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The Daleks' Master Plan (TV story)

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RealWorld
The Daleks' Master Plan
The Daleks' Master Plan
Novelised as: Mission to the Unknown
Adapted into: The Mutation of Time
Doctor: First Doctor
Companion(s): Steven, Sara, Katarina
Main enemy: Mavic Chen, the Daleks, the Supreme Dalek, Kirksen, the Monk
Main setting:
Key crew
Writer:
Terry Nation (episodes 1-5,7)
Dennis Spooner (episodes 6, 8-12)
Director: Douglas Camfield
Producer: John Wiles
Release details
Story number: 21
Number of episodes: 12
Season/series: Season 3
Premiere broadcast: 13 November 1965 - 29 January 1966
Premiere network: BBC1
Format: 12x25 minute episodes
Production code: V
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The Daleks' Master Plan was the fourth story of Season 3 of Doctor Who. At twelve episodes running five hours, it remains the longest undisputed Doctor Who story to date (the 14-episode Season 23 was broadcast under the single title The Trial of a Time Lord, but there is debate as to whether this should be considered one story or four interconnected stories). Currently, only episodes two, five and ten exist in the BBC archive, plus a brief sequence from episode four (Katarina's death) that survives due to being shown on an episode of Blue Peter in the 1970s that was not junked.

As episode seven was to air on Christmas Day, it was decided that it should be a comedic episode with little to do with the overall plot, based on the assumption that viewers would either not be watching or would not want to watch the continuation of a grim Dalek tale on this festive occasion. This episode saw the Doctor turn to the camera in the closing moments and wish the viewer "a happy Christmas".

This story was intertwined with Mission to the Unknown, which acted as a prologue by setting the scene and introducing characters necessary to the plot of The Daleks' Master Plan.

Katarina, only introduced in the previous serial, became the first companion to die while travelling with the Doctor. Later in the story, Sara Kingdom, who was introduced during this story and was played by Jean Marsh, became the second. This story saw the first appearance of Nicholas Courtney in Doctor Who. It also saw the Monk make a return, the first individual antagonist to get a rematch with the Doctor.

Synopsis Edit

In the year 4000, the Daleks conspire to conquer the Solar System. Their scheme involves treachery at the highest levels and a weapon capable of destroying the very fabric of time. Only the Doctor and his friends can prevent catastrophe — and there is no guarantee they will escape with their lives...

Plot Edit

The Nightmare Begins (1) Edit

The Doctor's TARDIS arrives on the planet Kembel in hope that the Doctor will be able to find medicine to cure Steven's blood poisoning. He leaves the TARDIS to seek out civilisation, leaving Steven with the Trojan servant girl Katarina.

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Space security agent Kert Gantry

Having arrived before them, two Space Agents, Bret Vyon and the injured Kert Gantry, are also on the planet, trying to find out what happened to their agent, Marc Cory; however, they have been waylaid by an, as of yet, unidentified enemy. They are trying to contact Earth, but their attempts to contact them are fruitless.

On Earth at the Space Security Service headquarters, two employees are watching the broadcast of Mavic Chen, Guardian of the Solar System, who is explaining to the universe that he is going to go on holiday to get away from the hassle of being a space politician, but preaches a message of peace and harmony — celebrating 25 years since the last war in the universe.

Eventually giving up on reaching Earth, Gantry tells Vyon to go on without him, as he will slow Vyon down. Seconds after Vyon leaves, a Dalek finds Gantry and kills him.

In the undergrowth, Vyon trips and breaks the transmitter, leaving him desperate, stranded, and alone. It is at this point the TARDIS materalises directly in front of him. Vyon waits in the bushes and sees the Doctor emerge from the TARDIS. Vyon sneaks after the Doctor and takes the key from him at gunpoint before knocking him out. On returning to the TARDIS, Vyon demands that Katarina take him off the planet, but Katarina barely understands what's going on, much less how to work the ship. In his desperation to try to get the TARDIS working, he switches on the scanner revealing to Steven, who has just come to, a very irate looking Doctor. Steven briefly gathers his strength and knocks Vyon out. The Doctor returns and places Vyon in a restraining chair, then goes back outside.

Meanwhile, the Daleks are preparing for the arrival of Spaceship 1-11 with a great deal of pomp and ceremony. Emerging from the TARDIS, the Doctor hears the oncoming spaceship and begins to make his way towards its point of destination — curious as to whether it will have medicine for Steven.

Back on the TARDIS, Vyon convinces an untrusting Katarina that he is of no harm to them and his violence towards the Doctor was only borne out of desperation. He tells Katarina that he has medicine for Steven in his bag. She gives Steven the medicine and he seems to rally.

By this time the Doctor has arrived at the landing pad just as Spaceship 1-11 lands. Chen emerges from the Spaceship and is met by the Daleks. The Doctor is horrified to see his foes again and hurries off before Chen subjugates himself to the Daleks — wishing them success and help with the plans for annihilation of the Universe. By the time the Doctor returns to the TARDIS he sees the door wide open and Daleks milling around preparing to board his machine.

Day of Armageddon (2) Edit

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Mavic Chen meets with the troublesome Zephon.

Outside the TARDIS, the Doctor overhears the Daleks' plans for his spaceship. The two Daleks refer to the imminent beginning of Operation Inferno. The Doctor slinks off into the jungle leaving the two Daleks guarding his ship.

Inside the Dalek city, Chen meets the ruler of the Fifth Galaxy, Zephon. Zephon and Chen, although having never met before, seem to be at political loggerheads. Zephon appears to be somewhat intimidated by the Daleks drafting in Chen to their alliance. During their confrontation Chen mentions how the temptation to rule over larger swathes of the universe than just the Solar System tempted him to join forces with the Daleks. The Daleks overhear this and note the human's grand aspirations. The Dalek Supreme explains that as soon as Chen has served his purpose he will be disposed of "like the rest of them."

Pyro-flames

The Daleks prepare to burn the jungle of Kembel.

