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THE DALEK INVASION EARTH


Chase - Posted on 20 December 2009

1

WOW! There's a theory that says every first ep of DW is that story's best. I would argue with that but certainly they are the most intriguing in a show that you never know what can happen where and certainly here, there's lots of love about this ep. If you look at the TARDIS scene interior: there's not a roundel in sight but a huge white wall of scientific computer banks, lights and plastic like walls. Amazing. Hartnell is amazing and he's the same Doc he was in last week's story and what's amazing is that the stories vary so much and yet the characters don't change so much that they are unrecognizable. Their adventures do change them somewhat but not so much that we can't relate to who they were earlier in the show. As they come outside, Barbara trips and it might not have been planned. The TARDIS materializes without the same groaning grinding sound but with a hum as if it were the interior hum. We also see TWO open window panes on the TARDIS exterior! It looked, at first as if they were broken. In the original script Ian tripped over a dead body face down in the mud. The Doctor tells Barbara, about her homecoming, "I wouldn't have spoiled it for all the worlds."  When Susan gets curious she causes a fall to herself and the bridge falls debris on the TARDIS. The Doctor is happily angry at her and leaves her to go search with Ian for a drill or something that they can use to move the stuff in front of the TARDIS...but not before saying, "What you need is a jolly good smacked bottom!"  Later when climbing a staircase, he tells Ian, "I'm not a half wit."  All the outdoor location work, for the first time extensively, is just amazing and nice. At times, later on when Barbara is running to keep up with one of the hiding Earth resistance fighters, the location work reminds me of cheaper sci fi movies from the 60s and 50s such as THE SLIME PEOPLE. I like those movies and I like this. They have some kind of look that is both cheap and extensive at the same time and expensive in a way that they are outdoors. And outdoors is so much better than sets trying to make it look outdoors.

When the roboman falls out of a box, in hindsight, it seems as if the Daleks think of humans as just materials and instruments. Who put him there? The Doc and Ian wonder if the hat control device is a personal communication and this reminds me of RISE OF THE CYBERMEN devices that were used to control people. It also reminds me of the way Martha's cousin and others were controlled in AGE OF GHOSTS/DOOMSDAY. The original idea for DALEK INVASION EARTH  sounds as if it was very similar to the way RISE OF THE CYBERMEN had the control devices and also the same as AGE OF GHOSTS/DOOMSDAY. In the original script, the Doctor deduces that the invasion took place in the 1970s.

When Ian almost falls off the ledge by opening the door to no where, he says no one can get down that way but the Doctor is sarcastic without being mean, "Except you."

Later when they find the girls missing, Ian wonders how they manage to do it as if they've done this before but I cant' recall them doing that or maybe he meant just this time or maybe I misheard his exact words. THe Doctor wonders if Ian is curious about this situation and Ian tells him he's not. This difference between them is a great character piece: Ian wants to just get away and maybe at this point, just get home to his own time; the Doc is curious and wants...like Susan to find out what is going on. Ian and the Doc, despite this difference, seem very close and Ian even touches the Doctor physically in the scene by the river side.

Another interesting and funny bit is when the girls first meet Tyler and Dortmun and are questioned. Barbara says she can get by when she's asked if she can cook. When David asks Susan what she does, she says, "I eat."  Pretty funny and reminds me of Adric in a way.

The cliffhanger is just great. A Dalek coming out of the river! WHy it was there is not explained later I think but it makes a great cliffhanger. But oh, that original flying saucer was as bad as PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE and the new stuff inserted on the DVD is better but I like it as it was originally, flaws and all. I hate that they touch up the DVDs to stop out shadows and mikes and stuff. Anyway a 10/10 for this ep and I'd say the whole story. DW just got very very dangerous and very very scary and Earth shattering. Oh but it shouldn't be like this all the time RTD listening?

Another thing that strikes me is that the DWM arrived recently and David Tennant quotes that the finale of his ear is like a tale of gods fighting or something. Blah! Maybe there's a place for that in some DW but to be honest, I prefer it when the Doc is like Hartnell or Troughton and just a traveler trying his best and vulnerable. As the END OF TIME approaches and we see ads for the Master shooting fingertip electric bolts as the Doc as the Doc walks toward him without being scared...it makes me wonder. They seem like super heroes or gods now. And that's just....wrong.  Additionally, I'm tired of the Doctor love RTD spreads out such as the old folks scene from END OF TIME part one or whatever. It's smarmy and hokey and goofy. ANd it's gone on too long IMO. DW needs to make the Doctor's alienness, his powers, his godhood, all smaller than it was for the last five years or four or three. I'm sorry to say I think that will not happen. We've heard the awful dialog from Matt Smith faces off against the Dalek. out of context that might not be fair to say but hearing it makes me cringe. Please make the Doc like he was in Hartnell's time or Troughton's time ALITTLE BIT even.

