensively before, there have really been 4 writers who have created their own interpretation of the Daleks, Terry Nation, David Whitaker, Steven Moffat and Russell T Davies.

Terry Nation tended to use the monsters as metaphors for the very worst of humanity. His main inspiration was primarily the Nazis but as I have pointed out in the past you can draw disturbing parallels between the Daleks actions in Nation’s stories and those of other real life monsters like General Chivington.

At the same time however somewhat paradoxically, Nation also made the monsters more genuinely alien than anyone else. His Daleks had no human qualities whatsoever. They didn’t understand what pity was, they were unable to comprehend basic human concepts and ideas like compassion, or love. They were not only totally alien, but completely malevolent as well.

David Whitaker meanwhile made the monsters more manipulative. In contrast to Nation’s Daleks who couldn’t understand any human emotions, Whitaker’s Daleks knew human beings inside out and were able to play on their every strength and weakness to their own advantage.

Russell T Davies meanwhile made the Daleks far more badass than ever before. His Daleks were practically gods. They had fought in a war with the Time Lords beyond our comprehension, and they were a thing absolutely everyone was terrified of returning as they knew no one could ever hope to stand against them.

Davies’ Daleks also were responsible for the greatest tragedies in the Doctors life too. From the loss of his people, to the loss of Ross and Donna, to the 9th Doctors death, the Daleks are behind them all. RTD loved the Daleks and so during his time no enemy could match them in terms of power, hurting the Doctor, and being the enemy that the Doctor hated. It was a golden age for the monsters.

Finally Moffat I feel added a somewhat more sadistic element to the Daleks. Its true that the Daleks were always hateful little monsters, but in the Moffat era they seemed to go out of their way to torture their victims, and the fates they inflicted on them were often far worse than ever before.

Like take a look at Tasha Lem. Its established that they could have just drained all of the knowledge they needed out of her mind no problem, but instead they decided to torture her to death, and then revive her, and then torture her to death again for possibly for centuries!

The Dalek puppets though quite cartoony on the surface are actually among the most horrific ideas ever introduced into Doctor Who. They are people who have been gutted out and then turned into the living dead, doomed to serve the Daleks forever.

What’s worse however is that the Daleks can bring the puppets back to life again, and wipe their memory of being killed, before killing them again! We see this with the red haired woman used to lure 11 into a trap in Asylum, who actually thinks the Doctor can help her daughter, who has probably been dead for years, maybe even centuries. Even more disturbing however is that the Dalek Puppets memories of their previous death is restored just before they die again too.

Also finally Moffat would often have the Daleks win against the Doctor too.

Although its not intentional this 2013 recreation of a classic scene from the Hartnell era, actually represents the 4 different takes on the Daleks there have been over the years. The first Dalek is from Evil of the Daleks a David Whitaker story, the grey Daleks were featured in many Nation stories like Genesis, Planet and Destiny of the Daleks. The bronze Daleks were obviously the main model introduced in RTD’s time, and finally the Yellow Eternal Dalek was part of the new Dalek paradigm introduced in the Moffat era.

Now in the war of the Daleks story arc I feel you could incorporate all of these brilliant interpretations of the Daleks.

To start with you could draw parallels between the war with the Daleks and other wars in human history like Nation used to do. I think it would be interesting if you showed other alien races that normally despised humanity actually become humanity’s allies  because they realised that the Daleks were worse.

Throughout history we have seen many warring nations and people be brought together for this very reason.

In World War 2 the USA and Russia, two great powers who would spend the next 50 years in conflict with each other, still came together because they realised that the Nazis were a greater threat. The Nazis planned to take over the entire world and to exterminate entire sections of humanity. If you were gay, Jewish, disabled etc. You couldn’t just live under the Nazis as a slave or a second class citizen. You’d be killed right away.

Similarly in the middle east right now we have seen various groups who normally dislike one another band together to stop ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

Christians, secular Muslims, even homosexual men have willingly fought for President Assad against ISIS despite the fact that he has outlawed homosexuality (and is in his own right a brutal dictator.) At the very least homosexuals, Christians and secular Muslims can actually live under Assad, where as ISIS and the other Islamic extremists would butcher them all.

We Don’t Have Rights But We Are Alive

I would play up a similar dilemma with the Daleks. You’d have humanity be forced to work with many old enemies, ruthless, pitiless conquerors, genuinely evil monstrous aliens who would normally be the villain in any other Doctor Who story.

I think this story arc would continue the way that Nation often used the Daleks and the struggle against them as real life metaphors for people’s battles against fascism and hatred,

The first Dalek story represents why you should never try and appease people like the Daleks who hate you simply for who you are.

The second Dalek story The Dalek Invasion of Earth represents how people react when being forced to live under fascism, with some simply giving up and only looking out for themselves, others using it to their advantage, others collaborating with the fascists, and others simply do not give up and keep on fighting regardless of how much the odds are against them.

This story arc meanwhile would represent the drastic measures people have to go to to stop an evil like the Nazis and ISIS. Its not always just a simple case of black and white even when dealing with the likes of the Nazis. We had to ally with Joseph Stalin, one of the most evil men in history to bring down Hitler.

The story arc would also represent why an evil like ISIS or the Nazis or the Daleks that seeks to exterminate everyone that doesn’t fit in with their idea of the master race will always fail, because it will bring everyone together against it.

Finally this would also tie into part of why the 4th Doctor spared the Daleks in Genesis. He says that many races will become allies due to their mutual hatred of the Daleks, and even says that out of the Daleks evil will come something good.

You could finally show that here. Many races including humanity, who may have been on the verge of wiping each other out will now work together to try and maintain the peaceful collaboration that ironically the Daleks had created the foundations for.

I’d love to see a scene when the Daleks were finally pushed out of the Milky Way Galaxy and all the different races celebrated. It would be like the recent victory over Aleppo or VE day. Even though none of the problems the allies had before would have gone away, and things would be far from fine, they still couldn’t contain their joy at the absolute worst enemy any of them had ever faced finally being destroyed.

Whilst the evil of the Daleks would be used as a metaphor for the evil of humanity, at the same time however just as Nation did, I’d have liked to have actually seen them act in a  totally alien way.

I think a problem with the Daleks in New Who is that they are far too human. We’ve had Daleks become religious fanatics, Daleks with names and a sense of humour, crazy Daleks, Daleks with a parliament and a concept of beauty and many good guy Daleks too.

