‘We are the Masters of Earth!’
21 November – 26 December 1964
The Memory Cheats
Again my first brush with this story was the movie version. Much of what I said about the first Dalek story movie applies here in terms of memory as they were often shown close together. As far as watching the BBC version, again we have to look back at those hallowed VHS days. I remember the Alistar Pearson artwork and remember watching it for the first time waiting for the iconic shot of the Daleks on Westminster Bridge. Having anticipated this scene for so long, what a letdown it actually was. The quality was so poor.
I think the DVD that came out 11 years ago did much to improve on that though. This was the first serial I watched after getting to the end of Survival following the first run through. I think I made a night of it and watched the whole thing including the special features!
The Time Space Visuliser
The TARDIS arrives. The familiar wheezing and groaning sound only seems to happen when we see them land or take off from inside. It’s not long before we get more insight into Gallifreyan life as the Doctor threatens Susan with a good smacked bottom. So they go in for corporal punishment. Battersea Power station has lost two chimneys. Pre CGI this quite good. Seeing Barbara out and about running on location and it is almost like watching a different show. We see a cake flying across the London skyline. London looks so grim back then. This week’s pairing for the split up is Ian and the Doctor and Barbara and Susan. ‘Can you cook?’ Barbara is asked. Enlightened times in 2164. Susan’s character seems to be enjoying a final fling though when she tells them that she eats! I don’t care that there was no reason for the Dalek to be under the water. It’s a great cliffhanger! Verity Lambert also explains that it was a way of reinforcing the Daleks as able to survive in any environment.
The Doctor says that they must pit their wits against the Daleks and defeat them. This is a big departure from past stories where he just wants to get back to the TARDIS. The Doctor explains that these Daleks are a million years before the ones they saw and clearly able to travel on a variety of surfaces, as well as pick up satellite TV. Strange that a million years later they had not invented a power source that would stop them from being easily defeated by an annoying girl with a cloak. The silver bomb is amazing! I am sure I recognise the actor playing David. I looked him up though and this is best known role. Must just be from this that I know him. Or maybe he reminds me of someone. How annoying is the bloke the Doctor and Ian are trapped with.
Hartnell good unconscious acting. ‘Your bomb was useless Dortman.’ Says Tyler. Well yes, it is off of cartoons. Most of these large rooms have what they call disposal chutes. Is that a Skaro term then. The satellite dishes on the Daleks are not a good look. Glad they did away with them. Handy the floor tile has human finger sized holes in it. Is that to facilitate Dalek movement? (Like air hockey.) Avery exciting chase scene. I think the bongos help. Love how in the transport museum everything is from pre 1960. Dalekeenium. We call it that. It’s actually Dalekanium, so a good guess, Dortman!
‘What’s this dial?’ Asks Susan of David. Well it’s a kitchen timer. My mum had one. You boil an egg and set it for three minutes. When it reaches the red part a bell rings and you know your egg is ready. No need for all that drama! And then David melts the casing of the bomb and digs around inside it with a stick. Just as well the mechanism isn’t sensitive. Are all the two hundred year old vehicles in the museum are in working order? Another chain gang at the mine, though still not to move rocks. Ian points at the cable car so realistically. Then Mr Rumbold comes in!
The scale and scope of this story is impressive. With the location shooting, and the ensemble cast, it must have been very expensive TV show to make. There seem to be more actors in this than in previous stories, there certainly seems to be more in the way of setting obviously helped by the location shoots, and even the indoor scenes by the spaceship are better than any stories so far. Despite the reappearance of cutout Daleks. I must admit, whilst I have seen them in both the first story and this story I hadn’t really noticed them before. And I supposed in the old 525 line monochrome they probably showed up even less. And there’s a stripy Dalek! Cool. Even if it turns black later in the story. It is worth noting that until now, the Daleks are still unaware of the Doctor and very possibly Gallifrey too. The events in this story spark the feud that lead to the time war!
Catchphrase Error of the Week:
Susan in episode 3: ‘Shut up Jenny!’ everyone knows it’s ‘Get Lost Jilly!’
Susan already seems to be wanting to boff David. She holds his gun while he polishes it. It’s all about the subtext! (Episode 2)
There is a lot of talk in the later episodes of penetrative explosives.
They are cut off from the ship! Oh no! Next they will be splitting up. Susan sprains her ankle. Man in a rubber monster suit. The Slyther. Surely the most rubbish monster to date. A relative of Erato?
First location filming with the real TARDIS crew and the first quarry. And it is even meant to be a quarry, not an Alien landscape. First returning villains.
First use of the ‘Exterminate’ as a threat and the first on screen human death from a Dalek. Episode 4: 10:33 baskets are moved but it is full further 7 minutes before the first rocks are moved on Doctor Who! First use of the Dalek space ship sound effect. This is still used today. The TARDIS dematerialises with a person (Susan) in shot.
Arm the Device:
I am not clear why the device needs to be big enough to hold a human yet only contains a few wires. Also, why do Daleks use wires. Surely a bit fiddley if you have a plunger for a hand?
Pop Group of the Week:
Ashton to Ian: are you one of these Brotherhood of Man kind of people? Ian: Actually I was more of an Abba man.
The First Anniversary Story
The 500 Year Diary
29th July 2167 pm
Had a bit of a faffy moment in the ship first thing, waving a hankie around. The scanner’s been fixed at least. I think that’s thrown me a bit as seemed to have trouble speaking once we got outside.
We’ve landed in London. In the future – found a calendar with 2164 on it – how quaint – but it must be a few years after that. Looks like world’s end. Glad to see Battersea Power Station still going, although with only 2 chimneys. It probably make a good base for some scientific wrongdoings. Make a note to go there in the future.
