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Tuesday, 16 January 2007 - Reviewed by Eddy Wolverson

Originally recorded as the penultimate serial of the first season, Planet of Giants was held over to open the show's second season, beginning a tradition that would run throughout the sixties. This story had been in the pipeline ever since the series inception a year earlier, but due to the extensive visual effects requirement the serial  originally penned by C.E. Webber  was shelved. Louis Marks ended up reworking Webber's miniscule idea into the three-part ecological thriller that eventually aired in October and November 1964, and I have to say it is one of my favourite William Hartnell stories. Whether its long incubation contributed to the story's brilliance or not I don't know, but it seems that a year's hands on experience producing Doctor Who certainly imbued Verity Lambert and her production team with the confidence they needed to attempt such an ambitious project.

For a low-budget TV serial that aired in 1964, the production quality of Planet of Giants is out of this world. Monochrome may be forgiving, but even so director Richard Martin has managed to pull off some wonderful visual effects here - the clever use of scale models and camera trickery really helps to convey the difference in size between the real world and our miniaturised travellers, and best of all it doesn't look cheap and nasty like the C.S.O. catastrophes that would plague seventies Who!

Even more important than the visuals though is the story. Louis Marks' first Doctor Who script manages to find just the right balance between drama, spectacle and that ol chestnut, education. Ian and Barbara are at their schoolteacher best, educating the audience about pesticides and such like. The �baddie�, Forester, is the first real twentieth century villain that the Doctor and his companions ever come up against. He�s just a man; someone who is out to make a buck and damn the environment. In a sense, he is a much more disturbing protagonist than a Dalek or a Voord because he�s closer to home. This element of familiarity is one of �Planet of Giants� greatest strengths, and is something that would become a staple of Doctor Who in later years, particularly in the mostly-Earthbound Jon Pertwee era and also in the next serial, �The Dalek Invasion of Earth.� This story takes everyday things like a man in a suit, an insect, a cat and a plughole and turns them into the stuff of nightmares.

However, �Planet of Giants� does have one rather major flaw, although it isn�t one that can be blamed on the writer, cast or crew. For some reason, Donald Wilson, then Head of the BBC Script Department, decided to cut the serial down from four episodes to three two weeks before it aired. Obviously this resulted in the hasty editing of the final two episodes into the aptly named single episode, �Crisis,� and sadly a lot of the remaining material is a bit nonsensical, especially at the beginning of the third episode. How do the Doctor and Susan escape the water coming down the plughole, ey?

Regardless of its problems, �Planet of Giants� remains to this day one of my favourite first Doctor serials. The performances are all top-drawer to match an inspired production, and its brevity aside I can�t think of a bad word to say about it. Think Honey I Shrunk The Kids� but in black and white� and good.





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Tuesday, 16 January 2007 - Reviewed by Shane Anderson

This is a fun little story. The basic plot about a ruthless businessman who commits crimes to protect his profits isn’t terribly engaging, but the twist of having the Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Susan at an inch tall is. It’s fascinating and rather amusing to watch them struggling to survive the perils of a garden walkway and a laboratory sink. Perhaps more than any other Doctor Who story, this one taps into the imagination of childhood, where ordinary objects become extraordinary and perilous.

The production values are excellent. For the tiny budget that was available to the production crew, they turned out some pretty good giant ants and a reasonably convincing giant fly (and the thumping drumbeats that accompany Barbara’s discovery of the fly are the perfect accompaniment to that scene). The briefcase looks good, as does the giant match and pile of seeds. The phone is decent, though the phone cord isn’t too convincing. The lab sink and plunger are the best of the lot. 

The guest characters are not terribly inventive, but they work to keep the story moving. Forrester, the ruthless businessman who will lie and kill to try and avoid financial ruin is a character of pure cliché. But the story needs a villain to drive the plot, and with the size reduction of the crew being the primary focus, there’s really no time to develop more complex characters, so Farrow works in the context of the story. Smithers is a bit more interesting. He’s supposedly driven by concern for humanity, yet he’s fairly blasé about the death of Farrow, the government official sent to oversee the DN6 project. In the end he realizes just how destructive DN6 really is and the indications are that he would ultimately have abandoned the project. He’s not a sympathetic character though, just more realistic about consequences than the driven Forrester. Farrow is little more than a conscientious official doing his job, but he does come across as sympathetic, and his murder is a brutal thing, if creatively handled by the production team as an explosion heard by the tiny TARDIS crew.

