Friday, April 27, 2007

Exterminez-vous! Part Deux - Le Deuxieme Docteur (The Second Doctor)

Yesterday, my intention for an all-encompassing article on the Daleks had to end with the First Doctor due to his many encounters with the warbly-voiced pepper pots. So today, we move on to the Second Doctor (Patrick Troughton).

The Second Doctor was immediately exposed to the Daleks in his very first adventure, The Power of the Daleks. Unfortunately, the Doctor's companions (Ben and Polly) are skeptical of this new guy claiming to be the Doctor even when confronted with the metal horror that is the Daleks. They travel to the human colony on the planet Vulcan (Spock was noticeably absent) only to discover three inert Daleks from a crashed spaceship. The colonists stupidly reactivate them and chaos ensues. The Doctor manages to destroy all of his arch-foes at the colony using the power source of a device intended to churn out more Daleks.

Season Four's finale story arc would also be the Second Doctor's final confrontation with the Daleks. In The Evil of the Daleks, the Doctor and his companion Jamie (a genuine Highlander from 18th century Scotland, Ben and Polly returned home) inexplicably find themselves transported to 1866 when trying to retrieve the TARDIS from some thieves. These thieves are actually amateur time travelers whose time machine brought in a number of Daleks (Safety tip of the day: If you build a time machine, make sure it has a door).

The Daleks demand the Doctor isolate the "human factor" so they can incorporate it into themselves. The reasoning is that humans have been able to survive every Dalek encounter so far and this factor would create a race of "super Daleks." After the Doctor completes his work, they all travel to the planet Skaro, which you might remember from yesterday's entry as the homeworld of the Daleks. The Dalek Emperor deduces that in isolating the "human factor," the "Dalek factor" was also isolated, which will be sown throughout humanity to create billions of Daleks. Through a bit of convoluted trickery, the Doctor switches factors and a number of Daleks begin a rebellion against the Emperor and civil war ensues with what is hoped to be the end of the Dalek menace once and for all.

But we know better, don't we? Despite Terry Nation's intent on this being the final Dalek story on the series (he had hoped to use them for another series), the Daleks would return nearly five years later to menace the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee, pictured below) in Season Nine.

The incredibly unfortunate fact about the Second Doctor's Dalek encounters is that neither story arc exists in video form, save for a single episode of The Evil of the Daleks and some assorted clips. The BBC's short-sighted video purge of the 1970s saw many an episode's destruction. Keep in mind, that VCRs were not prevalent at all during the 1960s and storage space was at a premium. However, complete audio recordings exist for every single one of the lost episodes so all is not lost...
  • The BBC website has a "photonovel" of The Power of the Daleks that uses images, video clips, and the original soundtrack. The complete script is available here. The official US CD release can be found at Who North America (it includes images) while the unadulterated soundtrack is available from Amazon UK.
  • The Evil of the Daleks has also been produced as a "photonovel" on the BBC website and the complete script is available here. I couldn't find a US release, but the original soundtrack is available on CD from Amazon UK.
So what happened to the Second Doctor? He was recalled to Gallifrey by his own people—the Time Lords—for trial and sentenced to exile to Earth for interfering with people and cultures during his travels. He was also forced to regenerate again...

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