Monday 2 June 2014

Know Your Daleks - No.4

The Tom Baker Years.
Despite being the longest serving Doctor on TV, he only met the Daleks twice - but there is still enough to comment on.
First thing to note is that from this point on, Davros also figures. We'll need to look at how he has changed over the years as well.

The Daleks that are seen in Genesis of the Daleks are all uniformly what is often described as gun-metal grey - with black spheres. For only the second time in the series, there is a Dalek sans weapon. And for the first time sans sucker arm.
It is in this story that we actually see the exterminating ray for the first time. Previously, we had seen the little metal prongs at the tip of the gun go in and out, and heard the sound effect. Director David Maloney wanted the death ray to be shown.

The first Davros is Michel Wisher. The original and the best. The mask - by John Friedlander - was sculpted to Wisher's features. This will prove a problem when Wisher is unavailable for the following story...

The second of the Tom Baker stories is Destiny of the Daleks. I presume that the idea would be that these Daleks would also be uniformly grey in colour. The reality is that there is a wide range of grey shades. One of the units has a black mid section, with grey slats. Others have black slats.
The props are generally in a dreadful state - which you could argue (from a story point of view) might be due to their long-running war with the Movellans.
The lightweight dummy Daleks used on location fail to convince for a second - either when they are being blown up or when they are being manhandled around the dunes.

As mentioned above, Michael Wisher could not reprise the role of Davros for this story. David Gooderson takes over. The mask has deteriorated (and is naturally not custom made for him), and the chair has been bashed about a bit as well. Gooderson has a rounder face than Wisher.
The make up is not handled so well - at times this Davros looks as if he has been sneaking chocolate bars between takes, which have melted under the hot studio lights. Davros' voice is not treated in the same way that Wisher's had been.

One innovation of note in this story is that the extermination effect is concentrated around the victim - rather than having the whole screen go negative.

Next time, as each later Doctor only had one full adventure with them, we will look at all of the remaining classic series Daleks.

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