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London, 1963... wait, this sounds familiar.
Yes, the Doctor, now in his seventh incarnation (Sylvester McCoy) along with his new companion Ace (Sophie Aldred), have gone back to where the whole Doctor Who saga began only to find that they have wandered into the middle of a Dalek war between the Imperial and Renegade Dalek factions... or have they?
And the prize for the winner of this war, a device which can grant the Daleks true time travel technology.
But with a branch of the military trying to contain the incident and enemies in the least expected of places, can the Doctor and Ace tilt the tide of battle to their advantage?
I wasn't going to do this series of Doctor Who reviews without at least one story featuring the Daleks and this one from the programme's 25th anniversary series is a good entry into the canon.
Sylvester McCoy stamps his mark well and truly on the role after a troubled first series. Gone is the clown which was scripted to be replaced with the role that McCoy wanted to play, a devious manipulator who maneuvers his allies and enemies like pieces on a chess board.
Sophie Aldred gives a great performance in the role of Ace. Before the phrase "Girl Power" was coined, Aldred's characterisation of the role is a baseball bat wielding tomboy with a penchant for inventing explosives, but with a vulnerable side which is displayed later in the story.
The storyline by Ben Aaronovitch is a clever allegory on racism with the Imperial and Renegade factions emphasising the Daleks' xenophobic nature with a sub plot featuring a very human form of racism plus a character with Mosleyan tendencies in Ratcliffe (George Sewell).
The main supporting cast come in the form of the military team helping to keep a lid on the situation with Group Captain Gilmore (Simon Williams, known better for his role in Upstairs Downstairs), Pamela Salem and Karen Gledhill portraying two boffins who are trying to understand the situation and Dursley McLinden who is the young sergeant who befriends and becomes a "love interest" for Ace.
Additional supporting cast includes Michael Sheard (Admiral Ozzel in The Empire Strikes Back, Hitler in Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade and, for a generation of British teenaged TV viewers, the stern Mr Bronson in Grange Hill) as a school headmaster and a cameo from Joseph Marcell, better known as Geoffrey from The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.
There are better Dalek stories out there, most notably the story from Christopher Eccleston's sole series, "Dalek", but if you want to watch a story which seems to set the scene for the Russell T. Davies version of Doctor Who, watch this story.
P.S. - If you do watch it, I hope you enjoy the cliffhanger to Part One!!!
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