Friday, 28 November 2014

047 The Dalek Invasion of Earth Episode 2: The Daleks

EPISODE: The Dalek Invasion of Earth Episode 2: The Daleks
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 28 November 1964
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 12.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion Of Earth

"We are the masters of Earth!"

The Dalek questions the zombie like Robomen and instructs them. The Doctor challenges the Dalek who tells him that they have conquered the Earth and are it's masters. In the tube station a group of humans listen to a Dalek radio broadcast ordering they're surrender. Dortmun & Tyler plan the attack: Dortmun has an explosive that he believes will destroy Daleks. David returns, and tells them that the Doctor & Ian were taken to the Saucer at Chelsea Heliport. Ian wonders how the Daleks can be here when they were destroyed on Skaro: The Doctor tells Ian that was a million years in the future. They notice the Daleks look different and think the discs on their backs may account for their increased mobility. Here they can move freely whereas on Skaro they were confined to the metal floors of their city. One of the other prisoners tries to escape but is gunned down by the Daleks. A differently coloured Dalek commander tells them that any other resistance will be similarly dealt with. The resistance fighters tell Barbara how the Daleks operate on humans to create their Roboman servants. The Doctor & Ian are on the Dalek saucer - we get the control room noise again from the original Dalek story. They are confined to a cell with another prisoner - Jack Craddock. They are observed by the Daleks who are testing them. The Doctor wants to escape. Craddock tells them how the Daleks invaded: meteorites bombarded the earth bringing plague. When the Earth was weak the Daleks invaded. The Daleks have set up vast mine works, including one in Bedfordshire, and put people to work there. The resistance plan to attack the saucer. Barbara has the idea of disguising themselves as Robomen to get closer to the saucer. The Doctor finds a device in the cell that releases the cell key from a box (cf The Adventure Game/Crystal Maze) using a magnifying glass and magnet. They escape the cell but are trapped by the Daleks immediately: it was a trap to test their intelligence and they take the Doctor away to be turned into a Roboman. The resistance arrive at the saucer but the attack goes wrong as the bombs don't work, but some of the rebels penetrate the saucer to try to rescue the prisoners just as the Doctor's robotising operation begins.

Another great episode: There's a distinct World War Two atmosphere to the resistance from their French resistance style sabotage, "the whole of Europe alight" phrase in the speech and the searchlights combing the heliport in the run up to the attack. The saucer exterior set looks great, even better at night darkened with search lights.

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Indeed the inside of saucer isn't too shabby either:

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The appearance of the Daleks has been modified for this story as the Doctor & Ian discuss while reflecting on how the Daleks can be there when we'd seen them destroyed at the end of the first Dalek story:

IAN: Doctor, I don't understand this at all. We saw the Daleks destroyed on Skaro. We were there.
DOCTOR: My dear boy, what in Skaro was a million years ahead of us in the future. What we're seeing now is about the middle history of the Daleks.
IAN: I see. They certainly look different, don't they.
DOCTOR: Look, they've taken some more prisoners. What is so different about the Daleks? Oh, I see. You mean the discs on their backs.
IAN: Yes. Perhaps that accounts for their increased mobility. Do you remember, on Skaro they could only move on metal.
DOCTOR: Yes, yes, quite so. But remember, this is an invasion force, therefore they have to adapt themselves to the planet.

All Daleks in this story have an enlarged base as well as the disc on their back that presumably supplies their power. This is the only story which uses these features: come their next full appearance their mobility issues, save for the always mentioned stairs, will be permanently solved with another, this time permanent, design change. You can read more about these changes at Dalek 6388's Dalek Invasion of Earth page.

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We get to see our first differently coloured Dalek in this episode and it's a bit of an oddity:


The dome is black, but half the skirt panels are Silver and half are black, alternating as you go round the Daleks' base. I've seen one source claim this is red not black but..... Is this the half finished prop for the Dalek Supreme which appears the next week? Alone amongst the Daleks in this story he has a black eye ball: all the others are silver for this adventure only.

Making it's debut in this episode is the broken neck ring on the half Black Dalek - look to the right of centre from the front, just above the gunstick, on the middle neck ring. The Dalek in question was one of two that had been given to Barnados following the first Dalek story and had come back in a state of disrepair. It's broken neck ring was repaired with a piece of wood connecting both halves on the underside this piece of a Dalek shows up reused on numerous props over the next few years and is easy to spot. We'll say hello to it whenever I see it!

Despite this episode being this Daleks' colour scheme's only on screen appearance it has been immortalised in plastic and indeed my son owns one!

