Wednesday, 28 December 2011

The Rescue

Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.
- Napoleon Bonaparte


Him:  Hang on!  This is the one where Barbara kills a pet and nearly loses her hair and it turns out that Bennet's Koquillion!


Me:   Ah.  


Me:  Now we've loads to get written for this.   


Me:  Because it’s only a two-parter.

Him:  We probably shouldn’t have started just after lunch, really. 

Me:  No.  No, we probably shouldn't have.

We start with the TARDIS landing somewhere, then cut to a crashed spaceship beeping cheerfully to itself.  Panning around inside the ship, in the same way that Alien won't even slightly be doing about fourteen years later, we’re greeted to a futuristic, and deserted, control room.  Just next to a screen with a flashing dot that, I imagine, represents the TARDIS, is a piece of modern art labelled ‘Aphelion’.  The screen with the flashing dot and beeping noise also doesn’t crop in Alien in about fourteen years.  ‘Aphelion’ is, in a genuinely unconnected point, the title of a track from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo soundtrack.  It's at this point that the Him begins, what can only be described as, ‘blipping’.

Him:  I used to do that in shops: make a ‘blip’ noise along with the machines.

Me:  I’m glad you don’t do that any more.

Him:  Blip!

A young woman enters the spaceship.  She’s Vicki, and she’s excited by the beeping.

Vicki:  Bennett, Bennett, the rescue ship’s landed!

Him:  “Bennett!”

Vicki tears enthusiastically through the remains of the ship and hops into a room to annoy Bennett who’s having a lie-down.

Him:  Vicki looks really creepy.

Me:  Why?

Him:  Her eyes look really big.  They must be brown or something, because when she looks at the camera…

The Him shudders.

Me:  Ooookay.

Him:  I’ll get used to her.

Bennett’s fairly sure it can’t be the rescue ship, as that isn’t due for another couple of days and won’t find them on Dido (which is where they’ve crashed) without some sort of signal.  In order to doubly smash Vicki’s enthusiasm, Bennett tells her to contact the ship but – deep breath for maximum enunciation – watch out for Koquillion.

Him:  “Koquillion”.

Me:  It’s a good name.

Him:  Is it a real name?

Me:  No.

Vicki contacts the rescue ship which isn’t on Dido.  Bother.

Him:  Where’d they get all this equipment from?

Me:  D’you mean the series in general, or Vicki and Bennett?

Him:  Vicki and Bennett.

Me:  They’ve crashed in their ship, so it’s... their ship.

The inside of the TARDIS is looking a bit posh, as do Ian and Barbara.  The Doctor’s having a nap.

Me:  There’s been a bit of a makeover.  Ian, Barbara and the TARDIS all look very smart.  And the Doctor’s quite relaxed for someone’s who just abandoned his grandchild.

Him:  Uh-huh.

Me:  This is the start of the second series proper, I guess.

Him:  Because this is the first one without Susan?  So, this is the first story of the second series?

Me:  Yeah.

Him:  Isn’t Ian about seven years older than Barbara?

Me:  I think you’re right if we’re going on the original idea for the character.

Ian and Barbara wake the Doctor up.

The Doctor:  Don’t tell me I’ve been off to sleep.

Him:  That’s you.  You’re just like that.

The Doctor, despite just being woken up, is in a very cheerful mood.

Me:  He’s certainly a lot friendlier now.

Him:  Rather than being all fed up and throwing them off the ship every five minutes.

All the instruments seem to be quite positive about the conditions.  The Doctor tries the scanner.  Looks like a cave.  Forgetting for a moment, the Doctor calls for Susan.  There’s a poignant pause.

Barbara:  Doctor, why don’t you show me how to open the doors?

Him:  “Just click your fingers.”

Me:  Jacqueline Hill had very kind eyes.

Him:  Let’s move onto a different subject, other than your weird Jacqueline Hill fixation.

Me:  Oi!

Our chums exit the TARDIS and encounter an ‘orrible smell.

Me:  “Mercury!”

Him:  “Urine!”

Overwhelmed, the Doctor goes for a nap.

Him:  See?  He’s you!

Ian:  He isn’t getting any younger, is he?

Me:  Not yet, anyway.

Deciding against a nap, after hearing Ian and Barbara being cheeky, the Doctor returns.

The Doctor:   Pick up that stone for me.

Him:  “And hit yourself on the head with it.”

The Doctor and the pebble return to the TARDIS.  Barbara thinks the Doctor’s missing Susan.

Ian:  I wonder what she’s doing now.

Him:  “Aaaargh!  There’re more Daleks!  Grandfather!”

Ian and Barbara wander off into the light.  Koquillion suddenly appears by the TARDIS.

Me:  Wow.

Him:  It looks cool and everything, but why’s Koquillion just standing next to the TARDIS staring at nothing?

Ian and Barbara stare out across a desolate landscape. 

Ian:  Barbara!  Look!  It’s a spaceship!

Me:  “And there’s blood on it!”

Ian spots a flag.  It’s a Union Jack.

Me:  Nice model shot there.

Will the universal constant of Big Ben get a mention?  Ian spots wrecked buildings next to the spaceship wreckage.

Him:  Maybe it’s connected?

Ian and Barbara meet Koquillion.

Him:  Ooop.  There’s one Didonian left and it’s got sticky-out eyes.  Koquillion works – even if his eyes don’t.

Me:    It really works.

