Friday, 19 December 2014

050 The Dalek Invasion of Earth Episode 5: The Waking Ally

EPISODE: The Dalek Invasion of Earth Episode 5: The Waking Ally
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 19 December 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

"Is that what it is? They dare to tamper with the forces of creation?"
"Yes. And we must dare to stop them!"

Ian & Madison jump into an excavator bucket overhanging the drop and the pursuing slither plummets to it's death as the bucket starts moving downwards. David & Tyler struggle with Robomen who've pursued them into the sewers. The survive with a little help from the Doctor & Susan, who then leave with them for the mine. Barbara and Jenny shelter from a storm in a house with two women living in it. The women works making clothes for the slaves in the mine, they give the Barbara and Jenny shelter in exchange for food. The elder one looks after them while the younger goes to deliver some clothes. Ian & Madison are transported into the depths of the mine, but Madison is injured leaping out of the excavator bucket. Barbara talks to the older woman about the ruin of London as the younger one returns with Daleks: Barbara and Jenny have been betrayed by the women in return for food. Ian is worried about the mine and wonders what it's for. Madison tells him that his brother Phil, obsessed with the mine, had a theory that they were mining for Earth's Magnetic core. They encounter Wells who tells them to move because they're hiding place is being cleared. Joining Wells' working party they are stopped by a Roboman who recognises the party is too large, but Madison is shocked to see that it's Phil, his brother, who has fallen victim to the Daleks transfer process and is now a Roboman. Larry Madison talks to Phil about his family but they end up struggling and kill each other. Phil's death sets off an alarm: Wells hides the body while Ian escapes. Susan is cooking a meal of rabbit for their party when she is surprised by David and they struggle playfully before discussing the Doctor. They've completed their journey to the mine: The Doctor thinks the mine is the reason why the Earth was invaded and think they are digging for something unique to Earth. Ian spots Barbara in a work party in the tunnels. Jenny is despairing of them ever escaping. It's Wells' party and Ian asks him to tell her that he's here. However before Wells can speak to her, she approaches the Dalek guard claiming to have information on a forthcoming uprising presenting the information on the bombs as evidence. She and Jenny are taken to the Black Dalek. The Daleks report that they are within four miles of the Earth's outer core and need to place their explosive in position to release the core eliminating it's gravitational & magnetic forces - during this sequence the Black Dalek is described as the Supreme controller. He announces that this will allow the Daleks to pilot the Earth anywhere in the Universe. Ian has sneaked into the chamber where the bomb is being prepared. Seeking to hide from the Dalek he hides in the bomb's capsule and is trapped within it as it is moved out ready to be dropped into the mine working fissure....

This is the Fiftieth broadcast Doctor Who episode and was shown a year (OK 52 weeks) after The Dead Planet gave the world it's fist glimpse of the Daleks so is the closest episode to the Daleks first birthday.

Our episode title relevance meter wonders who or what the Waking Ally was? I haven't got a clue!

The episode rolls along nicely but there's just a few things about it that bother me.

There are a rather large number of coincidences involved. Have travelled down for nearly 20 minutes who's the first person Ian & Larry run into? Wells, who they left at the top of the shaft at the end of the last episode. Then they run into a Roboman who just happens to be Phil the converted brother of Larry. And *THEN* the captured Barbara & Jenny get assigned to Wells' work party!

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What this episode does do is conclusively resolve *why* the Daleks have invaded Earth, a plot point that's been running since episode three. During that episode Larry tells Ian about his brother Phil's theory:

LARRY: My brother Phil's working at the mine, and he said if we can find out what the Daleks are up to, we might be able to beat them.
IAN: Makes sense, doesn't it.
LARRY: His theory is that the Daleks want the magnetic core of Earth.
Which is referred to again in episode four:
IAN: I don't know how you're going to find your brother here, Larry.
LARRY: I'll have a darned good try.
IAN: Even if you do find him, what are you going to do for him?
LARRY: Get him away. He's obsessed with whatever it is the Daleks are doing. Look!
And then again here.
IAN: Don’t worry. We’ll stay here for a while. You know, Larry, this mine doesn’t make sense to me. Where’s all the modern machinery?
LARRY: The Daleks brought machinery from all over the world. All they seem to be shifting is rocks.
IAN: Yes. I suppose they could be processing it somewhere.
LARRY: Who knows what the Daleks are up to? I told you what my brother Phil said, all they want is the magnetic core of Earth.
Quite how Phil's arrived at this theory we're never told. Perhaps he's previously been for a look at the Dalek mines because as soon as the Doctor sees it he reaches exactly the same conclusion:
DAVID: Now that you’ve seen the Dalek base, what do you think?
DOCTOR: Well it’s quite obvious to me its the centre of their operations.
SUSAN + DAVID: Centre?
DOCTOR: Yes, quite. You know, you surprise me, Tyler. Why didn’t you concentrate your efforts here?
TYLER: We’ve been fighting the Daleks everywhere. Well, the fact that they started mining operations didn’t seem all that important.
DAVID: Yeah, well, we assumed that they were just digging for minerals, you know, something they could use to make
DOCTOR: No, I think perhaps it might be the answer to the question as to why the Daleks are here.
DAVID: But why, Doctor? Surely they’ve invaded us?
DOCTOR: Oh no, it goes much deeper than that. You see, man, to them, is just a work machine. An insignificant specimen that is not worth invading. Absolutely useless. It doesn’t matter to them whether you live or die.
TYLER: Yeah, that’s true enough.
DAVID: Well, what are they digging for?
DOCTOR: Well, at the moment, my boy, I’m not quite sure, but let us say something that this planet contains. Something that no planet has.
TYLER: And you think if it was something on the surface, they’d have just collected it and gone?
DOCTOR: Yes, quite, quite. Instead, there they are, burrowing like moles down and through the crust of the Earth.
TYLER: But isn’t that impossible? I mean, without causing an eruption, a huge earthquake no one could survive.
DOCTOR: Not unless they know how to control the flow of living energy, hmm?
DAVID: Is that what it is? They dare to tamper with the forces of creation?
DOCTOR: Yes, they dare. And we have got to dare to stop them.
Sure enough the Supreme Dalek confirms as such a little while later

