The Dalek Invasion of Earth
The Dalek Invasion of Earth was the second story in Season 2 of Doctor Who. It saw the return of the Daleks, who had proven quite popular when they first appeared in Season 1. Terry Nation wrote the script, this time bringing the Daleks to Earth.
This was the first story to be produced at the new Riverside Studios, the production team having moved from Lime Grove Studios. It also saw a quarry used for location filming for the first time.
The Dalek Invasion of Earth saw Susan part company with the Doctor, the first of his companions to leave. She does not reappear on television until The Five Doctors.
During filming, William Hartnell fell after the ramp of the Dalek flying saucer, down which he was being carried by Richard McNeff (Baker), suddenly collapsed. Hartnell fell on a metal camera stand, landing awkwardly on his spine. Although he was temporarily paralyzed, he recovered sufficiently to continue the recording, but it was decided he should have the following week off to recover from the bruised back he had sustained.
The Daleks first started using “exterminate” on a regular basis to refer to the killing of individuals. This furthers their parallels with Nazism, established in their debut. Here they go so far as to refer to the killings as a “final solution”, a phrase associated with Nazism. (Prior to this, the Daleks had been using the term “exterminated”, but it was during the final episode of this serial, “Flashpoint”, that the word destined to become the Daleks’ catchphrase was uttered for the first time.)
This also is the first episode in which the Daleks are seen on Earth. This story sees several famous London landmarks appear. Most seem to be relatively unchanged two hundred years later. These landmarks include Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament and Battersea Power Station.
The dating of this story provides contradictory evidence. Ian finds a calendar with 2164 on it, but suggests it hasn’t been used since the invasion began. A local states that the bombardment started ten years ago, putting it in at 2174, but in The Daleks’ Master Plan, the Doctor claims the invasion took place in 2157. Terry Nation once suggested it took place in 2142, but this seems to be an attempt to link the invasion to the Blitz, the event on which it was supposedly based. The 2014 audio story Masters of Earth uses 2164, being set in 2163 itself.
As with The Daleks, this story was adapted into a movie entitled Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. However, it underperformed and so this was the last Doctor Who serial to be adapted for the cinema.
Episode 1: World’s End
A man staggers towards the River Thames, wearing ragged clothes and a strange metal helmet. He screams, tearing the straps off the helmet, walks into the river, and drowns himself. Near the same spot, the TARDIS materializes. The Doctor cannot see where they have landed but it appears to have a similar atmosphere to Earth. When they leave the TARDIS it is clear that they have landed in London. Ian and Barbara are delighted they have returned home at last, but it is a curiously silent and deserted London. The Doctor is concerned about the decay they see around them and wonders what year it is, fearing that it is nowhere near Ian and Barbara’s time. Susan tries to look over a wall, but slips and twists her ankle. The force of her fall causes the bridge under which the TARDIS has materialized to collapse, burying the TARDIS and blocking the travelers’ access to it.
The Doctor and Ian decide to look around in a nearby warehouse for tools to help unblock the TARDIS door. Barbara remains behind to look after Susan. Exploring an abandoned warehouse, Ian and the Doctor are unaware they are being watched. From a window, Ian spies Battersea Power Station with its chimneys damaged, while the Doctor finds a calendar marked 2164.
Back with the TARDIS, Barbara goes to the river to soak a handkerchief for Susan’s ankle, but as she does she sees the body of the man that killed himself earlier. She returns back to Susan only to find her gone and a dirty-faced man there instead. The man tells her that they have to get out of there before they get killed, and that Susan has been taken by someone called Tyler. He urges her to follow as the sound of automatic fire is heard in the distance.
Meanwhile, in the warehouse, the Doctor and Ian stumble across a corpse wearing the same strange helmet seen earlier. They also find an electronic receiver attached to the helmet and a whip on the body, and discover that the man has been stabbed to death. They decide to return to the others. As they do they are shocked to see a flying saucer hovering over the city.
