Friday, 27 November 2015

093 The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 3: Devil's Planet

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 3: Devil's Planet
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 27 November 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 10.3 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"Mavic Chen has given this to the Daleks to complete one of the most evil weapons ever devised. Their Time Destructor!"

The airlock door on the ship is open, preventing take off and allowing the Doctor time to get aboard. Zephon is exterminated for his unwilling part in the theft of the Taranium and the Doctor's escape.

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Mavic Chen returns to Earth in a ship similar to the stolen one which is provided by the Daleks. The Doctor plays back the tape he found in the Jungle hearing the warning from Marc Cory.

The Daleks' Master Plan 2

The Daleks use a randomiser to bring the ship down on the prison planet Desperus and dispatch pursuit. Desperus is a planet where prisoners are marooned. Bors, Garge and Kirksen struggle for control of the prisoners. When they see the ship land they approach but the Doctor jury rigs a defence mechanism that knocks out Bors and Garge while Steven & Bret repair the ship preparing to launch just as the Daleks arrive. Katarina is sent to check the airlock door is closed this time, but is grabbed by the third prisoner Kirksen who has sneaked aboard.

The quality of the recording for this episode isn't great but the storyline sounds decent enough. Desperus reminds me somewhat of Cygnus Alpha, the prison planet in early episodes of Blake's 7, where prisoners are marooned. More evidence of Nation recycling!

The sharp eared amongst you may spot that Marc Cory's message is subtly different here to the one left in Mission to the Unknown. Here's the original:

Marc Cory, Special Security Service, reporting from the planet Kembel. The Daleks are planning the complete destruction of our galaxy. Together with the powers of the outer galaxies, a war force is being assembled.

If our galaxy is to be saved, whoever receives this message must relay this information to Earth immediately. It is vital that defence mechanisms are put into operation at once! Message ends.

And this is what we hear in this episode:
This is Marc Cory, Special Security Agent, reporting from the planet Kembel. The Daleks are planning the complete destruction of the Galaxy. Together with the powers of the outer galaxies, a war force is being assembled and
Regular Dalek voice artist Peter Hawkins provides Marc Cory's voice here. Two of the three credited prisoners on Desperus have prior and future Doctor Who form: Dallas Cavell, Bors who you can see in the first photo and on the left in the second, was in Reign of Terror 2: Guests of Madame Guillotine as the Road Works Overseer. He'll be back in The Highlanders Episodes 2-4 as Captain Jebb Trask, The Ambassadors of Death: Episodes 2-5 as Quinlan and Castrovalva Part One as the Head of Security. Meanwhile Geoffrey Cheshire, Garge in the middle of the second photo, was the Viking Leader in The Time Meddler episode 2: The Meddling Monk directed by this story's director Douglas Camfield. He returns as Tracy in The Invasion: Episodes 1 & 2, again directed by Camfield and also had a role in the second Doctor Whom feature film Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. as a Roboman. The third man to the right of the second photo is Kirksen, played by Douglas Sheldon.

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There are some more uncredited extras as prisoners and amongst them are a couple who return in different roles in episode 7 of this story, The Feast of Steven: M.J. Matthews later plays the Charlie Chaplin Lookalike while Jack Le White is Knopf's Cameraman. He also has an appearance in The Prisoner episode The Chimes of Big Ben as the First Judge

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A brief clip from this episode survives courtesy of being used in a 1971 edition of Blue Peter. Mainly set in the Spaceship, as it's forced down towards Desperus, there' also a brief glimpse of the Dalek control room.

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