C036 The Evil of The Daleks

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A Karl Marx lookalike delivers spiffing technobabble while time travel goes straight down the drain in this senseless yet hugely compelling serial.

Ok, I’m going to bullet point this serial’s blurb, because the plot of Evil of The Daleks makes so little sense to me, it actually hurts a little:

  • Two Victorian gentlemen, (father of future companion, Victoria) Edward Waterfield and (Karl Marx lookalike) Theodore Maxtible, invent time travel, but are promptly intercepted by already time travelling Daleks who subsequently render their invention pointless.
  • The Daleks force them to travel forward in time, most likely using Dalek technology rather than their own, to the 1960s where one of them is to open an antiques store specialising in Victoriana, which must have taken ages to establish on the market and also serves no point in the plot.
  • In 1967 the Daleks then force Waterfield to steal the TARDIS from Gatwick Airport, but how did the Daleks know it – or indeed The Doctor and Jamie – would be there at that time?
  • Anyway, the TARDIS is of no consequence, because their plan is to use it to lure Doc and Jamie into a trap, take them back to Victorian England, and there force them to perform an experiment on their behalf that could probably have been done (a) without their involvement and (b) makes no sense on its own either.

So that’s the basic gist of this serial. That being said, man, oh, man, I sort of liked it nonetheless. Plot logic goes straight out the window in this one, but there’s time travel and great technobabble and the first appearance of the Dalek Emperor, not to mention of future companion Victoria Waterfield as well! What’s not to like? Well, quite a lot, I suppose, and you’ll have to listen to this podcast episode for the juicy details.

Screenshots from The Evil of The Daleks:



Screenshots of Sonny Caldinez in other stuff, including Doctor Who:


Here’s the mini production featurette mentioned in this podcast episode:

Here’s the Loose Cannon Productions interview with Colin Baker that I mention in this podcast episode:

And here’s the interview with Sonny Caldinez:

Lastly, do yourselves a favour and check out this super interesting interview with Doctor Who author John Peel:

7 Responses to “C036 The Evil of The Daleks”

  1. Stephen | @sgamer82

    The Evil of the Daleks is the second and last Dalek story of Troughton’s era. There won’t be Daleks again for about one Doctor and four companions.

    I want to say, right off the bat, that I really enjoyed this story. One of the bigger issues with Classic Who, the pacing, didn’t really feel present here as I felt something was almost always happening. It helped that we never spent too long in a single place. One thing that caught my attention in the early episodes was how mundane everything actually was until the Daleks took over the plot. It was the Doctor and Jamie trying to solve a mystery through completely normal means. I personally found it an interesting change.

    I particularly liked this serial’s secondary cast. Starting with Edward Waterfield, I liked how his eccentricities in the initial episodes, like referring to a cab as a “handsome” or not understanding slang terms, can in hindsight be seen as foreshadowing for his actual origin rather than an antique seller’s eccentricities. Maxtible, like Mavic Chen before him and many others after, never realizes until it’s far too late that he’s just the pawn. That realization and the gradual breakdown that follows was the kind of fallen arrogance that the Chameleons lacked in “The Faceless Ones.”

    I’m genuinely curious, Ponken, to hear your opinion on Kemmel. On the one hand, the only non-British human character is a big, mute, brute of a man. On the other, he’s the single most valiant character in the entire secondary cast. A similar character will appear in “Tomb of the Cybermen”, incidentally.

    We have a new companion in Victoria Waterfield, though she doesn’t get much spotlight until late in the story. The Troughton stories I’ve seen, listened to, and (in one case) read paint her more as a companion in the vein of Susan, Vicki, and Dodo rather than in the caliber of Barbara or Polly. Still, she does begin the only time in all of Who I can think of where the Doctor has multiple Earthling companions each from Earth’s past rather than the current present day.

    The Daleks and their Emperor give a good showing. It’s not often we see them so thoroughly outwit the Doctor, as they did here by using his Human Factor studies to discover the Dalek Factor. Not to mention trying to trick the Doctor by posing as one of the humanized Daleks. On the other hand, trying to hypnotize the Doctor into walking into his doom was not a stroke of genius. One question that occurred to me though, is in assuming the Dalek-Factor archway would affect him, could that mean that the Daleks before now never realized the Doctor was not actually a human being?

    It’s Jamie, however, who is the highlight of the story to me. Much of the story focuses on him and his basic humanity. He plays the gallant knight going off to rescue Victoria, defeats and befriends Kemmel, and even calls out the Doctor for his perceived callousness in a way much like Ian and Steven before him. Only when it seems like the Doctor himself has been taken down does he himself begin to feel any kind of despair.

    I really enjoyed the Evil of the Daleks and, with that in mind, am giving it a 4.3 out of 5.

