Monday, July 30, 2012

Doctor Who-Remembrance Of The Daleks
                    By the time 1988 rolled around Doctor Who was basically on it's last legs. Today a lot of people agree that the program had begun to steadily improve during the second series of Sylvester McCoy's tenure as the seventh doctor with Sophie Aldred as companion Ace. But no writer or producer could turn the tide of public opinion. So it was up to producer John Nathan Turner to try to bring some enthusiasm back to the show as he'd been looking to do most of the 1980's. Considering the decades penchant for cultural nostalgia that seemed like a good way to go for this new serial. So not only were the stalwart villain the Daleks bought back into the series, but there was also a return to an all too familiar setting.

                      The TARDIS arrives on Earth near Totters Lane junk yard,not too far from where the first doctor had originally departed,a few days after he'd done so in the year 1963. They find the military converging on a magnetic disturbance. The troops are attacked by an unknown assailant who turns out to be a grey Dalek. Turns out the Daleks have come to Earth to find the Doctors Hand Of Omega,the time lords key to space time travel. The Daleks are controlling a local fascist group in order to secure this. The doctor decides to "bury the past" at a very unusual funereal ceremony.  A Dalek vessel is dispatched to Earth to locate these Dalek renegades to their Emperor who is Davros seeking the Omega Device. After a cat and mouse game the Dalek mother ship is destroyed and the threat diminished.

                     Even though this represents the final Dalek story of Doctor Who's original 23 year run, there was also another undercurrent  in this story. The Daleks have an extremely fascist attitude towards other races. On the other hand,Ace's disgust at a "No Coloureds" sign she sees in a window is an important reminder of an unfortunate tendency humans and Daleks seem to have in common during this time period. There's also a little reference to the well documented self promotion of John Nathan turner as,upon Ace leaving the room in the same scene,the theme for the William Hartnell era 'Doctor Who' is seen on a television set behind her. Not only is this a good example of the quirky wit of this program,never above breaking the fourth wall but an excellent send off to the Daleks for the classic series.
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