Browse the WBW Podcast
Browse the WBW Podcast
Browse Classic Who reviews
Browse Classic Who reviews

Wait. Romana regenerates willy-nilly, Davros is immortal and Daleks are just robots?

K9’s got laryngitis, Romana is regenerating and trying out bodies like dresses, and the TARDIS still doesn’t have any manual navigation. So where does that leave the Doc? Answer, landing on a strangely familiar planet, with a strangely familiar companion but no mechanical pooch for company.

It soon becomes clear that they’re on the mostly ashen but occasionally verdant remains of Skaro, and the Daleks have come there, too, employing the usual humanoid slave labour force to burrow into the planet on the lookout for something — or someone — in particular. Who’ll get there first, though? And who are those pink-pistol-wielding spacemen who have turned up as well? And why are they so gosh, darn good looking?

 

While you’re at it, check out this exclusive, deleted scene from Destiny of the Daleks: The People vs. Davros by Podcastland’s own Michael Ridgway!

Here's what we think of C104 Destiny of the Daleks

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

2.7

Jim | @jimmythewho

2.3

Here's what we think of C104 Destiny of the Daleks

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken

2.7

Jim | @jimmythewho

2.3

Here's what you think 11 Responses to “C104 Destiny of the Daleks”
  1. Peter Zunitch

    Dudes! I’m really sorry. I totally didn’t realize that the regen scene was missing from the widescreen version.

    I think it’s because I started watching this (months ago) on a 4×3 version that had it, but my file became corrupt shortly after I started watching. That’s when I found the cinematic version. So I remember seeing it. Totally my fault. Sorry.

    As a side note, I haven’t watched them side by side (so I’m going entirely by memory of the 5 or so other times I’ve watched this) but other than that omission the two cuts are identical.

    I really enjoyed the 16×9 version as well and am seriously contemplating undertaking this effort for some other episode(s) myself. Maybe someone can suggest a good candidate? I know originally Warriors of the deep was missing some effects. Maybe they fixed it in the blueray release, but if not, perhaps that one? I could add those too?

    • Hey dude! No worries at all. Thanks again for providing the 16×9 edit. We loved it!
      You should totally cut one of them yourself. If you can think of a good one for an ep we haven’t reviewed yet — Warriors of the Deep included — I’d be up for popping it on the telly. Sounds like you’ve got another fun project on your hands! ;-)

      • Peter J Zunitch

        Just listened to the rest of the show. Brilliant as always. Is there a word for man-splaining things hosts dont understand in the comments? Pod-splaining maybe?

  2. Phil Salter

    What this? Well it’s a story about the pointlessness of a purely logical war (actually quite a good idea badly executed!). The last Terry Nation script and he goes out with a whimper rather than a bang.

    • Man oh man do those dalek props look tired after years of being battered and unloved at the BBC. The same goes for the davros mask, the original one dusted off after 4 years, moulded to a different actor’s face.
    • Terry Nation seems to have forgotten his creations aren’t robots, it’s infuriating to anyone who knows the first thing about daleks that they aren’t robots!
    • The whole K9 laryngitis thing is pretty poor, as a child I wouldn’t mind if the actor decided not to come back to voice him, but I love K9!
    • I find the whole Romana wasting regenerations on finding the right look really silly (sorry if you like it!)
      Tom Baker can’t seem to say deja vu properly
    • It’s taken me so many stories to realise this, but in nearly every dalek story someone is guantantueed to say something like ‘the place is crawling with daleks’.
    • The disco-robot movellans are simply amazing, the way they pathetically fall over – brilliant.
    • It was meant to be an exciting start to the season, but it ultimately doesn’t deliver… 1.6

    Thanks,

    Phil.

  3. Andy Parkinson

    Hello Fellas,

    I’m a new listener since finding your show on iTunes. I’m currently frantically trying to catch up on the past episodes loving the banter and occasionally shouting at my phone when I disagree with your scores/reviews.

    I thought I’d write a review for your next classic Who review, The Destiny of the Daleks

    The Doctor is tinkering with K9 who is broken (again!). From a side room Princess Astra appears! But wait, it’s not really Astra it’s Romana who is in the process of regenerating. After the Doctor explains it’s a little unethical, she leaves and reappears in various different guises before settling once again on Astra dressed up like the Doctor. Somewhat narcissistically the Doctor reneges.

    The Tardis materializes on Skaro thanks to the randomizer. So, we know that our heroes are going to meet the Daleks once more! It turns out The Doctor and Romana are caught in a bust up between the Daleks trying to rescue Davros and a race of robots called Movellans who are trying to stop them in a bid for galactic supremacy.

    The Movellans are complete with full dreds and headphones that Beats would be envious of!

    The doctor gets trapped under a falling pillar. Fun fact, the book that the Doctor is reading is written by none other than Oolon Colluphid who will appear again in Hitchhikers.

    The Doctor and Romana attempt to re-educate the Movellans using Rock, Paper, Scissors

    This is the 12th time our hero has faced the hysterical pepper pots and I think it’s possibly the worst one.

    Of my many beefs are

    • Romana can regenerate in to several different forms choosing them at will – since when can Timelords do this?
    • The pillar is supposedly so heavy that the Doc and Romana can’t lift it, yet it moves every time the Doc breathes or Romana touches it!
    • Whilst threatening Davros with the bomb the Doctor moves away several times so any enterprising Dalek can clearly exterminate him at no danger to Davros
    • The Movellans are supposed to be indestructible yet can be knocked out easily by removing those power packs.

    Overall, this is a pretty weak story, and feels like Terry Nation had run out of steam in terms of storytelling. I would score this story 1.2 out of 5

    The only upside is that the next story is City of Death – One of the best stories ever!

