Saturday 5 November 2011

348 Planet of the Daleks Episode Five

EPISODE: Planet of the Daleks Episode Five
TRANSMITTED: 05 May 1973
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: David Maloney
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - Dalek War: Frontier in Space & Planet of the Daleks
Episode Format: 625 video

Taron & Codal see Vaber & the bombs being taken to the city. The animals close in on The Doctor, Jo, Rebec & Latep who drive them off with the Thal guns but the charge begins to fail. The Doctor scares the animals off with fire. Taron & Codal disguise themselves as Spiridons to rescue Vaber and the bombs. Jo tells the Doctor of Vaber's plan to destroy the refrigeration equipment but the Doctor is horrified knowing that the plan will bring the Daleks back too life. Wester brings word of the Daleks bacteria. He leaves to enter the city and try to interfere. Vaber is taken to the Daleks where he tries to escape but is exterminated. Taron & Codal seize the bombs and flee into the jungle pursued by Daleks. The Daleks demonstrate their protection against the bacteria and prepare to immunise themselves and their slaves before releasing it into the atmosphere. Taron & Codal arrive back at where the Doctor is. Jo & Latep distract the Daleks giving the Doctor time to prepare. He and the Thals trick the Dalek patrol into entering an ice pool killing the mutants within. Wester manages to penetrate the Dalek lab as the Doctor's party. Jo & Latep take one of the bombs with the intention to descend down the ventilation shaft while the others enter the city in disguise. Rebec is inside one of the Dalek shells while the Doctor, Taron & Codal are disguised as Spiridons. Finding their way to the lab they see Wester release the bacteria in the sealed lab killing himself and trapping the only two immunised Daleks within the sealed lab. One of their feet is spotted sticking out of his cloak by a Dalek who declares an emergency.

Here the Thals begin their fightback which involves getting back into the city they previously escaped from. So hardly unlike the last portion of the Daleks is it? The "disguising yourself as a Dalek" can also be found in the initial story, as the Doctor's party try to escape in episode 4. Applause please for the first airing of "I cannot see, vision impaired" as a Spiridon cloak is thrown over a Dalek as the Thals attack them.

I said we has some important milestones connected with this episode. On 2nd May 1973 the first three Target Doctor Who novels were released: The Daleks & Crusaders by David Whitaker and The Web Planet by Bill Strutton, all reprints of books published in the sixties. New adaptations would follow.

This episode was broadcast on 5th May 1973. I was born the day before: This is the first episode shown in my lifetime. So we're sort of entering a second phase of episodes now, those shown between my birth and when I started watching the show in 1978. If that wasn't a big enough milestone I've also discovered we're half way through the broadcast run of original Doctor Who. There are 695 broadcast episodes, and half of that is 347.5.

This episode also features the only location filming of the story: Beachfields Quarry, also used for the location sequences on the Ogron planet in Frontier in Space, serves as the location where the Doctor and Thals trap the Daleks.

This story has the word Planet in the title, and that's been used several times before either as an episode title or story name:

The Daleks #1: The Dead Planet
Planet of Giants
Web Planet
The Chase #6: The Planet of Decision
Galaxy 4 #4: The Exploding Planet
The Daleks' Master Plan #3: Devil's Planet
The Daleks' Master Plan #11: The Abandoned Planet
The Tenth Planet
Planet of the Daleks
Planet of the Spiders
Planet of Evil
The Pirate Planet
Planet of Fire

It's an easy one to use: stick a "of monster name" or something descriptive out of it and there's your title

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