Production Code: SSS
1 - 07/04/1973 18:10
2 - 14/04/1973 17:50
3 - 21/04/1973 17:50
4 - 28/04/1973 17:50
5 - 05/05/1973 17:50
6 - 12/05/1973 17:50
The TARDIS materialises in a hostile jungle on the planet Spiridon. Jo sets out alone to find help for the Doctor, who has fallen into a coma. She meets a party of Thals and is left in hiding aboard their crashed spaceship while they go to the Doctor's aid. The Time Lord, now recovered, learns of their mission to destroy a party of Daleks sent here to discover the native Spiridons' secret of invisibility.
Another Thal spaceship crash-lands in the jungle, and the survivors bring news that somewhere on Spiridon there is an army of ten thousand Daleks. Jo meanwhile meets a friendly Spiridon named Wester, who cures a deadly fungus disease that she has contracted.
It transpires that the Daleks' army is frozen in suspended animation in a cavern below their base. The Doctor, with the help of the Thals, explodes a bomb in the cavern wall and thereby causes one of the planet's natural ice volcanoes to erupt, entombing the army in a torrent of liquid ice.
The newly-arrived Dalek Supreme and his aides are left stranded on Spiridon as the Thals steal their ship and the Doctor and Jo depart in the TARDIS.
The Thal leader Taron tells the Doctor that if he joins them in spraying liquid paint over the incapacitated invisible creature that they have come across he will see what they are up against. He does so, and before them is revealed the familiar shape of a Dalek.
A Thal spaceship crash-lands on Spiridon. Rebec, one of three survivors, gives Taron the astounding news that somewhere on the planet there are ten thousand Daleks.
The Doctor and his Thal allies have sealed themselves in a refrigeration plant deep within the Dalek base as the Daleks attempt to cut through the door. At the Doctor's suggestion, they rig up a large plastic sheet as a makeshift balloon in the hope that they can use this to float to safety on the hot exhaust gases rising up a large chimney. The balloon seems unable to lift their combined weight however and, although the Doctor urges the Thals to give it time, Rebec cries out that it is not going to work.
The rebellious Thal Vaber is captured by a group of Spiridons, one of whom orders that he be taken to the Daleks.
The Doctor and the Thals have infiltrated the Daleks' base. Rebec is inside a captured Dalek casing, while the others are disguised in Spiridon furs. A Dalek sees a Thal boot protruding from under one of the furs and raises the alarm, declaring an emergency.
Jo asks the Doctor to take her home to Earth. He agrees to do so and adjusts the TARDIS controls.
Taron : "In our legends there is a being, a figure from another planet who came to Skaro when the Thals were in their greatest peril. In something called a TARDIS. He had three companions."
The Doctor : "Yes, Barbara, Ian and Susan."
Vaber : "And their leader was called?"
The Doctor : "The Doctor."
Taron : "Are you trying to tell us that you are the Doctor?"
The Doctor : "That's right."
The Doctor : [After destroying a Dalek] "You know, for a man who abhors violence, I took great satisfaction in doing that."
The Doctor : "Courage isn't just a matter of not being frightened, you know. It's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway."
A pull-out 'bed' and various lockers are seen in the TARDIS control room. One of the lockers contains a [cassette based?] TARDIS log. The TARDIS's oxygen supply seems linked to its surroundings as enclosing the TARDIS exterior in fungus nearly drains the TARDIS of its air [something must have gone wrong]. There are emergency cylinders but they're all running low.
Despite his injuries the Doctor attempts to contact the Time Lords telepathically via the console (See The Three Doctors). When the Doctor falls into a coma his body temperature lowers to sub-zero levels and his heartbeat stabilises at six beasts per minute.
The Thals indicate that Earth has a place in their legends [Ian and Barbara told them a good deal in The Daleks], but they don't believe that the planet exists. The Daleks call the Thal craft 'primitive', and recognise that they have come from Skaro. [It seems clear that by this time Skaro is inhabited by just the Thals.] The Thals are mostly peaceful, despite their lack of contact with other races.
Most Daleks emit an automatic distress call if their casings are tampered with. The Daleks can lower the strength of their weapons, merely disabling the Doctor in episode two (cf. The Daleks), and their guidance systems are based on high frequency radio signals. They have developed anti-gravity technology in the form of anti-grav disks.
Spiridon is 'many systems' from Skaro. Its flora and fauna include aggressive and visually enabled plants, various hostile animals, and the Spiridons, humanoid creatures who have developed a way of rendering themselves invisible. Its core seems to be composed of ice.
The Daleks have stored their greatest ever invasion force, about 10,000 strong, on Spiridon, and have subjugated the population in order to apply their invisibility techniques to themselves. As this requires much power it can only be achieved for short periods of time. The Dalek Supreme, one of the ruling elite, comes to Spiridon to take charge of operations.
This story features an addition to the TARDIS set in the form of a cupboard unit containing a slide-out bed.
Wester becomes visible - and thereby reveals the Spiridons' true appearance - after he dies due to exposure to a virus with which the Daleks plan to wipe out all other life on the planet.
The Dalek Supreme was operated in this story by Tony Starr. (Starr could not have operated the Dalek Supreme in the scenes set in the Spiridon jungle, as he was not present when they were recorded. He did operate a Dalek in other scenes in Episode Six, and was credited for this in Radio Times, but there is no evidence that it was the Dalek Supreme and, particularly given that he was uncredited on screen, this seems unlikely. It is probable that John Scott Martin, who was credited as Chief Dalek in Radio Times, played the Dalek Supreme in all instances.)
The Daleks use an anti-reflecting light wave to combat light wave emissions. The Doctor turns the TARDIS log into a Dalek killing device by dismantling the circuitry, reversing the polarity, and turning it into a low power receiver/transmitter with 'a positive feedback'.
Trapped in the TARDIS with a dwindling air supply, the Doctor takes time to change clothes [and find a new sonic screwdriver].
The door handles in the Thal spaceship are of the metal B&Q type variety (The ship also contains a cordless telephone.)
Jo anticipates the falling rock when discovering the Thal bombs.
How does the Dalek search Marat's body for the concealed map?
When the Thals take cover on the plain of stones in episode four a huge, dark shape (probably a technician) appears behind the painted sky.
The second Dalek, pursuing Jo and Latep in episode five, knocks into a polystyrene 'rock' and moves it out of position.
The strings that operate the doors of the Dalek ship are visible, and the Dalek Supreme's lights are especially out of synch with his dialogue.
The Daleks seal themselves in to prevent the virus escaping. So what happens when the base blows up?
The Doctor seems to have forgotten that he followed the Daleks to Spiridon, and is surprised at the end of episode one.
Not for the first time in the programme's history, Louis Marx Daleks are used to simulate an army.
Jo (flares and shoulder pads)
Even the Thals' spacesuits have flares
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Jon Pertwee
Jo Grant - Katy Manning
Codal - Tim Preece
Dalek Operator - John Scott Martin
Dalek Operator - Murphy Grumbar
Dalek Operator - Cy Town
Dalek Voice - Michael Wisher
Dalek Voice - Roy Skelton
Latep - Alan Tucker
Marat - Hilary Minster
Rebec - Jane How
Taron - Bernard Horsfall
Vaber - Prentis Hancock
Wester - Roy Skelton Roy Skelton also provided, uncredited, other Spiridon voices
Director - David Maloney