Which One : Meet the Daleks.
Cast : The Doctor : William Hartnell
Susan : Carol Ann Ford
Ian : William Russell
Barbara : Jacqueline Hill
Temmosus : Alan Wheatley
Alydon : John Lee
Dyoni : Virginia Wetherell
Ganatus : Philip Bond
Antodus : Marcus Hammond
Elyon : Gerald Curtis
Kristas : Jonathon Crane
Dalek Voices : Peter Hawkins & David Graham
Written By : Terry Nation
Produced By : Verity Lamb
First UK Broadcast : 1 December – 1 Feb 1964.
Length : 7 x 25 minute parts
1) “The Dead Planet”
2) “The Survivors”
3) “The Escape”
4) “The Ambush”
5) “The Expedition”
6) “The Ordeal”
7) “The Rescue”
Plot : The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara land the Tardis on a strange dead world which has petrified forests. They see a bright shiny futuristic city in the distance and decide to go investigate it.
The quartet are sure they are being followed in the forest and that someone, or something is watching them from the city.
Whats good : This has a really effective closed in claustrophobic quality to the camera work, especially in the lead up to the meeting with the Daleks. The Daleks first appearance. The Dalek city model.
Whats bad : The Thal’s look like blonde models, not bad for a mutation! They should have gone a bit more bold with the Thal makeup.
Review With Spoilers : The Daleks is the 2nd episode of season 1 and the first time that the Doctor crosses paths with the Daleks (not including the earlier timeline crossover with Tom Baker’s Genesis Of The Daleks).
The close quarter shooting angles and electronica SFX, help build a tense and claustrophobic feel, especially once the quartet get to the Dalek city.
We also get the iconic moment of the Dalek’s first appearance on screen, when Barbara is lost in the city and harrassed by a sink plunger – from the Dalek’s viewpoint.
These Daleks though – for now, are confined to running around on static electricity floor panels, within their city. Unable to leave it, until later adventures have them invading Earth and time travelling further.
All of the events that transpire here, blamewise – can be laid at the Doctor’s door. By selfishly pretending that the Tardis requires a resupply of mercury, as a ruse to persuade the others to go have a closer look at the Dalek city.
Later on, Ian is put in charge of the Tardis component and he accidentaly drops it during their escape from the city. The quartet have to return once again but this time they take a few Thals with them, in an attempted revolution.
“The only interest we have in the Thals, is their TOTAL EXTERMINATION!” Dalek.
Talking of the Thals, they are all 6-foot tall blond and green skinned models. I suppose that this was supposed to be a twist on the fact that before we met them, the Daleks referred to the Thal’s as “mutants”. which made us expect them to be alot more mutated than they infact were.
Anyhow, they should have made them look abit more weird looking, to show the harsh conditions of living within the high-levels of radiation on Skaro.
It did make me wonder though, what was inside the Dalek shells if they consider the Thal’s to be mutated. The Doctor and Ian find out, after they remove one with a blanket from inside a disabled Dalek shell but all we get to see is a weird green hand or claw poking out.
They remade this episode into a big budget film, the same year; Doctor Who & The Daleks – starred Peter Cushing as the Doctor. It used almost exactly the same script and setup as the television episode but none of the TV actors.
Overall though, the simple and claustrophobic appeal of The Daleks is left intact because it takes it’s time to build to a slow and suspenseful conclusion.
If you like Daleks and want to witness their evolution from small beginnings, then this is for you.