The four regulars do their usual excellent acting job. They seem to be having fun with the script and the concept, and it had to be easier to act against giant props than it would have been to act against a bluescreen. Ian impresses as always with his adaptability and resourcefulness, and Barbara’s selflessness in wanting to stay and do something to stop the murderers rather than get back to the TARDIS immediately to cure her condition is admirable. I’m not quite sure why she’s so reluctant to tell Ian that she got insecticide on her hand though. And it’s nice to see the Doctor and Susan get one last outing together before Susan leaves the ship in the next story. She really is a lot more likeable than I’d remembered.

There is something that’s often overlooked about this story. The Doctor actually succeeds in returning Ian and Barbara to 20th century Earth, in the right year! “The War Machines” isn’t the first story set in present day surroundings, “Planet of Giants” is. Not that it does Ian and Barbara much good at an inch tall!

Overall, as I said in the beginning, this is a fun story. Nothing deep or weighty, just pure imagination. A good start to the season.





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Tuesday, 16 January 2007 - Reviewed by Paul Clarke

'Planet of Giants' is a fairly forgotten story, this imbalance only redressed by its recent video release. Prior to seeing it for the first time some months ago, my only knowledge of it came from the Target Novelisation, which IMO is one of Dicks' two worst novelisations (the other being 'The Space Pirates'). Consequently, I'd decided it was crap – actually seeing it forced me to re-evaluate it. 

The most obvious feature of 'Planet of Giants' is of course the miniaturization of the TARDIS crew. In essence, this is pure gimmick, for which the rest of the story is thus tailored. Nevertheless, it is an effective gimmick, well realized thanks to the superb "giant" sets, especially the sink in Smithers' lab and the telephone, both of which are realistic and convincing. The fly is especially impressive for 1964, particularly when compared to the feeble realization of another giant fly years later in 'The Green Death'. The challenges presented by their diminutive size thus preoccupies the Doctor and his companions throughout, making for an interesting story, as they face danger not from Voords and Sensorites or historical villains, but from cats, flies, and insecticide. Not only the TARDIS crew, but also the actors themselves, rises to these challenges, convincing the viewer that the characters really have been shrunk. To add an extra dimension to this plot, we have the DN6 subplot, with the inch-tall travelers struggling to bring to justice Forrester and Smithers for the murder of Farrow. One of the main criticisms often leveled against 'Planet of Giants' is that it has a sparse plot, and whilst this is certainly true, it is I think entirely justifiably; coupling a miniscule story with a Dalek invasion or a complex historical plot would have been a logistical nightmare for the production team and certainly outside the confines of a mere three-parter. The DN6 subplot is basic, but effective – it presents a threat to the Doctor and his companions and gives them a goal, whilst limiting the story to (more or less) a single house and garden. Forrester, Smithers and Farrow are played with conviction, despite not really having much to do. Of the three, Smithers is the most interesting, as he is at least motivated by a overall desire to do benefit mankind, forcing him to struggle with is conscience in the wake of Farrow's death, and eventually accept that DN6 is too deadly to ever be marketed. The obviously conscientious Farrow is quickly dispatched, but again a three dimensional character based on what little we see of him. Forrester is the least successful, coming across as little more than a stereotypical ruthless businessman, but it is this ruthlessness that drives the plot due to his murder of Farrow and he thus fills an important role. The other two characters, Burt and Hilda Rowse, are again well acted during their brief appearances and again their brief scenes are crucial to the plot. Hilda is particularly annoying for me, since I loathe the kind of curtain-twitching busybody neighbour that she represents, but it is her nosiness that leads to Forrester being brought to well-deserved justice. The fact that a character only present in two scenes can still manage to frustrate me in this way is a sign of effective, if functional, characterisation. 

