The Evil of the Daleks

The Evil of the Daleks is a story that I have enjoyed in the past in the form of an audio recording and also in telesnap form, and I have found that the story has been rather good and that it would be nice to be able to see a proper version of the story and that perhaps one day it might be returned to the archives.

Now we have probably the closest version that we are likely to get of the story in animated form. Having watched the full animated version of it I have to say that the story is even better than it has been before and that this was about how I had imagined it in my head and is probably pretty much as it might have been when originally broadcast (as far as I know anyway) and to me this is now the definitive version of the story.

At seven episodes this has been the longest of the second Doctor stories to date and if anything it might be slightly overlong and it could have been told in six episodes without much of a problem.

The stuff featuring Jamie and Kemel in the middle of the story which whilst very important to the plot could have been edited down a bit and would still have worked well but it is still quite interesting to watch but not so much to listen to it has to be said.

This is rather an expansive story with its three locations: present day London, Canterbury 1863 and Skaro a long, long time in the future.

The title is also very apt as this does show the Daleks to be very evil indeed. We also have another villainous character in the more human shape of Theodore Maxtible played by Marius Goring, whom you pretty much grow to hate very quickly indeed.

This story is also the first time we meet Deborah Watling’s Victoria Waterfield but she doesn’t really get much to do in the story apart from get rescued and that is pretty much about all she does get to do in the story but her presence is felt throughout.

Fraser Hines really gets to shine in this story as the only companion and gets loads and loads to do. The Doctor is quite mysterious in this story and  Jamie isn’t shy about telling him how he feels either as he does treat Jamie quite badly in this story, albeit for a good reason. 

Patrick Troughton is really immense in this story and I don’t think he has been better in the role than in this story (at least so far in his run anyway) and he is a magnetic presence when on screen (even in animated form).

Aside from Troughton and Hines there were also excellent performances from Marius Goring, John Bailey (who played the downtrodden Waterfield beautifully) and Jo Rowbottam as Molly the chambermaid. I thought that the Daleks were well utilized in this story and I like the fact that the Troughton Doctor is actually quite scared of them and what they can do, which makes them a very effective baddie.

This is easily one of the best Daleks story and certainly the best not written by their creator Terry Nation. 

Back to work

Since the pandemic hit us back in March 2020 I have worked from home for the majority of the time, apart from a few days back in the office last September 2020, and recently they have easing us back into the office.

I started going back in one day a week for a few weeks, and am now doing two days a week in the office and the rest at home.

I am not sure if working in the office is all it it cracked up to be after spending 18 months at home. I mean I do see more people that I did before, but not by many, as there is only about three other people in the office on the days that I am in, but that is still more people than just the wife and I which it has pretty much been ever since the first lockdown.

I have been doing this for a while now and though I am managing better than I did the first week or so it is making me feel more tired than anything else and I feel like I have done a full weeks work after two days in the office and then I am really tired for the rest of the week.

Hopefully it will get easier each week that passes until a type of normality is resumed, whatever that means.

The Faceless Ones

The Faceless Ones is the first story since The War Machines to be set on present day Earth and we get plenty of shots that could have been from any programme of the day and a load of characters who at first seem to be very much like the characters you would get in any other adult drama such as police inspectors, head of airports, pilots, stewardesses, immigration officers etc.

It is only when Polly sees a man being shot by what looked like a ray gun that suggested that there was something not ordinary going on at Gatwick airport.

The crew are separated pretty much as soon as they exit the TARDIS and are nearly crushed by a aeroplane about to land. For the most part of the story the Doctor and Jamie are on their own as both Polly and then Ben are captured by the alien menace who are posing as pilots and other airline personnel for an airline that caters for trips to young people, which i assume were starting to become popular at the time.

It was a shame that they seem to get rid of Ben and Polly so easily after what they had gone through in the last forty or so episodes but at least it was reasonable given the plot of the story and made sense as they were getting in the way of the aliens plans so in that sense it worked better than it could well have done.