Whilst roaming the jungle the Doctor stumbles across Steven and Katarina. Katarina explains how Bret helped them out of the TARDIS as soon as the Daleks were seen in the distance, therefore saving their lives. While the companions speak Bret is elsewhere in the jungle where he observes the Daleks using their "pyro-flames" in order to torch the jungle. Bret goes back to warn the others, wherein an argument soon breaks out. The Doctor wants to go back to the TARDIS but Steven argues that this is playing into the Daleks' hands, Bret weighs in angrily only for the Doctor to react with hostility towards him. The decision is made to move towards the Dalek city so as to be safe from incineration.

Back in the Dalek city, Chen and Zephon watch the jungle burn. Chen goes to the meeting, but Zephon refuses to go with him, saying that he will go when he feels like it. This is clearly in order to show off to Chen the power he holds amongst the Daleks.

Outside the Dalek city, the Doctor and his companions reach the landing strip for the visiting dignitaries. Bret notices Chen's spaceship and is shocked that their leader would be embroiled with the Daleks. The Doctor sees this as a positive thing and says that Bret can hijack the ship and warn Earth of the Daleks' oncoming invasion personally. While they are talking Zephon approaches them but does not see them. Thinking quickly, Bret grabs Zephon from behind and immobilises him. It is decided that the Doctor will wear Zephon's robe and attend the Dalek meeting to ascertain the Dalek master plan while Bret goes on to hijack the ship. The Doctor takes Bret to one side and says that if he hasn't returned by the time the ship is ready they should go on without him. Before leaving, the Doctor gives Bret a small reel of tape that he found earlier in the jungle, saying that it may be of use later.

The Daleks have noticed Zephon's absence and they, as well as the other dignitaries, are annoyed with the leader. The Daleks fan out to look for him and soon find the Doctor in disguise as Zephon and escort him towards the meting. Arriving at the meeting, the other leaders express irritation at the tardiness of "Zephon." The meeting begins, and the Dalek Supreme reports their ultimate weapon, the Time Destructor, is now complete. Chen reveals he has procured a sample of the extremely rare element taranium, necessary to operate the Time Destructor.

Whilst this meeting is taking place the Doctor's companions take over Chen's ship with very little resistance and leave the fleet on the landing bay, but as they do Zephon regains consciousness and raises the alarm. The Dalek meeting breaks up in panic. Amongst the chaos the Doctor steals the taranium, only to be confronted by Zephon. With no other choice to evade capture Bret begins to prepare the ship for departure despite the pleas of Steven and Katarina.

Devil's Planet (3) Edit

The Doctor gets to Chen's Spar, the type of ship Bret has hijacked, just in time for take-off, with the Doctor in possession of the Dalek's taranium.

The Daleks do not want to destroy Chen's spar because they need the taranium for their weapon, so they decide to employer a randomiser, a means of externally controlling a ship, and a pursuit team to try to regain their taranium. Zephon tries to place Chen in the middle of a conspiracy, saying that due to the fact the assailants are humanoid and must come from the Solar System it means they must be in cahoots with Chen. Chen turns this back on Zephon and says that Zephon was absent at the time of the theft. The Daleks agree, concluding that Zephon is the one who's responsible. Zephon tells the Daleks that two of the other leaders will also leave if he does. Finally, Zephon announces that he is leaving the alliance. He does not get the chance — a Dalek kills him.

On course for Earth, the Doctor asks Bret for the tape he found while in the jungle. The group plays it back. It turns out to be from Agent Cory, whose brief statements confirm what they already know — Earth and the Solar System are doomed. Bret discusses what he should do with this information, speculating that if Chen is involved any number of political figures could also be. As they near the prison planet Desperus — where convicts are simply left, without any guards or means of escape — the Daleks use the randomiser to disable the controls of the spar and eventually force land it on Desperus with the Dalek ship in hot pursuit.

The spar crashes on the planet, causing minor damage to the ship. This disturbs three of the convicts who call Desperus home: the leader, Borg, his lackey, Garge and a weak and subservient member of the group, Kirksen. The trio decide to hijack the ship and escape from the planet.

Realising that the impact should have totally destroyed the spar, the four conclude the Daleks want them alive, and Bret and Steven set about repairing the ship. Katarina and the Doctor notice the three convicts approaching the ship and begin to defend themselves by placing a live wire within the swamp which they have landed in. Sure enough, the convicts attempt to board the ship, and Borg and Garge are shocked unconscious. Just after this Bret and Steven fix the ship and take off. The Dalek pursuit ship lands heavily, allowing the Doctor and his companions a further head start. In his haste earlier the Doctor realises he hadn't closed the airlock door of the spar and sends Katarina to do so. As she does, Kirksen, who has stowed aboard, holds her at knifepoint.

The Traitors (4) Edit

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Kirksen struggles with Katarina.

Kirksen threatens to kill Katarina unless the travellers take him to the nearest planet — Kembel. The group try to argue that this is a hostile planet populated by Daleks but Kirksen is insistent. The group seemingly concur with the convict's wishes, but just pretend to readjust the controls.

Back on Kembel the pursuit fleet has fixed their ship and report back to the Dalek city for orders — they are told that the spar is headed for Earth where Chen can intercept it and that they are to return to Kembel. The Dalek Supreme gives orders for the pursuit fleet to be killed for their failure.

In order to stop the impasse between Kirksen and Katarina, Bret tilts the spar in such a way that the hostage and the hostage taker are knocked into the airlock. Steven and the Doctor attempt a mediation but Katarina opens the airlock, blowing herself and Kirksen into space. Stunned, Steven suggests that she must have done it accidentally, but the Doctor thinks it was deliberate in order to allow the Doctor and his companions to return to Earth and warn of the coming invasion.

Back on Kembel the Daleks are upbraided by another representative from the largest galaxy of their alliance, Trantis. Trantis is worried about the trust that the Daleks have placed in Chen. The Daleks are insistent that their way is correct.

Back on the spar the Doctor and his companions are in a quandary as to where to land the vehicle — knowing that if they land it anywhere public they will be accosted. Bret says he will land it at an experimental station just outside the Central City in order to evade detection. There he will contact his friend Daxtar who will help them. On leaving the ship, unbeknownst to the travellers they are spied on by a woman.