It would have been nice if I think the Daleks went back to being more alien like Nation had envisioned them. You could highlight that in their dealings with their human enemies by showing how humanity are unable to understand the Daleks, predict what their next move is, and also how the Daleks are unlike anything they have ever faced before.

I also feel that the war story arc could give you scope to show a more manipulative side to the Daleks too just like in the David Whitaker era.

You could do a story where the Daleks are able to cut a deal with one of humanity’s allies, a truly ruthless race who were always the most reluctant and who would think that they could play the Daleks and the humans against one another and emerge in the aftermath, only for the Daleks to play them and split the alliance into pieces.

I also think it would be interesting to do a story where when humanity was on the verge of defeat, the Daleks use them to lay a trap for the Doctor (who they would be even more determined to destroy because he was the only hope for the Time Lords.)

The Daleks and the desperate humans deal would be that the Daleks would spare certain colonies if the humans called on the Doctor (who would be working with the humans regularly to the point where he had given them something to summon him like he did with UNIT.)

The humans would then be desperate to do the Daleks dirty work for them, and the Doctor would have to fight both humans and Daleks working together to escape.

Having the Daleks manipulate the humans I don’t think would contradict making them alien. It could actually add to the fear factor as here the Daleks though completely different would know everything about us, whilst we knew nothing about them.

At the same time the you could also have Russell T Davies style Dalek moments as well that showed how unstoppable the Daleks were. One story could end with the Doctor and humanity failing to save one of the alien races they had allied with. These aliens home world would be closer to the Daleks area of space and therefore harder to defend. The Doctor and humanity however would make one last ditch effort to help them, only to fail miserably.

The story would end with the Daleks invading and completely and utterly destroying the aliens home world. We’d see hordes of them as we regularly did in the Davies era flying through the air, killing everything in sight.

Those were always the best moments in the Davies era Dalek stories like in The Parting of the Ways and Doomsday. We’d see the Daleks slowly march their way towards their enemies who would throw absolutely everything they had at them only for it not to make the slightest bit of difference. They literally wouldn’t even kill one Dalek. At most they’d slow them down a bit.

When the Daleks attacked the aliens homeworld you’d definitely try and emulate scenes like these, and have all of the aliens weaponry not even make a dent in one Dalek as the monsters mowed down everything in sight.

The end of the story would see humanity and the rest of her allies mourn an entire race that had been wiped out in a day by the Daleks, which would really highlight how they are the most dangerous monsters in the entire universe as only they could destroy and entire planet, history, culture and race in an instant.

Finally you could also have the Daleks be more sadistic like in Moffat’s stories. I always thought it would have been a great idea to do a story about the Dalek camps.

You could have the Doctor be forced to go on a rescue mission deep into the heart of the camps (with Rusty helping them get in there.)

You would see thousands of different aliens locked up, suffering unimaginable torment. Just like they did with Tasha Lem, the Daleks would torture their victims to death and then revive them, over and over.

Some victims you could reveal had been in the camps for centuries with the Daleks still keeping them alive, torturing them to the point where they had forgotten who they were!

I’d also use this story to introduce Dalek X. Dalek X is a character from spin off material. He is a Dalek that enjoys torturing his victims and is feared, even by Dalek bounty hunters throughout the galaxy. The worst nightmare of people who slaughter Daleks for a living is to end up in Dalek X’s torture chambers.

I’d love to have seen a scene where 12 is captured and tortured by Dalek X. Capaldi really captured the Doctors rage and hatred against the Daleks as well as Christopher Eccelston in my opinion, so it would have been great if he had got a really dramatic showdown with them.

I’d also reveal that a Dalek death ray stimulates every single pain receptor in its victims bodies to the maximum amount of pain they can feel. Thus being shot by a Dalek would literally be the most painful way to die!

I think its vital to have the Daleks do more than just kill their victims. One of the reasons I don’t think the Daleks seem scary is because all they do is just shoot you.

Look at the Cybermen in comparison. They’ve always been scarier because they capture you and slowly rip your flesh away until its all replaced by metallic components, turning you into an emotionless machine monster.

Steven Moffat regardless of whatever else you may say about his Dalek stories understood that and came up with more grissly things for the Daleks to do to their victims, like the Dalek puppets and their ability to bring people they had killed back from the dead.

Imagine being cornered by a Steven Moffat era Dalek. Its a far more terrifying prospect than being cornered by an RTD one.

Yes the RTD one is an utterly unstoppable badass, but all it will do to you is shoot you and then that’s it. With a Moff Dalek however it will keep you alive possibly for centuries in a state of agony. You can’t even kill yourself to escape it, as it will still find a way to bring you back like they did with Tasha Lem.

I’d definitely continue this aspect of the Moff era and the introduction of Dalek X would be a great way of doing that.

Of course at the same time it would be important to show the Daleks killing as many people as possible. Whilst Moff had them do nastier things to their victims, its true that the monsters seemed less formidable as they only kill two people on screen in the entire 11th Doctors era.

You’d blend everything that had worked about previous writers portrayals together.

As for who could voice the Daleks well. I’d keep Nicholas Briggs on. I’m a big fan of Nicholas Briggs overall, and I think he does a brilliant job as the Daleks, but at the same time I would like there to be a bit more variety among the voices.

Gary Martin is an actor who I think would be a great choice for voicing the Daleks. Martin is one of the United Kingdoms most prolific voice artists. Among his most high profile roles include as the evil Dragon and main villain of the classic British animated series The Dreamstone, and Epideme the evil virus from Red Dwarf.

I’d love to see Martin come up with a suitably scary voice for Dalek X.

There’s only so much one actor can do. In the Classic era, there were only three stories, (Power of the Daleks, Frontier in Space, and Death to the Daleks) where the monsters voices were supplied by just one actor.

Finally I would liked to have seen Davros return to 12’s era, but in a way that actually followed on from his last appearance in Journey’s End.

Now I didn’t mind 12 and Davros’ interactions with each other. There were some interesting moments, but I didn’t like that story very much. At the time I enjoyed it sure, but on re-watch I didn’t like the fact that Davros returning wasn’t actually that big a deal.

The last time we saw Davros he had almost wiped out every universe. His return should have been a real “oh shit” moment for the Doctor and for the Daleks too.

