oracne - Victoria Janssen (oracne) wrote,
oracne - Victoria Janssen
oracne

7th Doctor: "Remembrance of the Daleks"

In which I go on at great length, in a way which might surprise those who never saw me in the full blush of my Dr. Who obsession.

"You can judge a man by the quality of his enemies."
--The Doctor, "Remembrance of the Daleks"

"Remembrance of the Daleks" is one of the best 7th Doctor episodes, I feel, and one of the ones I bought on DVD. The Doctor has hidden the Hand of Omega (a powerful Time Lord artifact) on 1963 Earth, which happens to be the setting of the very first episode of Dr. Who--we get to see the Coal Hill School again, and I.M. Foreman's junkyard--the idea is that the Doctor did this before the first episode happened. There are also, obviously, references to previous Dalek episodes and to the previous Omega episodes, "The Three Doctors" and "Arc of Infinity," memorable for the appearance of Colin Baker, future Doctor, as a supporting character, and Peter Davison's running around Amsterdam or wherever it was with green rice crispies stuck all over his face. (I saw on the web somewhere that there was an Omega radio show as well, but I never heard it.)



Several of the supporting characters also echo nostalgically, if one can echo forward in time (for them) as well as backwards (for the viewers): the Group Captain is a stiffer, more humorless version of the Brigadier--the Doctor accidentally calls him "Brigadier," once; a female scientific advisor who reminded me of Liz Shaw, from the era of the 3rd Doctor; and the perfidious Sgt. Mike Smith, who bears a superficial resemblance to Mike Yeats of U.N.I.T..

The basic plot is that two Dalek factions have formed, and both of them want the Hand of Omega, and they're fighting over it, and incidentally killing a bunch of humans who get in the way. Luckily, the Doctor is there to order everyone around and tell them what to do.

Some humans are working with the "renegade" Daleks. One of those humans is shown to have Nazi sympathies, and one of them has a "no coloureds" sign in the window of her boarding house, which ties in with the Dalek views on racial purity, essentially what their conflict is about.

For the first time, the Daleks climb stairs! They levitate up them. (We see this again in the 9th Doctor episode, "Dalek.") There was also a "Special Weapons" Dalek with heavy weaponry, which seemed kind of dumb to me, because isn't the point that an ordinary Dalek is dangerous and almost impervious? One Dalek faction is black with silver, and the other is white with gold. And there's also [impressive chord] Emperor Davros, in a mushroom-shaped casing, more creepy than his half-Dalek chair.

Coolest parts, to me:
Ace being disgruntled by how long it takes the television to turn on--and after she leaves the room in disgust, the viewer hears the announcement of a new show airing next, Dr.--. In the same scene, Ace finds the "no coloureds" sign when looking out the window, and her expression of shock says more than a thousand preachy speeches.

"Ace, give me some of that Nitro-9 you're not carrying!"
--The Doctor, "Remembrance of the Daleks"

Ace's aluminum baseball bat, which the Doctor turns into a powerful weapon by juicing it up with the Hand of Omega.

All the period clothes, and period details.

"Your species has the most amazing capacity for self-deception, matched only by its ingenuity when trying to destroy itself."
--The Doctor, on humans, in "Remembrance of the Daleks"

The DVD has some outtakes, with flubbed lines and people tripping over things. In one of the action sequences, Sylvester McCoy is wearing his glasses--which makes me wonder how well he could see when they were actually filming.

This one I might recommend to a first-time viewer, but really all the references are geared to the long-time fan.

Tags: dr.who, dvd, tv
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