Friday, 20 November 2015

092 The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 2: Day of Armageddon

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 2: Day of Armageddon
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 20 November 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 9.8 million viewers
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Lost In Time

"No power in this universe can stop the Daleks!"

Informing their base that more intruders have been found, the Supreme Dalek orders the patrol to start Operation Inferno. The final delegate Zephon, the master of the fifth galaxy arrives and greets Mavic Chen. The Daleks are observing Chen and plan to eliminate him when his usefulness is at an end. Steven & Katarina are sheltering in the Jungle - Bret led them out of the Tardis not realising they were safe from the Daleks in there. Steven is shocked to learn the Daleks are here having met them previously on Mechanus. The Daleks use their Pyro-flame attachments to set fire to the jungle so the Tardis travellers and Vyon seek shelter in the Daleks city.

vlcsnap-2014-10-25-23h03m49s140 vlcsnap-2014-10-26-12h46m42s231

Chen and Zephon argue over their importance leading to Zephon delaying his arrival at a meeting of the Dalek. The Doctor's party find the spaceport and Vyon identifies Chen's spaceship which they decide to take to warn Earth. Zephon appears and is knocked out by Vyon allowing the Doctor to steel his heavy cloak and pretend to be him. After being found by Daleks seeking the missing Zephon he infiltrates the Daleks' conference learning their plans. The Dalek Time Destructor has been completed and now only needs the core which Chen has provided, an emm of Taranium, which has taken 50 years to be mined on a world in the Solar System, the only place that ore can be found. Vyon seizes Chen's ship tying up it's crew. Zephon sounds the alarm causing confusion allowing the Doctor to steel the Taranium. Vyon, needing to warn Earth, prepares to leave without the Doctor.

Oh that was good. Daleks being Daleks, lots of aliens, a fantastic looking jungle and the set being torched. I'm pretty sure I spotted broken neck ring in the council chamber but Douglas Camfield is shooting the Daleks from some different angles which is hiding the damage. I'd seen the other two surviving episodes of this story years before this one and this beat them hands down at the time.

vlcsnap-2014-10-25-23h04m26s6 vlcsnap-2014-10-26-13h01m49s106

In November 2003, tying in with Doctor Who's 40th anniversary, the BBC released a boxset of Doctor Who episodes on VHS mopping up the last of the orphaned episodes form the 1960s that hadn't previously been released: All four surviving episodes of the Reign of Terror, the two episodes of the Faceless Ones and the first episode of the Web of Fear. Because the Secret of Comedy is Timing, you could almost predict what happened next: In January 2004 another episode was returned to the BBC.

While working as an Engineer for the BBC, Francis Watson was given orders to dispose of a room full of junk. In it he found a copy of The Daleks part 5: The Expedition and The Daleks' Masterplan 2: Day of Armageddon. Watson was a member of a local film club, Filmsoc (connected to the University of London) and loathe to dispose of them, "removed them for safe keeping". Over the years they were shown several times at Filmsoc and on one occasion the film and it's labelled can parted company. Watson left London to work for Yorkshire television in Leeds. The films spent many years in cupboards in Watson's home before being taken into work and hung in a bag on a coat hook. At some point in the late 80s the film can was discovered at Filmsoc who were disappointed that the contents didn't match the label. In 2003 he used the films as a training exercise in conversion of film to D3 tape. When they were returned to him he searched for the contents on the internet and, via the Restoration Team Website discovered it was missing. Contacting Steve Roberts of the Restoration Team, the film was swiftly transported to London where it brought the number of missing episodes of Doctor Who down to 108 (so far we've listened to 21 of them). This is the last episode of Doctor Who to be recovered to date (although later episodes of Doctor Who were found before this) and is considered to be a major find because for the first time we can see the Daleks allies and companion Katarina. It's also probably responsible for the release of Doctor Who - Lost In Time in January 2004 placing this and most of the other Orphaned episodes on DVD (Episodes of Reign of Terror, Tenth Planet, Ice Warriors and The Invasion, for which more than 50% of the episodes exist are not included in this set).

