TARDIS Index File

Day of the Daleks (TV story)

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Day of the Daleks
Nice day for it
Novelised as: Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks
Doctor: Third Doctor
Companion(s): Jo
Featuring: The Brig, Mike Yates, Benton
Main enemy: Daleks
Main setting:
Key crew
Writer: Louis Marks
Director: Paul Bernard
Producer: Barry Letts
Release details
Story number: 60
Number of episodes: 4
Season/series: Season 9
Premiere broadcast: 1 - 22 January 1972
Premiere network: BBC1
Format: 4x25-minute episodes
Production code: KKK
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The Dæmons The Curse of Peladon
Production order
The Dæmons The Sea Devils
Behind the scenes video
Exclusive First Look The Doctor and Violence - Doctor Who Day Of The Daleks - BBC01:58

Exclusive First Look The Doctor and Violence - Doctor Who Day Of The Daleks - BBC

More behind the scenes stuff
Exclusive first look The Third Doctor and Wine - Doctor Who Day of the Daleks - BBC02:08

Exclusive first look The Third Doctor and Wine - Doctor Who Day of the Daleks - BBC

Another behind the scenes moment
Exclusive First Look Trikes! - Doctor Who Day Of The Daleks - BBC02:21

Exclusive First Look Trikes! - Doctor Who Day Of The Daleks - BBC

Day of the Daleks was the first story of Season 9 of Doctor Who. It is notable for marking the return of the Daleks as ongoing adversaries of the Doctor, after they had been effectively retired five years earlier in The Evil of the Daleks. Also seen here is the first appearance of the Ogrons, ape-like humanoids.

Both Jon Pertwee and Katy Manning, though acknowledging the story as a fan favourite, have cited Day as the nadir of their Doctor Who experience. Chief amongst their complaints was the unreality of the Dalek attack on Auderly House, which they found to be a pathetic affair. The paltry number of Daleks for the attack, which Pertwee estimated at two, could not reasonably have launched a fearsome end battle. (DOC: PanoptiCon 93) This part of the story apparently bothered 2|entertain as well, because they paid for it to be somewhat reshot and enhanced for the 2011 DVD release.

A special edition of this serial was released to DVD containing remastered audio and video quality, with improved special effects, CGI inserts to enhance the story, and touch-ups on the special effects. The voices of all the Daleks have also been redubbed by the revival-era voice actor of most Daleks, Nicholas Briggs. Having refined his portrayal of the Daleks to a degree of high confidence with his performance, his renditions of their voices are much smoother, harsher, and pronounced than the somewhat stiff, awkward and sometimes even uncomfortably nervous-sounding lines delivered by the original voice actors, Oliver Gilbert and Peter Messaline. As this was the first episode in several years to feature the Daleks, they were new to the role of voices for the Daleks and had difficulty cementing their portrayals. Later in Pertwee's tenure, Roy Skelton, the person who provided the voice for the Daleks in their last appearance, would return to become their main voice actor for the rest of the classic series.

Next to The Five Doctors and Revenge of the Cybermen, it is the one serial which has enjoyed the most varied home video release, having appeared in multiple versions on VHS, DVD and laserdisc. It's unique amongst LD releases in that it was released in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Indeed, it is the only Jon Pertwee story, aside from The Five Doctors, to be made available on LD. Moreover, it's the only Pertwee story, full stop, to be made available on British LD.

Synopsis Edit

Freedom fighters from the future attempt to thwart a Dalek invasion by coming back in time to assassinate a delegate at the second World Peace Conference.

Plot Edit

Episode 1 Edit

Late at night, Sir Reginald Styles, organiser of the Second World Peace Conference at Auderly House, narrowly survives an assassination attempt by a combat-uniformed guerrilla who vanishes like a ghost. UNIT is called in to guarantee the safety of the delegates. Later the guerrilla is attacked by huge, ape-like creatures called Ogrons and found unconscious by UNIT troops in the grounds of the house. The Third Doctor deduces that he comes from about two hundred years in the future and that a device found with him is actually a portable time machine.
Dayofthedaleks title

The Doctor, Jo, and the Brigadier.

