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Up to date as of January 31, 2010

From TARDIS Index File, the free Doctor Who reference.

"You will move ahead of us and follow my directions. This way!"
―Dalek
The first ever glimpse of a Dalek
The Daleks
Series: Doctor Who - TV Stories
Season Number: Season 1
Story Number: 2
Doctor: First Doctor
Companions: Susan Foreman
Barbara Wright
Ian Chesterton
Enemy: The Daleks (introduction)
Setting: Skaro, year unknown (see story notes)
Writer: Terry Nation
Director: Christopher Barry (episodes 1,2,4,5)
Richard Martin (episodes 3,6,7)
Broadcast: 21st December 1963 - 1st February 1964
Format: 7 25-minute Episodes
Previous Story: An Unearthly Child
Following Story: The Edge of Destruction

'"The Daleks" was the second story of the first season of Doctor Who and marked the first appearance of the Daleks, a race of creatures that would become the Doctor's greatest enemy.

Contents

Synopsis

The TARDIS arrives on the planet Skaro, ruined by an age-old atomic war. The Doctor and crew become caught in the struggle between the mutated survivors: the Daleks, ruthless xenophobes dependant on robotic travel machines, and the physically perfect pacifist Thals. When a vital component of the TARDIS is left behind in the Dalek city and facing annihilation from a Dalek neutron bomb, the Thals must be persuaded to fight both for our heroes and for their own survival.

Plot

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The Dead Planet (1)

The travellers discover the Dalek city
When the TARDIS arrives in a petrified jungle, the Doctor and his companions are unaware that the planet is highly radioactive. The Doctor is eager to explore a futuristic city that they discover beyond the forest but Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright insist on returning to the ship. Determined to get his way, the Doctor sabotages the TARDIS, claiming that mercury is needed for the fluid link. The only place to find mercury is the city.

The next morning, when the travellers emerge from the TARDIS, they find a box outside that holds vials filled with an amber liquid. Susan places the box in the ship for safekeeping, after which the four travellers head off to the mysterious city. It is entirely built of metal with doorways that are fashioned as squat rounded arches. Barbara manages to open a door, revealing a corridor beyond, but a shutter soon falls cutting her off from her colleagues. Within moments a strange creature emerges from a nearby lift, threatening her with a metal arm.

The Survivors (2)

The Daleks capture the Doctor, Susan and Ian
Ian, Susan and the Doctor enter a room full of machines, including a Geiger counter, which confirms they’ve been exposed to radiation. The trio realise the gravity of the situation, prompting the Doctor to admit his sabotage of the fluid link. This causes more mistrust between them and Ian takes the fluid link hostage to ensure the Doctor helps him look for Barbara. The trio continue to explore the city and are soon captured by beings known as Daleks, who imprison them together with Barbara. It soon becomes apparent they are all suffering from radiation sickness, with Barbara succumbing very quickly.

The Doctor is interrogated by the Daleks, who explain something of the history of their predicament. They are survivors of a neutronic war with the Thals, which has caused mutations to both races. The Daleks are now confined to their travel machines and limited to the boundaries of their metallic city. They are reliant on a variation of static electricity to provide them with the ability to move. The Doctor persuades the Daleks that the travellers will die from radiation sickness if no drugs are found, so Susan is sent to retrieve them from the TARDIS. She makes her way out of the city and back into the petrified forest. Having collected the anti-radiation drugs in the TARDIS she prepares herself for the return journey.

The Escape (3)

Prisoners of the Daleks
Outside the TARDIS, Susan encounters a stranger. He is a striking, handsome, blonde man named Alydon. His appearance proves his race, the Thals, have not suffered the same disfiguring mutations as the Daleks. He explains that he brought the drugs to Susan and now gives her more, hoping she will be able to save her friends. The Thals live in the forest and were indeed at war with the Daleks who they had believed were all now dead. He explains that the Thals have travelled many miles across the planet in search of food as their race is near starvation. The Thals now hope to establish a treaty for food with the Daleks. Susan heads off to the Dalek city while Alydon returns to the Thal encampment and tells his friends about his encounter, hoping Susan can broker a peace and trade agreement.

Susan reaches her friends and passes round the drugs, then contacts the Daleks and explains that the Thals are now looking for peace and food. The Daleks imply acceptance, asking the Thals in return to help them cultivate the land, but in reality they are plotting revenge and extermination of their old enemies. The message of peace is conveyed to the Thals, who are invited to collect food from the entrance hall to the Dalek city the following day.