I always looked at it this way. The new Daleks in Victory that slaughter the last of the Davros Daleks from Journey’s End are actually more primitive.

The last of the Davros or Ironside Daleks defer to them sure, but still the Paradigm Daleks are actually from an earlier point in the Daleks history before the Time War.

Thus they don’t have the technology that the RTD era Daleks had. This explains why the Daleks haven’t conquered the entire universe during Matt Smith’s time.

They are a full empire now so if they were as strong as the Davies era Daleks, then they would have presumably built another reality bomb and destroyed all of creation.

Clearly they aren’t because they are more primitive. This can also explain why 11 was able to wipe them out so easily in The Time of the Doctor too. It doesn’t make sense otherwise. How could the Daleks have won a war against the Time Lords when one Time Lord regenerating can wipe out an entire invasion fleet of them.

Remember the Daleks did win, as had it not been for all the Doctors cheating at the end of the Day of the Doctor then they would have slaughtered the Time Lords. See here.

So with this in mind, when Davros showed up he would be a vital asset to the Daleks. He would have knowledge of the Time War, and of Dalek history in general that could help advance them greatly.

Of course Davros wouldn’t just be willing to hand it over to the Daleks either. Rather than just have the Daleks be his servants, or Davros be their pet, you’d have them both work together. Davros would need their power, they’d need his knowledge, and both would be happy to stab each other in the back when the time was right.

You’d have the Daleks suddenly gain new and devastating weapons the likes of which humanity and her allies had never seen before, which would alert the Doctor that something was up. The Doctor would then discover that Davros was supplying them with weapons which would be a big reveal of “oh no this is more dangerous than we thought”.

You could also have after the war with the Daleks was over Davros being captured by the humans, and supplying them with weapons that could allow them to destroy their former allies against the Daleks., who in some cases might go back to being their enemies again.

There have been a number of solo Davros stories for Big Finish, and I think it would have be interesting to see if the villain could hold a story on tv without the Daleks.

Personally I think that Peter played better off the Daleks than any other villain. Whilst I am not overly keen on the season 9 opening two parter, I still did absolutely love this scene.

You can see how well Peter plays against the monsters. The Daleks were always his favourites. Everyone always goes on about how the Mondasian Cybermen were his favourite monsters, but no he has regularly said that it was the Daleks.

Sadly however the monsters weren’t really anything in his era. They only made two major appearances, and they actually didn’t get that many scenes with 12 either. The above sequence is practically the only major showdown between 12 and the Daleks. Sure he talks to Rusty a lot, but that’s not quite the same thing as Rusty is a redeemed Dalek.

Added to that the Daleks seemed quite weak in his era. Apart from Into the Dalek we generally tended to see them get beaten up, outwitted or just stand in the background.

In the season 9 two parter they don’t kill or torture anybody, they get outwitted by Missy (who kills one with a brooch), 12 also takes over their entire empire as he boasts in about 2 minutes (and they have to be saved by Colony Sarff).

Davros is also the one who completely comes up with their evil plan in The Witch’s Familiar, and they literally just stand at the back, doing NOTHING (except fail to kill two people) and then when it all goes wrong they get beat up by their own sewers.

Following this we then see a tiny cameo in the finale where a Daleks has been made the servant of the Cloister Wraiths, and then the next year we have another tiny cameo where Bill ridicules everything about them, before one Dalek is unable to kill the villain of the week who then vaporises it into nothing but dust with a wave of her hand.

12’s era wasn’t exactly a golden age for the Daleks, and fair enough you might think as a Dalek fan I’m quite spoiled as 9 and 10’s era’s were such great era’s for the monsters.

Still I think since they were Capaldi’s favourites and arguably the villains he played the best off of, then it would have been good to have given them a strong story arc throughout his era, and its even more annoying when you look at Into the Dalek as that looks like it could have been the start of a truly brilliant story arc.

I think they should have given Capaldi a Dalek story every year that followed humanity’s war against the Daleks.

Ideally I would have liked Capaldi to do 5 years (he actually almost did 5 years anyway. He was the current Doctor for 4 years, and really had it not been for this silly female Doctor nonsense I am sure they could have convinced him to do a 5th year.)

During those 5 years Capaldi would have had lots of Dalek stories that could have fully developed his dynamic with them and reinvigorated the monsters like never before.

7/ The Cybermen

The Cybermen have been very misused in New Who. Its not that their stories are bad, its more just that the writers have it in their heads that the Cybermen are second rate and write them accordingly.

For instance whilst RTD turned the Daleks into virtually gods, he did the opposite for the Cybermen and reduced them to unbelievably primitive earth bound villains.

All that’s needed for the Cybermen is a little bit of love and respect from the writers. The concept is still brilliant and frightening, and furthermore as the Cybermen are known for changing their look every few years, then you don’t have to try and revamp an old 60’s or 70’s design as you will with other monsters like the Ice Warriors and the Sontarans.

Now during 12’s era we did actually see a bit of a renaissance for the Cybermen. They were 12’s main enemies alongside Missy.

Though their first story Dark Water/Death in Heaven was the worst Doctor Who story ever made, it wasn’t because of how they were treated (unless you count Cyber Brig.)

Their second big story, the season 10 finale wasn’t that great a story either, but again it wasn’t because of how the Cybermen were portrayed.

In fact the Cybermen in all fairness did have some absolutely brilliant moments.

Bill’s conversion was genuinely horrifying, and 12’s final battle against the Cybermen was a truly spectacular sequence.

So the Cybermen didn’t really fare that badly in 12’s era. In fact compared to other villains, they got off quite lightly.

Still I suppose things I’d like to see in general with the Cybermen in Doctor Who are the following.

First and foremost for them to be treated as a legitimate menace in the series. Even in 12’s time they were still kind of undermined for other villains for the most part. In Dark Water/Death in Heaven for instance they were just Missy’s mooks and had no plans or goals of their own.

The Cybermen need to get a big story where they are the main villains and aren’t either trashed or pushed to the side for the Master or the Daleks, which sadly they haven’t had yet in New Who.

They also I think need to give us a totally different design of Cybermen. I don’t like the big clunky look in New Who, and the more sleeker look they gave them in Dark Water was terrible. Those Cybermen minced as they came out of their tanks!

