As Classic Capitology winds down, the last Hartnell to get the treatment is one of the most anticipated stories in the whole of Doctor Who history. When The Daleks hit very late in 1963 the principal question for burgeoning Dalekmania would be if, and how, they would return.
The answer would be to bring the threat home, almost, although viewers would have wait an entire year to find out. Without putting too fine a point on it, The Dalek Invasion of Earth is an epic story. Although it was set in 2164, it might as well have been modern London, and so all of the BUS (base-under-siege) characters, from David Campbell (more on him in a moment), Tyler, Jenny, and Dortmun, have more relatable reactions than Thals had.
But bringing the Daleks home, though notable certainly, or the first on screen kiss in Doctor Who (between David and Susan), is not the most important reason to revisit The Dalek Invasion of Earth, rather it’s the last time Doctor Who would exist in it’s original form as Susan leaves at the end of the story. Unlike a few future companion departures, Susan’s was at least well setup, punctuated by Hartnell’s magnificent speech at the end of episode six.
Doctor Who was now a changed program. How could it ever be the same again? The answer is that it couldn’t, and that’s why we’re all still talking about it.