a real world point of view
|Death to the Daleks|
|Novelised as:||Death to the Daleks|
|Main enemy:||The Daleks|
|Number of episodes:||4|
|Premiere broadcast:||23 February - 16 March 1974|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|Invasion of the Dinosaurs||The Monster of Peladon|
- You may be looking for the audio story.
An energy drain makes uneasy allies of the Third Doctor, Sarah, a Marine Space Corps expedition and a squadron of Daleks. All are trapped on the planet Exxilon with its hostile natives. The key to escape lies at the heart of a powerful and mysterious lost city, but only after a series of deadly traps.
Part One Edit
The Doctor and Sarah are en route to Florana for a vacation when the Doctor's TARDIS suffers a series of power failures. An unknown force somewhere on the nearby planet Exxilon is causing the energy drain. They barely land on the arid planet and go to find the source. The Doctor and Sarah exit the TARDIS but Sarah goes back to change clothes. The Doctor, exploring, is pursued and captured by the primitive, xenophobic natives.
Sarah searches for the Doctor but, after finding his lamp covered in blood, is chased by the natives. She escapes to an enormous city that pulses with energy, but is captured by the native Exxilons. They consider her presence near their sacred city an abomination and prepare her for sacrifice.
The Doctor, meanwhile, encounters a Marine Space Corps expedition whose ship has also crash landed because of the power drain. They are in search of the rare mineral parrinium, found only on Exxilon. It is needed desperately to cure a galactic plague. Another ship lands nearby. The Marines initially mistake it for a rescue vessel, but a squad of Daleks emerge, guns at the ready.
Part Two EditThe energy drain, fortunately, has disabled the Daleks' weaponry. They also are seeking parrinium; their own worlds are falling victim to the plague (so they say). The Doctor, the Marines and the Daleks form an uneasy alliance to find the source of the energy so they can escape. However, they are all captured by the Exxilons in a skirmish that ends with the death of Captain Richard Railton and a Dalek. The Doctor saves Sarah from sacrifice, but is recaptured and is himself sentenced to die.
The Daleks, meanwhile, replace their electronic weaponry with mechanical projectile weapons and soon master the Exxilons. They force a deal with the high priest which forces them to mine the parrinium. In return, members of the Space Corps are in charge of whipping out a renegade group of Exxilons. The deal also states the Doctor and Sarah will return to the Exxilons dead or alive.
Part Three Edit
The Doctor, underground after escaping with Sarah during the Daleks' seizing of the Exxilons, escapes from an enormous, metallic, snake-like creature. It emerges again and picks off a stray Dalek. Sarah and the Doctor are rescued by Bellal, a friendly Exxilon. He explains their civilisation once was very technologically advanced. Thousands of years ago, they built the enormous city, one of the seven hundred Wonders of the Universe. It became sentient and drove them out. The Doctor realises they must infiltrate the city to deactivate the energy drain. Before he leaves, he tells Sarah to make sure the Marines are ready for take off when the beacon is disabled, because the Daleks will destroy their ship once they have full power again.
On the surface, the deal is becoming uneasy. The Daleks are upset the Exxilons are not mining fast enough, much to the distaste of Marines' weapons officer Dan Galloway. After a root comes to the surface through a body of water and kills an Exxilon and a Dalek, the Daleks send two of their crew to find the city and destroy the beacon so their power will be restored.
The Doctor and Bellal enter the city and pass a series of tests with the Daleks in hot pursuit. If they fail to pass a test they will likely be killed -- there are many skeletons in the city.
Part Four Edit
Successfully passing the tests before them, the Doctor and Bellal reach the centre of the city, where the Doctor interfaces with the city's 'brain,' causing the equivalent of a nervous breakdown. A Dalek bomb destroys the source of the energy drain. The city begins to crumble.
The Daleks, having amassed enough parrinium to hold the galaxy to ransom, leave in their spaceship and prepare a plague bomb to wipe out life on Exxilon. However, Galloway, who hid on board before the launch, sacrifices his life to destroy the Dalek ship with a bomb. Sarah and Jill Tarrant, the Marines' scientific advisor, had replaced the Daleks' parrinium with bags of sand. The Marines await the arrival of a rescue ship to bring the much-needed plague cure to the afflicted planets. The Doctor bemoans the city's destruction. It leaves the Universe with only six hundred ninety-nine Wonders.
- The Doctor - Jon Pertwee
- Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
- Dan Galloway - Duncan Lamont
- Richard Railton - John Abineri
- Commander Stewart - Neil Seiler
- Peter Hamilton - Julian Fox
- Jill Tarrant - Joy Harrison
- High Priest - Mostyn Evans
- Bellal - Arnold Yarrow
- Gotal - Roy Heymann
- Dalek Voices - Michael Wisher
- Dalek Operators - John Scott Martin, Murphy Grumbar, Cy Town
- Assistant Floor Manager - Richard Leyland
- Costumes - L. Rowland Warne
- Designer - Colin Green
- Fight Arranger - Terry Walsh
- Film Cameraman - Bill Matthews
- Film Editor - Bob Rymer
- Incidental Music - Carey Blyton
- Make-Up - Magdalen Gaffney, Cynthia Goodwin
- Masks - John Friedlander
- Music - London Saxophone Quartet
- Producer - Barry Letts
- Production Assistant - Chris D'Oyly-John
- Script Editor - Terrance Dicks
- Special Sounds - Dick Mills
- Studio Lighting - Derek Slee
- Studio Sound - Richard Chubb
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Jim Ward
- The Daleks move through psychokinetic power (which presumably allows them to fire their weapons).
