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Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks (Story 72)

4.5 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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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:
    Not Rated
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: July 10, 2012
  • Run Time: 98 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B007VI74VM
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,048 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Doctor Who: Death to the Daleks (Story 72)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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"Death to the Daleks" was one more Dalek adventure set in a quarry in Jon Pertwee's last season as the Doctor, but the story had a topical basis and included enough creative flourishes to make it interesting if not quite a landmark in the series.

On their way to a much-deserved holiday on the planet Florana, the Doctor and Sarah make a forced landing on the forbidding, fogbound planet Exxilon when the TARDIS suffers an inexplicable power failure. There the Doctor meets a scientific expedition from Earth also stranded by a mysterious force that consumes all electric power on the planet. The Earth expedition is mining the planet for "parrinium," the only known cure for a fatal space plague that has struck humans living on Earth's outer colony planets. Meanwhile, Sarah discovers a magnificent white citadel topped with a shining beacon but is captured by the Exxilons and prepared for sacrifice for defiling their holy city. Then a Dalek ship lands on the planet, also seeking parrinium, and the robotic creatures are forced into an alliance with the humans because their weapons don't work without electric power (the Daleks themselves, the Doctor reminds us, are powered by psychokinetic energy).

Miners' strikes in the early 1970s were causing intermittent power failures in the United Kingdom about the time Terry Nation wrote the script for "Death to the Daleks," so the British people were no strangers to lights out when the story first aired in early 1974. In fact, series rehearsals at Acton had to be scheduled around the power outages. Exterior shooting took place at a quarry near Lulworth Cove in Dorsetshire--a barren landscape to match Exxilon's lifeless terrain--but costume designer L.
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