Doctor Who — The Daleks’ Master Plan

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Season 3 – Episode 4 – (1965-1966) 
Doctor: 1 – William Hartnell
Companions: 
StevenKatarina (Katarina dies), Sara (Sara joins and dies)

Let’s talk about Katarina; the new companion joining from ancient Greece, played by Adrienne Hill. She was a problem. Accounts vary but things centre around the idea that she was potentially intended to be a long term companion until the writers realised that being from ancient Greece meant that she wouldn’t understand any contemporary moments that might be functional yet minor within the plot. Katarina had to go… We’ll get to it.

Before I even get to the plot – this review is going to be complicated… In a way, The Daleks’ Master Plan is the focal point of so many events: There are firsts, lasts, departures (both behind and on the screens). The show is changing and this is a great place to discuss it. Inflated post time… Into the plot…

After Steven was poisoned in Greece, The Doctor is hoping that they will materialise somewhere that they can find aid. The materialise on Kembal, the planet from Mission to the Unknown. As discussed in the previous post, Verity Lambert, the much admired first producer had left, leaving John Wiles in charge. He was not happy, particularly as Verity had commissioned a mammoth 12-part Dalek story in the middle of a 10 story season; this was going to devour the budget. He wasn’t the most popular figure either after axing Maureen O’Brien’s character, Vicki… Let’s see how this has a knock-on effect. So as The Doctor hunts for help we have two other plots to follow.

Mavicchen

Mavic Chen (Guardian of the Solar System in the 42nd century) has allied with the Daleks to betray the solar system. We’ll discover more on this, of course but we begin to see him (and he’s in yellow-face!) Also, finally, we get a conclusion to Mission to the Unknown, with two space heroes coming to find out what happened to their lost astronaut. The key fellow here is a man called Bret Vyon – He’s played by an actor called Nicholas Courtney who most Doctor Who fans will recognise as playing The Brigadier. If you’re not a fan, he will become one of the most important names in Doctor Who.

So here are our plot threads and it turns out things don’t go to plan! The Doctor goes to find help, is accosted by Bret, who knocks him out, steals his key and breaks into the TARDIS. Steven comes around through plot convenience and disables Bret. The Doctor re-enters, restrains the man and goes exploring again. Bret manages to talk Katarina around by offering help. He administers medicine to Steven and this heals him, meanwhile the Doctor discovers the Daleks.

The MacGuffin[1] is a mineral known as Taranium. Part 2 has The Doctor stealing this, which turns out to be the power source of the Dalek weapon. The plot comes together with, more or less, Bret forcing our group to get involved in the conflict. The Doctor infiltrates a meeting with the Daleks to find out he should take the MacGuffin. Then the Doctor, companions and Bret steal Mavic Chen’s ship. Episode 3 has them on the run with knowledge that the Daleks want to capture them and the crash on a prison planet. A convict stows aboard and after take-off, he holds Katarina at knife point. Bret navigates the ship (episode 4) to jerk both the prisoner and Katarina into an airlock… Everyone pleads but Katarina opens the airlock and blows herself and the convict into space. She’s dead.

The plot continues and they land looking for help but of course quite a lot of it is a trap. Mavic Chen is supposed to be representative of the solar system and his working with the Daleks is a secret. So the earth soldiers are pitted against each other, either fighting the revealed Daleks or supporting Chen… Chen’s soldier, a woman called Sara Kingdom, kills Bret but this gives The Doctor and Steven a chance to run. They reach a room with a teleporter but Sara finds them and all three are teleported. (I could cry because there is so much more plot to go. I beg you stick with me.)

It turns out Sara is Bret’s sister and she killed him out of loyalty to Chen, but the Doctor and Steven niggle at her conscience. They are on another planet now. The plan is full of great, vicious… invisible… aliens who pursue them. The Daleks are also pursuing so the invisible aliens attack the Daleks instead. We now have hark-backs to The Chase. The Daleks have space-time travel and The Doctor, Sara and Steven hijack their ship, which is pulled back to Kembal. The Doctor makes up some fake Taranium to fool the Daleks and promises to deliver this only at the doors of his TARDIS. The handover goes well and they dematerialise and land in a polluted place. Most stories would finish here but no… We’re at the half way point (episode 6 just finished).

