Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Serial 10: The Dalek Invasion of Earth

Doctor:William Hartnell (1st Doctor)
Companion: Susan, Barbara, Ian

Written by: Terry Nation
Directed by: Richard Martin

Background & Significance: Daleks are popular.

I know that goes without saying, but that's the way the world is. Since their first appearance, The Daleks have always been major players in the scope of Doctor Who. It was their appearance in Doctor Who's second story that rocketed the show into its must-see-TV status.

And as with all things, they needed to monetize on what they had.

To cope with the insane popularity of that second story and ignoring the fact that The Daleks had been completely defeated in their first story, the producers re-hired Terry Nation, creator of The Daleks, to pen another Dalek invasion story, something bigger, badder, and awesomer.

He came up with this, the story of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, explaining away everything, and writing a bad ass story that's a bit more worthy of The Daleks. Again, the Daleks need epic, and this was the first time they really fulfilled the scope and promise of The Daleks as these great and evil bad guys.

Not only that, but this serial is ridiculously significant not just for the return of the Daleks, but also for the first companion departure. Carole Ann Ford, who played Susan, decided to leave the show after she was not allowed to develop the character as she wanted, which is a shame, especially when you consider how important and meaningful a character like "The Doctor's Granddaughter" actually is. That said, this ending is.... just...

Well... We'll touch on that when we get there.

All in all, this is just a great serial, and after spending a ton of time dealing with The Doctor Who of the 70's and 80's, it's really fun to get back to the cheap B-movie delightful science fiction stories of Hartnell/Troughton Who. Not only that, but this could have been awful, but it wasn't. It's here that "Dalekmania" started, and the Daleks' popularity started to skyrocket. This was the first of several notable Dalek stories that would get told over the course of the next several seasons.

But enough of this blather! Let's get to it!


Part 1:

We open with a dude with headgear walking down some steps and towards something. Also, there is a ridiculous bleak and ominous sign in the background.

And... wow. Yeah. Okay, that's really dark. I wonder where he's going?

He gets to the top of the stairs, screams, yanks off the collar of his helmet, and throws it to one side. And then, like a zombie, he walks into the river and drowns himself.

Damn. What an opening. That's bleak, man. It sets up the tone of what we're about to see elegantly. Strong, strong opening, and with just two shots. Can't say enough how good this opening is.

We go into the TARDIS, which has landed just outside. Barbara, Susan, and Ian ask where they've landed and after Susan takes some readings, The Doctor reveals that it looks like they've landed on Earth. Elated, they head outside.

Ian announces they have arrived

The Doctor, not sure of if they've landed in the right time, starts to ponder the when of their arrival. Ian (who got a wicked awesome haircut) says that doesn't matter so long as they're close, and Susan goes to climb on some scaffolding. Business as usual.

But something's not right.

And then Susan falls. I laughed. Ian gives the fatherly "Susan" line, and then some pipes fall, and other things fall and then more things fall, until...

The TARDIS is buried alive.

Do they blame Susan for this? Yes. Yes they do. =)

Ian tries to figure out how to free The TARDIS (which is funny, cuz he's back home, so what does he care about the TARDIS?), but comes up with nothing feasible. The Doctor reveals that he doesn't think they're in the 1960's. They've been on the Thames for fifteen minutes and there's been no sound nor ships nor any life at all. It's eerie and haunting.

Too bad they didn't arrive five minutes earlier. They coulda caught that guy drowning himself.

Barbara helps Susan to her feet, and The Doctor yells at Susan for being a stupid silly little girl, especially now that they can't get into the ship. Susan tries to prove herself by putting weight on her ankle, but falls foolishly (she's a great faller over the course of this show).

With Susan incapacitated, The Doctor and Ian head off to a warehouse to investigate, but not before The Doctor tells Susan that "what she needs is a jolly good smacked bottom."

Oh man. Hartnell. That is why you are awesome.

I really love that sign.

Being left behind to tend after Susan, Barbara wets her handkerchief in the river, and on the way back sees the ominous sign. She then shares a moment with Susan, talking about life and how it needs to press on but stay the same. Or something. It's a nice moment, and foreshadowy of the future.

The Doctor and Ian enter the warehouse, unknowingly watched by several chaps who keep to the shadows. The Doctor makes note of the musty smell, and the fact that the place doesn't smell like it's been used for years. He roots around in a desk drawer and finds a calendar that effectively puts a date on the serial, some two hundred years in the future.

