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09 June 2017 @ 08:43 pm
The Randomiser: Planet of the Daleks  
It was interesting watching Planet of the Daleks so soon after The Daleks, because the one is so reminiscent of the other. There is the mysterious forest, the first appearance of the Thals since 1963, the somewhat random companion romance that ultimately goes nowhere, the final attack on the Dalek city...

Planet of the Daleks packs more incident into its 6 episodes than The Daleks does into its 7, but I'm not sure it actually benefits from the fact. While The Daleks moves more slowly, its focus on the character interactions of the leads (understandable this early in the show), plus its design strengths makes it feel more special than Planet.

Not that Planet of the Daleks is bad. The Doctor and Jo are charming to watch together. It may not be doing the kind of character development that The Daleks does, but it is still a well-observed excellently portrayed friendship. On the design front, the Spiridon's metallic blue furry blankets have a certain je ne sais quois. The sets throughout are competent and mostly good looking (give or take the eyes of the creatures on the night time plain of stones), but nothing has the flair of the sets in The Daleks. The story, as noted, keeps things moving - so much so that it feels almost like several different stories strung together (Jo surviving in the jungle, Distrust from the Thals, Night on the Plain of Stones, Final assault on the Daleks) but if you aren't concentrating too hard it is pacey and entertaining.

The abortive romance between Latep and Jo is less convincing than that between Ganatus and Barbara. Latep is far more overt about his feelings, but this actually (on such short acquaintance) makes them less believable and it seems entirely unsurprising when Jo politely brushes him off. This is the story before The Green Death so one assumes it was intended to be a kind of foreshadowing, but the execution feels clumsy.

Planet of the Daleks may not be a classic but it's a very solid slice of 1970s Doctor Who with, in particular, great moments for the third Doctor and Jo.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/450986.html.
philmophlegm: dalekphilmophlegm on June 9th, 2017 09:23 pm (UTC)
It's...ok...ish. Pertwee Dalek stories are mostly all ok without being especially memorable. The good one is Frontier in Space*, but that barely counts as a Dalek story. And the furry things are pretty bad really aren't they?

* I'd love to see the Draconians in a new story. You could do so much with them. Pertwee's favourite monster apparently.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on June 9th, 2017 09:26 pm (UTC)
Agree Frontier is considerably superior to this (and also agree about the Draconians). However there is a certain baseline competence about Planet which Doctor Who doesn't always exhibit.

I don't know about the furry things. Objectively there are pretty bad, on the other hand, they sort of work - though that may be some side effect of too much exposure to Doctor Who.
philmophlegm: Victoria Waterfieldphilmophlegm on June 9th, 2017 10:06 pm (UTC)
It's rare that Pertwee stories don't reach that baseline competence level. The worst Pertwee story is probably better than the worst story for all of the other Doctors. What would the worst Pertwee story be? The Time Monster perhaps? There aren't many bad ones.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on June 11th, 2017 07:46 pm (UTC)
I know people who will defend The Time Monster unto death. I've never seen it, but I'm terribly curious about it and am looking forward to its appearance in the randomiser - even though I strongly suspect I will be on the "dislike" side of things.
philmophlegm: I'vegotasportscarphilmophlegm on June 12th, 2017 10:11 pm (UTC)
I have seen it (or at least I think I have), but it made very little impression on me.
louisedennis: Doctor Wholouisedennis on June 11th, 2017 07:47 pm (UTC)
Also, I was listening to a podcast today that was discussing Terrance Dicks' contribution to show and which noted both that he is highly competent at the basic mechanics of plotting and characterisation and that he heavily script-edited nearly all the Pertwee era which could explain a lot.
philmophlegm: dashboardphilmophlegm on June 12th, 2017 10:12 pm (UTC)
Makes sense.