E1 “World’s End”

 We start out seeing a rather battered city area, and a man in tattered clothing with some sort of head gear/helmet on, staggers into view. He tears off a piece of the head gear, crying out as he does, and then staggers into the water, collapsing and floating away, face down. There is a sign that reads “Emergency Regulations It Is Forbidden To Dump Bodies In The River”. The TARDIS materialises next to the sign, and it looks battered, too.

 Inside, The Doctor fiddles with the console, perplexed that something has gone wrong. Atmospherics say that it is safe, an “Earth reading”, and the teachers get their hopes up. Stepping outside, they seem to believe it is their proper location. The Doctor is worried about the right time period, but the teachers are too happy to be in their home to worry.

 Susan climbs to look around, but falls. They barely manage to move her out of the way as part of the bridge collapses, covering the TARDIS! The Doctor notes that they’ve been there 15-20 minutes, and have heard nothing – “not even the chimes of Big Ben!” Susan’s ankle is injured and swollen from her fall.

 Ian and The Doctor go off to scout around, hoping to find an acetylene torch or something to cut away the girder blocking access to the TARDIS. The Doctor finds a calendar that reveals the time – the year 2164.

 Barbara and Susan are still at the river. Barbara sees the floating body in the river, and runs back, but Susan is gone. She sees a man who tells her she must flee, and that Tyler has Susan. He runs off and she follows.

 In the warehouse, The Doctor and Ian find a body (in a box, for some reason) – a man with one of the headsets. The Doctor theorises that it is a form communication device. They find a whip on the body, as well as a blade buried in his back. Hearing noises, they go to investigate. We see a man hiding in the warehouse, watching them.

 There’s a running scene (see, it IS Doctor Who) as Barbara follows the man – they run from hiding place to place, obviously trying to avoid detection, though Barbara still doesn’t know why/what from.

 The Doctor and Ian spot a flying craft that passes overhead. Barbara is reunited with Susan who is being carried by a man. The Doctor and Ian return to the TARDIS, to find the women gone. They stay and wait. Ian muses on how he doesn’t like this place or want to be there, and replies in the negative when The Doctor asks, “But don’t you want to know what happened? It is your city, after all.”

 Tyler, Dortmun and David meet with the women; David (the man who was in the warehouse) goes to bring The Doctor and Ian back. Dortmun talks of attack plans, but ignores Susan when she queries him about the plans.

 The Doctor and Ian see the sign about dumping bodies, and speculate on plague. From afar, David spies them, but sees “robo-men” (the men with the headgear) coming their way. They are surrounded by them, and Ian tells The Doctor to get ready to turn and dive into the water. But, unbeknownst to them, a Dalek comes out of the water behind them, and they stop short at the unexpected sight!

 I can only imagine what the viewers, not knowing the serial’s name, not knowing the Daleks were returning, must have thought – this was the first episode that featured a creature/race from a previous episode and was a major step in establishing the ongoing continuity of the show, as well as the major status of the Daleks.

 I’d only ever seen one episode, I think – the fifth, plus the Peter Cushing “movie” (non-canon, there were two movies, one was based on this – but in the movies, The Doctor is a human scientist, not from another planet…) and this is easily the best serial I’ve watched in the classic rewatching thus far (and one of the better ones of all time.)

 

E2 “The Daleks”

 The Dalek interrogates the robo-men; they respond very slowly – they are obviously under mind-control, but it leaves them sluggish and slow to respond. The Dalek informs The Doctor that they are “the masters of the Earth”, to which The Doctor responds, “Not for long.” The Doctor and Ian are taken into captivity.

 We see the rebels listening to a broadcast from the Daleks – there are about twenty people, men and women. Susan and Barbara sit there, but don’t comment on the Dalek voice/name.

 Dortmun and Tyler talk about “the new bomb”, a small sphere. Tyler says it hasn’t been tested, but Dortmun says it doesn’t need to be tested. David comes back with a box of apples, but reports he couldn’t rescue Ian or The Doctor.