Some day calendar.

After going back to the river to re-wet the handkerchief, Barbara notices a dead body floating in the river. She starts to freak out and heads back for Susan, only to see Susan is gone.

A dude appears out of nowhere, explaining that Susan's been taken away by some chap named Tyler. He tells her to run for it because it's not safe and bolts off. Still panicking, she chases after him.

Back in the warehouse, The Doctor and Ian rummage around a bit more until out spills--

A Dead Guy in a Cardboard Box.

I wonder if that's how the future is. Cardboard box burials. Still, guy-who-is-not-living stuffed into cardboard box is pretty freaky.

They take note of the head helmet and the whip he carries (also, The Doctor puts on a monocle. Teehee.) and then, once The Doctor starts hearing other noises, they notice the dude has a knife in his back (I'd probably notice that first, but I'm weird like that).

And then The Hunt is on. Ian grabs the whip and starts kicking down doors, looking for someone who can answer some questions until his rugged adventurer lifestyle catches up with him.

And he falls out a window.

The Doctor hauls him back in and offers to take the lead for a while. Ian heartily accepts and they head back to the TARDIS.

And then there's a great sequence of Barbara running after the kidnapped Susan where her hair gets crazy. Also, it's completely silent save some percussion. So awesome. If you ever watch this serial, this sequence is greatness.

She follows them into an underground hideout, filled with members of a resistance, hardened by the war. They ask Barbara if she can cook (SEXIST) and then ask if Susan can, but Susan bucks the gender stereotype and says "I eat" (good on you Susan. No stereotypes for you).

A wheelchaired fellow named Dortman comes out of the hideout and tells them all to head inside so they can mend Susan's ankle and Barbara can cook for them (still sexist). Dortman offers to keep watch, so he does.

With a knife.

Which is just friggin awesome. I mean, even discounting that it's Daleks, he's in a wheelchair, and he's ready to jack some people up with a knife. But it's Daleks they're dealing with, so that makes the knife even more badass. That's freakin awesome.

The Doctor and Ian, on their way back to the TARDIS then see an old school 1960s special effects flying saucer overhead.

They arrive back at the TARDIS to find Barbara and Susan gone. They sit and have some "bro time". Eventually, though Ian, gets bored (Hartnell's not as much of a bro as, say, Tom Baker), walks around and sees the ominous sign. He gets more confused, wondering why that's the way it is.

Tyler, one of the folks from the underground resistance, sees The Doctor and Ian, but before he can get to them, he sees a group of those helmeted fellows heading right towards them.

The helmeted dudes are upon The Doctor and Ian before the two can realize what's going on. They try to escape, but find themselves surrounded.

Ian, ever the James Bond of Doctor Who, tells The Doctor to be ready to dive into the water to escape. Little does he know...

There's awesome in the water...

They make a run for it, only to see a Dalek rising from the water, coming straight towards them.

And this is just... damn. I saw this and I was just... damn. See, the Hartnell serials all had individual episode titles, not story titles. "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" is just the accepted name for this serial. There's no REASON to believe Daleks are in this story at all.

And yet, this Dalek reveal is just awesome. Super super awesome. It comes right at the end of the episode and it comes as the big climax with "OH MY GOD WHAT'S HAPPENING NEXT". And to be a kid and watch this episode? Remembering the Daleks from last year or maybe catching the re-run and not knowing they'll show up?

Fuggitaboutit. This is just greatness.

Part 2:

Barbara and Susan:

In the underground resistance place, a woman tends to Susan's injury. She tells the two of them to sign up for work. Barbara protests, arguing Susan's injured ankle as a means of not working. The woman says she can do something with her hands, as those are not injured (she means sewing).

In another part of the bunker, Dortmun (wheelchair dude) withdraws a bomb he plans to use against The Daleks, saying the formula within it is proven to work. They plan to assault the saucer and set some people free.

That gun is a visual metaphor for something.

Susan starts to talk with David (above) who's prepping for battle. She worries for his safety, but he'll have none of that. And then, for no reason except to set up a plot point, someone brings him some de-activated Robomen helmets, but what use are they?!

They give some backstory on the Robomen (the Daleks are limited in number and turned humans into robots, hence Robomen; also this is intercut with the exposition Craddock gives to the Doctor a bit further down) and explain that when the circuitry fails, the Robomen go crazy and try to kill themselves (hence Roboman drowning himself in episode one).