The main problem with 'Planet of Giants' is that it lacks a sense of any real danger. Despite being small enough to be at considerable risk from virtually everything that they encounter, the story fails to really convey a sense that the Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara are in real peril, the Doctor in particular seeming to enjoy himself rather too much throughout. Even when climbing the drainpipe and almost being drowned in the sink, he gives the impression that he is merely out on a stroll, which robs the miniscule sub-plot of momentum – after the initial impact of the gimmick, the story is a bit too leisurely to be truly involving. Even when Barbara is poisoned by DN6, there is little sense of danger, despite the decent acting from both Russell and Hill. Her illness is established and gets progressively worse, but is suddenly sidelined in episode three, with both Barbara and the Doctor insisting that they have to bring Farrow's murder to the attention of the authorities, despite the enormous risks inherent in delaying their return to the TARDIS and whilst Barbara just flutters a hand now and again and looks vaguely tired. In short, the TARDIS crew should feel and seem more vulnerable. I've already mentioned that the difficulties inherent in the realization of the regulars' diminished circumstances dictate the limitations of the overall plot, but the story could still have been made more gripping within that plot. Had Ian and Barbara been, for example, been found and trapped by Smithers, it would have fitted easily into the overall story and added an extra dimension of excitement, as their rescue would have presented greater challenges to the Doctor. Instead, the impression is given that the Doctor and friends could have defeated Forrester and Smithers in their sleep, and this is not helped by the swift and (so far as we know) easy return to the TARDIS in episode three. And Susan, who I've barely mentioned here, gets nothing whatsoever to do, except stand around for the Doctor to explain things to, and bury her face pathetically in Barbara's shoulder when asked to give her opinion on a moral dilemma. 

Overall, 'Planet of Giants' is slim pickings, but not an entirely unsuccessful experiment. The gimmick works, and just about keeps the attention despite the increasingly flagging drama as the story progresses. It isn't the strongest season opener, but it isn't the weakest either (stand up 'Time and the Rani') and is basically a whimsical and (for Doctor Who at least) original chapter in the series.





The Dalek Invasion of EarthBookmark and Share

Tuesday, 16 January 2007 - Reviewed by Shane Anderson

There is a big shift in tone from the light and imaginative “Planet of Giants” to the grimness that pervades “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”. I really do enjoy this story. The horrible circumstances the TARDIS crew find on 22nd century Earth bring out the hero in all of them, and what we end up with is a good solid adventure story with some moments of real emotion.

I suppose it was inevitable that the Daleks would return at some point, given that they were such a success the first time around. The redesign is fairly minimal, with larger bumpers around their base and a disc on their backs, which is meant to explain how they can move and draw power when not on metal flooring. They are an effective enemy, being in control from the before the story actually starts. They’ve already conquered the Earth by the time the Doctor and friends arrive, and they’ve either enslaved or ‘robotized’ the population. The few that remain free are forced to live and hide underground, plotting to take back the planet. London is partially in ruins, and the well-chosen location filming early on conveys this idea convincingly. I particularly enjoy the sequences where Barbara, Jenny and Dortmun cross London and see Daleks on the bridges and around some of London’s landmarks. The large amount of location filming really expands this tale beyond the confines of the studio and helps to create a bigger and more epic feeling.

It’s interesting to note that the Daleks still have an external power source, which David and Susan disable in episode six. This allows the Robomen rebellion instigated by Barbara and the Doctor to be successful, and allows the slaves in the mine to escape before the Daleks’ bomb goes off. The Daleks’ plan is also interesting and pretty impressive if they could have pulled it off: to remove the magnetic core of the Earth and turn it into something that they could pilot around the universe. They themselves also fare well, being impervious to gunfire and to Dortmun’s bombs. 

The regulars all get split up into groups over the course of the story and have to rely on themselves and whoever they meet to survive, but every one of them play a part in ending the Dalek invasion. Barbara ends up with Jenny, a rather bitter woman who has lost much of her hope. I rather like Jenny. She’s angry and hard on the outside, but softens a bit and gradually forms a friendship with Barbara as the two of them work their way across London and then to the mine in Bedford. She could easily take off on her own when Barbara decides to head for the Bedford Mine, but seemingly has come to enjoy the company, telling Barbara “We may as well stay together.” The two of them very nearly succeed in their attempt to escape the mine and stir up the Robomen. Barbara’s mining of historical events to distract the Daleks is great fun to watch.

The Doctor and Susan spend their time with David and Tyler and don’t really seem to accomplish much until the final episode, when David and Susan temporarily disable the Daleks by damaging their power source. It struck me on this viewing that this is one of the stories where the Doctor contributes little. He and Ian are captured early on, and while the Doctor has a good time working out how to escape from the cell, it’s ultimately wasted since the means of escape seem to be readily available simply to weed out the more intelligent prisoners so they can be robotized. The Doctor seems quite afraid when he’s taken for ‘robotizing’. Fear is an emotion I rarely associate with the character, but it’s realistic and Hartnell portrays it well. Drugged and ill, the Doctor is disabled for an episode. It seems rather obvious that the ‘acid on the casing’ trick that David uses to disarm the Dalek firebomb is something that the Doctor would have worked out before the hurried rewrite due to Hartnell’s absence.