In any event, this story is a good one.          

 

2

WOW> Another good episode. Carole Ann Ford doesn't do much in this ep but we can really feel her fear and tension when she does appear. Jenny is most logical and practical that she feels almost like a Mr. Spock. Even though we never find out why it's there, (the idea seems to be that the Dalek cannot distinguish between air and water but that is just plain stupid) The Dalek out of the water is inspired and Will Hartnell is great despite the fact that he says "We must defeat them" in front of the Dalek. The RoboMen are also inspired. The saucer set and the streets are also well done. One thing that is not well done is the Dalek voices. They sound worse than last time and I guess I'm used to big scary Nick Brigg's voices for the new Daleks in BIG FINISH and THE NEW WALES SHOW. Frankly Big Finish brought the Daleks back first and credit must be given to them and their big scary voices and the differences between the Daleks among their own ranks...Nick does a great job but here in this...the Dalek voices are just silly and laughable. If you think about it EARTH VS THE FLYING SAUCERS in the 1950s had better modulated voices than this and even had the same story ...almost. Here the Daleks are already masters of Earth (and yet in one really embarassing scene, the Dalek rants, "We are the Masters of Earth" over and over and this scene was used by Long Island's channel 21 to preview clips of the show in an otherwise good ten min or so segment of various Doctors --1-6 as 7 hadn't debuted then).

The test sequence: Hartnell is great but again this scene makes little sense. The Daleks knew of the Doc's genius already as stated by one of them. Why go through the entire test and then robotize him anyway...which they seemed to want to plan anyway. Hartnell makes the Doctor racaslly, warm, and tells the pessmestic man in with them to shut up and go away and help them and that he's a genius and there are so few of "us" left. He's just great in this. So is William Russell. Barbara makes her contribution to tell the rebels to fake act and make like robomen...in the original script, the rebels are already doing this.

The Daleks have on their screen the opening credit segment showing...the vortex. Another thing that doesn't make sense is that these Daleks are from the past of the Daleks in the DALEKS but don't seem like it. They seem more advanced. The Doc says the Daleks they saw destroyed in THE DALEKS were in the future...maybe the war robbed them of all their advancements but they seemed less advanced than Daleks that can move underwater, move free of the metal floors and fly saucers.

Despite all of these criticisms, the ep is an enjoyable one and the ...oh dear...the attack on the saucer is outrageously bad. One man, a roboman I think, is making odd movements on the ground as a wounded man, squirming to...his death? If so it's both silly and outrageously horrible as he's dying slowly and ...whatever. The other thing is people are running and getting shot...it's most UNACTIONFILLED and rather poor. Where is Havoc? Although they had some awful stuff too mostly in AMBASSADORS OF DEATH but really...the action is pathetic. Irwin Allen had much better action in the first seasons of LOST IN SPACE and VOYAGE TO THE BOTTOM OF THE SEA.

Okay despite all of the bad stuff, this remains an enjoyable episode and the Daleks do not yet yell, "Exterminate" all the time but rather, "Kill him!"  It also had a large feel to it and the Doc charms so much as to save the entire 20something minutes. The flat buildings in the backdrop and the flat Daleks are well done and don't look flat to me at least. Apparently Jackie Hill got hurt when she hurled her bomb. For real. THere is also one blatant blooper as a Dalek starts a sentence with "ALL" and then finishes it after the 4 or 5 min scene of the Doc, Ian and the other man getting out of the cell. We also see a still Dalek behind the man in the cell with Ian and the Doc.

Okay, a good ep despite all the things wrong!    

3

A great ep and even better than one and two. The scenes involving Barbara and Jenny wheeling Dortmun around London are truly classic and wonderful. I don't know all the locations used but they are marvelous and well done as is Dortmun's death. The off screen death of a man who had his mother and brother killed while Susan and David can only listen helplessly are pure Terry Nation and lots of this goes on to his well made, well acted but hopelessly hopeless THE SURVIVORS (which has been remade with the girl who plays Martha in DW). Baker saves the Doctor, gets him to safety and then bids them a fond farewell and runs straight into a Dalek...and is shot in negative. Hartnell and Ford play off each other well and do a routine about what they should do next and when David comes in and asks the Doctor he uses Susan's idea to begin with and it's all very funny and well done, and Susan and the Doc are very tactile in this ep as they reunite. Terry Nation wise everyone, or almost everyone dies in the attack, which is much better handled in this ep...or rather the attack becomes a retreat. Even Barbara is wounded or hurt. Tyler is hurt. Ian is almost lobbed by a bomb thrown by Barbara. He hides in the floor and meets Larry--who helps him fight against a new roboman...the negative man he and the Doc were with in the cell in last ep--Craddocks. I'ts grim when they have to fight him and he dies...and then they have get rid of his body by putting it out the disposal chute! The saucer take off is pathetic as is the ramp from it to the ground...the ramp looks wooden!

