Cover image for The Evil of the Daleks

Reviews for The Evil of the Daleks

There are 2 reviews so far. To add a review of your own for this item, visit the voting page.

The Legend is Better Than the Reality

By:Doug, Pocono Summit, PA, USA
Date:Saturday 11 August 2007
Rating:   3

Warning: Spoilers Ahead

Having just "watched" a reconstruction of The Evil of the Daleks made from the audio of the story, some still photos, running commentary by Frazer Hines, and the existing version of episode 2, my opinion on this story is that it is better to read a synopsis and imagine than it is to actually listen to/watch the story.

At seven episodes, this is another case of a classic story that is overlong and padded with a lot of very boring stuff. Furthermore, the heart of the story doesn't make a lot of sense. The idea is that the Daleks, who have somehow come through a "smoke and mirrors" time portal of some sort that was created in the 19th Century, succeed in separating the Doctor and Jamie from the TARDIS and abducting them from the 20th Century back to one hundred years into the past, where they have human agents they have coerced into working in a laboratory for them. The Doctor is made to believe that the Daleks wish to use Jamie to provide them with data on a "human factor" that they will incorporate into individual Daleks to enable the Daleks to finally conquer Earth. Interestingly, the Doctor does a bit of manipulation of Jamie to get him to unwittingly cooperate, somewhat similarly to what we see the Seventh Doctor do with Ace later on. But what ends up happening is that the "human factor" is used to enable the Daleks to identify a "Dalek factor," which they somehow do not already have. The plan is then to get the Doctor to infect the population of Earth with the "Dalek factor" throughout its history, thereby turning humans into altered creatures obedient to the Daleks.

When the "human factor" is introduced into a few Dalek test subjects, they become like children, "playing trains," which is one of the silliest, nonsensical, most ridiculous scenes I've ever seen in the show's history. In addition to this, somehow the Daleks don't yet get the idea that the Doctor is not human. After passing the Doctor through a process that infects humans with the "Dalek factor," they think he is under their control, but... surprise, he isn't, and he tricks them and throws the proverbial monkey wrench in the works, manipulating the Daleks into passing all of the lower-grade grey Daleks through the machine and causing them to come under the influence of the "human factor." This ends up resulting in a Dalek civil war that supposedly wipes out all of them. It's really a terrible story. Besides all of that, it's never quite apparent what the "Evil" of the Daleks is supposed to be, because The Daleks, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, The Chase, and The Daleks' Masterplan were all more "evil" stories than this one, especially considering that the plan for domination of the Earth never even came close to being realized.

Having said all of that, The Evil of the Daleks does have some rather interesting parts, including the badass Emperor Dalek (which I don't believe we see again until it is very nicely and fairly accurately recreated in season one of the new series), a few interesting performances by Patrick Troughton, and the final battle scene on Skaro, which I would love to actually be able to watch in full motion video, as it was originally broadcast.

But overall, I see this as a highly overrated story that is best when left in the mists of legend.

Certainly not an overrated story....

By:Matthew David Rabjohns, Bridgend, United Kingdom
Date:Thursday 23 June 2011
Rating:   10

The Evil of the Daleks is, in my view, the strongest dalek story ever produced in the whole of the series run, both of them at that. The Evil of The Daleks for me just possesses something that the majority of other Dalek stories lack, and that is real imagination and scope.

Patrick Troughton is on supreme form here, he just gives his all. The elements that made him such a wonder as the second incarnation of the Doctor, from his wit to his bumbling to his sometimes rather serious and biting moodiness. Never was there a story that truly highlighted all these elements as well as they are within the confines of this truly excellent and gripping Dalek tale.

And now Frazer Hines truly is being treated as a proper companion, and gets to dominate a lot of the script when he is pushed to the limit with trying to elude the daleks and rescuing Victoria, and trying to keep Kemel from killing him for much of part four. We begin to see why I think he is one of the best companions in the entire history of the programme. And one scenraio that is particularly powerful is the point where he blames the Doctor for all he has faced,with quite good reason for once too. Those scenes are highly taught and fraught with tension.

Maxtible is also another very solid villain, who believes he can get the better of the Daleks and have his dream fulfilled of having the knowledge of how to have metal turn into gold. A dream that the Daleks feed on so well so as to use him as nothing more than a superior slave.

Edward Waterfield is a highly decent character, one of David Whitakers best characters up to this date. His unwilling help given to the Daleks comes across as believable with emtions for once to the fore,and his panic at not knowing what is going to happen to Victoria is quite palpable, even if it is only to be heard sadly now on audio in its full version.

And of course, one has to mention the brilliant introduction of Deborah Watling as Victoria, perfectly cast to play the scared and shy teenager. She immediately gets on well with both the Doctor and Jamie and the dialogue is a joy to listen to.

And the very good and unexpected twist at the end is very very neat indeed, presenting the daleks probably at their most delightfully devious ever. And the humanised daleks are a comical revelation amidst all the more serious notes of the script. The scenes where they play trains with the Doctor and pretty flipping good and highly memorable indeed. Its sad that they have to be blown up in the epic finale! The Emperor dalek too is an almighty achievement, in appearance and voice for the time. His voice literally booms and drowns everyone else out all the time.

So, from all the above you can see that this serial is definitely one of the best written, best directed, and best acted serials in the entire history of Doctor Who. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Go back