Friday, 22 January 2016

101 The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 11: The Abandoned Planet

EPISODE: The Daleks' Master Plan Episode 11: The Abandoned Planet
TRANSMITTED: Saturday 22 January 1966
WRITER: Dennis Spooner from an idea by Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
PRODUCER: John Wiles
RATINGS: 9.8 million viewers
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes Collection: No. 2

"The mission has been completed successfully. With guile and cunning, I have been able to repossess the taranium."

The directional unit has burned out, but the rest of the Tardis is fine. However it was enough to get them to Kembel. Steven & Sara become separated from the Doctor in the Jungle. In an argument in the council Gearon is slain by Mavic Chen but the Dalek Supreme has left, sealing the members in the council chamber until Daleks arrive to imprison them. Steven & Sara find the Daleks' city initially deserted, but find and free the council members. The council leave in their ships but Mavic Chen's explodes on take off. Steven & Sara hunt for the Doctor and narrowly avoid a Dalek which they follow to their base inside a mountain where they are captured by a very much alive Chen who has faked his death and taken into the depths of the mountain base.....

vlcsnap-2014-11-04-12h32m49s96 vlcsnap-2014-10-26-22h47m00s201

This episode feels a bit odd: very little Hartnell with Steven & Sara carrying the bulk of the action. He just disappears in the jungle. I'm not sure why, did he have a week off? He does appear briefly at the beginning, a bit like that episode of Marco Polo he's in for 20 seconds..... I'm suspecting the absence was unplanned: John Peel's novelization of the second half of this story, The Mutation of Time, restores the Doctor to the middle of the action throughout. There's a lot of fuss about the Daleks switching to a new James Bond villain inside a mountain base? Why? Is their existingbase suddenly not good enough or are they fearing attack from their allies somehow, hence their decision to imprison them? Definitely a bit of paranoia there. The Mavic Chen is "killed" and brought back in less than a few minutes which feels almost like it wastes the idea. It almost feels like this episode is treading water and filling in time before the final confrontation next week. There again watching it might provoke a different reaction: listening to Episode 2 and watching it is a completely different experience.

We've made our final journey of this series and are finally back on Kembel. It's worth looking at all the location's we've covered in the last 11 episodes:

1-2 Kembel
3 Desperus
4-5 4000ad Earth
5-6 Mira
6 Kembel
7 60s Earth - Christmas at the Police Station
7 20s Earth - Silent Movie
8 60s Earth - Cricket Match
8 Tigus
8 London New Year 1966
9 & 10 Ancient Egypt
11 & 12 Kembel
That's a lot of travelling and most of that's without the Tardis!

This is one of those episodes where we have neither a frame of footage or any existing photos. We know what most of it looks like from episode 2 where we saw the jungle and conference room, and episode 5 (and a clip from episode 3) where we saw the control room.

vlcsnap-2014-10-25-23h02m19s2 vlcsnap-2014-10-25-23h03m05s228 vlcsnap-2014-10-26-12h58m34s211 vlcsnap-2014-10-26-22h42m42s217

I'm afraid we must return to the matter of which alien delegate is which.

We know who Zephon & Trantis are from the actors playing them in their prior appearance. Both are now dead in episodes 3 & 8 respectively.

vlcsnap-2014-10-26-12h44m44s88 vlcsnap-2014-10-26-13h02m00s216

That leaves Celation, who changed actor between episodes 2, Day of Armageddon, & 8, Volcano, from Ian East to Terence Woodfield, who reappears in the story after next, The Ark, playing Maharis in episodes 3 & 4, The Return & The Bomb.

vlcsnap-2014-10-26-13h02m48s174 Celation

Woodfield is again credited as Celation in this episode, so we can be pretty sure which alien speaking is him by comparing the dialogue to what's spoken in episode 8. That leaves us concluding that Celation is the alien with the slight hiss to his voice. The other actor credited as a delegate in this episode is Bryan Mosley as Malpha. Malpha's not been seen since episode 2 where he wasn't credited or spoke but documentation indicates he's played there by "Brian Edwards", a known alias of Mosley. He doesn't speak there, but does in Mission to the Unknown where he's played by a different actor Robert Cartland where he has a very rough voice.

vlcsnap-2014-10-26-13h02m31s254 mission1

The problem we have here is that there are at least two other delegates speaking in this episodes in addition to Celation and neither of them is identified as Malpha!

we've two delegates left from Day of Armageddon, Beaus and Gearon. We think Gearon is the one wearing black PVC and Beaus is in the spacesuit - see Mission to the Unknown & Fay of Armageddon for why.

Gearon Beaus

One slight problem: neither character has an actor credited for this episode either inside the costume or providing the voice artist. Yet at least one of them MUST appear to supply the second voice! The camera script indicates that Jack Pitt plays Gearon and that it's him who dies. It also says Beaus is present, but doesn't name an actor, and that Malpha is the only other alien to speak. The evidence of the soundtrack appears to contradict this last part though! It wouldn't be the last time that something changed between camera script and recording though!

The two voices we can hear are a clipped one during the earlier conference room scene, track 5 on my copy of the CD, and then a different one in tracks 16 & 18 in the cell. It doesn't help that the first appearance of this voice coincides with one of the regular dips in audio quality during this episode!

The voice in track 5 doesn't reappear after Chen fires his gun so it's a reasonable assumption that this is the alien that dies. The CD narattion suggets that it's Gearon who dies. Doctor Who Transcripts, an invaluable resource, agrees that Gearon dies but reckons the speaking voice in this scene is Beaus. The Mutation of Time mixes the dialogue up here between Celation, Malpha and Beaus and has Beaus die!

Purely on the basis the narration which had access to the scripts I'm inclined to say that the voice that disappears and probably dies is Gearon, who is uncredited, but the possibility remains that is could be Malpha who is credited.

I'd be inclined to say that Beaus is NOT the delegate killed. Later on in the episode when Steven & Sara are watching the alien ships launch we get this exchange:

SARA: There they go.
STEVEN: Yes, let's hope they'll be in time. Look, there's the ship of Celation and Beaus.
SARA: Chen's ship is still there.
STEVEN: Yes, he must be nearly the last one to take off.
SARA: What about the others?
STEVEN: Those must belong to the dead representatives.
which would indicate that Celation and Beaus both survive and leave together. OK it could be a mis pronounciation of ships but Celation & Beus are previously linked in episodes 2:
ZEPHON: The Daleks needed me. Without my help, they would never have got the co-operation of the masters of Celation and Beaus.
But the indiction from Sara & Steven is that both survive, and that because Steven spots their ship leaving after Sara's already seen something they aren't the only survivors.

So Beaus *could* be the voice in the cell, but the novelization thinks this is Malpha. Surely Malpha must speak somewhere if he's credited? I don't think that the voice in the conference room can be Beaus because it disappears. So here's the options:

1) The voice in the conference room is Gearon who is slain and the voice in the cell is Malpha

2) The voice in the conference room is Malpha who is slain and the voice in the cell is Beaus

3) The voice in the conference room is Gearon who is slain and the voice in the cell is Beaus and Malpha doesn't speak

My head hurts. Recover this episode quick and put me out my misery! I'll bet it'll then shows that Sentreal and Warrien have showed up again further complicating things!

No comments:

Post a Comment