The Daleks’ Master Plan

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You might say I am a citizen of the Universe. And a gentleman to boot.

The Doctor

13th November 1965 – 29th January 1966

The Memory Cheats

I know very little about this story other than two companions get killed, it has the Brigadier (well Brt Vyon), the Monk returns and it’s the longest story ever. Unless you count Trial of a Time Lord, but I will let fandom debate whether that is one story or an arc of four smaller stories.

I first learned about it through the hallowed pages of Doctor Who Weekly and was fascinated by the thought of such a long story containing my favourite villains. As a missing story it is not one I have seen before, nor watched any of the recovered episodes.

The Time Space Visualiser

This reconstruction is a relief to watch after The Myth Makers which was quite a struggle. The quality is far better and there are more pictures. And it is the Brigadier! This is very captivating right from the start. A few questions about galactic politics. Mission to the Unknown established allies from the Solar System and those from the Galaxy. Now Mavic Chen turns up and he is the leader of the Solar System. Did the Daleks say In Mission to the Unknown that they were from the Solar System? It really is all rather confusing. Amazing to have Kevin Stoney and Nicholas Courtney together. Also the one that got exterminated was Brian Cant off of Play School!

It is good to have an actual episode after so many recons and we get a fleeting glimpse of Katerina. A man made of seaweed meets with Mavic Chen and the Daleks set fire to the jungle, which being made of paper burns quite easily. There is no clear reason why Representative Zeffa, Leader of the Fifth Galaxy won’t go in, other than to walk right into Vyon’s arms and be stripped so the Doctor can steal his cloak. Then the Daleks announce a quick drinking game. We go around the circle and it’s Chen who loses as he is clapping rather than banging his hands on the table. Instead of a finger of wine though, he has to address the council.

Katerina is almost a template for Lela. It is a pity she does not have a lot to do but she is a really different companion than Vicki and Susan. Is the randomiser the Daleks use to control the Earth ship the same as the Doctor uses following his Key to Time quest?

Taranium is Terry Nation’s eponymous metal, a bit like Tarant, and then we head off to Desperado, the prison planet. I love these planet names that do what they say on the tin. And so to the return of the Meddling Monk and Peter Butterworth becomes the first returning humanoid villain. Interesting that he knew of the Daleks whereas the Doctor didn’t. Maybe the Doctor made them famous after he defeated them on Earth. They land by a Volcano before heading off to Egypt where they meet some over acting Egyptians. I love how when the Doctor steals the directional controller the TARDIS crew have a right old laugh at the possible future death of the Monk.

So to the denouement, and, as with the Trial of a Timelord, the last two episodes bring the saga to a dramatic conclusion. I am left wondering why the Daleks recruited all the delegates if all they were going to do was kill them off. It seems like such an effort to go to just to give a few actors a chance to ham it up in some weird and wonderful alien costumes. The Doctor foils the Daleks’ Master Plan by setting off the Time Destructor! Uncanny. Wasn’t that their plan all along? Thankfully it does not destroy the Universe. It does destroy the Daleks, the planet Kemble and in the most shocking death scene so far, Sara Kingdom. Her ageing reminds me of several later Star Trek episodes.

Quite good really despite its length. (Mrs!) It loses its way and becomes a bit like The Chase in the middle. There seems to be too much episode and not enough plot at times. I think it suffers from having two writers as when Sir Dennis of Spooner takes over, the Daleks seem to forget what their master plan actually was!  Kevin Stoney lifts all his scenes though, and the Daleks are much more credible than in the previous story. Jean Marsh is again outstanding and what a shame she does not make it to Paris!

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Notable Firsts

I am not going to get into the debate about what makes a companion a companion as every definition is fraught with contradiction.  To many, Katrina, who was only in the show for a few episodes, was the first to die. It is also one of the most shocking deaths we have witnessed since the Slyther was pushed down the cliff.

The first Christmas special. They are commonplace now and as much part of Christmas as Angela Rippon’s legs but in our day thy were few and far between. This one is certainly a rum do!  Surreal and self-referential, not just with the final line, but with the reference to Jaffa! If you think this one is weird, the next Christmas Special was probably K9 and Company!

Cliché Counter

Bert Vyon calls Earth in desparation and no one sees. Surely there would be a better signal 2,000 years in the future than a flashing lightbulb?

The Daleks want to rule the Universe. As do many Science Fiction villains. Why? Can you imagine anything worse? ‘People of the universe attend.’

‘How did you know about the Taranium core?’

‘You told me about it’

Of course they had not and once more the villain gives themselves away via this rather lazy plot device.

Innuendo Bingo

22:35 Episode 1

Bret Vyon: Take two and put them in his mouth.

