The Daleks

Doctor Who Big Finish Daleks Dead Planet

UPDATED 2106

Dead Planet Radio Times

Yes it’s a classic but it’s more of a classic for what it means within the history of TV Doctor Who than for what it actually is. In many ways the later Cushing Movie version is a lot better but, at seven episodes, which is probably one too many, there’s plenty of room for improvement.

The first thing you`ll notice that`s different about this Fan Edit from the original is the title sequence. Hartnell was the only Classic Doc who didn’t get his face in the titles as Aunt Verity thought the test was too scary for the kiddies, one of her rare lapses of judgement. So I’ve rectified her error and included Hartnell`s face in the sequence courtesy of a specially constructed headshot and a crossfade to the footage of Tony Halfpenny from the title sequence test footage on the DVD. I think it`s pretty close to what it might have looked like if Verity hadn`t vetoed putting Bill`s face in and I`m really pleased with it.

Like the previous story An Unearthly Child, for this Fan Edit I`ve included some extra music cues. And where else could they be from but the Movie Version Soundtrack. I`ve always wanted to combine the two and now I`ve got the chance I`m happy to say that it works just as well as I hoped it would. And anyway, I`m no great fan of that myooseek konkrette bollocks they used in the TX version so I`ve replaced those wherever possible or put them as low in the mix as I could. 

The Daleks 2 by Tom Connell & Lee SullivanPutting in extra music can be really rewarding when you find a cue that just fits perfectly, and really frustrating when you can`t! There`s no recap from the end of the previous story, it`s straight out onto the surface of Skaro and thank you Silva Screen! Although the majority of cues are from the first film, there are some from the second which I`m sure you`ll spot!

Just as we had no cavemen-skull-bashing in the previous story, or electrocution of your companions for that matter, here the Doctor doesn`t sabotage the Tardis just to get a shufti at the city. I`ve edited the sequence to make it look like a genuine Tardis fault, which the Doctor simply takes advantage of. That helps to bring the Doctor’s character that little bit closer to the one we know now that little bit earlier than the next story, which is where the real change starts to take place.

The Daleks by DanielMead at DeviantArt

If you’re one of those white left-wing liberals who see everything through the filter of race then go ahead and knock yourself out with this story. Personally I find that whole argument both highly suspect and incredibly tedious, I really don’t care if it’s about National Socialism or Pacifism versus Justified Aggression. I think it’s a story about a whole lot of things and race is only one of them, to say otherwise is simply wrong.

What’s much more interesting to me is that the Food Machine suddenly appears in the console room in Part One. It wasn’t there last time we were in the Ship so where the hell did it come from? Of course, that’s one of the things you would never have noticed if you viewed the original one at a time, a week apart. There’s a lot to be said for going back and rewatching these eps the way they were intended to be seen, instead of consuming them all at once.

dr who and the daleks hardback

 For instance, the recap of the famous part one cliffhanger is rubbish – they cut it off far too early, losing Barbara’s scream. And it sounds like the cast are all wearing those little metal things for “tap shoes” to make it sound like they really are walking on metal instead of the concrete floor of a TV Studio.

Something else you can notice if you look closely at the Dalek casings, is a series of short horizontal lines between the two metal bands around the midsection. Each Dalek has a different number of lines, clearly how the production team attempted to differentiate between the four of them, so they knew which one was meant to be where!

doctor who complete history 04Despite my best efforts to cut things down to something a bit more Cushing Movie sized, in the end I realised that, the way it’s told in this original version, there’s far too much story here for that to be feasible.

Working with pre-existing material like this brings its own challenges and there’s only so much you can do to increase the pace without it being obvious that you’ve made cuts, so two parts it had to be.

