Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Doctor Who-Death To The Daleks
                         Since their initial conception in 1963,the Daleks were depicted as a nemesis who,while always defeated in some way,presented a great challenge to the Doctor in order to do so. Being half living and half machine they didn't really seem to have any made to order liabilities that could be used against them in any permanent sense. A lot had changed since the third doctor first encountered them a couple seasons earlier. By this time he had his TARDIS back in working order,such as it was. He also had Sarah Jane Smith as his companion/assistant. It wouldn't be long before she'd become a major character asset to the show. And the pair provided in this serial a Dalek story that was just somewhat left of center to what had gone before.


                           On their way to a resort planet for a vacation the Doctor and Sarah Jane find the TARDIS's power sources all completely drained. They are on a planet called Exxilon,an almost arid planet populated by clocked,seemingly primitive humanoids. After splitting up and being taken captive the Doctor soon meets an Earth expedition looking for a mineral used to treat a pandemic in their colonies that is plentiful on Exxilon. But when a ship arrives they believe is a relief vessel to join them,it's actually a group of Daleks seeking the same mineral. However the same source that's drained power from the expedition and the TARDIS has done the same to the Daleks. And the Doctor is forced to forge an awkward alliance with them in order to find a solution to their problem.


                        The Doctor,the Earth team and the Daleks find Sarah Jane about to be sacrificed by the Exxilon,though pretty soon the doctor is too. After engineering an escape it's realized Commander Galloway who leads the Earth expedition is being co opted by his own ego to use the Daleks to secure the Exxilon as a slave labor force to mine the needed mineral in exchange for his own personal needs. After being menaced by a giant electronic root,the Doctor and Sarah meet up with an alien named Bellall. 
He explains to the pair that the unusual city Sarah encountered upon arrival was a sentient construct able to protect itself like any life form. And it projected a beacon that dulled all external power sources. 


                   The Doctor and Ballell enter this city to destroy the beacon and manage to do so after following a series of intelligence tests set up by it's computer brain. The Daleks,thinking they have outsmarted everyone leave the planet with what they think is their supply of the mineral. The humans tricked them,replaced the mineral with bags of sand and Commander Galloway,in an effort to redeem himself destroys the Dalek ship. With the humans with the minerals they need and the power to their ship and the TARDIS restored,all they can now do is watch the destruction of the Exxilon city which even the Doctor acknowledges as one of the 700 wonders of the universe.


                  This is a very excellent episodes,with a lot of twists and turns of plot surrounding the concepts of power over consumption. In this episode the usually invincible Daleks are almost completely vulnerable,often times failing at simple tasks they'd have once been invincible in dealing with. Also all power sentient structures fail,power mad leaders fail. Usually in cases like these the Doctor ends up showing them the error of their ways in order to defeat them. In this story their own failings of ego do themselves in even better. It's a rather complex story,in particular all of the parlor games and puzzles the Doctor and Ballal must solve to get to the brain of the sentient Exxilon city. Even though the Dalek's aren't as significant a plot point in this as other stories,it's one of the few that points out their vulnerabilities as opposed to their seemingly indomitable nature.
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