Ian has the best role, keeping his cool aboard the Dalek saucer and just about single-handedly stopping the Daleks by blocking the bomb shaft. He doesn’t even mess up his suit until the last episode. What a guy! Seriously, I really do find Ian as compelling a character to watch as the Doctor, something that can’t always be said for the Doctor’s traveling companions. William Russell just makes him so likeable and down-to-earth while at the same time portraying a resourceful and heroic character. 

I’ve touched on some of the guest characters, and I think they are a large part of the success of this story. Bernard Kay is one of my favorite occasional guest stars. He’s a wonderfully quiet and natural actor, and he makes Tyler a good solid fighter and resistance leader who closes others off because he has ‘seen too much killing’, but is still sympathetic and likeable. Dortmun obviously has a chip on his shoulder and feels the need to prove himself due to his confinement to a wheelchair, but again he’s a sympathetic character despite his flaws. He has an ego, but he’s courageous or desperate enough to make the run across Dalek-infested London in daylight. Jenny I’ve already covered. Larry, who befriends Ian and who accompanies him to the mine is a highly sympathetic fellow, just trying to find his brother. And then there’s David, who seems the least embittered by the Dalek invasion. Young, energetic and bright, he always seems to be looking for the good in his fellow survivors. And of course, he wins Susan’s heart as well.

I’ve saved discussion of Susan until last. I’ve seen all her stories before of course, but watching them in order really has given me a new view of her character. I used to see her as a timid, annoying screamer with little in the way of better qualities, but that simply isn’t the case. She’s very kind and compassionate, and braver than I gave her credit for. She is prone to bouts of hysteria from time to time, but she’s also strong-willed and intelligent like her grandfather, even when it lands her in trouble. It’s sad to see her left behind at the end of the story, many miles and many centuries from her home, which she has talked about from time to time over the course of her time on the show. As the only member of the Doctor’s family that we’ve ever seen, she’s unique in the history of the series. The show really does feel different after her departure.

“The Dalek Invasion of Earth” is a big story, and pretty successful for the most part. The recent DVD release showcases it in its best light. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I highly recommend it.





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Tuesday, 16 January 2007 - Reviewed by Tom Prankerd

Before watching 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth", which incidentally I was seeing for the first time, I can't remember the last time I actually sat down and watched a Hartnell story which didn't seem like something of an ordeal - admittedly the only ones I'd seen recently are 'An Unearthly Child', 'The Gunfighters' and 'The Tenth Planet', but I can't really remember thoroughly enjoying any I saw in the mid-1990s, when I had most of the BBC video releases.

'The Dalek Invasion of Earth', therefore, gave me something of a surprise by being largely gripping throughout. I'm not sure how well it would stand up to repeat viewings - while I enjoyed it at the time, splitting the cast up into three basic units [The Doctor, Susan and David Campbell; Barbara and Jenny; Ian] is textbook Terry Nation padding. First time round you don't know which plot threads are going to be the interesting ones, and which are there to give Jacqueline Hill something to do, seeing as Barbara isn't as smart as the Doctor, as strong as Ian or as good at getting into trouble as Susan. There are various faults throughout the story. The Robo-Men really give the impression that the actors are moving carefully to stop their headpieces falling off. The first episode cliffhanger is woefully undramatic - I don't mean its' shock value is rendered null and void by the picture of a Dalek on the front of the box, or that it's illogical [which it is - unless the Daleks routinely patrol the bottom of the Thames in case they need to rumble slowly out to give someone a bit of a surprise] - it's just a really badly directed and edited sequence, with the Dalek seen wobbling slowly out of the river while Ian and The Doctor argue with the Robo-Men, before a cut to a side-on shot of the Dalek which exposes just how much trouble it's having getting out to the Thames. While the Amicus film adaptation ['Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150A.D.'] is by far the weaker version [aside from a larger budget meaning more impressive Robo-Men and Dalek saucers], it does nail this sequence. It's a surprising failure as for the whole the direction ranges from solid to exemplary. The Slyther is not only as unconvincing as pretty much any shaky Who monster you'd like to shake an unrealistic rubber tentacle at, but also unnecessary and detrimental to the Daleks - why do they need to have a… whatever guarding their prison camp? Why not use, I dunno, a Dalek? Also, the actual ending's pretty bad - the Doctor and Barbara order the Robo-Men to turn on the Daleks, and that's that. The story turns in less time than it took me to write that sentence. It's a big shame as it utterly undermines the huge amount of background work done across the story, and ends up making the Daleks look a bit rubbish.

