Day of the Daleks was the first serial of season 9 of Doctor Who. It is notable for marking the return of the Daleks as ongoing adversaries of the Doctor, after they had effectively been retired five years earlier in The Evil of the Daleks. This serial saw the first appearance of the Ogrons, ape-like humanoids used as guards by the Daleks. The story is historically important for the first Dalek serial produced in colour.
Both Pertwee and Manning, although acknowledging the story as a fan favourite, cited Day as the nadir of their Doctor Who experience. Chief among their complaints was the unreality of the Dalek attack on Auderly House, which they found to be a pathetic affair: the paltry number of Daleks for the attack, which Pertwee estimated at two, could not reasonably have launched a fearsome end battle. (DOC: PanoptiCon 93) Traditionally, this had not been a noteworthy concern among fans, because historically most fans first encountered this serial by way of the Terrence Dicks novelisation, or in the form of audio recordings, in which these concerns were, for obvious reasons, not a factor.
This aspect of the story apparently bothered 2|entertain, as they paid for it to be somewhat reshot and enhanced for the 2011 DVD special edition release containing remastered audio and video quality, with CGI special effects, and other touched-up effects. The voices of the Daleks were redubbed by the revival-era voice actor of most Daleks, Nicholas Briggs. Having refined his portrayal of the Daleks to a degree of high confidence with his performance, his renditions of their voices are much smoother and harsher than the somewhat tentative delivery of the original voice artists, Oliver Gilbert and Peter Messaline. As this was the first serial in several years to feature the Daleks, both were new to the role of providing Dalek voices: neither of them had previously worked on the series, and they had difficulty cementing their portrayals. Producer Barry Letts decided not to use them in this role again, and for the remainder of the Pertwee era Michael Wisher and Roy Skelton became the main voice artists portraying the Daleks.
This was the first Dalek story to have a home video release. Along with The Five Doctors and Revenge of the Cybermen, it is one of the serials which had the most varied history of home video releases, having appeared in multiple versions on VHS, DVD and laserdisc. It's unique amongst LD releases in that it was released in both the United States and the United Kingdom. Indeed, it is the only Jon Pertwee story, aside from The Five Doctors, to be made available on LD. Moreover, it's the only Pertwee story, to be made available on British LD. It is also the last Doctor Who story to be released on Betamax.
Freedom fighters from the 22nd Century attempt to thwart a new Dalek invasion of Earth, by going back in time to the late 20th century to assassinate Sir Reginald Styles, a delegate to the second World Peace Conference, whose actions their history blames for the subsequent Dalek conquest.
Sir Reginald Styles, Britain's Chief Representative at the UN, is working late in his study. He goes to the window, where he is attacked by a man dressed in the manner of a guerilla, carrying a futuristic-looking weapon. But as the man raises the weapon, he suddenly disappears. Miss Paget, Sir Reginald's secretary, enters and he tells her what has happened.
At UNIT H.Q., the Brigadier takes a phone call from the Minister, who wants to know what he is doing about the report that Miss Paget has given them. The Brigadier says he is putting his best man on it, and was about to brief him when the Minister called.
In the laboratory, the Doctor is trying to fix the dematerialisation circuit from his TARDIS, with Jo's help. As he ducks under the console to fix something, the lab door swings open and Jo is stunned to see another version of herself and the Doctor outside. The alternate Doctor tells them not to be alarmed and says that they are just suffering crossed time streams. The console short circuits, and the alternate Doctor and Jo disappear. The Doctor assures Jo it was a freak event and unlikely to happen again, but that it is symptomatic of the odd things which can happen if one tampers with time. The Brigadier enters and tells them of what has happened to Sir Reginald. He explains that Styles is a key figure at the forthcoming World Peace Conference, who needs to convince the Chinese delegation to attend, as at the moment they are refusing to do so and the conference cannot start without them.
A guerilla from the 22nd century appears in the middle of a field. He approaches Sir Reginald's house, but he hears a noise that forces him to turn and flee. He is knocked unconscious by two huge ape-like alien figures.
Miss Paget tells the Doctor, Jo and the Brigadier her story. Sir Reginald enters and doesn't want to talk about it. He is putting it all down to a bad dream. The Doctor points out that there are muddy footprints on the floor that prove it isn't. The Brigadier asks for permission to search the grounds. Sir Reginald gives it, but says that they will not find anything.
However, the search by UNIT forces finds the unconscious guerilla with another of the futuristic weapons. Sgt Benton then discovers a black box hidden nearby that appears to consist of futuristic technology.
The ape-like alien creatures report back to their human Controller in the 22nd Century, that they found the "enemy". The Controller says they must intensify their efforts until all who are responsible for "this menace" are eliminated.
The Brigadier shows Sir Reginald the futuristic gun, while the Doctor describes the man. Sir Reginald is not interested and just wants to leave for Peking to begin his attempt to talk the Chinese into attending the peace conference. Meanwhile, Benton is transporting the unconscious soldier to hospital in an ambulance.
The Doctor has identified the weapon as an ultrasonic disintegrator. However, despite the fact that the technology is alien, the materials used to make it are from Earth. The Brigadier asks how this can be? The Doctor asks if the Brigadier believes in ghosts. The Doctor says they need to broaden their definition of what ghosts are. He reminds Jo that they saw two ghosts of themselves earlier in the day. The Doctor moves on to the box, and says it is some kind of time machine: he shows them a mini dematerialisation circuit inside. He shows them how he believes it works. Unexpectedly, it begins to operate, and the guerilla disappears from the ambulance, fading away, transported by the device back to his own time.
