The Doctor Who Mind Robberis saddened to learn of the death of actress Kate O’Mara who was best known to fans of Doctor Whoas the renegade Time Lady, the Rani. O’Mara appeared as an adversary of the Sixth Doctor in The Mark of the Rani(1985) and with the Seventh Doctor in Time and the Rani(1987). O’Mara also starred as the Rani in the 30th Anniversary charity cross over between Doctor Whoand The East Enders, Dimensions ofTime,in 1993. On that occasion she appeared alongside the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Doctors.
Kate O’Mara was most well known for her role as Joan Collins’ sister Alexis Colby in the US soap, Dynasty.You can read more about O’Mara’s career in a BBC news article here. The first video below is one of O’Mara’s last interviews. Recorded on 22 November 2013, O’Mara discusses her role as the Rani in Doctor Who.
With the hysteria of Doctor Who’s50th Anniversary behind us, and Peter Capaldi’s debut series as the Doctor at least six months away, it’s time to recommence the Doctor Who Mind Robber’sultimate marathon. Before the unrelenting barrage of Golden Anniversary publicity and hype derailed the writer’s quest to view and review all 800 episodes of Doctor Who,this humble blog had chronicled the Doctor’s adventures from William Hartnell’s debut serial, An Unearthly Child, to Patrick Troughton’s penultimate outing, The Space Pirates.Although the final serial of the monochrome era, The War Games, had been viewed several times, the review has yet to grace the pages of this blog. It’s almost as if I couldn’t bare to make the final break with my favourite doctor, Troughton. Alas, it’s time to move on. Peter Capalid’s channelling of Jon Pertwee’s Third Doctor in his costume publicity photos has reignited my passion to explore the tenure of our first full colour Doctor. Please join me for the journey!
Katy Manning, aka Doctor Who’sJo Grant companion to Jon Pertwee, chats about why Peter Capaldi will be a fantastic new doctor, working with Jon Pertwee, acting with Matt Smith on The Sarah Jane Adventures, voice acting on the Big Finish audiobooks, Paul McGann’s mini-episode The Night of the Doctor & why it was important to have a gap until Christopher Eccleston’s Doctor Who.
The Doctor Who Mind Robberhas previously reported on a series of rumours concerning the return of hitherto missing Doctor Whoepisodes. At the time of writing 106 episodes are believed missing from the BBC Archives. All monochrome, the lost episodes span the tenures of the First and Second Doctors and date from 1964 to 1969. The earliest missing episode is William Hartnell’s fourth serial, Marco Polo,whilst the last is Patrick Troughton’s penultimate story, The Space Pirates.Colour prints of several of the Third Doctor’s episodes have not been recovered, however black and white copies exist and have been colourized. The final Jon Pertwee serial to receive the miraculous colour treatment was The Mind of Evil, which was released in June 2013.
The colourized Mind of Evil was released in June 2013
An article published today in the UK tabloid, the Mirror,alleges that over 100 missing Doctor Whoepisodes have been recovered by dedicated fans in Ethiopia. Supposedly retrieved from the Ethiopian Television and Radio Agency, the source for this rumour is one Stuart Kelly, who is described as a Doctor Whoexpert. Mr Kelly is said to have announced the find at the Wigtown Book Festival in Scotland last week.
Like all previous rumours, Mr Kelly’s announcement is not from a first hand source. Kelly relies on the hearsay of a third party. The Mirror reports him as saying, “I was told by a friend that the episodes have been found in Ethiopia. The BBC is negotiating to get them back right now. I really can’t say any more than that.”
Marco Polo (1964) is the earliest missing Doctor Who serial
Moreover, the Mirrorhas made no attempt to corroborate the story with either the third party or the BBC. In June the blog Bleeding Coolreported on rumours of over 90 episodes being recovered. Upon approaching the BBC, Philip Fleming, Head of Communications, Brands, Content & Digital, BBC Worldwide issued BleedingCoolthe following statement:
There are always rumours and speculation about Doctor Who missing episodes being discovered, however we cannot confirm any new finds.
Tonight on TwitterDoctor Who Restoration Team member Paul Vanezis responded to the Mirrorarticle and stated, “I would love it to be true. But it isn’t.” This denial is less than definitive, however. Whilst the recovery of over 100 episodes from Ethiopia may be untrue, Vanezis is far from denying that all rumours are false. The BBC’s announcement in June could be similarly met with scepticism. Whilst not confirming any finds, the BBC certainly didn’t deny any either.
