Production Code: 4E
1 - 08/03/1975 17:30
2 - 15/03/1975 17:30
3 - 22/03/1975 17:30
4 - 29/03/1975 17:30
5 - 05/04/1975 17:30
6 - 12/04/1975 17:30
The Time Lords intercept the transmat beam taking the Doctor, Sarah and Harry back to Nerva and deposit them instead on the planet Skaro at an early point in its history. There a Time Lord gives the Doctor both a mission to prevent or alter the Daleks' development so that they become less of a threat to the universe and a time ring that will enable him and his companions to return to the TARDIS once this is done.
Skaro is currently in the grip of a long war of attrition between its two humanoid powers, the Kaleds and the Thals. The Kaleds' chief scientist, Davros, has been experimenting to discover the final form into which his race will mutate - the weapons used in the war have already produced genetically scarred 'mutos', who have been consigned to the wastelands - and has devised a protective casing in which they can continue to survive. This is instantly recognised by the Doctor and Sarah as a Dalek.
Escaping from the bunker where Davros and his Elite, led by the sadistic Nyder, are based, the Doctor and Harry persuade the Kaled leaders to put the Dalek experiments on hold. Davros retaliates by conspiring with the Thals to destroy the Kaled city with a rocket. He then activates the Daleks and orders them to wipe out the Thals.
Some members of the Elite revolt, protesting at the genetic alterations that Davros has made to the Daleks, and they too are exterminated. The Daleks then seize control, killing the remainder of the Elite and ultimately Davros himself. Thal survivors detonate explosives at the entrance to the bunker, sealing the Daleks inside.
Having earlier passed up an opportunity to destroy the Dalek mutants at birth, the Doctor estimates that his intervention will have delayed their development by about a thousand years.
Sarah stumbles across a half-ruined building in the wastelands. Through a hole in the wall she sees two humanoids, one of them in a mobile chair, and a Dalek. On the electronic-voiced command of the chair-bound figure, Davros, the Dalek destroys a number of targets with its gun. Davros contentedly concludes that the weaponry is perfect: 'Now we can begin.'
Sarah organises her fellow prisoners in the Thal rocket silo to stage a breakout. They start to clamber up the gantry, intending to make their way out onto the surface of the dome above. Thal soldiers shoot up at them but they keep climbing. Sarah gets into difficulties and the muto Sevrin urges her on. Suddenly she loses her grip and falls...
Sarah and Harry head for the Kaled dome to warn of the impending attack while the Doctor remains behind in the Thal base to try to sabotage the rocket. A Thal guard activates a defence system and the Doctor convulses in pain as an electrified fence sends waves of current through him.
The Doctor is captured by Davros, who threatens to torture Sarah and Harry unless he reveals details of future Dalek defeats so that these can be averted. The Doctor hesitates and Davros's demands grow ever louder.
The Doctor decides to blow up the Dalek incubator room and enters to place explosive charges. Sarah and Harry, waiting outside, start to become anxious as the minutes pass. Suddenly the door opens and the Doctor staggers out, struggling with an embryonic Dalek mutant that has wrapped itself in a stranglehold around his throat.
Their task completed, the Doctor, Sarah and Harry take hold of the time ring. They spin away through space and time on their way to rendezvous with the TARDIS.
Things to Come
Nation's The Avengers episodes 'Invasion of the Earthmen' and 'Legacy of Death' (Baron von Orlack = Davros)
William Shirer's The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
The Satan Bug
The visual appearance of the Time Lord derives from Ingmar Bergman's The Seventh Seal
Sevrin : "Why must we always destroy beauty? Why kill another creature because it is not in our image?"
Davros : "Today, the Kaled race is ended, consumed in a fire of war. But, from its ashes will rise a new race. The supreme creature. The ultimate conqueror of the universe. The Dalek!"
The Doctor : "Davros, if you had created a virus in your laboratory. Something contagious and infectious that killed on contact. A virus that would destroy all other forms of life... would you allow its use?"
Davros : "It is an interesting conjecture."
The Doctor : "Would you do it?"
Davros : "The only living thing...the microscopic organism... reigning supreme... A fascinating idea."
The Doctor : "But would you do it?"
Davros : "Yes. Yes. To hold in my hand, a capsule that contained such power. To know that life and death on such a scale was my choice. To know that the tiny pressure on my thumb, enough to break the glass, would end everything. Yes. I would do it. That power would set me up above the gods. And through the Daleks I shall have that power!"
The Doctor : "If someone who knew the future, pointed out a child to you and told you that that child would grow up totally evil, to be a ruthless dictator who would destroy millions of lives... could you then kill that child?"
Sarah Jane Smith : "We're talking about the Daleks. The most evil creatures ever invented. You must destroy them. You must complete your mission for the Time Lords!"
The Doctor : "Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other and that's it. The Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear... in peace, and never even know the word "Dalek"."
