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Doc Fluxes Skaro in the final Dalek story of Classic Who

Doc brings Ace back to 1960s London to see famous Whovian sights like Coal Hill School and Foreman’s yard, and to pick up the stellar manipulator he happened to have left lying around by mistake. He’s not the only one after it, though. Far from it! Two Dalek factions are at war and one of them has decided that having a stellar manipulator might just be a game changer.

Also on location is not-Bagels, leading a not-UNIT team cosplaying as Liz Shaw, Jo Grant and Mike Yates, and approximately 33% of whom are second-generation nazis. With the Seeeeeventh Doctor fully leaning into his eccentricities, however, and with Ace equipped with a suped-up baseball bat, our pre-fam Fam is on the case!

Here's what we think of C152 Remembrance 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

4.7

Jim | @jimmythewho

4.5

Here's what we think of C152 Remembrance 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

4.7

Jim | @jimmythewho

4.5

Here's what you think 16 Responses to “C152 Remembrance of the Daleks”
  1. Dalek Dave Levine

    Wasted potential. This story had definite potential but it did not deliver on the promise that I felt it made in the first episode. Gilmore and Jensen, both played by quality actors, spent most of their time standing around asking the Doctor questions. They could easily have been replaced by just about anyone. Davros didn’t show up until the final episode. I loved his moment in that episode but there should have been more in the earlier episodes. The Doctor tricks Davros into destroying Skaro? WTF?!

    What was up with the music? Not a fan of the musical selections in this episode.

    Ace was aces. Ratliffe and the little girl were definite pluses. I think the story would have been better with more of them. The leader of the renegade Daleks gets flustered and blows himself up?! WTF?!

    This is the first 7th Doctor story I have watched. I grew up watching the 4th, 5th, and 6th Doctors. I enjoyed them to varying degrees with the 4th being my favorite. I’m not sure if I want to watch anymore 7th Doctor, especially if this is supposed to be one of his best stories.

    Overall Score: 2 out of 5

    Dalek Dave Levine

    Find my episode by episode notes on Remembrance of the Daleks here: https://smallscreenscrawls.blogspot.com/search/label/DW-1963-25-01

    Find all my notes on Doctor Who here: https://smallscreenscrawls.blogspot.com/p/doctor-who.html

  2. Oliver | @mynameisntjimm

    Dear WhoBackWhen,

    Please see my listener mini for Remembrance of the Daleks below:

    Remembrance of the Daleks is a simply fantastic story. It was the first (and only) story that I had watched for many years, and is thus a fond favourite of mine. From the zaps, explosions, and daleks galore to the pseudo-UNIT and 25 year fan service (even though it wasn’t technically the 25th anniversary story, I like to think of it as such). This story is a first for many things, such as the first x-ray extermination effect, the first Dalek seen going up stairs, referencing the show inside the show (bar all the “Doctor Who” jokes in the past), and sadly the only on-screen mention (to my knowledge) of rice pudding.

    This is one of only a handful of stories that never feels dragging, as well as one that doesn’t rush towards the end. It succeeds in Cartmel’s goal of making the Seventh Doctor a darker, more mysterious man, even if some of his Cartmel Master Plan ideas were left on the cutting room floor. If I were to introduce anyone to classic who, this would be my story of choice to do so, even topping Genesis of the Daleks. My only grumble is that the Special Weapons Dalek isn’t in it as much as it deserves to be, I give this story a 5 out of 5.

    From Oliver

    I can be found on the tweetbox at: @mynameisntjimm, but I don’t post much

    Thanks :)

  3. Hiya everyone.

    I am Jess and this is the first time I am writing in. Yay!
    Can I just say that remembrance of the Daleks is actually one of my favourite classic serials and still is. When it comes down to Ace beating up a Dalek with a baseball bat to the Doctor suddenly showing his darker side this serial had a lot.

    Mike smith was definitely someone I am glad won’t be back and I thought Ace’s infatuation with him was rather out of character. Apart from that I loved Ace in this (Better acting than in Dragonfire), and getting to see her absolutely destroy the Dalek with the baseball bat was a treat.

    The design of the Dalek emperor is actually something I liked(I’m strange for doing so) but the reveal of Davros was honestly rather anticlimactic because of the sheer amount of times it had been done before. The Dalek faction battle was somewhat interesting but I feel a lot more could have been done with it.

    Also that little girl, Oh my god, I loved it, her acting was (at least in my eyes) on point and mildly creepy.