I’d like to see Cybermen who don’t stomp. The Cybermen are at their best when they can sneak up on you. One of the most terrifying moments is in Attack of the Cybermen when the monsters surprise Lytton as he has almost climbed to safety. You could never do that with the New Who Cybermen who stomp, stomp, stomp everywhere.

The Cybermen also work best in tight claustrophobic settings like in the sewers of London in the Invasion, or the Ice Tombs of Telos, where they could be lurking around any corner, and where if they corner you, you know there is no hope of escape.

The Cybermen also I don’t think should talk that much. As Nicholas Briggs said what made them creepier than the bombastic Daleks was the way you could never tell what they were thinking.

I’d also play up the body horror aspect of the Cybermen. I remember Lord Slarr, a youtuber making some brilliant points that the Cybermen should actually look disgusting. There should still be bits of human flesh mixed in there, like with the Mondasian Cybermen who still had human hands, or the Cybermen in Earthshock who had flesh covering their mouths.

Also I think Cyber conversion should be shown to be a very slow and agonising process. Not just a quick flash with some buzzsaws and death rays and then its over like in the Tennant era.

Also NO more people who can resist Cyber conversion. Yvonne Hartman, Danny Pink, The Brigadier. Its undermined their menace too much that as long as you are a bit strong then you can just decide to not be a Cyberman. Once someone is converted then that should be it.

I do agree with Capaldi that the Mondasian Cybermen would be a good choice to return at some point too, though personally I would have preferred a story that showed you how they survived after the destruction of Mondas. That’s a big gap in their history that might be quite interesting to explore.

We could see them slowly upgrade themselves as without Mondas as a power base they’d be dying. It would be like the old Troughton stories, more of a creepy base under siege story with the last of the Mondasian Cybermen struggling after the death of their world.

8/ The Sontarans

The Sontarans were somewhat undermined as a legitimate threat in 11’s era. Now I did like Strax a lot. He was very likable and funny, but I would have liked to have seen the Sontarans at some point return to being the bad guys as that is what they were originally intended to be.

A story that I think would have been good to adapt for 12 is The First Sontarans. If you haven’t heard it I strongly recommend it.

It features the 6th Doctor and Peri and reveals how the Sontarans were created. The Sontarans were the creation of a race called the Kaveetch whose homeworld Sontar, had been invaded by the Rutans. Though the first Sontaran warriors successfully drove off the Rutans, they later turned on and exterminated the Kaveetch whilst they were celebrating, with only a few Kaveetch managing to escape through time.

There are so many chilling moments throughout the story, such as when the surviving Kaveetch tell of how they had to abandon their children to the monsters as their planet went up in flames, or when one of the Kaveetch returns to Sontar and sees the devastating effect the Sontarans have had on it in her absence.

My favourite scene however is when the leader of the Kaveetch tells the Doctor that its possible that some other Kaveetch may have escaped only to be shot down instantly by a Sontaran commander that there is absolutely no possibility of any other survivors, after which he then simply dismisses the Kaveetch as an inferior species who lost their right to survive.

Its probably the darkest Sontaran story. At the end of the story the two surviving Kaveetch are forced to simply forget their vendetta against the Sontarans or else they too will end up dead.

I think you could adapt this story for television, and really all you’d need to do would be to change the name of the Doctors companion!

6 was always quite like 12 in a number of ways anyway, but this story is also a fairly straight forward action adventure that I think you could probably stick most Doctors in and it wouldn’t be that different.

In my opinion Last of the Sontarans would have been a brilliant way of restoring the Sontarns to being one of the Doctors deadliest enemies rather than just comedy sidekicks.

9/ The Valeyard

The Valeyard was a villain introduced in the 6th Doctors era for the season long story arc Trial of a Time Lord. He was revealed to be an evil version of the Doctor created in between his 12th and 13th lives.

How he was created or why has never been revealed, and at the end of Trial of a Time Lord he is shown to have escaped.

Sadly over 30 years on and the Valeyard, save a tiny mention in The Name of the Doctor has been completely forgotten about.

Personally I think it would have been great if they had brought him back as the main villain for one of Peter Capaldi’s seasons.

I would have loved it if they had used the fan theory that Handy was actually the Valeyard.

Now for those of you who don’t know who he is, Handy was the clone of the Doctor that was created in the season 4 finale The Stolen Earth/Journey’s End, who eventually went off to live with Rose Tyler in another universe.

Fans have been speculating that he was the Valeyard since the story aired, and the 2009 comic book miniseries The Forgotten got in on the idea by having the Meta Crisis Doctor seemingly return only now going by the name of the Valeyard! Ultimately this version of the Valeyard was later revealed to be just a dream, but it still shows you how popular the theory is. There is a lot of potential in this story.

To start with it would be an absolutely sensational story. Think about it, the Doctor would be facing the minions of an enemy who knows him better than anyone else and also hates him more than anyone else in the universe.

Naturally viewers would think it was the Master, but then at the end of the episode David Tennant would emerge, much older looking and full of hate.

You’d have to explain how the Valeyard went from looking like David Tennant to Michael Jayston, as well as what happened to Rose.

Personally I see it as going like this. The Doctor and Handy were mistaken as to how much Time Lord DNA Handy had. They both thought he would age like a human, and whilst he did only have one life,  it was ultimately the same length as an individual Time Lord incarnation’s life span and thus far longer than a human one.

As a result he outlived Rose. They still had a happy life together. You wouldn’t undo that, but after she died of old age, Handy would start to go mad. With no one to curb his darker impulses, and being left on earth, one planet, outliving everyone he loved, Handy would grow to resent the Doctor.

He’d have a point when you think about it, as what was it the Doctor exiled him for exactly? Destroying the Daleks? Kind of hypocritical when in the next story Dalek story, Victory he tried to wipe them out!

Handy would kind of be like the Doctors version of Khan from Star Trek. The villain who does have a genuine grievance against the main character, as the hero did just stick them somewhere and then forgot about them.

When he returned to make the Doctor pay (having found a way to travel between universes somehow) he would try and steal 12’s new regeneration cycle. He would manage to steal one regeneration from the Doctors new cycle during the story.

At the end of the two parter we would see Handy regenerate into a young Michael Jayston, which would be achieved the same way that the young John Hurt was in The Night of the Doctor.

The Valeyard would then reappear in the season finale, played by Michael Jayston the age he is now, (with Trial of a Time Lord having happened in between from the Valeyards perspective.) This story would then mark the final showdown between the Doctor.