In the Central City Chen is being briefed on the traitors that stole his spar. He is told by Lizan, one of his security team, that the identities of the traitors are Bret Vyon and Kurt Gantry. He orders their assassination on sight. When left alone Chen conspires with the head of his security service Karlton on his worries with regard to the taranium. He also informs Karlton that he is worried that if he hampers the Daleks' plans Trantis will usurp his power in the alliance. Karlton informs him he needn't worry in that regard as he has assigned Sara Kingdom, the toughest security agent they have, on the case. When Sara reports to Chen she informs him she saw Bret with two unidentified men. Chen sends her back to kill them and take the taranium back.

The Doctor is growing impatient waiting for Daxtar to arrive but when he does they unburden their story to him. Daxtar responds to this by saying that they should immediately return to the Central City and alert the forces and return the taranium. The Doctor explains to Bret that he never mentioned taranium to Daxtar and he must be a traitor to have that information. Furious at this betrayal, Bret kills Daxtar. The Doctor berates Bret for his speed to kill, explaining the information they could have learnt would have been far more useful. The Doctor and his companions decide what to do. Bret suggests that he should infiltrate the security service and alert the authorities himself rather than risk further betrayals. As the travellers set off to do this, Sara enters and holds the men at gun point. Bret manages to cause enough of a distraction to allow the Doctor and Steven to escape but he is shot by Sara, who begins her pursuit.

Counter Plot (5) Edit

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The Doctor examines a piece of equipment.

In an effort to avoid capture, the Doctor and Steven take refuge in a room wherein an experiment in molecular dissemination is taking place. The experiment reaches its climax as Sara enters the room, and the three of them are transported to the distant planet Mira, much to the annoyance of Karlton, who has been sent to regain the taranium. Karlton orders the scientists to keep an eye out for signs of life on Mira and goes to report to Chen. Karlton suggests to Chen that he should pretend that this was all part of Chen's plan and he purposely transported the taranium to Mira as it is closer to Kembel and the Daleks could easier get it.

On Mira, Sara is forced to join forces with the Doctor, only after being disarmed by Steven. She is reluctant to believe their story and refuses to see Chen as anything other than a diligent leader. As they begin to tease at her conscience she reveals that Bret was her brother.

On another part of Mira, the Dalek salvage team have landed on Mira and begin to seek out the Doctor; as they do they discover an invisible creature indigenous to Mira that they can detect with their sensors. The Doctor soon discovers these creatures also and identifies them as Visians, invisible, savage creatures eight feet in height. As he goes back to explain this to Steven and Sara, he soon discovers that they are surrounded by these captures.

Back on Earth, Chen reveals the true depth of his plan to Karlton. He plans to return to Kembel as soon as the taranium is returned; in the meantime Karlton is to take a fleet to Venus and from there they will destroy Kembel with the help of a dissident army of followers that Chen will summon up from within. Karlton seems unhappy with this, saying it will only mean they will rule the galaxy; however, Chen insists that this will just be the start.

Back on Mira the Daleks have found the Doctor. They destroy a few Visians to create an entrance and state that the Doctor is surrounded either by Daleks or Visians. Unsure of what to do the Doctor explains to his friends that "the Daleks have won."

Coronas of the Sun (6) Edit

Fortunately for the Doctor and his companions, the invisible creatures attack the Daleks, allowing them to escape. The Daleks set about exterminating the Visians. They send message back to Kembel that they may need more reinforcements but this is denied them.

The Doctor and his companions are forming a plan to steal the Daleks' ship whilst evading the Daleks and the Visians. Seeing that the Dalek ship is only guarded by one Dalek, the Doctor decides that now is the moment. He reveals himself and says he wishes to surrender himself and the taranium to the Daleks in exchange for safe passage home. Whilst the Doctor keeps the Dalek talking, Steven sneaks up behind him and splatters mud on the Dalek's eyestalk. Using this brief period of blindness, the Doctor and his companions hijack the ship, closing the door just in time before the rest of the Dalek's arrive.

By this time Chen has arrived back on Kembel. The Daleks are furious that he has not fulfilled his duty of returning the taranium to them but he says that this whole episode reflects worse on the Daleks and their abilities than it does on him.

On the Dalek ship the Doctor is going about making an exact replica of the taranium in order to trick the Daleks and Chen. As he is doing this the ship begins to pilot itself back to Kembel. Steven finds the device controlling this and rips it out of the controls. Sara teases Steven on his technological prowess, mocking his primitive understanding of science.

On hearing that their autopilot unit has been destroyed the Daleks employ a magnetised beam which will pull the ship back to Kembel. The Daleks intend to murder the traitors as soon as they have the taranium but Chen states they should be put on trial on Earth so as to appease curious minds on that planet.

As the magnetised beam starts to affect the ship the Doctor seems relatively calm as he has finished his copy of the taranium; the only thing left is to give it its distinctive glow. Steven suggests using the gravity force from the ship's power centre, but he is mocked by Sara again. The Doctor warns that this is an outdated practice. Whilst the Doctor and Sara are distracted Steven, refusing to believe that his science is that flawed, attaches wires from the ship's gravity force to the taranium. This knocks him off his feet and renders him unconscious. Despite the Doctor and Sara's anger with him, it has given the taranium the effect that was required, but a side effect is that Steven is in a vegetative state and furthermore has a force field round him because of gravity force and reliance power. By this time the ship is about to land on Kembel, where Chen and the Daleks are waiting for it. The Doctor decides to use Steven's force field to their advantage. He gives Steven the fake taranium and says that when they emerge from the ship that Sara is to stand behind Steven, and the Doctor is to do all the talking.

As they emerge from the ship the Doctor states that he will only give back the taranium at the doors of his TARDIS. The Daleks are reluctant to do this but Chen persuades them that it seems the only way that the Doctor will return the mineral. The Daleks lead the traitors to the TARDIS. The Doctor says that he and Sara will go in and Steven will hand over the mineral to them. This is carried out. As Steven tries to leave and goes back into the TARDIS, the Daleks try to exterminate him, but the force field renders their efforts futile. Chen is delighted that he has the main core to the weapon back again.

