The return of the Daleks to the Whoverse; Terry Nation had apparently tried to sell the Daleks as a property to American TV, but I guess it didn’t work out and he brought them back to Doctor Who, all the better for the show and the viewers. Looking forward to this one, have never seen it before, know nothing about it.

Episode 1:

In an ornate decorated house, a man stands at guard. A woman exits the room he’s by, instructing him to make sure that “no one disturbs him”. She walks away, and inside the room, we see an elderly man working at his desk. He takes off his spectacles and rubs his eyes. Through an open window, the wind blows. He walks over to the window, but a man in camouflage comes in, pointing a futuristic looking gun at him.

The man backs from the intruder, pleading, “No, no!” and stumbles back, falling down. The soldier points his gun, but there’s a vortex-ish effect and he disappears, much to the surprise of the elderly man. The woman bursts in, worried about Sir Reginald, and he tries to explain what happened.

The Brig receives a call from the Minister, who is contacting him in regards to Sir Reginald; the Brig says he’s putting his best man on it.

The Doctor and Jo stand at the TARDIS console, which is outside of the TARDIS again. He is working on trying to defeat the override on the dematerialisation circuit and crawls under the console to fiddle (oh no, not fiddling again) with something. While he’s down there, the french doors to the room open and The Doctor and Jo look in, as the Jo inside the room stares in shock. The Doctor tells Jo not to worry, and then her Doctor stands up and sees himself.

The newcomer Doctor has difficulty trying to explain it, but says it’s nothing to worry about. There’s a poof of smoke from the console and they disappear with it. Jo is confused and The Doctor is dismissive, saying when you tamper with time, odd things happen.

The Brig arrives to talk to him about Sir Reginald, who is the key diplomat at the UN, and is needed if there is any hope of getting China to attend the upcoming summit. The Brig tells The Doctor about Sir Reginald’s “ghost”.

In a field, we see the vortex-ish effect and the “ghost” appears. He dashes to hide in some overgrowth, then heads towards a house, but stops and turns and runs in fright. Two neanderthal-like men (dressed in non-neanderthal garb) attack him and leave him unconscious.

The Brig, The Doctor and Jo meet with Miss Paget, Sir Reginald’s assistant, in Sir Reg’s office. He walks in and tries to disclaim that anything happened, saying he must have been dreaming. The Doctor points out the muddy foot prints on the floor, saying someone was there.

UNIT troops search the grounds and find the “ghost”. The Doctor touches the man’s forehead and says “he’s in a bad way, you need to get him to the hospital”. The Brig notes that the man’s weapon, which is lying there, is notable.

Benton finds a small case about fifty feet away, while The Doctor plays with his bottom lip.

A man in a futuristic room sits in a swivel chair. The two neanderthal-men walk in a report to him that they found and destroyed the enemy. The man in the chair (not a neanderthal-like man) tells them that the others must be found and eliminated.

The Doctor and the Brig confront Sir Reginald with the man’s gun; he’s visibly frightened, but continues to dismiss any recognition or acknowledgement.

The Doctor examines the gun and explains to the Brig and Jo that it’s a weapon not yet made on Earth, a disintegrator, though the metals used in its construction are definitely from Earth. He says the small pack they found is a time machine of sorts, albeit a crude one.

He demonstrates to Jo there’s a mini-dematerialisation circuit for the small pack. He pops it in and presses the button and says it’s working.

In the ambulance taking the “ghost” to the hospital, Benton watches as the man disappears.

In the future(?), the man who was in the chair receives a report that there’s a “time transmitter” in operation, but the scanning technician cannot narrow it down. He yells at her for not being able to trace it. As he steps away, we see a Dalek at the doorway, which demands a report.

The Doctor says the temporal feedback circuit has overloaded on the device. The Brig receives a call from Benton, saying that the “ghost” just vanished, faded away.

The Doctor and Jo are spending the night at Auderly House. Jo is all sorts of skittish, wishing The Doctor had not dismissed the servants, and jumping when a clock chimes. I guess she really thinks it is a ghost, which makes no sense, as The Doctor has already demonstrated that they’re dealing with time travel.

Benton and Yates supervise UNIT troops on the premises. Benton reports in to Yates that all is well, it’s quiet as a morgue. Nearby, we see the vortex effect start.