Dortmun explains the plan of taking the fight to the Daleks. Barbara comes up with the bright idea of using the Robomen helmets and disguising their people as Robomen in order to infiltrate the Dalek perimeter and getting them close to the saucer (see? Payoff!).

And then the attack goes down. I'm youtubing it. Because it's awesome. (See below)

The Doctor and Ian:

We come back to the Dalek rising out of the water, with The Doctor and Ian saying it all with some good silent acting.

The Dalek ignores them for a minute and yells at the helmeted dudes (they're the Robomen) to do a better job, and orders The Doctor and Ian to be taken way to "Landing Area 1".

Ian tries to put up a fight, but The Doctor takes over, being all smarmy and smart against The Dalek, but the Dalek tires of this quickly and orders them carted away, slowly chanting "We are the Masters of Earth" as they do.

And this scene is also really really good. I really love watching how the different Doctors deal with the Daleks. They each handle it a little differently, but it's always ridiculously interesting and I love it. It makes me excited for later Dalek episodes featuring alternate Doctors.

The Doctor and Ian are brought to the Daleks' flying saucer. The Doctor explains that although the Daleks were defeated the last time we saw them, that was millions of years in the future and what we're seeing now is the Daleks in their middle period (when they were known for blues and shadows... art joke?... anybody?...).

They are soon joined by more captives. One tries to escape, but the Daleks shoot him down. The rest are carted inside and placed inside a small cell.

They question Craddock, their cellmate. He explains that the Daleks invaded ten years ago, first by spreading a plague, then by coming down and enslaving the population. It's quite a nice plan on the Daleks' part. Although I wonder if they know they conquered a soundstage with a backdrop.

That plan, though, doesn't make sense. Why would The Daleks need human workers? Nevermind! Nevermind! More re-capping!

The Doctor and Ian find a really convenient escape box that has a key inside. The Doctor figures out how to open it and (despite their cellmate's doubting) release the magnet in the box. They use the magnets to release the locks on the door and escape.

No sooner have they escaped, though, than the Daleks and Robomen capture them again and escort the Doctor away to be robotized, leaving Ian and Craddock in the cell.

They bring the Doctor to the robotization table and prepare him for robotization, despite the fact that all hell is breaking loose outside.

So the episode ends with a few members of the human resistance getting into the saucer and the Doctor under threat of being robotized. Solid cliffhanger.

Part 3:

Let's start with a youtube, shall we? Something epic.

So at the end of all that, the story splits again.


Ian has to retreat back onto the saucer, where he's pinned down. He overhears the Daleks and their plan to firebomb London once this is over, and then the flying saucer flies away, off to some obscure retreat.

He manages to escape from the crate he's in, only see by a Robotized Craddock who has captured a fellow named Larry. There's a struggle, and rugged Ian manages to stop Craddock with his bare hands.

And then Larry and Ian dump him down a disposal chute and duck back down into Ian's crate. While there, Larry explains that his brother once theorized that The Daleks are drilling into the Earth's crust in order to steal the Earth's magnetic core...

Which is... what? I'm so confused. How in the world would he know that? That's insane.

The saucer lands, and the two of them get out of the hold once the sounds outside are all clear.


Barbara returns to base camp just before the soldier Tyler arrives. Dortmun asks how many people were killed, and Tyler says most were. He also says he almost managed to get an old man out, but what became of the old man, he couldn't say.

Tyler warns them that they have to get out. Dortmun refuses, saying he needs to work on the bomb that will defeat the Daleks (for reals this time), and then acquiesces, saying he can work on it if they move elsewhere, but that has to be now. Tyler opts to go out and find more survivors from the raid.

Dortmun prepares to go, saying that they'll have to race across London and over at least one bridge. Barbara seems positively elated despite the danger. He moves to a different part of the small room to collect his things.

And then Jenny says "We'll have less of a chance with him" and then we pan over to see Dortmun STILL IN THE ROOM LISTENING TO THEM TALKING ABOUT HOW HE ISN'T WORTH IT.

That's so funny. He's in the room! Stop talking about him when he's in the room! Have some respect.

And then we get an epic youtube of Barbara, Jenny, and Dortmun running across London in an effort to evade the Daleks. It's awesome.

That is going to be one of my favorite youtubes.