There are a few things often criticised that don't bother me. That the story shows the Daleks' dominance of the planet is only shown as covering Southern England is a pretty poor attack really, as Southern England is where the TARDIS lands, and we're following its' crew. Spending twenty minutes of screen-time on something utterly peripheral like the efforts of the Jamaican resistance would severely damage the story's pace. The story's general present-day feeling doesn't really bother me either - it's not like it tries constantly to convince us it's 2164, so this juxtaposition with the majority of the costumes or the unchanged London isn't thrown in the viewer's face… it's only really something that grates when you sit down afterwards and think about it, and thus as long as you don't decide to let it bother you the next time you watch, isn't a problem when viewing, only evaluating. That said, it's a bit of shame the production team didn't decide to set it in 1965 or something else near-future.

The regulars are on good form. Hartnell maintains credibility throughout, rarely terminally fluffing his lines or confusing everyone else in his scenes with his, erm, "ad-libbing". The Doctor's well-written, being principled without crossing over the line to pious, and Hartnell's performance gels with the grim tone when necessary. William Russell excels as Ian, who receives superlative writing, carrying his plot strand largely by himself, and being shown to be unflappable and resourceful. It's somehow fitting that he manages to keep his suit pretty much immaculate throughout. Jacqueline Hill has her moments as well - to be honest she does very well considering she's often paired with the dire WOMAN as Jenny, and while it's silly, I rather enjoy her attempt to confuse the Daleks with historical babble - it's a guilty pleasure for sure, but rather funny. Carole Ann Ford manages to suppress her stagey side most of the time. She occasionally lapses into melodrama, but otherwise convincingly portrays Susan's maturing persona, and her dilemma over whether to stay in the TARDIS, or settle with David.

The guest cast is excellent by and large. The likeable Peter Fraser brings life to David Campbell, while Alan Judd's portrayal of the driven Dortmunn is splendid - believable, dignified and deserving of begrudged respect, but never likeable or pitiable. Bernard Kay as the stoic Tyler is similarly convincing. The characters don't feel like they've just sprang into existence the second the TARDIS arrived, but give a genuine feel that they've spent their recent lives under the cosh of the Daleks. Only Anne Davies as Jenny really falls flat. Sometimes Jenny sometimes simply seems like a surly character, but the majority of the time it seems like the actress would really rather be somewhere else.

The location filming is exquisite. Sure, the odd car can be glimpsed, but otherwise it's jarring to see a dead London being patrolled by Daleks - the impact would probably have been lost if any real attempt had been made on the show's budget to create a future London. The scenes of Barbara, Dortmunn and Jenny fleeing through London are marvellous, and I really like the Dalek lettering that's been added to various monuments and signs. The abysmal Slyther, the saucer model shots and Robo-Men aside, production values are pretty solid - the sets look rather good, especially considering the number used.

As the other stars, the Daleks come across well. The redesign isn't as bad as it's often made out to be - the extended "bumper" around the bottom is unobtrusive, and the collector dishes are a nice touch of continuity, also serving to remove one weakness from their debut story. They're generally well-managed and shown to be difficult to kill, until the ending when they seemingly lose the ability to fire…

Overall, 'The Dalek Invasion of Earth' is a pretty solid story. Viewed now, it's a nice change from stories where aliens attempt to invade Earth - here, the Daleks glean a large amount of credibility from the very fact that they've already conquered the planet. It's not quite an absolute classic, and certainly not a good introduction for newer fans, but it's an enjoyable romp.





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Tuesday, 16 January 2007 - Reviewed by Adam Kintopf

‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ is a good example of shoddy execution ruining a lot of decent ideas. Its reputation among fans seems to be fairly good – it consistently appears in the Top 50 at the Doctor Who Dynamic Rankings site – but I have to wonder how many of its enthusiasts have actually seen it recently.