Koquillion has the air of the sort of thing you’d get from spraying a flea with gold and having a peek at its startled face-parts under an electron-microscope.  He also sounds oddly familiar.  As there are no knights questing today, Ian and Barbara get the questions three.  Answering them successfully, Ian is sent to fetch the Doctor.  While he’s gone Koquillion shows Barbara his spanner and she falls off the cliff.

Him:  “Not again.”

The Doctor consults his script and works out they’ve landed on the planet Dido.  He’s been there before.

Me:  Years ago, eh?  The Doctor’s past is becoming truly elastic.

Koquillion uses his spanner, which may well be sonic, to engineer a rock fall on Ian.  The Doctor emerges from the TARDIS to see what all the noise is about.  Barbara has landed, possibly after some swift pruning on her descent.  A shadow falls across her.  Ian regales the Doctor with what led to the rock fall.  Despite not having a degree, the Doctor has been on Dido before and found the Didodians to be lovely fellows.  Ian’s worried about Barbara.  Vicki’s making a bed when Koquillion pops in to see her. 

Me:  He spends the rest of the time asking questions at the Bridge of Death.

Koquillion says that his people killed the visitors.

Him:  “I am spiky!  And have bones growing out of my neck!”

Me:  Vicki’s jumper is a similar design to Koquillion’s ruff.

Koquillion pops through to have a chat with Bennett.  Barbara and Vicki exchange introductions and exposition.  During Vicki’s monologue the ship is revealed to only have three walls.

Me:  Found the camera, then.

Him:  “Now, I shall drain their souls!”

Vicki reveals that Bennett can’t walk.

Him:  How did Bennett open the door for Koquillion?

Ian and the Doctor are still stuck.

Him:  When was the Doctor here before?

Vicki’s still patching up Barbara.  Vicki shows Barbara her flares and then starts shouting at her.  This wakes Bennett who drags himself to the cockpit.  Koquillion’s gone.

Him:  “He left through the…  through the… uh… the window.”

Vicki introduces her new friend, Barbara.  Bennett’s a bit worried by this development and faints.  Ian and the Doctor are on a ledge above quite a chasm and a ravenous monster.

Me:  That’s a good shot.

Him:  Even if it’s not terrifying in the least.

Suddenly spikes pop out from the wall and the cliff starts trying to murder Ian.

Me:  That’s a proper cliffhanger.  Oh – and Koquillion’s played by a different actor.  ‘Sydney Wilson’?

* And, as those spoilers're from a story originally broadcast in January 1965, you’ve had plenty of time to watch it and I'm not going to apologise.


Ian’s still stuck.

Him:  Duck down!

Me:  It wouldn’t work.

Him:  He could.

Me:  There’s no room.

Him:  In one of the shots you can see that there’s enough room to duck down, because the spikes aren’t in the bottom.

Me:  Eh?

Him:  In the close-up of Ian.  There was plenty of room.

Me:  I’m not convinced.  Although, the drop doesn’t seem to be as far as it was before.

Having escaped the spikes, Ian asks the Doctor what purpose they could possibly serve.

The Doctor:  I’ve no idea.  I’ve never seen it before in my life.

Him:  You’ve just never been in this part of Dido before.

Back on the ship, Bennett’s coming round.  Barbara takes the opportunity to be rude about Koquillion.

Him:  “Koquillion’s an idiot – an imbecile!”

Bennett disagrees.

Me:  “He’s not!  He’s a genius!  And handsome…”

Bennett gets taken back to bed.  The Doctor and Ian continue exploring.

Him:  I remember watching this the first time.

Me:  Do you?

Vicki is collecting water whilst a beastie watches her from within a cave.  Barbara finds the flare gun.

Me:  I’m not surprised she’s handling that nervously.

The Doctor and Ian find a door but ignore it in favour of daylight.  Vicki draws closer to the monster-infested cave.

Me:  That sky needs ironing.

Barbara sees the misunderstood monster approaching Vicki and roaring.  She grabs the flare gun.

Me:  Careful.

Him:  A firework falls off this –

Barbara kills the beast.  Vicki becomes upset as it was her pet, with a name and everything.

Me:  Oops.  Vicki’s definitely a replacement for Susan.

Him:  How long’ve they been stuck there?

Me:  At least a week.

Hearing the sounds of pet assassination, the Doctor and Ian make their way in that direction.  Koquillion lurks around a bit.  Our heroes are reunited.  The Doctor has some advice for the distraught Vicki.

No comment.
Him:  “Blow your face and wipe your nose.”

Ian:  Cheer up, Vicki.

Him:  “At least we’ll eat tonight.”

It’s all a bit heartless.

Me:  “Having just murdered her beloved pet, Vicki was finding it difficult to trust the smiling strangers.”

Vicki starts emoting.

Me:  Vicki won’t get to do anything other than scream from now until she leaves, so it’s nice she’s got all these different emotions to have a play around with here.

Vicki and the Doctor have a chat and the Doctor decides to go and see Bennett.  He knocks the door.

Me:  “Did you see the game last night, sir?”

Vicki, Ian and Barbara discuss the Doctor and time-travel.  Vicki reckons Barbara’s a bit old - at least five-hundred and fifty.

Me:  That’s very rude.

Ian thinks this is hilarious.  Vicki then starts dissing the Doc.

Me:  “He can’t even open a door.”

Meanwhile, the Doctor’s broken into Bennett’s room.

Him:  If the Doctor’s told that he can’t come in, does he always automatically bash the door down?

Me:  It’s his inquisitive nature.

Poking around Bennett’s room the Doctor discovers a recording device.

Him:  Oh no…

The Doctor presses ‘play’ and the pieces fall into place…

Bennett:  You can’t come in.