A woman technician in the 22nd century registers the use of the time transmitter, but loses the trace. The Controller is furious. Suddenly, a Dalek appears and orders him to report.
The Doctor says that the temporal feedback circuit on the machine has overloaded. The phone rings and the Brigadier is informed by Benton of the soldier's disappearance. The Doctor observes that all of this centres around Sir Reginald's house, and asks Jo if she wants to spend the night in a haunted house.
That evening, the Doctor and Jo settle themselves down in Sir Reginald's study, after having sent all the servants away. Outside the house, UNIT forces are in position.
Within the grounds of Sir Reginald's house, a time portal opens.
The Doctor and Jo are waiting. Jo is nervous, but the Doctor is fine. Jo looks around and is startled by Benton. Jo goes to give Benton some bread and cheese but, just as he starts to eat, Yates arrives and sends him away to check on a patrol. Yates takes Benton's snack, saying "R.H.I.P., Jo. ... Rank Has Its Privileges!" When Jo returns, the Doctor starts to tell her an anecdote about Napoleon, when they are interrupted by a window blowing open in the wind. Jo is scared, but the Doctor calmly closes it.
Three more 22nd century guerillas arrive in the grounds, through the portal. Their leader orders them to wait until it is light.
Jo is asleep whilst the Doctor is fiddling with the time transmitter. He gives up and wakes her up. It is morning, and nothing has come to pass.
But outside, the guerillas from the future move towards Sir Reginald's house. They come across a two-man UNIT patrol and disintegrate them.
The Brigadier checks up on the radio traffic. There has been nothing all night. But suddenly an emergency signal from Geneva comes through. The international situation is worse, and war is inevitable. There has been no news from Sir Reginald.
The Doctor continues to tinker with the time transmitter. He gets up to look for Jo, leaving it running. The guerillas outside see him and aim their weapons at him, but before they can fire he moves away from the windows. A guerilla approaches the house and storms the room. The Doctor enters and disarms him with Venusian Karate. The guerilla begs him to turn the machine off or they will all be killed.
The woman technician in the 22nd century time zone picks up the signal again. The zone's Controller orders her to obtain the space-time coordinates of the detected transmitter. He goes to report to the Daleks. They tell him that whoever is operating the time transmitter is an enemy and must be exterminated.
The other guerillas interrupt the Doctor and hold him at gunpoint.
The Controller goes to the Daleks and says they have lost the trace of the Time Transmitter. The Daleks order him to find the people using it.
The guerillas marvel at how an innocent-looking man can be capable of such crimes and they prepare him for his execution. The Doctor and Jo are confused until they refer to him as "Sir Reginald". The leader, Anat, does not believe him, but the Doctor shows her the newspaper on the table. They ask who the Doctor is and he says he came back to see them as he knew they would return. Anat orders the rest of the guerillas out.
Benton reports to Yates that two men in a UNIT patrol has failed to report in, and are missing.
As Anat and the Doctor talk, the guerillas re-enter and say that UNIT forces are coming. They all hide in the cellar. Yates radios the Brigadier to tell him.
However, the Brigadier is on the phone to the Minister and has no time to speak to Yates, telling him to organise a search of the grounds and report back to him.
Yates and Benton do so. The guerillas tie up and gag the Doctor and Jo whilst Anat explores. When they are left alone the Doctor and Jo break free of their gags. Jo says the guerillas are criminals but the Doctor says they shouldn't judge until they have all the facts. They try and break each other free of their binds but can't. The Doctor dates the gun to two hundred years in the future but doesn't understand why people from the 22nd century would return back in time to meet and kill Sir Reginald. They settle themselves down to wait.
The man reports to the Daleks to say he cannot find the people. The Daleks order him to continue searching. The man disagrees and the Daleks say that humans are servants to the Daleks. The Daleks activate the magnetron.
Anat tries to contact their base but cannot as there is a massive disturbance in the vortex. The soldiers squabble about what to do. One of them wants to wait until Sir Reginald returns and kill him. Anat decides that one of the soldiers should return to the tunnel and see if the signal is stronger there. He sets out, evading UNIT soldiers, and returns to the tunnel. He checks a piece of machinery that is hidden away and then tries to communicate. He is hit from behind by one of the aliens but manages to shoot it before running away.
Yates and Benton report the loss of people to the Brigadier. The Brigadier tells them that Sir Reginald was successful and that the Chinese are now to take part in talks. He rings Sir Reginald's house.
Anat sends the guerilla out to get the Doctor.
The Doctor is telling Jo about the nature of changing history. He explains that everything has an effect but the Blinovitch Limitation Effect stops people from interfering with the same moment in history twice. Before the Doctor can explain this further, the guerilla enters and orders him to his feet.
The Doctor is made to answer the phone at gunpoint. He says that he and Jo were in the cellar sampling the wines. The Brigadier tells the Doctor that Sir Reginald is returning the following night. The Doctor asks if that is wise but the soldiers press the gun further into his back. The Doctor tells the Brigadier to let Sir Reginald, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence that all is fine. Just before the Brigadier hangs up the Doctor says that the Brigadier should "be sure to tell it to the Marines" that everything is fine too. The Brigadier puts the phone down and then heads straight off to the house.
