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'''''The Daleks''''' was the second serial of [[season 1]] of ''[[Doctor Who]]. ''It was written by [[Terry Nation]], directed by [[Christopher Barry]] and [[Richard Martin]] and featured [[William Hartnell]] as the [[First Doctor]], [[William Russell]] as [[Ian Chesterton]], [[Jacqueline Hill]] as [[Barbara Wright]] and [[Carole Ann Ford]] as [[Susan Foreman]].
'''''The Daleks''''' was the second serial of [[season 1]] of ''[[Doctor Who]]''. Initially titled '''''The Mutants''''', its most obvious contribution to the ''Doctor Who'' mythos was the introduction of the [[Dalek]]s, along with the [[Thal]]s and the [[planet]] [[Skaro]]. It also continued and deepened the antagonistic relationship between the First Doctor and his new [[human]] [[companion]]s, Ian and Barbara, which would come to a head in [[The Edge of Destruction (TV story)|the next story]].
Initially titled "'''''The Mutants'''''", its most obvious contribution to the ''Doctor Who'' mythos was the introduction of the [[Dalek]]s, along with the [[Thal]]s and the [[planet]] [[Skaro]]. It also continued and deepened the antagonistic relationship between the First Doctor and his new [[human]] [[companion]]s, Ian and Barbara, which would come to a head in [[The Edge of Destruction (TV story)|the next story]].
The Doctor's non-[[humanoid]] adversaries caught on immediately with the [[British]] public, as was obvious from the [[serial]]'s ratings. A significant improvement over ''[[An Unearthly Child (TV story)|An Unearthly Child]]'', ''The Daleks'' cemented ''Doctor Who''{{'}}s position on the 1964 [[BBC1]] schedule.
The Doctor's non-[[humanoid]] adversaries caught on immediately with the [[British]] public, as was obvious from the [[serial]]'s ratings. A significant improvement over ''[[An Unearthly Child (TV story)|An Unearthly Child]]'', ''The Daleks'' cemented ''Doctor Who''{{'}}s position on the 1964 [[BBC1]] schedule.
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The ramifications of this deal on the history of ''Doctor Who'' are difficult to overstate. Indeed, though agents are usually unknown and uncredited workers, this deal was known to have been negotiated by future British television legend and studio boss [[Beryl Vertue]] — mother of [[Sue Vertue]], and mother-in-law of [[Steven Moffat]].
The ramifications of this deal on the history of ''Doctor Who'' are difficult to overstate. Indeed, though agents are usually unknown and uncredited workers, this deal was known to have been negotiated by future British television legend and studio boss [[Beryl Vertue]] — mother of [[Sue Vertue]], and mother-in-law of [[Steven Moffat]].
Besides Nation, other production personnel made their debuts with this story, including [[director]]s Christopher Barry and Richard Martin, [[designer (crew)|designer]] [[Raymond Cusick]], prolific [[costumes|costumer]] [[Daphne Dare]], and future director [[Michael Ferguson]].
Besides Nation, other production personnel made their debuts with this story, including [[director]]s Christopher Barry and Richard Martin, [[designer (crew)|designer]] [[Raymond Cusick]], prolific [[costumes|costume designer]] [[Daphne Dare]], and future director [[Michael Ferguson]].
''The Daleks'' was also the source material for both a theatrical film and an [[American comic book]] called ''[[Dr. Who and the Daleks]]''. Both were the first time ''Doctor Who'' had appeared in those media. ''The Daleks'' was the basis for the first attempt to take ''Doctor Who'' to the [[United States]] market.
''The Daleks'' was also the source material for both a theatrical film and an [[American comic book]] called ''[[Dr. Who and the Daleks]]''. Both were the first time ''Doctor Who'' had appeared in those media. ''The Daleks'' was the basis for the first attempt to take ''Doctor Who'' to the [[United States]] market.

Revision as of 00:05, 18 August 2018


You may wish to consult The Daleks for other, similarly-named pages.