In the TARDIS Steven is being filled in on what happened as the force field has now worn off. Steven states that he may have discovered a way of making themselves invulnerable to all enemies and wants to experiment with it more, but the Doctor refuses, stating it is too dangerous. As they argue, Sara points out the TARDIS has landed. The Doctor tries to discover where they are but the visualiser is broken; however, the gauges reveal that the air outside is poisonous.

The Feast of Steven (7) Edit

DMP7 05

"Incidentally, a happy Christmas to all of you at home!"

Worried about the polluted atmosphere, the Doctor - whose lungs are used to pollution - says he will go outside to fix the scanner while Sara and Steven remain inside.

The group has actually landed in a polluted area of 1960s England outside a police station, where the TARDIS is being watched by a group of policemen suspicious of its sudden appearance. When the Doctor emerges he comes face to face with these policemen and immediately returns to his TARDIS, locking the door behind him.

The Doctor explains to Sara and Steven that they are actually on Earth and informs them that he intends on keeping the policemen talking which will allow them to fix the scanner. No sooner is the Doctor out of the TARDIS than he is arrested and taken into the police station. There he encounters a number of policemen and a man who is there to make a complaint about a vanishing greenhouse. The Doctor observes that he has met this man before in a market place in Jaffa, much to the bemusement of the man.

Outside the TARDIS Steven sneaks out of the box and behind a police car whilst one of the police guards are distracted. In the police car he sees a police uniform and steals it in order to pass himself off as one of their own. As soon as he enters the police station they greet him as "the new recruit from G division" a disguise that Steven is happy to continue with.

Meanwhile in an interrogation room the Doctor is being very open about his real identity. When asked where he's from he says that he is from the universe. When asked why he was in a police box he says that it is where he lives and that it is no mere police box but a "means of experimenting with time." The policemen judge that he is mentally unsound and go to take him elsewhere. Here he is intercepted by Steven who claims that he is a well known figure in G division and that he will look after him. As they emerge from the police station they see Sara in the process of being arrested. She was spotted trying to fix the scanner and ordered to move on by a policeman; she went to go but then returned. The Doctor and Steven rush into the TARDIS and Sara extricates herself from her policeman and joins them.

Inside the TARDIS the Doctor brings the situation back to more serious matters and explains that he will destroy the taranium as soon as they reach a suitable place where they can do so. The TARDIS lands again and they look on the newly fixed scanner to see where they are. To their horror they see a man tying a woman up to a saw mill. The travellers rush out and stop the assailant, Steven punching the assailant in the face. It is only after this has happened that they realise that they have materialised on a film set. The travellers run off, pursued by the angry director as well as the star of his film. As they run through the studios they encounter Charlie Chaplin. Little does Steven know but the director is seeking him out because he was impressed with his display of physicality and wants him to replace his injured star, which upsets his female lead as she is worried that she will be replaced by Sara.

The travellers are soon split up. Sara stumbles across a Lawrence of Arabia style film set and hides in one of the props. The Doctor finds himself on the same set and is mistaken for a professor of Arabic culture, a part he is happy to play. Meanwhile Steven is being pursued by assistants trying to get him into a costume. They soon meet up again and make their way back to the TARDIS, not before the Doctor engages in conversation with a comedian and aspiring singer who is worried he'll never make it in showbiz because of his stupid name, Bing Crosby. Eventually the travellers make their way back to the TARDIS and dematerialise, leaving the stunned film crew desperate to know how the trick was executed.

After that they have a toast to Christmas and the Doctor wishes a merry Christmas to everyone "at home".

Volcano (8) Edit

Meanwhile, back on Kembel, the fake taranium core is fitted to the Time Destructor. Chen is trying to ingratiate himself with the other delegates brought to Kembel but they are hostile to him. He introduces two of these delegates, Trantis and Celation, to the idea of the Doctor — a "creature from another galaxy." It would appear that the Doctor's galaxy is unknown to both of these races as they have not mastered this technology yet. The Daleks enter into this conversation and say that the time destructor is ready for its test run and that the subject has been selected. It is revealed that Trantis is to be the test subject due to the fact he has proven no use to the Daleks. Trantis is placed in a cell with the machine and the machine is switched on, but it has no effect on Trantis. The Daleks check their readings and state that everything in the machine is working properly and that it must be the taranium. The Daleks accuse Chen of lying to them and supplying them fake taranium, but Chen says it must be the Doctor who switched the mineral. the Daleks send to Skaro for a Dalek time machine in which to pursue the Doctor. They inform Chen that he is to accompany the pursuers. Before they leave they exterminate Trantis.

On the TARDIS the travellers are concerned to see another ship in pursuit of them. They are surprised by how quickly the Daleks have discovered their duplicity and begun their pursuit. In order to try to shake the ship off, the TARDIS briefly materialises in the Oval back on Earth during a cricket match but this doesn't work and the ship is gaining on them. The Doctor now lands on a volcanic planet, initially unknown to the Doctor. As soon as they land the time path indicator stops detecting the other ship. Sara thinks this means they have lost their pursuer but the Doctor informs her this only means that the other ship has landed with them.

On another part of this planet the Monk emerges from his own TARDIS, camouflaged to look like a boulder, and begins to look for the Doctor.

The Doctor, Sara and Steven begin to seek their pursuer across what the Doctor describes as the newly formed planet. The Monk sneaks up to the TARDIS and disables the lock with a device he has brought with him. He then tries to harm the travellers by throwing a large rock at them but is spotted by the Doctor. The Doctor congratulates the Monk for escaping from 1066. The Monk explains that he managed to bypass the dimensional controller and begin his pursuit of the Doctor. He explains that in order to gain revenge on the Doctor for sabotaging his ship he has now sabotaged the Doctor's TARDIS and says that he will now leave them stranded on this planet, which he identifies as Tigus, before running away. The Doctor returns to his ship and finds tha the lock has been retarded by the Monk. Sara starts to panic whilst Steven attempts to pick the lock. The Doctor asks Steven to step aside and shield his eyes and uses his ring to bounce off the sunlight onto the lock which causes it to spring open. As the ship dematerialises the Monk watches in disbelief. He vows to not let the Doctor get away that easily.