  2. So the Evil of the Daleks picks up where the Faceless Ones episode 6 ended with a relatively nonplussed Doc telling Jaime “we lost the TARDIS.” And Evil…begins with them not only finding it but chasing it. They do some snooping, get a small lead, and then we find out about other people in the serial (where we get information that DJ don’t yet have, and then DJ keep snooping. This pattern repeats for a bit. It would have been a fun surprise when the Dalek appeared if the serial wasn’t called the Evil of the Daleks. I didn’t really buy into the acting of the grumpy Santa-doppelganger that is helping the Daleks.

    Waterfield and Kemel are both was a fairly interesting character who have a little more depth to them than the once off characters of other serials. Which in my opinion is interesting considering that Victoria’s character is just a useless and helpless girl (not another one in Doctor Who – I’m looking at you Dodo and Vicki).

    The Daleks want the human-factor and I love the playful Daleks, which is fun while it lasts. So it should be a quite memorable serial, but I always forget about it until I watch in. Which in a way makes my score go up slightly because when I watch it I feel like I’m rediscovering it. Side not – in this already longer than I planned “Mini-Review” How come the Daleks are looking for a human factor when we all know that the real reason that the humans defeat them is “The Doctor.” Shouldn’t they be looking for the Time Lord Factor or The Doctor Factor. If we wait about a decade (I can’t be bothered to do the math) Who Back When will review “The Witch’s Familiar” where we’ll kind of see that.

    All and all a fun serial it has it’s fun parts and it has it’s ‘will this scene ever end’ moments. But in the end it still is still a serial that I often forget about despite love, love, love -ing the second Doctor. He’s usually the one I call my favorite doctor. (Sometimes I flip flop to Davison.)

    Last notes before my score: It’s an odd feeling to root for the Human Factor Daleks. I give it a middle of the road: 2.9. Really only a hair off from a three, but I can’t quite put it there. For context I gave The Chase a 2.9 as well (before I started submitting Mini-Reviews). It’s a fair score, like The Chase it was a little too silly at times, but not without it’s great moments.

    Ps In Dalek voice: “Dizzy, Dizzy, Dizzy, Daleks! Why? Why? Why obey without question?”

  3. Trenton Bless (Wrestlemania489)

    Hello once again, Podcastland! I’m here to take a look at the final story of Season 4, “The Evil of the Daleks”. As always, here’s a quick fact file (I do quite like these fact files. Gives you some more Whovian Knowledge, you know?):

    ~Written by former Doctor Who script editor David Whitaker, The Evil of the Daleks was initially intended to be the last Dalek story on Doctor Who. Writer Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks, was busily trying to sell the Daleks to American television at the time, to produce a spin-off series featuring them, and it was intended to give them a big send off from the series. Of course, despite the Doctor’s pronouncement, this was not to be his last encounter with these most famous of his adversaries. In addition, despite the intention to “kill off” the Daleks, Lloyd was told, at the last moment before filming the final scene, not to. He did this inserting a light globe inside one of the wrecked Daleks in the Emperor Dalek’s chamber. This light glowed, suggesting that something within remained alive.

    ~The Evil of the Daleks was wiped from the BBC’s archives in the early 1970s. Only a telerecording of episode two remains, which was returned to the BBC archive in May 1987 after being found at a car boot sale a few years earlier. A copy of the soundtrack was released in 1992. A second version with alternative narration was released in 2003. A home movie of the filming of the Dalek battle sequence exists and is included on the DVD of The Tomb of the Cybermen.

    ~Patrick Troughton and Deborah Watling appear only in film inserts in episode four, as they were both on holiday during the week when it was recorded.

    ~This story picks up where The Faceless Ones left off. The first two episodes take place contemporaneously with part four of The War Machines, which may go some way to explaining why the First Doctor said at the start of the earlier story that he had the same feeling he had when Daleks were around.

    ~The Evil of the Daleks was the first Doctor Who serial to be repeated in its entirety. This occurred between June and August of 1968, when the serial was aired to fill the gap between seasons 5 and 6, with a two-week break between episodes three and four to accommodate the BBC’s extended coverage of the Wimbledon tennis tournament. Unlike most reruns, the repeat was actually worked into the narrative of the series, by having new companion Zoe Heriot watching the events unfold via a telepathic projector hidden behind one of the roundels of the console room. For the repeats, episode one had an added voice-over by Patrick Troughton and Wendy Padbury immediately after the opening title sequence that referred back to the fact that this was being “shown” to Zoe:

    The Doctor: “Now as I remember, Zoe, it all started when Jamie and I spotted someone making off with the TARDIS.”
    Zoe: “But what about those Daleks you showed me?”
    The Doctor: “We’re coming to that, Zoe. Just let me show you the story from the beginning…”

    Now that we got this massive fact file out of the way, let’s get onto the review.