We could have just got in the ship and slipped away except Susan decided to climb up a wall, fall off it and then twist her ankle. This caused the bridge to collapse and now we can’t get in! What that girl needs is a jolly good smacked bottom!
Ian and I go off exploring looking for acetylene torches that would just be hanging around. Ian nearly fell out of a door. Nothing happened to me – I’m not a halfwit, you know! Found another dead body with a strange helmet on (obviously a communication device)… another murder mystery looms. As we return to the girls, we see an amazing flying saucer heading across London.
When we get back the girls, they’ve gone! How? Susan couldn’t even walk! Ian got very annoyed. We then found a poster forbidding the dumping of bodies in the river. Dead human bodies in the river. That would be near murder!
Then these zombie-like goons turn up. There’s no talking to them. So Ian & I plan to dive into the river, but as we turn round, we see a Dalek coming out of the river…..
29th July 2167 eve
Ian seems to have trouble remembering the Daleks in great detail. It was only the voice that reminded him rather than the distinctive pepperpot shape. I was more confused as to what it was doing underwater! They’ve acquired satellite dishes to get over their reliance on static electricity. That will certainly come in handy for any future invasions they might make. I speculate that what we saw on Skaro was a million years in the future, that this is the middle part of their history. Might have made this up….. Anyway their here now… I’m sure one of them said the Daleks were the bastards of Earth!
I was quite handy today. I stood up to one of them. Resistance is useless apparently. For my defiance I think I’ve been identified as clever (rather than stupid?). Some young guy who dared to escape was brutally destroyed! We get put in this cell with this tiresome man called Craddock (enjoyed telling him to shut up!) who told us about the meteorites, the Dalek saucers, the Robomen and Bedfordshire. What are they looking for? Shellsuits?
Anyway my cleverness was put to the test with a magnetic puzzle, a bit like one of those stocking fillers you get at Christmas. Well as you know X equals gamma which is 2½% giving us 80 degrees which opened the box and gave us a key to the cell. But would you believe it? It was a trap! I suppose I could have realised that because why would one leave the key in the cell anyhow. Anyway, I’m taken away to be robotised! What a waste of someone clever – there was I pitting my wits against them to defeat them! Should have done that Craddock first!
30th July 2167 am
Was mostly out of it today what with nearly being robotised!
This young man called Baker (a good name) rescued me from the Dalek saucer. He delivers me to Susan and this young David chap (they do seem to be getting on rather well) and then goes off to the Cornish coast only to be killed by a Dalek there and then. Poor chap. A day of reckoning indeed!
Susan starts telling me what to do – suggesting we go up north to meet the resistance as that’s what this David has suggested. There was a time when she wouldn’t question me at all; we never argued until recently. I would rather go back to the ship; however, this young man showed be a great deal of respect and I suggested we go north. A few brownie points with Susan there.
30th July 2167 pm
Completely out of it today, possibly until the end of tomorrow. These Robomen delivered this massive bomb and that was it… out for the count!
31st July 2167
Rather unceremoniously Susan & David left me lying in the streets whilst they went off! At least I’m feeling better. Luckily, Tyler found me and we were reunited in the sewers… nice. Full of alligators apparently.
Then these Robomen attack us and a fight ensues. I leave the young men and Susan too it although when the opportunity arose, bashed one over the head with my stick. It’s nice that I still get to do this now and then. Left the poor fellows to their own devices and salvation. I never take a life! (Well unless my own is immediately threatened). These Robomen are a strange lot… under Dalek control they seem to slow down…. Surely it would make more sense to have them speeded up? Even I could outrun them!
Anyway, we’ve made our way to Bedfordshire. Tyler and I go off to look at the mining works. When we come back, something has been cooking and I don’t mean the fish! Susan’s face smells of fish. Don’t know what these young people are into these days, but I’m sensing that Susan is getting very close to David… seems like a fine young chap. Reminds me of a young Ian.
Anyway, the Daleks dare to tamper with the forces of creation…and we have got to dare to stop them!
PS: The waking ally. Heard that somewhere. Not sure what or who it is. Best not pursue it….
1st August 2167
What with the size of London and Bedfordshire, it would have been a massive coincidence to be reunited with Ian & Barbara, but that’s what happened! And what’s more, it turns out that the Daleks didn’t exterminate Barbara on the spot after her made up history lesson on the spot that she told me about and subsequent sabotage. Thought that Jenny might have been killed. I think I’ve discovered the main flaw in the Daleks’ plan – kill people who are likely to cause further trouble immediately rather than imprisoning them in your actual main control room. Don’t hope that they’re killed in a subsequent explosion. Kill them there and then. No time or energy wasted. If they’d done that, they’d probably have won. Also if they open their eye stalks – one looked right at me and ignored it. Maybe it couldn’t see… its vision was impaired.
Well probably not actually as thinking about it, it was a rather silly plan. Why would you want to drive a planet around the universe and how would they power it? And it would upset the entire constellation! And their whole plan was thwarted by some sticks left in a hole. Still Bedfordshire has gone… no more Luton, just a flashpoint. Think they should stick to a moving rocks business… that seems to be a worthwhile, well organised concern for them.
Was sure Barbara was doing er… fellatio… to the communications device. It was all very upsetting. And then the Robomen start charging around. Who knew?
Well, time to say goodbye. Liked that Tyler chap, although he did call me doc! I then had to make a heartbreaking decision. I could see that Susan was torn between David and me. She would never leave me willingly. So I made that decision for her. I’ve left her on a war torn ravaged planet with a man she met three days ago.
One day I shall come back, yes come back. Until then there must be no tears, no anxieties. Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine. Goodbye Susan, goodbye my dear.
The Five Word Lords
Movie scale before the movie.