The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and Sarah
Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) find themselves stranded on the planet of Exxilon after the power is drained from the TARDIS.
The Doctor discovers an Earth medical ship is also stranded from the same cause as Sarah is captured by primitives who believe
it is worth sacrificing people if they come close to the Exxilon forbidden city which may be the cause of the power drain.
The medical team has come to Exxilon
to mine a mineral desperately needed to cure people in the Earth colonies from a plague. The Daleks land on the planet soon
enough to be trapped by the same power drain. The Doctor and the Earth team form an uneasy alliance with the Daleks (as the
Doctor warns them not to trust the Daleks even though the alliance is the only way they may survive).
DEATH TO THE DALEKS is the best of
the Terry Nation "Dalek stories" during the Thrid Doctor era. The characters are more fleshed out in PLANET OF THE DALEKS
while DEATH TO THE DALEKS has better direction, suspense, and an unusual music score from Carey Blyton (who previously wrote
the incidental music for THE SILURIANS). Terry Nation would go on to write the best Dalek story, GENESIS OF THE DALEKS, for
the first season of the Fourth doctor (Tom Baker) in 1975. The costume and production design still hold up after almost 40
years despite the low budget DOCTOR WHO was made on back from 1963 to 1989. The characters do come off as thin, but the plot
is always moving forward in a story that would have suffered if it was a padded six part story.
Audio commentary by actor Julian
Fox (Peter Hamilton), Dalek Operator Cy Town, director Michael E Briant, assistant floor manager Richard Leyland, costume
designer L. Rowland Warne, and special sounds maestro Dick Mills- moderated by Toby Hadoke.
The production notes trace the history
of the story, problems and schedule changes, and point out the little goofs due to the show's very limited budget.
BENEATH THE CITY OF THE EXXILONS
is an enjoyable making-of documentary that features interviews with many of the surviving members of the cast
and crew in addition to thoughts by fan/ current Dalek voice artist Nick Briggs.
I enjoyed the 23 minutes of
rare studio recordings that show how Michael E. Briant shot the studio material out of order like a feature film which caused
problems for the cast and crew (notice Pertwee's line flubs and forgetting lines).
Then ON THE SET OF DOCTOR WHO AND
THE DALEKS features rare silent black and white behind-the-scenes footage from the 1960s feature film and an interview with
the son of director Gordon Flemyng, actor Jason Flemyng.
DOCTOR WHO STORIES- DALEK MEN has
13 minutes of interviews with the actors who operated the Daleks and played other classic Doctor Who monsters.
Rounding out the extras are PDF materials
of Radio Times listings accessible via DVD-ROM, a Photo Gallery slideshow, and a coming soon trailer for THE KROTONS.
FINAL ANALYSIS: DEATH TO THE
DALEKS holds up as one of the better Dalek stories after all of these years due to the direction, costume and production
design, and the unique score by Carey Blyton. The extras are excellent as usual for the classic DOCTOR WHO
this DVD review is (c)7-17-2012
David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission. send all comments to firstname.lastname@example.org
No Daleks or Exxilons were harmed
in the writing of this review, and not trips to the Exxilon city were attempted by the reviewer.