Tuesday, 28 February 2017


Well, I wasn't sure how this new category was going to go but the response to it was quite positive. We're nearing the end of the month, again, and my essays have been taking longer than usual to complete (writing that's actually paying me just keeps getting in the way of things!). But spewing out a quick rant takes little or no time time to accomplish so I thought I'd compose another opinion piece. I refer to it as "Part 1" because I will definitely be returning to this topic again... 


The stories fandom, sometimes, label as "Classic" can seriously boggle me. Genesis of the Daleks, for instance, is a story that works far better in theory than it does in actual execution (far too many captures and escapes - even by Classic Who Standards!). I've never understood all the fuss about Talons of Weng Chiang, either. I mean, it's a fun story - for the most part (that dumbwaiter sequence is four minutes of my life I'll never get back!). But I certainly don't think it's this amazing piece of television that so many other fans believe it to be. I know it's to be viewed contextually, but it's still pretty hard to get over the fact that they've cast a white person as an Asian. It's a bit like that discomfort you feel when you see old footage of actors performing in blackface. It's awkward.

What confounds me even more is the fact that there are some excellent stories that fandom seems to completely overlook. In some cases, minor quibbles have been found with them ("Kinda is an incredible exploration into the human psyche and an extravaganza of rich subtext - but I don't like it cause the snake looks fake!"). Or, for whatever reason, they just don't seem to resonate with the audience. Even though, to all intents and purposes, they're as well-constructed (or even better) than "classics" like Genesis of the Daleks or Talons of Weng Chiang.

My Unsung Classics Series will explore these stories. I'll not only look at what it is about them that I think makes them so great - I'll also try to figure out why they didn't go over as well as they should have. I'll probably also stun you a bit with what I consider to be a great story. Try not to be too shocked. Remember: The Sixth Doctor is my favorite - so I'm bound to have some weird views!


Yup, you read that right. I consider Paradise Towers to be an above-par story. How can I believe that?! Don't I know that Season 24 was considered one of the worst seasons in the history of the show and that Paradise Towers is the turd that sits in the middle of it all?!

First of all, let's get this out of the way: Rumors of Season 24's death have been greatly exaggerated. It is bookended by two less-than-stellar tales (Dragonfire is one of my least favorite stories, ever). But Delta and the Bannerman is fairly decent and Paradise Towers is, in my view, quite brilliant. Considering the behind-the-scenes nightmare that was going on as the season went into production, it becomes even more impressive. When it comes to weak seasons, I'm far more disappointed in something like Season 17 - where there weren't a whole lot of obstacles in place but there were some hideously poor choices made throughout most of the stories.

Okay, Negative Stigma About Season 24 is out of the way. Let's move on to Paradise Towers, proper. There's a lovely opening sequence, here. Worthy of any pre-title we see in the New Series, nowadays. Someone gets horrifically murdered - which is a vital ingredient of any good pre-title. But there's a nice sense of intrigue built as we're trying to figure out what's going on with the Yellow Kang and all these other Kangs yelling at her from somewhere off-screen.

I'm particularly in love with the TARDIS scene that then ensues. I had fun watching Sylvester McCoy bumbling about in his introductory adventure, but it was so nice to see that he wasn't just going to be silly and fun. That he also appears to have kept some of the more cantankerous traits from his Sixth Incarnation. He's not in a very pleasant mood in this scene and almost seems to be berating Mel a bit. And that actually delights me. Six and Seven were both quite similar to each other in that they were equal parts Dark and Light. And we see the first real hints of Seven's darkness in that console room sequence. It's gorgeous.

A short while later, we hit the first scene showing the Caretakers. This is the moment that truly sets the tone of the story. The Caretakers' use of over-elaborate coding for everything is completely banal. Particularly in the way they still make it all flow like a normal conversation. There's definitely some campiness happening, here.

This, I think, is the first real roadblock that Paradise Towers puts in the path of fan appreciation. Particularly during the period it was being shown. Many had forgotten that, in its early days, Doctor Who would do comedy episodes from time-to-time (The Romans, The Mythmakers). The New Series would also indulge in similar sorts of bally-hoo (Love and Monsters, The Lodger). But 80s fans wanted their Who to be intense and dramatic. I suppose you can't blame them. The show had taken itself quite seriously throughout the 70s. Even with Tom's piss-taking in the latter part of his era - the stories, themselves, were not meant be comedies. But now, suddenly, Paradise Towers comes along and wants to goof off a bit and be fun. It's not just an actor or two that has decided to take certain liberties - the script is intentionally written to be funny. By no means do I feel it's going too far. But its tongue is very firmly in its cheek.