The Space Pirates(1969) is the last missing Doctor Who story
Well known Doctor Whouberfan Ian Levine has today Tweeted about the Mirror’sarticleand a subsequent report on the UK’s SkyNewson Sunday morning. Levine said, “Maybe the Mirror news story, and the Sky News Video Report, might just force the BBC’s hand into FINALLY making an announcement this week…” Levine’s comments are sure to be echoed by many fans who are becoming increasingly frustrated by the prolonged rumours.
Doctor Who uberfan Ian Levine
Interestingly, Sodere: Ethopian Social Media Networkwhich has over 90,000 Facebook likes, republished the Mirror’sarticle today. Make of that as you will.
In the meantime, you can read The Doctor WhoMind Robber’sprevious Missing Episode stories here, here, here, and here. You might also like to view our 50th Anniversary Countdown post, The 10 Most Wanted Missing Episodes. Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
Yes, I know that I’ve yet to review The War Gamesor watch Spearhead From Space (for the purposes of this marathon), however I’m far too excited about the arrival of my favourite Doctor to wait to share this clip. The first tattooed Doctor has appeared and what better way to endear him to the audience than through a shower scene. Thank goodness this is Doctor Who and not Psycho!
Season four draws to a close with the Daleks’ last appearance in Doctor Who for five years in The Evil of the Daleks. Ranked 18th in the Doctor Who Magazine’s Mighty 200 poll of 2009, this serial bears all the hallmarks of a classic. The most highly placed Second Doctor story in the poll, The Evil of the Daleks displays a hitherto unseen darkness in the Doctor’s character. By melding the BBC’s panache for period piece Victoriana drama and the futuristic world of Skaro, the serial arranges the Daleks in a threatening new light.
The Doctor looks on as Edward Waterfield and Theodore Maxtible discuss their experiment
Written by David Whitaker, The Evil of the Daleks in part draws upon Whitaker’s own Dalek cartoons which were a feature in TV Century 21 magazine. Published over 104 issues in 1965 and 1966, the Dalek cartoons featured a Dalek Emperor, the titular head of the Daleks not hitherto encountered in the television series. In cartoon form the Dalek Emperor was more similar in appearance to the 1988 Dalek Emperor of Remembrance of the Daleks than the large elaborate one of The Evil of the Daleks. That a Dalek spin off cartoon should influence the television production of Doctor Whoclearly exhibits how iconic the Daleks had become in the mythology of Doctor Who during those early years.
The Dalek Emperor first appeared in the David Whitaker penned Dalek cartoons published in TV Century 21 magazine
The Dalek Emperor of the comics was more faithfully reproduced in the 1988 serial Remembrance of the Daleks
The Doctor co-operates with the Daleks in putting Jamie to a test in saving the daughter of Edward Waterfield, Victoria who has been imprisoned by the Daleks. In doing so the Doctor engages in an uncharacteristic argument with Jamie with the sole intention of utilizing reverse psychology to obtain his own ends. The Doctor tells Jamie that he has never purported that “the ends justify the means”, however Jamie consider this to be mere words. “You and me, we’re finished. You’re just too callous for me”, Jamie says to the Doctor. “Anything goes by the board. Anything at all”.
Jamie’s task is to save the companion-in-waiting, Victoria Waterfield, from the Daleks
The test which Jamie was undertaking would enable the Daleks to plot and distil those essential human characteristics that had until then always permitted humans to defeat the Daleks. Courage, pity, chivalry, friendship, and compassion were some of those virtues and emotions that Jamie exhibited in his trial to rescue Victoria. When three dormant Daleks were impregnated with the “human factor” they behaved in a somewhat unexpected manner. Episode five ends with the Doctor being taken for a “train” ride by a Dalek. “Jamie, they’re taking me for a ride” the Doctor exclaims in delight, “they’re playing a game”. Episode six opens with the Doctor advising that the Daleks are only children, but will grow up very quickly – in a matter of hours, in fact. He advises the baby Daleks that Jamie is a friend and to their delight gives each of them a name – Alpha, Beta and Omega.
Jamie and the Doctor drink coffee in a cafe during episode one
Despite their childish play the Daleks do not take on the comic like features that they did in The Chase. The Doctor’s oldest foes remained menacing because of their radical and quick transformation back to their dangerous and menacing form. By impregnating a large number of Daleks with the “human factor” the Doctor incites a Dalek Civil War as the humanized Daleks question the orders of their superiors. Never before had the Daleks questioned “why” they automatically follow commands. This was very much a human trait. Notwithstanding that total genocide of the Daleks is a possible consequence of the Civil War, the Doctor nonetheless encourages their destruction. This is very much at odds with the classic stand of the Fourth Doctor in Genesis of the Daleks.
