The Evil of the Daleks   |   TV Serial   |   Legacy   |   Stage Show   |   Reconstructions   |   In Print    |    Evil Shop

The Evil of the Daleks on TV

The Evil of the Daleks was a 1967 Doctor Who story and is said by most fans to be one of the greatest adventures on which the time traveler has been.

It has been voted the best Doctor Who story of all time by readers of DWB and it was voted in at 9th for Doctor Who Magazine. What makes it such a well-loved story? The quality of writing, the acting, and the production are all of a very high standard. But it has much more to it than that.

To appreciate why it is so good, it must be looked at in context. The previous story had seen the departure of Ben and Polly, and with them went the last remnants of the William Hartnell era. The Evil of the Daleks was the TV show's first blockbuster season finale and it used all the tricks which would be seen when The Parting of the Ways paid tribute to it thirty-seven years later.

The story examines the human race, what makes us weak and strong and most importantly how the most evil beings in the universe would exploit it. The Daleks book-end Patrick Troughton's first season. But whilst they were subjugated and initially impotent in The Power of the Daleks, their return in The Evil of the Daleks couldn't be more different. In The Power of the Daleks, the Doctor was only person who knew the truth of the situation. In the season finale this situation is brilliantly turned on its head with The Doctor being the last person to discover the trouble he is in. The Daleks this time are totally in control, with their brainwashed human operatives mixing with men who have been bribed and blackmailed. Ultimately even the Doctor is forced to work for them. As the story nears its conclusion the Doctor jumps out of the frying pan and into the fire, as he ends up on the Dalek homeworld of Skaro.

At this point, Skaro then became a book-end for the whole of Doctor Who because it became the first and last alien world visited by the Doctor. Doctor Who in 1967 was not full of back-references and sequels. After three-dozen adventures, other than the Daleks, only The Meddling Monk and the Cybermen had made a return. To rob the Doctor of his TARDIS, pit him against his oldest foes, and send him back to where he first met them was a thrilling treat for a fan of the show.

Then add extra exciting ingredients: It is revealed that the ruler of the Daleks is a giant Emperor who is hard-wired into the city. A civil war erupts between two Dalek factions, and a battle rages the like of which has never been seen before. The only survivors of the carnage are the Doctor, Jamie and a new companion, Victoria.

The is one of the few Doctor Who stories which play out across different times and planets. Shifting the action from the present day to peaceful Victorian England, and finally to all-out war in an alien city really does make it epic. But in addition, the narrative is filled with well-rounded and interesting characters, all driven by different agendas. There are some brilliant lines of dialogue and resolution is both exciting and satisfying.

Aside from a few loose threads left hanging, there isn't a great deal you could do to make this story any better and for that reason it really is one of the greatest Doctor Who adventures. It is perhaps also the greatest tragedy in the history of the show that this legendary season finale was wiped by the BBC.
Click here to read about the TV serial.


The 2006 Stage Show

The Evil of the Daleks stage play was a fantastic stage production orchestrated by a dedicated band of theatre workers and Doctor Who fans.

Working on a modest budget and performing to packed houses, this relatively small-scale production created a lasting impression on the Doctor Who community young and old.

Their desire to bring this story to a new audience was born out of a love of the old show and the fact that the new series was revived in 2005, which generated an added impetus to make a theatre production something which related to the returning Time Lord.

The idea proved to be a stroke of genius because even though the two earlier plays of The Web of Fear and Fury from the Deep had been extremely successful and well received, the appearance of the Daleks following the second new TV series generated more interest than ever before. Dalek fans are like no other breed of Doctor Who fan, almost an entirely separate entity and Dalek websites soon picked up on the show, leading to tremendous interest and excitement in the production.

It performed at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth in October of 2006 and featured Nick Scovell as the Doctor, who also adapted the script.

Set design, sound effects and Dalek voices were provided by Rob Thrush who also produced the show.

Changes were made where necessary to the original story in order to make it fit to the theatre but the ethos of David Whitaker's original plot remained.

Some characters were removed, some tweaked and some new angles were added. In all, this stage show was a stunning reworking or the original and this website is proud to document its creation.

Click here to read about the Stage Show.


Print & Audio

With Target having finally negotiated the rights to produce a novelisation of The Evil of the Daleks, John Peel produced the 224 page version which fleshed out both the human and indeed the Dalek characters.

Peel puts a lot of background information into the theft of the TARDIS at the start of the story as well as what the Doctor and Jamie go through to recover it.

The cover for this 1993 publication was provided by veteran book cover artist Alister Pearson, who also provided art for The Power of the Daleks published a month earlier.

For those more interested in trying to experience the spoken word as it was on screen, rather than a writer's interpretation of it, The Doctor Who Script Project has provided a complete free transcript of The Evil of the Daleks.

For the best visual reference to this missing masterpiece, the BBC website has a complete set of John Cura's telesnaps, which are photographs of the episode as it happened.

If the telesnaps are viewed whilst accompanied by the audio soundtrack available from the BBC, then this is the closest a person can get to experiencing the episode as it was.

Save for a few location shots at Grim's Dyke, plus photos leading up to the battle in episode seven, very little visual material exists aside from the telesnaps, so they give an invaluable insight.

Also available is the surviving episode two, which is available on the Lost in Time DVD.

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