EPISODE: The Power of the Daleks: Part One
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 135
STORY NUMBER: 030
TRANSMITTED: 05 November 1966
WRITER: David Whitaker
DIRECTOR: Christopher Barry
SCRIPT EDITOR: Gerry Davis
PRODUCER: Innes Lloyd
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Power of the Daleks
TELESNAPS: The Power of the Daleks: Part One
The new Doctor shakily rises to his feet. Ben & Polly are suspicious as to whether he is the Doctor or an intruder that has taken his place, and these suspicions are not helped by his habit of referring to the doctor in the third person. Rummaging in a chest he finds the Doctor's 500 year diary and a piece of metal obtained from the Daleks. Leaving the Tardis they find themselves in a world of mercury swamps. A man, saying he is the Examiner, approaches the Doctor but is shot. The Doctor takes his identity badge before he sinks into a mercury pool. The Doctor is knocked unconscious by the assassin and as he falls a button is pressed into his hand. Ben and Polly are overcome by mercury fumes but all three are rescued by staff of the Vulcan Colony and taken to the Governor Hensall. The Doctor poses as an Examiner and goes to see the space capsule unearthed by the colony's scientist Lesterson. The Doctor opens the hatch gaining access to a chamber within. Returning later at night the Doctor opens an inner door showing Ben & Polly what lies within: a pair of Daleks! The Doctor notes that there was a third, now missing, Dalek casing within the space. A Dalek mutant scuttles across the floor scaring Polly and causing her to scream.
Clever episode this: Any doubts the audience might have about the new Doctor are echoed by Ben & Polly, turning the story into a demonstration that this is the Doctor for both them and us. There's no better way to do that than to put him up against his arch nemesis so out come the Daleks. In the background we have a murder mystery to occupy the Doctor and hints at discontent in the colony as a set up for later.
Mercury - the liquid in the swamps - is a favourite plot element of David Whitaker, the first Doctor Who script editor who returns to write this story. It's used in The Daleks (the second story he script edited), here and The Wheel In Space. You have to wonder if Whitaker or write Terry Nation was responsible for it's insertion in the Daleks....
Joining us this episode is Patrick Troughton. Born 25 March 1920, he served in the Navy in the Second World War before commencing an acting career which found him as the first television Robin Hood. He took to acting on television, much preferring it to theatre work or "shouting in the evenings" as he famously put it, becoming a regular face on the small screen. He was approached to take a part in the Gunfighters but had to refuse due to a film he was contracted to work on. However when the BBC needed a new Doctor Who his name was on their list and being attracted to the prospect of a regular income to pay his sons' school fees, he accepted. We'll hear more from his sons later.
The real Examiner, making a brief and final appearance this episode, is played by Martin King who provided voices for two of the later Gerry Anderson Puppet Series: Captain Scarlet & Joe 90.
We noted that Star Trek started broadcasting just before this series of Doctor Who starts. I don't have any classic Trek DVDs to check, but I'm assuming that Spock's home planet of Vulcan was mentioned before Doctor Who showed their version planet Vulcan. However since Vulcan isn't shown in Star Trek till the second season opening episode Amok Time, Doctor Who can genuinely claim to have got to Vulcan first.