Sunday, 3 July 2011

Retro DVD Review: Doctor Who - Destiny Of The Daleks

Dr. Who Cutting 1979  - The Northern Echo
This last week I decided to try and get caught up on some of my Doctor Who DVD releases and purchased the 1979 Tom Baker story Destiny Of The Daleks. 

Over the years I've read a lot of criticism of this particular adventure, but I remember been overjoyed at the time that my favourite baddies the Daleks had returned to Doctor Who. 

Okay Terry Nation's script was not on the same scale as Genesis Of The Daleks but Destiny Of The Daleks is still an enjoyable four- parter worth a second look.

Destiny Of The Daleks - The Basic Plot

Following a comic opening written by Douglas Adams explaining Romana's selective regeneration (completely ridiculous by Doctor Who standards) and the installation of the Randomiser  into The TARDIS (so that neither The Doctor or the big bad from the previous season - The Black Guardian will know where they will arrive next) our heroes land on an apparently barren planet.

Doctor Who and The Destiny
Of The Daleks
- Target Books 1981
As The Doctor suggests Romana and himself take some anti-radiation tablets due to the TARDIS readings its surprising The Doctor doesn't realise he's back on Skaro. It takes nearly the whole of the first episode for him to even come close to that realisation and thats not until he gets captured by The Daleks enemies The Movellans.

The Daleks lack the inspiration to overcome The Movellans in their current war and think it might be a good idea to resurrect their old leader Davros, however first they need to find him, as he was allegedly exterminated and entombed thousands of years before...

My Memories of Destiny Of The Daleks

On viewing Destiny Of The Daleks again I remembered what a jolly romp I found this on original broadcast.

The Doctor (Tom Baker) spends a lot of the time running around a quarry (sorry Skaro) dodging Daleks and Movellans while  Lalla Ward slips into the role of Romana with great ease.

David Gooderson succeeds Michael Wisher as Davros and does a reasonably good job, considering he doesn't have a sidekick apart from a couple of revamped Daleks and shouts at The Doctor a lot.

Doctor Who - Destiny of The Daleks DVD
Destiny Of The Daleks introduces viewers to The Movellans and features none other than Tony Osoba from Porridge and Suzanne Danielle amongst their ranks. I actually liked the Movellans and think its a shame the series never used them again.

Then there's the traditional episode one "surprise ending" formulaic of most Terry Nation Dalek serials with The Daleks bursting onto the scene. (One wonders why Terry Nation used this ploy in most of his Dalek stories, as the clue the Daleks were returning was generally in the episode title!)

I've included here a couple of images relating to Destiny Of The Daleks, including a cutting I kept from The Northern Echo on September 1,  1979 and the cover of the Target novelisation of the serial from 1981.

Destiny Of The Daleks DVD Overview

The DVD as well as been digitally remastered and including commentary from Lalla Ward and David Gooderson features some neat extras. These include Terror Nation  - a documentary on Terry Nation featuring interviews with Nicholas Briggs, Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts, some lovely BBC continuity announcements for the serial from 1979 including a warning from a BBC announcer to The Doctor about the Daleks and the rarely seen Australian Prime Computer adverts featuring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward.

Doctor Who - Destiny Of The Daleks on DVD is currently available from 2Entertain.

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