I think it would be interesting to have the Valeyard use the Moment against the Doctor.

The Doctor must have put the moment somewhere safe. Its the most powerful weapon in the universe remember so he’s not likely to just leave it lying around. He wouldn’t kill it as its sentient, and he probably wouldn’t trust himself with it after he believed he burned Gallifrey, and he couldn’t give it back to the Time Lords, so it must have hid it somewhere.

The Valeyard meanwhile who has all of the Doctors memories would know where it was stashed and so he could capture it and use it as a weapon.

The Valeyard would cannibalise it and use it to create a paradox machine type weapon that could control the universe.

This could also explain how he intended to steal the 6th Doctors remaining lives in Trial of a Time Lord without wiping himself from history.

In the finale the Moment would be struggling to break free from his control whilst the Doctor would perhaps be forced to work with one of his enemies like the Rani to bring down the Valeyard.

I think it would be a great way of linking Old and New Who together. You’d bring the Time War story arc, the Doctor/Rose love story, and the Trial story arc all together.

I’m really annoyed that they didn’t take the golden opportunity to do this story arc.

10/ The Rani

A very underused villain. The Rani in some ways is just as interesting a character as the Master himself.

Unlike the Master or Davros the Rani did not seek to conquer the universe. She was a great scientist back on Gallifrey and simply seeks to further her experiments which she believes are for the greater good of the universe.

She is not above experimenting on animals however and sadly to her that’s all human beings are. She has a point in a way. Human beings are billions of years behind Time Lords, as seen with Donna a human can’t contain the knowledge of even a lowly Time Lord like the Doctor without dying!

Added to that our life spans are pitifully short compared to theirs. One Time Lord’s incarnation can last for 1100 years alone.

Now given the horrifying ways we mistreat animals can we really have that much of a moral high ground to the Rani. Can the Doctor?

DOCTOR: These are human beings, Rani. Living creatures that have done you no harm. 
RANI: They’re carnivores. What harm have the animals in the fields done them? The rabbits they snare, the sheep they nourish to slaughter. Do they worry about the lesser species when they sink their teeth into a lamb chop? 

The Rani also somewhat refreshingly isn’t utterly obsessed with the Doctor either. She simply regards him as a nuisance, and really tends to view both the Doctor and the Master as nothing but a pair of sad gits!

RANI: You were expecting to see the Master? 
DOCTOR: To see? Not exactly. He was burnt to a crisp the last time I saw him. 
RANI: Your smugness is misplaced. He’s here. He’s very much alive and he wants vengeance, curse the pair of you. 
DOCTOR: Well, since we’re insulting each other, I can’t say I care much for your taste in clothes. Doesn’t do a thing for you. 
RANI: Hmm, your regeneration’s not too attractive, either. But at least I can change my appearance. You’re stuck with what you’ve got. 
DOCTOR: My face is of no importance. Brain regeneration is what I need. I should have been able to pin this one down to you. Personality changes, probably due to an imbalance in body chemicals. Yes, you’re the obvious culprit. Well, you had me fooled, if that’s any consolation. 
RANI: It isn’t. 

What’s interesting about the Rani and the Master is that they balance each other out.

In some ways the Master is worse, as all he cares about is power for himself, and his own petty feud with the Doctor.

At the same time however the Rani is in some ways worse as the Master at the very least the Master still views human beings as intelligent beings.

Ironically in his own twisted way the Master loves the earth as much as humanity does, which is why he is always trying to rule us, instead of say the Ice Warriors.

The Rani however sees us as just pests insects and that’s why she experiments on us rather than (in her mind) an intelligent race.

Whilst the Master can have respect for the Doctors human allies and companions like Jo Grant and Martha Jones, the Rani will just view us as lab rats, and in some ways that makes her even more terrifying.

The Rani is also in some ways far more intelligent than the Master or the Doctor. The Doctor and the Master back on Gallifrey were miserable little nobodies. Both were failures at the Academy, (with the Doctor only scraping by with 50 percent on the second attempt.)

The Rani meanwhile was once one of the greatest scientific minds on Gallifrey, responsible for many great advances in technology, who ultimately was forced to go into exile after one of her experiments went wrong.

She is therefore capable of many great things that neither the Master or Doctor are, and her TARDIS is also vastly superior too.

At the same time however the Master is a more experience criminal, and is far more sly than the Rani. When they first meet she has nothing but contempt for him, but the Master is able to trick her and manipulate her by playing on her pride until eventually she agrees to help him.

RANI: At last you’re back, you incompetent egoist. Give me my phial. 
MASTER: This? The precious brain fluid? And I thought you were waiting for me. 
RANI: If I didn’t need that desperately, I’d have put light years between us. 
MASTER: What better reason could I have for keeping it? 
RANI: You’ll play that card once to often. With you on the scene, I might be wiser to cut my losses and go. 
MASTER: Perhaps this will make you change your mind. Read it. 
(Stephenson’s letter.) 
RANI: The meeting’s been cancelled? 
MASTER: No, it was never delivered. 
RANI: Well 
MASTER: You disappoint me. A scientist and you’re not thinking objectively. Davy, Faraday, Telford and others. Over twenty men of genius. Have you no conception of what we could achieve if we control them? Harness their genius, and this planet could become the platform for the most devastating power in the universe. 
RANI: You’re forgetting, I already rule a planet. Miasimia Goria. 
MASTER: Help me, and I promise you all the facilities you need. Instead of sneaking back here in disguise, you’ll be able to set up a laboratory and process as many humans as you choose. A hundred, a thousand, there are millions of them. 
RANI: What guarantee would I have? 
MASTER: My need. That unique box of parasites will not go far. Only you have the formula. 
RANI: The Time Lords will never permit it.                                                                        MASTER: Who’s going to alert them?
RANI: Indeed.

You can see how the two villains balance each other out quite well and make an effective team. Its not like Doomsday where the Cybermen just get completely undermined. Both villains play on each others strengths and weaknesses to get what they want.

Another interesting aspect of the Rani’s character is that she loves Dinosaurs as much as the Doctor loves humans. In her first story she even keeps several Tyrannosaurus Rex’s as pets!

Personally I think its very short sighted to assume that NOTHING interesting could be done with this villain, just because her second story, Time and the Rani was crap.

