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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The True Power of the Daleks?, 14 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who: Daleks (Dr Who) (Audio CD)
Technically, the release of these stories is not a new idea by the BBC. With albeit better narration, the complete soundtrack of each episode (as opposed to selected highlights) and the transfer from cassette to CD - it can be aruged whether it is worth spending 30 on something that presumably fans will have heard before.
Having heard both the Evil of the Daleks and the Power of the Daleks on cassette format, I was intrigued to find how much different the CD versions were. To be honest althought the transformation is subtle, it is much more effective. Complements must go to the BBC restore team who have considerably 'cleaned up' the recordings somewhat since the cassette releases and ensured that the new narration doesn't prevent us from hearing the dialogue.
Unfortunately, whilst Power is an excellent story and is significiant in Doctor Who history, I feel that it is severely undermined by Anneke Willkes narration. Unlike Frazer Hines' commentary in Evil, hers is staid and monotonous - and in some places it seems as if she is bored.
The audio stories themselves are excellent and are made more atmospheric by the transition to audio. For example, the scene in the Dalek capsule in Power is probably more atmospheric than it ever would have been on TV, as is the overall Dalek threat in this story.
I feel that Power is probably weaker than Evil. I agree with other reviewers that Troughton's Doctor is significantly different to the one presented in Evil, and just as Troughton was trying to adapt to his new role, it can be seen that the production team was too. There are, for example, some serious holes in the plot, that unfortunately are captured on audio, such as the 'rebellion' and Ben and Polly's capture in subsequent episodes.
You may feel that I am being too harsh on Power, but I feel that as it is a 'lost' story and is Troughton's first outing as the Doctor, it is regarded as a 'classic' because of this.
Whilst not a catastrophe, the believable characters of Lesterton, the Doctor (once he get's going) and the cunning Daleks lay the foundation for a story, that is on the whole a good one.
Evil represents Doctor Who at its zenith - Troughton's acting is superb, and the story shines because of the strenght of the main characters. In Seven Episodes, the story spans across past, present and future, and aside from focusing on science-fiction, it raises questions as to the nature of humanity. The apparent 'end' of the Daleks in 1967 (to concentrate on Cybermen adventures) is strong - the idea of the Dalek Civil War comes across brilliantly on audio, and the bonus track at the end of the third disc allows the listener to hear it in all its glory (without narration.)
The audio CD also hides obvious limited special effects problems - the Dalek Civil War can be imagined as that - (not toy Daleks fighting as was the case on TV) and the booming voice of the Emperor Dalek is much more agressive and threatening on audio.
An excellent story which rounded off Troughton's first season as the Doctor. From this point, Troughton's Doctor excells, I would recommend to those who wish to start collecting 'missing' stories (especially Troughton ones,) to start here and continue into the fifth season - which included gems such as the Yeti adventures and The Enenmy of the World.
The presence of the My Life as a Dalek CD is clearly only there for the 40th anniversary celebrations, and is useful as a history of the Daleks but is otherwise pointless.
For all fans of Doctor Who this is a MUST - for the casual listener, I would say that the tinset is excellent and as the stories come across very well on audio, are worth buying.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dalek Major., 13 May 2004
This review is from: Doctor Who: Daleks (Dr Who) (Audio CD)
I had not heard the Power of the Daleks before but I was familiar with the story from the Photonovel section of the BBCi Dr Who website. The plotting and characterization on 'Power' are very sophisticated for a 1960's Children's TV programme. If David Whittaker's script has any faults it is in that he tries to make it too clever at times, but the overall effect is very good. The story works on a number of different levels: The Daleks need power in the form of static electricity in order to move and exterminate things. The various humans involved think that they can use the Daleks' Power for their own purposes, only to be proved fatally wrong and of course it is the Doctor who eventually turns the Daleks' power source into a weapon to destroy them and save the day.
The audio version brought out some splendid aspects to the story- in particular Lesterson's degenerating mental state as he realises what he has unleashed. It also enables one to hear the pauses in the conniving Daleks' dialogue as they intone 'I am your serv-ant!' Unlike one of the other reviewers here I did not have any problem with the narration as such and felt that it helped link the scenes together fairly effectively.
The new recording of 'Evil of the Daleks' is a very welcome improvement on the early taped release narrated by Tom Baker. Frazer Hines' narration is much more inclusive and descriptive of the action. This applies particularly to one scene where Jamie and Kemel are exploring the South Wing of Maxtibles' house. In the background a Dalek takes an hankerchief and places it a room where a trap has been set. This detail is absent from the earlier release and therefore makes understanding the next part of the action imcomplete.
I have very distinct memories of the Dalek Civil war sequence from my early childhood. It was certainly a very shocking and memorable piece of television history- Daleks rolling around chaotically and exploding a foamy gunge from their lidless heads. The audio release has various extra tracks of this sequence and some funny Dalek voice sessions where you can hear Daleks dying and spinning out of control.
Definitely a must by for dedicated fans.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lost classic released again, 13 Nov 2003
M. J. Connolly (Liverpool UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Doctor Who: Daleks (Dr Who) (Audio CD)
At last Evil of the Daleks is released on CD. The old tape version was slightly odd with the naration performed by another doctor and rather out of place. This newer version has the ever reliable Frazer Hines giving his well oiled, emotive naration from previous discs to a true "classic" story. As there is no visual version left, bar episode 2, this is a close fans will get to this marvellous story. There are so many plots and counter plots with the Daleks at their most evil but closely followed by Maxtible. The final episodes on Skaro are tense and the ending is something that would be rarely tried today with a series major foe being killed off (well apparently for 5 years in the series)
Also in the tin is Power of the Daleks which has a new naration by Anneke Wills (Polly). This is also an improvement over the old tape version but does lack the finesse of the Frazer Hines commentaries. The story is good and the Daleks are unusually clever for a change in what for them is a small scale plot. As the first Troughton story it is must for fans though few will recognise Troughton's portrayal from the one in Evil as he veers from almost Shakespearean acting to broad farce as the writers decide which way the Doctor would go after the Hartnell era.
My life as a Dalek is rather strange but is also rather pointless.
Overall well worth the money and the tin is rather nice to
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars They Exterminate the competition...., 26 Feb 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: Doctor Who: Daleks (Dr Who) (Audio CD)
Get comfortable behind that sofa, those pepperpots that want to conquer the Universe are back. Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, the bbc destroyed/deleted/lost/sold the original visual footage, but at least they kept the audio, so we can still enjoy these brilliant, and pivotal Doctor Who stories...
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Doctor Who: Daleks (Dr Who)
Doctor Who: Daleks (Dr Who) by Doctor Who (Audio CD - 3 Nov 2003)
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