Back on the TARDIS the Doctor explains that the sun in the galaxy that Tigus is in possesses certain qualities that when filtered through the gem in his ring reversed the process of the Monk's device. Fully aware if the danger that they are now in, the Doctor positions Steven by the time path indicator and tells him to inform him of any pursuers as soon as they arrive on screen. He lands again and sees a London street in raptures. He speculates that the people outside may be experiencing an outcry of joy to do with the end of a war. In fact it is 21st century Londoners celebrating New Year's Eve.

Back on Kembel the Dalek time machine has arrived and is staffed by a fleet of Daleks and Chen. As the ship dematerialises the Daleks are led in a chant stating that the destruction of the universe is now within their grasp.

Golden Death (9) Edit

The TARDIS arrives in ancient Egypt at the foot of the Great Pyramid of Giza with Mavic Chen and the Daleks a mere 4 minutes behind. The Daleks and Chen monitor the TARDIS after it has landed and puzzle over why it isn't attempting to take off again.

Outside the TARDIS the reason is revealed — the Doctor is attempting to fix the lock. Steven is worrying about the Monk's pursuit of the TARDIS and says he is going to move to higher ground to keep watch. No sooner does he do this but he sees the Daleks' time machine materialise and mistakes it for the Monk's. He runs back to the Doctor to inform him. Steven wants to go and meet the Monk, but the Doctor states that he should come to them and he has no intention of leaving his TARDIS unguarded. Sara and Steven decide that they should go and talk to him. As they leave the Doctor alone it is revealed he is being watched by an Egyptian boy who goes to report to others that there are strangers around. They immediately arm themselves.

As Steven and Sara approach the time machine, to their surprise they see the Daleks and Chen emerge, but as they turn to go they are met by a hostile army of Egyptians who think that the Doctor and his companions are looters. The Egyptians catch Steven and Sara and, thinking that the Daleks are with them, begin to fight them too but are soon exterminated with no damage sustained to the Daleks.

With his repairs to the TARDIS complete the Doctor goes out to find Sara and Steven. As he looks for them he witnesses the materialisation of the Monk's TARDIS in the form of a stone pillar and hides. The Monk emerges and sets off in pursuit of the Doctor. The Doctor realises that if the Monks has just arrived then the ship that Sara and Steven must have seen was the Dalek one. He sets off in pursuit of the Monk.

Sara and Steven are taken back to the hut of the Egyptians. The chief Egyptian orders that all the treasure be out in the pyramid straight away — including the blue box. Sara and Steven try to convince them that the TARDIS is theirs and not treasure but this falls on deaf ears. They are left tied up in the hut. Sara managed to grab a piece of broken pottery while they were being dragged in and begins to cut through their ropes.

It is not long before the Monk encounters the Daleks. When they meet it is obvious by the Monk's reaction that he is aware of the Daleks as a race. The Daleks want to exterminate him but Chen uses this to their advantage. He eventually extracts from the Monk that he knows the Doctor and that he is seeking him for revenge too. Chen says that if he manages to get the taranium back to the Daleks within the hour they will spare his life; if not, he will be killed. The Monk agrees to this. This transaction is all watched over by the Doctor. The Monk returns to his TARDIS and retrieves an energy counter to help trace the Doctor. As he sets off the Doctor sees his opportunity for retribution against the Monk and sneaks aboard his TARDIS and changes the appearance of the machine from a pillar to a motorbike, a carriage, a wagon, a tank and then finally to a police box before emerging holding the TARDIS' directional unit.

By this time Sara and Steven have freed themselves and disable the guards — mainly through the combat skills of Sara, which impress Steven. They set off to find the Doctor.

The energy counter leads the Monk to the landing site of the TARDIS but it has been removed by the Egyptians. However the Monk follows the trail into the pyramid. The Doctor follows. The Monk soon uncovers the TARDIS and tries to enter it but is confronted by the Doctor. The Monk tries to befriend the Doctor in order to gain access to the TARDIS and the taranium but the Doctor sees through this and moves towards the Monk as if to attack him.

Back at the Dalek time machine the Daleks are impatient with the Monk and issue the order that all "humans" are to be killed on sight.

Sara and Steven return to the landing site of the TARDIS and assume that the TARDIS has been taken as treasure and go into the pyramid. There they find the TARDIS but no sign of the Doctor. As they search a sarcophagus begins to open and a bandaged hand emerges.

Escape Switch (10) Edit

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The Doctor listens to Mavic Chen's offer

Steven and Sara discover that it is the Monk, wrapped up by the Doctor, that has scared them. He claims the Doctor did it out of malice and tries to access the TARDIS again, claiming that he has a headache and wants some medicine that the Doctor is likely to carry with him. Steven refuses. Steven and Sara take him to go and find the Doctor.

Meanwhile the Daleks have lost patience with the Monk and go out to seek the Doctor themselves. Chen is becoming evermore frustrated with the Daleks lack of patience and flexibility.

Steven, Sara and the Monk don't get far before being caught by the Daleks and Chen, who demands the taranium. In desperation, the Monk pretends he was bringing Steven and Sara as hostages. Chen accepts this and tells the Daleks that the Doctor will not allow the two to be killed. The Monk seems pleased with himself until he is told that be is to be a hostage too. The three are taken to the ship.

Meanwhile the Egyptians have discovered Sara and Steven's escape. The chief Egyptian sends for reinforcements aware that they do not stand a chance against the "war machines."

When Chen and the Daleks get back to the Dalek time machine Chen announces over a loudspeaker with a range of seven Earth miles that unless the Doctor hands over the taranium, Sara and Steven will be killed. The Doctor is dismayed, but has no choice but to comply. Some Egyptians also hear this. One thinks it is the voice of a god, but the other says gods would speak in words they understand and states that it is a trick to lure them out.

NegotiatingForHostages

The Doctor negotiates with Mavic Chen for the Daleks' hostages.

The Doctor presents himself to the time machine and states that he will hand over the taranium only on his terms. He explains he wants to meet at a neutral location where Chen will come with Sara, Steven and the Monk accompanied by only one Dalek. Chen and the Daleks agree to this. As the Doctor leaves the Daleks say that one Dalek can still destroy all four of them.