Right. Behind the scenes came Christmas and the general consensus was that the viewership would not be watching with any great interest. Episode 7 was basically a bizarre interlude that vaguely followed the plot but didn’t at the same time. They materialise on Earth in the 1960s but at a movie studio. They give the police the runaround. The reassure Bing Crosby that he will be a success and they get back into the TARDIS and toast to Christmas… Oooh and then the infamous moment. The Doctor turns to the camera and wishes a “Merry Christmas to all of you at home”. They then leave Earth.

Back in with episode 8 and the Taranium betrayal is discovered by the Daleks and then want to follow The Doctor and co… Our group are then flying through space and time and being pursued by an unknown follower… So they land in the middle of a cricket match… followed by escape to a volcanic planet. The scanning device that detects pursuit in flight reads negative but The Doctor comments that this means that the follower has landed with them… The follower is not the Daleks though but an old friend. The Monk from The Time Meddler. So the Monk, out for revenge, disables the TARDIS lock and runs away. No worry of course, because The Doctor reflects sunlight of the right sort of star onto the lock to undo the Monks mischief… erm right… ok…

steve

Home Stretch! Everyone lands in Ancient Egypt and The Doctor attempts to fix the lock on the TARDIS. It all gets a bit complicated as the Daleks, the Monk and the Doctor’s team are all trying to circumvent each other. The Monk is caught by the Daleks and made to swear alliance. The Doctor is a step ahead and sneaks aboard the monks TARDIS, breaking the chameleon circuit so the Monks TARDIS resembles a police box… he also steals a directional unit from the Monks TARDIS and this is VERY important.

So it all gets a bit complicated and everyone is after their own thing but finally the Doctor uses the directional unit to return to Kembal (it’s a good idea to be able to specify where he wants to go this one time). I just want to get to the end. The Doctor tells his companions to wait in the TARDIS and Steven does but Sara doesn’t. The Doctor sneaks into the Dalek base and actually activates the Dalek doomsday weapon by putting the Taranium into it. The weapon is a “Time Destructor” it simply causes vast amounts of time to flow for everyone.

He scares the Daleks with its use and then activates it anyway on his escape. Unfortunately Sara has come back for him. The Doctor is already known as a longlived alien. Sara is not. The whole planet goes through years and years of aging and Sara tries to help the Doctor but literally ages to death and it’s horrific and gorgeous as a concept.

 

As time passes, the Daleks whither and die too and so ends the final Dalek story of Hartnell’s era and boy is it a whopper. It’d be unbeatable if it weren’t for the two that followed…

The Doctor and Steven sadly leave Kembal… everyone’s dead… everything is dark… goodnight kiddies….

The show understood the darkest side of the Daleks and they really tried to capitalise. Everyone dies and arguably it won’t be this dark again. 

This story takes 5 hours, most of which has to be seen through audio and reconstruction. If you’re a Doctor Who fan it’s a must watch – if you’re not up for that, wait for Steven and Doctor to come out of this because this is dark…. I love it but boy is it dark….

 

[1] – MacGuffin is a term that basically means plot-causing-item. The one ring is an example of this in The Lord of the Rings. It can be parodied, a la Monty Python and the Holy Grail, with the eponymous grail. This plot device is subject to severe abuse.

Favourite Quotes:

  • The Doctor: Here’s a toast, a happy Christmas to all of us.
    Steven: The same to you, Doctor, Sara.
    The Doctor: And incidentally, a happy Christmas to all of you at home!

Score:

9/10 (Daleks used to fine potential – best? no – thats to come)

Next time:

The Massacre in Paris… Everyone dies again…. For Gods’ sake…. But they’re  big events and it should be done again… Kill, kill, kill…. and then be sad…

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Doctor Who — The Myth Makers

It’s been a little while since my last classic Doctor Who post. I did write a guest post for Philip Moriarty’s blog “Symptoms of the Universe”. I highly recommend reading this blog as posts are far more diverse than my mediocre grumbles on entertainment. Symptoms covers music, science and philosophy with an eloquent and insightful reviews, rants and rambles – please check it out! On with the review…

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Season 3 – Episode 3 – (1965)
Doctor: 1 – William Hartnell
Companions:
Steven, Vicki (Vicki departs), Katarina(Katarina joins)

The time between our last post and this has largely been due to the fact I like to stay a little ahead in my watching of where I am reviewing and it gets a bit long after this episode. Oh we’ll get there…

So The Doctor, Vicki and Steven land once again in the TARDIS in a random location. At this stage in the show, the TARDIS does not return to destinations. The Doctor does not know how to set a destination and therefore bounces randomly through space and time. Though this is the case, he does a fantastic job of ending up on Earth at various points in history. It’s Ancient Greece and the big names are here: Achilles, Odysseus , Troilus, Paris… and when we land two chaps are going at it with swords. The Doctor goes out to intervene and, with the proof of an unknown blue box into foray, makes a convincing case that he is a Zeus (this is just a ploy to stay alive).

