a real world point of view
|The Power of the Daleks|
|Novelised as:||The Power of the Daleks|
|Script release:||The Power of the Daleks|
|Main enemy:||The Daleks|
|Main setting:||Vulcan, the future|
|Number of episodes:||6|
|Premiere broadcast:||5 November - 10 December 1966|
|Doctor Who television stories|
|The Tenth Planet||The Highlanders|
The Power of the Daleks was the third story of Season 4 of Doctor Who. It was the first full story to feature the Second Doctor, played by Patrick Troughton. All six episodes are missing from the BBC archives.
Following the Doctor's regeneration into a new, younger body, the TARDIS lands at an Earth colony on the planet Vulcan in the far future. Mistaken for an official Earth Examiner, the Doctor discovers that a scientist called Lesterson is attempting to reactivate two inanimate, subservient Daleks found in a crashed space rocket. The colonists refuse to heed the Doctor's dire warnings that the Daleks are dangerous. Once reactivated, the Daleks secretly begin to reproduce themselves in a bid to seize control of the colony.
Episode 1 Edit
Ben and Polly are bewildered after watching the First Doctor transform into a completely different, younger man. As this new Doctor recovers, he rummages through his old things, finding a five hundred year diary and a piece of metal that brings "extermination" to his mind.
The TARDIS lands on planet Vulcan. As they cross the mercury swamps, the Doctor meets an Examiner from Earth who is murdered by an unseen assassin. Examining the body, he finds the Examiner's badge of office. Meanwhile, the Doctor is almost the assassin's next target; he is knocked unconscious, though he pulls a button off the attacker's clothes.
As Ben and Polly look around, Polly is nearly overcome by mercury fumes, but is rescued by Quinn, Deputy Governor, and Bragen, Head of Security. The Doctor decides to pose as the Examiner, with Ben and Polly as his assistants. They are taken to a human colony led by Governor Hensell. The colonists are unsure why an Examiner has been summoned; some believe it is due to the activities of an underground rebel movement, others that it is because of a mysterious space capsule that crashed in the swamps hundreds of years earlier, that the colonists are now studying. The Doctor admits nothing, playing the fool (much to Ben's annoyance), hoping to expose the murderer of the real Examiner. He uses the Examiner's badge to explore and observe freely.
With Hensell, Quinn and Bragen, the Doctor and his two friends are brought to the laboratory where scientists Lesterson and Janley are studying the capsule. They open a hatch to an empty entryway. The Doctor orders they go no further tonight, to Hensell's annoyance.
The Doctor returns later that night and secretly re-enters the capsule, using the piece of metal from the TARDIS and an identical piece that Lesterson had; Ben and Polly follow him. Finding his way into an inner chamber, the Doctor discovers two dormant Daleks and a space where a missing third one must have been. Polly screams as a mutant creature scurries across the floor.
Episode 2 Edit
The travellers are watched by Resno, one of Lesterson's research assistants. They suspect Lesterson has already been inside and taken the missing Dalek. Polly thinks the creatures must be dead, but the Doctor tells her that power is all they need to revive, and one Dalek could wipe out the colony.
Quinn cannot find the Examiner in his quarters, but Bragen finds Quinn and questions him. Quinn is dismissive and distrusting. He knocks Bragen over in his attempt to block Quinn's departure. Bragen orders a search for the Examiner.
Lesterson discovers the Doctor and friends in his laboratory. The Doctor confronts him about the missing Dalek as Bragen arrives. The Doctor urges the Daleks be destroyed and leaves with Bragen to get permission from the Governor. Lesterson orders Resno to find Janley and retrieves the missing Dalek from a compartment, excited at the prospect of bringing the machine back to life.
Bragen tells the Examiner about the underground rebel movement. He advises the Examiner investigate discreetly. After Bragen leaves to set up a meeting with the Governor, the Doctor discovers a listening device in a piece of fruit in their quarters. Bragen returns to announce that the Governor cannot see him until the next morning. Meanwhile, Lesterson, Janley and Resno commence experiments on the Dalek and re-activate it. Resno is uneasy, but the others are excited and focused on their work.
The Doctor goes to the communications room, but finds it smashed; the operator has been attacked and the equipment wrecked. Quinn steps from the shadows and tries to speak to the Doctor, but Bragen arrives and arrests Quinn on circumstantial evidence, including the button the Doctor took from his attacker; a button is missing from Quinn's tunic.