The Doctor sits, drinking wine and eating cheese while Jo paces nervously. She’s so afraid, she departs the room and wanders around the house. Because that makes PERFECT sense for a frightened girl to do.

Benton spooks her, checking in on them. She goes back to fetch some cheese and wine for Benton (drinking on the job, really, Benton, tsk tsk) but Yates shows up, chases him off and takes the wine and cheese for himself. When Jo complains that wasn’t fair, Yates says RHIP. (Rank Has Its Privileges)

Near where the “ghost” was found, two men and a woman appear in the time transmitter vortex effect. She seems to be in charge and says they’ll wait there until it is light.

The next morning, The Doctor wakes Jo, saying nothing has happened.

The three time travellers move across the grounds, and vaporise two UNIT soldiers.

The Brig walks into a radio room, apparently having just woken. An emergency call comes from Geneva, saying that the international situation has gotten worse and war seems inevitable. No word from Sir Reginald Styles. Fighting has broken out in South America and Southeast Asia. All UNIT personnel are now on “maximum alert”.

The Doctor tinkers with the time transmitter, sets it down, and steps outside looking for Jo. The three time travellers close in on the house, seeing him as he returns inside. One enters the office and fights The Doctor, but the soldier begs The Doctor to turn off the machine or “they’ll kill all of us”.

In the future, the scanning technician woman alerts her superior that she has a stronger lock on the device. The man reports this to the Daleks via video link. The Daleks tell him to destroy whomever is operating the machine and then we get three Daleks doing a chorus of “Exterminate them!” over and over… and the credits roll.

So far, good start. I know I’ve seen something about the neandertal-like men before, but don’t recall what I know (and I’m not about to spoil it for myself by looking them up.) Daleks are back, yay!

Episode 2:

The Doctor has the intruder pinned to the couch with his Venusian Karate when the other two soldiers come in with Jo hostage and tell him to let the man go and turn off the machine.

The man reports to the Daleks in person that they lost the trace.

The woman tells The Doctor it is time for his execution; she seems to think he’s Sir Reginald. When he says he’s not Sir Reginald, she doesn’t believe him until he tells her to look at the paper saying Sir Reginald is in Peking. (Maybe there’s even a picture of Sir Reginald?)

One of the two men keeps challenging Anat (the woman)’s authority. She sends him outside the room to keep guard.

Benton reports to Yates that two men are missing from patrol. They go in the house to check that they’re not in there.

The time travellers take The Doctor and Jo down to the basement when they see Yates and Benton approaching the house. Yates reports in to the Brig who is busy on multiple phones with the Minister and others. Half listening, he tells Yate to search the grounds, and they leave the house as ordered.

The travellers tie and gag Jo and The Doctor and leave them in the basement. As Jo works on his bonds, The Doctor explains that they must be from the future – the gun would indicate the twenty-second century. He muses out loud, wondering why they’re trying to kill an important twentieth century politician.

Jo, bless her heart, knows her role as a companion, and quips, “I’m the one who’s supposed to be asking the questions.”

The Daleks tell the human coordinator to send security forces to the twentieth century to hunt down the other subversives. They also tell him that the Magnetron has been set up to bring anyone who uses the particular time transmitter (the one The Doctor has been fiddling (augh!) with) will be brought there.

Anat tries to contact her base, but there is “interference in the vortex” – obviously the effects of the Magnetron. The one guy again challenges her authority (he pretty much argues with anything she says. If I were her, there’d be one less member of this time team.) The one who doesn’t argue, Shura, takes the communicator back to the tunnel where they arrived, as it should have better reception there.

When he gets there, he pulls out a package from the grass, fiddles (augh!) with something in it, and puts it back. Then, when he tries to contact their base, one of the neanderthal-men is there and they fight. Shura vaporises the neanderthal-man and then runs off, clutching his injured arm.

Benton and Yates report in person to the Brig about The Doctor and Jo gone missing. He calls in to Auderly House.

The phone in Sir Reginald’s office rings and once more, Anat and the other guy argue. The other guy is sent to bring The Doctor and Jo to the phone. They put The Doctor on the phone and he manages to let the Brig know that all is not well.

