Following the release of Doctor Who: The Daleks’ Master Plan, classic Patrick Troughton adventure Doctor Who: The Evil of the Daleks has also been released on vinyl by Demon Music Group. Inside one glorious box set are the seven episodes, spread across four vinyl records.
The Evil of the Daleks is a highly regarded Doctor Who story. On one occasion it was even voted the best Doctor Who television adventure. Sadly it is missing from the BBC archives, with the exception of Episode Two. Using original off-air sound recordings and narration from Frazer Hines, the story is presented in it’s entirety, a rarity over the years. A cassette version, with narration from Tom Baker, and three CD releases are difficult to acquire these days. The same can also be said of the novelisation. Happily, Demon Music have provided a new opportunity to enjoy The Evil of the Daleks as a whole. It is a product certainly worth investing in.
Firstly, the physical item is a stunning piece. The limited edition vinyl records have an interesting design with the deluxe version presented in an appealing shade of burnt red. Each of the four records are placed within a stylish sleeve, which is in turn within another sleeve. The four inner sleeves have the episode synopses printed upon them with the reverse of a TARDIS within the vortex. Additionally, the four outer sleeves can be arranged to create two images, one of the TARDIS and one of the Emperor Dalek. The artwork is sublime continued from the attractive and robust outer box to the items inside.
The Evil of the Daleks by David Whitaker
David Whitaker’s second Dalek script, The Evil of the Daleks, provides another fascinating story. It begins with the TARDIS being stolen and an intriguing store for Victorian Antiquities. What develops from there is some proper science fiction. Experiments and a laboratory set of bubbling test tubes. Few Doctor Who stories have the ambition of The Evil of the Daleks. Earth circa 1966. A Victorian house in 1866. The alien planet Skaro in the far future. All these locales are inhabited by a myriad of characters. Not only is the result strong Doctor Who but it is also impressive drama. Although there are minor flaws, it is a gripping tale.
The relationship between Jamie and the Doctor is also developed. Although the Seventh Doctor is often described as the arch-manipulator this story sees his Second incarnation manipulating his own companion, seemingly to help the Daleks. The scene where Jamie lets out his frustration at the Doctor is hugely impressive. It shows the Scotsman I afraid to stand up for himself against the Doctor. Of course, the Doctor is playing the long game. However, I am equally sure that the character’s own scientific curiosity required little convincing. Jamie also goes to great lengths to rescue Victoria, developing a bond with the new companion. Personally, Mollie Dawson would’ve been just as good. That said, the lovely Deborah Watling remains sorely missed.
The Dalek Factor
Combining human and Dalek is a concept which has been rekindled a few times since 1966. For example, using human material for new Daleks in ‘Revelation of the Daleks‘ and hybrids in ‘Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks‘. The conclusion of Episode Five and beginning of Episode Six sees three Daleks becoming childlike creatures. It is oddly disconcerting. To say the least. One can only imagine how exciting it must’ve been for the Doctor and the viewer to return to Skaro. Nor how thrilling the final few minutes of Episode Six must’ve been. Admittedly, the ‘dizzy Daleks’ will not be to everyone’s taste. However, the carefully coordinated plot makes it at least logical within the context of the story. All of this leads up to that fiery finale.
The Final End
At the request of their creator Terry Nation, The Evil of the Daleks was intended to see the Daleks bow out from Doctor Who. The results of their experiment cause a civil war on Skaro and an epic finale. Sadly, audio cannot do the explosive conclusion justice but footage of some of the model shots do exist and are available elsewhere. Similarly, the performance of Marius Goring will have relied upon some impressive facial expressions and it is a shame those are lost.
However, the audio format does allow for the focus to instead be on the strong story, assisted by the excellent Frazer Hines narration. Additionally, the incidental music from Dudley Simpson can also be enjoyed even more in isolation given the absence of the visual images. The Faceless Ones is currently scheduled as the next ‘lost’ Doctor Who story to receive the animation treatment but it is surely only a matter of time before The Evil of the Daleks is also animated. Having thoroughly enjoyed revisiting the story I for one am already growing impatient.
For now however this outstanding set of vinyl records is a product worthy of this superb ‘classic’ story. Worth every penny!
“The final end…?”
Demon Records presents a narrated full-cast TV soundtrack adventure starring Patrick Troughton as the Doctor, in which the Daleks lay a trap in Victorian England for their oldest enemy. In this classic 7 part ‘lost’ adventure, first shown on BBC TV between May and July 1967, the Daleks are in search of the Human Factor. What’s more, they intend to use the Doctor and his TARDIS to assist them in their quest for universal domination! Featuring a climactic battle on their home world of Skaro, the story also introduces Deborah Watling as the Doctor’s new companion, Victoria. Sadly lost from the BBC archives are all but one of the film recordings for this story.
Presented across 4 x Heavyweight 180g pieces of vinyl in Skaro Swirl, this narrated TV soundtrack evokes another classic Doctor Who adventure in all its aural magnificence. From the eerie sonics of Ron Grainer & Delia Derbyshire’s theme tune. The familiar ‘wheezing, groaning’ of the TARDIS. Through to the sounds of alien time technology and the terrifying roar of the Dalek Emperor. The story is alive with weird and wonderful sound. Written by David Whitaker, this was the Daleks’ final explosive TV adventure of the 1960’s. Linking narration is provided by Frazer Hines (Jamie) and the cast includes Marius Goring as Theodore Maxtible, John Bailey as Edward Waterfield, Brigit Forsyth as Ruth Maxtible and Windsor Davies as Toby.
Additionally, a unique Emperor Dalek laser etched reverse is also available on LP1 of the Limited Edition release.