View Poll Results: How would you rate The Daleks?

Voters
13. You may not vote on this poll
  • 10: My truth is in the stars, and yours... is here.

    4 30.77%
  • 9: Total extermination!

    5 38.46%
  • 8: If they call us mutations... what must they be like?

    3 23.08%
  • 7: A few simple tools, a superior brain...

    1 7.69%
  • 6: There is a terrible shame in being afraid to live

    0 0%
  • 5: He seems to have a knack of getting himself into trouble.

    0 0%
  • 4: Down there, in the city

    0 0%
  • 3: Can't you sound more like a Dalek?

    0 0%
  • 2: My legs, my legs, I can't feel my legs!

    0 0%
  • 1: It's a bit salty.

    0 0%
Results 1 to 17 of 17
  1. #1
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    Default Rate and Discuss: The Daleks



    A dead planet ravaged by radiation. A petrified forest. A mysterious city. Mutations. Thals. Daleks!

    Yes, this week we're looking back at the Doctor's very first encounter with what were to become his arch-enemies, the Daleks. But what do you think of it?

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  2. #2
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    Top score. 10/10 from me. Why?

    - Atmosphere. The music, the visuals, the direction, it all comes together in this story to be truly unsettling. As time passes, it becomes more and more like a transmission from another planet. When I saw the opening shot on murky VHS, I thought it was supposed to be an arial shot of the planet below. Apparently it was some of the fronds in the jungle. This story shows you exactly the right things to convince you that saw a jungle, or a cave network, or a vast city.

    They're not in Lime Grove. They're on an alien world.

    - The regulars are outstanding. Nobody is bored, or ill, or has given up. Susan is still a weird and fascinating character. Ian and Barbara are slightly more relaxed, but still believeable schoolteachers cast adrift in a frightening new life. The Doctor is the focus of attention though. He's selfish and a show-off, yet manages to do it with that little twinkle in the eye. Most people given that role could have made the Doctor far too nasty and pompous, but Hartnell makes it endearing.

    - The Daleks are never more interesting than they are in their first appearance. They are scientists rather than soldiers. You could understand how a Dalek society could work, independent of having other races to invade or conquer. And for the only time in their history, they're not evil just for the sake of it. Here they're evil because they simply don't care whether the Thals live or die.

    This story is so good that it has echoed down the decades. Long live The Daleks!
    Pity. I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank. EXTERMINATE!

  3. #3
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    I'm giving it an 8. It is a superb story. The Daleks themselves are brilliant. Compare them to the 80s Daleks and note how the Dalek operators in later years forgot that the various parts actually moved! The episodic structure of this story works brilliantly. Episode 4 in particular is so well executed that the episode is half over before you realise it. The soundscape is amazing and so unlike anything else it really drives home the fact that we've gone to a truly alien world.

    Then there's the part 4 cliffhanger, just when you think it's all over. There's the argument about getting the Thals to fight (which condenses into a single episode what was spread over five whole ones in The Dominators five years later). Even the trip through the swamp and the caves doesn't drag.

    The only reason I have marked this down to 8 is that the story divides rather unfortunately at that aforementioned cliffhanger. The first four parts are brilliant. The second half slips into polystyrene rocks, Daleks crashing into things, and other shoddy visual elements such as photographic blow-up Daleks which are shot from angles that make it all too obvious what they are. The plot also gets muddled. The City was supposed to be a shelter, but it must actually be flooded with radiation as much as the outside is if the Daleks have become conditioned to it to the point that an anti-radiation drug kills them, and yet somehow they remianed oblivious. They also jump rather illogically to the conclusion that they are conditioned to radiation rather than simply being poisoned by the drug itself, and then one of the Daleks in the control room goes out of control despite the drug only being issued to sections of them. During the cave shots the cast get filthy, but apparently the first thing they did on entering the City was take a shower, as they are all clean again, with only Ian's torn cardigan to indicate what they've been through. Then they hear an announcement that the Thals have entered the City and conclude that it refers to another group rather than their own entry. And unfortunately the limitations on the number of Daleks makes the final showdown rather lacklustre.

    But the story is still one of the best in the whole run, despite those flaws, and is acted with such total conviction by everyone that you don't worry about the flaws until, like me, you've watched it so many times you know it backwards.

  4. #4
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    It's a much better story when Christopher Barry directs it. The Richard Martin segments are a bit shoddy in places, though he does pull off that brilliant inlay shot of the wall blistering remarkably well.

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  5. #5
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    Yes, I meant to mention the various inaly shots. They're all pretty impressive, especially the one of the TARDIS crew looking out over the City. And the City itself is a very impressive model.