Anat celebrates the fact that Sir Reginald is returning to the house. In the meantime, Jo has freed herself from the ropes and picks up the time transmitter saying she will smash it and maroon the guerillas in the twentieth century forever unless they are freed. The guerillas say it is not important to them, but Jo considers it a bluff. She accidentally presses the button and disappears, only to reappear in front of the Controller in the 22nd century.
The Doctor tells Anat to do something but she says nothing can be done; she is either dispersed around the time vortex or reembodied in the 22nd century. One of the guerillas says she'd be better off dead.
The Controller greets Jo and sends the aliens away; he says that they are called Ogrons, and they act as servants and policemen for humankind. The Controller invites Jo to sit down, and tells her he can return her to her own time, but he needs information about the guerillas. He says they are cruel and ruthless fanatics. Jo says that the Doctor is still with them and the Controller says that he is in very grave danger, as the guerillas are capable of great crimes and are without mercy. The Controller offers to save the Doctor, but needs to know where and when she came from. Jo tells him and, before he sends her away, the Controller asks if the guerillas appeared in the house or in the grounds. Jo is unsure, but believes they may have appeared in the tunnel. The Controller has a technician take Jo to the guest quarters, before telling the Daleks, which have been watching the whole conversation, that she trusts him implicitly. The Daleks say that they will prepare an ambush in the tunnel which will be led by them.
The guerillas tie up the Doctor and leave him in the cellar. He soon breaks free.
The guerillas are waiting for their friend to return when they see a troop of Ogrons approaching. A firefight ensues but the guerillas are overpowered. The Doctor bursts in and uses Venusian Karate when one of the soldiers tries to attack him. Both soldiers flee. An Ogron enters and the Doctor uses Venusian Karate on him and steals his gun.
The guerillas run, firing at Ogrons, and are pursued by the Doctor. The Brigadier arrives and shoots at a bunch of Ogrons, for which the Doctor thanks him before promptly stealing the Brigadier's Land Rover to pursue the guerillas.
The guerillas get to the tunnel and are followed in by the Doctor. As he enters he is confronted by a Dalek.
The Doctor runs into the tunnel system and bumps into the guerillas. A Dalek has followed him. Cornered, the guerillas activate the time field. Transported two hundred years into the future, the Doctor reveals he knows more about time travel and the Daleks than he has let on. He sets off to find Jo. He is soon pursued by Ogrons and has to hide as they pass him. He climbs a ladder and finds himself in a wasteland.
The Ogrons report that they lost who they were pursuing. They receive orders to hunt and exterminate them.
The Doctor ducks behind a wall to evade a troop of Ogrons. He sees a row of tower blocks looming above him.
The Controller enters the Daleks' sanctum and has to admit that the fugitives remain elusive. The Daleks say they will punish the Controller who tries to blame the Ogrons. He warns the Daleks of the danger of the guerillas who steal the Daleks' time machines and explosive and says he needs to recruit more humans. The Daleks block this saying that humans are treacherous. The Controller tells them of a man called the Doctor who they think has come with the guerilla forces. The Daleks seems scared and tell the Controller the Doctor is an enemy of the Daleks; and he must be found and exterminated.
A CCTV camera tracks the Doctor as he enters one of the tower blocks. An alert is raised.
The Controller assures the Daleks that the Doctor will be arrested. The Daleks want answers from the Controller as to why production figures are falling. They order an increase of 10%. The Controller says that workers will die but the Daleks give him no alternative. Once he leaves the Daleks, he is told of a tracking report of the Doctor entering Work Centre 117. He asks for production figures from that centre as he suspects an anomaly.
One of the guerillas enters an abandoned building where the rest are arguing. Now they have failed to kill Sir Reginald they are unsure as to what their orders are. The soldier who has returned says that there are reports of Jo being held by the forces. Anat asks about the Doctor and says there is no news.
The Doctor watches as a human workforce is being marshalled, but is caught by an Ogron and knocked out.
The Controller is looking after Jo and feeding her 21st century food — in his time, food comes as just tablets. Jo asks whether the Controller can return her to her own time. He says that he can, but it is dangerous. It was a lucky fluke by which Jo ended up here, as she could easily have been killed. She asks after the Doctor. The Controller says that he has been seen in this time zone under the control of the criminals who tried to kill him. He assures Jo that when he gets news he will tell her, but in the meantime she is to stay here for her own safety. A girl enters with a message. The Doctor is alive and well.
A recently tortured Doctor is dragged into a cell. His interrogator insists he is a spy, but he says he is just looking for his friend. A man enters, saying he wants to deal with the Doctor personally and orders everyone out of the room. As soon as they are alone, the man changes tone and asks the Doctor what group he is from. The Doctor says he is not a spy or a guerilla. The man says he is the factory manager and is here to help him. They are interrupted by the Controller, who says that he has been sent to look after the Doctor as he is an honoured guest of the government, and has been given a guest room at regional control where Jo is safe and waiting for him. The Doctor is led away, and the Controller rounds on the manager, asking why production figures are the lowest in his factory compared to any other in the zone. The manager is warned that if he doesn't increase them by 10%, both he and his family will be in danger. As soon as he is alone, the manager uses a radio to contact some guerilla forces, telling them of the suspicions and of the Doctor. He is attacked by an Ogron who knocks him to the floor.
