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Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks (Story 72)

38 customer reviews

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(Jul 10, 2012)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Doctor Who: Ep. 72 - Death to the Daleks

An unexplained power loss has stranded the Doctor and Sarah Jane on Exxilon, a planet whose ancient civilisation has lapsed into savagery.


Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks originally ran in 1974 and features craggy-faced Jon Pertwee as the good Doctor. Death to the Daleks is an interesting story in the Who pantheon as well as in TV science fiction. The TARDIS goes off course and must land on the stark planet Exxilon. There, the Doctor and Sarah Jane (Elisabeth Sladen) go exploring, and Sarah, enraptured by Exxilon's shining centerpiece building, is suddenly taken captive. It turns out that some Daleks who live there have become rebels against the totalitarian Dalek government, so the Doctor must decide whether to team up with them, and/or with other human space explorers there for a rare mineral, to try to free her. The production values are surprisingly high, and the story is complex and the dialogue crisp. The extras on this DVD of Death to the Daleks are rather lavish, especially for a single-disc set. There is a very entertaining audio commentary by some of the cast and crew, with great factoids divulged left and right by the director, the costume director, and the sound engineer. There's also a half-hour documentary just on making the Exxilons' magic city. And there are plenty of outtakes, alternative story lines, and many other delicious Doctor tidbits. Death to the Daleks is a must for every Doctor Who fan. --A.T. Hurley

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Jon Pertwee, Elisabeth Sladen
  • Directors: Michael E. Briant
  • Writers: Terry Nation
  • Producers: Barry Letts
  • Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Color
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007VI74VM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,728 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks (Story 72)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Happy Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 21, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This a pretty good episode of Dr. Who. The Daleks seem to show more initiative than I usually give them credit for. When their standard laser make-you-disappear weapons don't work, they fit themselves out with old-fashioned mechanical guns and even practice on a model TARDIS (which they must carry with them for fun?!).

"Death to the Daleks" originally aired in 1974. Story Synopsis: The TARDIS has (yet another) glitch, goes off course, and ends up on the planet of Exxilon. Something drains the TARDIS' power, and they're stranded. The Doctor and Sarah Jane leave to investigate. The Doctor meets up with a similarly stranded Marine Space Corp patrol. They came to Exxilon to gather the element parrinium, the only known antidote to a massive plague that is sweeping the galaxy.

Sarah Jane is fascinated with a giant white building with a beacon flashing on top. She is captured by a group of native Exxilons, who say she has defiled their city and must die. Unbeknownst to her, the Doctor has joined forces with the Marines and with a group of similarly stranded Daleks - a tentative truce indeed, as the Doctor states, "Inside each of those shells is a living, bubbling lump of hate."

The Doctor stops Sarah's execution, and the two escape through some tunnels. In the tunnels they meet Bellal, one of a group of exiled Exxilon's who do not worship the white City, they are afraid of it. The Doctor realizes that it is the beacon that is draining energy from the TARDIS and other ships, and he and Bellal set out to stop it.

In the meanwhile, the Dalek's have outfitted themselves with mechanical weapons not affected by the power drain - and they want to capture the parrinium.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Michael Valdivielso on April 11, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
First off, the Daleks are one of my favorite bad guys and Jon Pertwee is also a favorite of mine, not just as the Doctor but as a actor. I like the idea of a living city, even if it was inorganic in structure, and the acting was not that bad. I also like that the Daleks have tiny a TARDIS for target practice! Yes, the planet of Exxilon seems boring and lifeless. Yes, the natives look like something a five year old created. The idea that they would blend into the cave walls and sometimes glow seemed to be a interesting idea that does not REALLY comes across very well on the small screen. The special effects were, after all, BBC 1970's special effects so there is that. The maze to get into the city isn't half bad and the idea of aliens just visiting Earth is refreshing when compared to all the aliens who seem to have either tried to invade it or crash landed on it. How do you not see a planet? Were you adjusting the radio? Er...back to topic.
The plot is simple. The planet has a special mineral that can save lives but also has a dangerous city that drains power from ship engines and weapons (but not from Daleks - they move with the power of their MINDS). Both the humans and Daleks have trapped themselves on the planet and now have to work together to mine the mineral and save themselves. Sadly the Daleks in this story don't seem very dangerous. They have to replace their energy weapons with bullet shooters that make Wild West Gun Shot noises, they huddle together and debate a lot in whispers, and they get beat up by backwater natives when not being killed by the roots of the city. One even blows himself up. Of course, it was meant to be the last Dalek story ever. Which is why it was called Death of the Daleks.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By G. L. Nelson on July 16, 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
The 5-Star rating is for the quality and value of the DVD. Superb job as is typical of the Doctor Who restoration team for Classic Era Doctor Who DVD products.

Story # 72
Season 11's Third Story
Third Doctor, Jon Perwee Era, final season 1973-74
Third Classic Sarah Jane Smith Story

In Elisabeth Sladen's opinion, DEATH TO THE DALEKS was always an underrated and overlooked story. I agree totally with her assessment. I was pleasantly surprised to find DEATH TO THE DALEKS a very well-paced and entertaining story, full of interesting and unusual Sci-Fi concepts, as well as being a very unique Dalek story. Other than some very minor acting or special effects bobbles, DEATH TO THE DALEKS is a solid story and production.

It is entirely possible that the main reason DEATH TO THE DALEKS is not well-remembered among WHO fans is because the musical track is unusual in its support or enhancement of the story. The music at times, seems to take the viewer's attention away from the story, rather than enhancing a scene the way a good score can. This is not to say the music score is bad, just that it is unusual, and for that reason may actually distract the viewer at times.

Essential viewing for SARAH JANE ADVENTURES fans, and a very interesting, unusual Dalek story for veteran Whovians. This is also a good story to introduce a novice to WHO, as the interior TARDIS scenes are very educational for someone unfamiliar with WHO.

One of Terry Nation's more interesting and unusual Dalek scripts, making for a rare one-of-a-kind Dalek story.
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