Production Code: 5J
1 - 01/09/1979 18:10
2 - 08/09/1979 18:10
3 - 15/09/1979 18:10
4 - 22/09/1979 18:15
The Doctor and a newly-regenerated Romana arrive on Skaro and discover that the Daleks are using explosive charges and a group of humanoid slave workers to mine the planet in search of their creator, Davros. A stalemate has arisen in an interplanetary war that the Daleks are waging against the robotic Movellans, and their hope is that Davros will be able to give them the edge.
A force of Movellans has also arrived on Skaro, determined to thwart the Daleks' plan. Davros is found in the ruins of the old Kaled city and immediately revives, his life support systems having held him in suspended animation ever since his apparent death. He quickly deduces that the battle computers of the two warring races are locked in a logical stalemate and that he can break this by introducing an element of intuition.
The Movellans, having reached the same conclusion, want the Doctor to do likewise for them. Davros attempts to destroy the Movellan ship using a suicide squad of Daleks loaded with bombs, but the Doctor returns to the Kaled city and tricks him into inadvertently detonating them before they reach their target.
The Movellans are deactivated and Davros is cryogenically frozen on board their ship until the freed slave workers can take him to Earth and ensure that he is put on trial for his crimes.
Romana, trapped in the ruins of the old Kaled city, backs uneasily away from a vibrating wall. Suddenly Daleks crash through the wall and advance towards her, repeatedly telling her not to move and asserting that she is their prisoner.
Davros flexes his fingers, and his artificial eye lights up as he revives.
The Movellans set a trap for the Doctor, placing an unconscious Romana in a transparent cylinder with a 'nova device' capable of causing the air inside to catch fire when the countdown reaches zero. The Doctor stuggles desperately to find a way into the sealed cylinder as the countdown continues.
The TARDIS dematerialises from the surface of Skaro.
The film Stalemate provides the logic trap.
The Doctor : [Reading a book called Origins of the Universe by Oolon Caluphid.] "He got it wrong on the first line! Why didn't he ask someone who saw it happen?"
Daleks : "Seek - locate - exterminate!"
The Doctor : "I want to get a closer look at that body..."
Skaro is still radioactive, the Doctor and Romana taking anti radiation tablets (The Daleks). Skaro is known as D5 Gamma Z Alpha to the Movellans. Davros is resurrected without any apparent power source [it's almost as if the Doctor's entry into his sealed bunker wakes him up]. He survived the end of Genesis of the Daleks thanks to his chair's defence system.
It is not explained how Romana can 'try on' several bodies when regenerating [possibly a similar process to the options the Doctor was given at the end of The War Games, or the intermediate stage seen in Planet of the Spiders, Logopolis and 'The Trial of a Time Lord']. Much time has gone by since The Armageddon Factor (she's now much wiser) and she might have been suffering from some illness. Her stated reasons are, of course, very flippant.
Romana states that the Planet Kantria is a tropical paradise. The Doctor tells Davros that Arcturus won the Galactic Olympic Games with Betelgeuse coming second. The planet Magla is an 8000-mile-wide amoeba that has grown a crusty shell.
Skaro, 'many centuries' after Genesis of the Daleks.
The Doctor's first encounter with the Big Bang (he reads Origins of the Universe by Oolon Caluphid and comments 'He got it wrong on the first line! Why didn't he ask someone who saw it happen?').
Skaro sound effects from the first Dalek story, The Mutants, are reused here.
Romana wears a pink and white parody of the Doctor's costume.
A steadycam - a rig used to obtain smooth, stable shots from a hand held camera - is used for the first time in this story to breathtaking effect.
David Yip, later to star in the BBC's The Chinese Detective, plays the Dalek prisoner, Veldan.
Actor Tim Barlow, who played Tyssan, was deaf.
Although K9 has no dialogue in this story he is heard to croak at the start of Episode One. The croak was provided by Roy Skelton. Three alternative 'physical' forms of Romana seen in Episode One were played, uncredited, by Lee Richards, Maggy Armitage and Yvonne Gallagher.
The seismic activity on Skaro is caused by 'high impact phason drills'.
Davros sways alarmingly as the Doctor pushes him down the corridor.
During one of Davros' rants about his 'perfect' creations in episode three, one of them can be seen adjusting the top half of its casing.
A Dalek also crashes into a door frame.
The Daleks say that self sacrifice is illogical, so why do they go on a suicide mission in episode four?
In 'scissors cut paper' there is no logically superior choice so the Movellans should not be trapped in the game as they are.
The Doctor gives Romana a bleeper to tell her when to take her radiation tablets but forgets to give her any of the actual pills.
The Movellans: silver dreadlocks and skin tight one piece 'space suits'.
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - Tom Baker
Romana - Lalla Ward
Agella - Suzanne Danielle
Commander Sharrel - Peter Straker
Dalek Operator - Cy Town
Dalek Operator - Mike Mungarvan
Dalek Voice - Roy Skelton
Davros - David Gooderson David Gooderson also supplied some Dalek voices in this story, but uncredited
Jall - Penny Casdagli
Lan - Tony Osoba
Movellan Guard - Cassandra Although she is credited on Episode Four, the appearance of the Movellan Guard played by Cassandra is actually in Episode Three.
Tyssan - Tim Barlow
Veldan - David Yip
Director - Ken Grieve