    I loved the scene when The Doctor and Ace switched seats while driving the van under the bridge. Not only was it genuinely funny but also acted out beautifully with Ace ending up holding the doctor’s things.

    Random Fact:

    A lot of the action takes place in the chemistry lab, this is the same place where Ian and Barbara talked about Susan in An Unearthly Child.

    Overall this was an action packed serial with a little comedy sprinkled in. 4/5

  4. Ed Corbet

    The Professor and Ace arrive in 1963, so we can be handed lots of callbacks to the Hartnell era, although virtually no one watching back then would have remembered them. Doc is treated to the unique experience of everyone immediately deferring to him, although he treats them with contempt regardless.

    Cartmell’s plan to turn the Doctor into a duplicitous git, gets going. The idea that all of this is the Doctor playing the Dalek’s for his own purposes is a big jump from the more usual playing-the-fool to throw the enemy off-guard for maybe one scene. It is complicated by two factions arriving, but this gives us plenty of Dalek-on-Dalek action (plus awesome steampunk-tank Dalek).

    There’s a relatively low number of human casualties for a Dalek story, which is important as Doc essentially caused all of this. Drawing the Daleks to Earth in a relatively primitive time-period by stealing a weapon of mass destruction and hiding it near a school is probably the most irresponsible thing the Doctor has ever done. Seriously, crap like this is why the Time Lords keep putting you on trial.

    The Doctor’s master plan, a pre-Bagels, Killer School Kids all topped off with a fun bit of Dalek genocide (do the Thals still live on Skaro? Oh nevermind I’m sure Doc’s got it covered). A cut above for stories of the era and a great story for the Daleks to go out on.

    4.7 out of 5

    Ed Corbet

  5. Izaak | @msmonsteradams

    Not too much to say about this story, other than it’s pretty fun with a good supporting cast. It’s only her second story and Ace is blowing as many Daleks up as possible! The Doctor has a nice balance of forward planning, one step ahead-ness mixed with the usual fun of improvising as they go. It’s odd that the Daleks just have one Special Weapons Dalek, that seems to be something they should deploy more often, and the Davros reveal after half a story of a Davros fake-out was a bit odd. Overall a fun Dalek adventure that balances a lot of different moving plotlines very well. 3.8/5

    Looking forward to your review!

    Izaak

  6. Kieren Evans | @kjevans2

    Hi folks

    This one visits the question posed in Genesis: Does the Doctor have the right? And the answer is, well clearly to him, yes he does. What other Doctor would nuke Skaro and then talk a Dalek to death? The Seventh Doctor is such a badass. And Ace is a lot better in this one and like what she generally is. Beating up a Dalek with a superpowered baseball bat, chef’s kiss.

    Michael Sheard in his final Doctor Who role, his first was The Ark in 1966. And there’s Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Pamela Salem was Toos in Robots of Death.

    I strongly recommend reading the novelisation of this one, it has been reprinted relatively recently. In it, Ratcliffe and Mike are fleshed out a bit more, Rachel is explicitly Jewish (interesting to think with nazi overtones of the Daleks) and she and Gilmore knew each from during WWII and were in a relationship. Also more is explained about the Counter Measures group which is very much proto-UNIT. Gilmore in the novels/audios actually suggests Lethbridge-Stewart takes charge of the UK branch of UNIT. Actually, let’s see: Gilmore is the Brigadier, Rachael and Allison sort of fit Liz Shaw and Jo Grant (though Rachel has a similar hairstyle to Barbara), and Mike is treacherous like Mike Yates when you think he might be more like Benton.

    This for me is one of the all time greats and feels a million miles away from the previous season.

    5/5 Explosions being mistaken for IRA bombs (yep that happened).

    Cheers

    Kieren

  7. Kristaps Paddock

    FINALLY! This is the serial where everything started clicking again. It’s like everyone figured things out at the same time. The writers, the actors, the production crew, it all comes together. The character of Ace is more fully realised and Sophie Aldred has a great job going out and kicking ass, McCoy finally really has the Doctor figured out (though we saw glimpses in Bannermen), and the location shoots of this era are the best in classic Who – the show finally leaves cardboard cut out sets behind. The Daleks are always the Daleks, but this story is bright and vibrant after several seasons of overboiled, insipid crap. Four point seven levitating Daleks out of five.

