I’m breaking this one up into two posts – it’s 12 episodes long, so six the first day, six the second.

 The Dalek Master Plan is a mostly incomplete serial; the recording I have is not a Loose Cannon production, sadly.

E1 “The Nightmare Begins”

 Steven is suffering from poison in his system (news to me, I thought he just got stabbed in the shoulder, that’s what the narration on the last serial told me, at least.) Katarina and The Doctor talk, and The Doctor says he has to land somewhere for a special drug – I thought he had no control over the TARDIS?

 We see two humans in ornate military uniforms (sashes, badges). They seem to be stranded on a jungle planet, and they’re frantic – they need to get back to Earth “or the whole solar system is finished!” OH MY GOD! One of them, Bret, is played by Nicholas Courtney!!! (The actor who played Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart of UNIT!!!!!) SQUEEEEE!

 The scene switches to inside a building where a group of bald men stand about, talking while a light flashes on a console. A man (with hair) and a woman are arguing over what to watch – a game or a politician going on vacation. They discuss the men we saw, who are looking for Marc Cory. The people in the building are too busy talking to notice the flashing light, until it stops.

 One of the men in the jungle is wounded; they’re definitely on planet Kembel, as they discuss the Varga plants. The two men argue – one is wounded and feels he’d hold up the other, Bret, who needs to get away to send the message to base.

 Kert wanders around, and runs into a Dalek, who kills him. Another Dalek shows up and they discuss finding and destroying Bret.

 Bret moves through the jungle, falls, and drops the trasnmitter, which does not work. As he sits there, despairing, we hear the sound of the TARDIS materialising. He hides, then approaches it. When The Doctor and Katarina exit, he hides from them. He tells her to go in, shut the door and watch over Steven.

 Bret follows The Doctor and holds him up at gunpoint. Inside, Steven seems to come to, and Katarina tries to explain what is going on, but he is still somewhat delerious and confused.

 Bret enters, no sign of The Doctor. He bluffs his way in and gets Katarina to close the doors. Fiddling with the console, Bret activates the scanner, and The Doctor is visible. Steven sees this, and rises, unbeknownst to Bret.

 The Doctor discovers Bret left his TARDIS key in the door.

 Steven attacks Bret with a spanner, while outside, The Doctor is distracted by a ship flying overhead.

 At the Dalek base, the Supreme Dalek gets reports from his subordinates.

 Inside the TARDIS, Bret wakes up, trapped in a “magnetic chair”, and The Doctor gloats. Instead of questioning Bret, he decides to wander to the city instead, where he discovers the Daleks.

 Bret convinces Katarina to give Steven two tablets from his pouch. While they talk, Bret sees a Dalek on the scanner. At the Dalek base, The Doctor spies on the Dalek Supreme welcoming their ally, Chen, an alien of strangely coloured skin. He overhears talk of capturing Earth. Rushing back to the TARDIS, he sees the door is open and there are Daleks there… and the credits roll.

 So far, rather exciting. I’m terribly upset that this was a lost serial (well, mostly, there are 2-3 episodes of the twelve), but watching it as such is enjoyable enough.

 This post is about the first six episodes of twelve in this epic. It definitely suffers from too many unnecessary subplots and adventures, but is still very good. (Just could be much, much better.)

E2 “Day of Armageddon”

 (We have video!) The Doctor watches at the Daleks inspect the TARDIS; the door isn’t open as it was at the end of last episode. The Daleks do not recognise the TARDIS, except to identify it as an intruder craft.

 “Operation Inferno” is to be put into execution at once, and all patrols are called back to “safety areas”. Back at the Dalek base, Chen meets with another humanoid, who looks likes a tall Jawa. He address Chen as Mavic Chen, who is the politico who was going on vacation (but he didn’t have the darkly coloured skin in the photo we saw previously). The newcomer is Zephon, “Master of the Fifth Galaxy”. His hands are plant-like.

 The two men discuss the Daleks’ plan.

 “But you must admit that the Daleks have a… genius for war.” – Mavic Chen

 Mavic Chen is the Guardian of the Solar System, and Zephon questions why Chen is a traitor to the solar system. Chen is evasive.

 Elsewhere, the Supreme Dalek discusses that once Chen has outlived his usefulness, he will be killed with the others. (Shocker, the Daleks are planning to turn on their allies in time.)

 We see Steven and Katarina outside the TARDIS, he seems to be recovered. Katarina explains that they had to leave the temple, because the evil ones came. She says they are called the Daleks. The Doctor finds them, and Katarina explains what has happened, and that she released Bret after he helped Steven.

 Bret watches a group of Daleks with flamethrowers move through the jungle. He returns to The Doctor and the companions and warns them of the Daleks plan. Steven and The Doctor argue. The Doctor and Bret argue.

 The Daleks are setting fire to the jungle. Zephon and Chen watch the fires from the Dalek base and discuss their place in the Daleks’ plan. Zephon seems to have a high opinion of his place in the scheme, but the Daleks discuss his usefulness being over.

