Sunday, 9 January 2011

048 The Dalek Invasion of Earth Part 3: Day of Reckoning

EPISODE: The Dalek Invasion of Earth Part 3: Day of Reckoning
OVERALL EPISODE NUMBER: 048
STORY NUMBER: 010
TRANSMITTED: 05 December 1964
WRITER: Terry Nation
DIRECTOR: Richard Martin
SCRIPT EDITOR: David Whitaker
PRODUCER: Verity Lambert
FORMAT: DVD: Doctor Who - The Dalek Invasion Of Earth

We briefly glimpse the odd coloured Dalek in the episode recap, before cutting to Dortman playing chess in the base, returning to the saucer as Tyler and another man rescue the unconscious Doctor from the operating table. Ian & Craddock are freed on the ship. There is much fighting leading to Susan & Barbara being separated (during these scenes we glimpse the Black Dalek leader for the first time). Ian is trapped on the spaceship and can't escape while Barbara is taken back to the underground base by Jenny. The attack was a failure, the bombs were useless and many of the resistance are killed. Tyler is going to leave London, but Dortman intends to stay. He wants to go to their alternate base at the Civic Transport Museum: Barbara & Jenny agree to take him. The Dalek saucer leaves for the mines with Ian still aboard. He overpowers a Roboman rescuing Craddock. They dispose of the body and find somewhere to hide for the remainder of the journey. Susan & David are fleeing from the searching Daleks when they come across another resistance fighter Baker, who is carrying the still unconscious Doctor who he passes to them. As he leaves he is caught by the Daleks and exterminated. We're then treated to some splendid location shots of Barbara, Jenny & Dortman crossing first Westminster bridge and then London through Whitehall, the Cenotaph, Trafalgar Square, the Albert Memorial and finally the Royal Albert Hall, so I guess they're mistaking the Transport Museum for the Science Museum in Kensington. Dortman believes he has perfected his bomb and gives Barbara his notes to show the Doctor. Dortman sneaks outside with his new bombs as Jenny sees approaching Daleks. Dortman attracts their attention getting himself exterminated but blowing them up in the process proving that they work. The Doctor starts to recover with Susan's help. She wants to go north with David but the Doctor wants to stay near the Tardis. David gets the Doctor on side by flattering him and asking for his opinion. The Dalek saucer lands discharging it's crew of Daleks & Robomen plus their prisoners allowing Ian & Craddock to escape. Back in London two Robomen approach the location where the Doctor, Susan and David are hiding carrying a box which they leave behind. It's a massive bomb and the clock is ticking.

Brilliant stuff again, not a single thing wrong with the episode at all. I love the scenes between the Doctor and Susan where they quarrel and then, with a small amount of flattery, David talks the Doctor round.

The location filming is impressive too. This story is the first time the whole cast has been out on location, a double being used for the brief piece of filming in the Reign of Terror. The prominent locations used here enable you to chart the journey undertaken by Barbara and co, working out where they have had to avoid either due to damaged buildings or Daleks. It also places the Tube station base on the South Bank of the Thames, probably west of Westminster bridge making Vauxhall (at the time of filming uncompleted) a likely candidate for it's fictional location. A list plus photos of all Dalek Invasion of Earth locations can be found here.

We also, after a false start in the previous episode, get the d├ębut of the Black Dalek. Frequently referred to as a "Dalek Supreme" he, or more likely a similar Dalek, returns to menace the Doctor in The Chase, The Dalek Masterplan (and it's Doctorless prequel Mission to the Unknown), Resurrection of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks as well as both Dalek feature films. Differently designed Emperors lead them in Evil of the Daleks & Remembrance of the Daleks (There's two opposing Dalek factions in this story) while Gold Daleks lead in Day of the Daleks & Frontier in Space. A black Supreme Dalek is shown in Planet of the Daleks, but he's got a gold dome and a slightly different design due to being a recycled movie prop. Here he's almost certainly the odd Dalek we saw in the previous episode repainted: They're the only Daleks in this story with the traditional black eyes where as all the silver Daleks have silver eyes. All Daleks in this story have an enlarged base as well as the disc on their back that supplies power. This is the only story which uses these features: come their next full appearance their mobility issues, save for the always mentioned stairs, will be permanently solved with another, this time permanent, design change.

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