Archive for May 2010

The Day of the Daleks

May 21, 2010

Alas, I do not have the tape of this story, so have to rely on the Terrance Dicks novelization.  It’s a pretty good read, though, so I’m not too disappointed.  I’m not sure the timey-wimey stuff makes too much sense, but, what the hey, the story has suspense, humor, and Daleks.  Nice to see them after such a long absence; also nice to have a set of villains that does not include the Master.

Great Moments

The Doctor’s Venusian martial arts skills fail him — Jo needs to rescue him!

Shura’s sacrifice at the end.

Random Thoughts

I always wonder why the Daleks prefer to use inefficient human slave labor to get the work done, when mechanical means would be faster.  Disposable humans are cheaper maybe?

Shipping Report

Dicks emphasizes Jo’s childlike qualities throughout the novel, describing her at one point as a “. . . very small, very pretty girl . . .”  She’s feisty, though, and impulsive, which is both good and bad.  On one hand, her blunder with the rebel’s time machine gets her sent into the Dalek-controlled future; on the other, she saves the Doctor’s life.  She remains a somewhat problematical assistant to the Doctor — no idiot, to be sure, and often very useful, but . . .does she create more problems than she solves?

Food and Drink

There’s quite a lot of food references throughout the book:

The Ogron guards eat “slabs of coarse grey food”  (p.8)

“The Controller of Earth Sector One pushed aside the remains of an excellent meal . . .real wine in a real china cup! . . . [the less fortunate] would be draining their bowls of gruel about now . . .” (p.12)  (Interesting to note he drinks wine from a china cup.  Perhaps wine glasses did not survive the wars)

The Doctor helps himself to a snack from Sir Reginald’s well-stocked larder: biscuits, wine (Burgundy), and cheese.  Jo is rather disapproving.  When the Doctor enthuses over the quality of the wine, she loses patience with him, and goes off to make some tea.  Encountering a hungry Benton, she returns to the study to appropriate some wine and cheese; this, in turn, is appropriated by Yates.  So Benton never gets his cheese,               and Jo doesn’t get her tea.

The Controller wines and dines Jo to keep her talking.  She politely tells him that it was a terrific meal, but actually didn’t like it “ . . .coarse bread, tough meat, and a mish-mash of strange vegetables.” (p.89)  He tells her that few people eat so well; most food elements come from pills.

The human slaves of the Daleks stand in line to get bowls of “grey, unappetizing stew” (p.100)

After their escape, Jo and the Doctor drink herbal tea with the rebels.

Shura steals bread and wine from the supply truck, then consumes them in the coal cellar.  (Hmmmm . . .meal of bread and wine, followed by self-sacrifice . . . )

Grade: (tentative, based only on the novel) 4/5


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The Daemons

May 20, 2010

Several months have passed since my viewing of this story, and, I’m sorry to say, I’m having difficulty decoding my notes.  (i.e., can’t read my own handwriting!) Consequently, this will be a very limited review.

It’s a good story, marred only by a little silliness at the end.  I grade it a 4/5.

Food and drink

Yates and Benson are served corned beef sandwiches.

Policeman on night duty unwraps a sandwich; later, he drinks out of a mug.

Doctor request hot water and hot sweet tea to treat Benson.

Hawthorne serves Benton china tea, with milk or lemon.