Image Credit: BBC (Fair Use)
Image Description: The Daleks! promo image
By John Salway
Name: Daleks! Episode 3: Planet of the Mechanoids
Current TLV investment: £182.85
It seems as though the spelling of Mechonoid has been changed by the events of Time Lord Victorious! As a result, we’ll be using the Daleks! series spelling to discuss everyone’s favourite machines from Mechanus.
Moving swiftly on from their failed attempt last time to raise up more troops, this episode sees a greatly reduced Dalek force arriving at the planet Mechanus to seek aid from one of their greatest enemies – the Mechanoids.
Bless him, the Emperor Dalek isn’t having a good time of late, and you can’t help but feel a little sorry for him as he’s forced to behave completely against his nature. Whether that’s making proclamations of peace, or in one moment, straining to announce that the Daleks no longer see the Mechanoids as inferior, he’s not quite his regal self. Even then though, his pride isn’t completely demolished, and he gets a little swell when ordering his last few troopers not to use their “superior weaponry” against their old foes.
The Mechanoid Queen is well voiced by Anjli Mohindra, who presents a far more rational and rounded monarch than our golden boy. Interestingly, she points out that the Mechanoids have evolved their values and minds over the years, while the Daleks remain stagnant. We even get to see her tetrahedral troopers levitate! Well, we’ll see who has the last laugh, but I suspect the series isn’t named Mechanoids! for a reason…
Either something drastic has happened offscreen, or the Daleks are up to some shenanigans, because they really are pitifully low in numbers in this episode with the Emperor Dalek and Strategist being served only by a small retinue. And where is the Executioner? Surely they wouldn’t really have killed off one of the three main Dalek personalities between episodes? I kept waiting for him to reappear and launch a surprise attack, surprising the Mechanoids – maybe next week?
After the slightly disappointing previous instalment, this was much improved, with the simple pulpy thrill of seeing the Daleks and Mechanoids together again providing a real boost. The Emperor and Strategist are again well characterised, now doing whatever is necessary to survive, but clearly with great internal struggle. With this episode the general arc of the series is also becoming more clear, with the initially high and mighty Dalek Empire being brought lower and lower with each instalment. But I’m looking forward to seeing how they’re going to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.