Him:  Oh, phew.  I thought it was going to be a recording of the rescue ship.

The Doctor finds a hatch in the floor.

Him:  Isn’t this a spaceship?  What use would that hatch be?

The Doctor has found an underground temple.

Me:  That music’s really effective.

Him:  And when did Bennett build this?

Me:  It was there already.

Ian, Barbara and Vicki start to look for the vanished Doctor and Bennett.  The Doctor and Koquillion have found each other.
"I'm a genius.  Yes, I am."

Me:  As much as I love him, I’m not sure I’m going to risk trying to draw Koquillion.

Him:  This is a bit like a Scooby-Doo episode.

Me:  That’s another part of the beauty of it – he’s a man in a suit.

Bennett confesses.

Me:  And he’d have gotten away with it –

Him:  “-if it wasn’t for you meddling time-travellers.”

They fight.

Me:  This is quite a good scrap.  Hartnell’s giving all he’s got.

Mid-fight, the planet’s original inhabitants appear.  Terrified by the beastly Didonians, Bennett falls to his death and there’s a fade out.

Him:  I don’t think the Didonians’re that scary. 

The Doctor recovers in the TARDIS.  Ian and Barbara found him and borrowed the key.  The Doctor tells them Bennett’s awful secret.

Me:  “What?  ‘Kocky-Licking’?”

The question of Vicki is raised.

Me:  “Well – Bennett did kill her father.  And, I guess, we did kill Bennett.  And Sandy.  Leaving her here, alone, to starve might be a little bit harsh.”

Him:  Isn’t Vicki only with them for one story?

Me:  You’ll have to wait and see.

Him:  This is interfering with history.

Me:  Eh?  How?

Him:  Because this didn’t happen the first time around.

Me:  This is the first time around.

Him:  No, it’s not.  It’s happened before.

Vicki opts to join the TARDIS crew and stunt her character development forever.

Him:  “And – sorry about Sandy.”

Vicki joins them on the TARDIS and makes an observation.

Vicki:  But, it’s huge!

Us:  Yay!

Back on the wrecked spaceship the Didonians kill the radio.  The TARDIS leaves properly and Ian and the Doctor discuss what they’ve learned.

Him:  What’s the next one?  Oh, it’s The Romans.  Does all of that exist?

Me:  It does.

The TARDIS lands on, and then and falls off, a cliff.

Him:  Fell over a bit quick there.

Me:  Subverting the expectations of the cliffhanger, y’see?

Him:  Koquillion and Bennett get the proper credit.

Me:  Yeah.  I’d forgotten it was listed as an amalgam of Sydney Newman and Donald Wilson in the first episode.  I guess it would have given it away otherwise.  Anyway – a bit brief that.  Thoughts?

Him:  I do think Koquillion looks good from face-on.  And it’s a shame that this was black and white because I think he was blueish** and that would’ve looked really good.

Me:  Marvellous.  That was fairly painless.

Him:  Yeah.  It’s quite a good one.  It’s not really science-fiction, even though it’s set in the future.  On an alien world.  Basically, the science-fiction ones scream out, “I’m a science-fiction!”

Me:  Even the historicals?

Him:  No.  They’re set in the past.

Me:  Yeah, but there’s that pesky time-travel element and TARDIS to make the whole thing science-fiction.

Him:  That one didn’t feel like science-fiction – not like The Daleks, which is total science-fiction.

Me:  It’s alright.  I’m just winding you up.


Me:  Another science-fiction one.  Tch.

Him:  An historical.***

Me:  You reckon?

The argument continues…

**The second issue of the phenomenal VworpVworp comes with a postcard of Paul Cemmick’s excellent  Doctor Who crowd scene, and Koquillion certainly does appear to be blueish in it.

***Brought up proper, see?

Sunday, 25 December 2011

The Dalek Invasion Of Earth

The family you come from isn't as important as the family you're going to have.
- Ring Lardner


Him:  So, this Dalek in the river…?

Me:  Yeah?

Him:  D’you think it’s just peeking its eyestalk out until other Daleks come past and then coming out, shouting “EX-TER-MIN-ATE!”


Me:  Yes.  Yes, I do.

Him:  Did every Doctor meet the Daleks?

Me:  Mr McGann heard them.  Does that count?

Him:  Yes.  That’s what I mean.  Well, were those really Daleks?

Me:  Was that really the Master?

Him:  It was the original design for the Slyther.

Me:  I like that!  Technically speaking that would make the TV Movie the Slyther’s third appearance.  But, we’re getting ahead of-

Him:  I don’t even remember the Slyther.

Me:  You brought them up.

Him:  I don’t remember what they actually look like.

Me:  Try not to be too scared…

I select ‘Play All’ and we’re greeted to a title page that looks a bit  Harryhausen.  Which is nice, if unnecessary.

Him: (To the tune of “Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2”) We don’t want no/New effects on/We want to see/The original

Me:  I’m sure I’ve turned them off.  Let’s see if we can tell.

It’s London and it’s not looking too well.  There’s a helpful sign that reminds me to take out the bins and then a Robo-Gumby appears, looking very unhappy.

Me:  “My brain hurts!”

Unable to take any more, the Robo-Gumby wades into the Thames and commits suicide as the TARDIS arrives – quite an effective scene all told.

Me:  Oops.  Too late.  Just a quick point…

Him:  Yeah?

Me:  If the doors being open caused the crew to shrink then shouldn’t the Doctor do something about the windows?

Him:  Eh?  In the new series you can see out of them.