While Styles is away, the Doctor and Jo keep watch. Three guerrillas, Anat, Boaz and Shura, arrive from the future via a tunnel. They shoot two UNIT men, then head for the house. The Doctor switches on the time machine, and a signal is sent to the Controller in the 22nd century. The guerrillas want the Doctor to switch off the machine. In the future, the Controller’s masters, the Daleks, plan to exterminate whoever is at the other end of the signal.

Episode 2 Edit

The guerrillas have Jo as a hostage, and, mistaking the Doctor for Styles, prepare to kill him. The Time Lord convinces them that he is not Styles. They take them down to the basement and leave them bound and gagged, though the Doctor frees his mouth. The Doctor deduces that the guerrillas are trying to change their past. The guerrillas bring the Doctor and Jo to answer a call from the Brigadier. Though the Doctor appears to tell the Brigadier that everything is fine, he covertly slips a duress code ("tell it to the marines!") into the conversation, and the Brigadier immediately sets out for Auderly House.

Jo grabs the time device and accidentally activates it. She is transported to the 22nd century. The Controller treats her kindly and tells her the guerrillas are criminals. She tells him exactly where and when the Doctor is.

Ogrons arrive at the Auderly House and engage in a firefight with the guerrillas. The Doctor runs away and takes the jeep the Brigadier has just arrived in. He heads for the tunnel and sees a Dalek in it.

Episode 3 Edit

The Doctor flees from the Dalek and meets up with Anat and Boaz just as they teleport back to their time. The Doctor is taken to the future with them. There, he tells guerrillas that the Daleks are his enemies, and that he came here to find Jo Grant. Before he can get any useful information out of them, Dalek and Ogron patrols arrive, forcing the trio to scatter. The Doctor evades the patrols and makes his way to the surface.

Back at Dalek HQ, the Daleks criticise the Controller for failing to capture the rebels. The Controller protests that the Ogrons are too stupid and unsuited to fight the guerrillas. He argues that they should use other humans instead. The Daleks refuse, stating that humans are treacherous and unreliable, despite the Controller pointing out that he himself has served the Daleks loyally all his life. The Controller then informs the Daleks about the Doctor's presence in this time period. The Daleks recognise the name and declare that the Doctor is an enemy of the Daleks and must be exterminated.

The Doctor finds that the world is covered in factories, where the workers are pushed to the breaking point. He sees one of the factories and decides to infiltrate it. His presence is detected by a security camera. Back at Dalek HQ, the Daleks and the Controller make preparations for the Doctor's arrest. The Daleks then demand that the Controller improve work production figures by ten percent. The Controller protests that the workers will die if they are pushed any further, but the Daleks declare that only the weak will die. The Controller reluctantly agrees.

Meanwhile the guerrillas meet with their leader, Monia, who knows where Jo is being held. They argue about what to do next.

At work camp 117, the Doctor is captured by Ogrons and questioned by the Lead guard. A work manager, who is secretly a rebel, sends everyone else away, but before he can talk with the Doctor, the Controller arrives and threatens the manager if the work quotas are not met. The Controller then apologises to the Doctor for his treatment, and takes him away. After they leave, the manager contacts the other rebels and informs them about the Doctor. However, before he can tell them much more, he is caught and attacked by an Ogron.

The Doctor is brought to HQ, where he is reunited with Jo. The Controller tries to convince the Doctor that the rebels are the real enemy, and that life on Earth in this time period is good. The Doctor, however, being fully aware that the Daleks are really in control, angrily questions the Controller about the work camps and prisoners, as well as the need to use Ogrons as guards. Unable to persuade the Doctor, the Controller leaves. The Doctor then informs a confused Jo about the Dalek occupation of Earth.