During the experiment, Resno is shot by the Dalek. Janley announces that he's been knocked out. As Lesterson goes to get help, Janley wraps up the body. Back in the Examiner's quarters, Polly doesn't believe that Quinn could be guilty. The three are escorted by Bragen to attend Quinn's inquiry.
Lesterson excitedly interrupts the inquiry to present the re-activated Dalek to all assembled. The Dalek seems to recognise the Doctor. Lesterson shows some of the capabilities of the machine. It surprises everyone when it speaks. As the Doctor fruitlessly pleads for the Dalek to be destroyed, the Dalek intones, "I am your servant!"
Episode 3 Edit
The Governor is persuaded that the Daleks could be of great help to the colony, and gives permission for Lesterson to continue his experiments. The Doctor tests the Dalek's servility by ordering it to immobilise itself, which it does begrudgingly. It immediately activates after the Doctor has left and announces that it obeys Lesterson.
Meanwhile, the inquiry continues. Quinn admits it was he who sent for the Examiner. His explanation is brushed aside by Bragen, who suggests that Quinn did it to undermine Governor Hensell's authority and is himself in league with the rebels. Hensell orders Quinn imprisoned and promotes Bragen to Deputy Governor.
The Doctor has cobbled together a small device. The three travellers go to the laboratory. Lesterson is suspicious, but the Doctor is suppliant and asks to observe the experiments. Lesterson agrees as the Doctor hustles his friends out of the lab. As the experiments continue, the Doctor secretly attaches his device to the power generator, causing the Dalek to painfully lose control. Lesterson destroys the device and pushes the Doctor out; the Dalek watches him go as its detached gun mechanism clicks uselessly.
Janley and Bragen meet in secret; she is a rebel leader, and Bragen is using the rebels to gain power himself. Janley believes that the Dalek's gun stick could be the clinching factor in their plans to take control of the colony. She has kept the knowledge of Resno's death from Lesterson (she told him he was injured) to avoid distracting him from his work. Janley and her compatriot Valmar, under orders from Bragen, kidnap Polly.
Ben worries about the disappearance of Polly, but the Doctor is distracted with the Daleks, and doesn't believe she is in danger. Ben drags the Doctor off to report his worries. Meanwhile, the Dalek delights Lesterson with the breadth of its knowledge. In exchange for increased power and equipment, it promises to manufacture beneficial equipment for the colony. When the Dalek is alone, it increases the flow of power from the generator, and enters the capsule.
The Doctor and Ben, having spotted Lesterson leaving his lab, enter and investigate. They discover a thick cable leading from the generator into the capsule. The unarmed Dalek attempts to stop them, and Ben short-circuits the generator, but is stopped by two armed Daleks that emerge from the capsule. In front of the Governor and the Examiner, Lesterson feigns indifference of this latest news, claiming he was about to re-activate them anyway.
Bragen tells the Doctor and Ben that a body has been found in the mercury swamp, and suggests that the Doctor isn't the Examiner. He holds this over their heads, instructing them to leave Lesterson and the Daleks alone. A threatening note about Polly is pushed through their door.
Lesterson's trust in the Daleks starts to crack when he sees the trio chant conspiratorially, "WE WILL GET OUR POWER!"
Episode 4 Edit
Lesterson reacts by turning down the generator, and uses it to try to keep control of the Daleks. He turns it back up when the Daleks assure him of their obedience.
Bragen is settling in with his new power, with Hensell out on the perimeter of the colony for a day or two. The Doctor and Ben push their way in, and show him the note telling of Polly's kidnapping. The Doctor is unnerved as a Dalek brings drinks on a tray. Bragen is unhelpful.
The Doctor sees that more Daleks have been reactivated. In the lab, Lesterson is disturbed by the large quantities of supplies the Daleks are requesting, and wants to ask the Examiner's advice. Janley blackmails Lesterson by revealing Resno's death to him, to prevent his acting against the Daleks, and the rebels. The Doctor and Ben arrive, inquiring about Polly, and tell Lesterson about the new Daleks. The Doctor disabuses him of the idea that the Daleks are just machines; they are brilliant engineers. Lesterson is very shaken by this and collapses; Janley forces them out. Janley informs the Daleks that they will be installing the new cables, as requested.
The Doctor discovers that a notice board is being used in secret to announce rebel meetings. They conceal themselves in the meeting room. Janley and Valmar display the Dalek to the meeting; Valmar has connected a controlling device to the Dalek's gun. When they mention they are holding Polly, Ben accidentally reveals their presence and is knocked out. The Doctor is brought before Bragen—the leader of the rebels—who has him imprisoned with Quinn. He tells Quinn of Bragen's crimes, and that he is not the real Examiner. He sets about trying to imitate the sonic key used to lock their cell.