We are also introduced to a new character called Samantha Briggs in this episode who basically took over both Ben and Polly’s role as a second companion in the story and was actually rather good and you can see why they considered her to be a replacement to Ben and Polly when they decided to leave the TARDIS, or were pushed (delete where applicable). Pauline Collins gave a good account of herself in the role of Samantha Briggs and gave as good as she got.

The main baddies were the chameleons who were an interesting alien race whose plans in the story were basically to carry on living and that was there raison d’etre to doing what they did in the story, so it is not simple to call them evil in the strictest sense of the word, but not really thinking about the consequences of what they were doing to the other party.

The familiar setting of the story helped I would say to draw the viewers in as when they first tuned it it could have been an episode of any present day drama and despite the aliens present in the story the setting of the story really grounded the viewers into something quite different for the show up to that point.

Despite its six episode length the story actually doesn’t feel that long and certainly doesn’t seem to be stretched over that length either which is not often the case with six parters.

Gerry Mill definitely makes the most of the setting of the story with lots of establishing shots of airplanes landing and taking off and in flight, just to make sure that you are aware that the story is set in an airport and I think that this adds to the story to be honest.

I do have to admit that the new animated version of the story does it make it a far more watchable experience than it was as a listening experience, and shows what people would have seen back when it was originally broadcast and I certainly enjoyed the adventure more than I ever had before.

Quarter Finals and the rest

Switzerland went into a last eight tie with Spain bouyed after their victory against France but it started off badly for them with an own goal giving Spain the lead. They managed to equalise in the second half and then when the tied had seemed to have turned for them they had a player sent off with 13 minutes remaining. With a man less the Swiss held off the Spain attack for the rest of the regulation time and the whole of the extra-time period as well before the game went to penalties. Unfortunately for Switzerland they missed a couple of penalties and Spain were able to score most of their theirs and so Spain went through to the semi’s.

Against Belgium Italy took control of the game early scoring two goals before the break. Belgium got a goal back just after the second Italian goal but the Italians held out and there were no more additions to the score in the second half and Italy marched on and Roberto Martinez was not able to add a Euros to his star on Believe Square in Wigan town centre.

Denmark against the Czech Republic saw the Danes take the game by the scruff of the neck from the get go and took an early lead through Thomas Delaney. Kasper Dolburg doubled their lead before the break and in the second half the Czech’s tried to get back in the game and managed to get a goal back but there were unable to get the second goal they needed to take the tie to extra time and the Danes also attempted to increase their lead but, luckily for them, they did not need to as Czech Republic did not capatalise on their chances when they created them.

England v Ukraine was the game where England finally woke up in the tournament and managed to score more goals in this one game than they had over the entire tournament up to that point. They took the lead early on and didn’t add to it until just before half time. In the second half England added two more goals making it 4-0 but the game was not as one sided as it sounded like if Ukraine had took some of their chances.

In the first of the semi-finals Italy took the lead after an hour when it looked like the game would go the distance. Then it appeared that Italy might have managed to take control of the game before Spain hit back after 80 minutes. After that they basically managed to cancel each other out and the match went to penalties. Both teams did not score the first penalty but Italy went and scored the rest of theirs with Spain failing to hit the back of the net with one of theirs of Italy went through.

Denmark took the lead in the second semi final with a fine goal and England were put on the back foot before Simon Kjær put the ball in the back of his own net just before the break. Both teams had chances to take the lead in the second half but the game ended 1-1 and then in the first half of extra time Harry Kane gave England the lead and they managed to keep Denmark at bay for the rest of the match.

In the final England took an early lead and were the best team in the first half. In the second half Italy woke up and controlled the game and managed to equalise taking the match to extra time. Even after extra time there will still level so it went to penalties. Naturally England lost the game as they are want to do on penalties failing to score three out of the five so football did not come him, but it went to Rome.