So the Daleks are back and with them comes many of those who portrayed them in the earlier story: Robert Jewell, who was the Dalek in episode 1, plus Nick Evans, Peter Murphy (Murphy Grumbar), Gerald Taylor and Kevin Manser return inside the shells, joined by Nick Evans but Michael Summerton who was a Dalek Operator in earlier episodes of that first story before being replaced by Peter Murphy/Murphy Grumbar, misses out. Peter Hawkins and David Graham once again provide the Dalek voices, but here they sound a little odd. It's long been theorised that the ring modulator, which alters the voice of actor supplying the dialogue, isn't set up right. If you watch the Daleks Conquer & Destroy feature on Doctor Who The Chase DVD you'll hear new series Dalek voice artist Nick Briggs revoicing a scene from early this episode.

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Playing Craddock, the prisoner The Doctor & Ian share a cell with, is Michael Goldie who'll later return in Wheel in Space as Laleham.

His exterminated companion Thompson is played by Michael Davis.

vlcsnap-2014-08-03-22h25m17s178 Terry Nation is using one of his favourite story tricks for the first time in this story.

Recall the poster we saw in episode one on the wall under the bridge:

DOCTOR: Well, I repeat, it's stupid. A stupid place to put a poster. Right under a bridge where nobody can read it or see it.
IAN: I don't know. If you have a body to get rid of, I should think it's a very good place to come to.
DOCTOR: A dead human body in the river? I should say that's near murder, isn't it, hmm?
IAN: Bring out your dead.
IAN: Plague?
Here the Doctor & Ian have their suspicions confirmed by their fellow prisoner in the Dalek ship, Craddock.
CRADDOCK: Well, meteorites came first. The Earth was bombarded with them about ten years ago. A cosmic storm, the scientists called it. The meteorites stopped, everything settled down, and then people began to die of this new kind of plague.
DOCTOR: Yes, that explains your poster, dear boy. Germ bombs, hmm?
CRADDOCK: Yes. The Daleks were up in the sky just waiting for Earth to get weaker. Whole continents of people were wiped out. Asia, Africa, South America. They used to say the Earth had a smell of death about it.
Terry Nation uses plague almost as many times as he does radiation or a nice big bomb with a count down. It features in Planet of the Daleks (the Daleks' virus), Death to the Daleks (where it's insinuated the Daleks are responsible for a galactic plague), Android Invasion and finally, most memorably, as the starting point for his post apocalyptic series Survivors

This episode is one of a number of Hartnell episodes where the name of the episode is also the name of a completely different story, in this case the Second Doctor Who story which introduces the Daleks. We also have The Rescue (Daleks episode 7 and a 2 part 1965 Hartnell), Inferno (The Romans part 4 and a superb 1970 Pertwee 7 parter) and Invasion (Web Planet 5 and a 1968 Troughton story. Incidentally title of Web Planet part 2, The Zarbi, is used as the title of that story's book) The Dimensions of Time (Space Museum 2) was used as the title for the appalling 1993 Children in Need special.

The major first for this episode is the return of the Daleks during this story. It's the first time that Doctor Who brings back a previously appearing Monster, friend or foe. It wouldn't be the last return of the Daleks by a long long way and neither would it be the last time a monster returned. While the Daleks remain Doctor Who's most recurring monster, the Cybermen and the Master challenge them, with the Sontarans, Ice Warriors & Black Guardian appearing four times, and several others (The Yeti, Autons, Silurians, Sea Devils, Omega, The Monk, The Mara, The Rani & Sil) appearing in a main role twice.

Friday, 21 November 2014

046 The Dalek Invasion of Earth Episode 1: World's End

EPISODE: The Dalek Invasion of Earth Episode 1: World's End
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 21 November 1964
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 11.4 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion Of Earth

"Well, I don't want to boast, but we might be somewhere in London, hmm?"

