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The Terminator - Doctor Who style
Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks (DVD)
Member Name: SpiderJamb
Doctor Who - Day of the Daleks (DVD)
Advantages: Interesting Plot
Disadvantages: Restricted by low Production Values, Too small in scope
This four-part serial focuses on Sir Reginald Styles, a British diplomat, who is preparing a peace conference with diplomats from other countries to prevent a third World War. A few nights before his conference, an assassination attempt occurs but the assassin fades into nothingness before landing the fatal blow. The strange events inevitably draw the Doctor to the diplomat's country house to investigate, unknowingly heading towards a conflict with his old enemies, The Daleks.
The plot to this serial is very reminiscent of Terminator, and actually predates it by twelve years, with the use of soldiers attempting to travel back in time to prevent a future where the human race is ruled by tyrannical machines. There is some very interesting discussion over whether or not it is possible to change the future, or if by going back to change the past, you are in fact causing the very future you seek to avoid.
One of the limitations of this serial is that the production team only had access to three Daleks - one Gold and two Black ones, so there is some editing and repeat shots to give the illusion that there is a whole army of Daleks, but it never quite succeeds. On this DVD release, however, is a CGI-remastered version of the four episodes which changes the Dalek voices (for some reason, each Dalek was given slightly different voices than previous serials) and extra Daleks have been edited into the show for the climatic scenes. This kind of retro-editing reminds of George Lucas' obsession with updating his classic Star Wars Trilogy with extra CGI flashiness, but it doesn't over-do it and distract from the storyline, but after watching both versions - I never felt that it needed to be done. I would have spent that extra budget on animating some of the missing episodes from the First and Second Doctor's era.
The story seems a tad too short at only four episodes, which is an unusual thing to say about a classic Doctor Who serial as they often felt padded out to fill more space. I think another episode set in the dystopian future ruled by the Daleks would have added more atmosphere and tension to the storyline and given it a much rounder feel.
Overall, this is a bit of a let-down for those expecting a strong return of the Daleks, as the story lacks that sprawling scale of earlier Dalek stories, such as: The Dalek Invasion of Earth. The whole serial feels that it has been done 'on the cheap' and a bit of a rushed job on the script too. It may have been successful at the time, purely for the fact that it had been so long since audiences had seen the Daleks on-screen, but since nowadays we're slightly spoiled by the Daleks appearances, I have to judge it on the storyline and production values, which are somewhat lacking.
Summary: Not the most memorable of Dalek stories
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