Friday, 12 December 2014

049 The Dalek Invasion of Earth Episode 4: The End of Tomorrow

EPISODE: The Dalek Invasion of Earth Episode 4: The End of Tomorrow
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 12 December 1964
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
RATINGS: 11.9 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion Of Earth

"Intercept rebels and destroy!"

Our episode title relevance meter reports that since this story is set in the future and a big bomb has been produced then the title is relevant!

The Doctor passes out as the bomb nears detonation point. David burns through the casing with the contents of one of Dortmun's bombs and removes the detonator. Barbara and Jenny prepare to steal a dust cart from the museum to drive out of London as Ian & Larry Madison search for Madison's brother at the vast mine in Bedfordshire where the humans are being worked as slaves. They are found by Wells, who gives a Roboman guard an excuse for them being there. They save Wells from a beating by the Roboman and end up killing the Roboman. Wells has come to meet Ashton, a black marketeer who Ian wants to meet to arrange his escape. Having hidden the Doctor, Susan & David investigate escaping through the sewers, but they are held at gunpoint. Barbara and Jenny drive straight through a line of attacking Daleks, but are detected by a Dalek saucer which intercepts them destroying the vehicle just as they bail out. Susan & David have been found by Tyler, who has been attacked by alligators in the sewers. David talks to Susan about her staying to rebuild Earth when the Invasion is over. An alien beast roars at the mine-working alarming Ian & Madison. They hide in a shed which is already occupied by Ashton who won't take Ian without payment. Wells arrives and tells them of the alien Slyther which the Black Dalek uses as a guard. Susan is trapped on a damaged ladder in the sewers and is about to be attacked by an alligator when David & Tyler save her. Tyler has fetched the Doctor. Ashton tells of deserted villages with lots of food but Wells refuses to leave wanting to help those in the camp. The Slyther attacks killing Ashton while Madison & Ian are trapped by it on the edge of a sheer drop.

Somehow the episode feels down a little on the previous few episodes, lacking so much location filming and the action of the attack on the saucer. There's not so much Dalek in this episode either, just the ones that Barbara & Jenny run down and a short sequence on a saucer involving just five lines of dialogue. I've always felt that Dalek Invasion on Earth is a game of two halves with the second half being the weaker of the two, an impression not helped by the title being split into 3 episode chunks on two tapes when it was released on VHS, which was how I first experienced it.

Yet what little location filming there is really helps the episode. Ian & Larry get there first look at the Dalek mines where a mix of stock footage of mining operations and new location footage, filmed at John's Hole Quarry near Dartford in Kent on Friday 28th August 1964, really helps to set the tone and give you an idea of the scale of what's going on:

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Hang on, notable land mark! This is Doctor Who's first quarry!

We return to Engineer's Way in Wembley for the footage of Barbara & Jenny escaping the museum. Note the presence of Dortmun's body in one shot which earns actor Alan Judd a credit on this episode in which he doesn't otherwise appear!

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The same sequence, on the Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion Of Earth DVD includes another piece of replacement CGI special effects where the shot of the saucer over the van is replaced by one of the saucer firing the energy bolt that causes their van to explode:

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The location work isn't the only element of the episode helping to paint a picture of the world the Tardis crew find themselves in. The dialogue in the sewers paints a picture of both human and animal survivors of the Dalek invasion

SUSAN: David, could the Robomen get down here?
DAVID: No, I don't think so.
SUSAN: Well, it must be friends then.
DAVID: Not necessarily. Not all human beings are automatically allies. There are people who will kill for a few scraps of food.
SUSAN: Survive at all costs.
TYLER: I wasn't shooting at a man. These sewers are full of alligators.
SUSAN: Alligators? In the sewers of London?
TYLER: A lot of animals escaped from zoos during the plague. Most were killed but reptiles thrive down here.
DAVID: Well then, I think the quicker we get going, the better?
SUSAN: What's worse, the alligators down here or the Daleks up there?
These sequences are helped by some really superb sewer sets. In fact the set work throughout this story has been top notch so full marks to designer Spencer Chapman. Again sneaking some stock footage into this sequence helps:

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The sequence into the sewers leads into another conversation where Susan is challenged to cease her wanderings by David:
DAVID: Bah. One day this will be all over. It'll mean a new start.
SUSAN: A new start? Rebuilding a planet from the very beginning. It's a wonderful idea.
DAVID: You could always help.
Another facet of human life in Dalek occupied England is shown when Ian & Larry encounter Wells in the work camp at the Dalek mine:
LARRY: Ashton?
WELLS: The black marketeer. No one knows how he gets into the camp or out again, but he does, and smuggles in food as well.
As in every desperate situation there are those seeking to profit from it.