Having recovered with chemical help, the Doctor’s party succeed in overpowering one of the Daleks and decide to use the robotic shell as a means of escape. The monstrosity within is dumped while Ian squeezes into the Dalek casing. In this guise he escorts his three friends through the city, hoping they can make a break for freedom.

The Ambush (4)

Escape!
The ruse works thanks to some quick thinking on the part of Ian, who even convinces another Dalek that he is one of them and is taking the three human prisoners for further questioning. However, when the same Dalek makes enquiries it discovers that it has been duped and sounds the alarm.

After a tight squeeze getting out of the casing, Ian and his friends find themselves at a window where they observe the Thals arrive to collect the food. As the Thals take the food, the Daleks open fire, exterminating several Thals including their leader Temmosus.

The surviving Thals, including Alydon, regroup and find the four travellers. They all travel together to the Thal encampment where a young Thal named Dyoni provides a history of the planet Skaro from a Thal perspective. It seems that the Daleks were once known as Dals, humanoids similar to Thals who mutated into their current form after the lengthy neutronic war. The Thals have reacted to their history by adopting pacifism as a creed. However, it soon becomes apparent that the TARDIS crew need fighting allies – Ian has left the empty but vital fluid link in the Dalek city and they must retrieve it somehow.

The Expedition (5)

The Daleks make plans
Ian eventually spurs Alydon on to display aggression when he threatens Dyoni, prompting the new Thal leader to hit him. This must now be channelled against the Daleks and the Thals agree to help the TARDIS crew. One group will accompany Ian and Barbara as they cross the swamp, then go around the lake to the mountains, where they can enter the city unseen through a back entrance. The other group, led by the Doctor and Susan, will try to sabotage the Daleks’ surveillance equipment.

In the city the Daleks test the medication left by the travellers which they now deduce is deadly to them. As a response they decide to increase the levels of radiation on Skaro and thus make it impossible for the Thals to survive.

The attack party heading for the Lake of Mutations makes good progress on their lengthy journey. Four Thals called Elyon, Kristas, Ganatus and Antodus, the latter two of whom are brothers, have accompanied Barbara and Ian. Vast pipes are used to take water from the lake into the Dalek city. The lake also contains many mutated offshoots from the war and Ian soon spots a multi-tentacled creature in the water. The assembled party are shocked to hear one of their number, Elyon, scream as one of the monsters drags him below the murky surface.

The Ordeal (6)

The Doctor and Susan are captured
It is clear Elyon is dead but the party must continue with their journey and climb the mountain. It remains a treacherous journey, with narrow fissures and no clear paths.

At the front of the city the Doctor’s party have succeeded in disabling the Dalek surveillance cameras using large mirrors to reflect sunlight into them. This persuades the Daleks to reorientate their probes on to the Thal encampment rather than the other possible entrances. The Doctor and Susan become bolder and move to sabotage some static electricity control boxes, but their activity has alerted the Daleks, who soon surround them. They are taken to the control centre of the city and are told of the Dalek plan to irradiate the entire planet.

Meanwhile, Ian's party has found a tunnel that should lead to the Dalek city. Antodus is less secure than his colleagues and starts calling for them to turn back. The situation is made more perilous by rockfalls which stops them retreating even if they wanted to. The only way is onward – and a vast chasm is their next hurdle. One by one the party has to jump across, supported by a rope between them. The last to jump is Antodus, who loses his footing and falls into the abyss, his weight dragging Ian toward the edge.

The Rescue (7)

The Thals attack the Daleks
Antodus sacrifices his life to save the others, and cuts the rope, letting himself fall. The others press on and within a short while have found an entrance point to the city.

At the front of the city Alydon has also led another band of Thals in an assault, hoping to rescue the Doctor and Susan. By luck the two parties converge on the Dalek control centre at the same time. Together they destroy the Dalek apparatus and prevent the radiation release. They also disable the power source for the Daleks in the city. The creatures become immobile and soon die. The Thals are repulsed by all the death, but are grateful their struggle is finally over.

They all return together to the Thal camp – this time with the fluid link – and the Doctor and his party make their farewells and return to the TARDIS. No sooner than they are in flight there is an explosion on the console and the four travellers fall to the floor.

Cast

Crew

References

Daleks

  • The Daleks are growing food with artificial sunlight, suggesting that they still need to eat. No evidence of this is revealed in later stories. They were later revealed to be lying.
  • The Dalek Geiger counter has the word danger written on it in English. This has been explained in later stories as a result of the TARDIS's telepathic circuits.