The Controller plies the Doctor with wine and food. The Doctor questions the Controller about the factory, who says it is actually a rehabilitation centre for hardened and violent criminals. But the Doctor questions as to why he saw old people and children there. The Controller assures the Doctor that the planet is happy, prosperous and economically run. Jo says that the Doctor is being unreasonable. The Doctor further questions the Controller as to why the humans have made an ally with the Ogrons who seem savage whilst it seems the majority of the human population lead the life of dogs. The Doctor asks who really rules the planet. The Controller does not answer, saying he has work to attend to and leaves. Jo berates the Doctor for being so unkind, but the Doctor tells her that Earth has become a slave planet, and the Controller is "no more than a superior slave himself". The world is no longer ruled by humans, but by the most evil, ruthless lifeform in the cosmos — the Daleks.
The Controller and the Daleks watch the Doctor on a video screen. The Daleks say that the man's appearance does not match their data, but they know that the Doctor's appearance can change. They intend on using a mind analysis machine to see if it is the Doctor.
The Doctor has given Jo a plan. She goes to the far end of the room and screams. An Ogron enters and, after a brief struggle with the Doctor, is knocked out when Jo smashes a wine bottle on the creature's head. The Doctor and Jo run. They find a quad bike outside and escape on it.
The Controller and the Daleks are informed of the escape. The Daleks say they want them captured alive.
The Doctor and Jo are pursued by Ogrons and are eventually caught.
The guerilla forces have seen this and decide that they need to rescue the Doctor. One of their number says this is suicide, but it has been discovered that the Doctor is the sworn enemy of the Daleks and the one man they are afraid of.
The Daleks have strapped the Doctor to their mind analysis machine, and images of the Doctor's previous two incarnations flash up on the device's large screen. The Daleks identify him as their enemy, saying he is in their power and will be exterminated.
The Controller enters and suggests that the Doctor be saved as he could help them with information about the guerilla forces. The Daleks say they will use the mind analyser to extract the information from him but the Controller points out that the Doctor is near death when they just tried to extract his identity from him. The Controller says he understands the human psyche and will use Jo to help extract the information.
A guard fetches Jo.
The guerillas are planning an attack on the Dalek's stronghold. They will use the disused underground railway.
The Doctor tells the Controller that he knows nothing about the guerilla forces. Jo backs him up and says they were forced to join the guerillas. The Controller threatens them that if they do not get the information they need the Daleks will destroy the Doctor and Jo. The Doctor tells the Controller that the Daleks will destroy them whatever happens, and calls him a traitor for working alongside them. The Controller gets angry for a moment, then calms down and says the Doctor would not be able to understand how desperate the world got in the terrible years at the end of the twentieth century. He tells of a war with one hundred years of killing and destruction, in which seven eighths of the world's population was wiped out and "the rest were living in holes in the ground, reduced to the level of animals". It was into this vacuum that the Daleks took control and turned Earth into "a giant factory" (the Doctor's words), where they mined the planet's minerals and sent them to Skaro. The Controller explains how his job has been passed down through the generations. When the Doctor still accuses him of being a traitor, the Controller says that he has saved as many lives as he can and that no-one can fight against the Daleks. The Doctor asks if the guerillas could, but the Controller considers them fanatics.
The guerillas have arrived at the stronghold and are taking down the Ogron guards. A firefight ensues with deaths on both sides. Boaz sacrifices himself to save Anat from an advancing Dalek by lunging in front of it and placing a detonator against its casing, which immediately explodes.
The Controller asks the Doctor for information again but he insists he has none. The base is stormed by guerilla forces. The Controller calls for the guards only to be told that they are all dead. Jo and the Doctor are told they are to come with them. A guerilla soldier is intent on killing the Controller but the Doctor persuades him not to. They all run off.
In the present day, UNIT are outside the tunnel and searching for the Doctor and Jo. Yates says they are at a loss but the Brigadier insists they extend the radius of the search. A messenger arrives with the news that Sir Reginald is arriving at 6:00 p.m.
In the future, the guerillas explain to the Doctor that Sir Reginald is working to gain power for himself. The peace conference is a ruse and he lures all the leaders to the house and blows it up, however does so too early and he perishes too. This is the beginning point of the wars and thus the start of the Daleks' tyranny on Earth. This is why they have time travelled. They go on to explain that the Daleks sent the Ogrons back to try and stop them. They used the tunnel as it was a fixed point between their time and Sir Reginald's. The Doctor asks why they rescued him. He is told that as he is an enemy of the Daleks he will do anything to stop them so must go back in time and kill Sir Reginald.
In the present day, Shura, a wounded guerilla soldier, runs through the undergrowth and enters Sir Reginald's house.
In the future, the Doctor refuses saying that he will not commit murder. The guerilla forces try to convince him. The Doctor asks how they know that it would definitely stop the wars and that there must be another way. Jo does not believe that Sir Reginald would be capable of such atrocities. The Doctor agrees and starts to wonder how it happened. He asks if there are any guerilla forces still in the present day. The guerilla forces admit there is one, Shura, but he is assumed dead.
In the present day, Shura places a bomb in a disused coal cellar under Sir Reginald's house.
In the future, this intrigues the Doctor. He asks what the guerilla forces took with them in terms of weapons. The guerilla forces say they took an explosive they stole from the Daleks called Dalekanium. The Doctor is now sure. The guerilla forces did not change history... they caused it. They created a temporal paradox.