Barbara is still following the man across the ruins of London. Tyler carries Susan down a flight of steps into an empty Underground station as Barbara catches up. Susan and Barbara demand that they find the others, but Tyler says that there is no time. Tyler activates a secret panel and David Campbell emerges from it, telling Tyler that he had a struggle with a Roboman and that they will have to tell Dortmun to change the storehouse. He also reveals that he saw the Doctor and Ian in the warehouse but thought they were enemies. Dortmun, a man in a wheelchair, arrives, and Tyler tells him that a saucer has landed at the heliport. Dortmun says that this time they will be ready for “them”. Dortmun is glad to see Susan and Barbara, especially since Barbara can cook. David goes to find the Doctor and Ian whilst Tyler takes Susan and Barbara below. Dortmun stays on watch, armed only with a knife, similar in style to the one that had killed the corpse in the warehouse.
Ian and the Doctor have arrived back at the TARDIS to find the women gone. They decide to wait to see if they return. Ian finds a poster forbidding the dumping of bodies in the river and wonders if it is plague that has emptied the city. David spots them from a window but he also sees several Robomen converging on their position. The Doctor and Ian find themselves surrounded, but the Robomen only tell them to stop in flat tones. The two try to run for it, but turn to see, rising from the Thames, the distinctive form of a Dalek.
Episode 2: The Daleks
The Dalek asks the Robomen why the humans were allowed so close to the river and why the area was not guarded. They get no answer.
The Dalek orders that the Doctor and Ian be brought to the landing area, and warns the Doctor that resistance is useless and that they have already conquered the Earth.
In the resistance base, the humans listen to Dalek propaganda broadcasts demanding their surrender. A young, rather precocious woman, called Jenny, tends to Susan’s ankle while Barbara prepares food. Tyler and Dortmun debate about whether they are capable of attacking the Dalek saucer with the numbers they have. Dortmun shows off a new acid bomb that he has created, which he is confident will shatter the Dalek casings. David returns, reporting the capture of the Doctor and Ian. They have been taken to the heliport at Chelsea.
At the heliport Ian expresses his confusion, as they saw the Daleks destroyed on Skaro. The Doctor explains that Skaro was a million years from the present — what they are witnessing is the middle period of Dalek history long before their extinction. Ian and the Doctor are joined by two other prisoners. The Dalek guards usher the prisoners into the saucer. One of the other men tries to escape and is exterminated.
Back in the base, David explains that the Daleks operate on some of their human prisoners and turn them into Robomen, but the transfer operation is unstable and eventually the Robomen go insane and turn suicidal. The saucer is where the transfer takes place and he states that once inside the saucer no human has ever returned.
On the saucer, the Doctor and Ian are put in a cell together with another prisoner, Craddock. Ian asks him how the invasion happened. Ten years before, meteorites brought a plague to Earth, splitting the Earth into small communities. Six months later the Dalek saucers landed. Some humans were turned into Robomen, others were destroyed or sent to the mining areas in Bedfordshire. Craddock does not know, however, what the Daleks want out of the ground. The Daleks discuss the imprisoned Doctor and consider him more intelligent than any human they have encountered.
The resistance plans the assault. They debate ways of launching their attack. Barbara suggests using the Robomen helmets as a disguise to get them close enough to use Dortmun’s bombs.
Meanwhile, the Doctor attempts to manipulate a device inside the cell, which he suspects to contain a key to the door. Much to Craddock’s derision he judges the box to have some sort of light activated trigger. He releases the key and reverses the polarity of the force field around the door, setting the trio free. However, as soon as they are free they are recaptured. Ian and Craddock are imprisoned again but the Doctor is taken away to be robotized. The Doctor is placed on a transfer table as, outside the saucer, the resistance forces gather.
The fake Robomen are questioned by the Daleks as they enter the ship. The Daleks question them and — seconds before they are uncovered — the resistance attack. General confusion prevails and the Robomen get on board the saucer. All Daleks are called to arms; however, the transfer of the Doctor is ordered to go ahead.
Episode 3: Day of Reckoning
Members of the resistance group overpower a Roboman and successfully free the unconscious Doctor from the machine. They escape from the saucer with the prisoners. Dortmun’s bombs, however, are proving ineffective. Dalek blasts and gunfire mix with the chaos of dying men as they scramble away. In the confusion, Barbara is injured and Ian remains behind on the saucer whilst David and Susan are also lost. Tyler is separated from the Doctor. When he returns to base to find Barbara recuperating, he tells Dortmun that he is going to search for survivors of the raid and then leave London. Dortmun wants to go to the Civic Transport Museum, another gathering place, to get supplies so he can continue working on his bombs. Barbara and Jenny agree to go with him.