Individuals

Organisations

TARDIS

The Doctor

  • The Doctor reveals that there is a large age gap between him and Susan.
  • The Doctor reveals that he was once a pioneer amongst his people.

Story Notes

  • This is the first story to feature the Daleks.
  • The story was originally known as The Mutants but is now referred to as The Daleks to avoid confusion with story 3N The Mutants (see also disputed story titles).
  • The story is also known as The Dead Planet and The Survivors.
  • It is never mentioned in the story whether the travellers are in the past, the present or the future. In The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the Doctor states this first encounter with the Daleks occurred "...a million years in the future.", (and implies it was) towards the end of Dalek history, though he gives no indication how he knows this. Planet of the Daleks suggests this first encounter occurred in the past, generations before the 26th century. This is now generally the accepted placement of the story, though the exact year is still a matter of debate and theorising among fans. In his A History of the Universe, Lance Parkin arbitrarily places the story in 1963, suggesting that the Doctor was attempting to return Ian and Barbara back to their own time and succeeded, only getting the planet wrong.
  • Episode 6 was made under the working title The Caves of Terror and episode 7 under the working title The Execution.
  • It was Mervyn Pinfield who suggested that the Daleks use static electricity.
  • It was Richard Martin who suggested that the Thal anti-radiation drug be lethal to the Daleks.
  • Bands of sticky tape were affixed around the shoulder section of the Daleks after William Hartnell cut himself on one of the metal bands.
  • This story replaced previous proposals including Beyond the Sun and The Masters of Luxor.
  • Music from The Daleks was released in 2003 as part of Devil's Planet - The Music of Tristram Cary. This CD also includes tracks from The Daleks' Master Plan.
  • Some of the music from this story was released as Doctor Who at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, Volume One - The Early Years, 1963-1969". The music would again be used for The Power of the Daleks.
  • All episodes exist in 16mm telerecordings.
  • The episodes were all recovered from negative film prints, which were discovered at BBC Enterprises in 1978.
  • The negative of episode 7 is a dub from the positive print.
  • Telesnaps exist for episodes 1, 2, 4 and 5 in private collections.
  • This story was originally scheduled to be designed by Ridley Scott who later went on to direct films such as Alien and Blade Runner.
  • It was during the filming of this serial that American president John F. Kennedy was assassinated; the very next day, Doctor Who made its public bow when the first episode of An Unearthly Child was broadcast.

Ratings

  • Episode 1 - The Dead Planet - 6.9 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - The Survivors - 6.4 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - The Escape - 8.9 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - The Ambush - 9.9 million viewers
  • Episode 5 - The Expedition - 9.9 million viewers
  • Episode 6 - The Ordeal - 10.4 million viewers
  • Episode 7 - The Rescue - 10.4 million viewers

Myths

  • Terry Nation named the Daleks after seeing the spines of a set of encyclopaedias. (He made up the name but invented this as a story to tell the press).
  • There was a transmission fault at the start of the first episode that meant the opening moments were in negative. (This was intentional on the part of the production team who wanted to create the impression of heat).
  • This story was intended to feature a Glass Dalek, but this was changed due to budget constraints (The idea of the Glass Dalek was created by David Whitaker for his novelisation of the story) A Glass Dalek did appear in the Sixth Doctor story, Revelation of the Daleks.
  • Electronic interference on the original tape meant that the first episode needed to be remade (The first episode was remade but this was because instructions being relayed to the studio from the control gallery were clearly audible on the original recording).
  • Raymond Cusick based the shape of the Daleks on pepper pots (The inspiration for the Daleks was a woman moving in a ballroom gown, seemingly gliding as her feet were not visible. He did however use a pepper pot to demonstrate how he envisioned the Daleks moving).(The inspiration wre the Georgian State Dancers, whose large, wide dresses, give the impression that the dancers are gliding along the floor.)