And thus, Paradise Towers becomes the first of the notorious Oddball Stories.

The first scene with the Red Kangs is where I truly decide that Paradise Towers is a thing of beauty. It's a fairly long sequence, really. It takes up a major chunk of Episode 1. But we don't care one bit. Our interest is held the whole time.

The Red Kangs are fun on all kinds of levels. The actresses portraying them clue in beautifully to the strange mix of savagery and absurdity that their characters are meant to have and play it all to perfection. They're just great to watch. But Stephen Wyatt also does some excellent world-building, here. Lots of expository comes out about Kang culture and the ways of Paradise Towers without having to hit us over the head with it.

And then, finally, there's the lexicon. Figuring out just exactly what the Kangs are tying to say is the real pleasure of these scenes. These teenage gangs express themselves' in a very colorful manner that gets us to pay all the more attention to what they're saying. Which, in turn, gives us some great dialogue to relish. In fact, there is no other story in the history of the show where language becomes a key component of the entertainment value. Again, Mister Wyatt deserves huge kudos for his massive writing skills.

The rest of Part One moves on at a nice smooth pace. We meet the rest of the key characters of the adventure. The Rezzies, Pex and the Chief Caretaker all help solidify the fact that Paradise Towers is meant to be just a bit silly. All these characters are ever-so-slightly chewing up the scenery.

With all the ludicrous players now in place, the next two episodes take on a great little symmetry. Mel and the Doctor just bounce around between the three opposing cultural groups and keep learning more and more about the mysteries of the Towers until things come to a full head at the end of Episode Three. It's all put together quite seamlessly. Hints get dropped here and there of Kroagnon. There's even a red herring or two so that we don't truly figure out that he's the horrible thing in the basement. The narrative is woven together in a near-seamless manner. Instead of being slapped in the face with a central premise, we really just feel like we're given a tour of the Towers. The plot just, sort-of, happens along the way. It's some truly amazing story-telling. I was really glad that Wyatt was commissioned again the next season. He deserved more work.

Of course, we can't get to Episode Four without first mentioning the Doctor's controversial escape from the Caretakers in Part Two. The sequence is completely absurd, of course. It's the moment in the story where we must truly accept that we're watching a bit of a comedy (only a bit, though - not too much). It's probably also the moment where fans that want their Who to be totally serious shut off once and for all.

Personally, I find the sequence delightful, Yes, no guards would truly be that stupid. But that's not really the point of the scene. The point is to have a bit of a laugh and to see the Doctor doing what he does best - outwitting his enemies with the resources they provide him with. It's probably among my top ten favorite scenes in the whole Classic Series (were I to compile a list of favorite scenes in the show, of course - which just might happen, someday). It's also another moment in Season 24 that helps establish that this particular incarnation of the Doctor will use deceit far more frequently than he has in the past. Yes, he doesn't really start becoming a master-manipulator til the next season -but we see the seeds blooming in sequences such as these.

The other big controversial issue of Paradise Towers is the decision Richard Briers takes once he's being possessed by Kroagnon. Yes, if he had played it straight and made Kroagnon horrifying it would have been a fun twist. But I found it just as enjoyable that he went a bit camp with it. It's another aspect to the tale that solidifies the fact that this is something of a comedy.

If you've been paying close attention, you'll have noticed that I've been phrasing myself carefully. I keep using terms like "a bit of a comedy" or "slightly silly". This is one of the key issues that differentiates me from a lot of other fans in the way I appreciate the story. I never felt things went too far with the comedy. Whereas I think a lot of other fans, at the time, did. Admittedly, Time and the Rani had scared a lot of us. McCoy was very silly in that one. So the fact that the entire script of Paradise Towers takes a bit of a silly tone threw a bit of gasoline onto the fire. But even McCoy, himself, becomes more subtle in the way he approaches the humor in this tale. Yes, there's still the occasional prat fall here and there but he's relying more on the way he delivers his lines than on general buffoonery to get his laughs. I love, for instance, the way he completes a sentence for the Kangs during his first confrontation with them. "Who are, of course, the best." - cracks me up every time!

