Evolution Of The Daleks

Doctor WhoDalek Sec, transformed into a hybrid between a Dalek’s mutant occupant and a human, terrifies not only the Doctor and Martha, but even its fellow Daleks. Fearing any evolution that could steer them away from being “pure” Daleks, the rest of the Cult of Skaro now treat their leader’s orders with skepticism. The Doctor and Martha lead their fellow captives to the relative safety of Central Park, but with the realization that the Doctor is working against them, the Daleks follow, no longer worried about hiding. When Dalek Sec spares the Doctor from imminent extermination, the other three Daleks turn against him. With his one hope of reasoning with a new breed of Daleks gone, the Doctor is all that stands between Earth in one of its most defenseless junctures in history and the Daleks’ hunger for conquest.

Download this episodewritten by Helen Raynor
directed by James Strong
music by Murray Gold

Guest Cast: Miranda Raison (Tallulah), Ryan Carnes (Laszlo), Hugh Quarshie (Solomon), Andrew Garfield (Frank), Eric Loren (Dalek Sec), Earl Perkins (Man #1), Barnaby Edwards (Dalek Operator), Nicholas Pegg (Dalek Operator), Anthony Spargo (Dalek Operator), David Hankinson (Dalek Operator), Nick Briggs (Dalek voices), Paul Kasey (Hero Pig), Ian Porter (Hybrid)

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: As shocking as it tries to make itself seem, Evolution Of The Daleks isn’t really that novel, though at the time it certainly boosted fan speculation (and I’m going to guess that this was a deliberate move for the sheer publicity of it) that Raymond Cusick’s Dalek casing design was about to be abandoned permanently. It turns out to be a bit of a red herring, of course, but the implication that a new breed of Daleks would be less murderous is even more so, because down through the years, from the original series through the books and audio plays, the Daleks have already tried on various aspects of humanity and found they didn’t fit. One of these days, you’d think they’d get the hint.

As with so many Dalek tales, Evolution really stays afloat on the strength of those cast members who portray humans (or at least agreeable human-pig hybrids). Hugh Quarshie is exceptional in both episodes, and while I’m not quite so enamoured of Tallulah, she provides a bit of comic relief. The Doctor’s rabbit-out-of-the-hat that saves the day really strains the suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. Fans may dig the mentions of Dalekanium (dating back to 1964’s Dalek Invasion Of Earth) and the Dalek time measurement in rels (one of the very few things tying the two Peter Cushing movies into the TV series), but I’d really like to see that attention to detail focused on a slightly more plausible denouement.