Serial Review: Death to the Daleks (Season 11)
I am apparently some kind of strange statistical anomaly in Doctor Who fandom, as after seeing this serial, I can say that my least favorite Jon Pertwee Dalek serial is in fact “Day of the Daleks.” I didn’t think it was awful, but I really enjoyed “Planet of the Daleks,” and as it turns out, I think “Death to the Daleks” is pretty solid.
Strangely, it starts slow and gets better as it goes on. Generally speaking, I find myself enjoying the first couple episodes of an average serial but end up being disappointed later on. In the case of this serial, it turned out to be the opposite reaction. It doesn’t hurt that I’m a fan of Michael Briant’s direction, especially in the outstanding “The Sea Devils.” There was something charming about the serial for me, which made up for its various short comings.
I can definitely see why people don’t like this one, but I liked a few things about it. Elisabeth Sladen is as good as always as Sarah Jane, and Pertwee is as solid as always. I’m sure someone will tell me I’m an idiot for this, but one of my favorite parts about this story is actually the Exxilon. I think they are a cool alien race and I have a soft spot for stories where the ugly aliens aren’t all bad guys.
I eagerly await your fury, as I work on a Jon Pertwee wrap up post before I get into Tom Baker’s territory.