Are there any shortcomings to Paradise Towers? It doesn't handle Mel all that particularly well. Up until Towers, Pip and Jane Baker had written most of the episodes she was in. They were doing their best to keep her interesting. But, sadly, in Wyatt's hands - she reverts to a 60s female companion. She gets into trouble and screams a lot. I'm amazed she doesn't trip and twist her ankle, at some point. Yes, she does manage to take out the mechanical crab in the swimming pool - but even Vicki could be useful once in a while. Just look at how she gets the armory open in Space Museum. It doesn't mean, however, that the character wasn't hugely slated to just react in fear and fall into traps. Mel suffers the same fate during most of her era. Particularly in Paradise Towers.

About the only other issue I might have with the story is that it seems blatantly obvious fairly early on that Pex won't be alive by the time the closing credits of Episode Four start rolling. But that doesn't stop his death from still being very touching. Nor does it reduce the inspirational quality of his final choice to be a hero after a life of cowardice. The words "PEX LIVES" being scrawled on the wall behind the TARDIS after it fades away is a gorgeous final image. While it is, for the most part, a silly story - it still remembers to pluck a few heartstrings on the way out. An excellent ending to a most formidable of tales.

If you were actually around when Paradise Towers first came out and reacted the way most fans did, I recommend you re-visit it. Give it another chance. Just make sure the stick is out of your ass, this time. Enjoy it for what it is: a bit of a comedy that still remembers to be Doctor Who, in the end. You'll see its true brilliance shining through...

Friday, 17 February 2017


Slowly but surely, I'm covering the timelines of all recurring baddies. This time, we're looking at the Ice Warriors (or Indigenous Martians for those of the more politically-correct persuasion). 


A race of aliens that Who fans, sometimes, like to compare to Star Trek's Klingons. The Ice Warriors do seem a bit more three-dimensional than most "monsters" that populate the Doctor Who Universe. Unfortunately we have only witnessed the Ice Warriors at work outside of their own native environment. Unlike the Daleks, who we have watched evolve on Skaro, it is difficult to truly grasp what Martian culture must truly be like. Only fragments of dialogue from various episodes have offered any kind of real idea. But, from those fragments, I'm going to try to piece together a coherent timeline.


It's entirely possible that Mars had a very different climate during its very distant past. It may have been very similar to Earth's -probably a thinner atmosphere and not as much water - but it was still comparable. This would have been a good Twelve Million or so years ago. At this very early period in the planet's history, several different life forms were starting to evolve.

But then, the Fendahl came by on its way to Earth. Astrologically projecting itself across countless light years, it chose to "take a swipe" at Mars to gather energy before finally embedding itself into the crust of the Third Planet. Most of the species on Mars perished during its feeding. The natural resources of the world were very badly ravaged, too.

On this less hospitable version of Mars, a race of reptiles managed to survive the Fendahl's attack. Over a period of time, they began to evolve - even become somewhat advanced. They were one of those species that chose to rely on a science that was a mixture of electronic and organic. These two forms of technology working so closely together meant it was inevitable that these surviving Martian reptiles would eventually develop into cyborgs of some sort.

The reptile race did their best to make their world more inhabitable. They tried to engineer a thicker atmosphere so they could live more on the surface. But the experiments did not succeed and ended up inducing some nasty climate changes. The planet's mean temperature was rising radically. Being reptiles, they weren't good at maintaining a steady body temperature. They had to fashion themselves' special survival suits to keep themselves' cool.

The reptiles kept a very strict feudalistic system. With various lords ruling over serfs, there was also a great need for a warrior class. It was this group that took the greatest advantage of the shell-like survival suits. They built in all sorts of modifications that made them more efficient killing machines. Because the armor was still, essentially, a coolant system - they became known as Ice Warriors.

One weakness in their armor that the Ice Warriors were unable to ever fix was a certain vulnerability to heat. During these times, it was only a sudden blast of heat that would affect their life-support functions. As conditions on the planet would change, so would the nature of this weakness.


