Doctor Who episode 99: Golden Death (8/1/1966)

Hartnell sounds very hoarse – like he’s picked up a winter cold – or maybe it’s the sand in Ancient Eygpt. While the Doctor pootles about fixing the TARDIS lock, Steven sees another time machine arriving – he assumes it’s the Monk, but in reality it’s the Daleks. After a few weeks of respite, the peril is increasing again.

The first part of the episode is very light-and-dark: the Doctor happily tiptoeing around the Great Pyramid evading Egyptian guards, and his merriment at seeing the Monk’s TARDIS arrive contrasts with the Daleks’ ruthless extermination of the Eygptians. His horrified realisation that the Daleks are here becomes all the more effective as a result.

Interestingly, the Monk immediately recognises the Daleks despite having never encountered them on screen before, while the Doctor did not – which either means the Monk is better travelled; he was paying more attention in Time Tot history lessons, or the Daleks’ history has changed since The Daleks.

Sneaking inside the Monk’s TARDIS, the Doctor fiddles with its camouflage unit to turn it into a Police Box – not the first time a rival Time Lord’s ship will be so disguised.

This is very much a treading water episode – nothing really happens to advance the story, Steven and Sara are literally captured and escape, Chen does a bit of condescending business and the Daleks exterminate some people. But Hartnell gets to twinkle, and a nice scene with Butterworth. It’s all perfectly agreeable, but it’s now fairly obvious we’re in a holding pattern waiting to go back to Kembel.

Next episode: Escape Switch

One comment

  1. Pingback: Doctor Who episode 98: Volcano (1/1/1966) | Next Episode...

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