Meanwhile the Daleks note that the Doctor's appearance does not match their known records of him, and speculate that he has changed his appearance again. They decide to use their mind analysis machinery to determine if he is in fact the Doctor. The Doctor and Jo knock out their Ogron guard and attempt to escape on a motorized tricycle but are quickly recaptured.

Back at the guerrillas' hideout, Monia decides the Doctor must be rescued, as he is the sworn enemy of the Daleks.

Meanwhile, the Daleks use their mind analysis machine on the Doctor to determine if he is the Doctor they have met before. In his mind they see images of the First and Second Doctors. They declare that he is the Doctor - an enemy of the Daleks - and that he will be exterminated.

Episode 4 Edit

The Daleks are about to execute the Doctor when the Controller interrupts, insisting that they not kill the Doctor. He reminds the Daleks that the Doctor was in contact with the traitorous manager of Work Camp 117, and therefore could have valuable information on the guerrillas. The Daleks want to continue using the Mind Analysis Machine, but the Controller argues that he can get the information himself. He convinces the Daleks to release both the Doctor and Jo into his custody.

Elsewhere, the rebels finalise their plans to rescue the Doctor

At Dalek HQ, the Controller tries to convince the Doctor to give him information on the rebels. The Doctor insists he has no information and instead berates the Controller, calling him a "quisling." The Controller retorts that the Doctor doesn't understand the situation. He explains that in the late 20th century, the world was devastated by a series of terrible wars that wiped out most of the population. When the Daleks arrived, they easily conquered the planet and enslaved humanity. While most humans were sent to work in the mines and factories, a few were given positions of power in exchange for serving the Daleks. He further explains that his family has served the Daleks for many generations, and that his collaborating with the Daleks has saved numerous lives. The Doctor tells him he could save more lives by fighting the Daleks instead, but the Controller insists that Daleks can't be defeated.

At the same time, the rebels, led by Monia, Anat, and Boaz, attack the complex and kill the guards. Boaz sacrifices himself to destroy a Dalek. When the others reach the Doctor, Monia wants to kill the Controller but the Doctor will not let him. The Doctor, Jo, and the rebels then escape, leaving the Controller unharmed.

Back in the 20th century, UNIT prepares for the arrival of the delegates. The rebel who remained behind, Shura, hides a bomb in the basement of Auderly House.

In the future, the rebels tell the Doctor that Styles blew up the peace delegation, which led to war. The Daleks came soon after and easily conquered the ruined planet. Even though their original plan failed, the rebels want the Doctor to complete the mission for them. The Doctor, however, remains convinced that Styles is innocent, and that someone else is responsible for the explosion. After learning that the rebels brought explosives with them to the 20th century, he realises the truth: The rebels themselves - specifically their missing operative Shura - caused the explosion that started the wars, becoming trapped in a temporal paradox.

Back at Dalek HQ, the furious Daleks demand that the Controller find and destroy the Doctor. They threaten him with death if he fails. The Controller promises to find the Doctor. He then speaks with the Lead Guard and arranges an ambush in the tunnels.

The rebels give Jo and the Doctor a time machine and lead them back to the underground tunnels. Inside the tunnels, the Doctor and Jo are ambushed by the Controller and the Ogrons. The Doctor, however, tells the Controller that he can prevent the war and stop the Daleks from ever invading. Finally convinced that the Daleks can be beaten, the Controller orders the Ogrons to leave, then allows the Doctor and Jo to escape. Unknown to him, the Lead Guard witnesses all this.

Upon returning to Dalek HQ, the Controller tries to blame the Ogrons for the Doctor's escape. However, the Daleks are already aware of his betrayal, having been informed by the Lead Guard. The Daleks declare the Controller to be a traitor and that he must be exterminated. The Controller retorts that he may have helped to exterminate them. The Daleks execute him moments later, and appoint the Lead Guard as the new Controller. The Daleks then decide to follow the Doctor to the 20th century to ensure the Dalek conquest of Earth is not reversed.

