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Doctor Who story number 2
The original name for this story was The Mutants, but the BBC now have to call it The Daleks due to a story called "The Mutants" being made in the 70's. This story features, yes, the Daleks, but they are not the first alien creature seen on the series (see below).
The story itself is responsible for the mania for the series, directly because of the Daleks. Viewer figures hit eight million during the run of this story, and arguably set the stage for the series to lean towards science fiction and alien monsters rather than the historical adventures they made in the first four seasons.
The themes here are largely Terry Nation's favourite subjects - the Nazis and nuclear war. The Daleks appearance is very different to the original outline for them, but that's becuase fully mobile tentacles with eyes on the end were beyond the scope of special effects in the 1960's. The design came from Terry Nation seeing the Georgian State Dancers - the image of a woman in a long skirt seeming to glide across the ground inspired the movement. Present in the story is what would become a staple feature of Terry Nation scripts for Doctor Who - the trek through the wilderness. This was a staple of serials - I think of Flash Gordon, where they spend several episodes trekking through the wilderness to take Ming by surprise via the back door.
In 1965 this story was turned into the carbon-copy movie Dr. Who and the Daleks. Peter Cushing was the second man to play the Doctor, making a more amiable character and, well.... It's different, right? Because it was a standalone movie.
Check out the differences here: http://www.drwhoguide.com/cushing.htm
I hated it
This story has seven episodes with individual titles:
- The Dead Planet
- The Survivors
- The Escape
- The Ambush
- The Expedition
- The Ordeal
- The Rescue
The TARDIS materialises on the planet Skaro, in the middle of a petrified forest. Seeing an alien city the Doctor deliberately sabotages the TARDIS so that he can explore it rather than try and return the two humans to Earth.
In the city they discover the Daleks, who have survived centuries of "neutronic" warfare and are now hideous mutants dependant on radiation and living inside travel machines. The Daleks take them prisoner and they escape by using the Doctor's cloak to cut off the power to one of the Daleks (they pick up static electricity from the floors).
Meanwhile, Susan has met the Thals, who are the decendants of the race that was warring with the Daleks. When she learns that they are starving she tries to gain help from the Daleks, who lay a trap for their old foes. After the failure of this plan the Daleks start to plan the final extermination of the Thals. The Doctor convinces the Thals to fight against the Daleks, who are building a new neutron bomb to wipe out the their enemies for good.
The Thals then mount an expedition to sneak into the Dalek city and open the main gates for the rest of their forces, leading them around a huge radioactive lake. Inside the city the Daleks are found to be vulnerable to the Thals anti-radiation drugs, and they are finally defeated when their power supply is cut off.
Robert Jewell, Kevin Manser, Michael Summerton, Gerald Taylor, Peter Murphy - Daleks
Peter Hawkins, David Graham - Dalek Voices
John Lee - Alydon
Philip Bond - Ganatus
Virginia Wetherell - Dyoni
Alan Wheatley - Temmosus
Gerald Curtis - Elyon
Johnathan Crane - Kristas
Marcus Hammond - Antodus
Chris Browning, Katie Cashfield, Vez Delahunt, Kevin Glenny, Ruth Harrison Lesley Hill, Steve Pokol, Jeanette Rossini Eric Smith - Thals
- The first featured alien creature is NOT a Dalek, it is a Magnedon, a lizard which has a body made of pliable metal held together by magnetic energy. Later we also see an octopus-like creature in the Lake of Mutations.
- The Daleks, as written, were supposed to have an eye on a tentacle-like appendage, and the sink plunger was also to be similar, but this was not possible given the budget (and possibly special effects abilities).
The only interest we have in the Thals is their total extermination! - A Dalek. Of course.