Day of the Daleks

Louis Marks

day 1

1st – 22nd January 1971

‘Who-eh-ver-is-op-per-rate-ing-the-time-mah-chine-is-an-eh-ne-my-of-the-Daleks.-All-eh-ne-mies-of-the-daleks-must-be-deh-stoyed!-Exterminate them!’

Dalek

The Memory Cheats

This was the first time I saw the Daleks. I was hyped by the BBC who must have trailed the story extensively over the Christmas period. I can remember thinking in my addled five year old brain, that the Doctor owned the Daleks and kept them in that little metal room.

I always seem to enjoy watching this around New Year and this time I am watching in January 2016. 45 years on from transmission. It is all very exciting as the Daleks are back after a five year gap and finally in colour on TV and what colour shall we paint them? Grey and black! Oh, and you can have a gold one! This is a bit sad to admit but when I rented the VHS copy from my local video shop I copied it onto my own VHS edited with episode endings. It was a very rough edit I have to say and some of the cuts were very bumpy.

The 500 Year Diary

13th September 1974 am

Whilst working on the TARDIS, managed to come across another version of myself and Jo! Anyway, interrupted by the Brigadier and told about strange goings on at Auderley House – the location of yet another peace conference. Why can’t these humans get on with each other?

Apparently the conference organiser, a Sir Reginald Styles, was attacked by a ‘ghost’. By the time we get there he’s denying it, but someone was there – not a ghost – but a real life person. We then capture a man with a gun which must be from the Earth’s future alongside a crude time machine which initially was still working… until I … pushed the button.

Styles is out of town and so Jo and I stay in the house enjoying wine and gorgonzola cheese. In the morning, a soldier bursts in but I manage to pin him to the Chesterfield with some Venusian karate.

 

13th September 1974 pm

Another two guerrillas turn up. They’ve got Jo. They seem to think I’m Styles. Anyway, we manage to convince them otherwise, but they tell us nothing in return. Instead we’re tied up and left in a cellar. I think they’re fanatics wanting to change history. But they can’t go back to the 12th September because of the Blinovitch Limitation Effect.

In order to get UNIT off their backs, I talk to the Brigadier telling him to tell the marines. That will get him going. Next thing Jo has escaped and used the time travel device. I need to find her… unless she’s lost in the vortex. They tie me up again!

I manage to escape, high kick an Ogron of all things before killing another one with a gun. Very unlike me. I follow the guerrillas to nearby tunnels where I see…. A Dalek!

 

13th September 2074

Manage to hook up with the guerrillas and am taken two hundred years into the future. I must find Jo, especially if there are Daleks here!

As I move around, I see slave labour – old men and women – as people move rocks. Then a bang on the head.

I awake being interrogated by a guard. He’s then relieved by another men who is part the rebel group. Then the Controller arrives. He’s very charming with shiny skin. He takes me to Jo and we have wine. He tells me that everything is fine, but he’s not in charge – the Daleks are!

We escape, but only to be recaptured. I’m interrogated by the Daleks who recognise me!

 

14th September 1974

The Controller intervenes to save me. The Daleks tell me they have discovered time travel and they will use it to conquer the universe. They won’t succeed.

The Controller tells us about the last 200 years. Wars broke out. Ions of people killed and then the Daleks came. Only a handful of quislings like him manage to keep on the right side of the Daleks. Next thing, the guerrillas are back and capture us.

They want me to go back in time and murder Styles. I won’t do it! I agree with the ends, but not the means! Anyway talk about why Styles. Apparently this grumpy politician planted a bomb at his peace conference and killed all the delegates and started a war. Unlikely. I find out that one of the guerrillas is still in the 20th century with a bomb. Eureka! It wasn’t Styles; it was this Shura who blew up the house leading to this history. They’re caught in a temporal paradox!