 “We saw the Daleks destroyed on Skaro, we were there!” – Ian. The Doctor responds that was far in the future of the Daleks, this was the middle history of the Daleks. They, along with two other prisoners, are taken into the flying saucer that was spotted earlier. One of them tries to escape, and he is killed for his trouble. (though, I was disappointed that the command was “kill him” not, “Exterminate!”)

 David tells Susan about Ian and The Doctor, but cautions her not to tell Barbara; they are planning an attack on the saucer. We learn that the robo-men are created because “there are not many Daleks on Earth” and the Daleks needed a force to control the human population.

 The Daleks have recognised that The Doctor possesses “greater intelligence than normal humans”.

 Talking to their fellow prisoner, we find out how the invasion took place – first, the Earth was bombarded by meteorites, then a major plague ravaged the world. The remaining communities were too scattered, too weak to resist the invasion.

 “You know, Doctor, sometimes you astound me.” – Ian     Only sometimes?” – The Doctor

 The Doctor manages an escape, but it was a test set up by the Daleks and he is taken away to be “robotised”. Very interesting the parallels between this and the “cyber conversion process” (especially from the new Who series.) Not that the Cybermen have yet to be introduced to the show yet.

 As the operation on The Doctor begins, the rebels attack the ship, but the operation continues!

E3 “Day of Reckoning”

 The rebels free the captives, and save The Doctor from the operation. Loses are high on both sides. The rebels retreat, but Ian is stuck on the ship. The Doctor and Susan are separated and lost as well; Barbara is the only one who makes it back to the rebel base, though they make plans to leave.

 Ian comes out of his hiding place on the ship and rescues Craddock (prisoner he and the Doctor were locked up with) from a robo-man. They throw the robo-man down a disposal chute.

 David and Susan are seen being pursued by a Dalek and they hide. Susan tells David they can take him with them, but he says fleeing isn’t for him. She whines about not belonging anywhere, and I wonder how long she and The Doctor were traveling.

 The Doctor and another rebel link up with Susan and David, but The Doctor is still recovering from the drugs from the operation. The other rebel says his goodbyes and leaves but is killed by Daleks shortly thereafter.

 Barbara, Dortmun and Jenny travel to the museum, the alternate base of the rebels. It’s not a traditional Doctor Who running scene, as Dortmun’s legs are bad and he travels by wheelchair or canes.

 There’s some great video of an empty London, or Daleks moving abou iconic locaions. There is running with Barbara and/or Jenny running, pushing Dortmun’s wheelchair. They arrive but don’t find any of their fellows there. Barbara wonders what the Daleks are mining for, but Dortmun doesn’t know that – only that whatever it is, it is very deep in the ground.

Dortmun leaves his notes and goes outside, drawing the Daleks to him, to try out his new bomb. He gets killed but throws the bomb and I can’t tell if it was supposed to have worked or not.

 The Doctor and Susan argue because he’s threatened by the fact that Susan puts so much stock in David’s opinion. David comes in and defers to The Doctor’s opinion, and this seems to win the old coot over.

 Back on the Dalek ship, it lands and the Daleks, robo-men and prisoners disembark. Ian and Craddock leave their hiding place and escape via the disposal chute. Just by where the Doctor, Susan and David are hiding, we see robo-men placing what appears to be a giant bomb.

E4 “The End of Tomorrow”

 The Doctor passes out, David tries to diffuse the bomb while Susan screams. It’s what she does best. He removes the timer and all is well.

 Ian and Craddock exit the ship; it seems they’ve arrived at the mine. They almost get caught by a robo-man, but manage escape with help from another worker. Ian asks about wanting to get back to London and is told that London has been destroyed.

 Barbara and Jenny argue over Dortmun’s death as they prepare to leave the second base in a truck. Sorry, a lorry. David and Susan leave The Doctor by a cemetary, and go down into a sewer. We learn from David that not all survivors are automatically allies, and shortly thereafter, they find themselves on the wrong side of a gun.

 Four Daleks try to stop the lorry, but Barbara drives right through them. The Daleks send a saucer after the truck and it is destroyed.

 Tyler turns out to be the gun pointed at Susan and David. They go back to recover The Doctor.