They arrive at the transportation museum and Dortmun says his bomb is finished. He also reiterates the point that the Daleks are mining for something in Bedfordshire, although he doesn't know what (maybe if he was smart, he'd realized it's to steal the core of the planet, but alas, he is merely guy in a wheelchair). Dortmun says he would like to meet The Doctor, to have a fellow scientist look over his notes, but they don't know where he is, so his dreams are crushed.

Dortmun makes Barbara promise to give The Doctor his notes and then leaves while their backs are turned (which I find funny. Dude's in a wheelchair. How far could he go? Set of stairs comes along and it's over for his escape attempt).

Dortmun goes outside and confronts the Daleks, fulfilling his role as "Badass cripple with a knife". He's gunned down, but not before he can test his bomb on them. Does it work? I don't know, they don't really say. If it doesn't that means his role as Scientist of the Resistance was a waste and he shoulda just been "Dortmun: Dalek Slayer [while in a wheelchair... and with a knife]".

And then there's a bit where a Dalek confuses a mannequin for a person and molests it with his plunger. Which is funny.

We call him the "Special Dalek." He rides on the "Short Saucer"

The Doctor & Susan:

Susan sprints through the streets with David, being chased by Daleks. They manage to evade them long enough to get a minute to themselves and are met by Baker (who?), who carries a weakened Doctor along with him.

Baker leaves The Doctor with David and Susan, opting to go on his own, but no sooner is he gone than Daleks arrive and gun him down.

Susan helps The Doctor to walk around to regain his strength after his almost-robotization. She says that they're going to follow David and head north, but The Doctor is not so fast to give up his role as leader.

David re-appears after a fast recon, saying all the bridges are covered and the city is swarming with Daleks. He defers to The Doctor, who regurgitates David's own plans to him, which is nice. I really like that. It speaks a lot to the relationship between The Doctor and Susan.

Susan and David say to wait for five minutes until the Daleks have truly given them a berth to start moving again. But as they do that, some Robomen appear and place something conveniently near to them.

But what do they place? And why is it ticking?

Uh oh! Cliffhanger!

Part 4:


Now I know what you're saying? You just left us there with a bomb and David and Susan and The Doctor all in danger! What about The Doctor?! Where'd he go? Did he get blown up? Did he regenerate into Patrick Troughton already? What happened?!

Hang on! I'll tell you! (Also, camera's shadow.)

The three of them listen to the ticking for a minute and then, when they can handle the ticking no longer, stand up, and see what it is.

And then The Doctor faints.

... For the rest of the episode.

No no no! Not yet, Mr. Hartnell! You can regenerate later!

And this is some traditional "Hartnell got sick and had to miss an episode so they wrote around it" stuff, but I really think it's funny that The Doctor sees this bomb and just faints. Man. What a weak stomach. And just think that much further down the line he'll see this and not faint.

That's growth. I like that. Good to see a character like The Doctor develop like that after all this time.

Wow, we are way off topic. Where were we?

Oh right. Yes. The bomb. Right. We should probably fix that, shouldn't we?

Susan stows her grandfather "out of sight" (right, like you did that in two seconds) and attempts to help David disarm the bomb. Which is... Yeah. This is painful, especially in an era of CSI and bomb disposal and stuff, because he is just... Ruthless to this thing. He pours acid on the casing and then proceeds TO TAKE A METAL PIPE AND ROUGHLY CLEAR OUT ALL THE DISSOLVED METAL and then to YANK OUT THE TIMING DEVICE.

There he is. Man of action. Hell with bomb safety. I have action things to get done.

They decide to leave The Doctor behind and forge on ahead and come back for him later.

That's such a stupid plan. You're lucky he's the main character, because that's some recipe for off-screen death.

They make their way through the sewers, where they find a bullet and a gun. David takes the gun (man of action!), but fails to notice the guy standing with a gun pointed right at them before Susan does.

Fortunately for them, though, it's Tyler, and he warns them of both Scavengers and alligators. (Is that fact? I know of the alligators rumoured in the New York City sewers, but London? Is that corroborated by anything?) And they head off, Susan thinking about how wonderful it'd be to rebuild a planet from the very beginning.


They continue moving through the sewers. Susan reaches a ladder, but no sooner has she climbed a bit down it that it comes loose and starts to sway madly, dropping her dangerously close to an alligator.

This alligator.

Here's a better look.

Hahahaha. I love this show.

