Amazing Special Edition puts right production deficiencies which were its only real problem
Review of all 4 episodes:
Special Edition 10/10, Original version 9/10, Overall 9.5/10
The story and script of this 4 parter are terrific. Time travel, its possibilities and its complications are more up front and centre here than in any previous story. This is done superbly well and it predates The Terminator by over 10 years with its ideas of going back in time to change history and inadvertently creating some of the history you wish to change. Great ideas, well executed and with thoughtful and interesting dialogue as well as good action. Pertwee and UNIT are on form again with some great support particularly from the leader of the human collaborators working for the Daleks.
The story has the Daleks using alien 'minions' the Ogrons and human collaborators to conquer and control a future Earth and to pursue the human resistance. Both the resistance and the Ogrons/Daleks have equipment allowing them to travel in time into contemporary Earth at a time when UNIT and The Doctor are working to protect a vital world peace conference. Both sets of time travellers try to ensure their history goes the way they want and it is up to The Doctor to intervene.
The aspects which let this story down badly in its original form are almost entirely down to money and available resources. The Special Edition puts these right wonderfully. Effects for the time travelling, weaponry, tremendous 'exploding body' deaths etc. are massive improvements throughout every episode which helps a lot but more importantly the climactic battle is turned from a lame let down to a great triumph. Originally they could only use 3 Daleks and this is painfully evident making their attack look pathetic. The addition of seemingly large amounts of attacking Daleks makes the battle believable, impressive and exciting. This in combination with the effects save a lot of the story from being let down. However, as important as all that is, of perhaps even greater impact is the enormous improvement made to the Dalek voices. Originally the Dalek voices in this story were the worst ever. The appalling voice sound and embarrassing voice acting destroys every scene they appear in and makes the Daleks involvement pointless and a disastrous hindrance to the credibility and enjoyment of the story. The Special Edition replaces these with the marvellous Nicholas Briggs performance of Dalek voices suddenly not just bringing the dialogue to life but making every Dalek scene electrifying. After their long absence this is the glorious return denied to them by the original productions problems.
I feel satisfied that these technical changes only serve to present what they originally intended and Pertwee's dislike for this story was based on these lame executions of great possibilities. Now the story is presented in a truly classic form which the story, script and performances deserve.
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