Day of the Daleks

Doctor WhoSir Reginald Styles, a diplomat whose efforts could keep the world away from the brink of war in the coming days, claims to have seen a ghost stalking Auderly House, his country mansion. U.N.I.T. troops search the nearby grounds and find a lone man in combat fatigues and carrying a weapon of a futuristic design. The Doctor and Jo spend a night in Auderly House, and in the morning are taken hostage by three soldiers armed with the same 22nd-century weapons, who claim they’re on a mission to kill Styles – a man who, in their history, failed to prevent a world war that left Earth vulnerable to domination by the Daleks. The Doctor and Jo are accidentally transported to the 22nd century themselves, where they find that their attackers are attempting to change history by assassinating a key figure whose role in creating the future has been misinterpreted badly.

Season 9 Regular Cast: Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant)

written by Louis Marks
directed by Paul Bernard
music by Dudley Simpson

Guest Cast: Nicholas Courtney (Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart), John Levene (Sergeant Benton), Richard Franklin (Captain Yates), Jean McFarlane (Miss Paget), Wilfrid Carter (Sir Reginald Styles), Tim Condren (Guerilla), John Scott Martin (Chief Dalek), Oliver Gilbert, Peter Messaline (Dalek voices), Aubrey Woods (Controller), Deborah Brayshaw (Technician), Gypsie Kemp (Radio Operator), Anna Barry (Anat), Jimmy Winston (Shura), Scott Fredericks (Boaz), Valentine Palmer (Monia), Andrew Carr (Guard), Peter Hill (Manager), George Raistrick (Guard), Alex MacIntosh (TV Reporter), Rick Lester, Maurice Bush, Frank Menzies, Bruce Wells, Geoffrey Todd, David Joyce (Ogrons), Ricky Newby, Murphy Grumbar (Daleks)

Broadcast from January 1 through 22, 1972

LogBook entry & review by Earl Green

Review: The first Dalek story filmed in color, as well as one of the very first commercial video releases of a Doctor Who story, Day Of The Daleks begins a trend that later culminated in the creation of Davros. The Daleks themselves appeared to help deliver a little bit of staccato exposition, and mainly to increase the ratings for four weeks. But their dirty work was handled by the Ogrons, and most of their threatening was handled by the Controller. After several years, perhaps as a result of the very long Dalek serials of the 1960s, someone realized that the Daleks take forever to utter a simple sentence, and so maybe someone more articulate would be better suited to that kind of exposition. And since this story’s Dalek voice artists were new to the job, they seemed to be more monosyllabic than usual. One possibility is Day Of The Daleksthat the Dalek-dominated 22nd century future visited by the Doctor and Jo could easily be the same future seen in 1964’s The Dalek Invasion Of Earth, which is also dated in the mid to late 22nd century.

Day Of The Daleks is also among the funniest Doctor Who episodes of Jon Pertwee’s era, particularly in the scenes where the Doctor chows down on the cheese and knocks back the wine at Auderly House, and not long afterward as Sgt. Benton and then Mike Yates hit Jo up for some food too. Even when the guerillas from the future first storm the house, the Doctor dispatches his attacker in an almost comically effortless way.

There are quite a few other interesting or just plain curious elements to the story. The sets for the Daleks’ future headquarters are an oddly open and non-specific space, and there’s another set which is rather nebulous. When we first see the Doctor and Jo, they’re hovering around the TARDIS console in a large room with doors that automatically open. Given the signature “hum” sound Doctor Whoeffect of the TARDIS and the automatic doors, one might assume – as I did for many years – that the Doctor and Jo were, in fact, standing in yet another remodeled TARDIS control room. However, there is also a phone installed, and the Brigadier strolls in quite casually, so this rules out the possibility of this being the TARDIS interior – he was amazed upon his apparent first visit to the TARDIS a year later in The Three Doctors. But you can see where I might have been confused. There’s also one of Dudley Simpson‘s most recognizably hummable musical scores as well.

Overall, it’s an average to good adventure, though in 1972, it sent the ratings for the show higher than usual, just because of the presence of the Daleks.