Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks
(6 episodes, s04e09-e14, 1966)
Hello, new Doctor! And welcome to the confusion. It’s really nice to see how the Doctor has to stabilize after such a traumatic event, presumably his first, in light of my experience with the series from the Ninth Doctor on. This new Doctor seems sinister at first, but beneath his sneaky and evasive face lurks a much more physical and clownish incarnation that is very observant.
The Doctor loves his recorder, which he seems to use as a crutch to ponder his next move. He also loves that goofy hat, which… I do not.
Meanwhile, what better way to introduce the new Doctor than with the Daleks? We also get our first look, however fleeting, at what lives inside the can. I’m really enjoying this slow build around the Daleks and their mythology. It was creepy to hear a Dalek proclaim, “I am your servant,” and it was good to see them expand into trickery beyond the normal “ex-TER-min-NATE” rolling wave of death. They actually act smart and dynamic in this serial instead of focused on a singular goal.
The Dalek does not obey the Doctor, but how does it know who he is? Can the Daleks sense him even though he looks different? There was also an inordinate amount of Dalek chanting in this serial.
Overall, a well-written straightforward, highly enjoyable adventure (partially spiced with a political thriller) to debut the Second Doctor, and one that doesn’t really need the obligatory +1 for a regeneration episode.
Some last notes: Nice reference to Asimov with the positronic brain, and somebody get that TARDIS a fresh coat of paint.
Rating: 5/5 – “Fantastic!”
UP NEXT – Doctor Who: The Highlanders
The Timestamps Project is an adventure through the televised universe of Doctor Who, story by story, from the beginning of the franchise. For more reviews like this one, please visit the project’s page at Creative Criticality.
9 thoughts on “Timestamp #30: The Power of the Daleks”
This is my favorite Dalek story ever. I love seeing them be clever manipulators when they don’t have their usual advantage of overwhelming numbers. Thankfully it’s David Whitaker writing. He’s been with the show since the beginning and probably gets plot and character better than any other writer in the 60’s. Terry Nation, the creator of the Daleks and the guy writing all their stories until now was a great ideas man but by all accounts really lax on the actual writing side – churning out scripts late and turning them in at the last minute.
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