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.

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