Prior to this find the only surviving footage was taken from the 35mm reel of pre filmed effects sequences for the first two episodes, found in 1991. It shows the scenes of the Daleks burning down the jungle. When the episode was recovered these sequences were reinserted into the recovered print to form the DVD version and look noticeably better than the rest of the episode!

vlcsnap-2014-10-25-23h03m45s102 vlcsnap-2014-10-25-23h03m58s230

When I first wrote about this episode I said:

So The Daleks' Master Plan 2: Day of Armageddon is the only known existing episode of Doctor Who not to be released on VHS!
Since then ELEVEN more episodes have been recovered: Galaxy Four episode 3, Airlock, The Underwater Menace episode 2, Enemy of the World episodes 1, 2 & 4-6 and Web of Fear episodes 2 & 4-6!

We mention that the film can for this episode was found. Over the years cans for Marco Polo Episode 7 & The Moonbase Part 3 have been found in New Zealand, The Ice Warriors part 2 (containing a film of the then missing Ice Warriors Part 1!) and Fury from the Deep 6 (containing something completely different that wasn't Doctor Who) have been found. Film cans are more durable than their contents and as we've seen it's easy for them to be separated from what they should have in them and then reused. Of course there could well be a film can out there labelled as something completely different with a missing episode of Doctor Who in it! We can but hope.

One of the main draws of this episode is finally able to see the Dalek council on screen. For many years the only evidence of the Dalek council we had was a series of publicity photos from Mission to the Unknown, and some of those Doctor Who fandom were unsure which name should be attached to which alien.

mission3 Mission_to_the_Unknown

When Dalek Masterplan 2 came to light things became clearer to the point where it was discovered that several of the aliens change between the two stories and a couple of those that remain change appearance. Two are definitely gone: the tall black alien and the alien with the white padded hood. We think these are called Sentreal & Warrien.

vlcsnap-2014-10-26-12h44m44s88 vlcsnap-2014-10-26-13h02m48s174

Let's start with the newcomers: Zephon is named in the episode and identified as being the figure in the black cloak. He's played by Julian Sherrier in this episode and the next. I bring to your attention Zephon's rather prominent necklace: it will be seen in Doctor Who again three years later hanging round the neck of the War Chief in the War Games, and it's by no means the only recycled prop or costume element we'll see.

So Celation must be the other new design, the spotty alien who's played by Ian East in this episode. The spotty appears again in later episodes but, and we have a surviving photo, looks slightly different. We know Celation is played by Terence Woodfield in in episodes 8 & 11, Volcano & Abandoned Planet, so that would agree.

vlcsnap-2014-10-26-13h11m23s176 vlcsnap-2014-10-26-13h02m31s254

Trantis gets some lines in this episode and is credited as being played by recognisable Welsh actor Roy Evans both here and in episode 8 Volcano. Evans returns in the first two episodes of The Green Death as Bert and episodes 3 &4 of Monster of Peladon as a miner. If you look on imdb you'll see he's had a length career. In Mission to the Unknown it looks likely that another alien was identified as Trantis, but there is a similar looking alien, played by Johnnie Clayton, which had spikes projecting from his face whereas here he has some nasty looking teeth.

Malpha is credited here to "Brian Edwards" but that's just a pseudonym for well known actor Bryan Mosley, who goes on to play Alf Roberts in Coronation Street for many years. He also appears under the name "Buddy Windrush" as the Prop Man in episode 7: The Feast of Steven.

Years ago I had* a Starlord annual with an article on BBC effects in it. There was a picture of this Michelin Man like creature with a heavy veined face in the article labelled as being a Doctor Who monster but I didn't know where it came from. I now know that it's Malpha from Mission to the Unknown as played by Robert Cartland.

* possibly still have, it's a long story involving a missing box of books including all my Doctor Who annuals at my parents house!

Beaus Gearon

Beaus is played by Gerry Videl who was under instructions to wear black make up. Since the alien in the space suit was definitely played by a black actor, Sam Mansary, we can be pretty sure Beaus is the space suited alien. Apparently the helmet for this costume was made for the Pathfinders TV series and re-appears in Frontier in Space worn by the third Doctor!

That leaves us with Gearon, played by Jack Pitt, who by a process of elimination must be the alien in the black PVC Robe with the enclosed head. In Mission to the Unknown his costume was more white and worn by either Pat Gorman or Len Russell

My thanks to Andrew Pixley's Doctor Who magazine article and Delegate Detective for assistance.

This is the closest episode broadcast to to Doctor Who's second anniversary, the first episode being shown for the first time on 23rd November 1963. The day I originally blogged on this episode in 2011 Nicholas Courtney died aged 81.

No comments:

Post a Comment