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DOCTOR WHO: PLANET OF THE DALEKS (1973)

DVD Review by David Blackwell

 

DETAILS:  140 minutes (six-part story), audio commentary, production notes track, featuettes, Blue Peter footage, making-of documentary, photo gallery, Easter Egg, PDF material

VIDEO: 1.33:1 (Full Frame)

AUDIO: English 2.0 Mono

Subtitles: English

 

STUDIO:  BBC/ 2 entertain/ Warner Home Video

RELEASE DATE:  3-2-2010

PLANET OF THE DALKES is the second part of the two story saga in the Tenth season of Doctor Who.   This story isn’t as good as the excellent FRONTIER IN SPACE.  Terry nation makes his first return to DOCTOR WHO after several years.  He would reuse elements he used in previous DOCTOR WHO Dalek stories he has written.

 

PLANET OF THE DALEKS picks up where FRONTIER IN SPACE leaves off with The Doctor injured by a stray laser blast.  He gets the TARDIS targeted to go to the jungle planet of Spiridon before lapsing in a coma to allow his body time to heal.   Jo goes to get help and bumps into the Thals who have come to Spiridon to stop the Daleks.   The Doctor is rescued by the Thals and they team up to find out what the Daleks are doing.   The doctor, Jo, the Thals, and a friendly Spiridon named Wester band together to stop the daleks from carrying out their plan (which involves whatever is stored in the cold depths of the Dalek base.

 

PLANET OF THE DALEKS is an action adventure story.  It doesn’t have the complex politics of FRONTIER IN SPACE.   The Thals are painted as beautiful blond people forced to do war with the Daleks.   I like the story, but it isn’t as rewarding as FRONTIER IN SPACE which is more of a thinking story where PLANET OF THE DALEKS is one where you can shut part of your brain off (more of popcorn action fare).

 

SPECIAL FEATURES:

Audio commentary by Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Prentis Hancock (Vaber), Tim Preece (Codal), producer Barry Letts, and script editor Terrance Dicks

Also the first disc has a production notes subtitle track which gives info on the making of the story in addition to pointing out the obvious gaffs that you can see in the story (like unplanned shadows, Daleks bumping into things, and spot the camera in the jungle set).

 

The second disc has a series of featurettes, PDF material (for computer DVD-ROMs), and two segments from BLUE PETER (on the time when two Daleks were stolen and recovered).

 

PERFECT SCENARIO: END OF DREAMS- has a fictional future scenario smith named Zed explores PLANET OF THE DALEKS as he continues to search for inspiration and it features interviews with cast and crew.

THE RUMBLE IN THE JUNGLE is a 16 minute making-of documentary on PLANET OF THE DALEKS as cast and crew remember how it was to make this story.

STRIPPED FOR ACTION- THE DALEKS is a look at The Daleks comic strips that ran in TV 21 Comic in the 1960s and how they added complexity to the famous Doctor Who bad guys.

 

My favorite featurette of disc two is MULTI-COLORIZATION as it looks on how color was restored to PLANET OF THE DALEKS episode three and a history of how color was overlayed over black and white prints of DOCTOR WHO episodes where the original color copies were lost.   This 11 minute featurette is a fantastic look at how technology can be used on a small budget.

 

FINAL ANALYSIS:    I enjoyed PLANET OF THE DALEKS, but it doesn’t live up to FRONTIER IN SPACE.  Part of it has to do with the elements that Terry Nation recycles from previous Dalek stories and this Dalek story is more of an action adventure tale.

 

This DVD review is (c)3-12-2010 David Blackwell and cannot be reprinted without permission.  Send all comments to lord_pragmagtic@hotmail.com