The Daleks was the second serial of season 1 of Doctor Who. Initially titled The Mutants, its most obvious contribution to the Doctor Who mythos was the introduction of the Daleks, along with the Thals and the planet Skaro. It also continued and deepened the antagonistic relationship between the First Doctor and his new human companions, Ian and Barbara, which would come to a head in the next story.

The Doctor's non-humanoid adversaries caught on immediately with the British public, as was obvious from the serial's ratings. A significant improvement over An Unearthly Child, The Daleks cemented Doctor Who's position on the 1964 BBC1 schedule.

The serial was writer Terry Nation's first for the programme. Its reception led to his recommissioning for The Keys of Marinus later in the season, as well as the return of the Daleks every season until season 5. It also was the proximate cause for Nation's financial success, since his agent had cunningly negotiated Nation's co-ownership of the Daleks.

The ramifications of this deal on the history of Doctor Who are difficult to overstate. Indeed, though agents are usually unknown and uncredited workers, this deal was known to have been negotiated by future British television legend and studio boss Beryl Vertue — mother of Sue Vertue, and mother-in-law of Steven Moffat.

Besides Nation, other production personnel made their debuts with this story, including directors Christopher Barry and Richard Martin, designer Raymond Cusick, prolific costume designer Daphne Dare, and future director Michael Ferguson.

The Daleks was also the source material for both a theatrical film and an American comic book called Dr. Who and the Daleks. Both were the first time Doctor Who had appeared in those media. The Daleks was the basis for the first attempt to take Doctor Who to the United States market.


The TARDIS has brought the travellers to the planet Skaro where they meet two indigenous races — the Daleks, malicious mutant creatures encased in armoured travel machines, and the Thals, beautiful humanoids with pacifist principles. They convince the Thals of the need to fight for their own survival.

Joining forces with them and braving Skaro's many dangers, they launch a two-pronged attack on the Dalek city. The Daleks are all killed when, during the course of the fighting, their power supply is cut off.


The Dead Planet (1)

The travellers discover the Dalek City.

When the TARDIS arrives in a petrified jungle, the First Doctor and his companions are unaware that the planet is highly radioactive. The Doctor is eager to explore a futuristic city that they discover beyond the forest. Ian and Barbara insist on returning to the ship. On the way back to the TARDIS, Susan is separated from the rest of the crew and believes she is touched by a human hand. Once back at the ship, Susan is disconsolate that nobody believes her, and Barbara complains that she feels unwell. There is a knocking from outside the TARDIS, but the scanners show nobody outside. This provokes Ian and Barbara to demand that the Doctor remove them from this place. He seemingly complies, but, determined to get his way, the Doctor sabotages the TARDIS, claiming that mercury is needed for the fluid link. The only place to find mercury is the city.

Corridors of the Dalek city.

The next morning, when the travellers emerge from the TARDIS, they find a small metal box outside. It holds vials filled with an amber liquid, seemingly dropped by whoever knocked the previous night. Susan places the box in the ship for safekeeping, then the four travellers head off to the mysterious city. It is built entirely of metal, with doorways shaped as squat, rounded arches. The travellers separate. Barbara walks down a series of corridors while doors close behind her as she continues forward. She becomes aware that she is trapped. A strange creature emerges, threatening her with a metal arm.

The Survivors (2)

You may be looking for the audio story of the same name.

Searching for Barbara, Ian, Susan and the Doctor enter a room full of machines, including a Geiger counter, which confirms they've been exposed to radiation. They realise the gravity of the situation, prompting the Doctor to admit his sabotage of the fluid link and that they should leave immediately, abandoning Barbara. This causes more mistrust between them. Ian takes the fluid link hostage to ensure the Doctor helps him look for Barbara. As they leave the room, they are surrounded by beings known as Daleks, who imprison them. Ian tries to run but is shot by the Daleks, rendering his legs paralysed. They are locked up alongside Barbara.

