Doctor Who - Destiny of the Daleks [DVD] 
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The Doctor (Tom Baker) and the newly-regenerated Romana land on a strangely familiar planet and investigate the drilling that is going on there. The Daleks are searching for their creator, Davros (last seen in 'Genesis of the Daleks'), in the hope that he can assist them in their war with the Movellans. The Doctor has to reach the evil Kaled scientist before the Daleks, but just who can he trust?
A Doctor Who story from the Tom Baker era, Destiny of the Daleks pits the Time Lord against his deadliest enemies once more in an enjoyable adventure, although truthfully its far from the finest hour of all concerned.
Originally broadcast at the end of the 1970s, Destiny of the Daleks is notable for introducing a regenerated Romana, but across its four episodes we also find the seemingly-dead Davros with a little more life in him than the Doctor expected. And theres also the small matter of the Daleks being locked in the midst of a long-running war, with seemingly no way to break the stalemate. In short, plenty for the Doctor to get his teeth into.
Yet while Destiny of the Daleks has plenty of tasty ingredients, you cant help but share a little disappointment at the way some elements play out. Sure, theres a lot still to enjoy, but the plot sometimes struggles to justify the running time, and the lack of budget is more obvious than is usual in classic Doctor Who.
But its to the credit of Destiny of the Daleks that it rides out its problems and still delivers an enjoyable story. It may not be a favourite of the dedicated fans of the programme, but theres still plenty here for Doctor Who fans young and old. And you cant beat the Daleks ! --Jon FosterSee all Product description
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Davros is not played by Michael Wisher but David Gooderson and he does not have that same tone of voice needed for the character that we later get with Terry Malloy and in the New Series Julian Bleach, he can't seem to pull off the character that Michael created in Genesis and it falls flat and makes you switch off when he speaks.
There is a documentary about the creator of the Daleks Terry Nation featuring Phillip Hinchcliffe, Barry Letts with director Richard Martin and our very own voice of the Daleks Nicholas Briggs who is also not impressed with this particular story.
There is also the usual commentaries from cast and director of the piece and other extras.
This story is ok if you are bored with reality shows and want to pass the time.
This perhaps, can be considered as one of the more fragile adventures featuring the Doctor's most infamous antagonists. The lack of budget, the surprising lack of motivation and the lethargic treading out of the Daleks mean the main feature is really one that some may consign to Dalek history, and for those interested in the continuity of Doctor Who adventures. As an example the look, of the Movellans is at time ludicrous. These dreadlocked exiles from a disco age, their space suits - skin-tight and silver may have been all the rage for a 1970s Wind and Fire tribute band, but do little to enhance the narrative. Yet the basic plot had so much potential that was unfortunately not really realised. This was to be the very last script; Terry Nation did for Doctor Who, and his central tenet had been based interest in the idea of a robot race as adversaries to the Daleks.
In essence, the plot threads boil down to strangely familiar territory as it emerges that the Doctor is back on planet Skaro, many generations after the happenings of Genesis of the Daleks. He soon determines that two dangerous extra-terrestrial races are on the planet; the Daleks, who have returned to find their architect Davros; and the Movellans, who have an ominous schema of their own. From the get go the audience is distracted by the opening scene where Romana, undergoes a regeneration process, and `tries on' a number of bodies before choosing the Astra likeness.
However, notwithstanding all of its teething troubles, the narrative does work. This is mainly due to Tom Baker, who portrays the Doctor so very well. He is so amusing as he meanders the sets, on occasions ad-libbing his dialogue in an off-hand fashion before coming out with something unpredicted and, possibly, unscripted. He is the personification of being very alien here in his mannerisms and responses. The narrative itself carries an important link in in Doctor Who universe. With this revisit to the Daleks, we see his actions in the Genesis of the Daleks have influenced the Dalek race and this is an important part of the Dalek development.
In terms of viewing figures, over 13 million viewers saw this series, which made it a hit at the time it was broadcast in the UK. As mentioned early this may not be the best Who-Dalek narrative, but it is not that bad either.