The Controller reports to the Daleks and tells them they have lost the Doctor. The Daleks order that he is found and destroyed. The Controller says he has set up an ambush at the tunnel. The Daleks warn that if he fails he will pay with his life. The Controller leaves and asks a guard if all is prepared for. The guard assures him that is the case.
The guerillas give the Doctor a time transmitter, and he and Jo climb into the tunnel. They are soon pursued and surrounded by Ogrons. The Controller emerges. The Doctor tells the Controller that he can end the Dalek rule of Earth. The Controller thinks for a moment, then tells the Ogrons he will "deal with these criminals" himself, sending them away. The Doctor tells the Controller of the plan. The Controller says that the Doctor could have let the guerillas kill him, and then tells him to go and be quick. The Doctor operates the time transmitter and disappears. All of this is observed by the senior guard.
In the present day, Benton find the Doctor and Jo and radios to the Brigadier.
In the future, the Controller is summoned to the Daleks. He says that the Doctor was too quick and got away. The Daleks know he is lying. The Controller tries to blame the Ogrons, but the Daleks call him a traitor and say he must be exterminated. The Controller's last words are that, with any luck, he may have exterminated them. The Daleks promote the senior guard to the role of Controller, before deciding that they will travel to the 20th century to ensure the bomb goes off and the war leading to their conquest breaks out.
In the present day, television reporter Alex MacIntosh reports the arrival of Sir Reginald and the leaders to the peace conference.
Sir Reginald asks the Brigadier if all is well. The Brigadier assures him it is. The Doctor and Jo arrive. The Doctor rushes up to the Brigadier and Sir Reginald and says that everyone has to leave the house.
The Daleks and the Ogrons arrive out of the tunnel. They are met by UNIT forces and a firefight ensues.
Sir Reginald refuses to leave, but the Doctor argues his case before disappearing into the cellar. Sir Reginald argues with the Brigadier. The Doctor finds Shura and tells him he doesn't need to blow the house up.
Benton radios the Brigadier from the middle of the firefight.
The Brigadier assures Sir Reginald that they are in the middle of a hostile attack. When Sir Reginald continues arguing, the Brigadier shouts over him and orders the evacuation of the house. Sir Reginald is escorted out.
The firefight continues.
The delegates leave the house.
The Daleks and the Ogrons draw nearer to the house. Soon enough, the Daleks have gained entrance to the grounds.
Jo joins the Doctor in the cellar to tell him that the Daleks have entered the house. Shura says she is lying. When he is assured that it is the case he says he wants the situation to be left to him saying that the Dalekanium will destroy them. He orders the Doctor and Jo out. As they leave, the Doctor tells the Brigadier to order his troops to fall back and allow all the attacking forces into the house. The Brigadier does so.
The Daleks search the house and Shura blows it up.
The Doctor, Sir Reginald and the delegates watch from a distance. The Doctor turns to Sir Reginald and says that he and Jo have seen the future and that he needs to work on avoiding it.
- Dr. Who - Jon Pertwee
- Jo Grant - Katy Manning
- Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart - Nicholas Courtney
- Sergeant Benton - John Levene
- Captain Mike Yates - Richard Franklin
- Sir Reginald Styles - Wilfred Carter
- Shura - Jimmy Winston
- Anat - Anna Barry
- Boaz - Scott Fredericks
- Controller - Aubrey Woods
- Miss Paget - Jean McFarlane
- Girl Technician - Deborah Brayshaw
- UNIT Radio Operator - Gypsie Kemp
- Guerilla - Tim Condren
- Monia - Valentine Palmer
- Manager - Peter Hill
- Senior Guard - Andrew Carr
- Guard at Work Centre - George Raistrick
- Ogrons - Rick Lester, Maurice Bush, David Joyce, Frank Menzies, Bruce Wells, Geoffrey Todd
- Daleks - John Scott Martin, Ricky Newby, Murphy Grumbar
- Dalek Voices - Oliver Gilbert, Peter Messaline
- Dalek Voices (DVD Special Edition) - Nicholas Briggs
- Television Reporter - Alex MacIntosh
- Styles's aide - Desmond Verini
- UNIT Guard - David Melbourne (DWM 301)
- UNIT Girl Operator - Bara Chambers (DWM 301)
- UNIT Male Operator - Leon Maybanke (DWM 301)
- Daleks' Girl Technicians - Scarlett O'Dare, Alison Daumbler, Karen Burch (DWM 301)
- Daleks' Guard - Brychan Powell (DWM 301)
- UNIT Men - Michael Potter, Richard Eden, Nick Hobbs, Stan Ross, Terence Brown, Hugh Rodgers, Keith Beresford, Hugh Price, David Melbourne, Colin Richmond (DWM 301)
- Guerillas - Emmett Hennessy, Stephen Ismay, Jim Dowdall (DWM 301)
- Slaves - Robin Baldwin, Paul Huckin, Glen Whitter, Betty Cameraon, Jeanne Doree, Iris Fry, Anne Priestly, Jane Cousins, Eileen Winterton, Len Saunders, Desmond Verini, Robert Bauld, Pat Taylor, Gaynor Jackson, Suzanne Jackson (DWM 301)
- Guards - Pat Gorman, Donald Baker (DWM 301)
- Guerilla - Brian Justice (DWM 301)
- Assistant Floor Manager - Sue Hedden
- Costumes - Mary Husband
- Creator of the Daleks - Terry Nation
- Designer - David Myerscough-Jones
- Fight Arranger - Rick Lester
- Film Cameraman - Fred Hamilton
- Film Editor - Dan Rae
- Incidental Music - Dudley Simpson
- Make-Up - Heather Stewart
- Producer - Barry Letts
- Script Editor - Terrance Dicks
- Special Sounds - Brian Hodgson
- Studio Lighting - Alan Horne
- Studio Sound - Tony Millier
- Theme Arrangement - Delia Derbyshire
- Title Music - Ron Grainer
- Visual Effects - Jim Ward
- Grips - Ted Childs (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Sound Recordist - Chris King (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Film Sound Assistant - Norman Johnstone (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Film Camera Assistants - Brian Easton, Brian Jones (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Technical Managers - Alan Arbuthnott, Derek Martin (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Graphics - Sid Lomax (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Design Assistant - Fiona Comrie (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Production Secretary - Sarah Newman (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Director's Assistant - Carolyn Driver (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Music Copyist - George Bayton (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Grams Operator - Gordon Phillipson (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Props Buyer - Dorothy Elliott, Roger Hulme (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Vision Mixer - Mike Catherwood (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Floor Assistant - John O'Shaunessy (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
- Production Assistant - Norman Stewart (INFO: Day of the Daleks)
Foods and beverages
- The Doctor has cheese and wine during his stay at Auderly House.