Then, just as the "alligator" is about to grab her, Tyler appears from up above and shoots it dead. He sets the ladder back into position with his foot, and hauls her up topside, saying he's found The Doctor and he's waiting for them up here.

Ummmm.... what?


Barbara and Jenny prepare a large tanker to help them drive their way out of the city. They argue about Dortmun's sacrifice, Jenny saying it's stupid and wasteful. Barbara slaps her down and gets in the truck to start her truck drive up to Bedfordshire.

They drive out of there and away.

And so they're on the road, Barbara driving this huge ass truck like a proper British woman. They come across a small platoon of Daleks, but Barbara crashes right through them. She is juggernaut.

And that just PISSED OFF the Daleks. No way are they going to have a truck barrel down the highway in their police state, but for the truck to smash through one of their own? And by a woman? HELL NO.

So they send a saucer to come pick off the truck as it travels north. Jenny listens and sees the saucer. Barbara parks the car, and they jump out, just in time before--


And now, without transport, they decide to huff it on foot to the mine.


Ian and Larry have arrived at the mining operation in Bedfordshire, only to find the slave drivers hard at work.

They're soon met by a dude named Wells, who tries to get them to run away, but not before a Roboman shows up. Wells tries to cover for them, but they're forced to come to the Robo-selection.

The Roboman orders Larry and Ian forward, and once they've gone on ahead, he whacks Wells over the head with a plank of wood. As punishment.

Man, that's brutal.

Ian and Larry go to help Wells, but The Roboman tells them to stay back and that he's following orders. Ian badassedly says "Get new orders" and trips up the Roboman (I have no idea why this works, but I love it. Maybe Ian's part Dalek?).

While the Roboman processes this new request, Ian and Larry help Wells into the convenient train car they find themselves next to. Larry and Wells hide in plain sight while Ian grabs a blunt object and prepares to defend his honor.

The Roboman enters and prepares to execute Larry and Wells, but Ian gets the drop on him. And CLUBS HIM DOWN.

I friggin love Ian.

They split up, Wells saying he'll meet Ian and Larry at nightfall, which is when the Black Marketeer, Ashton, is suppose to show up. Larry and Ian arrive at another train car (which looks suspiciously like the first train car) and don't notice the giant freaky thing eating out of the back of the truck, despite the fact that they can hear it and it's literally about four feet from them.

They barely catch a glimpse of it as it runs around back behind the train car. Scared, they duck to hide inside the train car and come across Ashton.

He tells them to get out, warning them not to attract the attention of the Slyther as they go. Ian says he's not going anywhere, telling Ashton he wants to be taken back to London. Ashton flat out refuses, saying they should just take their chances with the Slyther.

Wells enters, telling Ashton to behave himself. He holds out some jewels, which Ashton picks up WITH HIS GUN. Ashton is most pleased (I would be too if I picked up random items with my gun) and asks them all to sit down for a nice quiet meal.

How quaint. I wonder if he eats with his gun too. Guntensils: Where every bite of steak and spoonful of soup is an adventure.

As they do, Wells gives some background on what the Slyther is, saying it's essentially the Black Dalek's pet (the Black Dalek is second in command), which is... odd. I didn't know The Daleks kept pets. I wonder if that's the thing that they have to have to graduate Dalek Academy. And one chooses a Dalek Pet Rock. Ha.

Just before they finish eating, The Slyther gets louder and starts to panic them out. The sound stops and they resume eating...


They sprint outside, but find nothing but sheer cliff-face. As they turn around, they see that the Slyther has devoured Ashton and is now coming right for them!


Part 5:

Weird thing to point out. All these episodes had individual titles, and this episode is called "The Waking Ally." I really don't know who on earth they could mean, especially because The Doctor is the only person who wakes and everyone else is... well... Not really that description.



We come back with Ian and Larry running away from the Slyther, which looks different and slightly more menacing now.

They jump into the conveniently placed coal mine lift right next to them. Ian prepares to lower it, but the Slyther tries jumping onto the basket (hilarious) prompting Ian to try to whack it off with a conveniently placed rock (hilarious) and causing the Slyther to fall off the basket and out of sight (hilarious).

The lift lowers down into the mine, but stops before it hits the bottom. Ian opts to jump the remaining distance to the bottom, not trusting the bucket. Larry follows behind him, but breaks his leg as he goes, making him completely useless.

