The Daemons


There’s something rather spooky about Dr Who Does Dennis Wheatley  being a story about witchraft versus science that famously gets restored to colour from black & white thanks to the Witchraft Science of the Restoration Team. And if, post Peter Cushing & the Daleks, Doctor Who had gone on to be a successful movie franchise, like James Bond, then surely Christopher Lee would have made a brilliant Master. It was Lee, after all, upon whom Pertwee based his character of Paul Henderson in The House That Dripped Blood

christopher lee roger delgado the masterBut this isn’t a Hammer or even an Amicus horror movie, it’s a BBC TV show and Roger Delgado is the Master, in what is possibly his best outing in the role as yer typical creepy vicar who’s also a Satanist on the side. What a pity they never got Mr Lee into the New Series, or Charles Grey for that matter, if he had lived. And both of them were Bond villains, Scaramanga and Blofeld, though Charlie Grey will always be known for The Criminologist in The Rocky Horror Picture Show or playing Mycroft Holmes to Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock, depending on how old you are.

daemonsPerhaps I’m reading too much into it, but I’m sure there’s something in the Master representing the dual nature of corrupted christianity as a front for paganism. When oppression & intimidation fail, then the next best tactic is infiltration & corruption and, before you know it, it’s hello Laodecia. And if the Master is a Fake Vicar, then the Doctor is the Science Vicar, the one who has the Truth that science answers all, and is the answer for everything. Which of course it isn’t. Just like Journalism, Science is no longer about the objective search for truth, it’s now about seeking out evidence to support your worldview, regardless of where the actual evidence may lead.

daemons covers

doctor who complete history 02As far as Whoflix can tell, Humanism/Evolution is just another religion, as it does the exact same thing that Christianity does – it constructs a belief system about how the universe operates and why it is the way it is, resulting in statements and articles of Faith, based on texts they’ve read which detail events they were not an eye witness to. And in the popular imagination, how likely is it that vast and towering intellects the likes of Alice Roberts, Brian Cox or David Attenborough are wrong? I mean, these are clever buggers, they must know what they’re talking about…   

Of course, when you point out to someone who worships at the altar of Dawkins, the Hieronymous of Humanism, that they are just as religious, in their own way, as the Christians they despise and mock, watch how they swiftly move from smug superiority to angry denial and defensive erision.  Anyway, let’s leave the comparative theology and get back to the fan editing…

Part one survives more or less intact which isn’t surprising given the amount of setting up that it has to do. We keep the focus on the Doctor and Jo and stay away from the village until we actually get there. That way we learn that the Master is the fake vicar at the same time as the Doctor, something that often makes for a more fun reveal. And keeping the Master back in the story helps bring in the first two episodes at about half an hour.

daemons dwm

daemons bbc 3When it comes to part three, some of the scenes have been moved around to keep the pace up, so we alternate between the Doctor and the Master before the Doctor heads off to rendezvous with the Brig at the heat barrier. And am I the only one who wonders if anyone else from the Whoniverse was watching The Passing Parade that night? Like Professor Amelia Rumford perhaps? I wonder what the author of Bronze Age Burials in Gloucestershire made of it…

There’s only one additional music cue, Mark Ayres’ theme from the reunion documentary Return To Devil’s End, to cover a shortened version of the scene where the helicopter tries to drive Bessie into the heat barrier, as the original felt just a little bit empty.  We don’t need the Doctor getting shot at and knocked off his bike as it’s just padding and clearly Terry Walsh in the wig the Squire thought the Doctor was wearing in part one! All we need the Doctor to do is to leave the Brig and get caught up with the Morris Dancers.

After that it’s KweeKwyKwod, a bit of Bok, Five Rounds Rapid, somewhat less of shouty old Steven Thorne getting a headache and an adjustment to the hue of the shot where he has a funny turn to make it more red than pink, blow up the model church and, with a bit of a dance to finish, The Daemons is done and with it the fan edit version of the Pertwee Era is complete, with only Broton and Sutekh to go! 


download daemonsThe Daemons by Ben Willsher DWM446


2 thoughts on “The Daemons

  1. The Daemons has always been in my Top 5 favourite stories and I absolutely love this. Holding the reveal of the Master back works especially well, as does the new music over the heat barrier chase section. If I had a tiny niggle it would be Yates reaching the crypt (I mean cavern!) before Jo does, since we don’t see her losing consciousness en route to the church. Then again, this is Jo Grant we’re talking about, so we can easily believe she got lost on the way… Overall, great job!

    1. Thanks Peter, glad I’ve not messed up one of your faves!
      Nothing to stop you putting it back in your own version!

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