23 February 1974
Duncan Lamont (Dan Galloway), John Abineri (Richard Railton) [1-2], Neil Seiler (Commander Stewart) [1-2], Julian Fox (Peter Hamilton), Joy Harrison (Jill Tarrant), Mostyn Evans (High Priest) [1-2], Michael Wisher (Dalek Voices), John Scott Martin, Murphy Grunbar*, Cy Town (Daleks Operators), Arnold Yarrow (Bellal) [2-4], Roy Heymann (Gotal) .
|Written by||Terry Nation|
|Directed by||Michael E. Briant|
|Produced by||Barry Letts|
In this exciting space adventure The Doctor is forced into a desperate race against time.
An inexplicable power-loss strands the TARDIS on the sinister planet Exxilon where the Doctor meets an expedition from Earth seeking a rare material that can cure the virulent space plague that threatens all human life throughout the galaxy. Nearby, Sarah discovers a mysterious, living Citadel but is captured by the savage Exxilons who prepare her for sacrifice.
The Doctor must uncover the secrets of the ancient Exxilon City, locate the source of the power-drain, save Sarah and help the Earth expedition. But his plans are threatened by new arrivals on the planet – the Doctor’s oldest and deadliest enemies – The Daleks!
- This story had the working titles of, The Exilons, The Exxilons
- Sarah later compares the puzzles on Mars to the Exxilon City. (Pyramids of Mars)
- This story originally did not feature the Daleks, but they were included because of Barry Letts’ and Terrance Dicks’ desire to cash in on the Daleks’ popularity.
- This story marks the first time the Daleks’ weapons do not function on screen. The Daleks are later seen to be able to modify their casings relatively quickly, replacing their energy weapons with slug-throwing rifles. The Daleks target practice with miniature Police Boxes.
- Many of the Dalek casings utilised for this story dated from the 1960s (due to the unsatisfactory quality of the casings produced for Planet of the Daleks).
- The cliffhanger to Part Three – the Doctor and Bellal walking towards a patterned area on the floor, only for the Doctor to say “Stop – don’t move!” – was not originally going to be the cliffhanger. The original cliffhanger was going to be at the scene where the Doctor is trying to deduce the answer to the logic test concerning symbols, when two Daleks appear. Specifically, the cliffhanger would have hinged on the zoom towards the Dalek’s gun. This was changed, however, for timing reasons.
- Episode 1 was at one point wiped from the BBC archives, but later a copy was found to restore the serial, this is the latest known episode of Doctor Who to be, for a time at least, considered lost.
- Clips from this story were used in part 5 of the 2001 documentary series “SF:UK”.
- The scene where the Doctor and Sarah Jane exit the TARDIS onto a wasteland and discover a petrified lifeform may be a homage to The Daleks, when the Doctor’s group first landed on Skaro and encountered a petrified creature.
- Michael Wisher, who supplies the Dalek voices in this story, would later go on to portray Davros.