Ok so The Doctor is led away and uses knowledge of the future to bargain for his life and Steven leaves the TARDIS to try and recover The Doctor. Steven reunites with The Doctor but is enlisted in the Greek army in the fight against Troy… and yes you can see where this is going…

The TARDIS is captured by the Trojans and finally Vicki emerges to the Trojans. She is introduced to Cassandra who foretells doom if the Trojans listen to the TARDIS crew (specifically Vicki). The Trojan leader looks more favourably on Vicki but rejects her name and gives her a new name: “Cressida”… and if Greek history or Shakespeare are anything to go by, you’ll know that Troilus and Cressida are linked. Vicki will be staying.

Time for an aside. The runners of the show have changes, Verity Lambert has now gone – the departure has made waves, however; there is one short-lived show runner called John Wiles. The thing about Wiles is that he wrote Maureen O’Brien (Vicki) out without her knowledge. Yes… She had mentioned it but generally feelings of wanderlust don’t lead to a sacking… ahhh the 60’s. Wiles isn’t totally to blame, in fact we’ll see why soon. In the mean time Vicki will be gone by the end of the story.

Wrap up of the plot – The Doctor orchestrates the trick with the Trojan horse but I don’t think that’s fair enough as an explanation. Vicki as a citizen of the future makes predictions to compete with the soothsayer Cassandra. Cassandra introduces her handmaiden Katarina to instigate her will. The Doctor’s plan takes effect and Troy is destroyed. Vicki takes a position of command demanding that the captured Steven be taken to the TARDIS by Katarina. The Doctor understands that Vicki is remaining to marry Troilus and so departs with Steven and Katarina. Oh dear does Katarina pose as a problem… but that’s next time…

So how good is the episode? Well it’s OK as a historical and mildly entertaining. From memory (memory echoing from being a teenager) it’s the last good historical of Hartnell’s era but please let me re-evaluate as I watch through. I’m rather ok with it and the score reflects it.

Oh yes and so you know where we’re kicking off – Steven gets poisoned in the battle. He’s posing as a Greek and attacked…

Favourite Quotes:

  • Cassandra: Woe to Troy!
    Paris: It’s too late to say “whoa!” to the horse. (I really did enjoy that line)

Score:

5/10 

Next time: 12 episodes – 5 hours – guest characters. The Daleks win on the planet Kembal. It’s the last Hartnell Dalek story and it’s 5 hours of my life to watch it….

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Doctor Who — Mission To The Unknown

DW-Mission-to-the_unknown

Season 3 – Episode 2 – (1965)
Doctor: 1 – William Hartnell
Companions: Vicki, 
Steven
…But none of them appear!

In the modern series, there is a fair amount extra material produced by the BBC on Doctor Who. These can be short trailers or little additional stories, mostly humorous. For the 50th anniversary we saw some short prequel stories that were designed to tease us into the event itself. Back in 1965 there was no YouTube; the best you could do is go to a theatre and yell demands that the actors play-out your favourite scene from any given medium. Other ways of teasing had to found.

There is a story coming; it’s the biggest in Doctor Who history. It’s called The Dalek Master Plan and it’s a twelve parter (help), which means that 5 hours of time are going to be invested in one single story. This story is the prequel, getting folks excited for the upcoming unknown Dalek story and is a single 25 minute stand alone tease.

Of course – this is also one that is lost to the BBC archive so once again captured stills and surviving audio are my ways of viewing it. We begin with some astronauts repairing a space ship on a planet before one of them is killed by another chap. The assailant seems to explain himself, removing a thorn from the dead chap before saying he had to be killed. Cue hammy reveal that the dead man is alive from his hand movement after people leave.

