Friday 25 November 2011

368 Death to the Daleks Part Three

EPISODE: Death to the Daleks Part Three
TRANSMITTED: 09 March 1974
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Michael Briant
SCRIPT EDITOR: Terrance Dicks
PRODUCER: Barry Letts
FORMAT: VHS: Doctor Who - Death To The Daleks
Episode Format: 625 video

Sarah is helped by Bellal, an Exillon that doesn't share the majority's religious beliefs who shelters her from the pursuing Daleks. The Doctor is saved from the metal snake creature by the two pursuing Daleks which the snake destroys. The Doctor deduces the snake is a root of the city. Bellal & his friend Gotal take the Doctor to safety. Bellal tells The Doctor of the origins of the city and how it destroyed it's creators. The Daleks make preparations to destroy the city's beacon after exploring the city to gain knowledge. One of the Daleks is destroyed by another city root at a pool in the quarry workings. The Doctor recognises Exillon markings from an temple in Peru on Earth. The Doctor & Bellal go to the city to attempt to stop the power drain. Jill is sent by the Daleks to assist the Exillon miners while Galloway & Hamilton are taken for another task. The Doctor sends Sarah to get the Earthmen to load the Parrinium into their ship while the Doctor & Bellal enter the city, gaining entry narrowly in front of two Daleks and brave the brainteasing test & traps within.

You can't beat Daleks in tunnels and they're great during the first part of the episode, thought I note that the first Dalek has orange dome lights when moving but white when attacked. Another detail that jumped out on me was the badge on the MSC uniforms. It's the Federation Badge from Blake's 7, as seen behind the original series logo. The idea that Earth may have been visited in ancient times by alien astronauts isn't new: it was proposed in 1968 by Erich von Däniken in his book Chariots of the Gods? and later followed up in the BBC Horizon documentary The Case of the Ancient Astronauts in 1978.

I have a question about the ending of this episode: what possessed the Doctor to yell stop when he saw the pattern on the floor? He didn't know it was dangerous..... unless he's encountered something similar before that we haven't seen. And given the number of times he runs into similar traps in the next few years that wouldn't surprise me. Come back tomorrow for some more raving on this subject.

Roy Heymann, playing the Exillon Gotal, was previously an Alien Priest in Colony in Space, directed by (you've guessed it) Michael Briant.

All the exterior sequences in this story were filmed at ARC Sand Pits at Gallows Hill, Dorset close to similar sites that will be used for Destiny of the Daleks and Caves of Androzani. There's a fair few Doctor Who locations nearby so if you fancy a locations visiting holiday Dorset might be the place to go.

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