Saturday 8 January 2011

047 The Dalek Invasion of Earth Part 2: The Daleks

EPISODE: The Dalek Invasion of Earth Part 2: The Daleks
TRANSMITTED: 28 November 1964
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion Of Earth

The Dalek questions the Zombie like Robomen and instructs them. The Doctor challenges the Dalek who tells him that they have conquered the Earth and are it's masters. In the tube station a group of humans listen to a Dalek radio broadcast ordering they're surrender. Dortman & Tyler plan the attack: Dortman has an explosive that he believes will destroy Daleks. David returns, and tells them that the Doctor & Ian were taken to the Saucer at Chelsea Heliport. Ian wonders how the Daleks can be here when they were destroyed on Skaro: The Doctor tells Ian that was a million years in the future. They notice the Daleks look different and think the discs on their backs may account for their increased mobility. Here they can move freely whereas on Skaro they were confined to the metal floors of their city. One of the other prisoners tries to escape but is gunned down by the Daleks. A differently coloured Dalek commander tells them that any other resistance will be similarly dealt with. The resistance fighters tell Barbara how the Daleks operate on humans to create their Roboman servants. The Doctor & Ian are on the Dalek saucer - we get the control room noise again from the original Dalek story. They are confined to a cell with another prisoner - Jack Craddock. They are observed by the Daleks who are testing them. The Doctor wants to escape. Craddock tells them how the Daleks invaded: meteorites bombarded the earth bringing plague. When the Earth was weak the Daleks invaded. The Daleks have set up vast mine works, including one in Bedfordshire, and put people to work there. The resistance plan to attack the saucer. Barbara has the idea of disguising themselves as Robomen to get closer to the saucer. The Doctor finds a device in the cell that releases the cell key from a box (cf The Adventure Game/Crystal Maze) using a magnifying glass and magnet. They escape the cell but are trapped by the Daleks immediately: it was a trap to test their intelligence and they take the Doctor away to be turned into a Roboman. The resistance arrive at the saucer but the attack goes wrong as the bombs don't work, but some of the rebels penetrate the saucer to try to rescue the prisoners just as the Doctor's robotising operation begins.

Another great episode: There's a distinct World War Two atmosphere to the resistance from their French resistance style sabotage, "the whole of Europe alight" phrase in the speech and the searchlights combing the heliport in the run up to the attack.

We get our first differently coloured Dalek in this episode and it's a bit of an oddity: The dome is black, but half the skirt panels are Silver and half are black, alternating as you go round the Dalek's base. I've seen one source claim this is red not black but..... Is this the half finished prop for the Dalek Supreme which appears the next week? Alone amongst the Daleks in this story he has a black eye ball: all the others are silver for this adventure only. Making it's debut in this episode is the broken neck ring on the half Black Dalek. Repaired with a piece of wood connecting both halves on the underside this piece of a Dalek shows up reused on numerous props over the next few years and is easy to spot. We'll say hello to it whenever I see it!

The Dalek Invasion of Earth is the first time that Doctor Who brings back a previously appearing Monster, friend or foe. It wouldn't be the last by a long long way. While the Daleks remain Doctor Who's most recurring monster, the Cybermen and the Master challenge them, with the Sontarans, Ice Warriors & Black Guardian appearing four times, and several others (The Yeti, Autons, Silurians, Sea Devils, Omega, The Monk, The Mara, The Rani & Sil) appearing in a main role twice.

This episode is one of a number of Hartnell episodes where the name of the episode is also the name of a completely different story, in this case the Second Doctor Who story which introduces the Daleks. We also have The Rescue (Daleks episode 7 and a 2 part 1965 Hartnell), Inferno (The Romans part 4 and a superb 1970 Pertwee 7 parter) and Invasion (Web Planet 5 and a 1968 Troughton story. Incidentally title of Web Planet part 2, The Zarbi, is used as the title of that story's book) The Dimensions of Time (Space Museum 2) was used as the title for the appalling 1993 Children in Need special.

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