Written by Dennis Spooner from an Idea by Terry Nation
Directed by Douglas Camfield
Still in Egypt, The Daleks capture Steven and Sara. The Doctor agrees to trade the Teranium core for his friends.
“Will The Daleks never learn that all things do not follow a pattern? That flexibility may also lead to conquest!”
It is wonderful to be able to watch an episode again rather than just listen to it. And what a difference it makes. This episode looks great. The Egyptian costumes are good but it is the set that really shines in this episode. The production team did an amazing job here, and it is a shame so much of this story is lost. It would be wonderful to see how the other planets and locations were realized. I also suspect that my impatience with this story is due to the lack of visuals. If this story were complete, I may thing higher of it.
Moving on to the story itself, it is great to see Mavic Chen’s “take no gruff” attitude with The Daleks. The plan has fallen to pieces and he has enough to deal with in his own frustrations without the pepperpots making a stink. They keep getting impatient when things don’t happen now. They lament that the plan to get the Teranium has fallen apart even though it has barely had enough time to work. Honestly, they’re as bad as Americans in this respect. Thus, they decide to take matters into their own plungers and find The Doctor themselves. Chen gets in a few good chastising lines, but Daleks will do what Daleks will do.
The Monk’s attempts to ingratiate himself with Steven and Sara work about as long as it takes for the three to get captured by Daleks. Then The Monk goes into survival mode and sells them out. It backfires and he is also taken prisoner. The Daleks then reconfigure the loudspeaker on their time ship to broadcast a message to The Doctor. The range of the broadcast is seven miles. This is quite unnerving for a few of the Egyptians, but the leader sees it for what it is. These Dalek creatures are not gods, they are war machines that must be destroyed. I smell a Perfectly-Timed Attack coming on.
The Doctor agrees to trade the Teranium for Steven, Sara, and The Monk. In the chaos of the ensuing Perfectly-Timed Attack, The Monk vanishes, The Doctor, Steven and Sara get away from The Daleks, and Mavic Chen makes off with the core. Oh, and a Dalek gets trapped when an Egyptian falls over dead in the Dalek’s path. Other Egyptians quickly pile stones around the base of the Dalek, which prevents it from moving. This rather underscores the earlier assertion that “one Dalek can destroy all!” No, my friends, it isn’t stairs that defeat Daleks. It is large stones.
The Doctor breaks the bad news to Steven and Sara that The Daleks have the core. All is not lost, however, as The Doctor stole the directional control from The Monk’s TARDIS while he was rummaging around in the machine in the previous episode. The upshot of this is that The Monk is no longer able to control where his TARDIS materializes, and The Doctor, theoretically, can now control his own TARDIS after three years of being unable to do so. If the part is compatible, that is. The giant white flash that closes the episode leaves us in some doubt.
Again, it was wonderful to finally WATCH an episode. I truly wonder if this story would be more fun and feel more epic if we could see it. On an unrelated topic, this marks the 100th episode I have reviewed! It isn’t the 100th post (I passed that a while back), but it does mark 100 episodes of the show that have been watched and reviewed. I’m rather excited about it. Just 600 some odd episodes to go, depending on who you ask.