    Alchemy is the key motif to David Whitaker’s majestic seven-parter. The transmutation of base metal into gold is the obsession driving Theodore Maxtible, as we eventually discover, but the theme resonates in subtler ways throughout. Troughton’s whimsical Doctor exhibits a far darker side. Previously eclipsed Jamie is at last allowed to shine with Ben and Polly now gone. A few Daleks develop human characteristics. One human even becomes a Dalek. 60’s Britain shimmers with a puff of gas into Victorian times. That setting – with an explosion – sublimes into a far-flung world. And underscoring it all, the incidental music segues seamlessly between instrumental and electronic.

    Like most of the Dalek serials before it, the Daleks were once again after universal domination. We also get the Dalek Emperor and the fall of the Dalek Empire at the end of the serial. I thought this was the Daleks at their best. Heck, even the Daleks with the Human factor were great. I thought it was funny how those Daleks acted, but it at times could be a little annoying. (Insert soundbyte of “Dizzy Daleks” here)

    As in “The Moonbase”, the Doctor was dead serious when dealing with the Daleks. I would be too. Of course, the Doctor had no choice but to help the Daleks with their experiment.

    As noted above, Jamie is finally used fully and is one of the best parts of this story. Victoria Waterfield, who makes her debut in Episode 2, was a nice addition to the TARDIS team. However, she wouldn’t have her “Bigger on the Inside” moment until the following story (Spoilers). Victoria is maybe my second favorite companion of the Second Doctor, next to Jamie, of course. You really feel for her at the end of the serial. She’s lost everything. Her father killed by the Daleks, she’s millions of light years and centuries away from her own time and place. She’s just a scared girl who ends up joining the Doctor and Jamie on their travels.

    Maxtible was made a villain through his greed. He wanted to figure out how to turn metals like iron and lead into gold. In the end, he was tricked and the Daleks gave him the Dalek Factor. In the end, we can only assume that Maxtible was either killed or went missing on Skaro when the Human Factor Daleks started fighting the Empire Daleks. I thought Maxtible was great. On the subject of villains, Marxtible and Waterfield were mere pawns of the Emperor Dalek. The Emperor Dalek steals the show in episode seven, and even though he get only moments of screen time, he asserts himself in that position of authority through that menacing deeper, booming Dalek voice. Even as he was being destroyed, yelling “Do not fight in here! I am your Emperor!” and such, he was a powerful character to the end.

    The Loose Canon recons were pretty good. The CGI effects in the recons (For example, the traps in Karl Marxtible’s house and a CGI Dalek Emperor in episode 6’s recon) helped make them a little more interesting, and at least Episode 2 survives in its entirety, featuring almost every principal character in this serial besides Kemel. Oh, and let’s not forget the scenes from episode 7 where the Empire Daleks and the Human Factor Daleks fight it out. It’s quite funny how they used the 60’s Dalek toys in the model shots, and I’m glad you can actually watch that (If you want to watch it, but don’t feel like slogging through a recon to see it, it’s available on the “Tomb of the Cybermen” DVD as an extra).

    So, overall, how was this serial? Well, I loved it. I can see why most Whovians in 1993 voted it the “Best Doctor Who Serial of All Time”. But, as Ponken pointed out, it’s got a few plot points that don’t go anywhere or aren’t used to their full potential. I think if Ponken’s version of the story were told, I’d be giving this serial an easy 4.0/5. So, I’m giving this serial a 3.95/5. To some, this could be considered the definite article when it comes to a good Dalek story, and it put all the previous Dalek stories (With the exception of “The Daleks’ Master Plan, of course.) to shame. I think that the Classic Series Dalek stories that followed aren’t as good as this one, with the exception of “Remembrance of the Daleks” and “Genesis of the Daleks”. Only two NuWho stories can compare to this story: “Dalek” and the opening two parter of Series 9, “The Magician’s Apprentice” & “The Witch’s Familiar”. The Doctor may think this serial brings a “final end” to the Daleks, but his encounters with the Daleks are far from being all over.

    The Doctor and Jamie escape the battle with the now orphaned Victoria and watch the city burn, apparently witnesses to the final end of the Daleks. Jamie expresses concern about Victoria being left alone, to which the Doctor replies that she’ll be going with them as they leave.

    In the Emperor Dalek’s burning chamber, a light pulses inside an overturned, wrecked Dalek casing…

    Since I only started writing reviews for WhoBackWhen, here are my ratings for the entirety of Season 4 of the Classic Series:

    “The Smugglers”: 2.9/5
    “The Tenth Planet”: 4.3/5
    “The Power of the Daleks”: 3.9/5
    “The Highlanders”: 3.0/5
    “The Underwater Menace”: 3.0/5
    “The Moonbase”: 3.8/5
    “The Macra Terror”: 3.7/5
    “The Faceless Ones”:3.7/5
    “The Evil of the Daleks”: Were you not listening? I gave it a 3.95/5

    I look forward to the next review, and I’m sure all of you are, too, as Doc Hammer, Jamie and Victoria travel to the planet Telos, where a great evil lies in sleep, and some foolish archeologists are about to wake them up! We kick off Season 5 of Classic Who next time, as Ponken and Co. reviews “The Tomb of the Cybermen”! I’ll see you all then!