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DALEK SUPREME: Give me your report.
DALEK: The main drills have penetrated the quartz strata. We are within four miles of the Earth’s outer core.
DALEK SUPREME: When will the final breakthrough occur?
DALEK: The slave parties are clearing the top of the fissure now.
DALEK SUPREME: What remains to be done?
DALEK: Only to put into position the penetration explosive. The charge is in the fissure capsule now. When positioned, the charge will strike the fissure in the Earth’s crust here.
DALEK SUPREME: The fissure will expand, the molten core be released.
DALEK: We will then control the flow until all the gravitational and magnetic forces in the Earth’s core are eliminated.
DALEK SUPREME: Excellent. I will now announce to the Dalek Earth force, completion of Project Degravitate in two hours time.
The science here is dreadful!

I'm not sure if it was known at the time if other planets have a magnetic core but even so it's a big leap to assume Earth is the only one. I wouldn't have thought that Bedfordshire was the best place to drill through Earth's crust, I thought the UK was on a pretty thick & stable part of the crust and that there were much thinner points. Yet the Daleks are drilling here and we get another project drilling into the Earth in Inferno.

More is to come:

DALEK: Attention all units. Stand by for an announcement by the Supreme Controller.
DALEK SUPREME: This is the Supreme Controller. Our mission to Earth is nearly completed. We were sent here to remove the core of this planet. Once the core is removed, we can replace it with a power system that will enable us to pilot the planet anywhere in the universe.
WHAT ????? They want to turn the Earth into a giant spaceship ????

And yet, somehow, this mad plot point is actually picked up many years later in The Stolen Earth/Journey's End! In between the Time Lords move the Earth in Trial of a Timelord and the Cybermen take Earth's twin Mondas for a wander round the galaxy by installing a propulsion system!

There seems to be some confusion as to what the Dalek's leader is called here.

DALEK: The Black Dalek will see you, but if you are lying, you will be killed. Follow me.
Yet above another Dalek refers to him as Supreme Controller. I'm using the term Dalek Supreme throughout.

Another oddity here is that one of the standard Daleks in the control room is sporting a black eye ball as opposed to the silver ones the rest of the regular troops have! Dalek 6388 think this is the other prop returned from Barnados and it's been like that all along but this is the first time I've spotted it.

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Playing Ian's companion Larry Madison is Graham Rigby but I'm not sure who plays his brother Phil. He should be credited, as he gets a line of dialogue, but isn't. I'm presuming it's one of the credited Robomen for this episode, Peter Badger or Martyn Huntley, who both appear in all six episodes of the story. Huntley has already been in Doctor Who in The Sensorites: A Desperate Venture as the First Human and will return as Warren Earp in The Gunfighters episodes Johnny Ringo & The O.K. Corral.

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Playing the women who capture Barbara and Jenny are Jean Conroy & Meriel Horson. They take up a sizeable portion of the first half of the episode and are another example of humans collaborating with the the Daleks.

There's another hint in this episode towards Susan's forthcoming departure as the Doctor catches her and David, actor Peter Fraser fooling about together:

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SUSAN: Just in time for food.
DOCTOR: Ah, yes, my dear.
DAVID: Ah, we were just, er, well, I was just, er.
DOCTOR: Quite, quite. I can see something’s cooking.
I think The Doctor may be a little bit more observant than he lets on and has spotted the budding romance, hence the actions he takes next episode.

As well as being the first Earth Invasion this story gives us the first glimpse of an Earth in the future. OK apart from the calendar in the first episode there's little to date this serial any later than the date it's filmed. All the characters look like they're dressed straight out the sixties. We've already met future humans in space in The Sensorites and we'll meet them again in the Rescue (next up), the Chase and Mission to the Unknown before seeing the Earth of the year 4000 in The Dalek Masterplan. The Earth's destruction is seen in the year 10 million in the Ark. The Tenth Planet offers an Earth of 1986, at the time a futuristic setting but one the series would eventually overtake, but Troughton visits the near future Earth several time plus a visit to a far future Ice Age. Pertwee's visits without the aid of the Tardis in Day of the Daleks and again with the Tardis during Frontier in Space, but Tom, surprisingly, only turns up once in the Sontaran Experiment. Davison visits in Earthshock & Warriors of the Deep, Colin during Trial of a Timelord and Sylvester McCoy in Paradise Towers and the near future (and quickly overtaken) Battlefield. Coupling these visits with encounters with humanity all over the Universe presents some problems resolving a future history for humanity. However in several of these stories The Dalek Invasion of Earth remains a crucial event.

This episode survives as a 35mm film negative which was used to make the print from which this episode was transmitted. Why the episode was transmitted from film isn't 100% clear.

1 comment:

  1. > Playing Ian's companion Larry Madison is Graham Rigby
    > but I'm not sure who plays his brother Phil.
    > He should be credited, as he gets a line of dialogue, but isn't.
    > I'm presuming it's one of the credited
    > Robomen for this episode, Peter Badger or Martyn Huntley,
    > who both appear in all six episodes of the story.

    I'm told that Richard Martin identifies the actor as Peter Badger on the commentary