  6. #6
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    I always liked the middle cliffhanger where it seemed like it was all over until they realised the fluid link is still in the city. That's incredibly effective and must have been especially so back in the days when yuo had no idea how long any story would last.

    Terry Nation comes out of this one very strongly. The story is tight and well written and well plotted. While some parts of it come close to standard adventure storytelling, it works really well because Doctor Who hasn't done any of that before. I love the trip to the city with Ian, Barbara and the Thals, where they overcome mutations and big jumps and suicides and big climbs. It's big scale stuff!

    I've just got my handcuffs and my truncheon and that's enough.

  7. #7
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    It's a great story (again, two in fact; there's a split halfway where it essentially becomes the sequel to itself), filled with some fantastically atmospheric scenes, but it's also a little over-simplified and the resolution is pretty awful. So not up with the very best of Doctor Who, but not too far off it.

  8. #8
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    currently watching this right now am about half way through and I can't find fault with it at all even at 7 episodes it never seems to drag and it keeps you in suspence all the the way through. I would certainly rate this as probably the best Dalek, story ever it has a wonderful tense atmosphere all the way through that no other Dalek story since has quite matched.

  9. #9
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    I loved the way they handled getting the Dalek out of its casing - you didn't see much, but oh how the imagination must have fired up in those kids watching it in 63/64!

  10. #10
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    I can't add much to what's already been said - it's just such a cracking good story, told well, put together in a quite astonishingly convincing way for the early 60s, and utterly compelling. The Daleks here are just so alien and so unlike anything else, there are many many reasons to love this story.

  11. #11
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    When you go back so far to a story like this, it's really almost impossible to judge it. Do you judge it relative to contemporary stories or next to it's time?

    Compared to today, it doesn't half feel a bit too long, and quite slow in places. 8/10

    For it's time though 10/10 - this story gripped a nation. The slow discovery of the planet Skaro and it's history. And the first sight of the Daleks themselves.

    Doctor Who would suffer in later years from "crap monster syndrome". When people say is the success of the Daleks due to Nation or Cusack, it's simple. The Quarks never came back cos they looked rubbish. The Daleks were probably the most effective alien Doctor Who's ever done. A simple, yet stylish and eligant design that looks even now different to any other screen alien.
    Remember, just because Davros is dead doesn't mean the Dalek menace has been contained ......

  12. #12

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    The Daleks is an epic tale which introduced the formidable foes of the Time Lord. Imagine watching the first episode back in 1963, the ending of the first episode would have kept you on the edge of your seat until the following week. At 7 episodes, it’s one of the greats of Doctor Who (along with other 7 parters like Doctor Who and the Silurians and Inferno). 10/10

  13. #13
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    The story is on the verge of dragging towards the end, which is why I've knocked it down to 9/10. Otherwise, the acting, design, story and dialogue can hardly be faulted; it's a shame that Terry Nation stories rarely stood up to the standards set here, but that's for another discussion we may have had already. The Daleks themselves really are alien here; they decide to get the first and fatal blow in which will allow them to survive in more ways than one - to them, exploding the most powerful weapon in their armory is logical and sensible. This would be horrible for most others to do, it's an act the Cybermen would think illogical due to the risk of fusing or melting their robotic parts, for instance.

    The forest is magnificent, give or take using it to whip Carole Ann Ford.* The Magneton was a work of art, and the City was avant garde and at the same time, as far as the occupants go, fully functional. Mention must be made of the cliffhanger to episode one - who'd have guessed that so much drama could have been got out of waving a sink plunger in someone's face? It's only the second story, and the regulars are into it already, giving it their utmost, and the guest cast are certainly giving most of their ut. What we have here is the template for Dalek voices, which some have used and others sadly not.




    * Talking of which, is it just me...?

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nyder View Post
    I loved the way they handled getting the Dalek out of its casing - you didn't see much, but oh how the imagination must have fired up in those kids watching it in 63/64!
    Speaking as someone who was a kid in 63 (six years old at the time) this has got to be the biggest understatement ever on this site! This was the story that hooked me totally on this show. Our teacher in school asked us all to paint what we thought a Dalek really looked like and I so wish I had kept my painting!

  15. #15
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    I was eight in '63 and have no recollection of seeing this at all, if indeed I did see it at the time. I do however have clear memory of seeing the cliffhanger at the end of World's End in 1964, and use this as my starting point.

  16. #16
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    The best Dalek story, ever. At least of those still in existence!

    My biggest fault with it is like others, I feel it's a tad on the long side...if it had been a six-parter it would have been perfect. It's an excellent story overall, helped by the fact that this was one of the greatest TARDIS crews ever, imo.
    And it stands up really well with other series of the time as well, I feel.

    9/10, with a point being deducted for its length.

  17. #17
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    I've never had points deducted for lengh before!

    Ah...

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