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From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"Who knows? I may have helped to exterminate you..."
―The Controller
Day of the Daleks
Series: Doctor Who -
TV Stories
Season Number: Season 9
Story Number: 60
Doctor: Third Doctor
Companions: Jo Grant
Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart
Captain Mike Yates
Sergeant Benton
Writer: Louis Marks
Director: Paul Bernard
Broadcast: 1st January - 22nd January 1972
Format: 4 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: The Dæmons
Following Story: The Curse of Peladon

Day of the Daleks was the first story of Season 9 of Doctor Who. It is notable for marking the return of the Daleks as ongoing adversaries of the Doctor, after the villains had been effectively retired five years earlier in DW: The Evil of the Daleks.



Freedom fighters from the future attempt to thwart a Dalek invasion by coming back in time to assassinate a delegate at the second World Peace Conference.


Sir Reginald Styles, organiser of a world peace conference, narrowly survives an assassination attempt by a combat-uniformed guerrilla who vanishes like a ghost. Later the guerrilla is attacked by huge, ape-like creatures called Ogrons and found unconscious by UNIT troops in the grounds of the house. The Doctor deduces that he comes from about two hundred years in the future and that a device found with him is a time machine.

The Doctor, Jo, and the Brigadier.

While Styles is away, the Doctor and Jo keep watch. The guerrillas attack again, but the Time Lord convinces them that he is not Styles. One of their party, Shura, is later injured by an Ogron.

Jo meanwhile accidentally activates one of the guerrillas' time machines and is transported to the 22nd Century. When the guerrillas return there, the Doctor goes with them. He learns that the Earth of this period is ruled by the Daleks with the help of the Ogrons and human collaborators, whose leader is known as the Controller. Jo and the Doctor are both taken prisoner at the Dalek base.

The Daleks and Ogrons advance.

The guerrillas rescue them and explain that they are attempting to kill Styles because he caused an explosion at the peace conference, starting a series of wars that left humanity vulnerable to Dalek conquest - a history that they wish to change. The Doctor realises that the explosion was actually caused by Shura in a misguided attempt to fulfil his mission.

Returning to the 20th Century with Jo, he has Styles' house evacuated. Daleks and Ogrons arrive in pursuit, but are destroyed when Shura detonates his bomb.




  • The Doctor drinks a fair bit of wine during his stay at Auderly House noting (mainly to himself): "That's a most good-humoured wine. A touch sardonic, perhaps, but not cynical. A most civilised wine, one after my own heart."
  • In the alternate future, the Daleks have invented dalekanium bombs (probably not the same substance as their casings).
  • The Blinovitch Limitation Effect is mentioned here for the first time.
  • It is this effect that prevents the guerillas making multiple attempts to kill Styles.
  • The Daleks' servants are called Ogrons.
  • The Daleks time travel via a time vortex magnetron.
  • The guerrillas' guns contain iron mined in North Wales.
  • The title is very similar to a book by the British author John Wyndham entitled "Day of The Triffids" in which walking plants attack humans.

Story Notes

  • This story is noted for being one of only a few actual 'time travel' stories, where the very nature of time travel is used as a main plot element.
  • This story had working titles of The Ghost Hunters, Years Of Doom, The Time Warriors, The Day Of The Daleks, Ghosts.
  • The on screen title is Day of the Daleks, however the commercial releases (Video and Laserdisc) it was listed as The Day of the Daleks.
  • A section of the closing title sequence appears in the background on the screen of the Daleks' mind analysis machine at the end of Episode Three.
  • Episode Four was originally to have featured a confrontation between the Doctor and the Daleks, in which the Daleks explain how they destroyed those of their number who were impregnated with the Human Factor in the events seen in The Evil of the Daleks and then turned their attention to conquering Earth by means of time travel. This scene was actually recorded but had to be cut at the editing stage for timing reasons.
  • The Ogrons were neither named nor described in Louis Marks's scripts.
  • To date, this is the only story in which the Doctor encounters - and actually interacts with - a second version of his current incarnation. As this story predates The Three Doctors by a year, it also marks the first on-screen "multi-Doctor" scenario (albeit a brief one). The Ninth Doctor and Rose do observe earlier versions of themselves in "Father's Day" and the Tenth Doctor also meets a half-human, half Time-Lord copy of himself in "Journey's End".
  • Discounting a couple of brief cameos, the Daleks had not appeared in Doctor Who since The Evil of the Daleks in 1967. With this story they returned to being semi-regular menaces of the Doctor, making annual appearances before going into hibernation again after Season 12.A new sound effect for the Dalek energy weapon is introduced (but not used since). The voices of the Daleks sound laboured after five years.
  • Every serial of the preceding season featured the Master as such, this is the first serial broadcast in 18 months in which he does not appear.