    Keep up the good work chaps

    Andy Parkinson

  4. Paul Waring | @pwaring

    Destiny of the Daleks is one of those stories which leaves many questions unanswered. Why does Romana get to choose her new body, when the Doctor has to put up with whatever he’s given? Come to think of it, why does Romana even need to regenerate at this point? Why do the Daleks come for Davros, when any intelligent but illogical being could have reprogrammed their battle computers?

    Moving on from questions, the new enemy in the form of the Movellans are interesting – the revelation that they are robots surprised me the first time I watched this. I particularly like their spaceship, especially the way it burrows into the ground on landing. Their weakness does make them embarrassingly ineffective at close quarters though – something is wrong if a small group of prisoners suffering from exhausting, and presumably radiation sickness, can take over your spaceship.

    I love the way the Doctor taunts the Daleks about not being able to climb up after him. I’m in two minds about the return of Davros though. Whilst I find the character interesting, his presence tends to relegate the Daleks to being footsoldiers, instead of an intelligent race in their own right, and this continues for the rest of Classic Who.

    Overall, Destiny is not in the same league as Genesis, but is nevertheless an enjoyable Davros/Dalek story. 3.5/5

  5. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Likes:

    • Yes we know it’s Skaro all along – but the first chunk oozes with tension.
    • There’s some dark stuff we haven’t seen before: Daleks summarily executing slave workers; Dalek suicide-bombers; and the Doctor merrily attempting to murder Davros (something the Doctor has refrained from doing since).
    • The Movellans look fantastic (even if they are super-dumb and defeated by a dog whistle).
    • RIP the Doctor’s hat. It went out with a bang.

    Beefs:

    • Davros. David Gooderson does his best. But I wish original actor Michael Wisher had come back.
    • Since when did the Daleks become robots? Over-reliance on an AI battle computer I can buy, but the idea that the Daleks have become mere machines is naff.
    • The Doctor’s unnecessary violence against a defenceless Kaled mutant. For Shame!
    • Can Davros really be tried for crimes against the whole of sentient creation? He can’t be held directly responsible for crimes committed by the Daleks: he created them but responsibility entails command and control – which he didn’t have because he’s been dead! He can’t even be blamed for slave labour on Skaro – he’d only just woken up! There may be a case to get him on war crimes committed during the Thal-Kaled War, but good luck making a case in the context of Thal war crimes. “Case dismissed!”

    Summary: this unloved Davros story has flaws (namely Davros). But it’s creepy, pacy, and does the job of resurrecting the Big Bad for a series of fantastic Classic, Audio and New Who stories to come. Kudos for that.

    Rating: 3/5 rubbish polystyrene rocks that Romana could clearly have moved by herself.

  6. Derek Moore

    Why hello fellow Whovians!

    You know, I thought Destiny of the Daleks was pretty good! Not the highest level like Genesis of the Daleks, but it was a sensible plot with a few good twists. OK, so the costumes were straight out of Buck Rogers and it was annoying to hear by Terry Nation, no less, that everyone kept saying Daleks were robots and not the weird crawly slimy creatures in a shell they should be, but still was quite exciting. Well, except for Tom Baker man-splaining regeneration to Romana and shaming her to transform into a female clone of him, yikes! Having the Daleks appear only every few years seems about right. I give it 4 out of 5!

    Thank you!

    Derek Moore

  7. Joe Ford, Doc Oho Reviews | @docoho

    Beneath all the camp trappings there is a sound science fiction story at work here and clearly Douglas Adams has had a huge impact on Terry Nation’s original script, for good or for ill. There is a disquieting first episode, which is slow but dripping with atmosphere and an exciting, visually impressive concluding episode that ends the story on a good note but it’s the humdrum middle episodes that really let this story down. Tom Baker seems almost subdued in the early stages in a story that refuses to give him all the usual pantomime schtick to play about with but soon finds his comfort zone when the Doctor is reunited with Davros and he can spend some time winding him up. Destiny of the Daleks has a bottom of the barrel reputation but as usual the truth is that it is no where near as bad as people make it out to be. At the same time it isn’t the Dalek spectacular that should have opened the season and could have done with double the budget thrown at it and the script given another once over to iron out any conflicts in tone that keep cropping up. Completely unrepresentative of the Williams era, Destiny trades wit and imagination for flashy visuals and set pieces and it also has one of the best DVD covers too. Flawed but fun, all told: 2.9

  8. Peter Zunitch

    In an alternate universe the writers of Doctor Who take the show very seriously. Perhaps this story fell through a wormhole from there. The somber tone is set from the very first location scene and it’s so refreshing it’s just brilliant. The design and the directing. The Movellans, their ship, the camera work, the art design, the mood, the set design, all taken seriously. There’s incredible attention to detail, from the webs around Davros to the crumbling city things just LOOK right. They have a weight to them (all except the 800 pound rock Tom takes off the Tardis at the end). It’s as close to hard scifi as Dr Who gets. The plot is simple, the pacing slow and steady. It’s just a simple race to the prize script.

    Every character, with the exception of the less than enthusiastic day players is just outstanding. Lalla Ward especially (one of my favorite companions) is given moments to act her heart out. For Lore, there are many new elements, with equally as many references back to Genesis. (See, new who? It doesn’t have to be an in your face tribute to fandom every time).

    If you’re in the mood it’s a great tale. Yet if you’re not in the right frame of mind, re-watches can drag. You enjoy having it on in the background, but won’t remember watching it later. This and the lack of build keeps it from realizing excellence. It’s like someone removed the battery pack. Still, 3.1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

If you haven't already... Subscribe now!

Subscribe to us on iTunes now! We're dropping a new episode every week (pretty much), reviewing Classic Who, New Who and all kinds of bonus stuff from spin-offs and conventions to Doctor Who comic books.

We last reviewed...

N122 The Girl Who Died