Filming Locations

Discontinuity, Plot Holes, Errors

  • When the Doctor, Susan, Ian, and Barbara step out of the TARDIS at the start of this story, Susan's costume changes from a stripey shirt to a yellow cardigan. The Doctor states that they will clean themselves up in the reprise from the previous story shown at the start of episode 1; his clothes are now clean and Ian, Barbara and Susan all change their clothes so clearly some time has passed.
  • It is originally stated that the Thals have travelled for 4 years but this is later reduced to 1 year.
  • Ganatus is aware of the cultural conventions existing in England in the 1960's "We won't use one of the customs of your planet: "ladies first".
  • Despite having turned off the power, the Thals are able to leave through the electronic doors. (The doors run on independent power cells.)
  • In episode 6 Barbara grabs a rock wall and ends up with polystyrene in her hand. (A piece of rock broke off.)
  • When the Doctor shorts out a Dalek control panel the explosion happens too early.
  • In the Dalek command centre the Daleks in the background are clearly visible to be cardboard stand-ups due to a bad camera angle.
  • Why do the Daleks use words like "I feel" and "please" when they are supposed to be ruthless, non-emotional killers? They were established as ruthless in this story, but far from emotionless, fear being primary among their emotions (Fear of death, and of the unknown / unlike are their principal motivations at this stage). Although they were later characterised as near-emotionless and single-minded (and especially in the conjectured alternate Dalek timeline after "Genesis", in which Davros has made greater efforts to engineer their minds), nothing in this story suggests that they are incapable of feeling (or even feigning) a wide range of emotions.
  • When the Doctor, Susan and Barbara escape wouldn't the Daleks notice that Ian wasn't there or if he was in the Dalek casing? (This wouldn't change the Daleks' behaviour, they would still pursue the three of them.)
  • When something was put under one of the electronic doors the door opened up again but when Barbara was trapped under a door the door kept closing. (The door behaves differently depending on what's under it.)
  • When Ian, Barbara and the Thals come out into a building in the Dalek city, it's a little coincidental that the building they arrive in is the same one that The Doctor and Susan are in.
  • The countdown to the bomb going off just stops with a few seconds to go.
  • Why don't the Daleks exterminate the Doctor and Susan instead of capturing them in episode 6? (They had no reason to do so, and keeping them alive allowed them to be potentially used later.)
  • When they are trapped by the Daleks and Susan mentions the vials she found, the Doctor says that he thinks they might have been anti-radiation gloves... drugs, where he was only supposed to say anti radiation drugs. Like many people, the Doctor sometimes stumbles over his words. This error was later referenced in BFA: Flip-Flop where the Seventh Doctor mentions an invention by one of his earlier incarnations anti radiation gloves.
  • When the Daleks were seemingly destroyed in 1963 (DW: Remembrance of the Daleks), does this mean that the events in all episodes taking place later in history, like The Daleks, are eradicated from history? When the Daleks sent the Hand of Omega to their sun they sent it to the Skaro in their timeline so when Skaro was destroyed it was actually far into the future after the events of this story.
  • The Dalek city is said to run on static electricity. This would mean that it is mostly metal, yet none of the Doctor's group, or the Thals, receive any kind of static shocks when they touch the walls and doors.

Continuity

Speculative history of Dalek energy engineering:
  • The Daleks - The Daleks have built a city, and found it efficient and convenient to draw static electricity from metal floors. Alternately, these Daleks have de-evolved, and come from the end of Dalek history, rather than the beginning. Or perhaps they represent a group of Daleks, which remained on Skaro, and chose to remain in their city.
  • DW: The Dalek Invasion of Earth - The Daleks have constructed dishes to receive electricity from an external source. This frees them from contact with metal.
  • DW: The Chase - The Daleks have substituted the dishes for panels on the mid-section their casings.
  • DW: The Power of the Daleks - The Daleks have reverted to dependence on static electricity, fed by metal cables laid in the floors. Or they may represent the speculative group of Daleks, which chose to remain city-bound on Skaro. They have left Skaro in a factory ship.
  • This story is one of only two times the Daleks' ray-guns are used for a purpose other than to kill when they paralyse Ian's legs, albeit temporally. (The other, DW: Planet of the Daleks, involves paralysis of the legs of the Third Doctor) However, it is implied that this can be made permanent. The Daleks also use their guns to kill the Thals later in the story, though the effect of their blast is not always fatal. (Much later in DW: The Stolen Earth it would be revealed that a glancing hit from a Dalek gun, while still potentially fatal, isn't necessarily an instant death.)
  • The famous Dalek catchphrase – "Exterminate!" – is not used in this story, though the Daleks refer to "extermination".
  • Susan establishes that the TARDIS has twenty false locks (though it is possible to learn how to turn the key as the Doctor does so for Barbara in MA: The Sorcerer's Apprentice), this changes when the Doctor replaces the lock in DW: The Sensorites.
  • EDA: Alien Bodies suggests that it takes place at around the same general time as this story (there is an explicit mention of the Daleks' "the 'static electricity' phase of the Dalek development."'.