They bandage him up and Ian starts to notice that the Daleks don't seem to be mining for precious ores. It seems to be something else, which is odd.

A batch of Robomen appear with a team of human-slaves to move some wicker baskets. With them is Wells, who tells Ian and Larry to get away from there. Larry and Ian pick up wicker baskets to join the work force when Larry recognizes his brother and appeals to him, trying to snap him out of his Robo-trance.

When it becomes clear that Larry's brother is gone, he tells Ian to run for it, and Ian does, with Larry sacrificing himself to kill his Robo-bro.

Ian runs through the mine, barely avoiding Robomen Patrols and Human Workforce Parties.

He sees a captured Barbara, and attempts to get into contact with her, but it's no good. She's taken away by the Daleks before they can talk.

So Ian somehow makes his way to a really high security missile room and hides INSIDE A MISSILE, unaware that it's about to get dropped into the centre of the Earth.


Barbara and Jenny continue to trek through the forest, and they come upon a small shack inhabited by two lonely women who dress in rags. Their days are probably hard and these two are really freaky, but they decide to stay with them anyways.

The two women explain that The Daleks leave them alone because they do the Daleks no harm and make clothes for the slaves (more sewing by women!). This doesn't seem to line up with The Daleks, but oh well, especially when you throw in the fact that The Daleks trade these women food for their clothing.

So bizarre.

The older of the two bats tells the younger one to go on an emergency errand. The younger seems hesitant, but willing and departs, the whole situation being rather fishy.

Barbara, Jenny, and the older woman sit down to a nice, quaint supper. The old woman does some reminiscing about the good ol' days of Jolly Old London. In the middle of her story, however, she's interrupted by fearsome Daleks.

The Younger Hermit sold them out, on Older Hermit's orders. For a sack of food. Judases.

That's sad.

Barbara and Jenny are brought to the work camp and put to work (it has nothing to do with the fact that they're women, honest!) doing some heavy lifting in which they need to cart around rocks in buckets (and by buckets, I mean the budget could allow for a dozen wicker baskets).

But Barbara's had enough of this. She attempts to escape with Jenny, but when she's caught (which, believe me, is after no time at all), she starts making up some cock and bull stories about secret plans, and then, instead of making stuff up, she tells all the real plans.

Come on, Barbara! You're smarter than all that! Amateur!

She insists on selling out the human resistence in order to get close to the upper level Daleks. The Dalek in charge downstairs agrees to let her see the Black Dalek.

Susan & The Doctor:

The Doctor and company continue their trek through the sewers. The Doctor talks as though he was never gone and he was like 'I'll catch up. Oh wait, I'm here.' which is.... odd but funny.

Also they're being chased by Robomen.

The Sorta Robomen You See Looking Through Your Curtains At Night

They come down the ladder and there's a struggle fight (our men win), but everyone gets a few licks in, including The Doctor bringing in an old school Time Lord beat down with his cane.

Finally, they arrive at a cliffside that overlooks the concentration camp where the Daleks are mining. David uses a fish to start him and Susan flirting and they share a nifty moment of romance. Romance amidst a Dalek war...

And then they make out. He the bad boy, her the namby pamby caretaker of her grandfather. It is a starcrossed lovers moment as only Doctor Who in the 1960s can do it.

But then The Doctor shows up and doesn't see them, but it's enough to disrupt their moment of "free love." Thanks Grandpa for ruining the hearts and minds of teenagers in today's society (although he does say that Susan is a very good cook... which is funny because earlier she said she didn't cook)...

The Doctor says he thinks this Bedfordshire mining camp is the center of the Dalek strategy, and then we get some weird shady science, which talks about "living energy" within the Earth and digging mining tunnels and Daleks tampering with the forces of creation.

... Or something.

Oh. And The Daleks want to steal the panet's core so they can put a hyperdrive in it and zip around the galaxy for cheap (because gas is expensive) and go joyriding. It's an odd, batty plan, but it works? I guess?

Part 6:

Trapped in the missile that's ready to plunge into the Earth's core, Ian desperately attempts to strip all the wires from the missile, hoping to stop it before he's blown up inside it. Luckily, he manages to release a convenient hatch inside the missile and escape out the bottom through the use of a conveniently placed rope, and ignoring the fact that it's about a million mile drop (or something. I'm bad with numbers).

Unfortunately, a Dalek arrives and blasts the rope to smithereens, sending Ian sliding down the tunnel? Landing safely at the bottom without going kersplat?