I’m not going to defend Time and the Rani. It is terrible, but its hardly because the Rani is the main villain in it. The story had everything going against it. McCoy was cast at the last minute, Andrew Cartmel had no experience with tv, the team were told to make it camper and sillier by Michael Grade (who said that it was to counteract the “it was too violent” criticisms but in actual fact it was just to harm it.)

All of these factors would have made it a crap story whether it was the Rani, the Cybermen, the Daleks or the Master who was the main villain. I might add the Master and the Cybermen have been in far worse stories than Time and the Rani in New Who, like Dark Water/Death in Heaven.

There is so much that could be done with the Rani in New Who. Like what happened to her during the Time War? Did she perhaps create many of the monstrosities that the Tenth Doctor described during the final days of the war, perhaps as weapons to destroy the Daleks that backfired?

You could have the Rani try and capture the Doctor to find out how the Time Lords were able to give him more regenerations. The secret of more regenerations was always presumably something that the high council kept locked up secret.

Now however that they were gone, and the Doctor had been given new lives you could have the Rani try and find a way to discover the secret from the Doctors bones!

I also think it would be interesting to explore her relationship with the Silurians. We know she loves Dinosaurs, and since the Silurians are for all intents and purposes Dinosaur people, then presumably she would think there was some potential in their race.

I think it would be interesting if you had the Doctor travel back to the time of the Silurians and discover that to them the Rani is a hero. The Rani would not few the Silurians as just animals the way she does humanity (as the Silurians were always more advanced than humanity.)

She could have saved them from alien invasions, diseases, and helped build up their society much to the Doctors shock.

You could also do an interesting story where the Rani tries to aid the Silurians in stopping the asteroid from landing (which caused them to retreat underground and go into hibernation, later allowing humanity to take over in their absence.)

I think this would have been an interesting idea for a story as it would have in some ways cast the Doctor as the villain of the piece.

The Doctor would have to sabotage the Silurians and the Rani’s attempts to build the rocket, forcing them to go underground in order to save humanity, but at the same time he would be basically dooming the Silurians.

The Doctor would not have the moral high ground, as he would essentially be destroying one civilisation in order to allow another one to exist in its place, but at the same time the Rani obviously wouldn’t either as she would be trying to wipe humanity from existence. It would be a fight between two Time Lords for the future of their favourite races which I think could be an interesting conflict.

You would also have the Rani and the Master work together again at some point too.

Sarah Parish and Juliet Aubrey would be my top two choices for the Rani. Both have experience playing villains in genre series. Aubrey’s character from the British sci fi series Primeval is somewhat similar to the Rani in that she is a ruthless scientist who seems to prefer Dinosaurs to people!

Parish and Aubrey also both look more mature, cerebral, yet also somewhat cruel like Kate O’Mara (though I’m sure they’re lovely people in real life.)

Sarah Parish

Juliet Aubrey

I would have LOVED to have seen either of these actresses opposite Robert Carlyle as the Master.

The reasons that Steven Moffat always gave for not bringing the Rani back were so lame. He claimed no one would know who she was. Really? That why you brought back the Great Intelligence, the Autons, the Silurians and fucking Coal Hill School?

I think its a shame that we didn’t get to see at least one Rani story in New Who.

11/ Romana

Romana is a great character who I think should have been brought back along with Gallifrey.

There is a lot of room for development as the character was meant to have been the President of Gallifrey during the war, but was at some stage dethroned by Rassilon. It seems likely that the Time Lords felt she wasn’t the right person to lead them against the Daleks.

They would have chosen Rassilon, simply because he was more ruthless and vicious, which eventually led to the corruption of their society in general.

When she returned Romana could perhaps be a more embittered, resentful character at first who would gradually soften up and return to her old self at first.

If Romana’s reintroduction went well, then I would have given her, her own series instead of Class.

There’s a lot of value in a Romana spin off. To start with I feel it would have got round the whole female Doctor debate rather nicely. Also I think that with Romana for once you’d have a Time Lord character that you could flesh out a bit more.

The thing about the Doctor and the Master is that they are meant to be mysterious so you can’t really expand on their backstory at all.

Romana could be a totally different hero, with her own set of enemies, companions, her own TARDIS, and you could also have brilliant crossovers between Doctor Who and Romana.

Also a Romana show would be the only one that could ever rival Doctor Who as it could potentially run for as long, as the character of Romana can change her face too.

As for who could play Romana well I think Dawn Steele and Katie McGrath would be great choices.

Dawn Steele

Katie McGrath

To be honest I think Katie would probably be better opposite Capaldi. As Dawn is Scottish then it would probably look like a Scottish mafia if the Doctor, the Master and Romana were all Scottish, though Dawn could always play a later incarnation of Romana down the line in her own show.

12/ Rassilon

I think Rassilon would have been a good villain for 12. They did have him face 12 in Hell Bent, but not only did I not like that episode (in fact I think its another contender for the worst episode of all time after Dark Water/Death in Heaven)

I also did not like Donald Sumpters performance as Rassilon either. He is a good actor, but that version of what was supposed to be the most powerful Time Lord of them all was just too ineffective and weak.

I think Brian Blessed would have been an amazing choice for Rassilon. Brian is a massive Doctor Who fan, and he’s good at playing, big, grandoise, mighty characters (to say the least.)

I think Rassilon could have been an interesting opponent for 12 and the Master. You could have it that at the climax of the End of Time, Rassilon and the Master fell through the vortex together and didn’t end up on Gallifrey but somewhere else (with both of them regenerating at the same time.)

Rassilon would be such a threat that the Doctor and the Master would be forced to team up at one point. Remember the Master hates Rassilon more than he does the Doctor, so there could be room for some quite interesting conflict between Robert Carlyle and Brian Blessed.

I can just see a scene where Rassilon mocks the Master telling him that ironically the Master has been nothing but his pawn for his entire life, which in a way is true.

Rassilon is a character whose history on television has always been a bit sketchy, but there is plenty of spin off material you could draw from to flesh him out on screen.

13/ Historicals

Now the historicals were stories which featured the Doctor travelling back to the past, but there not being any other sci fi elements other than the Doctor himself.

Whilst unpopular at the time many historicals such as Marco Polo and the Crusades have since gone on to become among the highest rate 60’s stories.

Sadly however other than Black Orchid, a short, two part 80’s story, there haven’t been any attempt at pure historicals since the Troughton era!

