Friday 13 April 2012

508 Destiny of the Daleks Part Three

EPISODE: Destiny of the Daleks Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 15 September 1979
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Ken Grieve
SCRIPT EDITOR: Douglas Adams
PRODUCER: Graham Williams
RATINGS: 13.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Destiny Of The Daleks

The Doctor, Romana & Tyssan flee with Davros but are trapped in a room. Romana & Tyssan escape through a window leaving the Doctor holding Davros hostage with a bomb that he removed from Dalek control. Romana & Tyssan split up to evade the Dalek patrols. The Doctor is forced to surrender Davros when the Daleks start exterminating human prisoners, but he achieves the captives freedom. Detonating the bomb remotely after he leaves, he is unaware it has destroyed the Dalek that removed the explosive rather than it's creator. Romana returns to the Movellan ship where she finds Lan & Agella alive & well. Commander Sharrel announces their objective now the Daleks have found Davros is to secure the Doctor. The Doctor meets Tyssan, but both are captured by a Dalek. The Dalek is destroyed by a Movellan seeking the Doctor but the Doctor immobilises the Movellan by removing a tube like device from it's belt. He shows that the Movellans are robots and teaches Tyssan how to reprogram them. The Doctor finds Romana entombed in the Nova Device, a Movellan explosive device, with the timer clicking down towards zero.....

This is the second time now that Terry Nation has had to bring back a foe that he conclusively killed at the end of a previous story, the first being the Daleks themselves who were seemingly utterly wiped out at the end of their very first adventure. Nobody will seriously argue that bringing back The Daleks was a bad idea but Davros? Somehow his presence relegates the Daleks to being his goons for the rest of this story and the next two appearances and no matter how hard the actor playing him tries he's never going to live up to Michael Wisher's performance in Genesis of the Daleks.

Wisher was, at the time this story was made, committed to long running theatre work so was replaced by David Gooderson, who has primarily worked as a voice actor. However in recent years he's been regularly seen on ITV playing Pathologist Derek Simpkins in A Touch of Frost. That makes two consecutive Doctor Who stories with prominent ITV Pathologists in them: Armageddon Factor featured Barry Jackson who plays Dr George Bullard in Midsomer Murders. At the time of making Destiny of the Daleks Tim Barlow, playing Tyssan, was deaf having lost his hearing in an army accident in the 1950s. He's since had a Cochlear Implant fitted to "restore" his hearing and detailed the experience for a Radio 4 program: Earfull - From Silence into Sound. Suzanne Danielle plays Agella. She was at the time well known for a number of glamorous roles on television. Tony Osoba, playing Lan, is best known as McLaren in Porridge. This story is Mike Mungarvan's only appearance as a Dalek Operator, but he makes numerous other uncredited appearances in other stories. His fellow operator Cy Town is on his fifth Dalek story but absent is John Scott Martin who otherwise appears in every Dalek story from The Chase onwards. Regular Dalek Voice artist Roy Skelton once again reprises that role.

This episode is famed for the Doctor's retort of "spack off!" to the Daleks. I suspect Tom Baker was trying to say "Back Off!" but stumbled rather over the line.

Among the slaves assembled for extermination we see a Draconian costume for Frontier in Space!

Once again Terry Nation reaches into his usual repertoire for the third cliffhanger: It's a nice big bomb with a countdown. See also: The Daleks, Dalek Invasion of Earth, Planet of the Daleks, Death to the Daleks & The Android Invasion!

As this story has gone on we've been charting it's rating, something I've not bothered doing until now. Having notched up 13 million viewers for the first episode, and 12.8 for the second, Destiny now records a new record for Doctor Who with 13.8 million viewers, the first time the record for the most viewers had changed hands since The Ark in Space Part Two recorded 13.6 million viewers on 01st February 1975. This new record however would stand for precisely one week, and over the next 5 weeks, thanks to ITV being off the air due to a strike, it will change hands again 2 more times after that!

This is how the record for the episode with the highest viewing figures has changed so far:

Episode # Story & Episode Rating (millions)
1 An Unearthly Child 1: An Unearthly Child 4.4
2 An Unearthly Child 2: The Cave of Skulls 5.9
3 An Unearthly Child 3: The Forest of Fear 6.9
7 The Daleks 3: The Escape 8.9
8 The Daleks 4: The Ambush 9.9
10 The Daleks 6: The Ordeal 10.4
46 The Dalek Invasion of Earth 1: World's End 11.4
47 The Dalek Invasion of Earth 2: The Daleks 12.4
53 The Rescue 2: Desperate Measures 13
58 The Web Planet 1: The Web Planet 13.5
387 The Ark in Space Part Two 13.6
508 Destiny of the Daleks Part Three 13.8

1 comment:

  1. Inferior Davros in full flow in this episode. Whether it was the prosthetics or not, this felt and sounded like a man talking through a mask. The delivery was stilted and lifeless. A pale shadow of Wisher and Tromelly.

    The story plods along as well, there's nothing that feels new in it. The Movellans have no presence at all whatsoever and that hurts the story big time. If these beings are to have fought the Daleks to a standstill there should be a presence about them. Instead they look and feel like they should be dancing in the background to I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper.