Search - Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks (Story 104) on DVD

Doctor Who: Destiny of the Daleks (Story 104)
Doctor Who Destiny of the Daleks
Story 104
Actors: Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, David Gooderson
Director: Ken Grieve
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
NR     2008     1hr 39min

The newly regenerated Romana and the Doctor land on an unidentified planet to investigate evidence of drilling deep underground.DVD Features: Audio Commentary DVD ROM Features Production Notes


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Movie Details

Actors: Tom Baker, Lalla Ward, David Gooderson
Director: Ken Grieve
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Television, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Drama, Science Fiction, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
Studio: BBC Video / Warner Bros.
Format: DVD - Color - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/04/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 39min
Screens: Color
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 12
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Thomas E. O'Sullivan | Knoxville, Maryland United States | 03/07/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"There are a number of things wrong with the DESTINY OF THE DALEKS. Front and center among them is trying to do a sequel to GENESIS OF THE DALEKS on the cheap. Uninspired locations, sand pits, standing pools of water, lightweight rubble and run, run, run till you drop action instead of story... it all looks like a jumble sale with a plot. Terry Nation (filtered through Douglas Adams) returns us to where GENESIS left off almost to the day (spare a century or two) and drops us in the middle of a battle of wits between the Doctor and Davros against the witless Daleks and their rivals for universal domination, the Movellans.

But instead of picking up on the Doctor's failure to halt the rise of the Daleks and make a second go of it, we're treated to a series of endless "capture and escape" twists and turns that feel exactly like the padding out of time that they are (one of which is a complete lift from PYRIMIDS OF MARS which finds Romana sealed tight in a see through tube just like Sarah Jane). It's a struggling mess that has somehow been leaned up against a number of solid, funny, interesting and clever ideas supplied by Adams that almost literally rescues nearly every other scene in the story.

It's truly a bizzare feeling watching something as clever the Movellans, decked out in sharp and crisp white uniforms, going up against what has to be said are the Daleks the dole. Banged up, battered, busted up, dirty, scratched and in desperate need of a new coat of paint and somehow even more insane than we last saw them... is it political commentary? Is it comedy? I guess a safe bet is that it's just DOCTOR WHO and go with that.

But, don't get me wrong, despite it all (and there is a lot to "despite" here) I still enjoyed DESTINY for the effort, for Douglas Adams and for the regeneration of Romana and the re-introduction of Lalla Ward to the world of DOCTOR WHO. While I loved Mary Tamm in the role, I simply found Ward far more fun and a much better foil for the Doctor. Rash, impulsive, brilliant, charming, sometimes brittle, brusk and willing to stomp her foot and pitch a fit, she could also easily turn on a dime and smile and clear the sky of any cloud. It's no wonder Tom Baker made sure she would stay on with the show.

As usual 2 ENTERTAIN has gone out of their way to offer up the best possible extras for this story. Commentary with Lalla Ward, David Gooderson and Ken Grieve is casual, confindent and surprisingly sharp when it comes to memories. This is Grieve's only turn as director on DOCTOR WHO and despite 28 years removed from the show he still knows his stuff and little details abound.

A real highlight for this release though are the PRIME COMPUTER ads featuring Tom Baker and Lalla Ward (take time to mark the costumes used here - they range from DESTINY down to WARRIORS GATE and try to overlook the off model mock up of the TARDIS prop). Short, sweet, funny and almost DOCTOR WHO episodes themselves, these ads really show how close Baker and Ward were, so much so that despite the reputation for the new DOCTOR WHO introducing "love" into the TARDIS, the final ad here has the Doctor proposing to Romana and Romana accepting... amazing!

There is a new CGI option which enhances the weapons fire of the Daleks and the Movellans and sadly obscures the effort that went into the Movellan's ship in flight. The model in flight was one of the few well done effects in the original, so what they do here to it is a disappointment.

Text commentary is tight, fact filled and very, very fast. Have your remote ready and your trigger finger on pause as whole paragrpahs of information zip by in less than two seconds.

Overall, DESTINY OF THE DALEKS lacks any real sense of purpose and the annual visit of the the Doctor's old enemies by now has a feeling of a visit from a very stern Aunt who simply is not amused. Not the worst Dalek story (THE CHASE may hold that title) nor the best. Just look past the literal cardboard sets and enjoy the highlights."
That's what you get for fiddling about with a randomiser.
J. C. Roberts | Higashi-Hemi-Cho, Yokosuka, Kanagawa, Honshu, Japa | 12/16/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The Key to Time season has just wrapped, and the Doctor decides to evade possible payback by the Black Guardian of Time by fitting his TARDIS with a randomiser. Lo and behold, where does this device dump him first? On Skaro, of course.

Trailed by a newly-regenerated Romana in a suspiciously familiar outfit, the Doctor wastes no time in getting into trouble, and soon finds himself at the crux of a deadlocked war betwen his old foes the Daleks, and a new race, the Movellans. And he isn't the only one being counted on to break the stalemate.

Some complaints: It's a real shame that Michael Wisher could not return to reprise his role, he was still the best Davros in my mind. That, and last minute re-writes get you some campy dialogue by then-script-editor Douglas Adams, but Doctor Who is always a blast when the Daleks are involved. As with any Tom Baker serial during the later part of his tenure, it's best not to over-think it; just sit back, relax and enjoy it.

Overall: an enjoyable second romp with the Daleks and the Doctor's most popular classic incarnation. This one should be on your list, whether you are a casual fan or a collector. Enjoy!