Me:  Are you sure?

Him:  I’m pretty sure.

Me:  Well, it ties in with the wrong doors the way we saw them in The Sensorites.  It’s, ahem, dimensionally transcendental.

The TARDIS scanner’s knackered so our heroes can’t tell yet what horrors await them.

Me:  It’s nice to see them checking for radiation.

Him:  “Keep an eye on it, Susan.  It might not have made its mind up.”

Me:  Audiences would have known that the Daleks were coming back and been really excited about it.  This story almost fixes the classic series structure for the first episode of a Dalek story.  Everyone knows it’s the Daleks and the big opening cliff-hanger is: it’s the Daleks!  The new series has had a go at copying the structure a bit with Army of Ghosts.  And that Radio Times cover.

Him:  Why have the BBC still got all the episodes of The Sensorites?*


Me:  This one’s also a story of firsts: it’s the first one with a returning monster; the first one where a companion leaves; after Reign of Terror, it’s the first one with location filming; first one with a quarry-

Him:  So, it’s not the first one with location filming.

Me:  Well, no.  But, like you pointed out at the time, William Hartnell didn’t go on location for the filming – it’s the first one where all the regulars are on location.

Him:  Ok.  Did they leave that Forbidden To Dump Bodies poster to freak out passers-by?

Me:  Probably.  In the film, Ian’s played by Wilf.

Him:  I know.

Me:  Right.

The Doctor posits that they may be in London and everyone troops out of the TARDIS to see if he's right.

Me:  “Oh yes, definitely London.”

Ian:  We made it!  We’re here!

Me:  That bit on the other side of the river’s where Tegan runs away from policemen in a later Dalek story.

Him:  The Fifth Doctor one.  And what’s that called?

Me:  I can never remember.  It’s all the r’s, they confuse me.  Resurrection?

Ian shouts to draw attention as Susan runs off for a quick climb.

Him:  The TARDIS windows are open or broken or something.

Me:  That’s what I meant earlier.

Susan breaks stuff and as a result our heroes are cut off from the TARDIS.

Him:  It’ll be alright.  It’s withstood falling miles and miles, three-thousand degree heat without scorching, crashed into the Titanic, mid-flight…  I think it’ll be ok.

Me:  But none of that’s happened yet.  They’ll probably need to find some mercury.

The Him sighs.  The Doctor and Ian inspect the damage.  It’s not good.

Ian:  What I need is an acetylene torch.

Him:  Like Maitland.  Had.

Me:  Oh, very good.

Ian spots a warehouse and decides that there might be tools in it.  The Doctor points out that although they’ve been standing next to the Thames long enough to get cut off from the TARDIS they’ve heard no other sounds.  Not even Big Ben.

Me:  Big Ben really must act as some sort of universal constant form of measurement.

Susan twists her ankle.  This upsets her.

Me:  Oh God.

Him:  Bob’s your ankle!

Susan tries to walk but only manages a dramatic fall.

Susan:  It’s not very good.

Me:  “It’s rubbish.”

Ian and the Doctor patronise Susan and then leave Barbara to wash the swelling ankle.  Barbara decides to use the water from the river.

Me:  “The sterile water of the river.”

Ian and the Doctor snoop up to the warehouse.  At this point, William Hartnell delivers a line that totally slays me.

The Doctor:  I’m not a half-wit.

No comment.
On her way back with a damp hanky, Barbara finally notices the poster and looks at the camera. 

Him:  Straight into our souls!

Me:  “However did I miss that?”

Barbara tells Susan that they can’t be in the Sixites.

Me:  “Because we’re allowed to dump bodies absolutely anywhere we like!”

In the warehouse, the Doctor and Ian are being observed by someone who, to me at least, looks remarkably familiar.

Me:  Oop – was that David Tennant there?

Ian spots Battersea Power Station answering an unasked question.

Me:  I did turn the CGI off then.  How come the Doctor – who later on seems to have an incredibly detailed knowledge of Eastenders minutae – not to mention read all the Harry Potter books – doesn’t recognise the cover of Animals?

Just after the Doctor and Ian find a sellotaped number in a book (‘2164’) Barbara finds a body floating in the, otherwise perfectly clean, Thames.

Me:  “Gasp!  I thought that was forbidden?”

Barbara rushes back but Susan’s gone.  A bloke appears from nowhere.

A Bloke:  Do you want to get killed?

Me:  “That’s an interesting offer, but no thank you.”

Barbara follows the bloke as distant gunfire rings out.  Rooting through boxes the Doctor finds a dead Robogumby.

Me:  They come in boxes?

Him:  “You’ve taken it out of its original packaging – now it’s worthless!”**

Ian wonders whether the Robogumby’s helmet is there to keep his brain in.  The Doctor reckons it’s more likely to be a radio.  Ian wonders if the people of the future use these helmets to communicate – almost like telephones that are mobile.

The Doctor:  Yes, something like that.

Me:  “No, nothing like that.”

At this point something strange happens (we’re still watching with the subtitles on, by the way).  There’s a sound – so Ian and the Doctor go to investigate it, making as much noise as they can.
" life?"
Him:  Eh?  Ian said “store-room”?

Me:  He did.

Him:  Perhaps you’re ready to go critical.

Me:  Might be that the person who sub-titles the Dalek stories puts in jokes.  But probably not.

Elsewhere, on location, Barbara’s running.

Me:  This looks good.

The Doctor and Ian spot a spaceship passing overhead.

Me:  That doesn’t.

Barbara and Susan arrive at a rebel base in an old underground station.