I don't know. It's very convenient.

Near the rest of the Daleks, Barbara and Jenny prepare to see the Dalek inner council force. Barbara tells Jenny to do as much damage as possible once Barbara has started distracting the Daleks.

But when they enter, all they hear about is The Daleks talking about the final extermination of all the humans now that the core is about to be extracted. The Daleks order the Robomen to round up the humans, and Barbara notes that the Dalek's voice control the Robomen.

The Daleks finally notice the two of them and order Barbara to give them the information she has. She starts getting really racist, talking about the Mutiny of the Red Indians (she said this! Not me!) and starts telling the story of the Boston Tea Party and elements of the American Civil War (which is cool, because she is a teacher of history).

She gives the signal, and Jenny starts to break the machines. And it is hilarious. It's all background, but it's pantomimed and very clearly nowhere near the actual machines themselves.

The Daleks get distracted by what's going on, and the Daleks plunger Barbara and Jenny, too fast to let Barbara talk out a command to the Robomen.

And then they land in neck collars, attached to the wall.

The Doctor binoculars the site, and goes to infiltrate it, making sure David and Susan (the free love Hippies) are safe and out of harm's way for the proceedings (that's a great touch by The Doctor). With those two safely out of the way, he heads into the complex with Tyler.

Back in the room, the Black Dalek is ecstatic. He's running in circles. He's calling for champagne. He's molesting people with his plunger. He is having a great time.

And then Ian, for some reason, puts timber in the space where he landed, which... I guess will block the bomb? Whatever it is, he's smug about it.

And then The Daleks drop the bomb and it gets stopped by Ian's little trap. They don't care, though. It's dropped. Plan is in motion. Ka-blooey. They leave, all celebrating their victory.

The Doctor enters the room soon after they leave and vows to stay there until the Daleks are defeated, which they start to be when David and Susan enact their plan. Allowing The Doctor to stand there while a Dalek approaches him.

Barbara gives the Robomen the order to destroy the Daleks, and they do (releasing the civilians in the process). Here are some of the highlights.

Dalek Crowd Surfing

Dalek Marathoning

Dalek Grooming

Oh, and somewhere along the line, Ian met up with Barbara and The Doctor. They see that the bomb is going to go off soon, so they all opt to head up topside to watch some good old fashion attraction.

Then the bomb goes off. Stock footage. Giant McBoom Boom. Etc.

And with that the story ends.

And we get an eightish minute ending, in which Susan leaves the TARDIS crew. If you don't know what happens, just watch this. They do a lot to punch up to The Doctor and his relationship with Susan. It's wonderfully emotional. Just saying.

And that's how it ends. And that youtube is how I'm always going to remember this serial. She's really good. And so's he. Made me misty. Powerfully, wonderfully emotional. So good.

Final Thoughts?:

Yeah. I'm changing the last section, because there's only so much I can say about The Doctor after a while. But we'll start with him.

The more I watch of him, the more I find myself enjoying William Hartnell. He's got this bitter grandpa thing going on, which is an interesting take on The Doctor, but he's always so compassionate, and so thinking that it's really charming and endearing.

And then Susan leaves, and he kills it. KILLS it. It helps that it's a remarkably well-written scene, but he performs the hell out of it, and he sells Susan as his granddaughter in it and if a character is going to leave the TARDIS, this is a fantastic way to go. Terribly emotional, and it leaves The Doctor terribly alone, as this is, in many ways one of the major "I'm leaving my past behind" moments.

It just makes me sad Susan doesn't show up again.

(Ha ha. Just kidding)

But really, as a story this is one of the great ones I've seen so far. It's the sort of story that makes me realize that the 1960's might be my favorite era of Doctor Who. It's just so... cheap, but they do their best, and the stories are a bit crazy. I was in this serial for like.... two minutes and I was just... so completely infatuated. I loved this story. Highly recommended.

Next Time!: 4th Doctor! Scientists! An Astrally-Tuned Old Woman! Skewed Evolution! Really Awkward Sexual Tension! And With a Gun! "Image of the Fendahl"! Coming Next Tuesday!

1 comment:

  1. I know this blog is for Classic Who reviews but have you thought of reviewing the Cushing Dalek films here or elsewhere? Considering their era and the fact that they're adaptations of two TV serials they've always been a part of the Classic era in my mind.