- The Controller offers Jo wine and grapes.
- The Doctor mentions having met Napoléon Bonaparte.
- Sir Reginald Styles and the other delegates are due to meet at RAF Manston.
- China and the Soviet Union are the main belligerents who are threatening war.
- Fighting has already broken out in "many regions" of South America and southern Asia before the summit begins.
Theories and concepts
- The Blinovitch Limitation Effect is mentioned.
- The guerrillas' guns are manufactured using iron mined in North Wales.
- This story is noted for being one of only a very few in which time travel is used as a main plot element.
- The story had working titles of The Ghost Hunters (also sometimes referred to as Ghost Hunters), Years of Doom, The Time Warriors, The Day of the Daleks, and Ghosts.
- According to the DVD production notes, and confirmed in interviews given over the years by script editor Terrance Dicks, scriptwriter Louis Marks submitted his original story outline without the Daleks in it (hence the absence of any mention of them in the serial's original working title, The Ghost Hunters). When producer Barry Letts decided to include the Daleks in the 1972 season, Dicks chose Louis Marks's serial as the one to add them to.
- The on-screen title is Day of the Daleks. However, on the original commercial releases (VHS video and Laserdisc) it was called The Day of the Daleks. The title The Day of the Daleks is also given in Radio Times for all four episodes, as well as for the 60-minute compilation repeat broadcast on Monday 3 September 1973 (BBC One Cymru, Wales: Thursday 6 September). The omnibus edition of Day of the Daleks was not retained by the BBC Archives, with the 625 line PAL colour videotape being erased for reuse around late May/early June 1974.
- A section from the closing title sequence appears in the background on the screen of the Daleks' mind analysis machine at the end of episode three. In addition, the "Dr. Who - Jon Pertwee" credit is (unusually) superimposed over that final scene as the end credits begin.
- The mind analysis machine sequence represents the first occasion that images of William Hartnell or Patrick Troughton had appeared in the show since their departures from it (with the exception of the image of Hartnell when the Second Doctor looks into the mirror in The Power of the Daleks). The next occasion they were seen on-screen (and the only other occasion this occurred in the Pertwee era) was when they both guest starred in The Three Doctors.
- Episode four was originally intended to include a confrontation between the Doctor and the Daleks, in which the Daleks explained how they destroyed those of their number who were infused with the human factor in The Evil of the Daleks, and turned their attention to conquering Earth by means of time travel. But this scene had to be edited out due to the episode overrunning.
- Bringer of Darkness, in 1993, would have had the Second Doctor encounter the Daleks after The Evil of the Daleks and learn that the Humanised Daleks had been exterminated.
- The Ogrons are not named — nor even described — in Louis Marks' original scripts, being indicated merely by the term "Monster".
- Nicholas Courtney is credited as "The Brigadier" (instead of his normal screen credit as "Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart") in Radio Times for episode two.
- Tim Condren (Guerilla) is credited in Radio Times as "Guerrilla" — an alternative spelling of the word, with two "r"s.
- John Scott Martin (Dalek) is credited as "Chief Dalek" in Radio Times; whilst Ricky Newby and Murphy Grumbar are both credited on-screen but not in Radio Times.
- Rick Lester (Ogron) is credited in Radio Times ; whilst Maurice Bush, David Joyce, Frank Menzies, Bruce Wells and Geoffrey Todd are credited as Ogrons on-screen, but not in Radio Times.
- George Raistrick (Guard at Work Centre) is credited simply as "Guard" in Radio Times.
- This is the first story in which the Doctor encounters — and actually interacts with — another version of his current incarnation (in the scene in episode one where the Doctor is tinkering with the TARDIS console, and he and Jo meet future versions of themselves). It was originally intended that in episode four the Doctor and Jo would meet their past selves (this time, they would become the "future selves"), and the audience would thus realise where the future doubles had come from. But the scene was another that had to be dropped because episode four was overrunning. Indeed, this is the first story in which the Doctor meets himself, whether the same or another incarnation (since this serial was broadcast a full year before The Three Doctors).
