There were a couple of reasons why I passed on this set when it was first released. First off, buying a figure of a destroyed Dalek seemed like going overboard, even by my insane standards. Second, as much as I love Remembrance of the Daleks, it did contain my least favorite incarnation of Davros. Not to mention the big reveal at the end didn’t do anything for me. I called out that the Emperor was probably Davros under that thing as soon as he rolled onto the bridge of the Dalek ship, and I’m not usually that good at spotting things like that. Nonetheless, when CO finally delivered on Ace, this set seemed to be a lot better-rounded out and so I tossed it into the basket when I shipped.
The set comes in the same little compact style of window box that CO has used for the two-packs that won’t fit into a blister pack. The deco is based off a rather retro style that gives off a 70’s vibe. There’s a timeline on the bottom showing the different Doctors and the back panel of the box has a blurb about the episode. Sure, this box is one big spoiler for the episode, but it’s been like 25 years, and if you’re like me you probably would have guessed that was Davros anyway. The inner tray has an illustration, which could be saved as a display backdrop, but it’s not one of their better ones, so I didn’t bother. The box is collector friendly, but as much as I wish I had the room to save these, with space being limited, I have to be a lot more selective about packaging I keep.
Starting off with the destroyed Dalek, this piece is a lot better than it has any right to be. My first thought was that CO was just going to take a regular Imperial Dalek, cut it in half and melt it a bit. Nope, they actually did a lot of new sculpting for the Kaled mutant inside. The sculpt is heavily influenced by the Kaled mutants we’ve seen in NuWho and I’m fine with that since this is the last time we see The Daleks in the Classic series. The excellent sculpt and paintwork conspire to make for an appropriately disgusting mess. We never actually get to see inside the Dalek in the episode, so I really dig that they did this.
The claw that we do get to see is recreated here, complete with articulation, as it’s actually set on a ball joint! The area around the shoulder slats are painted brown to simulate the explosion, but from there down, it’s just a regular Imperial Dalek, complete with ball jointed sucker arm, weapon arm, and three rolling wheels under the base. This figure is by no means the cheap-out that it could have been, and I find I’m a lot happier to have it in my collection than I could have imagined.
And then there’s Dalek Emperor Davros. The design here is pretty lame and lazy. When closed up, he’s just an Imperial Dalek base with a huge sphere mounted on top. There are two ear lights and a hexagonal screen in the center. One of the things I hate about this design is that there are no Dalek arms. Ok, I get it that you’re The Emperor, but why wouldn’t you want a weapon and a sucker arm like all the other Daleks? Your Davros! People hate you! There are tons of people around the universe that want to take a pop at you! Why not have a gun arm? I know, the Emperor Daleks in the past haven’t had weapons, but it still bugs me. Granted, the figure here does a good job with what it had to work with.
Flip open the top and you reveal… Oh. My. God! That’s Davros in there! In the episode, you just saw Davros’ head emerging from a crazy nest of cables and wires. The figure features a good head sculpt and some detail paintwork for the wires. Again, it looks good for what they had to work with, but I’m just not at all crazy about this version of Davros.
The real reason I stayed away from this set in the past is that it retailed for $39.99. I’m the last to complain about the cost of Doctor Who figures, but that’s a lot of damn money for what you’re getting here. Nonetheless, now that I have an Ace with an RPG and an Anti-Dalek baseball bat, I thought it would justify having the destroyed Dalek in my collection. As for Davros, like it or not, it’s part of his history and it deserves a place on my shelf. I’m no fan of Eric Roberts as The Master, but if CO had put a figure out, I’d be obliged to get it. To be honest, with the line ending, I’ll likely be hunting down the few sets that I passed on, just so that I can have closure when there are no more figures forthcoming.