August 30th, 2011

1st Doctor

Doctor Who Original Series 21 - The Daleks' Master Plan

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The Daleks' Master Plan 8/10

Master Plan is a pretty solid story from beginning to end. While the pace is a little slow at times, it still manages to keep things moving along in a satisfying way. The fact that some four-part stories struggle to manage this is a testament to both Terry Nation and Dennis Spooner.

One of the impressive feats is that the oppressive air, and feeling of being hounded by the Daleks and their conspirators, only lets up during the two episodes that went out over Christmas Day and New Year's. And it's not like those episodes let the story down in any way, being reasonably entertaining in their own right.

Special mention must go to Mavic Chen, played by Kevin Stoney. It's a wonderful character and Stoney is fabulous in the role. As the story goes on, he grows from being smooth and arrogant, to being incredibly arrogant, and eventually to insane and arrogant. And Stoney pulls it off beautifully throughout.

And the Daleks are back to their old deadly selves. Failure means instant death. Which makes it wonderfully amusing when they need the arrogant Chen and can't kill him! The sixth episode has a beautiful exchange between Chen and the Dalek Supreme, as he keeps interrupting the Dalek leader and berating it for failure. The Dalek ends up practically screaming at him in sheer frustration.

Hartnell, Purves, and Marsh all put in fine performances throughout. At no time do they treat the threat of the Daleks as anything other than deadly serious.

Nick Courtney's Bret Vyon is also well played, though the character comes across as a bit thuggish and thick, making threats and stealing things from potential allies, rather than just asking for help.

Adrienne Hill does a good job with the little she's given to do as Katarina. It was a difficult role, but she appears to play it as well as can be expected.

All up, I really, really enjoyed it. It's just a good solid story. Collapse )