Timeline

DVD, Video and Other Releases

DVD Release

Region 2 Box art

This story was released (as Doctor Who: The Daleks), together with An Unearthly Child and The Edge of Destruction, as part of The Beginning DVD box set.

Released:

PAL - BBC DVD BBCDVD1882
PAL - Roadshow ????
NTSC - Warner Video E2489

Video Release

Tape one over for the original 1989 VHS release
Tape two over for the original 1989 VHS release
Remastered second releace Box art
  • First Release: Released as Doctor Who: The Daleks - The Dead Planet and Doctor Who: The Daleks - The Expedition, two separate volumes held together by a band of plastic.

Released:

PAL - BBC Video BBCV4242 (2 tapes)
PAL - Polygram BBCV4242 (2 tapes)
NTSC - CBS/FOX Video 8253 (2 tapes)
NTSC - Warner Video E1275 (2 tapes)

Notes: The "Next Episode" caption has been removed from Episode 7.

  • Second Release: Released as Doctor Who: The Daleks (Remastered). An unedited, remastered edition that the BBC originally intended to release in a box set with An Unearthly Child and The Edge of Destruction. They changed their plans and decided to release each story individually.

Released:

PAL - BBC Video BBCV6960 (2 tapes)
PAL - Roadshow 6960 (1 tape)

Novelisation

Main article: Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks

The novelisation, by David Whitaker, has no continuity with An Unearthly Child (which would be adapted into novel form 17 years later), with Ian and Barbara having never met each other or the Doctor and Susan prior to the events of the story.

It was originally titled Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks and was first published in hardback by Frederick Muller Ltd on 12th November 1964 at a price of 12s 6d. It was reprinted in December 1964. It featured cover art and 12 internal illustrations by Arnold Schwartzman.

A paperback edition was issued on 4th October 1965 by May Fair Books Ltd, under the "Armada Paperbacks for Boys & Girls" imprint (priced 2s 6d). This version did not use Schwartzman's artwork, using cover and 6 illustrations by Peter Archer. This version used the variant title Dr. Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks. It was followed by an American edition in 1967, the first US publication of a Doctor Who novel.

Novelisation first edition
Original Target cover
1992 Re-issued cover

It was then reprinted as the first title in the new range of Doctor Who novelisations planned by Target Books. It was published 2nd May 1973 as Doctor Who and the Daleks (ISBN 0-426-10110-3) with the subtitle "Based on the popular BBC television serial", and with cover art by Chris Achilleos. It was later number as number 16 in the Target Books Doctor Who Library. It could be purchased for 25p.

Reprints

  • Oct/Nov 1973 (25p)
  • Jan/Feb 1974 (25p)
  • Oct 1974 (30p "Second Impression")
  • 1975 (40p "Second Impression")
  • Autumn 1975 (40p)
  • 1975 (60p)
  • Jan 1976 (40p)
  • 1977 (60p)
  • 1977 (70p "Third Impression", print run 20,000)
  • 1978 (85p "Fourth Impression", print run 6,000)
  • 1979 (70p "Third Impression", print run 12,000)
  • 1980 (85p "Fourth Impression", print run 15,000)
  • 1982 (£1.50)
  • 1983 (£1.50)
  • 1984 (£1.50)

The book was re-issued as Doctor Who - The Daleks on 16th January 1992 (priced £2.99). It featured new cover art by Alister Pearson.

Script book

  • In December 1989, Titan Books published the scripts for the serial as part of its Doctor Who: The Scripts line of books.

See also

External Links

  • BBC - Doctor Who - The Classic Series - Episode Guide: The Daleks
  • Doctor Who Reference Guide - Detailed Synopsis - The Daleks
  • Doctor Who: A Brief History of Time (Travel) - A Brief History of Time (Travel): The Daleks
  • Encyclopaedia of Fantastic Film and Television entry for The Daleks
Season 1
An Unearthly Child  • The Daleks  • The Edge of Destruction  • Marco Polo  • The Keys of Marinus  • The Aztecs  • The Sensorites  • The Reign of Terror
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 •
Wikipedia
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at The_Daleks. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with the TARDIS Index File, the text of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License 3.0 (Unported) (CC-BY-SA).

This article uses material from the "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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