Tuesday, June 30, 2009

LL2 - The Evil of the Daleks 2

The Doctor and Jamie are still in full on sleuthing mode as Episode Two begins. I love Patrick Troughton in this. Seldom has the Doctor appeared so clever as he quickly deciphers clues and solves little mysteries about the trap that he knows is being set for him. Troughton is marvelous as The Doctor dives in headlong into the mystery, knowing full well that it must surely be a trap for him and his young companion.

The unanswered questions continue in this episode even when the mysteries from the previous are gradually solved. What "tests" are the Daleks referring to, and why is Jamie so important to their success? Who is the strange man who whacked Jamie on the back of the head and kidnapped him towards the end of the episode? How and why did Theodore Maxtible and Waterfield build a time cabinet, and how did they get mixed up with the Daleks?

Like The Power of the Daleks, the other David Whitaker-written Dalek story, the Daleks are in the background, present but seldom seen, yet firmly in control of all the events that we are seeing. This allows for a greater amount of screen time for the human characters and the relationships between them, while knowing that the Daleks will have just enough time on screen to tantalize you until their next appearance.

The Evil of the Daleks was the first missing story I became aware of, discovering the audiobook version back in the mid-90s. However, I never appreciated it for what it was back then, and so now, with this being just the third time I've watched the story (thanks to the reconstruction), it still does not appear familiar to me. Two episodes in, and I have no idea what is going to happen. It's not often that you can say that about a Dalek story, either.


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