The Daleks summon the Doctor and interrogate him. They explain they are survivors of a neutronic war with the Thals, inhabitants of the planet, which has caused mutations to both races. The Daleks are now confined to their travel machines and limited to the boundaries of their metallic city. The Doctor persuades the Daleks that the travellers will die from radiation sickness if no drugs are found. The Daleks order one of them to leave straight away. The Doctor and Barbara are each too unwell and Ian is still paralysed, so Susan is sent to retrieve the vials that were left outside the TARDIS. She makes her way out of the city and back into the petrified forest, followed by a mysterious figure. The Daleks reveal that when the drugs are returned to their city they shall take them and leave the travellers to die. Having collected the anti-radiation drugs in the TARDIS, Susan prepares herself for the return journey.

The Escape (3)

Prisoners of the Daleks.

Outside the TARDIS, Susan encounters a stranger. He is a striking, handsome blond man named Alydon. His appearance proves his race, the Thals, have not suffered the same disfiguring mutations as the Daleks. Alydon is surprised to hear the Daleks are still alive. His race believes they were wiped out during the neutronic war. He explains that he brought the drugs to Susan and gives her more, saying the Daleks should not be trusted. She should keep the second stash secret. He explains that the Thals have travelled many miles across the planet in search of food, as their race is near starvation. They hope to establish a treaty for food with the Daleks. Susan heads off to the Dalek city, while Alydon returns to the Thal encampment and tells his friends about his encounter, hoping Susan can broker a peace and trade agreement.

Susan reaches her friends and passes round the drugs, telling them the Thals are looking for peace and food. The Daleks overhear this and imply acceptance to a treaty, asking in return that the Thals help them cultivate the land, but in reality they are plotting revenge and extermination of their old enemies. The message of peace is conveyed to the Thals, who are invited to collect food from the entrance hall to the Dalek city the following day. They believe this a genuine sign of friendship as Susan promised them that if the message was signed by her name it would be genuine.

A Dalek emerges from below the cloak.

Having recovered from the radiation sickness, the Doctor's party stages an argument amongst themselves that breaks out into a fight. In the ensuing struggle, Susan breaks the camera that has been recording their movement in the cell. Using this new-found freedom to talk, the four speculate that the Daleks are powered by static electricity due to the fact that the floors are made of metal and that the smell of dodgems comes off them. Ian theorises that if they were to break the circuit between the Dalek and the floor, it would become inert. Susan reveals that Alydon gave her a cloak they could use to achieve this. Barbara states that even if this was possible, the Dalek appears to be able to see very well with his eyestalk, so it would be very hard to achieve. However, she devises a plan to use the dirt off of Susan's shoes mixed with water to create mud. The next time a Dalek comes with their food, the captives jam the door, forcing the creature to return into the cell. The four overpower him.

They open the Dalek, removing the creature inside so they can use the robotic shell as a means of escape. The monstrosity within is wrapped in Alydon's cloak and dumped. Ian squeezes into the casing. They exit the cell. An alien claw emerges from the cloak...

The Ambush (4)

You may be looking for the DWM short story.

The ruse works when Ian discovers how to control the Dalek internally, rather than have the Doctor push him. They are stopped by another Dalek. Ian tells it that he is one of them and is taking the three human prisoners for further questioning. However, when the same Dalek makes enquiries, it discovers it has been duped and sounds the alarm.


In the meantime, the Doctor has magnetically locked the door to stop the Daleks from getting to them. The girls and he try to get Ian out of the casing, but the catch is stuck. As the Daleks burn through the door, Ian convinces them to get in the lift and escape. After much persuasion, they leave Ian behind. Once safe, they send the lift down for Ian. The Daleks enter the room and blast through the Dalek casing to find it empty. Ian has escaped just in time and gotten in the lift. Once he has joined the other three, the Dalek summons the lift to catch up with them.

The Daleks begin to cut through the door.