- Early in episode one, there is a scene where the Doctor and Jo are working on the TARDIS console in the Doctor's lab. A mistake by the Doctor causes another Doctor and Jo to briefly appear at the entrance to the lab and then vanish. Originally the serial was to end with a scene where the Doctor and Jo went back to the lab, and saw their earlier selves working on the TARDIS console as before, after which they would vanish. However, director Paul Bernard refused to film it, saying "Once it's over, it's over". Terrance Dicks would later restore the scene in his novelisation of the story.
- This story features the TARDIS console once more outside of the TARDIS itself, as in The Ambassadors of Death and Inferno.
- In episode two, when the Controller tells Jo that she has already told him the year and goes on to ask where and when the Doctor is, she gives the date as "September the 13th" — a production team in-joke: this was a reference to the first of the four days of location filming for the story, which took place from Monday 13th to Thursday 16th September, 1971.
- Although Miss Paget is shown to accompany Sir Reginald Styles to his car during the pre-filmed location sequence in episode four when Auderly House is evacuated and the delegates leave, Jean McFarlane was unavailable for the subsequent studio recording as she had been taken ill. Her lines were given instead to a hastily written replacement character: Styles's aide, played by Desmond Verini. Despite having dialogue, Verini remained uncredited both on-screen and in Radio Times.
- Steve Kelly was originally supposed to play an Ogron, but was injured in a car accident, being replaced by Frank Menzies. (DWM 301)
- Discounting a couple of brief cameos (in The War Games and The Mind of Evil), the Daleks had not appeared in Doctor Who since The Evil of the Daleks in 1967. With this story, they returned to being regular opponents of the Doctor, making annual appearances every year for four years, before going into hibernation again after season 12. A new sound effect for the Dalek energy weapon is introduced (but has not been used since).
- This is the first main Dalek story since The Daleks to not feature a main cast change.
- Every serial of the preceding season (1971) featured the Master. As such, this was the first serial broadcast in eighteen months, specifically, the first time since Inferno, in which he did not appear. He was, however, absent from episode one of The Mind of Evil and the first three episodes of Colony in Space. He re-appeared next in The Sea Devils.
- Near the end of episode two, the Doctor fires one of the guerrillas' disintegrator guns in self-defence at an Ogron, vaporising it. This is one of only a handful of occasions in the franchise's history that the Doctor uses deadly force (another was in The Keeper of Traken) against an opponent other than a Dalek or Cyberman (for example, no Dalek remained alive at the end of any story involving them screened between 1963 and 1974). It was established early on, during The Dalek Invasion of Earth in 1964, that the Doctor only takes life when his own is immediately threatened.
- In the Special Edition DVD (but not in the original TV serial), the Doctor also kills a second Ogron inside the house with the disintegrator pistol.
- This was the first time that the Daleks were seen in colour on televised Doctor Who. They were previously seen in colour in the movies, in Dr. Who and the Daleks (1965) and Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D. (1966).
- In the novelisation of this story, the Gold Dalek is replaced by a Black Dalek. However, the Gold Dalek still makes an appearance, as the Black Dalek's superior.
- Terry Nation was unable to write this story, as he was at the time working on the ITC action/comedy/adventure series The Persuaders (1971–72).
- Osterley Park was originally proposed as the setting and location. The name was changed to Auderly House in the finished programme and renamed Austerly House in the novelisation.
- Jon Pertwee, who would later say "I have never liked the Daleks", felt that the monsters were very limited and could not understand their popularity. However, he would concede that the publicity which followed the announcement of their return to the series by Barry Letts "was perhaps worth my biting my lip". On the other hand, he enjoyed working with the story's guest cast. He also liked the Ogrons, as unlike the Daleks, their design allowed the actors' mouths and lips to be seen and thus he felt allowed the actors playing them to "come to grips" with their characters and "with an entire range of expressions available" make the viewers believe in their performance.
- Jon Pertwee recalled that he persuaded Barry Letts to include the trikes seen in the story, reflecting his love of vehicles. However he considered the chase sequence involving them to be "one of the more dangerous stunts that I had insisted on doing" during his time on the series.
- Louis Marks was heavily influenced by the Six-Day War between Israel and Egypt. The freedom fighters were inspired various revolutionary figures like Che Guevara. In particular, Marks' decision to use names of Middle Eastern provenance for his time-travelling guerrillas was prompted by the September 1970 hijacking of three airplanes by the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
- Episode one - 9.9 million viewers
- Episode two - 10.6 million viewers
- Episode three - 9.2 million viewers
- Episode four - 9.5 million viewers
- Terry Nation was not consulted in advance about the use of the Daleks in this story and, when he found out about it, it led to a row between him and the BBC. (Although Terrance Dicks recalls such a dispute, Barry Letts does not, and it is clear from contemporary BBC documentation that it is Letts who is correct. Nation was consulted in advance, and his agents, ALS Management, confirmed in a letter dated 22 April 1971 that he had no objection to the Daleks being used in a story for the 1972 season, subject to the usual negotiations.)
- This was the first Dalek story not written, or co-written, by Terry Nation. (The Power of the Daleks and The Evil of the Daleks were written by David Whitaker.)
- Dropmore House, Taplow, Buckinghamshire
- Bull's Bridge (railway bridge), Grand Union Canal, Middlesex
- Harvey House, Green Dragon Lane, Brentford
- In episode one, in the UNIT lab, in discussing Sir Reginald's claim to have been attacked by a ghost the Doctor states to the Brigadier that he and Jo had themselves seen a couple of ghosts "just a few moments ago", referring to the appearance by their future selves; but in fact that had occurred in a different scene, much earlier in the episode. They had all been to Auderley House and back, to see Sir Reginald, in the meantime. This was an error by the studio continuity assistant.
