Review By Liam O Brien, 4.5 out of 5


?e are your servants?

Oh those poor misguided fools at the Beeb. In the early 70?, whilst DOCTOR WHO was still Jon Pertwee? show, the powers that be decided to purge the vaults of all their old shows by wiping the master tapes of various programmes so they could be used on new productions as a cost cutting exercise. All this seemed fine until the WHO fans of the 80? started asking when they could see the classic Troughtons and Hartnells- and that? when the penny dropped, much of the black and white serials had been lost. However, some bright sparks had sat by the box each night, taping the sound from the goggle box, and so the storys, whilst missing in a visual sense, are all available in audio format. With the fortieth birthday this month, they have released two such ?ost?tales- THE POWER OF THE DALEKS and THE EVIL OF THE DALEKS, digitally remastered, with narration from ex-companions Frazier Hines and Anneke Wilkes. Oh, and it all comes with a bonus disc, the documentary, MY LIFE AS A DALEK, in a wonderfully realised tin.

It? a shame these two tales were lost, because both POWER and EVIL are brilliant WHO and, more importantly, brilliant Patrick Troughton. The man is on form from the start- POWER was his first story in the role, the first regeneration story and it works better than any other that came after. You can keep Colin Bakers violence or Peter Davidson? frailty, Troughton gets up off the floor and lands slap bang in the midst of an adventure. A case of mistaken identity gets him into the quickly, and leaves companions Ben and Polly wondering if this mysterious stranger can really be their Doctor. David Whitakar? script moves along at a fair old pace, and despite the lack of movement in comparison to EVIL (this is mostly set in one small community on the colony planet Vulcan- and no, Mr Spock isn? there) POWER is the better story, with six episodes full of intrigue and excitement. It? a master stroke that this time the tin plated pepper pots arent out to take over the galaxy- they simply want power and to ultimately, take over and kill the entire planet. They are at their most sinister here- pretending to serve the colonists only adds to their menace. This is a wonderful story and a great opener for the second Doctor.

THE EVIL OF THE DALEKS is much more grand, with changes in time and location from London 1966, to a grand mansion 100 years before in 1866, and finally to the Daleks home planet of Skaro. This is the more epic, but its also slightly disjointed and in one instance very silly. However, its still a classic, showing ?he final end?of the Daleks. This works well on audio- they both do, with the Emperor Dalek? voice booming from your headset. On both stories the narration enhances and helps the plot along without the aid of pictures, with everything clearly explained and well done. It? a shame these have been lost, but the restoration work on these lost classics is comprable to anything happening on dvd. The sound is excellent, especially for a programme transmitted over 35 years ago. The Daleks loose nothing on audio, indeed not being able to see Skaro in EVIL perhaps benefits the narrative because we can use our imaginations (remember those) to imagine a massively impressive metal city of the future. MY LIFE AS A DALEK is good value as an extra disc, but its nothing wildly exciting. But with a price tag of around thirty pounds, this would make a WHO fans Christmas complete. Two great serials spread over five discs offering over six hours of entertainment alongside a fun documentary- well, WHO could refuse ay?


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