Personally I think its time for a comeback. Given that Peter wanted to draw on the First Doctors era for inspiration.

Whilst the historicals were big flops during the 60’s, I think times have moved on. You have to remember that back then Doctor Who was a sensation because of its monsters like the Daleks and the Cybermen. So naturally people would be upset when they didn’t appear.

However in later years I’d say that Doctor Who became more popular because of the variety of its stories. Really I don’t think the odd historical would upset viewers too much, and if well researched and written I think they could end up being very popular too.

14/ Different Music

Now I don’t hate Murray Gold. I’ve liked a lot of his work for the show, but after 10 years (when Peter first took over) it was time for a change.

I also find that Gold’s music can be intrusive at certain points too. Its always so loud and jarring and boisterous which is fine for a big moment like Capaldi blasting the shit out of the Cybermen, but I’d rather that there not be music ALL the time, and for there to be more subtle, quiet music for more low key, spooky scenes such as the Cybermen creeping up on their victims.

15/ Less Soap Opera

A part of the reason that I wanted Osgood and Journey Blue to be the two companions is because I feel that they would cut out the soap opera elements.

New Who tends to focus too much on the companion for my liking. Worse the companions life is often an everyday boring thing. Really Doctor Who is a sci fi show first and foremost.

Now I understand that a lot of fans and viewers like these scenes as they do help to flesh the companions out.

So I’d see a happy compromise simply being to have the companions home life being more sci fi oriented, like Osgood and Journey Blue. Osgood works for an organisation designed to track down aliens, whilst Journey comes from the future with the Daleks so if you did go back to their home lives then it wouldn’t just be sitting in a kitchen with Clara’s family or eating chips with Jackie Tyle and Mickey.

Conclusion

I think that if the 12th Doctors era had been a return to more adventure based stories, had explored the search for Gallifrey story arc, and featured more Time Lord characters then it would have been better.

I see the ideal layout of the Capaldi era overall being this.

1/ Capaldi does 5 years.

2/ The Daleks, the Robert Carlyle version of the Master and the Brian Blessed version of Rassilon are the most recurring old enemies throughout his era (with other old enemies only appearing fleetingly, maybe once or twice each in his era. The rest of the time, its all new villains.)

3/ Return to historicals and stories set on alien planets. NO stories about the companions home life

4/ Capaldi is not undermined for his companions.

5/ Focus is put on Capaldi rather than on setting things up for the next Doctor to be a woman.

Sadly however I feel that they wasted Capaldi for the 4 years they had him. Still you might feel differently or have your own ideas about the series, so let me know in the comments below.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

Doctor Who Reviews/ The Evil of the Daleks

The final Dalek story of the 1960s. The Evil of the Daleks has a somewhat more surrealist, even whimsical aspect to it, though it would also set down many tropes and ideas that later Dalek stories (particularly those of Big Finish and the New Series) would use.

Sadly all but the second episode is missing from the archives though much like The Power of the Daleks its reputation is still high among Doctor Who fans. It was even voted the greatest Doctor Who story ever made in a poll taken for the 30th anniversary.

Premise

The Doctors TARDIS is stolen in London in 1966. The Doctor and his companion Jamie are able to track the perpetrator down, a man named Edward Waterfield who sells Victorian clocks.

At his shop they discover an advanced, seemingly alien machine at the back, as well as the dead body of a man named Kennedy who appears to have died in the most terrible agony.

Before the Doctor can investigate further however, he and Jamie are knocked out by gas and whisked away 100 years into the past by Waterfield.

There Waterfield reveals why he stole the TARDIS and what his plan is. Waterfield and his friend Maxtible were experimenting with time travel technology which eventually created a portal to another time and world, Skaro!

The Daleks arrived through the portal and captured Edward’s daughter, Victoria who they threatened to kill unless he helped to lure the Doctor into a trap by capturing his TARDIS.

The Daleks threaten to destroy the Doctors TARDIS unless he helps them with their latest experiment. The Daleks have always been defeated by human beings and believe that it is because of certain traits that human beings have. The Daleks call this “the human factor” and wish to isolate it from humans in experiments and transfer it into themselves.

With no other options the Doctor is forced to help the Daleks and even performs experiments on their human captives, Victoria and Jamie.

The Doctor eventually is able to isolate the human factor and transplant it into three Daleks. The Daleks develop human emotions, become happy, caring and even come to see the Doctor as their friend.

The Doctor gives the three Daleks names, Alpha, Beta and Omega. Whilst Edward Waterfield only serves the Daleks reluctantly, Maxtible is willingly working for them as they have promised him the secret of alchemy.

The Doctor plans to spread the human factor like a virus throughout the Dalek race in the hopes that it will lead to a civil war that will destroy them.

However his plan fails and he is captured by the Daleks and taken back to Skaro (along with Waterfield, Maxtible, Jamie and Victoria.) the Emperor reveals that he no longer wants the human factor. Considering the experiment a failure after Omega, Alpha and Beta became too compassionate. The Emperor instead wants the Doctor to implant the Dalek factor (which makes the Daleks evil, xenophobic, and ruthless) into the human race throughout all of history which will wiping humanity from existence.

Once again with no other options the Doctor is forced to help the Daleks. The Doctor is able to isolate the Dalek factor which the Daleks then transplant into Maxtible. Maxtible comes to think and behave exactly like a Dalek just as they hoped. 

The Daleks then plan to implant the Dalek factor into the Doctor himself, in order to make him their servant. Their plan however fails as the Doctor programs the machine to make sure the Dalek factor only infects humans. 

The Doctor however pretends to be loyal to the monsters and works against them from within. Freeing the three humanized Daleks, the Emperor becomes scared that the human factor will spread. The Doctor tells the Emperor to send all Daleks through the Dalek factor machine to which the Emperor agrees.

Unfortunately for the Daleks, the Doctor reprograms the machine to infect all of the Daleks who go through it with the human factor.

The humanized Daleks soon turn on the rest of their kind and a massive civil war erupts. The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria escape to the hills of Skaro where the TARDIS is. Sadly Edward Waterfield is killed whilst saving the Doctor from a Dalek. The Doctor promises Waterfield that he will look after his daughter.

As the city of the Daleks erupts in flames and the Emperor is seemingly exterminated, the Doctor comments to Jamie on how he believes he has seen the final end of the Daleks.

