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Monday, September 08, 2014

Doctor Who Rewind - Death To The Daleks

Doctor Who Rewind
Death To The Daleks

The clue is in the title. And we certainly know what we are in for don't we?

Planet Exxilon contains a mineral called Parrinium, which cures a deadly space plague sweeping through the Galaxy. A party of marine corps are on a mission to mine this mineral, but have run into some problems with the planets inhabitants, the Exxilons. They are a savage race who sacrifice anything which gets too close to their huge white city of the ancestors.

With the TARDIS power drained by the antenna on top of the city, the Doctor and Sara Jane are stranded. Some really atmospheric opening scenes open this story, filmed obviously in a quarry at night with a green sweet rapper in front of the camera lens with plenty of dry ice. And the sand cloth coloured skin of the Exxilons lurking about in the shadows makes for quite a tense feeling of dread.

With our new 12th Doctor viewers were surprised when he seemingly abandoned Clara (his latest companion) twice in his first episode. But that's nothing new. Here, Pertwee tells Sarah Jane that he'll be waiting outside the TARDIS when she goes inside to change her clothes, then promptly goes wondering off and gets captured by the Exxilons. Poor Sarah is left wondering around in the dark and is eventually taken prisoner by the Exxilons when she ventures to close to the City.

The Doctor eventually escapes and is found by the Marine Corps whose ship has also been drained of energy.

If things aren't bad enough, a ship containing four Daleks arrives and confronts the Doctor and his new pals. But they are rendered harmless and can no longer Exterminate, their weapons also suffering from a power drain. The Corps and the Daleks agree to team up in order to fight against the Exxilons. The Daleks also need the Parrinium as their race are also suffering from the plague.

The Exxilons then try ambushing the lot of them but another party of Daleks who have fitted firearms to their weapons take out a number of Exxilons. The Daleks force them and the Marine corps to mine the Parrinium. The Doctor rescues Sarah from being sacrificed and they flee into the underground tunnels.

There the Doctor has a run in with the business end of an industrial sized vacuum cleaner and they meet the underground Exxilons, fugitives who have chosen not to worship the City. There leader Bellal helps Sarah and the Doctor.

They hatch a plan to break into the ancient city and
take down the antenna which is causing the power drain. When inside they must face tests that the ancients left behind to protect the city. Unfortunately the Daleks have the same plan and are in hot pursuit.

This four part story has a lot going for it. And there are some really interesting ideas in it regarding the three different groups of aliens interacting with one another.

The Exxilons look really good as a scary monster with there scull like faces and dark set eyes. And when they try and sacrifice Sarah Jane to the vacuum cleaner creature down the mines, complete with devil like chanting it took me right back to The Daemons story.

Putting the Daleks on an even keel with everyone else is an interesting twist, though being the Daleks they soon find an alternative way to kill as many Exxilons as possible and start ordering the rest around.

The pay off at the end with the destruction of the City and the destruction of the Dalek ship is bittersweet for reasons I won't spoil, but still rounds the story of nicely.

Next time on Doctor Who Rewind there's trouble at Peladon again.


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