  8. Michael Ridgway | @bad_movie_club

    Earliest Childhood Memories

    • Five years old. *That* cliffhanger. My jaw and my He-Man figures dropped to the ground.
    • *That* second cliffhanger. That music. Oh Jeez.
    • *That* battle. Watching the trailer for it whilst on a nebuliser in hospital. I got shouted at afterwards for running around the Ward as a Dalek.
    • Davros. The absolute horror. I was disappointed that he wasn’t just a disembodied head when I got my mits on previous Davros outings.
    • The Doctor. Talking the Dalek to Death. I never got into Marvel or DC superheroes. None of them had a patch on this guy.
    • Getting the VHS in my early teens. I watched it a hundred times until the film reel died. It’s only equal in damaged graininess was The Terminator (specifically the Kyle / Sarah shagathon).

    Rating: 5/5.

  9. Neil | @neilandrozani & @neiljamesactor

    UNLIMITED RICE PUDDING!!!
    What a fantastic series opener!
    The SEVENTH Doctor has well and truly arrived and he is ON FIRE! McCoy finally takes centre stage and his Doctor is completely in control throughout. It’s so much fun to see him one step ahead of everyone else. He’s funny, brave, charismatic, and devious – it’s a joy to watch.

    The 60’s setting works well, as do the not-UNIT (but very much like UNIT) team of allies. This very good-looking gang surely must have been modelled on Bagles, Yates, Liz and Jo? Plus, Ace gets to smash up Daleks and leap through windows like a boss.

    Other highlights include the creepy school girl, the possessed headmaster, Daleks climbing stairs, and that beautifully-written reflective scene in the café as the Doctor ponders the effects of his actions over a late-night cuppa. It’s random, unnecessary, and absolutely gorgeous.

    This adventure zips along with plenty of action and conflict, whilst never losing its sense of fun. Sadly, some of the visual effects are pretty dodgy but this is easily the best Doctor Who story since The Caves Of ANDROZAAAAANI and I think it’s simply glorious.
    Rating – 5.0

    Neil
    @neilandrozani
    @neiljamesactor

  10. Olli Raven | @FoggyDrWho

    Hello! Back on the time tram, having slept through overcrowded “literal cliffhanger” Iceworld Halt.

    ‘Member the Daleks? Pepperidge Farm remembers.

    (For the uninitiated, that was a reference to memes based on animated US sitcoms ‘South Park’ and ‘Family Guy’, your Honour.)

    Ah yes, I recall Ace practises dismemberment on a Dalek in this one using a turbo-charged baseball bat. Or, this is the first time she does that at any rate.

    Other highlights include: a going-up-the stairs stinger – if not the resolution), a mind-controlled little girl – *that* scene in the café, Special Weapons Dalek, talking another Dalek out of existence and the Doctor’s funereal speech at the end.

    Only possible lowlights would be some of the effects and incidental music, but I’ve got the Special Edition on DVD so depending on my mood, even those don’t always need to be enjoyed in their original glory.

    Two factions of an evil entity are embroiled in a bitter civil war and a whole load of ordinary Brits just trying to go about their daily lives are left to suffer the consequences of being caught in the crossfire. No parallels for the current political situation in the UK to be had there, no siree.

    But wait — of which faction does in-universe Dalek creator Davros have membership? Prepare for a swerve on that front!

    Too many members on the brain at the moment, it seems. Gonna stop there before I end up going insane on the membrane.

    Overall: 4.3 Bottomless tins of rice pudding

    Oli Raven
    (Rarely-updated Insta: @FoggyDrWho)

    P.S. “Nielsen ratings”?! Oh, come off it! A British show would only follow viewing and Audience Appreciation figures from BARB. As ever, please don’t factor these into the Mini word count. Cheers.

    P.P.S. Having heard you sing “subscribe and rate on iTunes please” well over a hundred times now, I have finally reset my login and done as instructed. Five stars all round!

    • Olli, thanks so much for the 5 stars! Your big heart is much appreciated.

