Doctor Who: The War Games - World War Two - Warped Factor - Words in the Key of Geek.

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Doctor Who: The War Games - World War Two

Chris Morley opens the cupboard on WWII...

As we move from the First World War into the Second, a perhaps surprising opening gambit in the form of a pair of stories which never actually made it to the screen.

A story known as simply The Nazis had been submitted by Brian Hayles as early as William Hartnell's final season in 1966, but had been rejected by June of that year on the grounds that it was too close to home even that long following the cessation of hostilities between the British & the remnants of Nazi Germany. The same logic was behind the decision to not proceed after this next submission which came after what was originally termed a rejuvenation for the Doctor. The team of Douglas Camfield & Robert Kitts came up with Operation Werewolf, which would have had the TARDIS pitch up in Normandy just in time for D-Day as Adolf & chums attempt to use a form of matter transport to stop our boys securing what was a crucial victory.

What to do, then? The answer, of course, came with the passage of time. Terry Nation's Daleks had originally taken their bow alongside Hartnell, their origins seemingly explained in that first battle of wills on Skaro. But there was more to it, and Tom Baker's arrival to fill old Bill's shoes in 1974 finally gave Nation the chance to expand upon the lingering influence of the Third Reich over the creation of his great space dustbins.

Consider the introduction of Nyder into proceedings, clad all in black & even wearing what appears to be an Iron Cross while extolling the virtues of Davros.
NYDER: I've heard Davros say there is no intelligent life on other planets, so either he is wrong or you are lying.
DOCTOR: We are not lying.
NYDER: And Davros is never wrong about anything.
DOCTOR: Then he must be exceptional. Even I am occasionally wrong about some things. Who is this Davros?
NYDER: Our greatest scientist. He's in charge of all research at the bunker.
And that research is driven by fanatical xenophobia, his goal to sweep aside the Kaled race in favour of his new improved variant. Of course, he can't help but demonstrate the firepower of this new living weapon before it comes back to bite him. A distinction he unwittingly shares with no less than wartime Prime Minister Winston Churchill who of course believed that Professor Bracewell's Ironsides could help win the war against the very tyrant Davros was based on!

CHURCHILL: Ready, Bracewell?
BRACEWELL: Aye aye, sir. On my order, fire!
AMY: What was that?
DOCTOR: That wasn't human. That was never human technology. That sounded like. Show me. Show me. Show me what that was!
CHURCHILL: Our new secret weapon. Ha! What do you think? Quite something, eh?
DOCTOR: What are you doing here?
DALEK: I am your soldier.
The “soldier”line is of course a reference to Power Of The Daleks. In a sense they're revisiting an old plan here, too. Presenting themselves as Bracewell's inventions through “blueprints, statistics, field tests, photographs” and seemingly committed to the Allied cause, they'll later reveal a potentially devastating bluff. But it would appear the whole thing has a sort of basis in fact through the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare, a Churchill-approved attempt at a spot of lateral thinking of the sort which will eventually yield Spitfires in space.

It would seem Major Alec Palmer from Hide could have been one of their own.....
DOCTOR: I'm the Doctor.
PALMER: Doctor what?
DOCTOR: If you like. And this is Clara. Ah, but you are very different. You are Major Alec Palmer. Member of the Baker Street Irregulars, the Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare. Specialised in espionage, sabotage and reconnaissance behind enemy lines. You're a talented watercolourist, professor of psychology and ghost hunter. Total pleasure. Massive.
EMMA: Actually, you're wrong. Professor Palmer spent most of the war as a POW.
DOCTOR: Actually, that's a lie told by a very brave man involved in very secret operations. The type of man who keeps a Victoria Cross in a box in the attic, eh?
And in a sense it's that sort of understated heroism that's rightly celebrated across all of Doctor Who's direct dealings with both top brass & civilians as World War Two rages around them - android or not.

Consider also Nancy and the street kids she keeps safe in the London of the Blitz while harbouring a secret - the reveal of which saves everyone from shambling about as gas-mask clad zombies, with Doctor Constantine allowed to take the credit having suffered the most personal of losses as remembered during The Empty Child/The Doctor Dances.

CONSTANTINE: Before this war began, I was a father and a grandfather. Now I am neither. But I'm still a doctor.
DOCTOR: Yeah. I know the feeling.
In that exchange we get a hint of the soldier the Doctor himself had been, having come a long way from being a grandfather, the Time War having been ignited by a shot across the bows from the Time Lords through their unwitting & later unwilling agent against the Daleks.
DOCTOR: I won't do it. Whatever it is, I refuse.
TIME LORD: Daleks.
DOCTOR: Daleks? Tell me more.
TIME LORD: We foresee a time when they will have destroyed all other lifeforms and become the dominant creature in the universe.
DOCTOR: That's possible. Tell on.
TIME LORD: We'd like you to return to Skaro at a point in time before the Daleks evolved.
DOCTOR: Do you mean avert their creation?
TIME LORD: Or affect their genetic development so that they evolve into less aggressive creatures.
DOCTOR: Hmm. That's feasible.
TIME LORD: Alternatively, if you learn enough about their very beginnings, you might discover some inherent weakness.

And of course they'll later play on his compassion in escaping once more having succeeded in establishing that they are indeed pure Dalek-kind (a sort of robotic inversion of the Nazi belief in Aryan supremacy) before the old guard are exterminated in favour of the New Paradigm, who see themselves as a new master race...

“Cleanse the unclean. Total obliteration. Disintegrate.”
In a twist of fate, though, they themselves would meet a similar fate after their apparent moment of triumph! Unlike the Nazi menace, the Daleks would survive beyond that one defeat - it's what happens in the aftermath of the dissolution of Hitler's Reich, when the Fuhrer has presumably escaped from the cupboard, that we'll be examining next.

Join us aboard the SIDRAT again tomorrow as we delve into a spot of implied mutually assured destruction....

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