"Destiny..." could never really hope to live up to its predecessor, and the contrast plays against it in many areas: its script is lazier, with myriad logical inconsistencies, and rather too much borrowed from "Blakes Seven"; and its production design inconsistent, with excellent and atmospheric location filming paired against sadly rough studio shoots, with the Dalek props looking at their worst. However, its script calls for more elaborate set-pieces than the bleakly post-apocalyptic "Genesis..." and it pulls a fair number of them off to striking effect. Notable high points include the Movellan ship (both exterior modelwork and interior set), the location camerawork (early steadicam, and very effective too), the "explosion chase" scene, the outdoor battles, the Nova Device, the hand-animated Dalek weapon effects (much better than their dreary Quantel equivalents in the later "Resurrection of the Daleks"), and the impressively exploding "stunt" Daleks. How the Beeb loved their pyrotechnics... Like many classic stories, "Destiny..." is arguably too ambitious for its own good, but it carries suspension of disbelief far better than some (as anyone who has seen "The Web Planet" can testify).
Plot-wise, though, it is undeniably messy, with poorly-thought out elements such the radiation that conveniently stops being a problem, the lack of any back-story for the secondary villains, and the fact that "Scissors, Paper, Stone" is obviously not a logic-based game (as it would have us believe). It also suffers from a severe lack of sympathetic original characters, with the most prominent faces being Peter Straker's icily courteous but basically nasty Commander Sharrel, and Tim Barlow's dour if well-meaning Engineer Tyssan. Other guests - including David Yip, after two deceptively promising scenes - are not given time to develop or make an impression. Ironically, the most sympathetic one-off character is probably the long-suffering Lan (stoically played by Tony Osoba of "Porridge"), who comes across as rather a heroic fall guy in spite of technically being one of the baddies.
On the subject of the Movellans, it can hardly be denied that the usually strong BBC costume department uncharacteristically dropped the ball. The basic design is perfectly sound (June Hudson's original costume sketch conveys a stark, elegant simplicity, with an almost "humans designed by Apple" look), but the main problem is that only the three "hero" characters appear to be correctly fitted. The background cast - very visible in such bright apparel - are a litany of ill-proportioned wigs and sagging tunics, badly detracting from the intended elegance and military uniformity.
What really saves the story, however - along with much of Seasons 17 and 18 - are the regulars. Lalla Ward makes a superb debut as the regenerated Romana, her intelligence and barbed wit more than a match for the Doctor's, and their performances help to lend weight to some potentially weak studio scenes: especially the interrogation scene, where Lalla Ward manages to look utterly terrified in spite of being surrounded by the shoddiest-looking Daleks in show history. The DVD info text and commentary - always worth perusing - mentions at length how Tom Baker insisted on cast and crew taking these productions seriously - sometimes ruthlessly - and his conviction shows. While his interpretation of the Doctor is certainly not always the most purely heroic - and he has his more cavalier and cynical moments in this story (especially taunting enemies) - it is never less than gripping, and certainly never short of a pithy one-liner. The influence of the late Douglas Adams on the show's sense of humour at this point is very notable, and however one might argue that affected the overall premise, it makes such a good complement to Tom Baker's dry, eccentric wit that one can hardly regret its presence.
In essence, then, a flawed gem, but still a sparkly one.
Extras are well worth checking out: the commentary and info text are both interesting, as are the recollections of the late Ken Grieve (director), which really emphasises how much effort really went into these productions, and the obstacles they faced in producing them: having to loan out Dalek props to exhibitions during the shoot itself particularly makes one sympathise with the difficulty they had keeping the creatures in one piece, never mind looking pristine. There are also amusing continuity trailers with Tom Baker in character, and the Prime Computer adverts with both Lalla and Tom playing in role, albeit somewhat tragically in retrospect, as these adverts riff off not just their on-screen chemistry but their short-lived real-life relationship.
There are also new CGI effects, but they feel somewhat unnecessary for the most part, as the Dalek weapon effects are already good, the Movellan ship modelwork likewise looks better when it isn't dripping plasma all over the place, and the "phaser blasts" from the ship actually violate story continuity: borderline baddies though they are, the Movellans explicitly do not open fire in Episode One. Also, the alleged PDF files of the Radio Times listings do not appear to be on the disk, or if they are the method to access them is incorrectly described (or I have a faulty disk, possibly).
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