Ian and his friends find themselves at a window, where they observe the Thals arriving to collect the food. The four shout to alert them that it is an ambush, but the Thals cannot hear. The four notice the lift is coming up. The Doctor prises open a door to escape. Ian, Susan, and Barbara throw a Dalek sculpture down the lift shaft to slow the approaching Dalek. By this time the Doctor has gotten the door open and they escape. Once outside, Ian decides to go back and warn the Thals of their danger whilst the others run to safety.

The time travellers throw Dalek art onto their lift.

As the Thals take the food, the elder, Temmosus, decides to plea with the Daleks for a longer-lasting truce where in return he offers to work with the Daleks to create food and a stable environment. Unbeknownst to the Thals, they are being surrounded by Daleks. Ian, watching this all unfold, shouts to the Thals that it's a trap, and many escape. However, Temmosus is exterminated.

The surviving Thals, including Alydon, regroup with Ian and join the Doctor, Susan and Barbara at the Thal encampment. A young Thal named Dyoni provides a history of the planet Skaro from a Thal perspective for the Doctor. It seems that the Daleks were once known as Dals, humanoids similar to Thals. They mutated into their current forms following the neutronic war. The Thals have reacted to their history by adopting pacifism as a creed even though their history reveals them as warriors. Ian attempts to convince the Thals they'll need to fight the Daleks to survive, but the Doctor suggests they leave. To everyone's horror, they discover they can't. The fluid link held by Ian was taken from him when Daleks searched him. The fluid link is in the city, and the four are trapped on Skaro.

The Expedition (5)

The Daleks make plans.

After trying to convince the Thals that they should be more aggressive towards the Daleks, Ian spurs Alydon to display aggression by threatening to take Dyoni to the Daleks as a trade for the fluid link. The new Thal leader hits him. This act of violence spurs the Thals into using violence only as a means to do good, and the Thals agree to help the TARDIS crew. One group will accompany Ian and Barbara as they cross the swamp to the rear of the city situated near a radioactive lake filled with mutants. They can enter the city unseen through a back entrance. The other group, led by the Doctor and Susan, will act as a decoy, entering through the front door.

While the Daleks seem to have rudimentary abilities to film what is going on in the jungle, they cannot hear the gang hatching their plan. They are soon distracted. The Daleks' use of the anti-radiation medication left by the travellers has a bad effect on them. Two fifths of the Daleks fall ill. The Daleks deduce they have become immune to radiation and in fact thrive on it. They decide to increase the levels of radiation on Skaro by deploying another neutronic bomb. Whilst this would sustain the Dalek race, it would be impossible for the Thals to survive.

The attack party heading for the Lake of Mutations makes good progress on their lengthy journey. Four Thals, Elyon, Kristas, Ganatus, and Antodus, accompany Barbara and Ian. Ganatus and Antodus are brothers and have been to the lake before with fatal consequences to two of their party. The lake contains many mutated beings from the fallout of the neutronic war. Ian soon spots a multi-tentacled creature in the water. The next morning Ian discovers a series of pipes that suck the water from the lake into the city. They prepare for their journey and Elyon goes to the lake to fill the water bags. However, a whirlpool begins to form and Elyon screams for help. The others at the camp run to investigate...

The Ordeal (6)

The Doctor and Susan are captured.

Elyon is dead, but even though the Thals are upset (especially Antodus), the party must continue with their journey and climb the mountain to complete their end of the plan.

At the front of the city the Doctor's party block the Daleks' video and radio communication masks by beaming light at the top of the masts to scramble the images they get. They use this radio silence to sneak into the city.

Whilst this plan is being put into action, the Dalek leaders receive the news that it would take twenty-three days to create a neutronic bomb powerful enough to sustain radiation to ensure the Daleks' survival. As the Daleks absorb this news, the Doctor and Susan sabotage a static electricity control box. The Doctor asks Susan to hand over her key to the TARDIS and drops it into a wall panel to draw power away from the system, promising her he can always make a new key if necessary. Susan points out a second panel, which the Doctor rewires to short-circuit. It destroys some of the Daleks' computer terminals. Unfortunately, their activity alerts the Daleks, who soon surround them. They are taken to the city's control centre and are told of the Dalek plan to irradiate the entire planet. Instead of dropping a neutronic bomb, the Daleks will blow up their nuclear reactors to create the radiation.