The assailant shows a document enlisting the help of the astronaut and explains his case. The Daleks are lost by most to memory having invaded Earth in the 22nd century (I remember that one!) They have been successful in conquering worlds in multiple galaxies – they’re a war race on a big scale now and a Dalek ship has been spotted! Also, the planet (Kembal) is one of the most hostile in the universe, containing plants that turn people into killing machines before becoming one of the deadly plants. The origin of said plants is Skaro, the Dalek homeworld and so it’s reasonable to assume that this is their base.

The Daleks are now seen discussing emissaries from 7 planets approaching and they are after the interloper! (Dun dun dun.) The plant people (Varga) are closing into the astronauts and the Daleks are coming too. The astronauts are sending an SOS about the situation, hoping for rescue. It’s a siege and of course the astronauts realise all they can do is record a message of warning, oh and the original astronaut is pricked by a Varga thorn.

The emissaries, a colourful group of aliens arrive and begin the meeting and discuss the creatures from our solar system who will be killed. They all ally with Daleks to become the greatest war force in the universe (gripping!). All inter-solar system targets are lined up for destruction: Mars, Jupiter and the like. The heroic assailant kills the slowly transforming other man and records the SOS warning the impending solar system attack. The Daleks exterminate him mid message but the beacon and message survives. We finish on the Daleks and emissaries declaring their upcoming victory.

Its a bit of a gripping tease but kind of a standalone sci-fi. It’s a twilight zone-esque thing and a bit fun but not really Doctor Who. Can I give it a 4? I think so…

Favourite Quotes:

Nope – none from this one.

Score:

4/10 (it’s functional and fun but very very skipable – well written though!)

Next time:
Ready for the Dalek invasion? Are you?! Tough. First we’re off to ancient Greece for the Doctor, Vicki and Steven to enjoy some classic mythology. Companions will switch again too! Look forward to it!

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Doctor Who — Galaxy 4

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Season 3 – Episode 1 – (1965)
Doctor: 1 – William Hartnell
Companions: Vicki, 
Steven 

Galaxy 4 is an interesting one. Verity Lambert is leaving and she’s just had time to make one or two suggestions and one was for the Drahvins, the enemy of this story. They are a race of blonde female warriors who have basically assigned men to a purely breeding role. Sound familiar? Of course it does, because it’s a trope, albeit a mild one – may I add, and I must give full credit to the wonderful Diamanda Hagan: If you’re in doubt with sci-fi, Doctor Who usually did it first and we’ll get to that; I will reference Diamanda because she knows.

Another sad point is the fact that the Drahvin’s are mentioned in the modern series as one of the species trying to claim stone henge with Matt Smith and once again Diamanda is right. It would have cost nothing to show them and they would have been lovely to see.

To the plot!… They land on a planet and immediately a robot begins investigating the TARDIS – Vicki names the robot a “chumbley” because of the way they move. The planet is going to be destoyed and it’s a battle between the two races we see – The all-powerful model women (Drahvins) and the hideous Rills… Oh just … just guess what the twist is…

Steven is kept as collateral while the Doctor and Vicki go to investigate the Rill ship on the order of the Drahvins – The Rill. Anyway it turns out that as the planet is going to be destroyed and the Rill’s have offered the Drahvins a way off the planet that they have refused. We might as well all die in war. The moral is (of course) don’t judge a book by its cover as the Rill’s are our noble people but let’s not disparage this story too much; these twists kept the 60’s living room gripped.

Tangent time – we’re in season 3 – and that’s a problem for me because the next three series are the most junked in the archive – my work becomes problematic by just the fact that I have to watch TV stills for a long time. A complete serial is a joy. This is not one of them but season 3 reflects another point. Verity Lambert is leaving and it’s time to hand over to the stuffy old fashioned producers that make season 3 a real hit and miss. This one’s fine but don’t expect me to enjoy a lot of what of what’s coming.

The crew escape, obviously, and rescue the Rill’s in process. The Rills and the Doctor conspire to escape, which they do and good is saved. Then we get a preview of next time…

Favourite Quotes:

  • Steven: Okay, but we’ve got to get off here somehow!
    The Doctor: It’s imperative that we leave at once.
    Steven: Why is that that? The Drahvins did say fourteen dawns.
    The Doctor: Two dawns! Tomorrow is the last day this planet will ever see.