 Ian and Craddock meet up with Ashton, a black marketer. We hear about the black Dalek, that it is the camp supervisor – the first sign of hierarchy amongst the Daleks (later taken to various extremes.) They’re attacked by “the slither”, a giant monster (the early show loved its giant monsters) that the black Dalek considers a pet and is used to round up stray humans (as a meal.)

E5 “The Waking Ally”

 Ian and Craddock jump into a mine lift cart (and think years ago, I saw this episode, in much poorer quality, on a big screen at the Atlanta Fantasy Fair.) The slither is killed, but as they try to leave, the lift cart lowers into the mine shaft.

 Barbara and Jenny have escaped the city and come across some other women in the forest. They warn Barbara and Jenny about dogs in the forest – after the plagues, the dogs have gone feral. Barbara gives them some food and they let them stay the night. The older woman sends the younger away – most likely to report to the Daleks.

 Ian and Craddock are lowered in the cart for twenty minutes before stopping. They escape the cart, but Craddock hurts his knee when jumping out. They find Craddock’s brother as a robo-man. They fight and the brothers kill each other. An alarm goes off as the workers grab the robo-man’s weapon.

 We see a campsite, Susan is cooking and David sneaks up on her with a fish. They wrestle and giggle and then they kiss. When The Doctor and Tyler arrive, they pull away from each other quite quickly. The Doctor says the mine is the center of their operations.

 Ian sees Barbara in a party of workers in the mine.

 Barbara uses Dortmun’s notes to broker a meeting with the supreme Dalek. The Daleks are preparing to remove the core of the Earth, to replace it with a device that will allow them to pilot the planet through space. Ian is hiding in the capsule as it closes up and is about to be dropped into the Earth’s core.

E6 “Flashpoint”

 Inside the capsule, Ian begins rewiring things. He escapes the capsule and the black Dalek is told this and he orders for Ian to be exterminated. I believe this is the first use of “Exterminate him! Exterminate! Exterminate!”

 The supreme/black Dalek orders for the “final solution”, the extermination of all humans. Barbara and Jenny are brought before the supreme Dalek and observe the machine they use to control the robo-men. Barbara tries to bluff long enough to use the machine to order the robo-men to revolt, but they stop her.

 “Thank you, but don’t call me ‘Doc’, I prefer ‘Doctor’.” – The Doctor

 Ian has escaped his extermination and places cut branches in the drop chute, hoping to jam up the bomb, keeping it from going all the way. The Daleks send the explosive device to the center of the Earth and it is caught where Ian’s jam is. The Doctor and Tyler find Barbara and free her and Jenny. They use the machine to have the robo-men turn against the Daleks and there is a massive revolt. Ian rejoins The Doctor and Barbara. They leave the mine just in time for the explosion, which destroys the entire complex.

 Time passes, we find the TARDIS has been excavated. The Doctor and Tyler are talking and we hear the chimes of Big Ben. “Just the beginning, just the beginning,” muses The Doctor.

 Susan and The Doctor talk, but both sense there is something unspoken that needs be addressed. David stands nearby and The Doctor looks at him, thoughtfully, before entering the TARDIS.

 Susan seems pensive, almost to the point of being distraught. David asks her to stay, she says she can’t. (PLEASE, PLEASE STAY!!!!) He professes his love for her, asks her to marry him. She asks him not to make her choose between him and her grandfather; he plays the “you said you’ve been longing for a place and time to belong to” card.

 Susan runs into David’s arms, crying, professing her love for him. Inside, The Doctor, Barbara and Ian hear all that is being said. He closes the door and speaks to her over the scanner and tells her that she’s a woman now and she belongs with David and not him.

 As much as I am glad that Susan is leaving, it’s a touching scene. He gives a speech, says goodbye, and Susan watches as the TARDIS dematerialises.


It’s an iconic moment; she’s the first companion and the first to leave. She’s the one companion that truly knew The Doctor more than any other – perhaps only Romana came close. All other companions only know what The Doctor would allow them to see.

 A great serial, well done and well crafted. Also, Nicholas Smith, who plays Mr. Rumbold in Are You Being Served? plays Wells, one of the humans at the mine.

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