- The Doctor describes the Daleks to Sarah as "only half robots...Inside each of those shells is a living, bubbling lump of hate."
- Parrinium is a chemical that is rare on Earth but is as common as salt on Exxilon. It's the cure for the space plague, which was caused by the Daleks' "plague missiles".
- When the Doctor sees the city, he proclaims it must be one of the Seven Hundred Wonders of the Universe.
- Sulphagen tablets are pain killers.
- The humans are members of the Marine Space Corps.
- The story furthers the Third Doctor trait of singing folk or popular songs by having Pertwee give a rendition of "I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside".
- The Doctor believes the Exxilons travelled to Earth and taught the Peruvian Incas how to build their temples.
- The Doctor was intending to take Sarah to the planet Florana, which has effervescent water.
- The TARDIS has emergency storage cells in case of power failure. Without power, its doors need to be hand-cranked.
- The TARDIS control room is illuminated by hexagonal lights set high on the walls, one of which fades as the TARDIS is drained of its power.
Story notes Edit
- This story had the working titles of The Exilons and The Exxilons
- This story originally did not feature the Daleks. They were included because of Barry Letts' and Terrance Dicks' desire to cash in on the Daleks' popularity.
- This story marks the first time the Daleks' weapons do not function on screen. The Daleks can modify their casings relatively quickly, replacing their energy weapons with slug-throwing rifles.
- The Daleks target practice with miniature police boxes.
- Many of the Dalek casings used for this story dated from the 1960s (due to the unsatisfactory quality of the casings produced for TV: Planet of the Daleks).
- The cliffhanger to Part Three - the Doctor and Bellal walking towards a patterned area on the floor, only for the Doctor to say "Stop - don't move!" - was not originally going to be the cliffhanger. The original cliffhanger was going to be at the scene where the Doctor is trying to deduce the answer to the logic test concerning symbols, when two Daleks appear. Specifically, the cliffhanger would have hinged on the zoom towards the Dalek's gun. This was changed, however, for timing reasons.
- Episode 1 was wiped from the BBC archives, but a copy was later found to restore the serial; this is the latest known episode of Doctor Who to be, for a time at least, considered lost.
- Clips from this story were used in part 5 of the 2001 documentary series "SF:UK".
- The scene where the Doctor and Sarah Jane exit the TARDIS onto a wasteland and discover a petrified life form may be a homage to TV: The Daleks, in which the Doctor's group landed on Skaro and encountered a petrified creature.
- Michael Wisher, who supplies the Dalek voices in this story, would later portray Davros.
- Radio Times credits Duncan Lamont (Dan Galloway), John Abineri (Richard Railton) and Julian Fox (Peter Hamilton) as Lt. Dan Galloway, Capt. Richard Railton and Lt. Peter Hamilton.
- The surname of Murphy Grumbar (Dalek Operator) is misspelt as 'Grunbar' on all four episodes.
- This would be the final televised Dalek story not to feature their creator Davros until TV: Dalek in 2005.
- Part 1 - 8.1 million viewers
- Part 2 - 9.5 million viewers
- Part 3 - 10.5 million viewers
- Part 4 - 9.5 million viewers
Filming locations Edit
- Hanson's Aggregates Sand Pit, Puddletown Road, Gallows Hill, Dorset
- BBC Television Centre (Studio TC4), Shepherd's Bush, London
Production errors Edit
- Effervescent water - as described at the start of the first episode - would not give the illusion of additional buoyancy to a swimmer as the Doctor claims. For the bubbles to rise they would need to be less dense than water and their presence would therefore reduce the overall density of the liquid. This would make Sarah Jane more likely to sink, not more likely to float. However, in the previous serial he described the seas as 'like milk', meaning they may not be made of water at all.
- When the root beneath the city destroys the Dalek in the far shots it has white speech globes and when zoomed in it has orange. The other Dalek in the tunnels has the default white lights.
- In TV: Asylum of the Daleks, it is revealed that the Daleks who escaped defeat were imprisoned on the Dalek Asylum in a special ward with other survivors of encounters with the Doctor.
- In PROSE: The Left-Handed Hummingbird an Exxilon craft is seen.
- In TV: Pyramids of Mars Sarah compares the puzzles on Mars to the Exxilon city, although she did not enter the city.
- This is Sarah Jane's first encounter with the Daleks. She would face them again in TV: Genesis of the Daleks and, decades later, in TV: The Stolen Earth / Journey's End.
- The Dalek Handbook places this story during or near the period of Second Dalek War.
- In this story it is established that Daleks move by telekinesis, presumably a recent development. In earlier stories they relied on electricity. (TV: The Daleks, TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, TV: The Power of the Daleks) That is how the Daleks can operate on Exillon. However, the fact that they cannot operate their energy weapons suggests that they are still reliant on external sources of energy. It is not known if this is still static electricity. The Daleks eventually adapt to other sources of energy, such as the Time Vortex. (TV: Dalek, TV: Army of Ghosts)
Home video and audio releases Edit
VHS Release Edit
DVD release Edit
The restored serial was released on DVD on 18 June 2012.
- Death to the Daleks at the BBC's official site
- Death to the Daleks at BroaDWcast
- Detailed synopsis of Death to the Daleks at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Death to the Daleks at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Death to the Daleks at The Locations Guide