The Doctor and Susan; prisoners of the Daleks.

Meanwhile, Ian's party has found a tunnel that should lead to the Dalek city. They drop into a crevasse that heads directly to the city. Antodus tries to persuade his fellow Thals that they should turn back, saying even if they survive the journey, the Daleks will kill them. While they argue, a rockfall occurs. It injures Antodus and blocks any chance of retreat. The only way is onward — and a vast chasm is their next hurdle. Ian jumps first, followed by the second Thal, who discovers another tunnel they can use. One by one the party has to jump across, supported by a rope that Ian ties to a rock and then around himself. The last to jump is Antodus, who loses his footing and falls into the abyss, his weight breaking the rock and dragging Ian toward the edge.

The Rescue (7)

You may be looking for the Season 2 serial of the same name.

The Daleks prepare their bomb.

Antodus sacrifices his life to save the others by cutting the rope and letting himself fall. The others press on and soon find themselves at a dead end, with their light fading. They discuss going back; however, as the light cuts out, they see a light from a hole in the cliff and find an entrance to the city.

The Daleks have now taken the Doctor and Susan to their control room. They tell him of their plans to wipe out all other life on Skaro so they can thrive in the neutronic fallout. In desperation, the Doctor says that he will help the Daleks build another TARDIS. They say they can do this themselves and don't need the Doctor to help them.

The Thals attack the Daleks.

At the front of the city, Alydon has also led another band of Thals in an assault, hoping to rescue the Doctor and Susan. By luck this party meets Ian's gang and they elect to attack the Dalek control centre at the same time. Together they destroy the Dalek apparatus and prevent the radiation release. They also disable the power source for the Daleks in the city. The creatures become immobile and soon die, but not before they beg the Doctor to repair their system, which he refuses to do. The Thals are disgusted by all the death, but are grateful that their struggle is finally over.

They all return to the Thal camp — this time with the fluid link — and the Doctor and his party make their farewells and return to the TARDIS. It is revealed that Barbara and Ganatus have been having something of a romance; they kiss just before Barbara is called into the TARDIS.

As soon as they are in flight, there is an explosion on the console and the four travellers fall to the floor.



Uncredited crew


  • Antodus mentions Ammosus, one of the members from their previous expedition.


  • Ganatus is aware of some cultural conventions on Earth.


  • The creatures inside the Dalek armours cannot survive for very long outside their protective casings, indicating their casings employ crucial life support systems.
  • The Daleks use a paralysing ray against Ian Chesterton, which affects the mobility in his legs.

Foods and beverages

The Doctor

  • The Doctor has a pair of reading glasses he uses to examine written and illustrated works.
  • The Doctor has knowledge of the star systems on an astrological chart belonging to the Thals.