In the saucer, the Daleks receive an order from Supreme Command to destroy London with firebombs and go to the mining colonies in Bedfordshire. The saucer lifts off, on its way to the mines. Ian emerges from his hiding place, only to bump into a robotized Craddock, who is escorting a prisoner for transfer. Ian struggles with Craddock and takes off Craddock’s robo helmet. Whether through accident or by suicide Craddock stumbles against the transfer machinery and is electrocuted. The prisoner introduces himself as Larry — he had stolen aboard the saucer in order to hitch a ride to Bedfordshire to find his brother. They get rid of Craddock’s body via a disposal chute.
David and Susan hide from Dalek patrols, and listen in horror as the sounds of extermination echo around them. Susan wishes she could just go back to the TARDIS and get out of here, and suggests that she could persuade her grandfather to take David along. David tells her that running away does not solve all problems, and besides, Earth is his planet and he cannot abandon it. Susan thinks about how she has never had a place she could call home. David says that someday she will. Suddenly, they hear a noise. David draws his gun in anticipation of it being a Roboman or possibly a Dalek but finds Baker, carrying the drugged Doctor. Baker says he will be heading for the Cornish coast, but, just as he leaves the others, he is intercepted and exterminated by a Dalek patrol.
On the streets of London, deserted except for Daleks, Jenny, Barbara, and Dortmun avoid the patrols and make it to the museum. There, Dortmun finds his notes and determines the fault was not with the bombs but with the dalekanium casings of the Daleks. He comes up with a new formula for the acid bomb. He wishes that he would have a second opinion and urges Barbara to show the Doctor if they are ever reunited. Barbara tells him he can give it to the Doctor himself, but once she leaves the room, Dortmun leaves his notes behind and goes outside to try the new bombs against the Daleks himself. Rising from his wheelchair he throws a bomb at them as they exterminate him. However, yet again the new bomb fails to make an impact. Barbara and a distraught Jenny make their escape.
The Doctor begins to get feeling back in his legs. Susan tells him that David suggests heading north to meet with a resistance group there but the Doctor says that he they should try to reach the TARDIS, tetchily observing that Susan seems to trust David’s word over his. Susan protests that it is simply because David knows this time better. David returns, saying that there are patrols everywhere, and asks the Doctor for his advice as he is the senior member of the party. Somewhat mollified by the gesture of respect, the Doctor “suggests” to David that they make their way north. Susan is pleased.
Hidden in the saucer, Larry tells Ian of his brother Phil’s theory that the Daleks are mining to extract the magnetic core of Earth. The saucer finally lands and the Daleks disembark with their new workers and the Roboman guards. Ian and Larry leave through the disposal chute and make for the nearest tunnel. Back in London, two Robomen place a Dalek firebomb near the Doctor, Susan, and David’s hiding place, and it begins to tick down.
Episode 4: The End of Tomorrow
The trio discover the fire bomb. The shock coupled with the drugs causes the Doctor to pass out, leaving David and Susan to defuse the firebomb on their own. David uses acid from one of Dortmun’s bombs to burn through the casing, and removes the timing mechanism before it can trigger the explosive. David suggests they leave the Doctor while they search for a way through the sewers out of London. Susan does not like the idea of leaving the Doctor alone, but David says they have no choice and will return to him as soon as they find a route.
Meanwhile, Barbara and Jenny fix up a lorry from the museum in preparation to drive up to Bedfordshire. Jenny is characteristically pessimistic about the exercise, but Barbara convinces her that they are left with no option.
Larry and Ian are moving through the countryside of Bedfordshire which has been decimated with Dalek mining equipment. They spot a group of human slaves pulling a carriage of metal parts towards a mine shaft whilst being whipped. Trying to get under cover, they meet a man called Wells, who thinks they are escaped workers. He tries to cover for them when a Roboman comes to take them for selection to be robotized. The Roboman attacks Wells for going against his orders but Ian and Larry knock the Roboman out. Wells tells them he was here to meet a man named Ashton, a black marketeer. Ian wants to meet Ashton, hoping he has a way to get him back to London. Wells informs Ian that the Daleks have destroyed the city.
