The Daleks’ Master Plan – 1965 – S3 – E4/10

image Number : Season 3, episode 4 of 9.

Which One : The Dalek’s team up with other galaxies to conquer the universe.

Cast : The Doctor : William Hartnell
Steven Taylor : Peter Purves
Katarina : Aidrienne Hill
Brett Vyon : Nicholas Courtney
Sara Kingdom : Jean Marsh
Kert Gantry : Brian Cant
Lizan : Pamela Greer
Roald : Philip Anthony
Mavic Chen : Kevin Stoney
Interviewer : Michael Guest
Zephon : Julian Sherrier
Trantis : Roy Evans
Kirksen : Douglas Sheldon
Bors : Dallas Cavell
Garge : Geoffrey Cheshire
Karlton : Maurice Browning
Daxtar : Roger Avon
Borkar : James Hall
Froyn : Bill Meilen
Rhynmal : John Herrington
Station Sergeant : Clifford Earl
First Policeman : Norman Mitchell
Second Policeman : Malcolm Rogers
Detective Inspector : Keneth Thornett
Man in Mackintosh : Reg Pritchard
Blossom Lefavre : Sheila Dunn
Darcy Tranton : Leonard Grahame
Steinberger P. Green : Royston Tickner
Ingmar Knopf : Mark Ross
Assistant director : Conrad Monk
Arab Sheik : David James
Vamp : Paula Topham
Clown : Robert G. Jewell
Professor Webster : Albert Barrington
Prop Man : Buddy Windrush
Cameraman : Steve Machin
The Meddling Monk : Peter Butterworth
Trevor : Roger Brierley
Scott : Bruce Wightman
Khepren : Jeffrey Isaac
Tuthmos : Derek Ware
Hyksos : Walter Randall

Written By : Terry Nation, Dennis Spooner & Douglas Camfield.

Produced By : John Wiles

First UK Broadcast : 13 November 1965 – 29 January 1966.

Length : 12 x 25 minute parts.

Parts :
1) “The Nightmare Begins”
2) “Day Of Armageddon”
3) “The Devil’s Planet”
4) “The Traitors”
5) “Counter Plot”
6) “Coronas Of The Sun”
7) “The Feast Of Steven” (Xmas Special)
8) “Volcano”
9) “Golden Death”
10) “Escape Switch”
11) “The Abandoned Planet”
12) “The Destruction Of Time”

Plot : The Doctor lands on planet Kembel, to look for help for the injured Steven and runs into the Dalek’s and Brett Vyon; who has been searching for the missing astronauts from Mission To The Unknown.

After learning of the Dalek’s plans of universal dominaton, the Doctor must find a way to warn Earth and stop the Daleks. In a journey, that will take the Doctor via a number of different planets and locations.

Whats good : A 12-part epic involving the Daleks. Sheer number of characters, setups and locations involved. Brett Vyon. Mavic Chen. Katarina’s, Brett’s and Sara’s shock deaths. The Meddling Monk.

Whats bad : Separate strands are left under-developed. The last 2 episodes drag a-bit. Sara Kingdom could have been a good replacement companion. The weird out-of-place Xmas episode “Feast Of Steven”. Another lost Beeb classic.

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Review With Spoilers : The Daleks’ Master Plan is the 4th episode of season 3 and forms 4 truncated stories within an overarching Dalek story. It is missing from the Beeb archives, due to deletion – bar parts 2, 5 & 10.

The Doctor takes the Tardis to planet Kembel, looking for aid for the injured Steven. He meets Brett Vyon and learns of the Daleks plans to conquer the universe.

After having stolen an integral part (a container of Terranium) of the Dalek’s time destructor bomb. The Doctor (with Brett’s help) attempts to warn Earth of the Dalek plot by stealing a spaceship.

After reaching Earth, the Doctor, Brett and Steven meet Sara Kingdom and realise that the Dalek conspiracy involves Earth’s highest leader; Mavic Chen.

The Dalek’s Master Plan is an epic 12-part saga which encompasses a number of separate smaller adventures. In a story which begins, with the prologue episode; Mission To The Unknown.

With similar elements present here, as in Terry Nation’s other Dalek multi-episode; The Chase. The Dalek’s Master Plan takes in a large number of separate stories, subplots, characters and locations.

Nation spews forth a multitude of ideas and concepts, so many infact – that we aren’t quite givenenough time to explore them all fully. Infact, some of his ideas, such as; the Meddling Monk chasing the Doctor all over space-and-time; could have been made into their own episodes.

Making his first appearance in Who, is Nicholas Courtney (later to reappear as the Brigadier) Along with a re-appearance by the Meddling Monk last seen in The Time Meddler.

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“…..and Mavic Chen has given this [Terranium] to the Daleks to complete one of the most evil weapons ever devised. Their Time Destructor!”

Jean Marsh is also good as the strong and determined Earth security agent; Sarah Kingdom. Another good turn, is by the delightfully OTT; Mavic Chen – played by Kevin Stoney, as a despotic cross between Fu-Man Chu and Ming The Merciless.

Nation effectively and ruthlessly dispatches his characters for grisly shock-effect. Katarina is blown out of an airlock. Brett Vyon is needlessly gunned down. Sara ages to death (Indiana Jones style), because of the activated Time Destructor.

It gives The Dalek’s Master Plan a poignant and grim edge, with so much incurred loss by the good guys – to defeat the Daleks. Even the Doctor risks his own life, to defeat the Daleks by activating the Time Destructor.

As grim as it gets – though, there is also alot of (mostly black) humour on display here aswell. The Meddling Monk’s bumbling turn and the Dalek’s continually exterminating their alien council members – due to disagreement. Or even the Dalek’s exterminating a teleported cage of mice.

Infamously, part 7 takes time out from the Dalek plot. To feature a bizarre-slapstick-cum-comedy Xmas episode, called “The Feast Of Steven”. Set in various locations on Earth. A later episode (screened over new year) has a nod to an Earth new year’s celebration.

The macguffin in The Dalek’s Master Plan, is called “Terranium”. A tinned substance needed to power the Dalek’s – Time Destructor. The Doctor steals the substance from the Daleks at the beginning and spends the rest of the adventure, in a mexican stand-off.

The Dalek’s Master Plan could have been a great exit for Hartnell’s Doctor, at the end. Sacrificing himself to render the Time Destructor spent. But he strangely survives unaffected by it’s destructive power, an unreferenced nod to his superior Time Lord psyhiology, perhaps?

The Dalek’s Master Plan is a variety of Who stories with elements that everyone can enjoy. The plot moves at breakneck speed and the vast supporting cast turn in some really memorable and unique performances.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Old Doctor Who