 From outside the Dalek base, Bret recognises Mavic Chen’s ship. Bret and Steven argue. They hide as Zephon approaches and capture him when the opportunity arises.

 Inside, we see a variety of alien representatives meeting with the Supreme Dalek. The Supreme Dalek questions the absence of Zephon and sends Daleks looking for him.

 The Doctor disguises himself as Zephon to infiltrate the conference. The Daleks find him and escort him to the meeting hall. Mavic Chen presents the conference with the core for their weapon, the Time Destructor.

 The real Zephon struggles with his bonds; the others left him there while they went to commandeer Chen’s spaceship. Zephon sounds the alarm, and everyone runs out of the council hall. The Doctor grabs the taranium core but is given pursuit by the real Zephon.

 Bret and Steven argue, but Bret is adamant they must lift off in Chen’s ship right away. He begins activating the engine and the credits roll.

E3 “Devil’s Planet”

 Another lost episode.

 The Doctor arrives just in the nick of time and they take off. The Daleks are tracking but the Supreme Dalek orders that the ship is not destroyed, the intruders must be caught alive.

 The Doctor reveals what he has learned, that Chen is a traitor.

 Zephon and Chen play the accusation game with each other as the Daleks demand answers. The Daleks declare Zephon guilty of negligence and he is “executed” (not exterminated, mind you – still not the sole catchphrase we know and love.)

 I wonder if the scripts were still written for Ian and Barbara? Steven’s lines are very Ian-like as he questions The Doctor.

 The Doctor gets the tape he found in the jungle (the tape from Marc Cory) and they listen to it.

 In a bit of surviving video, we see the heroes’ ship rock as they are hit by the Daleks’ randomiser near the penal planet Desperus. Bret informs them that if the ship crashes, they will be trapped there for the rest of tehir lives.

 The Daleks use remote control to give the ship a soft landing.

 On Desperus, three convicts play a knife game for leadership and ownership of two women. Bors, the winner sends the others out on patrol. That night, as everyone is sleeping, Kirksen tries to take the knife, but Bors stops him.

 The ship lands and the inmates go to investigate. Katarina looks out the door while the others try to get the ship running. The Doctor and Katarina spot the torches of the approaching inmates and realise they’re going to be attacked.

 After dousing their torches, one of the three inmates runs off, frightened by “the screamers”, some native fauna in the swamp. The Doctor prepares defenses for the ship, electrifying the exterior.

 Bret and Steven have repaired the ship and lift off. They rejoice that the Dalek pursuit ship made a bad landing. As they take off, Katarina is attacked by the inmate Kirksen, who apparently snuck aboard before The Doctor electrified the exterior?

 Credits roll.

E4 “The Traitors”

 Kirksen takes Katarina prisoner and demands the ship go to Kembel; he doesn’t want to go to Earth.

 The Supreme Dalek orders the pursuit ship destroyed for their failure.

 Kirksen drags Katarina into the airlock, and the door is closed. They try to threaten him with ejection, but he calls their bluff. As Bret and Steven argue, she struggles and activates the outer door and she and the inmate are ejected into space! (Did NOT see that coming.) Wow, a companion died? I’m… wow. (Yes, I know companion death happens later, but didn’t realise it had happened so early in the show’s history.)

 Trantis, one of the Daleks’ allies questions their reliance on Chen. The Supreme Dalek tells him that they will not fail, their plan will succeed.

 The Doctor and his companions arrive in Earth orbit and Bret plans to land the ship outside Central City where he has a friend who can help them. Meanwhile, Guardian Chen meets with his assistants, the people we saw in the first episode, and is briefed on Bret Vyon. Chen orders for all Space Security agents called back to Earth to find Bret and his associates, whom he is painting as traitors.

 Karlton, Chen’s right hand man, seems to be in on the plan with Chen. Their subordinates, seemingly, are not.

 Bret prepares to make a crash-landing – the ship’s power is too low to guarantee a soft landing. Karlton reports to Chen the traitors have arrived at the Experimental Station.

 Bret explains to his friend Daxtar, who finds it hard to believe. Daxtar is Chen’s associate, the man with hair who was arguing with the woman over what to watch. The Doctor suspects Daxtar of being part of the conspiracy, and Bret ends up shooting/killing him. The Doctor yells at Bret.

 Back on Kembel, Trantis faces accusations that those who stole the Taranium core came from his galaxy, though he blames Chen for setting him up. The Supreme Dalek says the truth will come out when Chen returns.

 Another security agent, Sara, who has been lied to by Chen, arrives and demands the Taranium. She and Bret scuffle while The Doctor and Steven escape. She kills Bret. She sends out and order to find them and kill them both, and the credits roll.

E5 “Counter Plot”

 (And we have video again.)

 The Doctor and Steven are running and duck into a room to hide. They find a transmitter with mice inside, which The Doctor deduces is some kind of experiment. In a control room, we see two men preparing to engage in an experiment, who are interrupted by security looking for the intruders.

 Sara finds The Doctor and Steven and while she’s demanding the Taranium, the room is bombared by… well, something, and three of them are visibly in pain. The men in the control room report a perfect test, but panic when someone has opened the door. They rush to the testing chamber, to find the Space Security men there.

