[watching] Doctor Who

Day of the Daleks is my favourite Pertwee adventure for many reasons and today I begin another rewatch. It was the very first VHS tape I owned that wasn’t recorded off the television and the first Third Doctor adventure I ever watched. The story is a hidden gem, with some brilliant concepts that stand out, great acting, moral dilemmas, and the ultimate paradox with a twist. People slam the story for the lack of Dalek action and the climactic battle between the Daleks and UNIT. However, I like this because it harks back to Daleks Invasion of Earth, with the Daleks doing what they do best: subjecting others and make them do the dirty work. In my opinion, Day of the Daleks is the best Pertwee Dalek story and perhaps one of the greatest Non-Dalek stories ever told.

Time travel plays a very crucial part in this story. We have the guerrillas travelling back in time to the 20th Century, where the Doctor is exiled on Earth and working for UNIT. Without a functioning TARDIS, the Doctor has to rely on some other story device to allow him to travel in time, and the guerrillas are his method this time without relying on the Time Lords. We also are dealing with an alternate time line, and questions are raised to how the future can change so suddenly. I can only guess that at the moment the guerrillas come back in time from their secondary timeline, their alternate future becomes a reality in the prime timeline and overwrites anything else – even an unsuccessful Dalek invasion. Perhaps the Daleks are from a future faction who went back in time to change that mistake?

There is also a moral dilemma in Day of the Daleks. The resistance guerrillas are obviously an analogy for the IRA, who were very active at the time the story aired, and there’s a school of thought that says that one person’s freedom fighter is another person’s terrorist. The guerrillas in the story are obviously on the side of right, but their morals and methods are very questionable. They’re desperate and will take any action to overturn the Dalek invasion, even if it means killing an innocent man. This, of course, leads to the time paradox at the centre of the story, that by killing Syles themselves, they inadvertently start the wars that lead to their current predicament in the 22nd Century.

Then we get to the Daleks themselves. As I’ve already mentioned above, there isn’t much action or grand set pieces that involve the Daleks. Even the Dalek expedition in episode two has the Doctor menaced by a single Dalek during the cliff-hanger ending, only for the Doctor to run away down another passage to escape it at the start of episode three. And for the climactic final battle, where UNIT finally get to fight the Daleks, we only see three Daleks advancing on the house. In my mind, perhaps the only need three Daleks to take on a small UNIT security detail? Then there is the moment when guerrillas attack central control and they face off against a bunch of Ogrons and single Dalek, which are easily swept aside. Although Boaz sacrifices his life to destroy the Dalek, saving Anat in the process, is a poignant moment.

In the bigger picture, the Daleks do what they do best. They get those they subjugate, the Ogrons in this case, to do the dirty work, whilst they are left back at control barking out orders. At first glance, it may appear the Daleks are doing very little in this story, but I’m of the opinion that less is more, and this can be said about the Daleks in this story. The interactions between the Controller and the Daleks are some of the best scenes, and this gets built upon in Terrance Dicks’ novelisation of the story. Aubrey Woods clearly steals the show here and he brilliantly spars with Pertwee when they finally get a chance to meet on screen in episode four.

Call me a purist, but I much prefer the original. However, I do have a soft spot for the special edition only because I love Day of the Daleks. I just feel Nick Briggs’ Dalek voices don’t really suit the era. They are too harsh and grating. Personally, I have no issues with the original voices, as I feel they sound robotic and flat, and I prefer them to the Michael Wisher’s Dalek voices we hear in the next two Dalek stories. I also hate the CGI buildings, with way too many Dalek saucers hovering overhead like a cloud of flies. They just look very cartoonish, unlike the grim tower blocks we see in the original. The CGI animations for the Dalek exterminators and disintegrator guns energy beams look good, but I felt that the new animation for the time vortex appearing around people just obscured the subject. This doesn’t work very well when the Dalek materialises at the end of episode two and you can hardly see it!

Overall, Day of the Daleks is a hit in my book. It was third highest rated story of the Pertwee era, after The Three Doctors and Planet of the Daleks, and in my opinion is the best Pertwee Dalek story. I might go as far to say that it was the best Dalek story of the 1970s, because I personally feel that Genesis of the Daleks, even though it’s a wonderful story, is more of a Davros story than a Dalek one. Day of the Daleks, much like many stories of the era, carried a number of political and social messages such as the consequences of war, and the moral dilemma surrounding the troubles in Northern Ireland at the time. These elements make Day of the Daleks a very strong and outstanding story.
Doctor Who streaming data for last two years on the BBC iPlayer (for the 176 episodes from 2005-2022):

2021: 41.8 million viewers (average views per episode 237,500)
2022: 56.1 million viewers (average views per episode 318,750)
Total views: 97.9 million (average views per episode 556,250)

These are the individual figures for 2021 and 2022 are not an aggregate of both. Each view counts as one account accessing the iPlayer to watch the episode once and doesn't include multiple views by that same account. It also doesn't take into account the amount of people watching per screen.

The Power of the Doctor was streamed on the iPlayer by an incredible 1.79 million viewers alone in the 28 days after broadcast.
Like homage to my father and mother, I may be persuaded to view this series. Classy.
If not the whole series, I may just record the first show for the memories.

But the title logo design is horrible, like a Paw Patrol for kids that.

The above article is very misleading. Technically, the beginning of every new era is a soft reboot, as not only the lead actor is replaced but also the show-runners and script editors. However, RTD has stated on the record that he isn’t going to ignore or erase The Timeless Child story. It’s now part of Doctor Who’s canon and he plans to run with it.

Whilst behind the scenes it’s being labelled as “Season One”, but officially Ncuti Gatawa’s first series will be called Series 14. Then again, Matt Smith’s first series was branded as “Season One” when Moffat took charge, but was officially labelled Series 5. However, we cannot call it Season One for the main reason that is the label for the very first series way back in 1963 and may confuse people.