Me:  Ah.  It’s Bernard Kay.

The Doctor and Ian return to the TARDIS to find the ladies gone.  In the rebel base, there’s a vetoed elephant and David Tennant.

Me:  Cue the falling-in-love theme.

Ian, finally, finds the poster

"Break.  Fourth.  Wall."
Me:  “Well, that proves it.  We’re not in the Sixties.”

Elsewhere, two Robogumbies turn.

Him:  Oops – straight to camera.  Why’s everyone doing that today?

The Doctor and Ian are confronted by a gaggle of Robogumbies and this happens:

Iconic Moment #23

Me:  Going on the basis of each episode having a title rather than a story-name.  If you’d managed to avoid the fuss and really didn’t know that was about to happen then it would be quite something.  I remember how I felt watching Earthshock for the first time.

Him:  This is our Christmas Day entry, isn’t it?

Me:  It will be.

Him:  Then… a Merry Christmas to all of you at home.

Me:  Very good.  I hope you faced the camera when you said that.

* When I told the Him the exciting news about the recently recovered episodes his initial response was:  “Let me guess.  It’s another two episodes of The Sensorites, isn’t it?  It’s actually eight episodes now.”

** This joke stolen from Philip Sandifer.  Sorry.


Him:  Whatever did happen to Susan?

Me:  Well…

The Dalek joins up with the Robogumbies and their prisoners.

Iconic Moment #24
Iconic Moment #25
Iconic Moment #26

Me:  Don’t set them a goal!

Iconic Moment #27
Him:  What did that Dalek just say?

Me:  He didn’t say what it sounded like he said.

The rebels, Barbara and Susan are listening to the radio.  It’s not great. We meet Jenny, a plucky young lady rebel.

Me:  Jenny was almost a companion.

Him:  Really?

Me:  I think so.  There was talk.

Him:  To replace Susan?

Me:  Yeah.

Him:  Carole Ann Ford would’ve left earlier but her contract wouldn’t let her…

Following this comment, there’s an awkward  pause.  Some sort of rubicon has been crossed here.  Back on the telly, in Nightmare London Of The Future, the rebel leader Dortmun has made a bomb that'll 100% kill Daleks.

TylerHow many have we got?

Him:  “Just this one.”

David Tennant comes in and it’s apples for all!

Him:  He looks nothing like David Tennant.

The Doctor and Ian are taken to a Dalek ship.  Ian’s a bit baffled, as he’s pretty sure he helped kill all the Daleks already.

Me:  Don’t say anything, Ian.

The Doctor:  What happened on Skaro was a million years ahead of us in the future.  What we’re seeing now is about the middle history of the Daleks.

Me:  That doesn’t make any sense.

The Daleks exterminate a prisoner because that’s what they do.  The rebels are planning an attack on the Daleks and Susan’s falling in love with David Tennant.  The Him makes an interesting observation.

Him:  Blue Peter was in colour.

Me:  Ummm…  Not all the time.

The helmet that maketh the Robogumbies is explained.  Turns out it makes people into Robogumbies.

Me:  So therefore, there must be a BRAIN-SPECIAL-IST-DALEK!

Him:  Along with the Architect Dalek?

Me:  Oh yes.

Ian and the Doctor are popped into a cell by the Daleks, who are also catching up on their favourite programme.

Me:  I’m pleased to see that they’re back watching Doctor Who.  “THIS-IS-A-RIP-PING-YARN-SEC!”

Him:  Is that the one that changes colour?

Me:  I think so.

In a nice bit of script work, the history of the Dalek invasion is related by David Tennant and Craddock, a chap in the cell with the Doctor and Ian. 

Me:  Terry N also had a thing for ending civilisation with a plague.

The odd thing is that no-one quite knows what the final act of the Dalek plan is.  But it involves digging up Bedfordshire.

The Doctor:  Suppose we forget all this blab about Bedfordshire.

Me:  If only we could, Bill.

Back with the rebels - Dortmun reveals his bomb.

Me:  “Poor Dortmun.  He’s irretrievably insane, of course.  Carries that Xmas decoration everywhere….  Still, he’s good for morale.”

Barbara has an idea.

Me:  And this idea will also be making a cameo appearance in Planet of the Daleks.

The Doctor has started playing with magnets.

The Doctor:  You open the box, take out the key and use it.


The Doctor puts Craddock in his place.

Me:  The Doctor’s being wonderfully rude in this story.

Following some marvellous fiddling, the cell door opens.  Unfortunately there are a few Daleks waiting outside to congratulate them.

Me:  Escape to danger!

The Doctor is to be Robogumbied.


Him:  What’s the one where the Daleks make a clone of the Doctor?

Me:  I think you’re thinking of The Chase.

Outside the ship, the rebel attack begins.

Him:  What’s happening?

Me:  Well…

The Robogumbification of the Doctor continues apace.

***A not-at-all-confusing episode title.


The rebel attack is a success and the Doctor is rescued without anyone dropping him.  Ian, however, is still trapped on the ship.

Me:  There’s a lot of Daleks kicking around.

Barbara and Dortmun and Tyler are debriefing following the attack.  Tyler’s worried about reprisals from the Daleks.  Dortmun has an idea though.

Him:  Aaarrgh!  That’s all he cares about!  They don’t work!

Barbara, Jenny and Dortmun go to visit the Transport Museum.  The Daleks have decided to firebomb London, and then head off to Bedfordshire for a spot of digging.  Five, and then four, are mentioned.