  4. Sorry guys but I think you mark very harshly. I only know Evil from the BBC audio version but surely this is one of the pillars of the Who pantheon? I feel similarly about the next one up, Tomb. I can never believe the middling marks people accord these episodes. Evil is 4-4.5/5. I’m going with the latter mark.

    Anyway, love the WBW podcasts – right up there with best. My personal favourites are your Dalek Invasion and War Machines.

    • Ponken

      What-ho, Scorby!

      Thanks for writing in. I hate to say it, but I kind of agree with you. About us being too harsh, that is. There are plenty of serials that – you’re absolutely right – we have judged unfairly and that – in hindsight – even on this podcast, we’ve said that we’d rate higher if given the choice. When we’ve finished reviewing all of Classic Who, perhaps we should make a completely fresh rating and ranking of all serials to see where they stand in the perfect totality of Classic Who. Hold up. Strike that ‘perhaps’. That’s a brilliant idea! Yes, we’re totally doing that!

      As for The Evil of The Daleks, well, its flaws are still too fresh in my mind for me to regret the score I gave it, but I look forward to looking back on it fondly. Thanks for listening!

      (Our Dalek Invasion of Earth review is one of my favs, too!)

  5. Peter Zunitch

    First off, I originally had an old copy of the Loose Canon recon. I appreciated it, but the copy I had was down so many VHS generations I could barely see the pictures. It may as well have been an audio drama with no narrator and no explanation of the dialog pauses.
    This time I found a new recon with computer animation for much of the Dalek scenes and even some stand-ins for shots when you couldn’t see people’s faces. It was brilliant and made all the difference in the world.
    While I agree that for some reason I tend to forget about this story in the grand scheme of Dr Who, I found myself really interested this time and quite enjoyed it. It is flawed in more than a few ways, but that didn’t ruin my enjoyment of it this time.
    What makes this story better (and I don’t know if this is “allowed” in the world of reviews, but I’m doing it anyway), is if one comes back to this story after seeing some of the future Dalek stories, especially Genesis. Consider that the “human factor” is what makes humans able to overcome adversity in the face of total hopelessness. When the Daleks are defeated, they leave and make new plans. When the humans are defeated, they fight harder. The Daleks fatal flaw is their inflexibility. They can make plans and provisions, and alternate plans, but if they all fail, they have nowhere to go from there. This is what they need from humans. The rest of it is something they can never have. Human compassion, forgiveness, morals, friendship. These are the things that allow Jamie to overcome the tests. When all hope was lost, this is what got him through. As we see, if the Daleks acquire these traits, then they are no longer Daleks. The humans succeed because of these things, and the sense of comradery it inspires in them and potential allies, and together they triumph. This was done much better here than it was in the awful “Evolution of the Daleks”.
    Now what about the Dalek factor? It’s not their unquestioning obedience alone. As Genesis points out, they’ve had pity, sympathy, morals removed from their genetic makeup. They are obedient because they cannot conceive of any other way. There is no emotion. It is this that make them so ruthless and “evil” as we come to learn in this episode.
    The evil of the Daleks is that they feel nothing for anyone (including each other). Allies, promises, truths mean nothing to them. They purposefully deceive and take pride in denying what is promised to those who serve them. They are evil not because they conquer, but because of how they do it.
    As for the time travel, my personal observation is that Maxtible and Waterfield didn’t invent time travel. They invented, “something” that caught the attention of the Daleks. The daleks then allowed them to think their invention worked while all the while they were using Dalek time travel technology. Thus they used their time tracker to find the doctor and set their trap. The fact that he was in one place and time for so long (the airport) allowed this to happen. There are some vague clues here and there, but perhaps I’m fan-xplaining too much here. Again though, it makes much more sense.
    Suggested changes: There’s a lot of stuff here that one needs to not only read between the lines, but write their own chapter or two. It’s a flaw of the script I think. More could have been examined in place of some of the filler scenes. The whole guy in the barn wanting his money seemed useless and out of place. It should be deleted. Most missed footage would be the fight scene with Jamie and the brute (or any scene with Victoria in it).
    Overall though all characters were well acted and the story, for 7 parts, did keep a good pace. In the end though it missed some character interaction and motivation scenes that would have made it great.
    Dizzy Daleks were kept to a minimum, and it is supposed to be at least geared towards kids after all. I found this story fun. 3.6


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