The Ice Warriors served their lords. Which meant the lords were responsible for their philosophies and codes of conduct. Two principal schools of thought began to develop among the lords and the warriors who served them. Both mentalities put heavy emphasis on Right of Conquest. But one believed that conquest could only occur if certain rules were respected. Honor had to be upheld under all circumstances. The other mentality, however, wasn't so interested in respecting such ideologies. There was still some degree of an honor code among this second group - but it could easily be swept aside if there was glory to be had. Before the Second Great Cataclysm (which we'll get to in a moment), these two factions were very evenly matched and constantly battled each other.

On the side of the Honorable Ice Warriors, a great hero arose. Skaldak was the bravest and boldest of all warriors and was so popular that he was promoted to the rank of Grand Marshall. This showed just how revered he was. The title of Grand Marshal was, normally, only given to those of Royal Blood. Skaldak, although a mere warrior, became the exception to the rule.

It was at this point that Martian technology had evolved to a level where they were starting to investigate interstellar travel. Skaldak, hero that he was, elected to travel on the first ship into space. It was going to explore a neighboring planet.

Unfortunately, it never returned.

FOOTNOTE: The Martians, at this time, were also investigating various forms of biological warfare. One thing they created was a sentient weapon that existed in water. They called it The Flood. Their creation raged out of control, however, and tried to conquer the planet. The Flood was frozen in a huge block of ice - to be imprisoned there for all eternity.


The Martian space exploration program wanted to continue in its forays - perhaps, even, try to find out what happened to Skaldak. But another great disaster struck.

Sutekh, mightiest of all the Osirians, chose to stage a huge battle against his brother and his supporting forces on the surface of Mars. Although most of the conflict took place on the Red Planet - it, ultimately concluded on Earth. As Sutekh saw that he was losing, he tried to flee. His enemies cornered him on Earth, though. The Mad Osirian's final defeat took place in ancient Egypt.

In the aftermath of the great battle, a pyramid was left behind to assist in the imprisonment of the Destroyer. So oppressive was the power of the Osirians, that none of the locals dared to go near the structure. To the Martians, the pyramid represented doom and they wanted no part of it. The surviving colonies steered clear of it.

At first, there weren't a lot of locals left to steer clear Sutekh's pyramid, anyway. Most of the Martian population was wiped out in the cross-fire of the war between the two brothers. Some survived in remote locations. Re-building their society was very slow and tedious. It took several thousand years before they were anywhere near the level of technology that they had before the war of the Osirians.

But when they finally returned to that point, they renewed their space program. Again, another prototype ship shot off into space to explore a nearby planet. This one had Commander Varga as its captain. But the results of their initial exploration were the same as Skaldak's. The crew was never heard from again.

But more ships were sent off into space that experienced real success. Always, the warrior class manned these expeditions. Small colonies on other, more hospitable worlds began to be established. The Ice Warriors were expanding into the Universe.

The damage from both the Fendahl and the Osirians ultimately proved to be too devastating. There was no real atmosphere left on Mars and most of its natural resources had been wiped out. The planet was at Death's Door and something needed to be done about it.

Mars' climate had been altered even more as Sutekh and Horus had battled. This also meant radical alterations to their survival suits to compensate for it. Their weakness to heat became even easier to exploit. A sudden intense blast of heat was no longer necessary to play havoc with their life support systems. Simply raise the heat, in general, around Ice Warriors and that would weaken them considerably.

ANOTHER FOOTNOTE: I will admit: there is the slightest of dating problems, here. The Eleventh Doctor says Skaldak has been asleep 5 000 years. The Fourth Doctor claims that the battle of the Osirians took place 7 000 years ago. I like to claim that Skaldak's expedition took place before the Osirians devastated the planet because the Grand Marshal does seem to describe a Mars that was more abundant in resources than the Mars we see, now. So it seems to me that we need another cataclysm that's done even greater damage to the planet after Skaldak has left. (I include the Fendahl's visit to the planet only because it is mentioned in Image of the Fendahl - it doesn't really have a huge bearing on the Martian history that I'm trying to cover, here).

Here's how I reconcile it: the Fouth Doctor is rounding up a bit when he speaks of the War of the Osirians and the Eleventh Doctor is rounding down when he speaks of how long Skaldak was frozen (which especially makes sense - Skaldak does seem very upset about how long he's slept). All these events probably took place around 6 000 years ago.


While the Ice Warriors are going into deep space, they have chosen to stay away from Earth. The Honorable Faction have respected the fact that it, already, has a civilization on it and are concentrating on other worlds. The Less Honorable Faction has tried to organize invasion campaigns, but their rivals have managed to hold them in check. Thus far, at least.

