The TARDIS brings the Doctor and Sarah to Exxilon, but not by choice – an enormous sentient city on the planet drains so much energy from everything around it that the TARDIS is quickly rendered powerless. And the Doctor is not the only unwelcome visitor on Exxilon: an expedition of humans is there mining a substance necessary to cure a plague on Earth, though their ship is now useless. And soon, a ship full of Daleks arrives, on a mission to deprive the humans of that same precious drug – and their exterminating weapons are also left without power. Two factions of native Exxilons complicate this dilemma further, a group of superstitious traditionalists who worship the living city, and a smaller group of rational rebels, led by Bellal. Bellal befriends the Doctor and Sarah, and soon finds himself joining the Doctor on a hazardous journey into the city itself. But if the Doctor disables the city, it means the Daleks will regain their power and exterminate everyone on the surface.
written by Terry Nation
directed by Michael Bryant
music by Carey Blyton
Guest Cast: Arnold Yarrow (Bellal), Roy Heymann (Gotal), Duncan Lamont (Galloway), John Abineri (Railton), Julian Fox (Hamilton), Joy Harrison (Jill Tarrant), Neil Seiler (Stewart), Mostyn Evans (High Priest), Terry Walsh (Spaceman), Steven Ismay, Terry Walsh (Zombies), John Scott Martin, Murphy Grumbar, Cy Town (Daleks), Michael Wisher (Dalek voices)
Broadcast from February 23 to March 16, 1974
LogBook entry & review by Earl Green
Review: Probably the best Dalek show of the third Doctor’s era, Death To The Daleks actually involves the Daleks in the story instead of assigning them a spokesperson or more agile henchmen (both of which happened in Day Of The Daleks). It’s also just four episodes long – most Dalek stories which exceed this length are asking for trouble – an ideal length. The Exxilon city is also a fascinating bunch of sets, and many of the “brain game” tests were repeated in The Five Doctors.
One of the most bizarre things about this adventure is the strange music, with the almost-whimsical sound of an electronically-modulated sax quartet. Though the Daleks are reduced in power by the story, the music gave them an almost cartoonish utter lack of menace.