Softening up to a classic
John Liosatos | Crook County, IL United States | 03/04/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I begin this review with an admission. While watching Doctor Who back in the 80s on my local PBS station here in Chicago, I was not particularly fond of Destiny of The Daleks. The story is not too compelling, slow moving at times, dormant at others. The Daleks search to find their creator on the planet Skaro because they have fallen into a logic trap in their battle against another race of robots, the Movellans. The fact that they should even be in a logic trap is illogical in itself, considering that they were once humanoid creatures and have always acted irrationally, with hatred, xenophobia, rants, etc, hardly logical emotions. Plus, I swear I saw Rick James as a Movellan..."she's a very!"

However, I have grown to appreciate this story more and more. What changed it for me? For one thing, the interplay between The Doctor (Baker) and Romana II (Sarah Ward, I never liked the name Lalla. Her given name of Sarah is much prettier) is simply marvelous, rivaling that of the Doctor and past companion Sarah Jane Smith. You can really sense a chemistry developing here from her very first story. Whereas Mary Tamm (Romana mark I) was a glamorous model type, Ward is simply cute and cuddly. No wonder Tom Baker married her. The chemistry even extends to their Doctor Who his and her costumes, with Ward sporting a flashy pink female version of the Doctor's outfit, right down to a matching pink scarf. Such is the chemistry between the two that it was a very sad moment indeed when Romana walked away from the Doctor, and out of Doctor Who forever, at the end of Warriors' Gate.

Tom Baker's humor shines in this story as well, remarking to Davros that his long rest has done nothing to cure his megalomania. The Doctor and Davros play well off of each other as well. A memorable scene in episode four has Davros waiting for the Dalek ship to come pick him up. Enter the Doctor, with a big toothy grin! From Davros' reaction, the Doctor is the last person Davros needs to see at this moment. I can't say enough about Tom Baker's performance in Destiny. His mastery of the English language is astounding, not in only what he says, but how he says it. Only Baker can go from a joking attitude to dead seriousness without missing a breath. Kudos must also be given to Tim Barlow for his portrayal of commander Tyssan. Many will be shocked to learn that Barlow was a legally deaf actor. His performance belies this little tidbit of information.

Among the DVD extras, one that stands out is a series of four television commercials recorded by Baker & Ward, in character as the Doctor and Romana, for Prime Computers, running about a half minute each. One particular interesting one has the computer telling the Doctor to "marry the girl", which he gladly took its advice and did. Also, considering that today's computers can be as small as a watch battery, it certainly is culture shock to see how huge a computer was in the late 70s. As outdated as Prime Computers now are, the classic series of Doctor Who will never become outdated, no matter how long the new one runs.

"I see your long rest has done nothing to cure your megaloma
Jason A. Miller | New York, New York USA | 03/13/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I got my first Doctor who novelizations on Super Bowl Sunday in 1985 -- just weeks after I'd found the show on PBS -- and Doctor Who and the Destiny of the Daleks was one of the three. I was eleven. I didn't watch the game, but I read about the Daleks as they returned home to resurrect their creator and win a war. I've loved the story ever since.

Sure, "Destiny of the Daleks" has got flaws, and those are lovingly displayed on DVD. The production values are vintage 1979... which, in terms of TV sci-fi, was more of a table year (to quote the Doctor from Doctor Who - City of Death (Episode 105), the following story). Michael Wisher, the original Davros from Doctor Who - Genesis of the Daleks (Episode 78), was unavailable to reprise the role, and his replacement for this story, David Gooderson, fit neither the role nor the costume. Gooderson's performance lacked any sort of nuance or terror, and his head was too big for the original mask so they just cut the mask into pieces and glued it back onto his head. Later on, the director didn't have enough Dalek props for an outdoor sequence set in a sandpit (Daleks don't like uneven terrain), so he had a bunch of extras carry hollow props around and shot them from low angles so you couldn't see their feet underneath. Yes sir, if Ken Grieve had a nickname it would be "Captain Shoestring".

The DVD release of "Destiny" works in part because it celebrates the technical flaws in the story, and allows gentle criticism on both of its extra documentaries. That said, the addition of CGI effects to replace the dodgy spaceships and death rays is kind of superfluous, but fortunately that's an optional feature.

Meanwhile the script itself, which seems to be about 40% Terry Nation and 60% Douglas Adams, is a winner. The Doctor rattles off dozens of great lines, as does Romana when describing her two hearts: "One for casual, one for best!". The dialogue between the Doctor and Davros during their two main confrontations is snappy and sparkly. And what's not to love about the hilarious Tom Baker/Lalla Ward byplay during the lengthy opening TARDIS scene? No wonder they got married (and, to hear Lalla critique Tom's performance on the DVD commentary, no wonder they got divorced...).

Other highlights from the DVD include the Baker/Ward Prime Computer commercials, evidently shot during the couple's very brief marriage. "Clever Prime," murmurs Romana. The commentary track is also terrific: Episode One is just Ward and Grieve, fondly remembering the late Douglas Adams, and comparing their 5,000 pound budget to the more visually glossy "Who" of the 21st century. David Gooderson shows up for the final two episodes and displays more charm and wit than he was ever allowed to show as Davros. Ward also says some complimentary things about her ex-husband, for the first time ever in her several DVD commentaries thus far.

"Destiny of the Daleks" is never going to be highly regarded in fan circles; even the official BBC "Doctor Who" website describes it as "tacky and inconsequential". But whether they're meant to be frightening, or just played for unintentional laughs (some of us here had to live through "Evolution of the Daleks" last season), the Daleks always work. The heavy use of ethnic actors is a plus, and prefigures the more diverse casting policies of modern "Doctor Who". Even if most of the great stories have already been mined, the classic series DVD releases are still showing strong as they descend dangerously closer to the bottom tier of stories."