Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Toybox REVIEW: Doctor Who Third Doctor with Anti-Reflecting Light Wave Dalek

The third Doctor and Anti-Reflecting Light Wave Dalek

Character Options continues its journey through the history of Doctor Who's most famous monster with another Toys R Us exclusive Doctor/Dalek 5" figure 2-pack. To cover third Doctor Jon Pertwee's tenure we take a trip back to 1973 for one of my first experiences with the show, and thus a personal favourite - the six-part adventure Planet of the Daleks. Here we have the Doctor in the costume he appears in for the story, alongside the Anti-Reflecting Light Wave Dalek seen at the very end of episode one.

Standard fare Doctor Who packaging

Jon Pertwee - what a guyThe insert tray's lovely Spiridon diorama

The outer packaging is the line's standard fare, identical to the other ten sets that have been released in celebration of the 50th anniversary (though none of them actually have any sort of anniversary logo on them anywhere). The only differences are the pictures and bio have obviously been replaced with ones of the Third Doctor, and the top-right picture on the back is a scene from Planet of the Daleks (why couldn't they have used a panel from Children of the Revolution for the Eighth set then?). Disappointingly, once again the Dalek bio is just a generic one and doesn't relate to the story itself.

The card insert background however is wonderful, showcasing the Spiridon jungle and the Thals' crashed spaceship.


The Third Doctor up close!

This is the fifth third Doctor figure to be released by Character Options (although the The Green Death and Death to the Daleks versions were almost identical), and despite being a remould borrows elements from the various versions to make it a somewhat unique ensemble. Previous versions of the capeless Pertwee figure have used a bowtie rather than a cravat, which has been reserved for version with the cape.

The costume itself is accurate to how it appears onscreen, but without the different fabrics the overall colourscheme comes across as a bit more garish than it does in the show. It could just be that Planet of the Daleks is a pretty dark (as in lighting) story in general, but the lilac shirt and green cravat certainly seem lighter here.

Judo chop!

Looking suave as usualThe dandy Doctor from behind

Once again there's sadly no inclusion of a sonic screwdriver, which is irksome given that the right hand is moulded as if it were holding the damn thing. I have no qualms with not including them, but if Character aren't going to make relaxed right hands for these Doctors it feels less like a cost-cutting measure and more like complete laziness. The articulation isn't too bad either all things considered. Outside the standard hinges for the elbows and knees, the head can turn (as well as a little upwards/downward motion since its just plugged on there), the hands can rotate and even the hips have some outward motion. Admittedly the bicep and thigh swivels do make throw the overall look off when not positioned properly, but it means the Doctor can be posed doing some good old fashioned Venusian Akido. 

"Is this my Sonic Screwdriver?""You ham-fisted bun vendor"

So its another third Doctor figure in a (somewhat) brand new outfit, what else is there left to say? Despite already owning a few Pertwee figures, I think there's a fair bit of difference here to keep things interesting.


The Anti-Reflecting Light Wave Dalek

And here's a Dalek! Or, to be more specific, a dead Dalek. This "Anti-Reflecting Light Wave" Dalek appears at the cliffhanger of episode one, where the Thals issue the Doctor with a can of spray paint so he can see what they are up against. One of the reasons the Daleks are on Spiridon is to master the planet's inhabitants' powers of invisibility, which they gain from generating an anti-reflecting light wave. However the Daleks' experiments aren't going so well - not only does the process take a tremendous amount of power, but the Daleks themselves end up dying from light wave sickness.

Invisible Dalek power!

The invisible sideThe not-so invisible side

While merely a standard Dalek drone (a Planet Dalek was previously released in the first FX Dalek wave), this is particularly interesting as it is the first Character Options figure to be released made entirely of translucent plastic. It isn't all clear though, as like the one that appears in the story it has black paint unevenly splashed across the dome and right-hand side to make it "visible". Despite its 10-second appearance in the story, it really makes for a unique looking ethereal Dalek. It also makes me hopeful that should the 5" Daleks continue (though this is looking less and less likely with the Toyfair 2014 reveals of "Heritage line" Genesis and Necros Daleks) there may be more scope for other translucent plastic Daleks - such as transmatting Imperial Daleks from Remembrance.

"You are my prisoner!"Dalek from below

As a huge Third Doctor, Dalek and Planet of the Daleks fan this was a top priority set for me, but for more casual collectors it feels like a bit more of an oddity. There's a plethora of Pertwee figures out (although some easier to get than others nowadays) and the Dalek is a dead specimen that appeared onscreen for barely any time at all. Its a set that, while wonderfully crafted, screams "completist" and shows just how many variations of the Daleks have been done in the line already. Again, not something I'd complain about, but certainly not a necessity for others.


liminalD said...

That's a cool set! I really like the Dalek, but you're right, the Doctor's clothes look a bit garish... mind you, I always thought the Third Doctor had atrocious fashion sense ;)

I had to laugh at the pic where you've got him holding the giant screwdriver ;)

Cheers! Keep posting these, they're always interesting reads and I love your photography. We don't get most of these figures here in New Zealand, I can order from overseas but the postage can be a bit much at times. So it's interesting to get a look at what you guys get that we don't!


Alex said...

You're welcome, thank you for the feedback! :)

On the import front, I have a friend in Australia who's mentioned the same problems so I know how difficult those outside the UK have it. You think with the worldwide success the show has now more effort would be made for the international audience!

I have a few more Doctor Who figures on order, so look forward to some more soon!