Production Code: XXX
1 - 23/02/1974 17:30
2 - 02/03/1974 17:30
3 - 09/03/1974 17:30
4 - 16/03/1974 17:30
The TARDIS arrives on the planet Exxilon, where all electrical energy is drained off by an unknown force. The Doctor meets a Marine Space Corps expedition from Earth who tell him that a plague is sweeping the galaxy and that the antidote, parrinium, can be found only on Exxilon. Their ship has been disabled by the energy drain, so they are unable to leave with the mineral.
Sarah meanwhile has seen a magnificent white edifice with a flashing beacon on top. She is captured by a group of savage Exxilons and taken to their cave to be sacrificed for defiling their city. The Doctor and the humans enter into an uneasy alliance with a group of Daleks who also land on the planet and whose weapons are rendered inactive by the energy drain. They too are taken prisoner by the Exxilons.
The Doctor interrupts Sarah's execution but is then sentenced to death himself. The two travellers escape into some tunnels as the cave is attacked by a second force of Daleks armed with mechanical guns. There they meet Bellal, an enlightened Exxilon, who tells them that the city was created by his own race but then brought about their downfall. The Doctor, realising that the city's beacon is causing the energy drain, resolves to put it out of action.
He and Bellal enter the city and, by passing a series of potentially deadly tests, reach its centre. There the Time Lord uses his sonic screwdriver to give the controlling computer a brainstorm.
The Daleks plan to take all the parrinium but their ship is destroyed with a bomb triggered by one of the humans who has stowed away on board. Sarah then reveals that she and another of the humans had already smuggled off all the parrinium and transferred it to the Earth ship.
A spaceship lands on the planet and the Doctor goes with the MSC group to greet it. A door opens and Daleks glide out. The Daleks fire their weapons.
Making his way through the tunnels beneath the Exxilon city, the Doctor is confronted by a metallic root that rears up before him.
The Doctor and Bellal, progressing through the corridors of the Exxilon city, come to an area where the floor is marked in a red and white pattern. Suddenly the Doctor says 'Stop - don't move!'
As the Exxilon city collapses, the Doctor sadly muses that the universe now has only 699 wonders.
Hamlet ('A palpable hit').
70s power cuts.
The Doctor sings 'Oh I Do Like to Be Beside the Seaside'.
The Doctor : "Inside each of those shells is living, bubbling lump of hate."
Bellal : "Exxilon had grown old before life began on other planets."
Dalek : "Human prisoner has escaped. I have failed. Self Destruct!"
The holiday planet Florana has effervescent water.
The TARDIS has emergency storage cells in case of power failure. Without power, its doors need to be hand cranked. Sulphagen tablets are pain killers. The Doctor uses the sonic screwdriver for various feats of electrical trickery in the City. He carries a five piastre coin, of unknown origin: he says he's unlikely to need it. [Is it Gallifreyan?]
Parrinium is a chemical that is rare on Earth but is as common as salt on Exxilon: it's also the cure for the space plague, which was caused by the Daleks' 'plague missiles'. Jill Tarrant estimates ten million people on the outer planets and colonies will die without parrinium. The Doctor says the Daleks have a 'scorched planet policy'. The Daleks move their casings by psychokinetic power.
Bellal states that 'Exxilon had grown old before life began on other planets'. The Doctor believes the Exxilons travelled to Earth and taught the Peruvian Incas how to build their temples. Then they built their City as a living entity, and it all but wiped them out.
Stewart's group are members of the Marine Space Corps.
The Daleks practice their replacement machine guns on a model TARDIS. Where they got it from is never explained. [Standard issue to encourage hatred for the Doctor?]
Bad editing at the end of episode one makes it clear that the Daleks' guns don't work.
What happened to the Exxilon in the TARDIS after Sarah knocks it out? Is it still wandering around in there?
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Jon Pertwee
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
Bellal - Arnold Yarrow
Commander Stewart - Neil Seiler
Dalek Operator - John Scott Martin
Dalek Operator - Murphy Grumbar Murphy Grumbar's surname was mis-spelt as Grunbar on all episodes
Dalek Operator - Cy Town
Dalek Voices - Michael Wisher
Dan Galloway - Duncan Lamont
Gotal - Roy Heymann
High Priest - Mostyn Evans
Jill Tarrant - Joy Harrison
Peter Hamilton - Julian Fox
Richard Railton - John Abineri
Director - Michael E Briant