Doctor Who: The Daemons (1971) starring Jon Pertwee, Katy Manning, Roger Delgado, Nicholas Courtney
In Doctor Who: The Daemons, the Doctor is trying to stop an ancient evil from resurfacing on Earth. The Master impersonates a vicar and a cult leader, to gain power from that same evil …
The Doctor tries to protect Professor Horner from breaking into an ancient horror near the village of Devil’s End. Posing as the village vicar, the Master summons dark forces.
Captain Mike Yates: I see. So all we’ve got to deal with is something which is either too small to see or thirty feet tall, can incinerate you or freeze you to death, turn stone images into homicidal monsters and looks like the devil.
The Doctor: Exactly.
A heat barrier seals off Devil’s End from the entire world. The Doctor and Jo return to the barrows …. Where the gargoyle Bok confronts them.
The Doctor attempts to help the Brigadier penetrate the heat barrier. But the Master’s servant in a helicopter attacks. Then, the Master prepares to summon the demon Azal.
The Doctor is captured by the villagers who are under the Masters control. Jo goes to the church to prevent the Master from summoning Azal for the final time. But, she’s too late.
UNIT have penetrated the heat barrier and launch an attack on the gargoyle Bok. In the cavern, Azal confronts the Doctor and the Master to decide the fate of mankind.
Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart: Chap with the wings there. Five rounds rapid. [the bullets have no effect]
Doctor Who: The Daemons
In the peaceful village of Devil’s End something very strange is happening. A professor is preparing to open a nearby burial mound and a local white witch foresees death and disaster. Meanwhile, the new vicar looks suspiciously like the Master and he is using black magic to conjure up an ancient Dæmon. Can the Doctor, Jo and UNIT stop their old enemy before he succeeds?]]>
Editorial review of Doctor Who: The Daemons courtesy of Amazon.com
Only the Doctor can get away with dismissing magic while rattling off ridiculous sci-fi technobabble. When a quiet English village seems to be visited by the Devil himself, the time-traveling alien known as the Doctor (in the form of Jon Pertwee, the third Doctor of the series) steps in to save the world. Along the way, he’s attacked by a helicopter, a stone gargoyle come to life, his great nemesis the Master (Roger Delgado), and a crew of mummers and morris dancers.
This five-episode story chugs along with vigor, packed with action and more than a few chills, though it’s not particularly concerned with wrapping up the details (it’s never explained why someone died of fright in the very beginning, among other loose threads). Pertwee’s version of the Doctor is high-handed and imperious, but he lacks the manic unpredictability that’s made so many other versions charming–Pertwee just comes across a bit stuck-up.
Still, he rattles off “Reverse the polarity of the neutron flow!” with aplomb while Delgado chews scenery with megalomaniacal relish. The special effects are classically rubbish and the supporting cast is staunch, if a bit bland, including Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), who’s there to demonstrate the futility of brute force. The Daemons may have been an influence on the movie The Wicker Man, which has some striking similarities–primarily the atmosphere of evil lurking under the ordinary surfaces of life. The DVD extras include two extensive and engaging featurettes, one about the making of The Daemons and one about writer-producer Barry Letts, along with an eerie silent film of location footage. All in all, an enjoyable contribution to the long-running series. –Bret Fetzer
Cast of characters
- Jon Pertwee (Planet of the Daleks) … Doctor Who
- Nicholas Courtney (The Three Doctors) … Brigadier Lethbridge Stewart
- Roger Delgado (The Mummy’s Shroud) … The Master / Vicor Magistere
- Katy Manning (Terror of the Autons) … Jo Grant
- Richard Franklin (Planet of the Spiders) … Captain Mike Yates
- John Levene (The Android Invasion) … Sergeant Benton
- Damaris Hayman (The Pink Panther Strikes Again) … Miss Hawthorne
- Don McKillop (An American Werewolf in London) … Bert the Landlord
- Stephen Thorne (The Hand of Omega) … Azal
- Stanley Mason (Monty Python’s Flying Circus) … Bok