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Doctor Who story number 16

Yet another Dalek story. The BBC was determinted to mine this rich vein of fandom for all it was worth, particulary in the 60's. The problem is, Terry Nation still owned the rights - and he insisted on writing every Dalek story himself if possible.

Like The Keys Of Marinus Nation opted for making a serial - literally. The plot jumps through many different locations, and the central idea is like something Universal Pictures would have used for two years worth of matinee serials.

Unfortunately the whole thing is less than the sum of it's parts - Six individual one-episode stories tied together with "Oh no, the Daleks are after us!" does not make for good Doctor Who. Even the episode titles are silly. The two alien planets are certainly interesting, though the whole robot/city thing is just a recycling of the theme from The Daleks. The idea of landing in a horror movie and it turning out to be a robotised funhouse also could have been worth a two part story on it's own. It's a shame the whole thing was done at such a quick pace.

Vicki the future girl says she visited the Beatles Memorial in Liverpool - life later imitated art. How Ian knows a song released two years after he left Earth we will never know (Perhaps Vicki brought some of her classical music tapes with her.)

Terry Nation

This story has 6 episodes with individual titles:

  • The Executioners
  • The Death Of Time
  • Flight Through Eternity
  • Journey Into Terror
  • The Death Of Doctor Who
  • The Planet Of Decision

Plot Overview
This one picks up a few minutes after the end of The Space Museum. The Doctor, having got his new space/time visualiser to work and watched the Gettysburg Address and a performance by The Beatles (on Top of the Pops, 1965), discovers that the Daleks have built a time machine of their own and are coming after the travellers to exterminate them (I blame Ian's dancing to Ticket to Ride).

The TARDIS gets hopped around the cosmos, with the Daleks in pursuit. The initial landing site is a twin-sunned desert planet called Aridius, which was once covered in seas but is now drying up, with the amphibious natives living in mouldy caves. From there it's off on a comic run through various places on Earth: the Empire State Building, the Marie Celeste, a horror movie mansion (a funhouse), and then they land on a jungle planet for the final showdown.

The jungle planet is home to a giant city built on huge pylons - made by a legion of robots called Mechanoids, sent by humans to prepare the planet for colonization. Forgotten, they tend their city in a rather deranged, crazy-robot way, holding a crashed starship pilot, Steven Taylor, prisoner.

Well, when the Daleks arrive they naturally try to exterminate everything, and in the ensuing battle all the humans escape. The Doctor reluctantly sets the Dalek time machine to return Ian and Barbara home, and leaves with Steven and Vicki in his TARDIS.

Main Cast

  • Robert Marsden - Abraham Lincoln
  • Hugh Walters - William Shakespeare
  • Roger Hammond - Francis Bacon
  • Vivienne Bennet - Elizabeth I
  • Richard Coe - TV Announcer
  • Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison, Ringo Starr - Some minor band
  • Jack Pitt - Mire Beast, Stewart, Mechanoid
  • Ian Thompson - Malsan
  • Hywel Bennett - Rynian
  • Al Raymond - Prondyn
  • Arne Gordon - Guide
  • Dennis Chinnery - Albert Richardson
  • David Blake Kelly - Captain Briggs
  • Patrick Carter - Bosun
  • Douglas Ditta - Willoughby
  • John Maxim - Frankenstein's Monster
  • Malcolm Rogers - Dracula
  • Roslyn de Winter - Grey Lady
  • Edmund Warwick - Robot Doctor
  • Murphy Grumbar, Ken Tyllson - Mechanoids
  • David Graham - Dalek Voices, Mechanoid Voices
  • John Scott Martin - Dalek, Mechanoid
  • Gerald Taylor, Kevin Manser, Robert Jewel - Daleks
  • Peter Hawkins - Dalek Voices
  • Derek Ware - Bus Conductor
  • Notes

    • Robots everywhere! Daleks, Mechanoids, Robot Dracula, Robot Frankestein's Monster, Robot Doctor. Robot scriptwriter perhaps?
    • We finally have new Dalek designs - they have solar panels in this story, though this is never explained properly.
    • The three pillars of the Mechanoid city are referred to in the script as.... Gubbage Cones!
    • One nice touch to add some character is Steven's mascot - a toy panda called Hi-Fi
    • The Beatles were going to be filmed in old-age makeup in a reunion concert. Brian Epstein didn't approve, but apparently they thought it was a good idea

    We're trying to defeat the Daleks, not start a jumble sale! - The Doctor