Score:

6/10 (not great but an OK one-off)

Next time:
It’s a prequel episode and in modern times this would be relegated to a YouTube clip. There’s no Doctor, no companions and no TARDIS. Anything Doctor Who based? Well…. Just the Daleks… for the last time with Hartnell… … … ish…

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Doctor Who — The Time Meddler

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Season 2 – Episode 9 – (1965)
Doctor: 1 – William Hartnell
Companions: Vicki, 
Steven 

Their names are William Russell and Jacqueline Hill – I feel that I should have at least credited the actors once in their duration as Ian and Barbara and I’m not sure I ever did. I miss them but it’s time to move on. The story opens with the lamenting of our old companions and Steven arriving from the back rooms of the TARDIS and collapsing.

The Doctor and Vicki help Steven recuperate and find he fled from Mechanus and stumbled into the machine. Of course once they explain the TARDIS he is fairly skeptical  leading to the Doctor to give one of the best speeches that I won’t even save for the quote section.

  • “That is the dematerialising control, and that, over yonder, is the horizontal hold. Up there is the scanner; those are the doors; that is a chair with a panda on it. Sheer poetry, dear boy! Now please stop bothering me.”

They resolve for Steven to get cleaned up, then they explore, meanwhile a monk has been watching the TARDIS appear.

The crew are in 1066 in Britain, just before the battle of Hastings, as the Vikings are preparing to invade. Steven remains skeptical but he’ll buy it by the end of the story. Anyway the group are looking around the local settlements, may I remind you from two sentences back, in 1066, and the Doctor hears monastic chanting from the monastery, he investigates and finds the music being played from a record player and being projected out. Welcome to the first pseudo-historical story! These stories will kill the full historical by setting a story in the past but having an alien or sci-fi presence here. I mentioned this in the post of The Crusades… I had so little else to mention.

The Doctor is captured (of course), by the monk that we saw earlier. He’s played by Peter Butterworth, much more famous for the Carry On movies later. He locks the Doctor in and Steven and Vicki are forced to follow his trail it all sort of ends up with them at the monastery at the same time as other visitors, distracting the monk, so when they find the Doctor’s room it turns out he is already being clever and has found alternative means of escape; a tunnel which the companions follow.

Right I best get down to two main points here. Firstly this is a story which is progressive. It’s the 60’s so it’s all in subtext but we have an elephant to mention. Every story has its “locals” but very rarely do they go through the heavy issues that happen in this story. This story, again through subtext, deals with rape. It is seen through how the character is handled both before and after the event and it happens due to the invading Vikings. For the time the handling is surprising frank and I think credit goes to the head producer Verity Lambert for that. I don’t want to dwell as this isn’t the point of the reviews but merely comment that its depiction is progressive for the time and, better, progressive for a lot of times to come. We’re only now catching up. Check it out… I will leave this aspect for now…

The episode builds towards the idea of a character out of time and how can it happen. It turns out that the monk has plans. The Doctor captures the monk at sword point and demands answers but meanwhile… It’s all revealed when Vicki and Steven investigate a stone tomb in the Monastery.  There’s an opening and the tomb is bigger on the inside:

Note the words “A TARDIS” as it’s the first time you’ll hear the idea there is more than one. The monk is a renegade member of the Doctor’s people (Time Lord) that is stealing historical artifacts, causing problems and taking advantage of future knowledge. He has to be stopped so as they make their escape, the Doctor steals a vital component by yanking it through the monk’s TARDIS’s doors. It’s crucial and stops the technology that let’s the inside be bigger than the outside. The monk can’t get in and our crew can leave with the Doctor winning the day… and….

That’s season 2 over! Seasons 3 and 4 are the least complete in Doctor Who with a lot of junked episodes. It get’s a bit more tedious and characters are a little less pleasing to watch, certainly for a while but it’s only a few episodes. Join my continuing journey!

Favourite Quotes:

  • The Doctor: What do you think of that, now, eh? A Viking helmet.
    Steven: Maybe.
    The Doctor: What do you mean, “maybe”? What do you think it is, a space helmet for a cow?

