Say Something Nice – Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks

In an effort to find something quick that can be written as part of Daily Doctor Who, we are continuing with Say Something Nice, where I look back at each of the Doctor Who stories and pull out one or two cool things about it.

(Daily Doctor Who #248)

Read the previous entry here. Today, we continue with the second story of the show’s fourth season…

The Power of the Daleks

A new Doctor debuts in this story: Patrick Troughton, as the character’s second incarnation. The companions remain the same: Anneke Wills as Polly and Michael Craze as Ben Jackson. William Hartnell makes a very brief cameo as the First Doctor via a specially take photograph.

The serial is written by David Whitaker, with final revisions by an uncredited Dennis Spooner. It is directed by Christopher Barry.

All six episodes of this story is missing from the BBC archives, but can be seen thanks to an animated restoration which was produced and directed by Charles Norton.

Say Something Nice…

(Named for Missy–aka the Master–and her catchphrase from her first full appearance in Dark Water).

The Power of the Daleks introduces one of my favorite Doctors in Patrick Troughton, and tells a largely compelling story of the Daleks insinuating themselves into the political dynamics of colony world. The story develops the recurring idea of the Daleks being able to somehow win the assistance from the very people they intend to exterminate in order to carry out their plans. As such it really popularize the way the Daleks have often come to represent not just a force of xenophobic hate, but the destructive nature of our humanity’s most base instincts.

But because we’re equal-opportunity fans here, we’re not going to only be sycophantically complimentary.

You craven-hearted spineless poltroon!

(Another cry from the Master, but not exactly a catch-phrase, this time from The Deadly Assassin)

As menacing as the idea of the Daleks are, their plan here does depend a great deal on the scientist Lesterson being an unbelievably gullible fool. I’ve never seen this story properly (indeed, nobody has since the 1960’s), and I’ve only seen part of the animated re-creation, but even though the plot is gripping to read, the parts that I did see struck me as a bit slow-paced.

Welcome to the era of the Second Dcotor! Catch you next time!

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