- In episode one, in the UNIT lab, the time transmitter begins humming and operating before the Doctor has pressed the button to activate it.
- During the scene at UNIT H.Q. in episode one, when the Brigadier is speaking to the female radio operator about the canteen being closed, the audible sound of the alert klaxon can be heard for several seconds before anyone reacts to it.
- At the start of episodes two, three and four the "sting" music cue from the closing title sequence is heard during the reprise of the cliffhanger from the end of the previous episode. This was a mistake by director Paul Bernard. Having no previous experience of working on the show, he wrongly thought that the effect was part of how the title music was ordinarily employed.
- At the start of the interrogation scene in episode three, the yellow-screen CSO is not superimposed solely on the Daleks' video screen: the Gold Dalek's dome, and the Doctor's reflective restraints, are also flaring. Additionally, there are problems with the alignment of the CSO when the Dalek video screen is showing past incarnations of the Doctor: the upper right-hand section of the effect is flared. (The 2011 DVD special edition replaces the CSO effect on the Daleks' monitor with computer generated effects.)
- During the battle scene in episode four, when the Daleks and Ogrons are advancing on the house, the feet of the Gold Dalek's operator are clearly visible.
- Jo has a minor wardrobe malfunction in episode four, where her skirt lifts up revealing her panties.
- PROSE: Missing in Action and PROSE: Honest Living deal with some of the aftereffects of this story.
- This is the second time UNIT has provided security for a peace conference. The first time occurred in TV: The Mind of Evil, wherein the Chinese delegate was killed on British soil, explaining their reluctance to appear at the peace conference hosted by Styles at his house.
- The Daleks tell the Doctor they have discovered time travel, which he (perhaps unbeknownst to them) already knows: the Daleks built a time machine in TV: The Chase, and in TV: The Daleks' Master Plan, and in TV: The Evil of the Daleks . Later, in TV: Remembrance of the Daleks, the Doctor observes that Dalek time travel is "crude and nasty".
- Following the murder of the Doctor's former companion Dodo Chaplet, her fiancé, the journalist James Stevens, saw a television report which mentioned that UNIT was providing security for the second World Peace Conference at Auderly House. Entering the grounds of that country house clandestinely, he was saved from death at the hands of an ape-like creature by the Doctor. The Brigadier later showed him its body, which finally convinced him that the various outlandish stories he had heard about aliens visiting or invading the Earth were entirely true. (PROSE: Who Killed Kennedy)
- In AUDIO: Planet of the Ogrons, it is revealed that, originally, there weren't any Ogrons in this adventure, but, in the Time War, the Daleks started to tamper with Ogron history at the point in which they were included in this event.
Home video and audio releases
This story was released as Doctor Who: The Day of the Daleks.
- UK July 1986 (edited movie format). Also released on Betamax
- This was the seventh and final Doctor Who story to be released on Betamax
- Australia December 1986 (edited movie format)
- Australia October 1987 (unedited episodic format)
- USA March 1989 (edited movie format) (boxed in honour of Doctor Who's 25th anniversary)
- UK April 1994 (unedited episodic format)
- Israel 1988 (movie format - in English with Hebrew subtitles)
- This story was released on laserdisc in edited movie format in the US as Doctor Who: The Day of the Daleks in January 1992.
- It was released on laserdisc in unedited episodic format in the UK as Doctor Who: Day of the Daleks in December 1996.
- It was announced at the Time & Space convention in October 2010 that Day of the Daleks would be getting a 2011 DVD release, with new CGI effects and new Dalek voices, which was released on 12 September 2011. Several new scenes were filmed including the Ogrons arriving at Auderly House in episode two. Some actors' line fluffs were also removed from the story's soundtrack. A scene in the original version where the Doctor backs away from an Ogron while he is holding a gun was re-edited to make it look as if he shoots the Ogron while stepping backwards.
DVD special features
- Day of the Daleks Original four-part TV version
- Commentary by actors Anna Barry and Jimmy Winston, producer Barry Letts, script editor Terrance Dicks and vision mixer Mike Catherwood.
- Blasting the Past Cast and crew look back on the making of this story
- A View from the Gallery
- Blue Peter
- Photo Gallery
- Production Subtitles
- DVD-Rom Only: Radio Times Billings
- Coming Soon: Colony in Space
- Day of the Daleks: Special Edition. A new version with specially shot sequences, brand-new effects and new Dalek voices, exclusive to this DVD
- The Making of Day of the Daleks: Special Edition
- The UNIT Family- Part Two Covers the history of UNIT from Terror of the Autons to The Green Death
- Now and Then
- The UNIT Dating Conundrum
- The Cheating Memory
- Teaser trailer
DVD production errors
In episode one (at 0:11:10), when the Doctor tests the future weapon on the target in his lab, debris is scattered on the firing range (in accordance with the new effect for this weapon). However, when the POV returns to the firing range (at 0:12:05), the debris is nowhere to be seen.
- Day of the Daleks at the BBC's official site
- Day of the Daleks at RadioTimes
- Day of the Daleks at BroaDWcast
- Day of the Daleks at Shannon Sullivan's A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Day of the Daleks at The Locations Guide
- The Tardis Library: Video release information for Day of the Daleks