Him:  That’s the countdown from The Daleks reaching its conclusion.

Ian meets up with Craddock who’s hitch-hiking to Bedfordshire to meet up with his brother.  There’s an announcement.

Him:  I thought Blake only had seven?

Me:  Arf!

Susan and David Tennant hide from the Daleks in some bushes.  They don’t kiss.

Him:  “I wish the Kaleds had wheels… So we could ride them.”

Me:  Are you saying Thor helped out the Thals?

These comments need an explanation.  And a link.  Here’s one of those - if you watch it then the other one will fix itself:

Meanwhile, Susan’s flirting outrageously with David Tennant.  She’s got an idea.

David Tennant:  Things aren’t made better by running away.

Me:  Tell that to her grandfather.

The Doctor and An Expendable Rebel meet up with Susan and David Tennant.  Barbara, Jenny, Dortmun and Dortmun’s bomb are on a whistle-stop tour of London.  The music’s mad.

Him:  Is there not a Cyberman episode set in the exact same place as this?

Me:  Well, Battersea Power Station crops up in Age of Steel/Rise of the Cybermen – but that’s a parallel world one.  I think you’re thinking of The Invasion.  This bridge does make a reappearance in Rose and Aliens of London/World War Three.

A Dalek zips along a bridge.

Him:  That’s one fast moving Dalek.

Me:  Jenny’s disguised as Scott of the Sahara.

Next stop – Trafalgar Square.

Me:  “Let the World Hide-and-Seek Championship commence!”

Him:  Is that the same place?

Me:  It is.

As Barbara and Jenny take it in turns to push Dortmun as fast as they can we see so much of London that it almost becomes a character in its own right.

Me:   Ah.  Tourist Daleks.  This is where they buy the postcards of Earth to look at later.

Him:  They should’ve called this one The Chase.

The Daleks salute each other.

Me:  What do you think this story might be getting at?

Him:  So, why were they building up the Daleks to be Nazis?

Me:  It was only about twenty years since the Second World War.

Him:  They’ve stopped doing it now.  Oh – Victory of the Daleks.

Me:  It’s still the Second World War.  And they are the enemies.

Him:  That’s what I mean – the Daleks are basically German spies.  But, we shouldn’t be ruining Victory of the Daleks for anyone who hasn’t seen it.

Me:  No, quite right.  It’ll do a fine job of that all by itself.

Suddenly, we meet a headless dummy.  We must be in the Transport Museum.

Him:  Why does everything say “vetoed” on it?

Me:  I’m not totally sure.

Barbara suggests the Bedfordshire mining might be for Dalekanium.

Him:  Is Bedfordshire known for its Dalekanium?

Me:  I’m not sure about that, either.  Where’s Dalekanium come on the periodic table?

Him:  Element #105.  Chemical symbol 48.  It’s the most reactive of all elements.  Except for Francium.

Me:  You almost convinced me there.

The word ‘vetoed’ does seem to be making a lot of appearances in this episode.

Me:  It's on everything!  There must be a Censorship Dalek.  “BRING-FORTH-MARY!”

This exclamation is met with a blank look from the Him.

Me:  Mary Whitehouse?

Him:  Who’s she?

Me:  I’m impressed that I’ve never mentioned her.  Don’t worry – we’ll be encountering her when we’re in colour.

Dortmun tinkers and drinks are made.

Me:  I notice that Dortmun’s not making the drinks.

Him:  He’s making a bomb that doesn’t work.

Barbara and Dortmun have a chat and opt to head for Bedfordshire.  Dortmun wants Barbara to give his notes to the Doctor.

Barbara:  Why can’t you give them to him yourself?

Me:  It must be time for this Terry Nation story's Noble Sacrifice.

It is.  Dortmun takes on the Daleks.

Me:  That whole building’s been vetoed.

Dortmun throws the bomb.

Me:  “Suck bauble, creep!”

It doesn’t work and Dortmun’s dead.  A Dalek interrogates the headless dummy we saw earlier.


Us:  What?

The Doctor and Susan are struggling a bit, what with her ankle and his numbness.

Susan:  David says we should go north.  There’s a resistance group up there and we should join up with them.

Me:  “Well – if you like him so much, then why don’t you live with him?”

Him:  Where’s Ian?

Me:  Cromer.

Ian appears.

Him:  No, he’s right there.

The Daleks are after the Magnetic Core Of The Earth.

Him:  Oh.  They do want the magnetic core of the Earth.  But what for?

Me:  It’s a plan so evil that it’ll make your hair curl.

The Dalek ship lands and the Daleks disembark.

Him:  The Dalek Supreme’s changed colour again.

Elsewhere, the Doctor, Susan and David Tennant are hiding from Robogumbies armed with a ticking suitcase.

Him:  Even that tunnel’s been vetoed!

It’s a bomb!

Me:  The problem is that by zooming in a little bit more on each tick, it’s as though the camera’s making the noise.


Me:  Or ‘midnight’.  When it becomes ‘today’.

Him:  No, it doesn’t.  Tomorrow doesn’t become today.


We recap with the ticking suitcase.  There’s an odd shadow behind the Doctor.

Me:  Oh dear.  I hope that’s a Dalek behind them.

The Doctor collapses.  Susan and David Tennant take the opportunity to smash seven shades of Sensorite out of the bomb.

Me:  That’s a smart way of dismantling a bomb.

David Tennant:  What do we do now?

Me:  Get married?

Susan’s unhappy.  Barbara and Jenny have inflated a lorry to drive to Bedfordshire in.  In Bedfordshire itself, Ian and Craddock have found a big earthmover and an annoying sound effect.

