Friday 7 January 2011

046 The Dalek Invasion of Earth Part 1: World's End

EPISODE: The Dalek Invasion of Earth Part 1: World's End
TRANSMITTED: 21 November 1964
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion Of Earth

We're back on DVD as we will be for all the remaining stories this season, bar the missing 2 parts of the Crusade.

We open with a human wearing a silver helmet walking off some steps into a river. Shortly afterwards the Tardis materialises where he had been. Ian & Barbara are pleased to be back on earth. The area is deserted and overgrown: Ian wonders if it's a Sunday. Susan climbs up to get a better view, but falls and twists her ankle. She has disturbed decaying masonry which causes the bridge they're standing under to collapse, burying the Tardis. The Doctor is worried that they might not be in Ian & Barbara's time: There's no sound, birdsong, people, shipping on the river, no clock bells. Susan is struggling to walk so the Doctor & Ian leave her with Barbara while they go to visit a nearby warehouse in search of cutting gear to get through the rubble into the Tardis. Barbara finds a sign on the bridge wall: Emergency Regulations: It is forbidden to dump bodies in the river. Ian & the Doctor are being watched as they move round the musty warehouse. Looking out of the window Ian notices that Battersea Power station lies derelict and missing two of it's four chimneys. The Doctor finds a callender dated 2164. While fetching water to bathe Susan's ankle Barbara sees a body in the river. Returning quickly to Susan she finds her gone. A man is waiting for her and tells her Susan is with someone called Tyler. He tells her, over the sound of Gunfire that they must get out of there. The Doctor & Ian hear the gunfire too: they also find a body with the same strange head gear we saw earlier. The Doctor thinks the head gear is some kind of radio receiver. The dead man is carrying a whip and had been stabbed. They hear movement and investigate, but Ian is nearly killed when he steps out of a door and the stairway under him collapses. Their observer emerges from hiding. Susan, being carried, and Barbara race through London finding shelter in an old Underground station. The Doctor & Ian observe a flying saucer over London. Susan is worried about the Doctor: their rescuer, Tyler, says they will try to help them. Returning to the Tardis landing site Ian & the Doctor discover Barbara and Susan gone. Tyler's friend, David, has struggled with a Roboman at their storehouse. It was David who saw the Doctor & Ian and is going to go and help them. They meet Dortman, confined to a wheelchair, who has heard that a saucer has landed and plans to attack it. Ian finds the poster Barbara saw earlier and thinks there may have been a plague. David, returning to the waterfront, spots the Doctor & Ian but is unable to get to them as Robomen approach and surround the two men. Unable to escape they turn and prepare to dive into the water. But as they do a familiar shape slowly emerges: A Dalek!

Fantastic episode. A great atmosphere with the deserted London scenes helped no end by some location filming, this time involving the whole cast. The reproduction of the location bridge set, in reality the Underground railway bridge in Kew, is superb. I like the look of the Robomen with their helmets, featuring a silver skull cap and bars down the sides of the head being reminiscent of the Cybermen design, at this point nearly two years in the future.

This story has a great number of firsts for Doctor Who: I'm going to look at at least one per episode. Here I've chosen the end of episode 1 and the shock reveal of the Dalek. This starts a trend for Doctor Who stories where the close of the first episode of a Dalek story reveals a Dalek in some form. Here they rise up out the sea, in The Chase they emerge from the sand. The Dalek Masterplan finds them emerging from behind the Tardis, in Power of the Daleks they are found immobilised in their spaceship while in Evil one materialises in the antiques shop. Day of the Daleks features a Dalek materialising again, this time in a tunnel, while Planet has the "spray painting an invisible Dalek" sequence. In Death they emerge from their spaceship and fire their weapons (the trick here being the weapons are discovered to be useless at the start of the next episode). The end of Genesis part 1 shows Davros testing his creation while Destiny's Daleks crashing through a wall terrified me as a child. Resurrection & Revelation don't have the typical episode structure, but Revelation has a Dalek emerging out the darkness and chasing the Doctor up a staircase. Not all of these are the Daleks' introduction to the story, in several of them we or the Doctor have already seen them. But they all have a big dramatic impact in their reveal of the Daleks.


  1. Of course, one advantage this episode has over those others is that it doesn't have the words "...of the Daleks" in the title. That does somewhat ruin the "surprise appearence" aspect of those other episodes.

  2. My six year old son Jonathan watched DIoE for the first time yesterday. When Episode one ended with the Dalek rising up out of the water he turned to me and said "Daddy, what was the Dalek doing in the river?"