We open with a human wearing a silver helmet walking off some steps into a river. Shortly afterwards the Tardis materialises where he had been. Ian & Barbara are pleased to be back on earth. The area is deserted and overgrown: Ian wonders if it's a Sunday. Susan climbs up to get a better view, but falls and twists her ankle. She has disturbed decaying masonry which causes the bridge they're standing under to collapse, burying the Tardis. The Doctor is worried that they might not be in Ian & Barbara's time: There's no sound, birdsong, people, shipping on the river, no clock bells. Susan is struggling to walk so the Doctor & Ian leave her with Barbara while they go to visit a nearby warehouse in search of cutting gear to get through the rubble into the Tardis. Barbara finds a sign on the bridge wall: Emergency Regulations: It is forbidden to dump bodies in the river. Ian & the Doctor are being watched as they move round the musty warehouse. Looking out of the window Ian notices that Battersea Power station lies derelict and missing two of it's four chimneys. The Doctor finds a calender dated 2164. While fetching water to bathe Susan's ankle Barbara sees a body in the river. Returning quickly to Susan she finds her gone. A man is waiting for her and tells her Susan is with someone called Tyler. He tells her, over the sound of Gunfire that they must get out of there. The Doctor & Ian hear the gunfire too: they also find a body with the same strange head gear we saw earlier. The Doctor thinks the head gear is some kind of radio receiver. The dead man is carrying a whip and had been stabbed. They hear movement and investigate, but Ian is nearly killed when he steps out of a door and the stairway under him collapses. Their observer emerges from hiding. Susan, being carried, and Barbara race through London finding shelter in an old Underground station. The Doctor & Ian observe a flying saucer over London. Susan is worried about the Doctor: their rescuer, Tyler, says they will try to help them. Returning to the Tardis landing site Ian & the Doctor discover Barbara and Susan gone. Tyler's friend, David, has struggled with a Roboman at their storehouse. It was David who saw the Doctor & Ian and is going to go and help them. They meet Dortmun, confined to a wheelchair, who has heard that a saucer has landed and plans to attack it. Ian finds the poster Barbara saw earlier and thinks there may have been a plague. David, returning to the waterfront, spots the Doctor & Ian but is unable to get to them as Robomen approach and surround the two men. Unable to escape they turn and prepare to dive into the water. But as they do a familiar shape slowly emerges: A Dalek!

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Fantastic episode. A great atmosphere with the deserted London scenes helped no end by some location filming which involves the whole cast, unlike Reign of Terror's where only The Doctor appears and even than a stand in is used for William Hartnell.

We start off very close to where I use to live in West London under Kew Railway Bridge. I'd been over the top of this location on a District Line Underground train many times without realising Doctor Who had filmed there! First we see the Roboman plunge into the river here: I like the look of the Robomen with their helmets, featuring a silver skull cap and bars down the sides of the head being reminiscent of the Cybermen design, at this point nearly two years in the future.

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Then the Tardis materialises in the same spot and a few brief shots of the main cast here help establish the location....

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....before we switch to a recreation of it in the studio, necessary for having the bridge collapse down round the Tardis.

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They have missed a small trick here: the Tardis is positioned at angle on location but becomes straight to the bridge and the river in the studio!

Since Kew is only just down the road from where my Mum lives, my son Jonathan and I paid the location a visit on 27th August 2014, 50 years to the day after Doctor Who filmed there!

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You can see more pictures of the visit at

It's not the only association with the Underground in this episode either: Much of Barbara's flight is filmed at the former Wood Lane Central Line Station, close to TV Centre.

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The site stood disused for many years and is now under the Westfield Shopping Centre. See Wikipedia for more details and pages one and two of's guide to the site for pictures.

The Doctor and Ian's trip to the warehouse is filmed in East London at St Katherine's Dock, used again by Doctor Who many years later for the 1977's Talons of Weng Chiang.

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The Robomen closing in on them is filmed at Iron Gate Wharf with Butler's Wharf, on the other side of the Thames, visible in some shots. Doctor Who would film there for 1984's Resurrection of the Daleks.

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Finally Queen's Wharf in Hammersmith is the location where the Dalek comes out the water with the Doctor & Ian's reactions being recorded in the BBC's nearby Riverside Studios.

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So for an episode that mostly takes place in a quite tight geographical location, near to where the Tardis landed, we've used locations stretching from Kew in the West to Docklands in the East on both sides of the river! The Docklands warehouses make you want to place the actual location there but there's no bridge east of Tower Bridge. They can't be at Kew because there's no warehouses there, and they can't be at Hammersmith as Ian's dialogue confirms:

You know, Doctor, I reckon that flying saucer disappeared somewhere over the other side of the river, in the direction of Sloane Square. Somewhere over there, anyway.
But then the view of Battersea Power Station makes you think they are on the North side of the Thames! Fortunately there is a point in London where you would get that sort of view of Power Station and still be on the south side of the River: the Tardis must have landed under Vauxhall Bridge!

The Location sequences for this episode were all filmed on Thursday 27th August 1964.

We get to see a Dalek spaceship during this episode but time has not been kind to the effect. So when the DVD was released in 2002 a number of new CGI effects sequences were created for disc:

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Unfortunately these sequences caused problems with some players and indeed when I went to get the screengrabs for this episode, of which there are a great number and I make no apologies for that, I found that the CGI sequences did indeed crash my copy of VLC Media player!