Me:  is someone winding a clock in the background?

All of sudden there’s mining and ski-lifts.

Me:  Following a visit to the film library, production values suddenly soar.

Ian and Craddock are greeted by Wells, a farmer.  Before you know it they’ve cemented their relationship by killing a Robogumby.  Wells mentions Ashton, Bedfordshire’s one-man black market.  Ian wants to meet him.

Me:  Ian’s still looking quite dapper.

Barbara and Jenny have an argument.

Barbara:  He sacrificed himself so that you and I’d have a chance.

Me:  “What are you?  Some kind of pacifist?”

They leave.

Me:  That’s a good shot.

Susan and David Tennant are hiding in the sewers.

Susan:  This smells like an old goat farm.

Me:  How would she know?

Him:  I thought she said, “Old goat fart”.

Me:  Where’re those ear cleaners?

A man with a gun appears.  Barbara and Jenny are driving over Daleks on their way to Bedfordshire.

Me:  They’re actually driving.  This story feels a lot more open.  Larger.

Not happy about having some of their chums knocked down, a Dalek saucer is in hot pursuit of the ladies, its mission: vengeance.


Him: Kiss me goodnight/Alpha Major

Me:  How’d you know that song?

Him:  I learned it in school. Along with ‘We’ll Meet Again’.

Turns out it’s Tyler with the gun.  And there’s alligators in them thar sewers.

Me:  Watch out for giant rats too.  Terry N does write a ripping yarn.

Barbara and Jenny have their inflatable lorry blown up, but escape.  In Bedfordshire, the Slyther makes its first appearance.

No comment.
Me:  Wow!

Him:  Do you think it’s been redone in CGI?

Me:  No.  You can't improve on perfection.

Him:  “Benton!”

Ian meets with Ashton.  Outside, the Slyther roars.

Me:  It sounds like a smurf going down a slide.

Him:  “Benton!”

Susan and David Tennant are certainly piling up stories to tell the grandchildren.  The current one involves ladders and baby alligators.

Me:  That’s amazing!

Back in Bedfordshire the Slyther has eaten the black market and is in cold pursuit of Ian and Craddock, who are trapped by the hang of a cliff.

Him:  “BENTON!”


Him:  What is the Slyther?

Me:  It’s the Black Dalek’s pet.


Me:  Ok – I’m going to set us a challenge.  We’re going to try and solve a Doctor Who mystery that’s on a par with the ones in The Sensorites, Image of the Fendahl and the TV Movie.****  Let’s see if we can work out, once and for all, who the Waking Ally is.  Are you with me?

Him:  The Slyther?

Me:  I don’t think it’s the Slyther.

The second Slyther appears.  It’s noticeably different to before, which leads me to conclude someone on the production team must’ve actually looked at it at some point between the episodes.  Still, I like it.

Him: (employing sarcasm) It’s horrible.  Terrifying.  I don’t know how I’m going to sleep tonight.

The Slyther ambles towards Ian and Craddock, who hide in something that wasn’t there last week.

Him:  It’s a slug!

Ending its Doctor Who career, the Slyther falls down the mineshaft that isn’t a cliff.

Him:  Oh.  I liked the Slyther.

Me:  Terry N’s pulled the dropping-something-down-a-lift-shaft moment a bit early in this story.  It’s not onto a Dalek either.

The Daleks are chatting.



Ian and Lenny (not Craddock anymore) find their bucket being lowered.

Me:  That’s the waste bucket for shaft nine, so maybe I was right.

The Doctor, Tyler, Susan and David Tennant are in engaged in a brutal sewer fight.

Me:  The Doctor’s not a pacifist then.
- lied the Doctor.

Barbara and Jenny have arrived at a shoddy bed and breakfast run by The Women In The Wood.

Him:  They’ve managed to find that house, so why haven’t the Robomen?

Clothes are produced.

Him:  Don’t show those to Barbara – “Dirty rags!”

One of The Women In The Wood engages in an enthusiastic stabbing.

Me:  Nearly a programme-ending tragedy there.  I hope that was a prop-knife.

Meanwhile, back in the shaft with Ian and Lenny.

Me:  So – for nearly twenty minutes they’ve been lowered?  That poor Slyther…  Any sign of the Waking Ally yet?

Barbara and Jenny are betrayed by The Women In The Wood.

Me:  Not here either, then.

Him:  That’s the first time the Daleks’ve said “EXTER-MIN-ATE!” in this story.


Him:  Y’know – with the bodies in the river, the alligators in the sewers, the dogs in the forest, the destruction of civilisation and all the death everywhere – it’s not a very nice place to be leaving Susan.

Me:  It’s really harsh when he does it in the film version…

Ian and Lenny find Lenny’s brother.  Unfortunately, he’s a Robogumby.  It ends badly and starts a baby revolution.  Susan and David Tennant are on a picnic.  David Tennant’s brought fish and is sneaking.

Me:  Great.  She’s going to marry Gollum.

The fish gets forgotten in a sudden burst of rough and tumble.

Him:  They threw the fish away.

Now there’s no fish, everyone has to settle for soup.  Except Tyler, who chows down on a brace of coneys.

Him:  Urgh!  That’s vile!
Iconic Moment #31

Over second breakfast, there’s discussion about what the Daleks are actually after with their pesky mining antics.  Ian spots Barbara and a Robogumby finds the dubbing booth.

Robogumby:  Mooooove!

Him:  “Architect sketch!”

