BBC Video
Daleks: The Early Years

Presented by Peter Davison.
Produced by John Nathan-Turner.


A Review by Stuart Gutteridge 7/1/99

Presented by Peter Davison, Daleks: The Early Years is one of the best compilation tapes, featuring as it does a great deal more material than its counterpart, Cybermen: The Early Years. The tape kicks off with the first appearances of the Daleks in their debut tale and is quickly followed by the BBC trailer for The Dalek Invasion of Earth and clips from The Chase. Interspersed between these are interviews with voice artist Roy Skelton, who demonstrates a Dalek voice (somewhat unconvincingly, as it isn`t electronically treated). John Scott Martin, who describes the difficulties of operating a Dalek, and Terry Nation, who reveals something of their origins.

Unfortunately, this material can all be found elsewhere and nothing new is actually revealed. Parts 5 & 10 from The Daleks` Master Plan follow and are good examples of the Daleks during the height of Dalekmania in the Sixties. It also showcases the acting abilities of Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom, who in episode 5 is particularly effective. Clips from The Power of the Daleks and part 2 of The Evil of the Daleks follow, which is a good example of Doctor Who switching between two settings in the space of one episode, and shows how imaginative the series can be. It also sees the Daleks at their scheming best, in possibly their best tale.

In conclusion, Daleks: The Early Years is worth buying for the missing episodes, but when it comes to the interview segments, hit the fast forward button on your video remote.