When you dive into the Classic Doctor Who episodes it can be disheartening for completionists to learn there is not a “natural” way to complete watching the series. It’s nice that all the audio from all the Lost Episodes still exists. You can listen and watch reconstructions or animations of them. However, there are some stories that lend themselves better to these formats than others. The Power of the Daleks animations that came out a few years ago were a revelation, adding a level of fear and horror that only fluid movement can provide. Then there are those episodes that it doesn’t matter how many times you try, you just can’t finish.
Personally, I have watched or listened to almost every Doctor Who serial in the classic catalogue. However, there are just some I’ve struggled to trudge through. Started multiple times and just can never complete. One of those is a most sacred of lost serials… The Evil of the Daleks.
I know! I know! How can I not finished such a facinating story?! Perhaps, it’s because Victoria is at the very bottom of my list for Doctor Who companion favorites. ( I will not debate how she is the very essence of companion that fed to the Doctor Who pretty “scream girl” stereotype.) Perhaps it’s because the story seems like the oddest choice for Daleks, of this era, to choose to work with a human to accomplish their goal. Perhaps it is the slow, soap opera like pacing of a story that feel unnaturally stretched out for the sake of filling time. Add to all of this so many episodes that have to be reconstructed with stills, animation and the like, or just flat out listened to… and well, I’ve never finished it… and I watched The Dominators multiple times, willingly and with joy.
So, today, I procrastinating on things that must be done, like grading, cleaning, even emptying the litter box or shampooing the carpets of cat spit-up, in order to attempts to finish The Evil of the Daleks. My observations are that there is a lot of empty talking happening in this serial. While the acting is well done, nothing happens except for no one knowing where anyone else is or what is going on. It’s a series of never ending questions of lots of assumptions and little consequence. On a description level it sounds interesting: time travel without the TARDIS, Dalek involvement, random violence/murder. It’s as if there was an attempt at a murder mystery with a slight science fiction twist, but the need to fill time just flopped. Of course, never getting past the second episode might be part of my problem, too. For such a long serial I have never gotten very deep into the story.
… Okay, so procrastinating didn’t work either. Halfway through episode two, cleaning beckoned and I ended up pausing this story, yet again. I’ve once again temporarily taken it back up, knowing I’ll soon have to stop again to go hiking. Why is it there are some stories we just can’t finish? Be it because of interest, time, desire, circumstances… it seems each Doctor Who fan has a story they just cannot make it through. What is yours?