Score:

8/10 (one of the best Hartnell’s to watch standalone)

Next time:
Season 3 – Companions galore! The final 1st Doctor Dalek story. The shortest story in Doctor Who history (25 minutes and it doesn’t contain any of the regular cast). We also have the longest and this is going to be the toughest (it’s 5 hours long). Verity Lambert (first BBC female producer) leaves, Hartnell is looking more fragile. It’s all to come and it’s worth powering through as well… If you know Doctor Who, there are only 12 William Hartnell stories left… and then there’s an event…

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Doctor Who — The Chase

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Season 2 – Episode 8 – (1965)
Doctor: 1 – William Hartnell
Companions: Vicki
    Ian and Barbara – (both depart)
    Steven (Joins via stowaway at the then)

The only story in the classic series that (to my memory) is a Dalek story but doesn’t contain the word Daleks in the title and oh what a lot to unpack! Firstly, this is once again representative of the more humorous tone that was trying to work its way in at this point. This includes a Dalek who stammers and forgets what it’s doing, along with the general group sometimes nodding their eye stalks to agree. Hmm… It’s not as obtuse as I make it sound.

The episode opens with the time-space visualiser taken from the previous episode. The Doctor tells his companions to request to see moments from history, including a performance from the Beatles (then very current of course). The TARDIS lands on a desert planet with a short day and night cycle, which amuses the Doctor and he lets Vicki and Ian go wandering. This allows he and Barbara to intercept a Dalek transmission on the visualiser. In short, the Daleks now have time travel and they are pursuing the Doctor.

This story is a 6 parter and you probably know my thoughts generally on those. However, The Chase is a bit of an exception in that it’s not a drawn out plot but more a set of episodes with some minor victories and defeats. The first story takes place on the desert planet with the natives, the Aridians:

AridianTwoShot

60’s Doctor Who alien rating 6/10. The Daleks surround the TARDIS and try and capture our group, which of course get involved in a skirmish. It’s a back and forth. Explosion here, red-shirt death there, Daleks get pushed over ledges. The whole thing sort of ends with a mad-dash and escape in the TARDIS.

The next stop is the empire state building for basically a comedy skit with the most stereotypical American possible. He’s played by Peter Purve (later of Blue Peter fame) an actor who really made a positive impression on the crew as I’ll bring him up again later. The crew decide that the city is too populated to stay in while being pursued and so they land on a ship known as The Mary Celeste. Of course, it’s quite customary for time travel shows to solve these historical mysteries. The crew don’t stay long here and after a minor squabble with the crew, they vanish leaving the Daleks to appear next. Here… oh here is a point. Look at this, dear reader:

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The Dalek ship materialised in this scene behind our chaps in the foreground and you should take note of the one in the background. He is one deck higher and for canon-hungry freaks like me, we see the first evidence of a Dalek that is able to levitate (traversing stairs). Hoho – the proof was here that early and…. maybe… not just a production oversight!

Next stop is a bizarre one. The crew are locked in a haunted house with all sorts of traditional horror creatures: Frankenstein’s monster, count dracula etc. The Doctor surmises they are caught in a world that creates manifestations of the evils of human thought and this is an intriguing little idea. The Daleks arrive and do battle, including with Frankenstein’s monster, who manages to throw one of them, breaking it to pieces. (I’m not kidding). The Doctor demands they run and escape but in the confusion they leave Vicki behind, who has no choice but to stowaway on the Dalek ship. It’s a poignant moment as it reminds us of a crucial point: at this point, the TARDIS can never return to the same place twice as The Doctor has no idea how to navigate it.

The final chapter takes place on the planet Mechanus. The Daleks have a plan and have created an exact double of The Doctor designed to infiltrate the group. I want to wrap this up as quickly as I can so both groups land on the planet Mechanus with it’s deadly vegetation. The Doctor clone manages to confuse the group but Vicki (arriving with the Dalek ship) returns and explains the situation, allowing us to see a fight between the two identical Doctors. The fake is revealed when he calls Vicki by the name “Susan”. This makes sense as The Daleks have only ever seen the original travelling party.

They escape into a city 1500 feet above the planet and occupied by another Dalek wannabe race, the Mechanoids:

Mechanoid

These are a human creation designed to make a habitable planet for humans but without the proper access codes, the Mechanoids can only imprison the new arrivals and they throw them in with the only other prisoner, Steven Taylor, played by … yes… Peter Purves (later of Blue Peter fame). He has a little stuffed panda as a mascot and instantly creates a likeable but skeptical human character from the future. The Doctor finally rigs up a bomb to destroy the Daleks, who are doing battle with the Mechanoids and they all climb down the chasm into the deadly vegetation below. Steven is thought lost as he goes back for the stuffed panda. The crew see the fire and know that the Daleks and Mechanoids are destroyed and they confirm this by finding the Dalek craft and confirming it is empty.

