Friday, September 25, 2009
If it seems like I'm really laying into Planet of the Daleks (and I am), it's probably because of the fact that the first Dalek story is still fresh in my mind from not only having watched it several times in the past, but also less than six months ago. For original viewers of this story back in 1973, one imagines that very few children who watched Planet of the Daleks with enthralled excitement would have also seen the first Dalek story ten years previously (especially since the first story was never repeated on the BBC).
Planet of the Daleks is almost entirely comprised of the more memorable bits of those first three Dalek serials (most notably the first one), repackaged and revisited for a new and younger audience. While this might be seen by some as a quaint homage to the past in this, the tenth anniversary season, I see it as lazy script writing from Terry Nation, plain and simple, as well as a willing reluctance to accept the script by Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks in order to appease Nation's demands and allow them the rights to have the Daleks in the story.
It now might seem that I'm getting a few digs in at Terry Nation's expense, and I probably am. I'm still annoyed at how he hogged all the fame that the Daleks brought him, when the accolades should have been at least evenly distributed with designer Ray Cusick, the latter of whom made sense of Nation's oft-quoted description in his original script and created one of the truly iconic designs in all of science fiction. It was clear by The Chase that Nation was bored with the Daleks, and it's clear that, after seven years away from the program, he was still bored with them, unable to think of any original situations to put them, or those battling them, into for the sake of good drama.
Posted by Steven at 11:17 AM