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Wells, who first appears in this episode, is played by Nicholas Smith, later to find fame as Mr Rumbold in Are You Being Served? He is the last surviving major cast member from that series. Sadly his distinctive appearance does rather take you out of the story a bit!

Black marketeer Ashton is played her by Patrick O'Connell, later to appear in 82 of the 94 episodes of The Brothers, many of which were alongside future Doctor Who Colin Baker. His character proves quite prophetic here:

LARRY: What was that thing we saw out there?
WELLS: It's called a Slyther.
IAN: A Slyther? What's that?
ASHTON: Where do you come from, mate? Fairyland?
WELLS: The Black Dalek, he's the commandant of the camp, regards it as a sort of pet.
IAN: You mean it's on some sort of a guard duty?
WELLS: Yes, well, in a way. Mainly it roams the mine area at night in search of food.
LARRY: What sort of food?
ASHTON: People.
Moments later the Slyther, played by Dalek Operator Nick Evans enters the shed in which they're hiding and kills him. The Slyther can best be described as one of Doctor Who's less successful monsters and was removed from film version of Dalek Invasion replaced by a squad of Daleks who blow up the shed which Ashton is in, there played by the late great Philip Madoc. I saw this sequence from the film as a young child and it scared me of the Daleks for years after!

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The start of the episode also has some unsuccessful element to it: The ticking bomb does rather sound like the Trumpton clock and note the shadow of a studio light falling over the box behind the Doctor. The Doctor himself collapses shortly after: he'd injured his back during camera rehersals and had to be written out! His substitute here is Edmund Warwick who was Darius in The Keys of Marinus 3: The Screaming Jungle and would later play a robot double of the Doctor in The Chase.

It may seem odd today now that the Doctor fights alien menaces invading Earth nearly every week but it took until the second year for the Doctor to fight an alien invasion of Earth. Earth's previous appearances in Doctor Who has been in the setup in An Unearthly Child or in the form of the peril to the shrunken Tardis crew in Planet of Giants but mainly as a setting for a historical adventure Unearthly Child, Marco Polo, Aztecs & Reign of Terror. There's more historical stories to come but slowly Earth Invasions will become a norm: It's an intention in Dalek Masterplan to invade Earth but the next real Earth Invasion is in Hartnell's final story The Tenth Planet. There's a few more invasion attempts during the Troughton era (2 in the first year, two in the second and two in third) but it isn't until Jon Pertwee's reign that they start happening with any regularity.

As well as it being Doctor Who's first Earth Invasion it's the first time London is invaded too. London Invasions are probably rarer than you might think. Using the word "Invasion" loosely we get the following Doctor Who stories with action in London

War Machines
The Faceless Ones
Web of Fear
The Invasion
Spearhead from Space
Invasion of the Dinosaurs
Terror of the Zygons
Talons of Weng Chiang
The Visitation
Resurrection of the Daleks
Attack of the Cybermen
Remembrance of the Daleks
Ghost Light
Other stories featuring England's capital, but not a direct threat there include:
The Chase
The Dalek Masterplan
The Evil of the Daleks
Ambassadors of Death
Terror of the Autons
Mind of Evil
Claws of Axos
Colony in Space
The Daemons
Day of the Daleks
The Time Monster
The Three Doctors
The Green Death
The Time Warrior
Planet of the Spiders
Pyramids of Mars
The Five Doctors

Of course many of these are by virtue of including a brief scene set in UNIT HQ which is definitely in London during it's earlier appearances and would seem to be close by in it's later ones!

This episode has the distinction of being the 50th episode of Doctor Who that was filmed. However it's 49th episode broadcast due to the combining of Planet of Giants 3 Crisis and 4 Urge to live into a single episode. 3.

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