1:15 Episode 3

The Doctor: Get us off Brett! Get us off! Get us off!

About a minute later The Doctor exclaims, ‘You got us off very well!’

11:24 Episode 7

Steven: it’s alright, I know her.

Policemen: Aye you seem to know all the queer people.

5:45 Episode 8

Dalek: The core is worthless!

Mavic Chen: No, no! It can’t be! It came from Uranus!

Racist Moment of the Week

Mavic Chen. Is that the worst Chinese make up ever? He even has pointy finger nails. At least he doesn’t do a Weing Chiang style fake voice as well. Amazing pen holding technique though, and the best super villain so far.

The Doctor says, get me out of this place, it’s full of Arabs.

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The 500 Year Diary

5th September 4000 am

Landed on the planet Kembel and immediately I was off to look for medication to help Steven, leaving him in the ship with Katarina. End up being mugged by a Space Security agent and knocked out! Happily, Steven deals with this chap by the name of Bret Vyon and when I get back to the ship, I put him in a restraining chair. Forgot I had one of those. He’s a typical army type – I’m sure, if he gets through this, he’ll have a long career ahead of him leading some sort of task force.

Hearing an approaching spaceship, I decide to go once more to see if there’s any medication for Steven, finding a reel of tape en route. No chance of help… Daleks! I hurry back to the ship only to find them surrounding the ship and the doors are open! The nightmare begins….

5th September 4000 pm

Manage to sneak away from the Daleks, but overheard their plans for a Project Inferno. I stumble across Steven and Katerina who escaped from the TARDIS with this Bret Vyon. He’s very hot-headed! I want to go back to the TARDIS, Steven doesn’t and then this Vyon starts butting in. Katerina has no opinion. Anyway, to get away from the burning jungle, we head to the Dalek city.

Apparently, Mavic Chen – Guardian Of The Solar System – is here which Bret finds shocking. Every cloud though as we can steal his ship and warn Earth of the Daleks’ plan. Then this strange hooded creature approaches and we capture him. In a disguise, I make my way to the meeting full of a range of delegates to find out the true nature of what the Daleks are going to do. Happily notices that I don’t have spiky hands or feet.

An alarm goes off and everyone starts running around in a panic giving me the opportunity to steal the teranium, vital to the Daleks as part of their Time Destructor – part of their plan to bring a day of Armageddon to the universe. Given the important nature of this material and the ruthless nature of the Daleks, it seems odd that is was left lying around on a table for anyone to take. I just hope I make the ship in time – I did tell Bret to leave without me.

5th September 4000 eve

Manage to make it back to the ship, a Spar, just in the nick of time. As we travel, we listen to the tape. Luckily, the spaceship has a tape deck! It confirms what we already know – the Daleks want to conquer the Earth… again!

However, the Daleks are able to control the ship and force us to land on the penal planet, Desparus. – a devil’s planet! There is little damage which leads us to believe that the Daleks want us alive, most likely because of the teranium. The convicts approach and I manage to electrocute them with a live wire in the swamp.

We manage to escape after some minor repairs. I forgot to shut the airlock door and send Katerina to close it. However, one of the convicts has got in and holding Katerina at knifepoint!

6th September 4000 am

This convict wants to hijack the ship back to Kembel even though we tell him there are Daleks there. He could have chosen anywhere else!

At this point, Katerina decides to scacrifice herself in order to save us. Poor girl. I removed a simple handmaiden from Troy, took her half way across the universe in space and time and I’m unable to save her. Very sad. I’ll never forget her. The whole experience stuns us all into silence, but not for long as the Daleks are still in pursuit.

Bret decides to land just outside the Central City to avoid detection and to contact his friend Daxtar. However, when we met him, it’s evident he’s one of the traitors because he did that thing of knowing stuff that no-one told him. I can always spot that a mile off! Next thing, Bret just shoots him… there suddenly seems to be a lot of killing going on. Most upsetting.

Then another Space Security agent arrives, a striking woman called Sara. Bret causes a distraction so we can escape.

6th September 4000 pm

Ended up being transported across space because of molecular dissemination, the side effects of which are gurning and trampolining, although because of my ability to deal with such things I avoided the latter. This came in the nick of time as Sara Kingdom was going to kill us – I have no doubt she would as she killed her own brother. Thankfully, we were able to convince her that Mavic Chen is the traitor and not us.

We have ended up on Mira with the terrifying invisible Visians. We were also transported with some white mice – wonder what happened to them? Anyway, the Daleks have found us as part of their counter plot. They have won!

6th September 4000 eve

The Visians attack the Daleks so we can escape. Using a cunning plan of distraction (covering the eyestalk of a Dalek – a little trick picked up from Barbara), we manage to hijack the Dalek time machine.

