Wednesday 2 February 2011

072 The Chase Part 1: The Executioners

EPISODE: The Chase Part 1: The Executioners
TRANSMITTED: 22 May 1965
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: Dennis Spooner
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Space Museum/The Chase

Oooh, a shot of the Tardis travelling, nice. The Doctor is finishing work on the Space Time Visualiser as the other try to relax. It will allow them to visualise any event in history as the Doctor demonstrates. Ian gets the Doctor to show him the Gettysburg Address, while Barbara sees Queen Elizabeth talking with William Shakespeare and him gaining the inspiration for Hamlet. Vicki sees a performance by the Beatles singing A Ticket To Ride saying she didn't realise they did classical music while Ian does his best Science Teacher At A Sixth Form Disco. The Tardis materialises in a sandy desert surrounding but Vicki fails to properly turn off the Time Space Visualiser. Outside of the ship two suns bake the landscape. Vicki & Ian explore, as a tentacle reaches out the sand. The Doctor & Barbara are sunbathing when they're interrupted by the Visualiser making a noise. Barbara goes to turn it off but finds it showing a transmission from the Dalek's control room. The Black Dalek machine dispatches a squad of Daleks in their own Time Machine to track the Tardis - we see six enter the time machine but more may be inside (we'll keep track of them over the next few episodes). Knowing this the Doctor & Barbara go to find Ian & Vicki who are still wandering the sandy landscape dotted with odd sculpture. As night falls Ian finds a metal ring in the sand which when he pulls it opens a trap door into an underground passageway. The Doctor & Barbara are searching for them without luck but have got themselves lost. Another tentacle seals Ian & Vicki in the passageway as they are stalked by the strange beast that it's a part of. The Doctor & Barbara are trapped overnight in a sandstorm which has buried the Tardis which they now cannot find. As they look there is a disturbance in the sand as a Dalek rises from it.

After the last four episodes that was manna from heaven. Not the most complicated or sophisticated episode of Doctor who but it made sense and worked OK. I'm not sure the attempt to recreate Dalek Invasion of Earth's shock ending works too well.... we've already seen the Daleks twice in the episode anyway!

And it had the Beatles in it! The clip used, originally from another program which has now been lost, prevented the story from being released on DVD for a while but a new rights agreement has allowed this to be released, though I'm led to believe that the American version of the DVD has this scene cut.

Plus we have the Daleks complete with a small redesign: around the upper ring on the shoulder section we now have a layer of wire mesh and a number of upright slats obscuring the ring. This feature is present on all future Dalek appearances and they're referred to as Power Slats, taken as the reason for the Dalek's increased mobility. The Dalek seen at the tail end of the previous episode and the start of this one has a silver eye ball, like the Daleks seen in Dalek Invasion of Earth, but does have the modified shoulder section. The black Dalek Supreme is seen again in this episode, and like his Dalek Invasion of Earth appearance he's the prop using the broken & repaired neck ring section.

1 comment:

  1. Not the beginning of my favourite story in all honesty. Whilst this episode is certainly better than the Space Museum I'm not a great fan of it in general. The first episode has some decent set-up but I feel like the momentum bleeds away rapidly over the long haul.