Making his Doctor Who debut in this episode is Bernard Kay as Tyler. He'll be back as Saladin in The Crusade later this season before appearing as Inspector Crossland in The Faceless Ones with the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, and as Caldwell in Colony in Space with the Third, Jon Pertwee. You can hear him interviewed on Toby Hadoke's Who Round #18.

Also making his debut here amongst the extras for this episode in the Freedom Fighters HQ is a name that will be familiar to anyone who's ever looked at a Doctor Who cast list: Pat Gorman , uncredited, plays one of the Freedom Fighters. He'll return in Myth Makers, War Machines, Enemy of the World, The Invasion, The War Games, The Silurians, The Ambassadors of Death, Inferno, Terror of the Autons, Colony in Space, The Daemons, Day of the Daleks, Sea Devils, Three Doctors, Frontier in Space, The Green Death, Invasion of the Dinosaurs, Monster of Peladon, Robot, Genesis of the Daleks, Revenge of the Cybermen, Seeds of Doom, Masque of Mandragora, Deadly Assassin, Invisible Enemy, Ribos Operation, Armageddon Factor, City of Death, Warrior's Gate, Keeper of Traken, Enlightenment, Caves of Androzani & Attack of the Cybermen. His been a variety of guards, army officers, monsters and Cybermen but your best chance of spotting him is in Planet of the Spiders episode two where he's the mechanic at the UNIT vehicle store. He's probably been in more Doctor Who stories and played more Doctor Who characters than anyone else! Meanwhile the suicidal Roboman is played by Kenton Moore who returns as Noah in The Ark in Space. Having said that I'm not 100% sure about IMDB's cast listing for this episode as the Revolting Prisoner is either in this episode or episode 6 and I'm pretty sure there's no Egyptian Warrior in this story and suspect that's a misplaced credit for Dalek Masterplan!

This story has a great number of firsts for Doctor Who: I'm going to look at at least one per episode. Here I've chosen the end of episode 1 and the shock reveal of the Dalek. This starts a trend for Doctor Who stories where the close of the first episode of a Dalek story reveals a Dalek in some form. Here they rise up out the sea, in The Chase they emerge from the sand. The Dalek Masterplan finds them emerging from behind the Tardis, in Power of the Daleks they are found immobilised in their spaceship while in Evil one materialises in the antiques shop. Day of the Daleks features a Dalek materialising again, this time in a tunnel, while Planet has the "spray painting an invisible Dalek" sequence. In Death they emerge from their spaceship and fire their weapons (the trick here being the weapons are discovered to be useless at the start of the next episode). The end of Genesis part 1 shows Davros testing his creation while Destiny's Daleks crashing through a wall terrified me as a child. Resurrection & Revelation don't have the typical episode structure, but Revelation has a Dalek emerging out the darkness and chasing the Doctor up a staircase. Not all of these are the Daleks' introduction to the story, in several of them we or the Doctor have already seen them. But they all have a big dramatic impact in their reveal of the Daleks.

The ending of the the episode does give the episode a sort of neat circular elegance. We begin with a Roboman going into The Thames and end with a Dalek coming out of it!

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There's another first associated with this episode though: broadcast on 21st November 1964, exactly 52 weeks after the broadcast of An Unearthly Child, it's the Doctor Who episode broadcast closest to the show's first birthday!

Friday, 14 November 2014

045 Planet of Giants Episode 3: Crisis

EPISODE: Planet of Giants Episode 3: Crisis
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 14 November 1964
WRITER: Louis Marks
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield (and Mervyn Pinfield uncredited)
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 8.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Planet of Giants

"Grandfather, we can do something, can't we?"

The Doctor & Susan shelter in the overflow pipe avoiding the water and climb up through the plug to be reunited with Ian & Barbara. Forrester calls the phone exchange, speaking to operator Hilda Rowse, to make a call to Whitehall. He imitates Farrow's voice and tells the Ministry that DN6 is good stuff, but Hilda is suspicious as she doesn't think it's Farrow on the phone. The travellers find the formula for DN6 and realises the dangers involved if it was used and got into the food chain. Barbara isn't feeling well. The travellers plan to make use of the phone and go to a great deal of trouble to lift the receiver. The phone rings at the exchange but Hilda can't hear them at the other end. Barbara collapses: she touched the insecticide and has been overcome.


