Season 22 comes to a close this week with the return of the Doctor’s most hated enemies, the Daleks. Eric Saward wrote this two-parter that ran from 23 to 30 March, 1985.
The Doctor and Peri (Nicola Bryant) are about to stumble into a trap! They’re travelling to the planet Necros to visit a medical facility, Tranquil Rose, that specialises in cryogenics. They freeze their ill clientele until a cure has been discovered.
When the pair arrive to pay their respects to one of the Doctor’s friends they are caught up in a confrontation with the villains, and their leader, Davros (Terry Molloy), and the stunning revelation of the secret behind Tranquil Rose.
Saward puts some fun characters in the story, especially the DJ (Alexi Sayle), and the outdoor location shoots against snowy backgrounds make for some nice imagery. Actually, I rather like the look of the entire episode.
The employees of the facility don’t know everything that is going on, some of them are suspicious that there is another agenda, but don’t seem too bothered as long as the money keeps funnelling into the company.
Davros is posing as the head of the facility, calling himself, The Great Healer, canvassing for funds, while behind the scenes, they are using parts and organic material to create a new army of Daleks. He’s also the one who has lured the Doctor to the planet, in hopes of capturing him.
There’s a nice moment, one that is revisited in another story a few regenerations on, a monument to the Doctor, in memoriam, just before it topples on him.
The Doctor, of course, finally finds his way to Davros (who seems to have some cool force-lightning powers), well, after being captured by the Daleks, and there are some cool designs and colours used by them this time around, differentiating the new Dalek army, the impure Dalek army, from the old.
It’s a fairly solid story, and it’s always enjoyable when Davros and the Daleks return for more trouble, and they definitely find it this time around, when events begin to play out that will, of course, see the Doctor triumph. Actually with a little bit of help from the Daleks, because the creatures are offended by Davros’ plan once they realise what he is doing.
The Daleks don’t recognise this version of the Doctor, and for a moment, neither do I, when he uses a gun on the creatures again.
As the facility comes apart, Davros’ plan unfolding, and the story ends as the Doctor and Peri prepare for a little peaceful, fun getaway…
Unfortunately it’s not going to play that way, as the series took a year long hiatus, and came back with the season long story arc, Trial of a Time Lord, with the first part of it taking place on The Mysterious Planet!