In London, Barbara and Jenny ride out of the museum in the lorry, past Dortmun’s corpse. They meet a Dalek roadblock, but Barbara crashes the lorry through the Daleks. Their position is reported back to the saucer, which gives orders to intercept them. As they race away they hear a noise and discover it to be a Dalek saucer hovering above them. Jenny and Barbara manage to leap out of the lorry before it is destroyed by the saucer.
David and Susan move through the sewers. They discover a bullet and suspect there might be others down there. They hear a noise behind them. As they wheel around they discover that it is Tyler. Tyler informs them of alligators that have escaped from zoos and now live in the sewers. The trio plough on to find a way to safety. Susan begins to get desolate but David says that one day it will be all over and they can rebuild the planet from the start. Susan finds the idea of a fresh start exciting and David suggests that she could be a part of the rebuilding. Susan likes this suggestion. They soon lose track of Tyler. In an effort to find him Susan climbs down a ladder which becomes separated from the wall and leaves her hanging over an expanse of water where an alligator waits for her. David soon joins her and fires at the alligator. Tyler joins them and says he has found the Doctor. The trio return to the surface.
In Bedfordshire, Larry and Ian stumble across a hideous creature and dive into a shack for safety. They discover Ashton, who is pointing a gun at them. Ashton is unsympathetic to the men’s plight and refuses to take Ian with him to London. He is on the brink of forcing them out the door towards the creature, which he informs them is a Slyther, a guard dog for the Daleks. Just in time Wells comes in and presents Ashton with an item of jewelry in exchange for the food he has smuggled in and in order to smuggle Ian out. He agrees. However, the Slyther breaks through the window of the cabin and attacks Ashton. Ian and Larry escape but come across a sheer drop as they are pursued by the monstrous Slyther.
Episode 5: The Waking Ally
The two try to run but are cut off by the Slyther. They elect to jump into a mining bucket suspended over the pit, and although the Slyther tries to jump after them, Ian hits it with a rock and causes it to fall to its death. They decide to hide out in the bucket in order to ensure that anyone that may have been alerted by the Slyther loses interest. Before Ian and Larry can climb out of the bucket, it starts to descend.
In London, Robomen pursue the Doctor and his party back into the sewers. Tyler and David lay an ambush, and manage to subdue them. The Doctor stops short of killing the Robomen, saying that he only kills beings if they pose an immediate threat to him.
On the road to Bedfordshire and forced to continue their journey on foot, Jenny and Barbara find a hovel in the countryside with two seemingly unhinged women, seeking shelter from a storm. The women are left alone by the Daleks because they make clothes for the slave workers in exchange for food. Barbara offers them food in exchange for staying the night. The older woman whispers something to the younger one, who rushes off quickly, stating to Barbara and Jenny that she needs to deliver clothes.
Ian and Larry finally reach the bottom of the shaft and jump down the last twelve feet before the bucket tips over. Larry injures his knee as he falls, but Ian is unscathed.
Back in the house, the woman returns to reveal that she has been sent to get the Daleks, who take Barbara and Jenny as prisoner. The two women receive food for their betrayal.
Back in the the mine Ian wonders why the shaft contains only equipment made for shifting rocks and not processing ore. Larry repeats his brother’s theory that the Daleks are after the Earth’s core. They are interrupted by a working party led by a Roboman. They initially try to hide but Wells informs them that they will be seen. Their only option is to try to blend in with a working party. They are confronted by a Roboman — Larry’s brother, Phil. Larry pleads with Phil, trying to make him remember who he is, but Phil prepares to shoot them, saying that they are runaways. Larry tells Ian to run as Phil fires his machine gun, mortally wounding Larry as Larry tries to strangle him. Both die, with Phil’s last word being a strangled, “Larry…” Alarms sound as the workers seize their chance for freedom.
In the countryside, Susan and David flirt and wrestle before they unexpectedly kiss. They are interrupted by the Doctor and Tyler. The Doctor has deduced the reasons why the Daleks are here — something deep beneath the Earth, tampering with the forces of creation. Tyler is skeptical but says that it is the only explanation as it is the only thing unique to Earth.
