Sunday, 14 July 2013

The Power Of The Daleks (Episode 5)

Originally Broadcast 3rd December 1966

Written by: David Whitaker

In a nutshell: The rebellion begins on the planet Vulcan as the Daleks begin to plot about how to destroy the colonists.

NB. As this episode is missing from the BBC archives, this review is based upon the surviving audio book narrated by Anneke Wills and the photo-novels from DWM’s recent Missing Episodes special.

Review: Despite only lasting a minute or two, this opening scene for episode five is just too long and slow. Lesterson witnessing the Daleks building and birthing new Daleks to multiply lacks a lot but mainly the loss of visuals tarnishes it. Robert James as Lesterson is, I think, the unsung hero of this serial as he’s played his part brilliantly. He’s convincingly started out as an obsessive scientist hell bent on finding out about the Daleks before turning into a scared, paranoid madman by this part. It’s definitely fun to listen to and James gives it his all, overacting at some points in this episode but never sending it up.

I’m not really sure how I feel about this episode, it’s a bit slow and there’s a strong lack of the Doctor, Ben and Polly yet it actually develops the characters and plot. Sadly it’s in an uninteresting manner which is what lets it down. There isn’t even much that can be said about the episode, it just all feels very slow to me. I’m over halfway through the episode and am currently only in the second scene to feature the Doctor but he’s finally escaped from capture.

There are some interesting developments, mainly between Hensell and Bragen as the rebellion finally begins, with only an episode and a bit left. I like Hensell’s desperation as he starts to realise how he isn’t in power anymore and Bragen is. I’m really looking forward to the next episode as the ‘power’ of the colony has moved about throughout the five parts yet we all know it’s really the Daleks who have power, yet they haven’t revealed it yet. That’s going to be the most fun to witness in the next episode, I’ve been waiting for it for the last one or two episodes already. Bragen’s final line to Hensell before he gets the Dalek to kill him is brilliantly sinister.

Similarly evil is the Daleks, who have a fantastic line about them being twice as…useful as well as when they question about why human beings kill human beings. I love it and it feels like the beginning of what Whitaker would go on to investigate in 1967 with ‘The Evil Of The Daleks’. Sadly the Daleks get another mass chant which provides the cliffhanger. I mean it’s not like we’ve had that for the past two cliffhangers as well, is it…

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