Returning to the 20th century with Jo, the Doctor orders Auderly House to be evacuated, despite Styles' protests. Daleks and Ogrons arrive in pursuit, intent on destroying both the Doctor and the peace conference. UNIT forces try to stop them, but can do little more than slow their advance. Back at the house, the Brigadier forces Styles and the other delegates to leave. In the basement, the Doctor finds Shura with a Dalekanium bomb. He warns the guerrilla that the Daleks are coming. Shura tells the Doctor to leave the Daleks to him, as only Dalekanium can kill the Daleks.

The Doctor tells the Brigadier to have his remaining troops fall back and let the Daleks and Ogrons enter the house. Everyone but Shura flees the house, and the Daleks enter. Shura then detonates his bomb, sacrificing himself to destroy the Daleks. The Doctor informs Styles that his peace conference has been saved, and now it's up to him and the other delegates to make sure it succeeds. Styles assures him he knows what will happen if they fail. The Doctor and Jo agree, saying that they've seen it already.

Cast Edit

Uncredited cast Edit

Crew Edit

References Edit

Alternative timelines Edit

Daleks Edit

  • The Daleks' servants are called Ogrons.

Foods and beverages Edit

  • The Doctor drinks a fair bit of wine during his stay at Auderly House noting (mainly to himself): "That's a most good-humoured wine. A touch sardonic, perhaps, but not cynical. A most civilised wine, one after my own heart."

Individuals Edit

  • The Doctor speaks of Napoleon Bonaparte as though he were a good friend, or at the least a friendly acquaintance.

Locations Edit

  • Styles and the other delegates are due to meet at RAF Manston.

Politics Edit

  • China and the Soviet Union are the main belligerents; troops mass at their borders. China has pulled out of the conference before the story begins and Styles has to fly to Peking to persuade them to return. (In the novelisation it's a three-way quarrel involving the US)
  • Fighting broke out in "many regions" in South America and southern Asia before the summit began.
  • Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart is taking orders from an unspecified minister at the start of episode one. When the emergency broadcast reaches UNIT HQ at the end, "all UNIT bases" are placed on alert - the Brigadier now receiving orders from the UN over the British government.

Theories and concepts Edit

  • The Blinovitch Limitation Effect is mentioned here for the first time. It is this effect that prevents the guerrillas making multiple attempts to kill Styles.

Time travel Edit

Weapons Edit

  • The guerrillas' guns contain iron mined in North Wales.