On our way to Kembel again. Spend the time making a fake terranium core. Should have kept an eye on Steven as keeps tinkering with things. He actually thought that the combination of gravity force and reliance power would help create the fake teranium! We poo pooed him initially, but it turned out he was right! Thing is, it’s left him in a vegetative state surrounded by a forcefield. This came in very useful when I negotiated the handover of the ‘fake’ teranium core with the Daleks and Chen as it meant Steven was protected from their fire power.

Hopefully, we’ll be left alone for a bit now. Well until they realise it’s a fake. Perhaps we could go and see the coronas of the sun. Typically the scanner’s on the blink and the instruments suggest the air outside is poisonous.

25th December 1965

So we’ve landed outside a police station in Liverpool. As I go outside to fix the scanner, I end up being asked arrested. Inside the station, I’m sure the man complaining about his greenhouse was in Jaffa. I am then interrogated and asked where I come from. I am a citizen of the universe and a gentleman to boot! They think I’m mental! Steven comes to rescue me using a Scouse accent.

So we escape, but end up in what turns out to be a Hollywood film set. Bump in to Charlie Chaplin and Bing Crosby, as mistaken for a Professor Webster and generally cause a bit of mayhem. Glad to get out of there, the place was full of Arabs!

Well, on the feast of Steven, decide we need a toast. Incidentally, a happy Christmas to all of you at home!

1st January 1966

We’re being followed again! Try to shake them off by landing in the middle of some sporting event. Looks very intriguing. When I get time, I’ll find out more about this sport. It looks like something I could get into!

Next we land next to a volcano on a new planet. Turns out our pursuer is not the Daleks, but the Meddling Monk. Him again– how did he escape from 1066? And the pesky fellow has damaged the TARDIS lock. However, I can use my ring and the sun’s energy. How? I’ll explain later.

Our next step appears to be some sort of celebration in Trafalgar Square. Is it to do with the relief of Mafeking? Not sure what made me think of that.

1st January 2566 BC am

Now we’ve landed in ancient Egypt. Need some time to affect a proper repair of the ship’s lock. Steven and Sara go off exploring. I’m sure they’ll avoid any trouble.

Once the lock fixed, decide to explore and wear a rather nice hat. I see the Monk land his TARDIS – so the Daleks must be here too – decide to follow the Monk to see what he’s up to. Predictably, he tries to wiggle his way out of trouble by negotiating with Chen and the Daleks. He should just keep quiet – silence is golden. Death follows those who talk too much. Anyway, let’s have some more fun with his TARDIS – changing its appearance finally to that of a police box. I also steal his directional unit. And to top it all off, manage to wrap him up as a mummy and put him in a sarcophagus. What a busy morning!

1st January 2566 BC pm

Spend a bit of time wandering around the Egyptian building site before hearing on some sort of Dalek loudspeaker system that Steven and Sara have been captured and will be killed unless I hand over the teranium.

Yet again, I am able to bargain with them. A counter plot! Despite the interference of the Egyptians, Magic Chen manages to get hold of the teranium. We have to stop them! There is still hope as I can use the directional unit from the Monk’s TARDIS to get us back to Kembel. Although it’s a bit of a risk because as it could destroy the central column. Pull the lever. Bang!

7th September 4000 am

Luckily, the directional unit didn’t cause any major damage and took us to Kembel after all, despite me thinking that we were still in Egypt. However, the unit can’t be used again. I wish I could control the ship!

Go for a wander outside in the jungle, but get separated from my companions. I end up in the base which appears empty. From what I can see and hear from the shadows it appears this is an abandoned planet!

7th September 4000 pm

Mavic Chen was exterminated by the Daleks. Poor deluded chap.

There’s only one thing left to do and that’s activate the time destructor! I use this to escape from the Daleks. I give the TARDIS key to Steven and tell him and Sara to go there. However, Sara comes back to assist with our journey. After a while, the device begins to take its toll. Not only is Sara ageing, but the planet is turning into a wasteland. The destruction of time!

We nearly manage to make it back to the ship, but it’s all too much for me and I collapse. Next thing I know, Steven has taken me to the TARDIS. Sara has gone. A terrible way to go. We watch the Daleks destroyed by their own device.

When the coast is clear, we go outside and see the dead Dalek embryos. We’ve defeated the Daleks although Steven reminds me of the losses. Bret. Katerina. Sara. A waste. A terrible waste.

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The Five Word Lords

Death, Hollywood, Daleks and Z-Cars

Or maybe,

A Merry Christmas to you!

Artwork: Deviant Art Hisi79:



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