Review

The Evil of the Daleks is overall deserving of its status as a classic story, but I do think its flawed somewhat, particularly when compared with the previous Troughton Dalek adventure.

The Evil of the Daleks was intended to be the final ever appearance of the monsters in Doctor Who, and whilst I am of course glad that it wasn’t, it would have been a brilliant send off for them if it did, and still serves as quite a good ending for the 60s Dalek stories.

Evil takes us deeper into the monsters psychology, as well as their society and how they function than any other before. We see their chain of command, the Emperor and how they deal with members of their kind who are different.

Before we have only ever seen the Daleks persecute other life forms, but showing them turn on and actually exterminate members of their own kind was a nice twist that made them seem even more horrifying. It also helped to explain why the Daleks were so uniform, and also helps to set up why the monsters are doomed for extinction as ultimately any race, or society, or belief system that can’t look inward and change when it has too will eventually stagnate and die.

The idea of a Dalek being infected with humanity is an interesting concept, and one which many later stories particularly in the revival, such as Dalek, Into the Dalek and Journey’s End would explore too. Though David Whitaker had explored the idea of a humanized Dalek in The One in A Million Dalek comic story much earlier, Evil marked the first time this idea was explored in the television series itself.

The creatures are also at their sneaky and manipulative best in this story too. We get to see them twist the minds of various people, good and evil over the course of the story. With Waterfield they can recognise that he would never help them willingly so they threaten to hurt the person he loves the most to get him to serve them. Maxtible however fulfils the Mavic Chen type role of being the devious, self serving human who thinks he can use the Daleks for his own ends, but they play on his greed instead.

The interactions between the Doctor and the Daleks are also particularly strong in this story. I think this adventure and Power of the Daleks really helped to shape the kind of Doctor Patrick Troughton ended up being.

When you look at other stories in season 4, Pat’s Doctor tends be a more lighter version of William Hartnell. A crazy old uncle/ grandfather type figure, fond of name dropping all of the famous people he has known throughout history.

However in these two stories we see the Second Doctor become a more manipulative and sly individual, often putting on a bumbling facade and even resorting to lying to his companions too.

This would carry over into stories like Tomb of the Cybermen, The Web of Fear and The War Games and really became the dominant characteristic of Troughton’s Doctor that would also in turn carry over into later Doctors too such as Sylvester McCoy and Matt Smith.

I don’t think the Second Doctors manipulative side however was ever more effective than it was against the Daleks. The Daleks were the only enemies who were a match for the Doctor, as they knew all of his tricks, and so he would often be forced to go the extra mile against the monsters.

You can see that in Evil the way the Doctor and the Daleks use everyone around them like pieces on a chessboard and are constantly trying to stay one step ahead of each other.

The supporting cast of the story is very strong too. John Bailey is excellent as Edward Waterfield, who is a truly tragic character,

Despite the bad things he does you never lose your sympathy for him as Bailey always gives the character a real gravitas, and I liked the way the character is able to find redemption at the end when he sacrifices himself to save the Doctor. The final scene where the Doctor promises the dying Waterfield that he will look after is very touching. Victoria Waterfield played by the late Deborah Watling also gets a strong start.

Some fans have knocked her character for not being strong enough, but personally I think this is unfair. After all how do you expect a young, pampered Victorian woman to react to being menaced by monsters?

I always thought Victoria had a more interesting backstory due to losing her father under such tragic circumstances. On the one hand the last few things he did such as kidnapping the Doctor, and even covering up the Daleks murder of Kennedy were terrible which made his loss even more painful for Victoria as we see in the next story Tomb of the Cybermen, but on the other he only did them out of love for Victoria, and in the end he did give his life for the Doctor, so there is at least that comfort for her.

I also loved her relationship with both the Doctor and Jamie. We got to see a softer side to both characters in the way they take such an instant liking to Victoria and become very protective of her.

I always thought that Victoria served as quite a good surrogate for Susan, whilst at the same time the Doctor would have been a surrogate for her father, (both eccentric, doddering old scientists obsessed with time travel.)

The sets and production values for this story are also among the best for any 60’s adventure. The Dalek Emperor is a truly spectacular prop and its destruction at the end of the story is a thrilling sequence as the monster pitifully begs its own subordinates to try and see reason and stop fighting or else the Dalek race will be destroyed.

In a way it reminds me of Davros later begging the Daleks for mercy in Genesis.

Despite these strengths however Evil is still let down by the fact that its just a bit too long. I think it drags when the Daleks make the Doctor perform their experiments. It picks up again when the main characters get to Skaro, but overall much like the first Dalek story it could definitely be an episode shorter.

Also some of the moments of comedy in the story are a bit too overt too like the infamous Dizzy Daleks.

Still overall The Evil of the Daleks is a classic, highly influential story and a great end to the 60’s Dalek saga.

Notes and Trivia

  • This is part of a trilogy of stories that all link into each other. At the end of The Faceless Ones the preceding story, the Doctor and Jamie discover that the TARDIS has been stolen which leads into The Evil of the Daleks. At the start of the next story the Tomb of the Cybermen meanwhile, The Doctor, Jamie and Victoria are still shown to be on Skaro before they take off for the next adventure.
  • Ian Levine attempted to animate all of the missing episodes for this story, but sadly his version has not been made available to a wide audience as of the writing of this article.
  • Though this was the last Dalek story of the 60’s the monsters would go on to make a cameo appearance in the Second Doctors last story The War Games.
  • Terry Nation the creator of the Daleks hated this story and said that if he had known about it when it was being made he would have pulled the plug on it.
  • Many aspects of this story pop up in future Dalek adventures such as the idea of Daleks being infected with humanity (Dalek, Into the Dalek) the merging of Daleks and humans (Revelation of the Daleks, The Parting of the Ways.) A Dalek civil war (Remembrance of the Daleks) and finally the Emperor of the Daleks (The Parting of the Ways.) Certain bits of dialogue such as the Doctors “final end” also pop up in future Dalek stories such as Victory of the Daleks.
  • Patrick Troughton named this as one of his favourite stories.
  • Fraser Hines who played Jamie has said that he was always desperate for the Daleks to show up as he had enjoyed watching stories with them before he was cast. Sadly for Fraser this marked the only time they appeared during his three year long stint as the companion.