Ian makes his way deeper into the mine, noticing Jenny and Barbara, who have joined a working party. Jenny is in despair, but Barbara says they must find the control room, as that is what the Doctor would do. Ian keeps hidden, but tells Wells to pass word to Barbara that he is here. Before he can do this, Barbara comes up with a plan to get herself to the control room. She tells the Daleks that the rebels are planning an attack, and shows them Dortmun’s notes as proof of this. She asks to speak to someone in authority and they agree to take her to the commanding Dalek.
Meanwhile, the Daleks report to the commanding Dalek that they have almost reached the outer crust of the core. All that remains is to set up the penetration explosive. Once the core is removed, they will replace it with a power system that will allow the Daleks to pilot the planet anywhere in the universe.
As this plan is revealed to the Daleks through a PA system, Ian uses a small shell as a hiding place. Little does he know that this is the penetration explosive. He is sealed in and moved towards the drop zone as he helplessly surveys the wires around him.
Episode 6: Flashpoint
Ian disconnects some wires inside the casing, stopping its descent. The Robomen start pulling it back up the shaft, while Ian opens a panel at the bottom of the casing and climb out using the rope that runs through the shell. A Dalek spots him, however, and severs the rope, causing Ian to slide down the shaft and fall against a door at the bottom of the pit.
At that point, Barbara and Jenny are escorted into the Dalek control room. The Chief Dalek orders that all humans be moved to the lower galleries to be exterminated in the final blast. The Daleks relay the orders to the Robomen through a microphone, which Barbara notices. Barbara suspects that the Robomen get all their orders solely from the microphone and that if they were able to get to it they could override the Daleks orders. The Chief Dalek interrogates Barbara and she tries to stall by telling them of an elaborate mutiny that involves Red Indians, the Boston Tea Party, Robert E. Lee and Hannibal, panicking the Daleks momentarily. She tries to use the microphone, but she is caught and recaptured. She and Jenny are immobilized with clamps around their necks to await destruction when the bomb explodes.
Outside, the Doctor tells Susan and David to destroy an aerial on the far side of the mine with Dortmun’s bombs whilst he and Tyler will go into the mine itself.
Ian opens the door which he has found himself against and finds himself in the lower gallery. He discovers the Robomen and the human slaves hauling timber and hides. When they leave, he puts some of the spars into the bomb shaft, where it props the door open for him as well as blocks the path of the bomb. The Daleks are unaware of this, however, and evacuate.
The Doctor neutralizes the warning system. He and Tyler make their way into the control room, where they free Jenny and Barbara. He explains that David and Susan’s mission will immobilize the Daleks. The Doctor tries to use the Dalek’s scanners, but just as he gets David and Susan on the screen the Daleks come back sensing interference with their machinery. As the Daleks move towards a defiant Doctor, David and Susan succeed and the Daleks stop in their tracks. Barbara and the Doctor use the microphone to tell the Robomen to turn against the Daleks. Human workers and Robomen break into open revolt and stream out of the mine.
Ian is reunited with the others. From where the bomb has stopped, it will not succeed in penetrating the crust but will still produce a gigantic explosion. As they reach higher ground, the bomb explodes, making the ground around the mine collapse and cause an entirely new phenomenon — a volcanic eruption in England. The Dalek saucer is caught in the upward thrust of the explosion. The invasion is over.
Back in London, the resistance helps the Doctor uncover the TARDIS as the chimes of Big Ben herald a new beginning for mankind. Susan is saddened at the prospect of leaving, and the Doctor seems to sense this. He goes into the TARDIS while Susan goes to say good-bye to David. Barbara takes Ian back into the TARDIS so they can leave Susan and David alone. David tells Susan that he loves her and asks her to stay and marry him, offering her the place and identity she has been yearning for. Susan admits she loves him too, but she also needs to look after her grandfather, and begs him not to make her choose between them. The Doctor, suspecting this all along and having heard Susan’s pleas, makes Susan’s choice for her. He double-locks the doors of the TARDIS, preventing Susan from entering. He tells a distraught Susan through the scanner that she will always be his grandchild, but she is a woman now, and he wants her to have a home; David will take care of her. Saying one last good-bye and saying he will one day return, he makes the TARDIS dematerialize. Susan looks forlornly around the empty space where the TARDIS used to be, fingering the TARDIS key on the chain around her neck. David reaches his hand out to her and she takes it, dropping the key onto the ground and walking away.