      BARB, eh? Good to know. Haha, it took me a moment to disassociate that from Barbara Wright. :-D

  11. Peter Zunitch

    Yet another episode that I liked better on this rewatch than I ever have before. This one has some greatness, it also has some cringe.
    Like: Sylvester’s doctor is now in full “knows more than he’s telling” mode
    Beef: The writers still think it’s okay to leave essential plot points to be inferred.
    Like: A dalek levitates up the steps.
    Beef: They took shooting lessons from stormtroopers.
    Like: Using the stellar manipulator to create a weapon.
    Beef: Engaging in a melee fight with a Dalek is about as interesting as me trying to get that stuck piece of bread out of my toaster.
    Like: Two Dalek factions trying to out maneuver one another.
    Beef: Both sides are totally inept.
    Like: The special weapons dalek.
    Beef: A screamy-head stupid Davros nesting doll.
    Like: The cast, the characters. Sophie redeems her Dragonfire performance. Not Mike Yates is pretty good. Not Bagles Mk II is wonderful, as are not Barbra Wright and Not Liz Shaw. I want a spinoff with the café employees. Everyone else at the very least did the best they could.
    Beef: The factions should be fighting over who to follow, not what they look like.
    Likes: The action, the stunts
    Beef: kicking in the side of a Dalek space ship.
    Like: some great subtle allegories and allusions to real life issues.
    Beef: Those issues were too subtle and addressed almost cowardly. If you’re going to make a point, make it.
    So much potential greatness, Bad choices prevent epic status. 4.0

  12. Richie Blagg | @richiesexington

    I’m back the start of the seventh doctors run is iffy and sometimes it is best to not say anything at all

    But now we are at the good stuff. Seventh Doctor plans within plans and Ace just twatting stuff up. This is the where it is sad to know the end is nigh for classic as this is great and feels totally in step with modern Who. Enjoy the last hurrah my friends

    This story leaves behind the more low budget fodder from before and goes all in and proves that Doctor Who works as well as it did. The links to the past add to this without bogging us down in canon and remind me of the curiosity of who the hell is the Doctor

    That’s before we even get to the special weapons Dalek and the nazi dudes and Davros blows up the daleks thanks to his greed for power

    I’m going to give this

    4.7 wtf what do you mean don’t ask coffins float out of 5

    Richie Von Sexington aka Richard Blagg

  13. Steven from Canada | @SAndreyechen

    I’m just going to cut to the chase: 5 Daleks out of 5

    This story is absolutely fantastic, a spectacular cast of Doctor Who alumni, references to my favourite era of the show, engaging action, genuinely unnerving atmosphere and biting political commentary.

    Truly a remarkable and entertaining story and probably one of the best. It deserves its reputation.

    Steven From Canada

  14. Tanz Sixfingers | @tanzsixfingers

    Heidi ho Who Back When!

    It’s a good thing Leon likes child actors!

    For the unofficial 25th Anniversary show, we travel back to when and where it all began! But things have gone all timey-wimey, and two sets of Daleks have turned up as well.

    This is the beginning of the Cartmel Masterplan, showing a darker, more Machievellian character than before. I like this side of the Doctor.

    It’s interesting that the Doctor is mistaken for an applicant for Caretaker at Coal Hill School, a position which he takes decades later, in his Twelfth incarnation.

    One of the first things that Doc points out to Ace is the scorch marks on the tarmac from the Dalek shuttle. Why is it that when it returns, 1) he is surprised it lands there (exactly on mark) and 2) it blows out all the windows of the science room? Jim, are the scorch marks a Future Echo?

    The Skaro system must be closer to Earth than we previously thought; it took only minutes for the Dalek ship with the Hand of Omega to arrive there. Even with hyperspace, this indicates its proximity. (This would also explain why they can so easily invade Earth.)

    The presence of the Hand of Omega is ambiguous in this serial, and took several novels for retro-rewrites to explain it. (The novel Lungbarrow was an untelevised story that would have enlightened us, but it was scheduled for season 27, and was later novelised.)

    This gets 4 Dalek-smashing baseball bats out of 5 for me!!

    Tanz Sixfingers (aka Ben O’Neill)

    PS. RTD has commented that over six series, Star Trek now has 52 episodes a year, which he thinks is “ideal”, and this appears to be his goal with Doctor Who spinoff series. If you choose to cover all of them (along with Torchwood 1.0, The Sarah Jane Adventures, K-9, and Class) you need not fear running out of Whovian material for your podcast! And don’t forget “Scream of the Shalka” and “Infinity Quest”!!

  15. Benjamin O'Neill

    I just discovered that Neil Gaiman wrote a short story on how the Doctor got the Hand of Omega in the first place, starring his Time Lady the Corsair. It’s a professional retro rewrite, or just back story 35 years after the fact, what ever you want to call it. The title of the story is “One Virtue, and a Thousand Crimes”, and it is in the anthology Doctor Who: Adventures in Lockdown, (edited by Steve Cole) published in 2020 for the BBC Children In Need fund.
    I just thought you’d like to know.

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