Story notes Edit

  • This story is noted for being one of only a few stories where the very nature of time travel is used as a main plot element.
  • This story had working titles of The Ghost Hunters (also sometimes referred to as Ghost Hunters), Years of Doom, The Time Warriors, The Day of the Daleks and Ghosts.
  • According to the DVD production notes, Louis Marks originally wrote a version of this story without the Daleks; script editor Terrance Dicks decided to add the Daleks and a new version of the story was created.
  • The on-screen title is Day of the Daleks. However on the commercial releases (Video and Laserdisc) it was listed as The Day of the Daleks. The title The Day of the Daleks is also given in Radio Times for all four episodes, and for the 90-minute compilation repeat as broadcast Monday 3 September 1973 (BBC One Cymru, Wales: Thursday 6 September).
  • A section of the closing title sequence appears in the background on the screen of the Daleks' mind analysis machine at the end of episode three. In addition, the "Dr. Who - Jon Pertwee" credit is unusually superimposed over the scene as the end credits begin.
  • The above sequence also features the first images of William Hartnell and Patrick Troughton since they both left the show.
  • Episode four was originally to have featured a confrontation between the Doctor and the Daleks, in which the Daleks explain how they destroyed those of their number who were infused with the Human Factor in the events seen in The Evil of the Daleks, and then turned their attention to conquering Earth by means of time travel. However, this had to be edited out due to the episode overrunning.
    • Bringer of Darkness, in 1993, would have the Second Doctor encounter the Daleks after Evil and learn the Humanized Daleks had been destroyed.
  • This story is the first Dalek story since The Daleks in which there is no change to the main cast (if The Power of the Daleks is seen to introduce the character of the Second Doctor).
  • The Ogrons were neither named nor described in Louis Marks's original scripts, being indicated instead by the term 'Monster'.
  • Nicholas Courtney is credited as 'The Brigadier' in Radio Times for episode two.
  • Tim Condren (Guerilla) is credited as 'Guerrilla' — the alternative spelling with two 'r's, as here — in Radio Times.
  • John Scott Martin (Dalek) is credited as 'Chief Dalek' in Radio Times, while Ricky Newby and Murphy Grumbar are credited on-screen but not in Radio Times.
  • Rick Lester (Ogron) is credited in Radio Times, while Maurice Bush, David Joyce, Franks Menzies, Bruce Wells and Geoffrey Todd are credited on-screen but not in Radio Times.
  • George Raistrick (Guard at Work Centre) is credited as 'Guard' in Radio Times.
  • This is the first story in which the Doctor encounters — and actually interacts with — a second version of his current incarnation.
  • In episode two, when the Controller tells Jo that she has already told him the year and goes on to ask where and when the Doctor is, she gives the date as "September the thirteenth" — an in-joke reference to the first of the four-day location filming period for the story, which took place from Monday 13 to Thursday 16 September 1971.
  • Although Miss Paget is seen to accompany Sir Reginald Styles to his car during the pre-filmed location sequence in episode four where Auderly House is evacuated and the delegates leave, Jean McFarlane was unavailable for the studio recording as she had been taken ill. Her lines were instead given to Styles's aide, played by Desmond Verini who, despite having a speaking part, remained uncredited both on-screen and in Radio Times.
  • Steve Kelly was originally supposed to play an Ogron, but was injured in a car accident, being replaced by Frank Menzies. (DWM 301)
  • Discounting a couple of brief cameos, the Daleks had not appeared in Doctor Who since The Evil of the Daleks in 1967. With this story they returned to being semi-regular menaces of the Doctor, making annual appearances before going into hibernation again after Season 12. A new sound effect for the Dalek energy weapon is introduced (but not used since).
  • Every serial of the preceding season featured the Master; as such, this is the first serial broadcast in eighteen months - specifically, since TV: Inferno - in which he does not appear. He would re-appear next in TV: The Sea Devils.
  • Near the end of episode two, the Doctor shoots a ray gun at an Ogron, vaporising it. This is one of only a few occasions in franchise history that the Doctor uses deadly force with a firearm.
    • In the special edition DVD, the Doctor kills another Ogron inside the house with the disintegrator pistol.
  • This is the first time the Daleks are seen in colour in the Doctor Who universe. They were previously seen in colour in the movies Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D..
  • In the novelisation of the story, the Gold Dalek is replaced with a Black Dalek. However, the Gold Dalek still makes an appearance, acting as the Black Dalek's superior.
  • At the end of the novelisation, the Doctor and Jo meet their past selves inside the TARDIS, mirroring their encounter at the start — only this time their positions are reversed, i.e. they become their future selves.

Ratings Edit

  • Episode one - 9.9 million viewers
  • Episode two - 10.6 million viewers
  • Episode three - 9.2 million viewers
  • Episode four - 9.5 million viewers

Myths Edit

  • Terry Nation was allegedly not consulted in advance about the use of the Daleks in this story and, when he found out about it, it led to a row between him and the BBC. (Although Terrance Dicks recalls such a dispute, Barry Letts does not, and it is clear from contemporary BBC documentation that it is Letts who is correct. Nation was consulted in advance, and his agents, ALS Management, confirmed in a letter dated 22 April 1971, that he had no objection to the Daleks being used in a story for the 1972 season, subject to the usual negotiations.)
  • This has the distinction of being the first Daleks story not to be entirely written, or co-written, by Terry Nation. (The Power of the Daleks and The Evil of the Daleks were both written by David Whitaker.)