We return to the 20th century and eventually convince Styles and the delegates to get out of the house. Ogrons and a rather small Dalek force invade the house… must talk to the Brigadier about the security arrangements here – hardly anything round the back of the house where all the action has taken place!

Anyway, we lure the Daleks into the house. Shura blows it and himself up. History is altered. Not the day of the Daleks. For now….

day 3

Time Space Visualiser

A uniformed guerrilla attempts an assassination on Sir Reginald Styles ahead of a peace conference and mysteriously vanishes. The guerrillas are from the future and are travelling back to change their past. By mistake Jo activates the device the guerrillas are using and ends up being transported.

Meanwhile, back in the future, the Daleks are working with the amazing Aubery Woods. He is great as the misguided human Controller who thinks he is doing the right thing by working with the Daleks. They have spotted the use of the time device and set up a Vaginator to intercept the next transmission which obviously intercepts Jo, so she ends up in the future. The Controller also has a group of beautiful futuristic staff who move their hands around over their devices looking in to time.

The Doctor examines the time device which contains a mini dematerialisation circuit exactly the same as the one from the TARDIS but smaller. Really? Rassilon should have copyrighted it!  So is this all part of the 2152 invasion of Earth? The Daleks later tell the Doctor they have invaded Earth again but then we find out that following the conference a period of wars break out that leave the human population decimated and living in holes. So where does the first invasion fit in to this timeline? It’s not often we see the Doctor wielding a gun and here he quite happily shoots an Ogron.

The story is laced with several sinister undertones. Despite the fact it mostly involves rock moving, the vision for Earth’s future is bleak. It reminds me a little of the Federation in Blake’s Seven with threats to characters’ families. There are several powerful scenes and I love the artsy direction with all those zooms and focussing. The location shots add atmosphere and it is a great timey-wimey tale. The only disappointing feature is the Daleks. They rarely feature and the attack on Audley House is frankly embarrassing. They were meant to have another story on their own and were inserted into this story instead. It is just a shame that the triumphant return to the show after so long is such a damp squib. I still love them though.

day 2

Where is UNIT Headquarters This Week?

Not sure geographically, but he seems to have a new lab and the console is out again. It gives that strange hum from the first episode of the show. The continuity of sound is really comforting.

Innuendo Bingo

A pervy man with a phallic whip interrogates the Doctor.

Jon Pertwee’s Vehicle of the Week

The Doctor and Jo escape from the complex and find a handy trike with very big tyres. Even handier, the guard comes into shot and then waits for the Doctor to escape before giving chase.

Cliché Counter

My two all-time favourite Doctor Who clichés are in this story.

‘Work targets are not being met and the human slaves are close to dying.’ What is it that they have to do? Move rocks!

‘Exterminate him.’

‘No! He may be useful.’

Well actually the evidence suggests not, and if you kill him now when he is week you will save yourself so much trouble in the future.

In the fooooter …

… women talk like robots. Sexy ones. Men wear vampish nail varnish. We will all wear foundation that shimmers like silver and cigars are back on!

Insert the Device

Activate the magnetron!

This week we will also be mostly using the mind analysis machine.

Notable Firsts

I think this is the first time we have seen a flashback sequence of past Doctors. And I love the fade into the title sequence here. Even though it was probably incidental due to CSO bleeding.

The first of (currently three) serials to start with the ‘Day of the …. ‘ prefix.

Greyhound to trap one.

The Ogrons. A slightly politically incorrect race who seem to exist just to serve others.

Dalekanium. Although in this story it is a type of metal, rather than the really strong metal that Daleks are made from.

A favourite Pertwee phrase is uttered for the first time, The Blinovitch Limitation Effect. It basically means timey wimey wibbley wobbly stuff.

From this story until the end of the Third Doctor era there was a little illustration to accompany each episode listing in the Radio Times. They were drawn by Frank Bellamy I think. I used to cut them out and keep them!

The Five Word Lords

Maybe Daleks are actually nocturnal.

 

 

 

 

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