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Mar 11, 2007

Five Rounds Rapid

The Daemons Paert 3

What is it with third parts of Pertwee six part stories containing over long and over elaborate chase sequences, this one involving a helicopter, the Doctor and Jo in Bessie and Captain Yates on a motorbike. At least this one didn’t last the entire episode, but it certainly felt like it lasted longer than was absolutely necessary.

The rest of the episode seemed to be a diatribe about science versus magic, which is basically what the crux of this entire story is. On the one side you have Miss Hawthorne, the white witch who passionately believes in magic and then on the other side you have the Doctor, the scientist, who believes all things have a scientific explanation. That is what the episode is all about.

Typically the Doctor just cannot trust any of the Brigadiers men to do a job properly so has to come all the way out to the Brigadier to explain to him and the tech guy (who is wearing glasses so he must be a bit of a boffin) how to get through the hear barrier, but the tech guy was doing his best Scottie impression by saying that “the machine cannae take it Brigadier” but the Brigadier and the Doctor shot him down by just telling him to get the hell on with it.

The cliffhanger was a bit crap, when all is said and done and saw the Master backing away from the shadow of Azal. I mean what is this programme called? Master Who?

The Daemons Paert 4

In part 4 Guy Leopold decided that is was about time the plot started to kick into gear and let the Brigadier join in the fun, and that perhaps the Doctor and the Master ought to meet at somepoint in the near future, I mean four whole episodes and they hadn’t met yet, what the hell is going on? As a result part 4 is very fairly quick paced and quite a bit happens.

This episode also features the famous scene of the morris dancers and the Doctor being trapped by a load of middle aged men dancing around with ribbons hanging off them, and then being threatened by a loaded gun. We also get the biggest cliff hanger of them all with Azal finally rising.

The Daemons Paert 5

We finally reach the end of the story and have another episode where Pertwee, Miss Hawthorne and some of the villagers argue about the old debate science versus magic. The Doctor manages to persuade them with help from Benton, and from his remote control device that controls Bessie. Luckily the inhabitants of Devil’s End are easily taken in by these sort of things, hence why The Master was able to take over the community without much hassle.

Jon Pertwee had his moment in this episode and a proper confrontation with the alien baddie unlike Tennant in The Satan Pit.

The Daemons is one of those stories that has a better reputation than it actually deserves. All this talk of it being the best of the Jon Pertwee era gave it that mythos that is was a brilliant story which people who had never seen it, but only read the novelisation couldn’t disagree with, but once it had been released on video, people were able to watch it and actually have their own opinion on it, and since then, it has lost a lots of its cache as being the best Pertwee story ever.

Personally I think that The Green Death is a far better example of the UNIT family than this story is, and that it is a lot more original than this faux Dennis Wheatley story of devil worshipers that we are given here.

And , boy, doesn’t the colour work on this story look pretty dated now? I watched a video copy of the story to review this story and it also had the edition of Tomorrow's World that showed you how they actually did it. Pretty high tech at the time, fifteen years later is does look pretty dated and not the sort of stuff we expect now from our Doctor Who stories. I am sure that it will be a while before The Daemons is given the full DVD treatment.

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