Filming locations Edit

  • Dropmore House, Taplow, Buckinghamshire
  • Bull's Bridge (railway bridge), Grand Union Canal, Middlesex
  • Harvey House, Green Dragon Lane, Brentford

Production errors Edit

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
Day of the Daleks Original Mind Analysis

The CSO errors as seen in the original televised cut.

Day of the Daleks Special Edition Mind Analysis

The errors corrected in the 2011 DVD Special Edition release.

  • During the scene at UNIT HQ, when the Brigadier is speaking to his female subordinate about the canteen being closed, the plainly audible sound of the alert going off can be heard for several seconds before anyone acknowledges it.
  • At the start of the interrogation scene, the yellow-screen CSO is not only being projected onto the Dalek's video screen: the Gold Dalek's dome and the Doctor's reflective restraints are also flaring. There are also problems with the alignment of the CSO on the monitor showing past incarnations of the Doctor, as the upper right-hand section of the effect is flared. These issues are corrected on the 2011 DVD special edition, which features touch-ups and updates the CSO effect on the monitor with computer-generated effects.
  • For some reason each cliffhanger reprise from the week before ends with the electronic scream sound effect usually reserved for the end of the episode itself. Not technically an error - this was a stylistic decision against the norm by director Paul Bernard.
  • During the battle scene in episode four when the Daleks and Ogrons are advancing on the house, the feet of the Gold Dalek's operator can be seen.

Continuity Edit

  • PROSE: Missing in Action and PROSE: Honest Living deal with some of the after effects of this story.
  • This is the second time UNIT has provided security for a peace conference (and once more there is a problem with the Chinese). The first time occurred during TV: The Mind of Evil.
  • The Daleks tell the Doctor that they have discovered time travel, which he (perhaps unbeknownst to them) has already encountered. The Daleks built a time machine in The Chase. Later, in Remembrance of the Daleks, the Doctor observes that Dalek time travel is "crude and nasty."
  • The Doctor tells Jo, "I thought I'd destroyed [the Daleks] once before but I was wrong." This is likely a reference to The Evil of the Daleks (and/or possibly The Daleks), wherein the Doctor witnesses the apparent end of the Daleks.
  • Images of the Doctor's first and second incarnations appear on the screen as the Daleks interrogate him.
  • Following the murder of the Doctor's former companion Dodo Chaplet, her fiancé, the journalist James Stevens saw a television report which mentions that UNIT is providing security for the Second World Peace Conference at Auderly House. Entering the grounds of the manor house clandestinely, he was saved from death at the hands of an ape creature by the Doctor. The Brigadier later showed him its body, which finally convinced him that the various outlandish stories which he had heard about aliens visiting and/or the invading the Earth were entirely true. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)

Home video and audio releases Edit

VHS releases Edit

This story was released as Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks.


  • UK July 1986 (edited movie format also released on Betamax)
  • UK February 1994 (unedited episodic format)
  • Australia January 1987 (edited movie format)
  • US March 1989 (edited movie format boxed in honour of Doctor Who's 25th anniversary)

Laserdisc releases Edit

  • This story was released on laserdisc in edited movie format in the US as Doctor Who: The Day of the Daleks in January 1992.
  • It was released on laserdisc in unedited episodic format in the UK as Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks in December 1996.

DVD release Edit

  • It was announced at the Time & Space convention in October 2010 that Day of the Daleks would be getting a 2011 DVD release, with new CGI effects and new Dalek voices. It was released on 12th September 2011. Several new scenes were filmed including the Ogrons arriving at Auderly House in episode two of the Special Edition. Some actor fluffs were also removed from the story's soundtrack. A scene in the original version where the Doctor backs away from an Ogron while he is holding a gun was re-edited to make it look as if he shoots the Ogron while stepping backwards.

DVD special features Edit

Disc One:

Disc Two:

DVD Production errors Edit

In episode one (at 0:11:10), when the Doctor tests the future weapon on the target in his lab, debris is scattered on the firing range (in accordance with the new effect for this weapon). However, when the POV returns to the firing range (at 0:12:05), the debris has vanished.

External links Edit

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