In 1983, a major hero is recovered. Grand Marshal Skaldak was entombed in ice when his ship crash-landed in a polar region of the Earth. Humans eventually discovered him and thawed him out. The events of Cold War take place, here. Skaldak is returned to his people at the end of the story when a nearby ship picks up his distress beacon.

Although we get the impression that he belonged to the Honorable Faction, Skaldak's experiences on Earth may have fueled the ambition of the Less Honorable Ice Warriors to invade it. He may have spoken too much about the vulnerability of the humans and how easy it is to exploit the various weaknesses within their culture.  While the Cold War on Earth, more or less, resolves itself sometime shortly after Skaldak is revived, the Less Honorable Ice Warriors continue observing the humans secretly. They begin looking for a new sociological Archilles' Tendon to hack at.

We can guess that, over the next few years, there has been some very covert contact between humans and Martians. Most of it has been kept secret from the general population of Earth. But the upper echelons of certain governments are aware of the Ice Warriors' existence. Which is why, when the Sycorax attack in The Christmas Invasion, the British government knows they aren't Martians.

YET ANOTHER FOOTNOTE: There is some debate regarding when, exactly, the Ice Lords started fashioning special armor for themselves'. Both Skaldak and Varga and his crew all hail from quite some time ago. All of them wear the garb of Ice Warriors. Ice Lords, with their Darth Vaderish helmets are nowhere to be seen. Could it be that Ice Lords don't start wearing special armor until sometime around Seeds of Death?

The best evidence to support this idea is in Cold War. Skaldak is referred to as a Grand Marshal - but he still just wears a warrior's armor. Whereas the Grand Marshal we see in Seeds of Death has the Darth Vader helmet. So is it possible the Ice Lord armor didn't exist in Skaldak's day? That all lords wore warrior armor, instead?

It's my belief that Ice Lords always had their special armor. That we just don't see them until Seeds of Death - but they've always been there. The Doctor speaks as though Skaldak was the greatest of all the Ice Warriors. Which is why I claim that he is a rare instance in which a warrior rose to a high status without having any royal blood in him. He is a Grand Marshal in status but, because he isn't high born, he's not allowed to wear an Ice Lord's armor.


As we enter the 21st century, more and more of Mars is being evacuated. The Martians are settling into smaller colonies on uninhabited planets. Or living aboard ships in Deep Space. Some still remain in deep underground survival chambers on their homeworld - but most have left. Which is why the Bowie bases that get set up on Mars don't encounter any Ice Warriors. The planet has been evacuated, for the most part. The Martians that do remain are too well-hidden. The very first Bowie base, however, does stumble upon the Flood by accident and has to destroy itself to prevent the ancient weapon from invading Earth.

Those Ice Warriors still living beneath Mars' surface are mainly Less Honorable. Because they are meeting little opposition, these days, they are able to rally a proper invasion against the Earth. The Less Honorable Faction does tend to enjoy biological warfare (it's likely that they were the ones that created the Flood all those years ago) so they hatched a nasty scheme involving specially-designed seed pods that would do the bulk of their work for them. Lord Slaar is put in charge of the attack force that will overpower the small base on Earth's moon. The humans' over-reliance on T-mat technology will be used against them. Seeds of Death plays out at this point.

When the fleet plummets into the sun at the end of the story, it takes the bulk of the Less Honorable Ice Warriors' forces with it. For quite some time after that, the Honorable Ice Warriors dominate the political landscape. Ice Warriors continue moving away from our solar system and eventually find an uninhabited world suitable for mass colonization. They are especially interested in it for its mass deposits of trisilicate - a rare mineral that can be used to facilitate interstellar travel. They begin to adapt their core technology to utilize it better. The planet is christened New Mars. Just like the Daleks with New Skaro, the name is eventually simplified to just Mars.

The Ice Warriors - the story that first introduces the Indigenous Martians to the show - transpires at this point. The script never states anywhere when this story actually takes place. Some like to think that it is another 21st Century story that we saw so frequently in the Patrick Troughton Era. Others are more inclined to believe that it takes place closer to the 30th Century.

