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Doctor Who: The Daemons (Story 59)
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The Doctor and Jo travel to Devil's End village to probe the centuries-old secret of the Devil's Hump, a mysterious burial mound.]]>
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The plot: Professor Horner, an archaelogist is digging into a barrow at Devil's End that he claims contains treasure by a Bronze Age chieftain. Local resident and white witch Olive Hawthorne is against the dig, as she claims Satan will appear. After all, it is Beltane, 30 April. Something clicks in the Doctor's mind and he and Jo rush over to Devil's End. He is too late, and powerful forces send the Doctor and kills Horner.
The forces have been unleashed by the Master, masquerading as the local reverend, and he intends to invoke Azal, the last Daemon, so he can rule the world with the power given by the Daemon. The Dæmons were an alien race who gave mankind knowledge to evolve, but amorally. To make matters worse, the Master has Azal create a heat barrier encircling Devil's End, trapping the local inhabitants in, and locking everyone else out, so the Doctor and his friends are left to fend for themselves.
Here is one story where the fan/viewer can see the entire UNIT team at work, not only professionally, but in a family sort of way, where everyone looks after each other and shows genuine concern. Yates and Benton are akin to the big brothers to Jo's little sister, the Doctor is the grandfather, and the Brigadier is the uncle of the family. Jo's concern for the Doctor is all so apparent here.
In the confrontation scene between the Doctor, the Master, and Azal, who is a fearsome, satyr-like creature standing 30' tall, the Time Lord launches effective arguments for why Azal should just leave and let mankind grow up, at their own pace.Read more ›
As for the story ... well, let me just state for Who fans who haven't had the opportunity to see this five episode 1971 story that it features "the Master" (gloriously portrayed by Roger Delgado) once again stirring up trouble, this time at a prehistoric barrow near the village of Devil's End, in Wiltshire, in a quest to attain the power of Azal (played by the excellent Stephen Thorne, though in this appearance as an alien, he's sporting cloven hooves rather than Wellies), the last of the Daemons, a race of powerful beings who have helped shape the course of human history. If that's not enuf, there's also the involvement of the Brig (Nicholas Courtney), Capt. Yates, Sgt.Read more ›
Full of references to withcraft and mysticism the story combines ancient English practices of Morris Dancing and the Maypole with Dridic and Celtic legends. Throw in some witchcraft, black and white and Satanism and you have all the makings of a good science fiction story.
Actually the story links the magical elements more with superior science than with devil worship and clearly attempts to show that the representations of the horned demons owes more to early visits from aliens than satanism. The rites and rituals thus evolved as ways of communication with the aliens and ways to cope with their powers.
This story owes a lot to the earlier Quatermass movie where a strange spaceship is discovered in a London Undergound station in an area dominated by streets with devilish names. It is soon discovered to contain elements of Martian life which have a devilish appearance and which cause the local inhabitants to indulge in group killing and other alien behaviours.
There is also a strong undercurrent of the writings of Dennis Wheatly in the script as the devil worshipping practices are measure and correspondent to Christian ones, with the Master assuming the role of the High Priest.
Towards the end of the story the portrayal of the Daemon as being intelligent armed with superior science but with a simplistic moral code is a dramatic scary affair but which makes a good point.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The doctor and Jo go to a village called Devil's end to try and stop a dig. later they that an alien known as a Daemon was sealed in side the tomb being excavated. Read morePublished 4 months ago by daryl drumheller
All the best elements of the Pertwee years are here, from reversing the polarity through to Roger Delgado's Master, who is wonderfully villainous and is always on the edge of... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Lynette McClenaghan
One Step closer to completing my collection. Thank you, it's a great story!Published 8 months ago by VictorSlim3D
This adventure was rapidly becoming a potential member of my Most Favorite Dr. Who Serials of All Time... Read morePublished 11 months ago by Tinfoot