Production Code: BB
1 - 25/06/1966 17:35
2 - 02/07/1966 18:55
3 - 09/07/1966 17:35
4 - 16/07/1966 17:15
The TARDIS arrives in London in 1966 and the Doctor and Dodo visit the Post Office Tower. There they meet Professor Brett, whose revolutionary new computer WOTAN (Will Operating Thought ANalogue) can actually think for itself and is shortly to be linked up to other major computers around the world - a project overseen by civil servant Sir Charles Summer.
It transpires however that WOTAN considers that humans are inferior to machines and should therefore be ruled by them. Exerting a hypnotic influence, it arranges the construction of War Machines - heavily-armed, self-contained mobile computers - with which to take over the world.
These prove more than a match for troops, but by establishing a magnetic force field the Doctor is able to capture one of them, which he then reprograms to destroy WOTAN. Dodo, now back in her own time, decides to remain on Earth. The Doctor enters the TARDIS alone, but Brett's secretary Polly and her merchant seaman friend Ben Jackson follow him inside just before it dematerialises.
Dodo is hypnotised by WOTAN over the telephone and instructed to go to the control room in the Post Office Tower. There, she is given her instructions. She is to bring "Doctor Who" to WOTAN.
Having been asked by the Doctor to investigate around the Covent Garden area, Ben finds a warehouse in which a War Machine is being tested. The Machine suddenly homes in on him and approaches relentlessly.
The army attack the Covent Garden warehouse but cannot stop the War Machine. It chases the soldiers from the area and they retreat. Outside, however, the Doctor steps forward and stands his ground as the Machine approaches.
The Doctor is waiting by the TARDIS for Dodo when Ben and Polly arrive with a message from her: she wishes to stay in London. The Doctor enters the TARDIS, leaving Polly puzzled as to what he is doing inside a police box. Ben remembers that they still have Dodo's key, so the two friends follow the Doctor into the TARDIS just before it dematerialises.
The 'mad computer' genre and films such as Georgy Girl and The Knack.
The army's presence is reminiscent of Quatermass and the Pit.
Coronation Street (the bar scene in episode four).
The Doctor : "You know there's something alien about that tower, I can sense it!"
Dodo : "Smells okay to me. Good old London smoke!"
The Doctor : "I can feel it... it's got something... sort of powerful... it's... Look at my skin! Look at that! I've got that prickling sensation. The... sensation again... the same... just as I had when I fought the Daleks... those Daleks were near!"
WOTAN : "Doctor Who is required... bring him here."
The owner of the Inferno : "I dig your fab gear!" [He also compares the Doctor to "that disc jockey" - presumably Jimmy Saville.]
The Doctor : [As WOTAN attempts mind-control by telephone.] "It's as if something enormous and terrific was trying to absorb me!"
The Doctor gets a 'pricking sensation' when close to the Tower (which he also experiences when the Daleks were near). [The Doctor can sense certain alien life forms, cf. The Evil of the Daleks.]
Polly is never given a surname (See The Faceless Ones).
Fitzroy Square, London, close to the recently completed Post Office Tower, 12 July (1966) onwards [Ben and Polly left with the Doctor on 20 July according to The Faceless Ones].
Comedian and actor Mike Reid, perhaps best known for his role in EastEnders, in an early television appearance as an army soldier, is waiting beside the electrical trap for the War Machine in episode four.
There are special 'computer lettering' opening title graphics for each episode.
WOTAN is given its own credit in the closing titles for the first three episodes. This is the only time in the series' history that a fictional creation receives a cast credit.
Newsreader Kenneth Kendall and radio announcer Dwight Whylie appear as themselves.
WOTAN refers to the Doctor throughout as 'Doctor Who', the only time that the character is ever given this name in the series' dialogue (although he is credited as such on almost every episode up to and including those of the eighteenth season, adopts the alias 'Doctor von Wer' - a rough German approximation of 'Doctor Who' - in The Highlanders and signs himself 'Dr. W' in The Underwater Menace).
The third episode has a wonderful cliffhanger: the Doctor stands his ground, haughty and unafraid, as the War Machine advances upon him.
Michael Craze provided the voice of a policeman heard in Episode four.
Pat Dunlop contributed to the writing of this story. (Dunlop was the writer originally commissioned to turn Kit Pedler's story idea into script form but had to pull out due to a clash of commitments with another BBC series, United! Ian Stuart Black used none of Dunlop's work when he took over.)
Why do all of the packing cases containing parts for the construction of the War Machines have the WOTAN symbol 'W' on them?
In episode four, the Doctor knocks off the end of a War Machine's gun arm with his cloak. Later, examining the machine, the Doctor stands up and whacks his head against it.
How does the War Machine get up to the top floor of the Post Office Tower?
Sir Charles talks of Monday 16 July, which would set the story in 1962 or 1973!
Polly takes Dodo to the Inferno nightclub in Covent Garden ('the hottest night spot in town'), a mod place full of cool cats (who are all really 'with it') and seaman Ben Jackson (who isn't).
Cast & Crew
The Doctor - William Hartnell
American Journalist - Ric Felgate
Ben Jackson - Michael Craze from Episode 1
Captain - John Rolfe
Corporal - Frank Jarvis
Dodo - Jackie Lane until Episode 2
Flash - Ewan Proctor
Garage Mechanic - Edward Colliver
Interviewer - John Doye
Kitty - Sandra Bryant
Machine Operator - Gerald Taylor
Major Green - Alan Curtis
Man in telephone box - John Slavid
Polly - Anneke Wills from Episode 1
Professor Brett - John Harvey
Professor Krimpton - John Cater
Radio Announcer - Dwight Whylie
Sergeant - John Boyd-Brent
Sir Charles Summer - William Mervyn
Soldier - Robin Dawson
Taxi-driver - Michael Rathbone
Television Newsreader - Kenneth Kendall
The Minister - George Cross
The voice of WOTAN/WOTAN - Gerald Taylor
Tramp - Roy Godfrey
US Correspondent - Carl Conway
Worker - Desmond Cullum-Jones
Worker - Eddie Davis
Director - Michael Ferguson