I tend to agree with the latter opinion. The members of Brittanicus Ice Base are shocked to find an alien. Yes, this would point towards a 21st Century setting. But it seems they are more intrigued by the fact that the alien has been buried away for so long than the mere fact that it is an alien. Which would indicate to me that humans have had plenty of contact with races from other worlds by this point in time. It's the idea that this is an ancient alien that makes them so keenly interested in it.

Getting The Ice Warriors to take place in the 30th Century also suits the timeline I'm trying to create in this essay all the better. By this point in time, all the Martians have cleared off to New Mars. Twenty First Century Humans were still young in their level of space exploration and missed them entirely. They don't really make any real contact with the Martians until a great while later. Which is why Varga and his team don't get recognized by the humans. With nearly a thousand years transpiring since the events of Seeds of Death, records that humans might have had of the Martians would be extremely scant. Which is another reason why they're not recognized by either humans or the Brittanicus super computer.

The humans giving  the Martians the title of "Ice Warriors" in this story was just a lucky coincidence. That had actually been their name all this time.


Over the next two thousand years or so, the Honorable Ice Warriors continue to dominate Martian ideology. The Ice Warriors do fight in wars and even partake in the occasional act of conquest - but it is all done within the context of very strict rules. Humans do, eventually, encounter them as they expand their own colonies. Some fighting might have even taken place between the two empires but the skirmishes are limited. New Mars was situated a great distance away and the Human Empire just isn't interested in developing in that particular corner of the cosmos.

But as we approach the 50th Century (the date most fans like to ascribe to the time period in which the Peladon stories take place), an Intergalactic Federation has formed. The reach of the Federation is a long one. But it does still have some opposition. An alliance that simply refers to itself as Galaxy Five is one of its biggest rivals. The Federation is broad enough, however, to include both the Ice Warriors and humans. And many other races, too. Including Alpha Centaurans, Arcturans and the people of the planet Vega (it's just too embarrassing to call them Vegans).

Because the Honorable Ice Warriors are still, very much, in control of things - they cooperate quite nicely with the Federation. Their desire for war makes them ideal as a sort of police force. When negotiations break down, Ice Warriors get called in to deal with the rare instances where brute force must be used. They are often included in diplomatic teams, too, so that it is made clear to everyone that the Federation does have a degree of military strength to back it up.

Which is why Lord Izlyr is part of the diplomatic attachment that is sent to the planet Peladon as it seeks admittance into the Federation. The Doctor, who has mainly been meeting more brutish versions of the Ice Warriors, gets his opinion re-shaped in Curse of Peladon.

The Ice Warriors even become so generous that they begin to share the advantages of trisilicate-based technology with the rest of the Federation. This becomes especially useful as war, finally, breaks out between the Federation and Galaxy Five. Ships running on trisilicate are just so much more efficient that they represent a huge tactical advantage. Mars, itself, has drained most of its supply and a new source is desperately needed to win the war. Fortunately, Peladon possesses the mineral in great abundance.

Those Less Honorable Ice Warriors have not totally disappeared, though. They still exist in small break-away factions that remain covert throughout Martian society. They look for opportunities, though, where they might finally gain enough might to manifest themselves' more overtly. They try to seize one of those moments some fifty years after the experiences of Curse of Peladon.

In Monster of Peladon, Lord Azaxyr secretly allies himself with Galaxy Five to re-route the supply of trisilicate coming from Peladon. Along with the help of a treacherous human who they've corrupted with the promise of wealth, Galaxy Five will gain a huge advantage in the war effort if the plan succeeds. Once more, the Ice Warriors are the baddies in the story and the Doctor must fight them rather than work with them.

In the end, the plans of Azaxyr fail (we also discover that the armor of Ice Lords is more decorative than practical when we see Azaxyr fall to the blade of a knife).

Are the Less Honorable Ice Warriors done for, though?

We doubt it....


While this is a timeline that does, more or less, work well with the five existing Ice Warrior stories that we've seen, we have already heard that they will be returning in Series Ten. Who knows where and when the story will take place. Or what sort of havoc this may all play with what I've written, here. But rather than being filled with dread - I'm actually a bit excited. Because now it means I get to write an appendix....

Like my CHRONOLOGIES AND TIMELINES essays? Here's a few more:



The Time Lords (the first in the series of three - you'll have to dig around for the rest!):


And the first entry in my multi-part epic: The History of the Daleks: