50 Dr.Who and the Daleks

What strange universe is this?  Where’s all the black and white gone?  Why didn’t they take that box of chocolates with them to eat on the journey?  Who are all these familiar but somehow completely and utterly different people?

A man who’s clumsy, bumbling, and outwitted by an 8 year old?  That’s not Ian

A woman who reads science journals and doesn’t get on her high horse every 5 minutes?  That’s not Barbara

A grand-daughter who is brave and intelligent and doesn’t scream?  That’s not Susan.

An old grandfather who takes part in illegal human drug testing, advocates the female slave trade, endangers a minor, incites a riot, lies to his friends and family, seems unconcerned with genocide? That’s not….oh.

Well actually, that bit is rather familiar.

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2 thoughts on “50 Dr.Who and the Daleks

  1. A few things that struck me whilst listening to this…

    The Daleks make Susan write a letter (“Dear Thals” indeed!)… imagine having a scene like that today? It’d be laughed at. It does make you wonder why they didn’t just go for a loud Dalek microphone or something – whilst forcing Susan to write a letter is chilling and looks quite authentic (the Thals will trust her because she’s apparently written it), it’d be a lot more effective to have the booming voice of a Dalek reverberating over the boundless petrified forest.

    I’d also forgotten about the Thal who manages to fall and cling onto a convenient ledge. Definitely, as you say, a cop-out. It just totally diminishes all the drama and impact they’ve built up with this part of the journey.

    You mention Barbara as the least developed – it’ll be interesting to see how she fares in the next film. If I recall, she gets a lot more to do, but I haven’t watched it for some time. I shall await your verdict and probably give the films another watch before May.

    The Dalek voices, however inconsistent, are nowhere near as bad as their Dalek Invasion of Earth voices. They’re incredibly high pitched and just jaw-droppingly bad – it’s a great TV sequel, but they got the voices so wrong. It’s almost as if, for the movie, they’ve just recorded The Chase and then gone straight to this set with the idea of ‘right, comedy Daleks again?’ and, as a result, played with the voices a little. On the other hand, it could just be the voice artists trying to go for something different. The TV show is still highly experimental at this point, and the other characters are different, so it could be a combination of a few things. It strikes me as if they’re trying to give each Dalek a distinct voice (like Briggs sometimes does) but they fluff it up, forget which is which, and just get it wrong.

    The sets, for me, are the highlight of this film… you have the epic entrance into the city – with the cliff-edges/boulders properly opening, and the cobbled together TARDIS (which is fantastic – my only niggle is the fact that, when you see it from the outside, you can see right through the window and you just see an empty box shell, unless you retcon in the fact that he’s also invented a chameleon circuit which is working so the TARDIS just gives that impression/illusion if you look in from the outside — because, also, the interior, if I recall, has no windows). The Dalek control room is also amazingly crafted, with the rotating machinary and the large maps. It’s all so lovingly recreated and, in many ways, a lot better than the TV stuff. My dream scenario would’ve been for the original production with the original TV script etc. to have taken place on the Cushing sets. It would’ve been great. The TV serial looks great as it is, but imagine it all set in this Dalek city we see here.

    Love the idea of stationery Daleks! I always really like the idea that Dalek ‘balls’ are actually storage compartments, for bombs and chemicals and blood samples and liquids and gases etc. so it’d make sense to have an Office Dalek that just has pens and rulers etc. 😀

    Just a few things to round off:

    1. It definitely would’ve been interesting to see The Chase done with Cushing. If that story needed one thing, it was a lot more budget.

    2. Daleks with smoke-guns… I’m interested to see what you think of them. I wonder if they thought negative ray guns would be too horrific for the films, but the smoke seems a bit tame by comparison.

    3. Looking forward to next time!

  2. IIRC part of the reason the voices are so odd is that no one realised the Dalek lights were supposed to be in synch with their speech until after filming was completed (most likely it was pointed out by the TV voice actors when they came in on the dub), so what you get on screen is the slightly desperate attempt to make the words line up with the random flashing.

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