The music during the runaround London is annoying but tense and gives tension to the proceedings but could have been better. Jenny starts to get humanized. Dortmun, if he knew the bombs didn't work...WTF? Then he dies too and it seemed futile that he did. I don't think his bombing of them killed any of them. The DVD extra tells us that a charcter, in Indian girl named Saida was to be Jenny or/and rather that Saida was to replace Susan as the young girl character in the show after this.

The cliffhanger, the bomb is a good one. David is good. Everyone's acting is top notch and the Daleks are scary. One of them falls on two rebels and I believe they die. The Main Dalek leader is now painted fully black rather than as in the last ep, black and white striped.

This ep gets a 10/10. It was inspired to have the Daleks on Earth and this makes the most out of it!    

4

Will Hartnell, I think was ill or was injured in the last ep or so, so here, he gets played very briefly by someone else who is quite good and has long fingernails and he passes out and is gone for a week. To be honset, I hardly noticed because there's so much else going on in this great ep. Barbara and Jenny steal a dust bin truck, ram down some Daleks and have to jump out when a saucer overhead blasts their truck. Honestly, it's good but I recall the movie version and that scene was better but the story totally or almost totally different. Here, it works. David has to disassemble a bomb, something you could imagine the Doctor having had to do in the orginal draft but he uses acid to disable it. Susan and he find Tyler in the sewers and in what seems pointless, they roam the sewers looking for a way out. The ladder Susan swings on (she adds "Swinging" as an ad lib from Carol) is already broken but who cares? It looks pretty good if you're not really looking for it and there is an alligator below her. In what looks like a another shot of another alligator it looks like a baby or a lizard or a baby lizard. Apparetly a lot of animals escaped from the zoo and most died (poor things, how sad). 

The Dvd text tells us that they were menaced by humans who fled to the sewers during the plague and became...monster men with lower fangs sticking out of their lower mouth and white faces and hair and black circled eyes. This was dropped. There might also have been other mutants down there. Which brings me to the Slyther...,I like it despite that the moans are something of a man going "OHHHHHHHHHH" and a monster sound effect mixed together. The monster sound is effective. The man going "OHHHHHH" is not. Was this a mutant made on Earth?  The original script has it something that the Daleks brought here. Also the original had Ian and Larry (then called Robbie) attacked by a pack of them at the end.

Yes, Ian and Larry find the mine in Bedfordshire (which Barbara almost tells Jenny about and which adds to the realism of Barbara's distress when Jenny tells her she should see what they did to that place). The original script had the abysss the Daleks made in place of where Manchester should have been. Why do you sound like Dalek? Lots of planets have a hole the Daleks have built! Anyway, Ian and Larry meet Mr Rumpold from ARE YOU BEING SERVED and he tries to help them escape a robo man and they do by runnning and hiding in a metal hut in plain sight of the roboman...whom Ian conks over the helmet. Then Ashton arrives, a trader of food and other things and will help get Ian back to London for a price. NOt sure what was happening in the dialog as someone kept asking me a shitload of questions during this and also making comments. But anyway...

Lots going on and Ian spots the Slyther long before he's supposed to and we can see it in Russell's eyes but the cliffhanger is STILL a good one. We also had last ep someone, Dortmun (who's body Jenny and Barbara drive past, well Jenny's actually jumping onto the side of th truck as they do) called the Daleks motorized Dustbins. This ep has what others believe to be the first quarry use in DW at the mine. We see lots of people, maybe 20 or more, being used as slaves.  Some of the men are shirtless. Many look like concentration camp survivors. The scenes in London and the escape look like 50s and early 60s monster movies, not a criticism, I like those but just an observation. The Black Dalek is touted as a commandant.

A good ep and without the Doc (they've left him hidden near the old plague cemetery!).  It goes to show what can be done with a helping of realism, good acting, limited sets and effects (the saucer exteriors are still dire) and a  good tight adventure script. WHY can't the DW last night have been as good as even this one ep? Hats off to the three actors playing the companions. They do a great job here and are likable. Jenny has warmed up and her staying with Barbara was a nice touch although I thought it would seal her doom. NO ONE felt safe in this story.            

