Episode 9: Dr. Who and the Daleks

The DAR team looks at the first of the Peter Cushing movies, Dr. Who and the Daleks.  Is it an improvement on the original Doctor Who serial?  What’s the official favorite color of the Daleks?

Daleks Aren’t Robots!? is a podcast in which two Whovian friends take two non-Whovians on a deep dive through the show from the very beginning.

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Theme: Garage – Monplaisir

Podcast Contents Include

Editor’s Note: The following are my original notes for the podcast, slightly edited for readability. They’re very far from the full contents of the pod, though.  – Kari

THE TEAM

  1. The Doctor is a human man, a scientist, and invented the TARDIS. Also, his name is actually Dr. Who and he APOLOGIZES to someone.
  2. He’s also a kinder and gentler and less murdery version of the Doctor, although maybe that’s just because Barbara is his teenager granddaughter and Ian is Barbara’s boyfriend. He’s more watchful of Susan as well, but that’s because…
  3. Susan is now a kid instead of a teenager. She’s still a smart, capable kid, but everyone is a bit more protective of her. She takes out the Dalek camera with a pen, which is impressive.
  4. Barbara doesn’t really have a niche here anymore. She doesn’t seem to do a ton in the plot, but at least she’s not damseled.
  5. Ian is the biggest change. He’s now Barbara’s boyfriend, and his main characteristic is that he’s clumsy and this moves the plot forward sometimes–for example, he accidentally hits the lever of the TARDIS and prompts the first time and space jaunt. This Ian is still protective of Susan, though, and while he’s a bit less physically capable he’s pretty brave. And not inclined to mansplain at all.

THE GUEST STARS

  1. The Daleks come in color, they’re M&M Daleks in blue and red and black. They’ve also been given some upgrades. Now their rays are visible sprays of something and some of them have pincers for grabbing stuff. Later one has a FLAMETHROWER/welding torch thing.
  2. There’s also a scene that more explicitly ties Daleks to fascism–when they’re all lined up in a formation and a lead Dalek is giving a speech.
  3. These Daleks might be different creatures entirely than the ones we saw in the show, as when they remove the Dalek from its can it seems to have a claw. Also, it stops moving, so maybe they killed it?
  4. The Thals are still fabulous and they’re much MORE fabulous in color, with their weird blond wig hair, their gold-pale skin and their hilarious Cruella DeVille eye makeup. It’s a very specific style of makeup and it is bizarre to see on a whole group of people. Unfortunately they have lost their cool hats and fascinators. 😦

THE SETTING

  1. It is great to see these locations in glorious color. Skaro exteriors are intensely green; the interior of the Daleks’ city is very pink. It’s all very candy-colored, with lots of soft pastels and bright, cheerful hues.
  2. The Dalek city has some pretty outre decor. Twisty mirror sculptures on the walls, funky satellite-looking sculptures on the exterior.
  3. They call the Tardis Tardis rather than THE Tardis. It is much larger than the regular Tardis.
  4. Susan writes her letter to the Thals by the light of three glorious lava lamps.
  5. There’s a beautiful matte painting of a hill that Ian and Barbara and some Thals have to climb.
  6. The consoles we see are much more real-looking and complex than the ones in the show–they clearly had real sets. But they were also beautiful–the Doctor’s radar-looking thing is vivid blue and purple, the Daleks’ map of Skaro has a beautiful pearlescent sheen, and the Tardis’s interior is a chaotic mass of many-colored hanging wires and doodads.

OTHER CHANGES

  1. The pacing is better here than it was in the show, because they don’t need to fill time, but there are still some spots where it drags, particularly in the caves.
  2. The Thal guy who falls in the cave doesn’t die this time.
  3. The Thal archives aren’t Settlers of Cataan tiles anymore, they’re geometric cubic shaped things that were once probably redshirts on the Enterprise.
  4. They use mirrors to confuse the Daleks’ sensors, but it doesn’t work.
  5. At the end they try to go home, only to open the door to the Tardis and get charged by apparently Romans.

THE PRODUCTION

  1. Why? Just why.
  2. Why the changes in cast? Why the other changes? Why did they keep what they kept?
  3. How did the cast feel about it?
  4. How much money did it make?
  5. How many years between?

Sources Include

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