The Evil of the Daleks – 3D Animation – Prelude to the Civil War
Victoria’s father, Edward Waterhouse, sacrifices himself to save the Doctor
The chief human baddie, Theodore Maxtible, looks surprisingly like our most common images of Karl Marx. I wonder if that was intentional? Although the Daleks were conjured into Maxtible’s 1866 Victorian home by mistake, he is nevertheless keen to make what he can out of the Daleks’ technology. Waterfield co-ops the Doctor and Jamie’s assistance against their will but for the more honourable cause of having his daughter freed. Waterfield is disturbed by the death that surrounds him and his complicity with the destruction caused. When he accuses Maxtible of constantly avoiding reality – that people are dying because of them – Maxtible remains indignant. “We are not to blame for everything that has happened” he said “No English judge or jury would find it in their hearts to convict us of one solitary thing”. The legality of what they had done was not Waterfield’s concern, but clearly the morality of it. He went on to state that he would confess his role in everything once Victoria was released. Unfortunately that opportunity was never afforded to him as he sacrificed his life to save the Doctor.
The character of Theodore Maxtible, played by Marius Goring, bears an uncanny resemblance to Karl Marx
The real Karl Marx
The “human factor” in The Evil of the Daleks would re-emerge in a somewhat different form, as DNA, in the Rob Sherman penned Dalek in 2005. In the first Dalek story of New Series Doctor Who, companion Rose Tyler replenishes a long dormant Dalek by placing her hand upon it. Her DNA enables the Dalek to regenerate its casing and break free of the chains that have bound it. Later the Dalek experiences human emotions as a consequence of the human DNA. Psychologically traumatised by emotions that are alien to Daleks, the Dalek commits suicide after commanding Rose to order its own death. The “human factor” in The Evil of the Daleks, which precipitated questioning, the Dalek Civil War and ultimately the (temporary) Dalek destruction, had the same decimating effect on the pepper pot’s psychology and continued existence in Dalek.
Rose Tyler comforts a Dalek in the 2005 episode Dalek, thereby transferring some of her DNA to it
Rose is compelled to order the Dalek’s own destruction as it is psychologically traumatized by the human DNA
The Evil of the Daleks has aged badly in respect of its racial stereotyping of the character of Kemel. Played by the West Indian born Sonny Caldinez, Kemel is a Turkish wrestler and strongman for Maxtible. Although possessed of almost super-human strength, Kemel is both unintelligent and mute. He’s almost the kind of character that you would expect in a First Doctor story, as William Hartnell was unfortunately infamous for his intolerance of all but Caucasian Englishmen. Sonny Caldinez would go on to play an Ice Warrior in each of the four Ice Warrior themed serials in the Classic Series, The Ice Warriors, The Seeds of Death, The Curse of Peladon and The Monster of Peladon.
Sonny Caldinez played the role of Kemel, a Turkish wrester and strongman
Sonny Caldinez subsequently appeared as an Ice Warrior in four Classic Series stories. He is seen here with the Third Doctor and Alpha Centauri in The Monster of Peladon (1974)
The Evil of the Daleks does leave us with perhaps one of the Doctor’s best ever quotes. In speaking to Terrall the Doctor says, “I am not a student of human nature. I am a professor of a far wider academy, of which human nature is merely a part. All forms of life interest me”. “Professor” is the name that companion Ace playfully called the Seventh Doctor, but I’m rushing ahead of myself here. Join me for my next review where Season five opens with the first 100% complete Second Doctor serial, the iconic Tomb of the Cybermen.
The Evil of the Dalekswas originally broadcast in the UK between 20 May and 1 July 1967. Episode 2 is available on the triple DVD set Lost in Time
Welcome to our “Chook of the Week”. Our first winner is a fine specimen known as the Third Doctor. Displaying a superior plumage of white feathers, The Third Doctor is a mix of White Silky and commercial White Leghorn. When combed and coiffured with skill, the Third Doctor’s mane of feathers can take on a decidedly bouffant style. Strong willed and critical of authority, the Third Doctor chooses to crow whenever and wherever he desires. Other poultry take glee in attempting to identify the source and mimic the sound of his peculiar crowing diction.