And so we approach this, Susan’s final regular story. Oh, she returned in “The Five Doctors”, and of course multiple times with Big Finish. But this is it as far as regular appearances go. And what a story it is.
It’s interesting to put this story into context. We have an occupied London, in a story that aired less than twenty years after the end of World War II, when an occupied London probably seemed very plausible. One could have easily imagined signs like the one we see in the opening scenes.
Then I notice that as the TARDIS arrives, a: it isn’t making the right sound, and b: someone left one of the windows open. Sign.
I’m amused that Susan twists here ankle here. This is, I think, the first time that has happened, though it won’t be the last, interestingly.
It’s also interesting to note how much “bigger” the show is now. We have multiple location shots, and Daleks a plenty. There’s much ambition in this story, and it translates well onto the screen.
This story really does do an excellent job of setting up a sense of dread. We don’t see or even hear the Daleks for a very long while in the story; all that we get instead is a deep sense that something is very wrong.
Of course we also have the shot of the wobbly saucer flying over London. Oy.
We quickly meet la Resistance, and I’m amused to note that the wheelchair guy is given a knife for protection. A knife. For a guy in a wheelchair. I mean, ok, maybe guns are in short supply, but still.
Watching the Robomen, with the way they move and act,not to mention the headgear. I’m thinking that they possibly provided a little inspiration for the Cybermen. There are some interesting similarities.
And then we have that final shot of the Dalek rising up out of the river. What a thing that must have been to an audience that wasn’t expecting it! Goodness.
Next episode: “The Daleks”