5

Okay we find out what the Daleks are doing here...and it's crap. It makes no sense as to why they would be doing this but never mind, the story still holds up. Even though the plan makes no sense, the story is still good, something current DW would do well to learn and not let it all go to pot. There's plenty here to enjoy. Barbara and Jenny get betrayed by an old woman and a younger one (her daughter?). In the original script it was 3 old women as in MacBeth. Betrayed to the Daleks. In the mine, Barbara misses spotting Ian and he misses being able to contact her. Nice touches there. As well, Barbara comes up with a plan to get to the control center as the Doctor would do and she knows he would. The Doctor: most make up plenty about his being able to smell something cooking between David and Susan but really...it's just a line. He really can tell though. The Doctor joins the show again and in the sewers, he had to fight using a walking stick he's picked up someplace and tells Tyler he doesn't believe in killing unless his own life is in danger. He also is willing to leave the roboman to his own salvation, whatever did he mean by that? Certainly the Doctor can't believe in the afterlife and God. Well yeah he can. In addition, Larry gets hurt in the journey down the mine and finds his brother: a roboman. Larry dies at his brother Phil's hand in a grisly fate and Phil dies at Larry's hand. Poor Ian: on his own again and ripped the back of jacket seams, he gets trapped in a bomb the Daleks are going to put down the mine...and is lowered along with it. Good cliffhanger but they never seemed to have the zing that later ones would have. In all a good ep and showing Susan and David on top of each other and them cooking fish I think it was. Although would you eat something out of that river? When David talks about the Doctor recovering fast and maknig the journey, Susan uses his word for the Doctor, "He's a pretty fantastic kind of person." The Doc also knows Susan is a good cook. Nowadays it's easy to see that she's going to leave but back then it might not have been and it might have been a shock to see her going in the last ep. The Daleks despite their lines running into each other (some did it live, some prerecorded) and depite the wobbly ness of their upper casing and despite the voices not sounding as menacing as the TV show now or the Big Finish audios (and there they sound totally menacing) are still a marvel to behold as they put their plan into fruition. A lot of it has to do wiht the Doctor and they way he goes on about how intelligent they are. Hartnell, believe or not lends credence to the villains here and makes his own character great and the villains he faces great. It's amzing to behold. This ep is really rather enjoyable and the mystique about the Doc and the Daleks..it's not hard to see why it happened. During this ep and during other ones here, we hear about the Brotherhood of Man, the Moon Station, and moving sidewalks (possibly during a World's fair or some other exhibition).

A fine climax. I love it when Tyler says, "Life's never dull with you around, Doc." And the Doctor thanks him but tells him he prefers to be called Doctor. The Doc sets up a trap for the Daleks coming back to the control room; Ian stops the descent of the bomb; David and Susan in prefilmed insert sabotage a pipe (hilariously on the cliffside, an excellent set by the way, the Doc tells the pair as they start out to sabotage, "And don't stop to pick daisies on the way!"); and the robomen at the start are hilarious as they shout, :PULL PULL PULL in zombie fashion. The pedals on the Dalek in one scene creak. We also hear EXTERMINATE HIM for maybe not the first time (that might have happened once or so in THE DALEKS but it didn't then or now become their constant chant). The Doctor originally had more to say to Susan about how life on Earth can be a great adventure with love and understanding and that love is the most precious jewel of all. He goes on to tell them to make him proud of the world they build. This and the thing we did get throws light on their entire TEN story relationship: how maybe he feared losing her all along but also feared she might become like him.

We tend to take for granted leaving scenes but this was the first and apart from Carole Ann Ford's TERRIBLE acting when she whinges and whines and screeches over David, the rest is pretty good and she's been okay in this entire story. It's rather sad and Hartnell was really sad and it showed. It was a good scene. We see the roundels behind him this time and it looks like the entire door set behind him where it should not be.  It's a good scene and sets the stage for other cast leavings. I also like that Barbara keeps urging Ian toward the TARDIS as he chats with Tyler at athe end. And Susan saying goodbye to Tyler as he leaves wtihout him really realizing it. SHe sort of says things in that one scene witout saying them: that she wants to stay and feels incongrous leaving. It's all well done.

The music as the rebellion happens, on the other hand, is like old fashioned music played along with silent movies. It doesn't even come close to sci fi 1950s movies' music.  I mean when one thinks of the excellent scores to IT CAME FROM OUTER SPACE, INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, and others...well...

Then we get the volcano updraft destroying the saucers. Good. The Daleks deserved it. It's hard to imagine that the Daleks are masters of India (and that they can be fooled by Barbara's stupid speech mixing up the wars if they have been here for any length of time and found out anything about Earth history at all) and all of them were in the saucers? I mean they breagged about being Masters of Earth so were all athe Daleks killed in the saucers? were they even all there?

In any case, this story is a good one and the ending a sufficient one. The Doctor is breavely the Doctor and does Doctorish things and his companions act in full. A good ep and a good story.       

I think the Doctor says to Susan "You've got to be taken in hand" and that she does not have a future with a silly old buffer like him. Imagine any other Doctor saying this. Then switch back to the more realistic Doctor. This one. He also, I believe, has her shoe in his hand when he is back in the TARDIS, the one he talked about mending.    

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