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…
Nope – none from this one.
4/10 (it’s functional and fun but very very skipable – well written though!)
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!