Jo breaks free of her bonds and grabs the machine and manages to activate it. She’s pulled into the vortex and appears in the future where the man in the chair spins around to see her. Behind him stand two of the neanderthal-like men. (Okay, they’re Ogrons. We haven’t been told that yet, but they’re Ogrons. I’m tired of typing ‘neanderthal-like men’.)

Anat and Argues-With-Anat tell The Doctor that Jo was likely scattered through the vortex. If she did make it to the 22nd century, “she would be better off dead”.

Dude-in-Swivel-Chair (also known as Middle-Management-Lackey-To-Daleks) tells Jo that the Ogrons are called Ogrons, and are “a form of higher anthropoid. They used to live in scattered communities on one of the outer planets. They make very useful servants.” And now you know.

He offers her his chair and asks her about the three people who attacked her. He tells her they are ruthless fanatics and she is lucky that they didn’t kill her outright. (He’s playing the I’m-The-Good-Guy trick on her.) He says there’s a chance he can help save The Doctor, but needs to know the location and exact date.

(It’s interesting to note that when she gives the date, September 13th, the year is not discussed. He says, before he asks, “you’ve already told me the year”, which she must have done off-camera. The point of this is that the UNIT stories are never specified when they take place – a few years in the future in relation to the transmission of the show is all we know. There’s been a great geek debate for many years over WHEN exactly they’re set. Late 70s? Early 80s? Unfortunately, some of the ‘chronology’ of the show’s writing has been sloppy and doesn’t match others and there’s no definitive answer. Not that that will stop geeks from arguing about it. And, yes, I’m a geek, though I don’t argue about this.)

He has Jo escorted off to a room to rest, having learned about the tunnel. When she is gone, he reports to the Daleks. He says he should lead the expedition to lay a trap at the tunnel, but the gold/copper Dalek says it will do so instead, there can be no room for failure, which makes Swivel Chair dude frown.

The Doctor is tied up in the wine cellar again. He manages to break his bonds in less than a minute, where he and Jo couldn’t do it in the hour or so they were tied there. Yeah, great writing.

A large group of Ogrons approach the house. Anat and Boaz (Argues dude) open fire. The Doctor enters the office and he and Boaz fight, but Anat holds him off with her gun and the two guerrilas flee. The Doctor gets a gun from an Ogron who breaks in and exits the house. Two Ogrons approach him and he vaporises one, while the Brig shows up in a jeep and shoots the other.

The Doctor takes the jeep to the tunnel, where we see Anat and Boaz going in. He follows them in, but runs into a Dalek… and the credits roll.

That’s a great cliffhanger, imagine having to wait a week after that one? Yeesh.

Episode 3:

The Doctor runs from the Dalek, looking for the guerrilas. He finds them as they activate their time transmitter and he’s caught in the time field. We see the three of them in the vortex and they arrive in the 22nd century. When Anat tries to soften the blow of having travelled two hundred years through time, The Doctor’s response is to calmly reply, “Thank you, but I’m probably more familiar with the concept of time travel than you are.”

Boaz wants to leave The Doctor, Anat isn’t sure that’s the right thing to do. Before they can argue, and Ogron patrol shows up and the three split up. The Doctor finds a ladder and ascends it, exiting through a trap door into a field. The Ogrons report to the Daleks that they lost their prey.

The Doctor evades a patrol of Ogrons and heads towards some buildings in the distance.

We see a black Dalek for the first time in this serial (but apparently it’s not a leader type) as Swivel Lackey reports the failure of the Ogrons to find anyone in the catacombs. When he discusses Jo mentioning The Doctor, the Daleks realise who he is and demand that he be found and exterminated.

The Doctor arrives at the buildings, but he is being watched by electronic surveillance.

The Daleks tell Swivel Lackey that production target for the next work period has been increased by ten percent; he starts to argue, but is told “do not dispute with the Daleks! Obey without question!” and does so.

Anat, Boaz continue to argue. Monia, a third rebel, tries to settle the two down, and he tries to explain things are different. Boaz, surprisingly, argues… Monia explains that their intelligence reports that Jo is at the Dalek base.

The Doctor skulks about, watching the workers, but is captured by an Ogron.