And here we are, as Steven stumbles separately from our party, toward the Tardis… Ian and Barbara realise that the Dalek machine is sophisticated enough to return them to their own time. The Doctor argues with them, telling them the machine is equally likely to explode with them inside but they insist making the Doctor call them idiots… It’s time to start linking to some clips from the official channel and I promise that this is one of the finest, and far too long to put in the quotes section.

This has set a massive precident and you may see where I’m going with this: All of the original cast except the Doctor have left now with others joining. These little choices make big decisions later. We’ll find out that Steven smuggled himself onto the TARDIS in the next episode, of course and we finish the episode with Ian and Barbara enjoying London in their normal time.

Favourite Quotes:

  • Daleks: Align and advance, advance and attack, attack and destroy, destroy and rejoice. (Not quite the “Exterminate” ring to it…)
  • That whole embedded clip

Score:

8/10 (A bit flip floppy but an entertaining romp)

Next time:
We meet our new companion, of course, but also visit England in 1066. Something is funny though… A lot of anachronistic features and a suspicious figure. Ladies and Gentlemen you are about to meet a new member of the Doctor’s people (assume Time Lord, though the term won’t come about for another 4 years). He is a Monk, he plays with time and he also has a TARDIS!

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Doctor Who — The Space Museum

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Season 2 – Episode 7 – (1965)
Doctor: 1 – William Hartnell
Companions: Ian, Barbara, Vicki

Time for a new concept! At the end of the previous story, the gang freeze in place. Then their crusade clothes are gone. The Doctor waffles this away but something isn’t right. A smashed glass reforms and this unsettles Vicki but the Doctor is sure that all will be explained on exploring the planet. They reach a large building and try to remain inconspicuous and this proves to be easy – no one can see or hear them – a mystery!

Well it turns out they can’t touch anything in the museum and what’s more, despite parking outside, the TARDIS is on display and they can’t touch that either! Finally revealed are the party themselves in display cases frozen. The group outside have no idea but The Doctor reveals that the TARDIS has “jumped a time track” meaning that they have arrived after they arrived. It’s a neat little idea because it resolves with them drifting back in time, the on-display characters and TARDIS disappear and now they have to avoid this fate. What a nice little premise and good first episode of the story!

Action time and the group’s presence is discovered. The museum’s curator and a group of rebels are in a race to find them first. The rebels are very young so maybe we forgive their silly plan to capture a member of the TARDIS crew so as to explain their situation. The plan works and they kidnap the Doctor, who plays dead. This distracts the rebels for long enough for him to tie up the one left with him and hide himself in a Dalek shell exhibit. Oh the 60’s audience… When will they see a Dalek again?!

The_mutant_is_revealed

The curator’s race, the Moroks, manage to successfully capture the Doctor as the rebel race explain their plans in various ways to the rest. All four of our group are pulling their weight in this one, which is nice to see. This is especially satisfying when Vicki reprograms a computer to allow them access to the artillery; her theatrical answer of “revolution”, upon being asked by the computer why she needed weapons is particularly pleasing. Moments like this let me give Vicki points that both distinguish her from Susan and contribute to a slightly more favourable view.

Ian manages to gain the upper hand with some Moroks, of course, and eventually reaches the Doctor to rescue him from being turned into an exhibit. The group are all captured again because in 60’s Doctor Who, the doomsday clock has to run to the last possible moment but the rebels have the upper hand and the Moroks flee. The group returns to the TARDIS with the Doctor taking a space time visualiser, which will allow our next story to start. The final shot, however, shows… well… I’ll get to that in next time…

Favourite Quotes:

  • Barbara: The Doctor’s curious, that means we stay. (such a good line)

Score:

7/10 

Next time: “Our greatest enemies have left the planet Xeros. They are once again in time and space.”—“They cannot escape! Our time machine will soon follow them. They will be exterminated! Exterminated! Exterminated!”

Yes they’re back – you went to them, they came to you and now they have space and time travel!

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