Lesterson sees the Daleks conspiring together and that there are now four Daleks. He fearfully enters the capsule and, discovering a room where Daleks are mass-producing, is horrified to see dozens of Daleks.
Episode 5 Edit
Lesterson deactivates the power generator, and tells Janley what he's seen inside; she runs off to get help for Lesterson. He tries to communicate with the Examiner, only to discover him in prison. The Daleks emerge from the capsule, to Lesterson's horror, announcing they can store power. He runs off in panic. A Dalek instructs another that no more than three are to be seen together at any one time.
The Daleks, meanwhile, are laying a network of static electricity conduits along the corridors that, once active, will give them free range of motion throughout the colony. Valmar and Kebble will help the Daleks with this network, as they also keep guard on Polly.
At the prison, Lesterson breaks in to speak to the Doctor; he screams what he's discovered and is hauled away by guards. The Doctor is using a glass full of water to replicate the sonic key's tone. Lesterson is brought before Bragen, as a Dalek works laying cables in his office. Janley arrives and tries to paint him as a madman. Bragen orders him restrained.
Polly tries to convince Valmar and Kebble of the Daleks' true natures, revealing to them the deception about the Examiner. Meanwhile, Hensell returns from the perimeter, and begins to discover Bragen's treachery. The Doctor and Quinn escape from prison.
Hensell returns to find Bragen seated at his desk. When he attempts to reclaim his power, Bragen kills him with a blast from a Dalek. Janley and Valmar hear that the Governor has returned, and leave the lab accompanied by a Dalek.
Quinn and the Doctor find Polly and release her; they escape from the lab. The three discover Hensell dead, but they are captured by Bragen and his guards. The Dalek army, now complete, emerges to engage in full-scale slaughter, chanting, "DALEKS CONQUER AND DESTROY!!"
Episode 6 Edit
As the guards usher the Doctor, Quinn, and Polly to prison, they are stopped by armed Daleks. Quinn leads the humans away, with the Daleks merely watching them go. Janley finds Bragen and rejoices that the revolution is over. But Bragen is unsatisfied; he wants to wipe out the rebels as well. Janley reluctantly agrees, and turns to see Bragen putting down his gun.
The Doctor and friends take an opportunity to escape from their guards. Meanwhile, Valmar has taken Ben and is hiding in the guest quarters. Valmar leaves to find the Doctor and Polly.
Bragen announces to the colony that Hensell has been murdered by the rebels, and that he has taken control. Quinn, the Doctor, and Polly find Ben on their own, and Ben tells them of Bragen's power-mad plans. The Doctor goes off alone as the Dalek order is given: Commence extermination.
The Doctor is almost captured by Kebble and two guards, but they are attacked by Daleks; he and Kebble escape. In the lab, Valmar has attached control wires to three Daleks. Janley enters and convinces Valmar that she has not betrayed them. The Daleks offer to fight for them, and ask to be taken to where their people are fighting.
The Doctor, Ben, and Polly attempt to escape through their window; they do so as the Daleks arrive, killing Kebble. Bragen is attempting to maintain control, and orders his guards to fight despite the fact that the Daleks are attacking them too. Janley and Valmar soon lose control of the Daleks, who are firing indiscriminately at all humans; they escape.
The Doctor and friends make it to the lab, and are hidden by a deranged Lesterson as more Daleks emerge from the capsule. The Daleks announce that their static circuit is almost complete, allowing them to cast off their reliance on the colony's power. Quinn saves Valmar as Janley is murdered by a Dalek. Lesterson tells of a secret cable connecting the colony's power supply with the Dalek's capsule. The Doctor finds Valmar and he tells the Doctor where the cable is.
Quinn enters Bragen's office as Bragen desperately and futilely tries to contact his guards. Bragen orders his guards to return to the capital; they will be a diversion for the Daleks. Back in the lab, the Doctor finds the junction box with the cable he needs to sabotage the Dalek's static power. Lesterson gives his life to distract the Daleks while the Doctor overloads the power, destroying the Daleks and wreaking havoc throughout the colony. Bragen is killed by Valmar.
Quinn, now in charge, is appalled at the aftermath: not only are casualties enormous, but the Doctor's fiddling has destroyed the colony's power supply and will take months to repair. The Doctor suggests to Ben and Polly that they'd better leave "before they send us the bill," and they sneak away back to the TARDIS, outside which is a wrecked Dalek. As the TARDIS dematerialises, the Dalek's eyestalk slowly rises upwards — almost as if it is watching the ship depart...
