Friday 23 September 2011

305 Day of the Daleks: Episode Two

EPISODE: Day of the Daleks: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: 08 January 1972
WRITER: Louis Marks
DIRECTOR: Paul Bernard
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: I'm watching a VHS: Doctor Who - The Day of the Daleks but by the time you read this the DVD will be out!
Episode Format: 625 video

The three time travellers, Anat, Boaz and Shura, take the Doctor & Jo prisoner. The Brigadier tries to contact the Doctor on the phone which allows the Doctor to tip the Brigadier off that something's wrong. Jo threatens the soldiers with the time machine but accidentally activates it transporting herself to the future where she's captured by the Dalek's human allies who convince her that the time travellers are criminal terrorists. Shura is sent to fetch explosives but is knocked out by an arriving squad of Ogrons. The Ogrons attack forcing Anat & Boaz to leave and make their way back to the railway tunnel they arrived in. The Doctor, saved from the Ogrons by the arrival of the Brigadier, follows them into the tunnel and where he encounters a Dalek!

Yup, good stuff again, but like the previous episode the Daleks are very much in the background. I think for their big return I'd have liked more Daleks up front actually doing something. The start of this episode is a little odd: when the reprise ends we get the sting from the start of the title sequence as the action moves on. Apparently this was a conscientious decision by the director. I'd always put it down as sloppy editing when I watched the original compilation video and was astounded to find it was in tact on the episodic version. Jo confirms the day and month she left this time in but neglects to mention the year which would have been useful to those trying to date the Unit stories!

This story is the first appearance of the Daleks in colour: here they sport Grey paint schemes with black skirt balls, as opposed to the silver & blue seen previously whereas their leader is painted gold. Returning inside the shells are veterans John Scott Martin & Murphy Grumbar with newcomer Ricky Newby making up the numbers inside the third Dalek. The voices are provided by Oliver Gilbert & Peter Messaline neither of which quite hit the right tone throughout. It's their only appearance voicing Daleks: Michael Wisher, a Who regular in the seventies, would provide voices during their next four appearances frequently alongside Roy Skelton. Dissatisfaction with the Dalek voices here was one of the major motivations behind producing a special edition of this story on DVD where the Dalek voices are provided by new series Dalek voice artist Nicholas Briggs.

Drop More House in Buckinghamshire is the location used for Style's house. This was a late replacement for Osterley House in Middlesex which is closer to the other locations used in the story: the bridge & tunnel entrance over the Grand Union canal at Bull's Bridge in Hayes & Harvey House in Brentford. Styles' house is called Auderley House in the story but scripts show an earlier name for it was Austerley House, reflecting the intended location. This name was used in Terrance Dicks' 1974 novelization.

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