The Doctor is confident that Barbara will recover if they return to the ship so she can be treated. Forrester is irritated the phone isn't working, Smithers thinks the one in the lab may be off the hook and leaves to reset it and look at Farrow's notes. When the receiver is replaced Hilda rings on the pretext of putting a call through. Now certain that Farrow isn't the man on the phone she sends her Husband PC Bert Rowse to investigate. The travellers decide to start a fire to attract the attention of the authorities using matches & a Bunsen burner gas tap. Smithers realkises how deadly DN6 is and rebels against Forrester. The gas tap projects it's flame onto some insecticide which explodes into Forrester's face as Bert arrives to take them both in for questioning. The travellers return to the Tardis which dematerialises and they return to their correct height and Barbara recovers.

Yeah better than part 2, but oddly disjointed in places. However there's a reason for that.....

Planet of Giants 3 has a somewhat odd history. Originally Planet of Giants was meant to be a FOUR part story, with the first three episodes (Planet of Giants, Dangerous Journey & Crisis) directed by the experienced Mervyn Pinfield while the fourth (Urge to Live) was a directing début for Douglas Camfield. However when Head of Drama Sydney Newman viewed them he found them too slow and ordered them spliced together to make a faster paced episode. Because this episode of Doctor Who required much editing to put it together it was transmitted from film, at the time a more easily edited media, rather than the usual videotape. As such this episode wasn't subjected to the vidfire technique when released on video. Pinfield receives no credit on the finished episode.

At the time of the original Blog viewing I said:

but since the original versions no longer exist and the scripts aren't in the public domain it's hard to say what material in the broadcast version is from which of the two produced episodes.
Since then however the DVD version of the story has been released which contains an attempt to rebuild the missing two episodes by fan Ian Levine using repeated footage and a small ammount of new CGI alongside a Soundtrack with the new sections recorded by mostly different actors. The exceptions are Carol Ann Ford, Susan, and William Russel, Ian, who reprise their original roles.

vlcsnap-2014-07-25-22h09m36s131We find that the original versions of Crisis & Urge to Live contained a lot more of Hilda and Bert plus an excised subplot involving the cat, which we saw in previous episodes, being poisoned by the DN6.

The break between episodes 3 & 4 comes when Barbara is overcome and lying on the floor just after Susan says "Grandfather, we can do something, can't we?". That line is found at 12:23 of 26:35 in the broadcast version meaning that just over half of the broadcast episode 3 is Douglas Camfield's work. If you read the synopsis above it's at the point where the story is broken by the photo, which in turn is of the scene where the episode break occurs.


Although it fills in some gaps and flows better there are some problems: too many repeated visual shots, notably of Smyther's face and a close up of Forrester (which I suspect isn't the original Forrester and might be a certain member of the new version's production team) and the new voices don't match the ones from the material taken from the broadcast episode 3 Crisis too well. Reaction at the time was mixed and I wasn't looking forward to watching it now, not having seen it before, but I enjoyed it and felt it added something to the story. I think the miniturisation aspect could be handled a lot better now with more movement from giant insects and the like but the basic idea is sound. If I was redoing the story now Hilda and the switchboard would have to go but I'd also tweak the plot so that there's an imminent danger of the DN6 escaping into the water supply to give a bit of a more imeadiate larger threat.

At 26m35s Crisis is the longest episode of Doctor Who broadcast to date, just beating Marco Polo 2: The Singing Sands. I thought the early Hartnell episodes tended towards 22/23 minutes a piece but quick trawl through the timings reveals that several episodes in the first season topped the 25 minutes slot allocated for the program.

This then created a one episode gap in the number of required episodes, a problem that was solved by creating a one episode prelude to The Dalek's Masterplan, Mission to the Unknown, which was filmed without the regular cast at the end of the second recording block using the same crew as Galaxy Four.

As we've previously mentioned this episode marks the directorial début of Douglas Camfield, previously production assistant for Waris Hussein on An Unearthly Child & Marco Polo. He would go on to direct (deep breath) The Crusade, The Time Meddler, The Dalek Masterplan, The Web of Fear, The Invasion, Inferno (or most of it - he suffered a heart attack while working on this story), Terror of the Zygons and Seeds of Doom. He worked on many series outside of Doctor Who including The Sweeney, The Professionals & the BBC Classic series, headed by Barry Letts & Terrance Dicks. He died on 27th January 1984 from another heart attack.

This point in the first run of the blog represented a format landmark:

And here we bid adieu to the Video recorder. It will be back before the Hartnell era is out for the Gunfighters & The Tenth Planet. But apart from 2 episodes on CD we'll be spending the rest of Season 2 on DVD.
Planet of Giants was the last of the William Hartnell stories to be novelised, finally appearing in print in 1990 over 25 years since it's original transmission and was the penultimate novelisation written by Terrance Dicks. The story was released on VHS on 14 Jan 2002, after the DVD range had started, and features the début of the Vidfire process. Planet of Giants was released on DVD on 20 August 2012.