DOCTOR WHO: THE EVIL OF THE DALEKS / LABEL: DEMON MUSIC GROUP / RELEASE DATE: OUT NOW
Demon Music Group’s first vinyl box set of recovered Doctor Who audio, The Daleks’ Master Plan, was a gorgeous collection. The second, The Evil of the Daleks, is no different. The seven-part serial, first broadcast in 1967, was the final storyline of Doctor Who’s fourth season, and the story sees the Doctor and companion Jamie attempting to recover the TARDIS after it’s been hauled away on a lorry, only to discover that it’s part of a grand scheme by the Daleks to lure the Doctor into an attempt to create super Daleks.
There’s a lot of time travel and double and treble-crossing, and ranks among the finest storylines in the series’ long and illustrious history. The history of the serial is arguably as interesting as the plot itself. With the exception of the second part, there’s no actual video of the remaining six episodes in the story. Thanks to a collection of Whovian fanatics, however, the audio for all of the episodes remains. When the episodes originally aired, the fans recorded the sound coming from their television sets, and it is those recordings from which this set is drawn.
There are, unfortunately, no liner notes as to how they tracked the recordings down, nor how they cleaned them up, which is a shame, as these four LPs sound nothing like something recorded out of a television speaker over 50 years prior. They’re remarkably clear and clean and, to keep the plot clear, connecting narration was recorded by Frazier Hines, who played the part of Jamie in the original episodes.
The vinyl comes pressed on red-in-black, and the episodes are spread across four LPs. The first LP has the cover image of the Emperor Dalek etched into the B-side, an image which is also split across the covers of the four LPs. If assembled together, they form a massive version of the cover image, and it looks rather impressive when connected.
All in all, it’s a fantastic set and a wonderful listen. There’s nothing quite so wonderful as spending a Saturday on one’s couch, taking in the infectious enthusiasm of the cast, combined with Hines’ mellifluous narration, letting the tale spin from one disc to the next.