Swivel is razzle-dazzling Jo with fresh fruit and promises of 20th century food for dinner. He tells her that The Doctor has been seen in the company of the renegades, obviously they brought him to the 22nd century as a prisoner. While they talk, word comes in that The Doctor has been found.

A human security officer type interrogates The Doctor as two Ogrons stand by. The Doctor tries to deflect all questions, while the human tries to be all tough guy. Classic case of small man with a little power. A grey garbed man, obviously a superior, shows up and dismisses the first man and his Ogrons.

When they’re gone, the grey garbed man tries to get him to tell him which group he’s with – seems he’s sympathetic, if not actually part of the rebel movement. However, before any more can be said, the Controller (Swivel Lackey) arrives and apologises for the poor treatment.

He tells The Doctor that he is an honoured guest of their government. He tells The Doctor that Miss Grant is waiting for him in the guest facility. The grey garbed man gives The Doctor a visual warning, shaking his head somberly.

A guard escorts The Doctor away, while the Controller confronts the grey garbed man, who is apparently the supervisor for that area’s factory (where The Doctor was caught.) It seems that his production figures are consistently lower than any other factory in the central zone and The Controller wants to know why.

After The Controller leaves, the factory supervisor radios to the rebels, to report about The Doctor being taken in. While he’s on the radio, an Ogron attacks him.

Jo and The Doctor have dinner with the Controller. The Doctor challenges some of the facts of the society, but the Controller passes off the factory as a “rehabilitation center for hardened criminals” and says that the Earth has never been more efficiently, more economically run, nor have the populace ever been happier or more prosperous.

Jo seems have fallen under the spell of the Controller’s hospitality, believing that the rebels are criminals and that the Controller speaks the truth.

When The Doctor asks him, “Who really rules this planet of yours,” the Controller excuses himself abruptly. The Doctor goes on to tell Jo about the Daleks, though their conversation is being watched by video screen. The Controller and a gold Dalek watch and the Dalek says the physical appearance of The Doctor does not match their data, but it notes The Doctor’s appearance has changed before. It says they will use the “mind analysis machine” to find out.

Jo and The Doctor stage an escape, hijacking a three wheeled ATV. Instead of a running scene, we have a ATV scene, but eventually they are recaptured by Ogrons.

Monia tells Anat and Boaz they must go rescue The Doctor. Boaz, quite shockingly, argues this. Monia says that they must rescue him as he is their greatest enemy and the one man they are afraid of.

The Doctor is hooked up to the “mind analysis machine” and on a large screen we see pictures of Patrick Troughton and William Hartnell’s faces playing as the Daleks says, “You are The Doctor! You are our enemy!” and then they all join in a chant of “You will be exterminated!”… and the credits roll.

Quite a nifty scene, that last one.

Episode 4:

The Controller stops the Daleks from exterimating The Doctor by telling them he’s working with the rebels and therefore is more useful to them alive. He says that the factory manager at one-one-seven was a subversive and that The Doctor was trying to contact him when the Controller got there.

He appeals to the Daleks, saying that he understands human psychology, that he would be more successful in finding out what they needed to know. The Daleks agree.

The Daleks tell The Doctor that they have the secret of time travel (though this is nothing new, so I’m not sure why this is such a big deal) and have changed Earth’s history and soon all of space and time will fall before them.

The Controller appeals to The Doctor to reveal what he knows, else the Daleks will destroy he and Jo. The Doctor says that the Daleks will kill him and Jo regardless. The Doctor accuses the Controller of being a Quisling, a traitor. The Controller explains that at the end of the 20th century, Earth broke out into a hundred years of wars, killing seven-eighths of the popluation, reducing mankind into near-primitive state. And that’s when the Daleks showed up, razing the planet for minerals for their expanding empire.

The Controller is part of a family of Controllers; he tells The Doctor that he has done good in his position, he has earned concessions and saved lives. He tells The Doctor that the rebels aren’t capable of defeating the Daleks.

The rebels raid the control center, using explosives to kill Daleks and their guns to vaporise Ogrons. They break into the command center and free Jo and The Doctor, the latter who speaks up for the Controller, saving his life.

Back in the 20th century, the UNIT troops search for The Doctor and Jo, to no avail. The Brig receives a message that Sir Reginald and other delegates will be arriving at RAF Manston at 1800 hours. There’s a dramatic tone of music as we fade to black.

