Also sometimes known as “The Daleks’ Master Plan”, this story is a steaming, twelve-part of pile of, “eh. It’s not great.”
This story really wasn’t great. It was yet another example of a decent four, five, or even six part story, carefully stretched into (yikes!), twelve parts. This really was just way too long with way too much filler.
It didn’t have to be like this, of course. The basic plot (the Daleks executing a grand plan to take over the universe), is decent enough, if a bit of a stretch. But the end product is merely a shadow of what could have been.
Why the Monk, for example? I like the character, and this is his final TV appearance so far, but why is he here? He’s wasted in his brief appearances.
Why yet another mini version of “The Chase”? I don’t really need to see the TARDIS crew, yet again, on the run from the Daleks, traveling through space and time as they try to get away.
Then there’s the really bad parts about this story. Those are Mavic Chen and Sara Kingdom. Not that I disliked the characters. No, quite the contrary. But they could have been better used in a different story where they weren’t going to be overshadowed by the Daleks.
This story might be helped by finding the missing episodes, or it might not. Frankly, I just don’t think it’s all that. Easily the weakest of the Dalek stories so far, and that’s saying quite a bit.
One final note. I’m not going to be doing a character profile for Sara Kingdom. Her companion status is borderline at best, though certainly more solid than Katarina. Her best moments also happen in the Big Finish audio stories that feature her, which makes things problematical. Plus, frankly, she just wasn’t on screen enough for me to develop any real view of her other than a vague fondness. Though to be fair, at least she’s a more interesting character in those few episodes than Dodo manages to be.
|Writer||Terry Nation (episodes 1–5, 7)
Dennis Spooner (episodes 6, 8–12)
|Script editor||Donald Tosh|
|Incidental music composer||Tristram Cary|
|Length||12 episodes, 25 minutes each|
|Episode(s) missing||9 episodes (1, 3, 4, 6–9, 11 and 12)|
|Date started||13 November 1965|
|Date ended||29 January 1966|
Next episode: “War of God”
Next story: “The Massacre”