As the Doctor goes back to the TARDIS the Egyptians have mustered together their army and are also making their way to the rendezvous point at the same time as the Doctor, Chen and the Daleks are. The Doctor arrives late to the meeting and uses a large slab of stone to protect him from Dalek fire. He is initially irate that Chen brought two Daleks but he protests he has no power of the Daleks. The Doctor orders that his friends be let go. The Daleks comply. The Doctor tells Chen to come and join him behind the rock and he will give him the taranium. As this happens the Egyptians attack and Chen snatches the mineral away from the Doctor. A large battle ensues between the Egyptians and the Daleks. Large swathes of Egyptians are killed but some Dalek casualties are sustained by the Egyptians using rocks to hem them in.

The Doctor returns to the TARDIS where Sara and Steven are waiting for him. His companions are happy to see him, but he is cross that he had to hand over the real taranium. Sara is distraught but the Doctor reveals there is still hope, in the form of the directional unit he obtained from the Monk's TARDIS. This means that the Doctor can control where his TARDIS is headed and he can transport them to Kembel. The Doctor and his companions go to fit this to the TARDIS.

Meanwhile the Monk is pursued by the Daleks back to his police box shaped TARDIS and he manages to dematerialise unscathed by the Daleks, but when he arrives on an ice planet he realises the Doctor's punishment for his actions and is resigned to wander space and time nomadically. He vows to meet the Doctor again one day and get his revenge.

On the TARDIS the Doctor fits the directional unit but warns his companions that if it doesn't work it could destroy the central unit of the TARDIS and render it immobile. Steven states that they have no choice. Reluctantly the Doctor agrees and Steven pulls the lever. A large flash of light and smoke billow from the unit as the TARDIS veers dramatically to one side.

The Abandoned Planet (11) Edit

Chen returns to Kembel in the Dalek time machine and begins to show off to the Daleks, elaborating that he got back the taranium that they lost. As Chen makes his way back towards the meeting to the Galactic Council, the Daleks plot what to do with him. The Dalek Supreme states that he should be kept alive as his "arrogance and greed" will prove useful.

In the TARDIS the Doctor reveals that thankfully the main console has been unaffected by the explosion and it was the directional unit that suffered, but this still means that they cannot go to Kembel. The Doctor and Steven hatch a plan whereby they could steal the Monk's TARDIS but the Doctor worries they are surrounded by Egyptians and he uses his scanner to check. He is delighted to find they are on Kembel after all and that the directional unit must have broken after the trip. Steven fetches the Doctor's power impulse compass and emerge into the jungle.

In the Dalek city news of Chen's arrival back in Kembel has spread. The rest of the delegates conspire against Chen, saying that now they have the taranium back he serves no purpose to them. They decide to vote him out. Their deviousness is interrupted by Chen and the Daleks. Chen gives a speech explaining how it has been decided by the Daleks and him that he is to be the leader of the Galactic Council because of his success with the taranium and his superiority to the rest of them. This disgruntles the other delegates who move towards Chen to attack him; in the scuffle, Chen shoots Gearon, one of the delegates, and says that they have to yield to his power. After the dust has settled from this dispute, the delegates realise that they have been left alone in the room and that bars have been put up around the doors. Soon the Daleks come and break up the meeting and start to herd the delegates towards an unknown destination.

It is not long before the Doctor is separated from his companions in the dense undergrowth of Kembel. Unsure of what to do they return to the TARDIS and find it locked. They decide to head towards the Dalek city as that would have been the likely destination for the Doctor.

In the Dalek control centre the Daleks decide to leave the delegates in their incarceration for its destruction. They then give orders to begin the invasion.

By this time Steven and Sara find themselves on the outskirts of the city. They sneak in through an unguarded entrance by the landing strip and find that the city is strangely deserted. Sara begins to worry that this is a trap lulling them deeper and deeper into the city, but Steven insists they have no option other than to press on, speculating that the Daleks might have the Doctor captive. Eventually they find themselves in the control centre. They decide to use the Dalek loud hailer system to say that they have control of the control room and the Dalek time machine and will not yield it up until the Doctor is delivered to them. Instead of having Daleks respond to them, they are replied to by the delegates, who explain they have been imprisoned by the Daleks and implore that they are set free. Steven decides to try speculating that the Doctor may be with them. Whilst the delegates wait to be rescued they decide they will unite their forces in an effort to stop the Dalek invasion. When Steven and Sara arrive and discover the Doctor is not with them Steven is reluctant to let the delegates out, but Sara convinces him that they are the only means by which the Daleks can be stopped. Eventually he relents and frees them.

Sara and Steven rush out into the jungle again and watch the delegates board their ships and return to their systems to warn them of the oncoming invasion. Chen's is the last ship to take off and Steven and Sara are shocked when they see it explode on take off. They realise that this means that Earth will not be warned of the invasion. They decide they need to find the Doctor. As they search for him in the jungle, much to their surprise, they come across a Dalek. They watch from a distance and see the Dalek head off towards an underground bunker. The two speculate that this is where the Doctor may have been taken. As they discuss what to do next they are surprised by the figure of Chen behind them pointing a gun at them. When Sara seems shocked that Chen is still alive, he alludes to the fact that he purposely faked his own death then forces them to descend into the Dalek bunker at gunpoint.

The Destruction of Time (12) Edit

Chen leads Sara and Steven through the underground city. Chen is convinced that the Doctor and his companions intend on usurping Chen's place as leader of the solar system by allying with the Daleks. Steven finds this ludicrous but Chen insists it must be what is happening. He continues to lead the pair deeper and deeper into the city.

Meanwhile at the main control centre of the city the Daleks are assembling an army 5000 strong to make its way through the galaxy with the time destructor at its head. Their preparations are interrupted by a guard Dalek reporting that Chen is presenting prisoners to the city. The Supreme Dalek tells them to escort them to the control centre.

