1975’s Genesis of the Daleks
had proven to be something of an early success for the Tom Baker era, due mainly to Terry Nation’s inspired creation of Davros, unfortunately Nation just couldn't keep the momentum going, and his lack of inspiration is plain to see.
Everything about this story appears strained, with a script that is poorly conceived and full of holes. The notion of two battle fleets facing off without a shot fired is ludicrous, and what made the Daleks suppose that Davros could still be alive after so many years, especially considering they had shot him at point blank range?
As a result of having been neglected whilst in storage, the Dalek props are in extremely poor shape with visible damage and parts missing, the keen observer will be able to spot the rods inserted in their domes to prevent the top section from falling off, and in many scenes we can see the Daleks wobbling precariously. The shots of the Daleks exploding at the end of episode four called for some ‘disposable’ Daleks to be built, unfortunately due to their ‘throw away’ nature, they looked even less convincing than the originals. Director Ken Grieve’s low angled shots of the bomb laden Daleks passing behind the crest of a ridge on their way to the Movellan ship are lamentable, and we can clearly see the Daleks ‘bobbing’ up and down as they are ‘walked along’ by their operators.
Terry Nation’s concept of the Daleks facing a rival species is an interesting one; however the credibility of the Movellans does not come across on screen. They appear too fragile and lacking in aggression to pose any significant threat to the Daleks, and are remarkably simple to incapacitate. The only positive thing that can be said about their inclusion in this story is that they look great! The design is truly original and they look wonderfully bizarre in their crisp white costumes and long silver dreadlocks.
Davros, who had played such a pivotal role in Genesis
, does not fare particularly well in this story, due mainly to the fact that the plot does not suit his character; consequently he has very little impact on the story. Davros also loses much of his original malice, most likely because of the change of actor, David Gooderson does his best, but Michael Wisher proved to be too hard an act to follow. Destiny of the Daleks
is well known for Romana’s infamous regeneration scene at the beginning of episode one. It had long been established that Timelords have the ability to regenerate when their bodies become weak or sustain injury, they are, however only able to do this twelve times. Terry Nation’s storyline appears to suggest that Romana squandered five of her incarnations deciding which body to ‘wear’. That for me is quite a continuity gaffe.
All told, Destiny of the Daleks
was a poor start to season seventeen, Tom and Lalla work well together but the long awaited return of Davros was disappointingly eclipsed by Terry Nation’s weak storyline.
Rating: 2 Tom's out 5