- The Doctor - Patrick Troughton
- The Doctor - William Hartnell (recap cameo; image in mirror)
- Ben Jackson - Michael Craze
- Polly - Anneke Wills
- Lesterson - Robert James
- Deputy Governor Quinn - Nicholas Hawtrey
- The Examiner - Martin King
- Head of Security Bragen - Bernard Archard
- Janley - Pamela Ann Davy
- Governor Hensell - Peter Bathurst
- Resno - Edward Kelsey
- Valmar - Richard Kane
- Daleks - Gerald Taylor, Kevin Manser, Robert Jewell, John Scott Martin
- Dalek Voice - Peter Hawkins
- Guards - Peter Forbes-Robertson, Robert Russell, Robert Luckham
- Kebble - Steven Scott
- Assistant Floor Manager - Marjorie Yorke
- Costumes - Sandra Reid
- Creator of the Daleks - Terry Nation
- Designer - Derek Dodd
- Film Cameraman - Peter Sargent
- Film Editor - Jim Latham
- Incidental Music - Tristram Cary
- Make-Up - Gillian James
- Producer - Innes Lloyd
- Production Assistant - Michael Briant
- Script Editor - Gerry Davis
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Graham Sothcott
- Studio Sound - Buster Cole
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- The Daleks are called "pepper pots" by Valmar.
- The Daleks need a complete cable circuit to store power for their armours.
Food and beverages Edit
- Ben states he lived opposite a brewery when he was a kid.
- The Doctor mentions Marco Polo.
- The Doctor uses a tape measure from his pocket.
Popular culture Edit
- A scientist wonders if the Dalek has got a "positronic brain", a science-fiction concept introduced by Isaac Asimov.
- The colony disposes a meteor storm computer to predict meteor impacts. The Daleks boast about being able to build a computer with a 100% accuracy.
The Doctor Edit
- The Daleks recognise the Doctor (in his second incarnation).
- The Doctor's Five Hundred Year Diary is first mentioned.
- The Doctor says he couldn't have survived through regeneration without the TARDIS.
- The Second Doctor discovers he doesn't need spectacles for near vision.
- The Doctor states he talk nonsense "hardly never".
- The Doctor plays his recorder for the first time.
- The Doctor suggests his companion Ben to run ("When I say run, run like a rabbit. Run!").
- Janley defines "shock waves" the energy shot to Resno by the Dalek.
- Lesterson wants to use laser torches to melt the Daleks.
Story notes Edit
- This story had a working title of The Destiny of Doctor Who.
- Dennis Spooner wrote the final version of the scripts, but received no on- screen credit.
- A photo of William Hartnell is used to achieve the Doctor's 'mirror trick'.
- Polly is absent from Episode Four and Ben from Episode Five as Anneke Wills and Michael Craze were on holiday during the respective weeks in which they were recorded.
- This is the first Dalek story (excluding The Daleks) in which there is no regular cast change, other than the newly-regenerated Doctor.
- This is the second story to feature no original cast members, as the previous season's Mission to the Unknown did not feature the First Doctor or his companions at all.
- This is the first story to show the Dalek mutants from inside the Dalek machine.
- Less than five minutes of footage survives of this story, but there are full telesnaps and audio recordings of the story.
- This is the first Dalek story not to be written (or co-written) by Terry Nation.
- This is the first Dalek story to use the title format "...of the Daleks", the most commonly used title format for stories featuring the creatures, most recently used in TV: Asylum of the Daleks.
- The chilling incidental soundtrack is reused from The Daleks and The Daleks' Master Plan.
- The living Dalek creatures are seen clearly for the first time as tentacled blobs.
- Peter Hawkins (Dalek Voices) is credited as 'Daleks' Voices' in Radio Times for Episode Three.
- This is the only story during the Second Doctor's original televised run not to feature Jamie McCrimmon.
Archive Status Edit
All six episodes are missing. The original broadcast video was wiped, and no 16mm telerecordings exist in the BBC Archives. The audio for all six episodes, however, does exist, thanks to a fan's home recording. Telesnaps for all six episodes exist. Short segments of 8mm film footage from off-air recordings exist. Some footage copied for use in promotional material exists.
