Friday, 2 March 2012

The Daleks' Master Plan: Golden Death


We recap.  Following the Dalek Choir there are pyramids.

Me:  I love the title of this one.

Him:  ‘Golden Death’?

Me:  Yeah.

We’re shown a selection of holiday snaps and then the TARDIS lands in what appears to be a building site.

In the DARDIS control room, a Dalek is doing a final check to make sure everyone knows what they’re supposed to be doing.  Mavic Chen is invigorated by the change of scenery.  The change of tasty scenery…

Him:  It’s the swirligig again, back from The Chase.

The swirling image fades to reveal pyramids.  Arrival is imminent.

The sun beats down on the TARDIS.  The Doctor is repairing the lock while Steven looks on.  Both of them are certain that the Monk’ll turn up quite soon and Steven’s impressed by the pyramids.  The Doctor coughs a reply.

The Doctor:  Hurm!  Well the Pyramids are the seventh wonder of this ancient world. I’d say the word ‘impressive’ is rather an understatement.

Me:  Bit croaky there, Bill?

There’s some business with tools.  Steven gets the wrong one, then the right one and then the Doctor becomes annoyed.  William Hartnell’s definitely got a sore throat.

Steven wanders off into the deserted pyramid workings to see if he can spot the Monk.

The DARDIS materialises next to the pyramid.  Steven sees this and warns the Doctor.  Sara emerges from the TARDIS – she’s noticed it too. At this point no-one realises it isn’t the Monk’s TARDIS (which I’ll call the MARDIS from now on to avoid any further confusion).  The Doctor is reluctant to leave the TARDIS unlocked and so Sara and Steven leave to greet the Monk and keep an eye on him.

The Doctor is being watched by Tuthmos (Derek Ware) who runs off and reports to his boss, Hyksos (Walter Randall) that there are strangers at the tomb.  Professor Stahlman and Henry Gordon Jago’ll be in the next episode the way this is going.6

Steven and Sara look down on the DARDIS.  Steven’s confused that it hasn’t blended in yet - their first sign that something is amiss.  The emergence of Daleks and Mavic Chen is the next clue.

Steven:  Daleks!

Turning to warn the Doctor, our chums are jumped by Hyksos and his gang.  It’s at this point that a Dalek appears, terrifying the Egyptians.  Extermination commences – it’s a right mess.

The Doctor experiences a sudden hankering for celery.
The repairs to the TARDIS complete, the Doctor has popped on his Fifth Doctor’s hat and gone for a wander – dodging guards as he does so.

There’s a familiar wheezing, groaning sound and another TARDIS lands. Sorry – the MARDIS lands.

At this point, I should really apologise for this episode’s lack of banter, but we’re both totally caught up with what’s going on, so I won’t.

The Monk (in shades) emerges from the MARDIS and strides purposefully off.  The Doctor’s observed all this.  Slowly, because it does feel as though this episode might’ve been under-running a little, realisation dawns.

The Doctor:  Who was it landed here before then?

Wait for it…

The Doctor:  The Daleks!

Sara and Steven have been imprisoned in a hut.  The plan is to pop them and the Pharaoh’s treasures into the pyramid itself.  Tuthmos reveals that, due to an ancient charter or something, everything that lands in the desert belongs to Pharaoh, including the TARDIS.  And the Daleks, presumably.

And at this point, I should reveal that the lack of banter isn’t really down to absorption, but exhaustion.  A mixture of Dalek/recon fatigue is setting in.  But, “We must go on.  We have to go on.”7

Sara’s found the traditional piece of broken pottery and started sawing through their bonds.  Why does no-one ever guard prisoners properly?  Oh, yeah: because then they wouldn’t escape.  Sorry, got it now.

The Monk is being followed by the Doctor.  He wanders into the party of Daleks and Mavic Chen.  

Mavic Chen:  Three time machines in one infinitesimal speck of space and time? Of course, a coincidence is possible but hardly likely.  You would agree?

In an attempt to avoid going negative, the Monk bluffs desperately that the Doctor is his greatest enemy.  Mavic Chen strikes a bargain with the Monk.  The Doctor has in his possession something the Daleks would really rather like to get back.

Mavic Chen:  A full emm of taranium.

The Monk:  A full emm of taranium?

Him:  “A full emm of taranium.”

The Monk’s got an hour to obtain the taranium (the full emm).  The Doctor watches all of this unfold with considerable interest.

The Monk returns to his MARDIS and removes an energy counter.  The Doctor, chuckling, breaks into the MARDIS and changes the appearance until it looks like the TARDIS. 

Me:  So, that’s what a working chameleon circuit in action would look like.

Sara and Steven make their escape.  There’s a bit of a fight but it's nothing our heroes can’t handle.

Him:  What’s after this?

Me:  The Massacre.

Him:  When can we have one that moves?

Me:  The next episode moves.

Him:  A story that moves.

Me:  The Ark moves.

The Monk has managed to track the TARDIS down to the tomb.  He enters and the Doctor sneaks after him.

As the Monk attempts to open the TARDIS the Doctor confronts him.  The two of them spark off each other again.  The Monk attempts a double, double-cross.  I suppose there’s a case to be made to suggest that he could turn out to be an ally eventually – Cap’n Jack started off as a conman after all – but we don’t get the chance to see that as, before you know it, the two time-travellers are tussling.  Our hero swiftly gains the upper hand and…
"This is going to hurt you a lot more than it hurts me, my boy."

Me:  “The Doctor picks up a shovel and advances menacingly on the Monk”.

The Him sighs.

The Daleks are passing the time playing ‘reports’.  They decide enough’s enough – they’ll just kill everyone.

Sara and Steven enter the tomb properly, signalling we’re into the confusing moments of the cliff-hanger recap.  They find the TARDIS but can’t get it open.  There’s no sign of either the Doctor or the Monk’s battered corpse.

Sara:  Steven.  Look…

A stone casket leaves and a bandaged hand slowly emerges…

Him:  “Steeeven…  Steeeeeeeeeeeeeven….”  Oh no, I know what it is!  “I’m the Scottish Falsetto Sock Puppet Theatre.”

Me:  “And so am I.”

Him:  “And so is he.”  And that’s what’s coming out of the treasure chest.

Me:  The sarcophagus?

Him:  No.  The treasure chest.

6. The Joy of Rep.7

7.  Okay, that’s pretty obscure.

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