You don’t have to get very far into the story for an example – the prologue, with the Roboman’s breakdown/suicide, is obviously intended to set the tone, but what it really does is show us too much of this bleak future London before the TARDIS crew even arrive, thus ruining the shock later. In fact, the direction pretty much flattens every surprise – the IT IS FORBIDDEN TO DUMP BODIES sign and the Dalek emerging from the river are wonderful, sinister ideas; and they might have been really frightening, if only the production team had accented their horror in some way (with music, editing, anything). But instead these things are simply shown - nothing more, nothing less. 

In fact, on paper ‘The Dalek Invasion of Earth’ stands up fairly well. Reading the synopsis confirms that - Terry Nation’s story is filled with action, violence and horror. The idea of the Daleks ‘roughing up’ the Earth with meteors and plague before invading is convincing and compelling. But the flaccid direction results in tedium, and the acting doesn’t help much: the surviving rebels, while certainly downtrodden and cranky, hardly give the impression that they survived a holocaust on the scale of the one described. 

Of course, even if the artistic approach had been different, the story would have still fallen apart in the final episode, its resolution being patently ridiculous – the Daleks are defeated because the Robomen turn on them? Huh? What’s so special about them? They don’t have superhuman strength; they aren’t impervious to Dalek weapons. In other words, if the Daleks can be destroyed by a few unarmed men tipping them over, how did they ever invade in the first place?

Moving on to specific aesthetic elements, Susan is as annoying as ever, if not more so. Not only does she immediately twist her ankle, but once she’s latched on to her new boyfriend, she spends the rest of the story simply tagging along and doing what he tells her. Susan is heavy-handedly shown to be falling in love with David Campbell throughout the entire story; I’ll admit it’s a relief to know she’s on her way out the door, but this distracting subplot is frankly tedious. And listening to Carole Ann Ford nasally shrieking “David!!!” isn’t much better than listening to her nasally shrieking “Grandfather!!!” One of the most rankling continuity issues for some fans (myself among them) is that we are asked to accept this insipid, whining, helpless creature as a Time Lord, and, unfortunately, this farewell episode hardly helps rid us of any negative impressions.

Well, on to the Daleks. They are disappointingly bland presences here; more or less generic sci-fi aliens. Their voices don’t seem to have much distortion in them, which always robs them of some of their awfulness, I think. Although I actually like the gloating, guttural delivery of the line “WE ARE THE MASTERS OF EARTH” – it’s as close as a Dalek ever gets to an obscene phone caller (in the old series anyway). And there is one great Dalek moment: it happens when Susan and David are hiding in the underground and hear (but don’t see) the merciless execution of a rebel. That horrible voice: “STOP – STOP – STOP – STOP – STOP” . . . Dalek repetition is often mocked by fans (and non-fans, for that matter), but I often feel that it captures their alien quality, their ‘character,’ as well as anything else about them. Daleks are hideously functional creatures – the travel machines translate their thoughts into the simplest language necessary, and that’s why they will repeat the same command five times in identical words. Their lack of imagination is one of the most truly frightening things about them, in my view. 

As for the Doctor himself, well, let’s just say this is not one of William Hartnell’s better stories. His one-upping of the magnetized Dalek technology in his cell is good, but otherwise the character doesn’t come off too well here, instead seeming to display all the tics and stereotypes of which Hartnell’s detractors normally accuse him. He stutters, flubs, and seems generally half-hearted in his response to the Dalek threat; not only that, he inexplicably drops out of the story for an episode! Susan’s leaving scene almost redeems him, but overall the actor’s not having a good day here.

Of course not everything is bad about this story . . . but as the things that I like are generally reviled by fans, I’m almost afraid to list them. I actually find the shambling Robomen pretty disturbing – certainly scarier than the Daleks for most of the story. As for Ian and Barbara, they come off reasonably well – the conversations between Barbara and the war-hardened Jenny are particularly interesting (it’s almost too bad she didn’t come on as a companion after all). And then there’s the Slyther. I fail to see why this monster inspires such derision in fanboy circles. I find the thing rather convincing, actually (at least, in its second version) – maybe it was that I was watching a murky VHS copy, or maybe the contrast on my TV was screwed up. But from where I was sitting, the monster was just a dark shape with a vaguely reptilian hide – it was never shown clearly, or in its entirety, which helped it a lot, and the overdubbed alligator growl gave it a good impression of size and closeness. 

Ultimately, this one is recommended for Hartnell or Dalek completists only.