‘Destiny of the Daleks’
Dr Who™ painting by Roger Shore
While Destiny of the Daleks is about the rematch between the Doctor and Dalek creator, Davros, it’s mainly remembered for the introduction of Lalla Ward’s ‘Romana’ and long before the debate started about having a female Doctor Who we get on display here the very essence of what a female Doctor would be like.
The opening sequence makes it clear that Romana is the equal of the Doctor although it’s never made clear if the “regenerations” as shown are projections or the real thing. Mary Tamm’s Romana was clearly brought in as an equal Timelord but Lalla Ward’s Romana is certainly a much more fun character and in many ways her timelord and Tom Baker’s timelord are opposite sides of the same coin. I’m actually amazed that in this politically correct era that the term Timelord has survived. I thought it was have been changed to Timeperson long before now. I guess we should be grateful for small mercies.
Just in case the viewer hasn’t grasped the nettle, Romanas character goes as far as dressing in a female version of Tom Baker’s outfit. I suspect the clothes she wears in this story were designed to compliment Tom Baker’s classic outfit. It was tempting to have her wear an identical outfit to Tom’s but the clash might have been too much for viewers in 1979. The pink outfit works superbly in contracting with Tom Baker’s outfit and also clashing with the drab landscape of Skaro.
My painting is from the opening sequence where she dresses exactly like the doctor to please him. The photograph I chose worked well on many levels. It’s a great shot of Lalla Ward which shows of the impish nature of her character and reinforces the idea of her as the Doctor’s equal. The background is the actual quarry the TARDIS landed in and the TARDIS was my own personal model which I shot for this photograph. The change in colour in my TARDIS is deliberate as the “right” colours would have not have worked with the background. I had been tempted to use Lalla Ward in the pink outfit but it would have clashed with the pink cliff face behind.
Again, it's a simple image but capturing the essence of the character and an important footnote in the history of the Dr Who television series. A story that is a mixed bag. Most of it works but some of the humour is a bit OTT indicating that maybe Graham Williams was not as good at reigning in Baker’s humour the way Hinchcliffe was able to. Compared to the excesses of Creature from the Pit this story is tame.