The rebels say that the reason they wanted to kill Sir Reginald was their history books tell them that he was a power-monger who called the conference as a trick… he brought the delegates to the house and there was an explosion, but Styles (Sir Reg) was killed in the blast as well. (Okay, I already figured the rebels were erroneous in trying to kill Sir Reg, and I fully expected a double-twist sort of deal, in trying to kill him they were creating the very future they were trying to stop, but how does this history make him out to be the bad guy?)

The rebels explain how they stole the time travel technology from the Daleks and the problems they had with it (causing people to travel back but then disappear – much like the “ghost”.)

They ask The Doctor to help, and they tell him that they want him to return to the 20th century to kill Sir Reginald.

Shura watches the house from the trees, seeing the UNIT troops all over the place. He manages to find a route to approach and enter the house.

The Doctor is horrified at the idea of murder, and he’s not sure their version of history is correct. The Doctor asks if any of their people are back in the time zone, and Anat says Shura is still there, but they believe he might be dead.

Shura accesses the basement and sets up the device he had been tinkering with at the tunnel – obviously an explosive… and it seems my guesses earlier were correct.

The Doctor, after finding out that explosives were taken back in time with them, realises that they caused their own future.

The Controller tells the Daleks he is setting up an ambush to capture The Doctor as he tries to return to his proper time. The Daleks tell him that if he fails, he will pay with his life.

The Doctor and Jo are escorted to the catacombs to return back to their time. The rebels stay above to keep watch, but the Controller and his Ogrons catch them inside the catacombs. The Doctor says he can change things, he can stop the Daleks. The Controller dismisses his Ogrons and asks how can he be sure – The Doctor says he can stop the war that led to humanity’s enslavement by the Daleks.

You saved my life, you could have let them kill me. Go, quickly.” – The Controller

The Doctor and Jo activate the time trasnmitter and they are gone. The Controller walks off, but around the corner, one of the human guards overheard it all.

The Controller reports to the Daleks, but he is exterminated for his treason. The Daleks elevate the guard who was in the catacombs to the position of Controller, obviously reward for ratting out the previous one. The Daleks then talk of going to the 20th century, to ensure that the peace conference results in disaster and war breaks out.

At Auderly House, Alex MacIntosh, a reporter stands outside, giving a summation of what soon will take place there – “the most important summit conference of this century.” He sets the stage quite well – what we already know, diplomats gathering to avert a third world war.

We see many diplomats arrive – Sir Reginald, the Chinese contingent,, African representatives, more.

The Doctor and Jo arrive in their jeep and rush in. They find the Brig and Sir Reginald (who’s been a prick as usual) and tell them that everyone has to get out of the house, stat.

A large force of Ogrons and Daleks exit the tunnel and shortly engage in combat with UNIT forces, who are sorely overpowered.

The Doctor goes down to the basement to find Shura and try to appeal to him.

Since the hosue is under attack, the Brig is able to force Sir Reginald to comply and the delegates are ordered to leave the house post haste. Jo comes down to the basement to tell The Doctor that everyone is out but the three of them. Shura tells them that his explosive is the only weapon that will destroy the Daleks and he must set it off.

The Doctor and Jo leave and tell the Brig to let the Dalek forces into the house. When the Brig looks at him like he’s lost his mind, The Doctor has a great line: “It may not make military sense, but it’s the only way!”

The Daleks search the house, looking for the delegates. When Shura hears them above, he sets off the explosive, destroying the house and the Daleks within… and poor Shura, too.

From afar, after they see the explosion, The Doctor tells Sir Reginald the conference has been saved… now it’s up to him to save the world. Sir Reginald, for once not an uptight prick, says, “Don’t worry, we know what will happen if we fail.”

The Doctor looks at Jo and replies, “So do we… we’ve seen what will happen, haven’t we, Jo?”… and the final credits roll.

For the most part, a most excellent serial. A few minor complaints here and there, but nothing so big to take away from the fun of the serial. I love the rebellion and the Ogrons and the Dalek-run oppression. Some great scenes, especially the visual homage to Hartnell and Troughton in the “mind analysis machine”.  

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