Barbara and Jenny have been set to filling baskets with rocks.  This mining technique will later make a cameo appearance in Destiny of the Daleks.

Me:  That’s a really fat Dalek.  Is the aspect ratio wrong?

Barbara comes up with a plan and tells the overweight Dalek that she has information about a revolution.  The overweight Dalek isn’t convinced, after all:


Him:  Arf!

Me:  It just sounds like it’s saying what you think it’s saying!

Him:  Why is this Dalek suddenly hosting a talk-show?

Barbara is removed so she can have a chat with the Black Dalek.  In the Dalek control room it’s time for the Masterplan to be revealed. 

Him:  What?

Me:  Don’t – don’t –

Him:  They’d have MELTED?!

It gets worse.

Him:  QUARTZ!!??

Me:  It’s a mad plan.

Black Dalek:  EX-CELL-ENT!

Him:  He’s really a Cyberman disguised as a Dalek.

Me:  Which would go some way toward explaining the madness of the plan.

Finally, The Plan is revealed.  It’s barking.

Him:  What?!  They’re going to turn the Earth into a huge spaceship?

Me:  Yup.

Elsewhere, Ian’s in a capsule.

Him:  Why’s it got spikes on the roof?

Me:  So it really hurts Ian when it lands.  Can I just point something out here?

Him:  If you must.

Me:  Ian’s in a capsule, yeah?

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  The capsule’s going to be dropped.

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  So, if there’s a countdown at any point then it’s exactly the same ending as the last Dalek story.

Him:  Did Terry Nation just keep sending in the same script?

Me:  Barry Letts did suggest there were similarities in his submissions.  Any thoughts on the Waking Ally?

Him:  I don’t know who he is.

Me:  Another mystery unsolved.

Him:  Who is it?

Me:  No-one knows.

Him:  What?

Me:  No-one knows.

Him:  What happened to the Slyther?

Me:  Well, if the Slyther’s a slug…

Him:  Yeah.

Me:  And the middle of the Earth’s really hot…



Ian’s stopped the capsule’s descent.  The Black Dalek has an idea.


Giving the Robogumbies a rope and getting them to pull the capsule up seems to be more effective.  A Dalek, looking down into the capsule, spots Ian.  Ian believes himself to be safe.


Him:  “You can’t aim down!”


The Dalek kills Ian’s rope and he falls.  This worries the Him.

Him:  Ian!

Me:  That looked pretty good.  I guess.

Him:  He’d be killed falling that far.

Barbara and Jenny meet the Supreme (Black) Dalek.  They don’t hit it off.  The fact that once the Daleks have TWOC’d the Earth they’re planning to wipe out the previous owners probably doesn't help.

Black Dalek:  THE-FIN-AL-SOL-U-TION!

Me:  Not subtle.


Me:  They’re using Sensorite.  Ahem.

Barbara has a plan.  It involves lying to the Daleks via a dubious History lecture.


The Him snorts.

Me:  He said “masters!”

Barbara’s bluff gains confidence and steam.  Jacqueline Hill really runs with it.

Me:  History can be useful.

The bluff fails.  The Daleks, unsurprisingly, are a little put out and arrange the extermination of Barbara and Jenny.

Him:  Why not just do it now?

The Doctor and Tyler have reached the mine - Susan and David Tennant are there too.  Ian’s recovered and indulges in a spot of scuppering.  The Black Dalek is pacing.  The Doctor and Tyler are tampering with warning systems.

Tyler:  I’ll say one thing, Doc, life’s never dull with you around.

Me:  Someone else who hasn’t seen The Sensorites.

Ian is moving giant twiglets around in a scene cut from the fourth episode of Planet of Giants.  Barbara and Jenny are in trouble.  I won’t mention the necklaces.

Me:  Barbara’s hair’s huge.

It all comes together.  The prisoners turn on the Daleks in a full-scale rebellion.  Our heroes escape, a bomb explodes and there’s a smorgasbord of footage from stock.

Me:  Ice and lava and nukes and stuff.

Jenny asks if any Daleks might’ve escaped.

The Doctor:  Impossible.

Me:  Terry N writes himself firmly into another corner.

The Doctor:  There’s something new for you, Tyler.  A volcanic eruption in England!

Tyler:  Yes, it’s unbelievable.

Me:  You’re telling us.

Back to the TARDIS for the Goodbye.  Big Ben wobbles out the chimes.  From here until the end of the episode, Hartnell is superb.  There’s a lovely scene with Susan and her shoe.  Ian asks David Tennant what his plans are.

Me:  “I’d like to be an actor.”

"And I'm sorry.  I'm so, so, so, so, so sorry - but I love you."
At exactly 2:22:22 on our DVD, Susan says ‘goodbye’.  This doesn’t mean anything, of course.  David Tennant asks Susan to stay with him.

David Tennant:  I love you, Susan and I want you to marry me.

Him:  What?

Susan falls over with shock.

Me:  Glass ankle playing up again.

Him:  It’s probably actual glass seeing as the Doctor took her shoe.

The TARDIS doors are closed to Susan.  The Doctor gives his “Just go forward in all your beliefs” speech.  It’s brilliant.

Me:  I love that.  When he really needs to, Hartnell can nail it.  He was a great actor.

Him:  Poor Susan.

The TARDIS dematerialises, leaving Susan to her uncertain future.  She places her TARDIS key in the rubble.  The screen fills with stars.

Me:  Thoughts?

Him:  She has another life now.

Me:  I hope she’s not a Time Lord…

And then
they go and spoil it all
by saying something stupid like