This “serial” is notable in two ways – one, it is the only episode of Doctor Who (new and old) not to feature The Doctor OR his companions, and two, it is the only regular story of the original run that was not multiple episodes. (However, the anniversary special, The Five Doctors, while the ‘standard’ length of four episodes, was aired as one episode.)

 This is another lost serial (there are many in the third season), and I am watching another Loose Cannon production. I am curious to see this story, being that it is a set-up for a later serial (more after the spoiler), as well as a non-Doctor/companions story.

 Since there is only one episode, we’ll have the spoiler warning now.

 Often referred to as the “Dalek Cutaway”, this is a set up for the next Dalek storyline, later this season – The Dalek Master Plan.

 For the Loose Cannon Reconstruction, we have a video introduction by Edward de Souza, who plays Marc Cory in the story. Sadly, he’s not reading from a script and it’s very awkward; there’s several times he’s stuck for a word and utters “uhhhh” while he’s thinking.

 Verity Lambert, who had been producer of the show from the first episode, left the show after this storyline. He also notes that this story was never broadcast overseas as it was thought “too violent”.

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 Marc Cory and Gordon Lowery are repairing their spaceship; a third member, Jeff Garvey, is the man we saw at the end of the last episode, chanting, “I must kill…” over and again.

 The ship is labeled UN Deep Space Force Group 1 and has a British flag emblem on it.

 We see Jeff watching the ship from the bushes; he’s been ‘spiked’ by the local flora and has been made mad. He’s about to attack Lowery, but Cory shoots and kills Jeff instead. Lowery and Cory argue and fight over it. Cory finds a Varga thorn in Jeff’s skin and explains that the thorn was the cause. Lowery collects the personal effects from Jeff’s body and they go back inside the ship.

 After they leave, we see Jeff’s hand move. Inside the ship, Cory shows a badge identifying him as Space Security. He’s commandeered command of the mission from Garvey, and begins talking about the Daleks, who Garvey says invaded Earth a thousand years ago – so we must be in the 31st century.

 Cory explains that a Dalek spaceship has been sighted recently in the region of space they’re in.

 Outside, Jeff gets up. His upper body has been covered in a fungus or some form of plant life.

 The astronauts try to contact a freighter, but to no avail. Cory talks about the Varga plants, which are native to Skaro, and therefore, reinforces his belief the Daleks are using this planet as a base.

 We see a shot of Daleks in a base; A black-topped Dalek (Supreme Dalek?) takes reports from the other Daleks. It gives orders for the astronauts to be destroyed, destroyed, destroyed! (Exterminate still isn’t the constant catchphrase of the Daleks yet.)

 While the astronauts continue working on the distress beacon, the Daleks plan to surround the ship. Lowery is worried about the Varga plants around the ship, but Cory tells him not to shoot, they’d grow back just as fast.

 They spot an alien ship flying overhead. The astronauts talk, Cory suspecting there’s something afoot. The Daleks in the jungle speak of the ship and “the great alliance”.

 Cory and Lowery see something moving in the jungle, too fast to be a Varga plant. They leave the ship and hide nearby, just in time to see a group of Daleks arrive at their ship. The Daleks search for the crew, but do not find them, and destroy the ship.

 Cory and Lowery move away, but Lowery brushes up against a Varga plant and is pierced by one of the thorns.

 The Daleks meet with a group of different races of aliens; the presence of the Earthmen is discussed. The Supreme Dalek promises that the Earthmen will be exterminated, exterminated!

 There are seven races present, and they agree to a compact joining in a solitary war force. They plan to attack the Earth and its colonies.

 Meanwhile, Lowery is starting to change. His skin is becoming discoloured and he is starting to panic. Cory returns to report that there is a Dalek city, but Lowery turns against him and Cory shoots him. Cory records a message to broadcast via beacon, warning of the Dalek war force.

 Cory is surrounded by the Daleks and killed. The recording falls to the ground and the war force council is seen boasting their victory and credits roll.

 According to Wikipedia, “Terry Nation wrote this episode partially as an attempt to create a story about the Daleks that did not involve the Doctor or his companions, such that he could eventually develop and sell the idea of a Dalek series, divorced from the Doctor Who universe. In the proposed series, the Space Security Service was tasked with hunting Daleks, and it would follow their adventures”.  

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