Saturday, 12 November 2016

136 The Power of the Daleks: Episode Two

EPISODE: The Power of the Daleks: Episode Two
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 12 November 1966
WRITER: David Whitaker
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
RATINGS: 7.8 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes volume 3 (1966-1967)
TELESNAPS: The Power of the Daleks: Episode Two

"I am your servant! I am your servant!"

The time travellers suspect that Lesterson may have removed the third Dalek. Deputy Governor Quinn comes to the Examiner's quarters to speak to him but he's not there and ends up in a confrontation with security chief Bragen. Lesterson finds the Doctor in the lab as Bragen arrives searching for the Doctor. The Doctor wants the Daleks melted down and leaves to get permission from the governor. Lesterson retrieves the missing Dalek from a hidden compartment in the capsule and starts to reactivate it with his assistants Janley and Resno. Bragen tells the Doctor about a rebel movement but is then obstructive when the Doctor tries to see the Governor. The Doctor goes to the communication room to contact Earth but finds it smashed with the operator unconscious and Deputy Governor Quinn present. Bragen arrests him on very circumstantial evidence but it's noted that Quinn has a button missing that would match the one the Doctor has. The experiment with the Dalek succeeds in reactivating it but Resno is killed by it. Janley lies to Lesterson and says he is merely unconscious. The Doctor, as the Examiner, and friends attend the enquiry into Quinn's conduct which is interrupted by and excited Lesterson. He brings the now disarmed Dalek into the room. It seems to recognise the Doctor and surprises the humans when it speaks. The Doctor pleads for it's destruction but the Dalek repeatedly intones that "I am your servant. I am your servant."

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Great episode but you have to hold your head in your hands and despair at the Vulcan colonists. We, like The Doctor, know that the moment the Daleks appear this isn't going to end well for the colonists. Lesterson however hasn't got the experience with the Daleks that we and the Doctor have:

LESTERSON: Yes, yes, but the wonderful thing, Janley, is that we don't know the full scope of this experiment. Who knows where we may go from here. Who know what this Dalek may do?
So they reactivate the Dalek, and the first thing it does is exterminate someone. Like you couldn't have predicted that! Then by the end of the episode a Dalek is telling us "I am your servant" at which point we automatically know it's lying. We and the Doctor know otherwise:
LESTERSON: Stop. You see? Well, just think what this could do for our mining program, our processing, packaging. Dozens of labour jobs, Governor. It may even supply the end to all this Colony's problems.
DOCTOR: Yes, it will end the colony's problems, because it will end the colony.
DALEK: I am your servant.
LESTERSON: It, it spoke! Janley, did you hear it? It can actually talk.
DOCTOR: It can do many things, Lesterson. But the thing it does most efficiently is exterminate human beings. It destroys them, without mercy, without conscience. It destroys them. Utterly. Completely. It destroys them.
So while Lesterson is predicting a glorious future I, and I don't think I'm spoiling the story for anyone here, am predicting a bumper round of exterminations is soon to follow.

So why don't they take the Doctor's word for it? The simple answer is that they don't know what a Dalek is. We know from watching television but for them not to know then this story must take place before Dalek Invasion of Earth which seems to be humans first public contact with the Daleks and is frequently referred to in other stories. So DIOE takes place c2164, the date on the calender that the Doctor and Ian find in the warehouse, which mean Power of the Daleks must predate that. The question then becomes do we think that's a long enough time period from now for man to be colonising other worlds? They certainly thought so in the 1960s where it was expected that moon landings would be the first step of man to the stars, but unfortunately it hasn't quite happened like that. So I dug out my seldom used, but still very good copy of Lance Parkin's History of the Universe (There appears to be an updated edition out). That dates Power of the Daleks to 2020, which was given in press material at the time. Conceivable in the 1960s you have to cast doubt on it now from a point where it looks unlikely we'll have another manned lunar flight before 2020!

Resno, who gets to be the Vulcan Daleks' first victim here, is played by Edward Kelsey who was previously a Slave Buyer in The Romans and will later be Edu in The Creature from the Pit. Christopher Barrydirected all three of his appearances in Doctor Who. He's the voice of Joe Grundy in The Archers, not the last Archers cast member to be involved with Doctor Who and the Daleks either, and voiced Colonel K & Baron Silas Greenback for Dangermouse! He's also got an appearance in Doomwatch to his name as Captain Tommy Gort in The Red Sky.

Resno vlcsnap-2015-09-29-11h51m03s223

Another 50 seconds of 8mm film clips from this episode exists including Resno's extermination and the "I am your servant" climax of the episode.

vlcsnap-2015-09-29-11h50m06s164 vlcsnap-2015-09-29-11h50m16s7

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