 “Anyone or anything who was in this room at the time of the experiment is now being transmitted through space.” – Scientist to Security dude.

 The target planet is the planet Mira, though earlier the elder scientist had claimed they would have no idea where they would end up. (that’s bad writing.)

 We see a swampy, gurgly, smoky terrain, and amongst it the transmitter (and the mice). Chen receives a report about it, and amazingly, we find out Mira is closer to Kembel than Earth. (What are the chances? Again, bad writing.) From his conversation with Karlton, it seems that Chen is planning his own betrayals. Oh, this guy is a complete megalomaniac. He goes into a mad scientist style soliloquy before remembering Karlton is still there. All that was missing was the maniacal laugh.

 The Doctor is seen waking up on the planet Mira, as does Steven. Sara is still unconscious and Steven grabs her gun. The Doctor searches for Steven. We see clawed footprints appearing in the sand – the creature is invisible. The Doctor finds Steven above Sara, and she comes around.

 The Daleks have arrived on Mira and are searching for the humans. One Dalek identifies the mice as possibly being hostile, which is funny. They destroy the transmitter, and I would assume the mice, too. Bad Daleks. The Dales fight with the invisible creature.

 “The beings appear to be invisible.” – Dalek. I wonder if the wording was intentionall ironic.

 The Doctor encounters one of the invisible creatures, fights it off with his stick, and identifies it as a “Visian”, and thus knows he’s on the planet Mira. Steven and Sara argue, and she begins to break down, realising that she’s done great wrong, blindly following orders. We discover that Bret was her brother!

 From the episode title, I thought maybe that Sara was part of another plot. Now that doesn’t seem to be the case.

 Chen makes plans to return to Kembel, but alters his plans with Karlton, planning to destroy Kembel.

 The Daleks fight off the Visians and take The Doctor and his companions prisoner.

 “I’m afraid my friends, the Daleks have won.” – The Doctor.

 And the credits roll.

E6 “Coronas of the Sun”

 (Back to a lost episode.)

 This episode is listed as “from an idea by Terry Nation”, but not written by him, curiously.

 The Daleks prepare to exterminate their captives, but the Visians attack in force, and there is a great battle. The Daleks win but the heroes have escaped. The Supreme Dalek is advised of the escape, but refuses to send reinforcements and tells them failure will not be tolerated.

 The Doctor approaches the Dalek guard, pretending to surrender himself. Steven sneaks up from behind and slaps mud on the Dalek’s eye stalk. They rush inside as the Dalek fires blindly. The other Daleks arrive, but they get the ship closed up.

 Meanwhile, Chen returns to Kembel, where he is accused of failure. The Supreme Dalek and Chen argue, try to pass the onus to each other. Chen smiles when he hears the fugitives stole the pursuit ship and have left Mira. The Supreme Dalek orders a rescue ship to be sent to retrieve the Daleks, saying they will be dealt with later; so far, he’s killed all Daleks who failed, so that makes absolutely NO sense whatsoever.

 The Doctor is working on a fake core, when the ship changes course to Kembel. Steven yanks off a control device and the course returns to the programmed one, but the Daleks use a magnetise beam to drag them to Kembel.

 Steven hurts himself, but charges the fake Taranium core in the process. The ship is brought to the planet. As it approaches, Chen and The Supreme Dalek argue over how to deal with the fugitives.

 Steven is enclosed in a force-field, as a result of his charging the fake Taranium. The Doctor has a plan. When the ship lands, he has Steven hold the fake Taranium core. Sara argues, saying it can’t work, but The Doctor insists that it will, and let him do all the talking.

 Chen and The Doctor bargain and agree that the Taranium will be exchanged outside the TARDIS. Sara calls Chen a traitor.

 They arrive there and The Doctor insists that Steven will hand over the Taranium when he and Sara have entered the TARDIS. The Supreme Dalek agrees. Once inside, he instructs Steven to hand over the Taranium to Chen, who examines the core. He pronounces that it is the core. The Daleks fire upon Steven, who is protected by his force field. He enters the TARDIS and it dematerialises.

 The Daleks are upset about their guns not affecting him, but Chen says it does not matter, they have the core, the universe will be theirs.

 Inside, we learn that the Dalek guns eradicated the force field, and Steven is lucky they didn’t fire again. Steven and The Doctor argue whether the experiment with force fields might be repeated as defense against the Daleks. The TARDIS has arrived somewhere, but the scanner is not working. Steven is about to open the doors, but The Doctor reprimands him – according to the dials, the whole atmosphere is poisonous… and the credits roll.

 We’ll pick up with the second half of this epic tomorrow. There’s a lot of bouncing around and most of it seems pointless. For instance, the prison planet, what was the point of all that? Terry Nation seems to write stories that are good, but would be better if shorter. (Curiously, I’m a big fan of British television because they can do better with 6-8 episodes than most US shows can do in 22, but here I am complaining about too many episodes in a story in a British tv show.)  

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