Sarah Jane Smith : "Then why wait? If it was a disease or some sort of bacteria you were destroying, you wouldn't hesitate."
The Doctor : "But if I kill. Wipe out a whole intelligent life form, then I become like them. I'd be no better than the Daleks."
The Doctor : "I know that although the Daleks will create havoc and destruction for millions of years. I know also, that out of their evil, must come something good."
A Time Lord intercepts the TARDIS crew en route to Nerva. It would normally be very dangerous to intercept a transmat beam, but the Time Lords long ago superseded such techniques. [The reference to this occurring when the Universe 'was less than half its present size' are unlikely to be accurate or else the Time Lords have existed for around 10,000 million years: cf 'The Trial of a Time Lord'.]
The Time Lords [via a Matrix projection] envisage a time when the Daleks will be the supreme power in the Universe and call on the Doctor. [There is some unconvincing waffle about 'seldom interfering', but this seems to be another CIA gig, the Doctor being told to pay the price for his freedom.
They want the Doctor to destroy the Daleks at the time of their origin [despite the fact that genocide is forbidden under Article Seven: see 'The Trial of a Time Lord'], or find some inherent weakness that can be used, or affect their development so they evolve into less aggressive creatures.
[The Time Lords must know what they are doing: if the Doctor succeeds, the disruption to the history of the Universe will be enormous See Carnival of Monsters.] In the end the Doctor is unable to do any of these (in the case of total destruction he is unwilling ).
The Doctor's pocket contains a magnifying glass, the sonic screwdriver, his yo-yo, a pair of handcuffs, various lumps of brightly coloured rock, an item which he describes as 'an etheric beam locator, it's also useful for detecting ion charged emissions', and the time ring given to him by the Time Lords.
Skaro has been ravaged by a 1000 year war between the Kaleds and the Thals. There is a third ethnic group, the Mutos, mutants produced by the chemical weapons used during the first century of the war. Davros believes that the genetic mutation in the Kaleds is irreversible, and is experimenting with living cells to produce the prototype Daleks.
His early experiments involved animals, the resulting monsters being banished, along with the Mutos, into the wastelands. Davros is clearly old, stating that many times in the last 50 years the Government have tried to interfere with his work (it is never explained what, presumably horrific, accident brought about his infirmity).
The Doctor is forced into revealing the circumstances of every Dalek defeat he is aware of. He mentions the events of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, saying the attempt to mine the planet's core failed because of 'the magnetic properties of the Earth'.
Interestingly, he misdates the crisis to 'the year 2000'. He also talks of a Dalek invasion of Mars failing due to 'a virus that attacked the insulation cables of their electrical system'. [It seems likely that these are real events, as he is keen to destroy the tape when free. However, he lies tactically about the Dalek invasion of Earth so as not to reveal details of his own involvement.]
The freeze-frame cliffhanger at the end of Part Two represents the series' first use of this technique.
Guy Siner and Hilary Minster, here seen playing playing Kaled and Thal soldiers respectively, later appeared in the BBC sitcom 'Allo, 'Allo.
Some of the Thal guns were previously used by the Drahvins in the season three story Galaxy 4.
Part of an Ice Warrior costume is seen in one shot, representing one of the mutant creatures produced by Davros in his experiments.
Sarah has a premonition of Revenge of the Cybermen (she mentions the beacon, but Nerva was not a beacon in that story).
How can you have a 1000 year war between two cities within spitting distance of each other?
Similarly, if the Kaleds can get into the Thal dome so easily (right up to the door of the Thal cabinet room), then why the war of attrition?
At the end of episode two, Sarah falls outside the gantry: in episode three's resolution, she falls onto a platform inside it. (A massive cop out.)
In episode three, between the Doctor looking up at the rocket and the soldier crawling to the switch, there is a single frame of the Doctor's back, the result of sloppy editing.
The Doctor seems magically to recover his coat between episodes one and six.
Will it really take the Daleks 1000 years to get through a blocked tunnel?
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Harry Sullivan - Ian Marter
Sarah Jane Smith - Elisabeth Sladen
Bettan - Harriet Philpin
Dalek Operator - John Scott Martin
Dalek Operator - Cy Town
Dalek Operator - Keith Ashley
Dalek Voice - Roy Skelton
Davros - Michael Wisher
Gerrill - Jeremy Chandler
Gharman - Dennis Chinnery
Kaled Guard - Peter Mantle
Kaled Leader - Richard Reeves
Kavell - Tom Georgeson
Kravos - Andrew Johns
Mogran - Ivor Roberts
Nyder - Peter Miles
Ravon - Guy Siner
Ronson - James Garbutt
Sevrin - Stephen Yardley
Tane - Drew Wood
Thal Guard - Max Faulkner
Thal Politician - Michael Lynch
Thal Soldier - Pat Gorman
Thal Soldier - Hilary Minster
Thal Soldier - John Gleeson
Time Lord - John Franklyn-Robbins
Director - David Maloney