- Episode 1 - 7.9 million viewers
- Episode 2 - 7.8 million viewers
- Episode 3 - 7.5 million viewers
- Episode 4 - 7.8 million viewers
- Episode 5 - 8.0 million viewers
- Episode 6 - 7.8 million viewers
- Doctor Who's planet Vulcan predated Star Trek's. Star Trek made its on-air debut in the US on 8 September 1966, pre-dating transmission of The Power of the Daleks by almost two months; and although Spock's home planet was referred to initially as 'Vulcanis', it became 'Vulcan' just a few episodes later. The two programmes appear to have selected the names independently.
- Tristram Cary's incidental music in this story was taken entirely from the first Dalek story, The Daleks. Some of it was taken from season three's The Daleks' Master Plan.
- The story is set in the year 2020. This is stated in a trailer but not confirmed on screen.
- A movie Dalek prop was converted for use in this episode. The "film" Dalek was the same one from The Chase.
Filming locations Edit
Production errors Edit
- A Dalek crashes into a camera in one of the few surviving scenes.
- PROSE: War of the Daleks offers an explanation of where the Dalek ship comes from.
- The Daleks' reliance on static electricity is first referenced in TV: The Daleks. In that story, as in this one, they draw it from the metal floor. In TV: The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the Daleks draw electricity by means of dishes on the back of their casings. In TV: The Chase, they no longer have these dishes and can move freely with neither the need for metal floors nor dishes. In this story, the Daleks have apparently reverted to their dependence on static electricity. The source of Dalek power varies depending on the time period from which the given Daleks originated.
- The Doctor regenerates for the first time, though the term "regeneration" is not used. The transformation of the Doctor's persona is not referred to as "regeneration" until TV: Planet of the Spiders. In this story, Troughton's character initially refers to the Doctor in the third person, and assumes the identity of another person, the Examiner, as if to make his true identity ambiguous. Polly is sure that he is the Doctor. Ben is less so, though he is sure by the end of the story.
- About the process of regeneration, the Doctor says: "It's part of the TARDIS, without it I couldn't survive", first delivering the concept.
- The Doctor refers to his visit to China, during which time he met and befriended Marco Polo. (TV: Marco Polo)
- During their "service" to the Vulcan colony team, the Daleks repeatedly say, "I am your servant," with particular emphasis on the "er" of "servant". This line is recycled in TV: Victory of the Daleks with, "I am your soldier," pronounced with similar intonation.
- The Seventh Doctor and his companion-in-adversity Elizabeth Klein would later visit the mercury swamps of Vulcan. (AUDIO: Survival of the Fittest)
- The Second Doctor doesn't need spectacles for near vision, unlike the First and other incarnations, such as the Eleventh. (TV: The Angels Take Manhattan)
- Ben says that the First Doctor "was always going on about the Daleks", even if he wasn't involved with them yet.
Home video and audio releases Edit
- The surviving footage was released as part of the Lost in Time DVD in 2004.
- Two surviving clips were discovered after the release of Lost in Time. They have been featured on The Dalek Tapes, which was included on the Genesis of the Daleks DVD.
- Loose Cannon Productions have released a reconstruction of all six episodes on VHS using audio, telesnaps, stills and surviving footage
- On 20 June 2005, BBC Audiobooks released their own, official reconstruction of the story in MP3-CD format, under the title Doctor Who Reconstructed: The Power of the Daleks. (ISBN 0-563-50417-X)
- This story's first official release was on a 1993 double-cassette set with linking narration provided by Tom Baker in character as the Fourth Doctor. The audio in this instance was of low quality, making some parts of the story almost impossible to understand. The Baker narration might have been used on future releases, but, ironically, the master tapes weren't kept. This release was perhaps most properly known as Doctor Who - The Missing Stories: The Power of the Daleks. (ASIN B001BGHEQA)
- BBC Audiobooks commissioned a new, cleaned-up version of the audios for inclusion in their 8 December 2003 combined release with The Evil of the Daleks, officially called Doctor Who: Daleks, but commonly known as the "Dalek Tin". (ISBN 0-563-49476-X) For about a year it wasn't possible to obtain the new version, including linking narration by Anneke Wills, as an individual story.
- On 2 August 2004, the 2003 version was released on its own. (ISBN 0-563-52503-7)
- The 2003 version was re-released again on 4 August 2011 as part of the box set Doctor Who: The Lost TV Episodes - Collection Three. (ISBN 978-1-4084-6753-4)
Script book Edit
- In March 1993, Titan Books published the scripts for the serial as part of its Doctor Who: The Scripts line of books.
- The Power of the Daleks at the BBC's official site
- The Power of the Daleks at BroaDWcast
- Detailed synopsis of The Power of the Daleks at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- The Power of the Daleks at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- The Power of the Daleks transcript