Part One ends with them escaping the cell, with Ian disguised as a Dalek. And we end Part Two with the line “there should have been another way” instead of the Tardis take-off as it’s a more dramatic end to the whole piece, with the Daleks seemingly defeated…

daleks covers

daleks dead planet dwm

2016 UPDATE:

Having re-watched this story for my Fan Edit Viewing Marathon I was struck by how loud the Peter Cushing Movie Music is in places. Clearly my younger self had a lot to learn about balancing additional incidental music against existing dialogue. You can still hear what they’re saying but I did feel it was a little too loud in places, and so I took the opportunity to go back and adjust the balance between the two, which involved ripping the relevant sections from the DVD, getting them in sync with the original edit and then lowering the level of the music and boosting the level of the dialogue to get a better mix between the two. Fiddly to do but worth it. I also made a few minor cuts to a couple of editing choices that, six years down the road, I wasn’t happy with, and as a result both these edits are now a few seconds shorter than the 2010 originals, but are otherwise intact – 10secs shorter for Part One, 17secs for Part Two. 


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7 thoughts on “The Daleks

  1. Okay so this took me a really long time to watch, so I don’t have many specific critiques. First of all I love, love, love having music in the show. One of the things I remember about the first part was how you made Skaro’s barren landscape feel like a mysterious magical place. Second, other than the sabotage scene I cannot remember what you cut out. Which means it must not have been very remarkable. Third regarding the Sabotage bit. I like what you did. You didn’t exactly cut it out completely. You left just enough reaction from the doctor to suggest it as subtext. Brilliant.

    Now, I tried to watch the second part very late at night and fell asleep every time. So I finally watched the second half of it today. The first half does lag a bit but it seems unavoidable as all of it is relevant to the plot. That said, as a whole you made this another one of my favorite episodes. The second half is awesome. Instead of a lumbering droll of scenes you’ve crafted the footage into an exciting and dangerous mission to save a planet.

    When I watched the original I was so bored to tears by the time the countdown came that I no longer cared about it and wanted to move on. This is not the case in your version. It was exciting and it somehow seemed less ridiculous that they were fighting “Superior Dalek Technology” with sticks and rocks. Was this sequence always in real time?

    1. Making the Doctor less the anti-hero was always the plan and yes, it was intentional to make it much less clear that the Doctor had deliberately sabotaged the Ship. Ian voices his suspicions later on, but they remain just that, which helps to make the Doctor a more likeable if still rather cranky character. But then you`d be a bit cranky too if a couple of nosey parkers had pushed their way into your home!

      I always wanted to use the movie music in the edit to help with the pace, atmosphere and excitement levels – watching these old Who stories is a bit like watching a theatre play when compared to what we’re used to today. But I think the music really helps to lift the whole thing, as well as the tighter editing.

      As for the ending, I`m pretty certain that the end sequence is just as it was in the original. There`s the countdown going on in the background for one thing – I think the only edits I made were to the music cues to make them fit better with the pictures.

  2. it’s a shame that this file for the Daleks is not available now since this was up early March 2011 and now it’s early December 2012 and the 2 parts of the fan edit of Whoflix is not available on the link on Rapidshare, though An Unearthly Child file posted the same month was still available. With the recent 49th Anniversary of Doctor Who, i came across this..shame the 2nd story or serial that you did isn’t available and checked next post and Earthshocks 1-3 aint available. It’s a shame as they sound like good fan edits if Unearthly Child was any indication, the flight take off of the Tardis was well done and a good addition it that tight half the length of the original story and the music from an old star trek story was interesting and worked. Anyway shame the download links don’t work on others..

    1. Don`t worry Phillip, I can easily upload them again for you. Keep an eye on the List page – when the listing goes purple, it`s available, Just go to the story`s page and click on the updated link.

      But bear in mind that any file that goes 30 days without being downloaded gets deleted…

      Any other stories you`d like to see, just request them via the “Contact Whoflix” page

    1. Way ahead of you, agentc21. Have tweaked the edit to take the “new” music down a bit. Download the new mk2 version and hear the difference for yourself!

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