  • Episode 1 - 9.8 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - 10.4 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - 9.1 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - 9.1 million viewers


  • Terry Nation was not consulted in advance about the use of the Daleks in this story and, when he found out about it, this led to a row between him and the BBC. (Although Terrance Dicks recalls such a dispute, Barry Letts does not, and it is clear from contemporary BBC documentation that it is Letts who is correct. Nation was consulted in advance, and his agents ALS Management confirmed in a letter dated 22 April 1971, that he had no objection to the Daleks being used in a story for the 1972 season, subject to the usual negotiations.)
  • This has the distinction of being the first Daleks story not to be entirely written, or co-written, by Terry Nation. (Power of the Daleks and Evil of the Daleks were both written by David Whitaker.)

Filming Locations

  • Dropmore House, Taplow, Buckinghamshire
  • Bull's Bridge (railway bridge), Grand Union Canal, Middlesex
  • Harvey House, Green Dragon Lane, Brentford

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • The Doctor speaks of Napoleon Bonaparte, as though he were a good friend, or at the least, a friendly acquaintance. Would he be friends with a tyrannical dictator? He is only joking around to cheer Jo up and lighten the mood.
  • There are only three Dalek props, not an issue...until it comes to the main action scenes.
  • During the scene at UNIT HQ, when the Brigadier is speaking to his female subordinate about the canteen being closed, the plainly audible sound of the alert going off can be heard for several seconds before anyone acknowledges it.
  • How can it be so easy for the future guerillas to, a) approach the house unseen, and b) remain in the house undetected with hostages? Surely in preparation for a summit meeting of so many important international delegates, more stringent security and more thorough searches would have been implimented.
  • Why have the Daleks not re-instigated 'Operation Degravitate' (See The Dalek Invasion of Earth) during this alternate occupation of the Earth? In this timeline the Dalek's needs are entirely different to the ones that might have had, had the course of history run differently. It may simply be the case that they have no need of a planet with which to fly around the galaxy, in this timeline.
  • At the start of the interrogation scene, the yellow-screen CSO is not only being projected onto the Dalek's video screen: the Gold Dalek's dome and the Doctor's reflective restraints are also flaring.
  • The Doctor's success in preventing the global war which would pave the way for a Dalek invasion of the Earth seems something of an empty victory, since we have already seen in the series that the Daleks are destined to invade the Earth anyway in the 22nd century (See The Dalek Invasion of Earth). In this story's alternate future timeline, the Daleks have already been occupying the planet for some time; probably since the late 20th/early 21st century. If the war had happened, the Daleks would have invaded Earth much earlier. So the Doctor is sparing the human race from decades of additional subjugation, which unlike the sequence of events portrayed in The Dalek Invasion of Earth may not have ended with the Daleks being defeated.


  • ST: Honest Living deals with some of the after effects of this story.
  • This is the second time UNIT has provided security for a peace conference (and once more there is a problem with the Chinese), the first time occurred during DW: The Mind of Evil
  • The Daleks tell the Doctor that they have discovered time travel, something he would already know. The Daleks build a time machine in The Chase. In Remembrance of the Daleks the Doctor observes that Dalek time travel is 'crude and nasty'.
  • The Doctor tells Jo, 'I thought I'd destroyed them (the Daleks) once before but I was wrong'. This could be a reference to The Daleks, The Evil of the Daleks or The Power of the Daleks. In these television stories the Doctor witnesses the apparent destruction of the DAleks.


DVD, Video, Laserdisc and Other Releases

Video Releases

Released as Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks



  • Released on Laserdisc in the US as Doctor Who: The Day of the Daleks in January 1992.
  • Released on Laserdisc in the UK as Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks in December 1996.


Main article: Doctor Who and the Day of the Daleks

See also

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: Day of the Daleks
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - Day of the Daleks
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): Day of the Daleks
  • The Locations Guide to Doctor Who, Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures: Story Locations - Day of the Daleks
  • The Tardis Library: Video release information for The Day of the Daleks
Season 9
Day of the Daleks  • The Curse of Peladon  • The Sea Devils  • The Mutants  • The Time Monster
Dalek television stories
Major appearances: The Daleks  • The Dalek Invasion of Earth  • The Chase  • Mission to the Unknown  • The Daleks' Master Plan  • The Power of the Daleks  • The Evil of the Daleks  • Day of the Daleks  • Planet of the Daleks  • Death to the Daleks  • Genesis of the Daleks  • Destiny of the Daleks  • Resurrection of the Daleks  • Revelation of the Daleks  • Remembrance of the Daleks  • Dalek • Bad Wolf/ The Parting of the Ways  • Army of Ghosts/Doomsday  • Daleks in Manhattan / Evolution of the Daleks  • The Stolen Earth / Journey's End
Minor appearances: The Space Museum  • The Wheel in Space  • The War Games  • The Mind of Evil  • Frontier in Space  • Logopolis  • The Five Doctors  • The TV Movie  • Human Nature  • The Waters of Mars
Non-canonical: The Curse of Fatal Death
 • Complete List of Appearances •

This article uses material from the "Day of the Daleks" article on the Dr Who wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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