Ah, the arrival of the most evil race in the universe. Or so I’ve been told. To be honest, I’m not sure how deadly a group of mutants in R2-D2 costumes can be, but there they are. This is another intriguing story, although it goes on a bit long.
Our heroes land on Skaro, although they don’t know t, of course. The planet is dead with lots of burned up trees and such. Off in the distance is an exciting-looking city the Doctor would love oh-so-much to explore. And here his cantankerousness gives way to conniving and deceitful as he claims he needs mercury for some broken piece of the TARDIS. Once there they are, as expected, captured by the Daleks.
Now, at first I kind of felt for the Daleks. They thought that they had been left unaffected by some ancient neutron bomb and the poor Thals (a human-like race that lives peacefully in the woods) were mutated, jealous and out to kill them. There was a sad innocence in all of it. Plus, to be honest, the Thals were kind loserish. They’ve never fought? Even over a woman? When all of their women are seemingly attractive and scantily clad? Really? Thals….more like Tools.
Anyway, those glimmers of romance between Ian and Barbara are replaced by romance between Barbara and some Thal guy. And then she puts on those sweet Thal pleather pants. Phew. Ian must have been pretty angry at that, but he hides it well. Or maybe there was never any Ian-Barbara fling to begin with.
The Daleks, however, are not innocent. They are evil bastards. But, they may not be as evil as our travellers who force the Thals into fighting the Daleks. A few of them die, including two forgettable souls that drown in some crazy swamp.
Back to the Daleks…they are actually deformed mutants, presumably from the ancient bomb. However, they claim the Thals are the deformed ones…I wonder if that’s accurate? One thing about the Daleks that is definitely deformed is their voices. I admit, I don’t have the best hearing. But I had to turn on the subtitles to understand them at some points. It was either my poor hearing, television speaker, or poor original audio. Probably a combination of all of those things. That was a bit obnoxious, but I got past it. I hope their audio improves in future Dalek stories.
I could have done without the seemingly endless cave canyon jumping. Maybe one or two jumps and I would have had the point. It was a dangerous trip. Perhaps it was all very edge-of-you-seat in the sixties, but I found that wanting.
In the end, our heroes escape with the piece to the TARDIS, Barbara gets her hot pants and says goodbye to her Thal lover and off they go.
With the exception of the cave jumping, this was another good story. The Daleks, once I learned they weren’t as innocent as they initially seemed are a great race of villains. The fact that they see through those cameras is pretty great. And the subjective camera techniques when they moved/attacked was pretty impressive. It was almost (but not nearly as good) as the subjective shots in Psycho. I’m sure that movie was the inspiration for such a technique.
It seems that a pattern is developing to the stories already: travellers arrive, get nosy, get captured, escape, help someone along the way. I’m looking forward to future Dalek stories, although I hope they don’t include the Thals. I already have the DVDs for The Dalek Invasion of Earth, but it’s not until Season 2, so they will have to wait on the shelf. I’m excited to get to them.
Question: Were the Daleks the mutants as we naturally believe, or is it how they say and the humanesque Thals are the mutations of Skaro?