Thursday, 26 May 2011

1x11 The Rescue

“Only one race can survive.”

Broadcast Date: 1st February 1964

As I begin playing ‘The Rescue’ I’m excited, less so for the episode, more so for the fact I’ll be on another story soon. Despite this having some fantastic episodes, it’s some real poor and dragged out parts to it as well. Speaking of which, this episode opens up in the tunnels, with Adric-a-like still waiting to kick the bucket. Finally he goes and now we can leave this location behind us forever!

It’s taken enough time to get there, but the Daleks plan is really menacing and Hartnell’s performance is even better. He really hammers home how evil this plan truly is, giving what I consider a famous Who line “this senseless, evil, killing”. Hartnell has been the strongest piece throughout all eleven episodes. I’m not saying the other TARDIS crewmembers are bad actors at all, but Hartnell is consistently brilliant at whatever emotion he has to perform.

We’ve made it through the tunnels now, seen a dodgy stock photo and my Hartnell look-a-like is back! Hooray! But on a more serious note, the Thals are going into war in a low-budget ‘last march of the Ents’ moment.

The Doctor and Susan now chained to the walls in the Dalek city, there’s a shocking twist in the Doctor’s reasoning with the Daleks. Why does he reveal his time machine to them? It makes the level of threat rise so much higher with just a few lines of speech.

The Thals have finally begun invading the city, but there’s not a whole lot of action, I’m more engrossed in the scenes involving the Doctor begging the Daleks as it’s much more interesting as a character piece and I can’t get enough of Hartnell’s acting skills at a time like this. A poor plot device is used upon returning to Ian’s party, in the disguise of a Dalek radio announcement, but there’s some good performances all round. I wonder if these actors ever thought they’d need heavy-door-acting in their career. The sound effects are slowly grating but its only a minor aggravation. A Dalek countdown is more annoying!

Trapped! But it'll all be over soon...
I’ve never noticed before how Ian Chesterton has a run similar to James Bonds from ‘You Only Live Twice’ as he approaches the Dalek control room. I love Barbara throwing a rock at a Dalek, that’s awesome! The direction is put to good use here to show how powerful the Daleks are in a fight, but this is soon wasted as they are overturned by Thals. The struggle does feel a bit easy, although it wasn’t that badly shot. It could’ve done with a bit more screen time, especially as this episode under-runs by a couple minutes in comparison to the previous instalments.

Some reflective thoughts from the Doctor and a comment about him being a pioneer of his own people, this episode is fast approaching an end. A happy ending is had by all, except a rather unexpected bout of love between Barbara and Ganatus (where did that come from?) and everybody is safe and sound in the TARDIS again. Well, safe until the ship is thrown into turmoil…

'The Daleks' DVD Cover art, 2006
‘The Daleks’ is the second Doctor Who serial, comprising seven episodes. Like ‘An Unearthly Child’ it is available in 2006’s ‘The Beginning’ box set. There’s only one special feature of note, a seventeen-minute feature on the origin of the Daleks, including a great interview with Sydney Newman, the shows creator.

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