Chen reacts very strongly to Daleks supervising him with his prisoners and demands they ask the Dalek Supreme to change his orders. He seemingly relents but the Daleks follow at a close distance. When Chen and his hostages get to the control centre Chen becomes angry that his hostages are being taken away from him and begins to talk about taking power away from the Daleks. The Daleks threaten to exterminate him but Chen reacts wildly, saying that he is immortal. The Daleks ignore his orders which further irritates him and he tries to shoot the Dalek Supreme. The rest of the Daleks chase him down a corridor and kill him.

During this distraction the Doctor emerges from the shadows and presents himself to Sara and Steven. He gives Steven the TARDIS key and says that he and Sara should go back to the TARDIS when he says. Steven asks what he intends to do and the Doctor informs him that he will activate the time destructor. The Doctor waits for the Daleks to come back from the killing of Chen and activates the time destructor and uses it as a shield to stop the Daleks from shooting. He positions himself in front of Sara and Steven and engineers their escape. As soon as he is out of the door he destroys the circuit to make the door close on him. He tells Steven and Sara to leave but Sara doubles back to aid the Doctor without telling Steven.

The Doctor and Sara make their way through the jungles of Kembel, weighed down by the time destructor. The Doctor is shocked when he turns and sees Sara a good twenty years older than her actual age, an effect of the time destructor. As they reach the TARDIS, Steven turns on the scanner, realising there is nothing he can do, he takes out his frustration on the TARDIS console.

Not only is the time destructor ageing the Doctor and Sara but also Kembel itself which has turned into an arid wasteland. Unfortunately, the Time Destructor is now taking a heavy toll on both Sara and The Doctor. Frail and weak, the old man stumbles onwards, knowing full well that time is running out for his companion. At last, they can see the TARDIS ahead, but The Doctor can only manage a few more steps, before he falls to his knees, unable to go on. In a final desperate effort, Sara helps The Doctor up and they both stumble a few more paces further, before The Doctor fall again. The Time Destructor falls from his numb fingers, and rolls away just inches from his outstretched hand. Beside him, Sara pitches forward in the dust, unable to remain upright. She barely has the strength to open her eyes. But somehow finds the will.

Shocked and terrified by her own frailty. She tries to claw her way to the TARDIS. But it's too late. The last of her strength gone, Sara falls. And lies still. Meanwhile, Steven's delight at seeing his friends on the scanner, turns to shock as they sprawl in the sand! Steven opens the doors and walks out and is surprised to see that Kemble is now a harsh desert with gale force winds. He looks around to find his friends, but can hardly see in the sandstorm. He stumbles over to where Sara is lying unmoving, but before he can reach her a gust of wind seems to lift her up, he watches in horror as her skin and hair fades away. 

Her bones dispursing, now dust on the wind. After trying to destroy the Time destructor, Steven grabs the Doctor and with an effort manages to get him back to the safety of the TARDIS. Steven and The Doctor watch as the Dalek patrol comes into sight, this time moving much more slowly than normal. After trying to destroy the weapon they fought so hard to acquire, the Time Destructor rots away their casing, turning them into dust. 

After a time, The Doctor and Steven emerge from the TARDIS, the landscape of Kemble has been devastated and reshaped beyond recognition by power of the Time Destructor. Steven notices a piece of rusting metal in the sand, its the remnants of what was the Time Destructor. The Doctor shows Steven a tiny dead Dalek embryo, The Doctor is rejoiced that he and Steven have finally defeated the Daleks. But Steven reminds him of the losses they have suffered. The Doctor remarks "It's a waste... What a terrible waste..." before he follows Steven to the TARDIS and takes off for another adventure. 

Cast Edit

Uncredited cast Edit

Crew Edit

References Edit

Individuals Edit

Technology Edit

  • The Daleks still have time travel abilities. However, the Daleks on Kembel must specially request a time machine be sent from Skaro. The Dalek time machine is dimensionally transcendent, like the TARDIS, and has a short, arced door designed for Daleks, not humanoids.
  • Earth is developing long distance teleportation technology known as molecular dissemination.
  • In the TARDIS, the Doctor places Bret Vyon on a "magnetic chair" that blocks him in a force field that works on an electromagnetic principle.
  • Bret Vyon produces tablets of an anti-toxin able to cure Steve's poisoning.
  • The Doctor steals the Monk's directional unit for his TARDIS to enable a return to Kembel.
  • The Doctor fiddles with the Monk's TARDIS' chameleon circuit, changing his TARDIS from a block of stone to a motor cycle, a stage coach, a Western wagon, a tank and a police box.
  • The Daleks use a voice audio to broadcast Chen's message with a range of 7 earth miles. The Egyptians cannot understand the message.
  • Steven uses an impulse compass whilst in the Kembel jungle.

Timeline Edit

  • Chen states that there has been continuous peace in the solar system since 3975.

Weapons Edit

  • The core of the Time Destructor contains one emm of taranium, a mineral only found on Uranus. It took 50 years to collect that quantity of taranium.
  • The manipulator arm of the Daleks can be used as a flamethrower.

Story notes Edit

  • This story had the working titles of The Daleks (Part IV) (meaning, the fourth Doctor Who story to feature the Daleks) and Battle Of Wits.
  • Only "Day of Armageddon" (episode two), "Counter Plot" (episode five) and "Escape Switch" (episode ten) survive as 16mm black & white film telerecordings. "Day of Armageddon" was recovered in 2004 when a former Head of Engineering at Yorkshire Television returned it to the BBC. This is the only recovered episode to feature footage of Katarina.
  • In 1973, the 16mm black & white film telerecording of "The Traitors" (episode four) was loaned to the children's magazine programme Blue Peter for use in a Doctor Who 10th Anniversary feature that they were compiling for the Monday 5 November edition, which used a 58" extract of the scene leading up to Katarina's death. However, for some unknown reason, "The Traitors" was never returned to the BBC archives afterwards.
  • As a special Christmas-themed episode, "The Feast of Steven" (episode seven) was considered to be of no sales value as its transmission would have to coincide with December 25; the story was instead offered for sale overseas as an eleven-part adventure. Because of this, videotape masters were wiped and no 16mm black & white film telerecording of "The Feast of Steven" was made for international distribution; it became the first episode of Doctor Who to be destroyed and irretrievably lost. "The Feast of Steven" was also the first episode to feature characters "breaking the fourth wall" with the Doctor addressing the camera: "Incidentally, a Happy Christmas to all of you at home." It is the only case in which the characters explicitly display knowledge of being on TV (all other cases involve the characters seeming to talk to or perform for the camera, but nothing that cannot be explained by a character or mirror being in the position the camera is occupying).
  • Because "The Feast of Steven" was never sold abroad, it is possible — though this cannot be confirmed — that two versions of the closing scene of "Coronas of the Sun" were recorded: one bearing the closing caption "Next Episode: THE FEAST OF STEVEN" for UK transmission, and the other reading "Next Episode: VOLCANO" for overseas sale.
  • In "The Feast of Steven", an episode strong with post-modernist references, the Doctor approaches the 'Man in Mackintosh' in the police station and states that he has met him before in the market place in Jaffa. This was an in-joke: the actor portraying this character was Reg Pritchard, who had previously played Ben Daheer in TV: The Crusade.
  • The Daleks' Master Plan and Mission to the Unknown were the only 1960s Doctor Who stories offered for overseas sale but never purchased.
  • Unless one counts The Trial of a Time Lord, which can be considered four different stories, this is the longest single story in the series' history.
  • The Radio Times programme listing for "Golden Death" in certain regions did not have a synopsis, and was accompanied by a black and white full-length publicity shot of Sara standing at the TARDIS console, aiming her ray-gun at the camera, with the accompanying caption "Space Agent Sara (Jean Marsh) in involved in a fight in this afternoon's episode of Dr. Who at 5.50".
  • The Radio Times programme listing for "Destruction of Time" was accompanied by a black and white head-and shoulders shot of the Doctor at the controls of the Spar, with the accompanying caption "Dr. Who (William Hartnell) continues his adventure through space and time at 5.50".
  • Douglas Adams's third Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy novel, Life, the Universe and Everything, contains a scene which bears a striking resemblance to the sequence in "Volcano" in which the TARDIS materialises on a cricket pitch. In Adams's novel, a Chesterfield sofa bearing Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect materialises in the middle of the pitch at Lord's Cricket Ground, and two rather nonplussed cricket commentators discuss whether such an event has ever happened before — just as, in "Volcano", two nonplussed cricket commentators discuss the equally unprecedented appearance of the TARDIS on the pitch at the Oval.
  • Throughout this serial many more suggestions to the Doctor being not human are laced through the dialogue — potentially with an eye on the impending regeneration. In "The Feast of Steven" the Doctor says he has stronger lungs than Steven and Sara and then refers to himself as a "citizen of the universe" to the policemen. Later on Kembel, the Time Destructor does not affect the Doctor as quickly or as severely as it does Sara.
  • AUDIO: Home Truths, The Drowned World, The Guardian of the Solar System, The Anachronauts and PROSE: The Little Drummer Boy take place between "The Feast of Steven" and "Volcano".
  • PROSE: Legacy features Mavic Chen prior to the events in this story.
  • The short story PROSE: Katarina in the Underworld tells what became of Katarina's soul after her death. It is one of the few officially licenced Doctor Who stories to deal with the concept of the afterlife.
  • The comic strip COMIC: The Only Good Dalek features the Eleventh Doctor referencing his friendships with Bret and Sara on a research station conducting experiments on captured Daleks; this prompts the station's commander to comment that the Doctor's credentials are impressive but that he must have started fighting Daleks at a young age, suggesting that the story takes place within a decade or so of the Daleks' defeat here given the Eleventh Doctor's apparent youth.

Ratings Edit

  • "The Nightmare Begins" - 9.1 million viewers
  • "Day Of Armageddon" - 9.8 million viewers
  • "Devil's Planet" - 10.3 million viewers
  • "The Traitors" - 9.5 million viewers
  • "Counter Plot" - 9.9 million viewers
  • "Coronas Of The Sun" - 9.1 million viewers
  • "The Feast Of Steven" - 7.9 million viewers
  • "Volcano" - 9.6 million viewers
  • "Golden Death" - 9.2 million viewers
  • "Escape Switch" - 9.5 million viewers
  • "The Abandoned Planet" - 9.8 million viewers
  • "Destruction Of Time" - 8.6 million viewers

Myths Edit

  • Sara Kingdom was going to be a replacement companion for Katarina. (Not quite true. When it was realised that the character of Katarina would not work as a regular, Nation was asked to write her out as soon as he could. It doesn't appear likely that Marsh, who at the time was much in demand for film and TV appearances, would have signed on for an ongoing role.)
  • The incident at the end of "The Feast of Steven" when the Doctor looks directly into camera and proposes a toast to everyone at home was an unscripted ad-lib on William Hartnell's part and outraged the production team. (This action was scripted and rehearsed, and is in the script that exists today. It was in fact a tradition in the 1960s for scenes of this kind to be included in special Christmas editions and specials of popular series. Besides which, if the production team had really disliked it they could simply have edited it out. As indicated above, the episode was considered "disposable" by the BBC as well.)
  • The Monk's TARDIS was stuck with the appearance of a police box. (It clearly takes on the form of a block of ice on the ice planet)
  • The Monk was stuck on the ice planet. (There is no reason to believe this - the directional unit was taken, not the means to travel.)
  • The episodes on which Terry Nation is credited as sole writer were actually written mostly by Donald Tosh, from a brief outline by Nation. (While Tosh himself claimed this during an interview in Doctor Who Magazine #191, research by others does not bear this out. Though it appears Tosh did rewrite "The Feast of Steven" substantially, Nation's scripts for the other five episodes are largely the same as what was transmitted, with any rewrites by Tosh being comparatively minor.)

Filming locations Edit

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.
  • Marc Cory's tape message, heard in Devil's Planet, is different from the one he left in Mission to the Unknown.
  • In Coronas of the Sun, when the Doctor orders Steven, from inside the TARDIS, to give up the taranium, his voice is briefly "Dalekised."
  • At the very beginning of Volcano, the grammes operator accidentally plays the TARDIS background "hum" rather than the Daleks' control room sounds; the one is quickly cross-faded to the other.

Continuity Edit

Home video and audio releases Edit

External links Edit

Footnotes Edit

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