Story notes

  • This is the first story to feature the Daleks and the Thals.
  • This story is featured in a top 50 magic moments feature in DWM 467.
  • The production team's final name for this serial at the time of broadcast was The Mutants, but it is now referred to as The Daleks to avoid confusion with serial NNN, the Third Doctor story of the same name. Working titles for the overall serial included The Survivors and Beyond the Sun. The working title of episode six was "The Caves of Terror" and the seventh episode was originally conceived as "The Execution". (REF: The First Doctor Handbook)
  • The original proposal, The Survivors, had the Daleks wanting to wipe out the Thals to ensure they could never start another neutronic war (unaware the Thals were now pacifist). In the seventh episode, the Thals would bring the defeated Daleks back online to discuss peace terms. By the end, the Doctor would reveal that neither side started the war: they had been attacked by an alien race. The descendants of those aliens would then arrive on Skaro, as the radiation levels had lowered, to "make reparations and assist in rebuilding the planet". Due to insufficient time and budget, this plot was cut out and the Daleks were redrafted as more obvious villains, with no "happy ending". [6] Elements of this plot were reused for the Doctor Who Unbound story Masters of War.
  • Terry Nation's original proposal said "the year [is] three thousand" and the neutronic war was two thousand years ago[7], but it's never mentioned in the story whether the travellers are in the past, the present or the future. In The Edge of Destruction, the Doctor states that "Skaro was in the future." In The Dalek Invasion of Earth, he states that their encounter with the Daleks occurred "a million years in the future", and implies it was towards the end of Dalek history, though he gives no indication how he knows this; however, the Daleks themselves in this serial state that the neutronic war only took place five hundred years ago. Planet of the Daleks suggests this first encounter occurred in the past, generations before the 26th century. This is now generally the accepted placement of the story, though the exact year is still a matter of debate and theorising among fans. Doctor Who Monthly #75 gives the date as 150000, but this was changed in #77 to 2290. A History of the Universe arbitrarily places the story in 1963, suggesting that the Doctor was attempting to return Ian and Barbara back to their own time and succeeded, only getting the planet wrong; in AHistory the date was changed to 2263.
  • No Doctor Who story in any medium has ever explained why the Daleks in this story are all confined to their city and are all killed at the end when all other stories depict them as galactic conquerors. Different theories have been postulated. In The Official Doctor Who & the Daleks Book it is explained that the Daleks encountered in this story were not the main Dalek race, but the descendants of a group of mutated Kaled survivors from the Thousand Year War who crawled into a city of abandoned prototype Dalek casings built by Davros. The book argues that as Davros' technology for his Daleks progressed and gave them greater mobility, they left the metal city behind, and this is consistent with the explanation given by the Daleks themselves in this story: that they were mutated survivors of the war, which is a somewhat different background to the Daleks from Genesis of the Daleks. This suggests that events happened very early on in Dalek history, before the Dalek race emerged from entombment in Davros' bunker. However A History of the Universe and AHistory argue that shortly after discovering space travel, one faction of Daleks leaves Skaro to become conquerors, while another faction which stays behind are the Daleks seen here; the space-faring Daleks later return to Skaro and reoccupy it.
  • It was Mervyn Pinfield who suggested that the Daleks use static electricity.
  • It was Richard Martin who suggested that the Thal anti-radiation drug be lethal to the Daleks. Original proposals were that germs from the TARDIS crew were killing them or the radiation was dropping.
  • Bands of sticky tape were affixed around the shoulder section of the Daleks after William Hartnell cut himself on one of the metal bands.
  • This story replaced previous proposals including The Hidden Planet and The Masters of Luxor.
  • Music from The Daleks was released in 2003 as part of Devil's Planet - The Music of Tristram Cary. This CD also includes tracks from The Daleks' Master Plan and (perhaps appropriately) The Mutants.
  • The music from this story was reused in several stories: The Rescue, The Daleks' Master Plan, The Ark, and The Power of the Daleks.
  • All episodes exist in 16mm telerecordings. The episodes were all recovered from negative film prints, which were discovered at BBC Enterprises in 1978. The negative of episode 7 is a dub from the positive print.
  • Telesnaps exist for episodes 1, 2, 4 and 5 in private collections.
  • This story was originally scheduled to be designed by Ridley Scott, who later went on to direct films such as Alien and Blade Runner.
  • It was during the filming of this serial that American president John F. Kennedy was assassinated; the very next day, Doctor Who made its public debut when the first episode of An Unearthly Child was broadcast.
  • This was one of the stories selected to be shown as part of BSB's Doctor Who Weekend in September 1990.
  • "The Rescue" is the first episode of Doctor Who in which the (de)-materialisation of the TARDIS is achieved through the in-camera technique of "roll back and mix". This effect was extraordinarily difficult in the 1960s, which is why it was only done a few times in the monochromatic era of the programme. (REF: The First Doctor Handbook) As camera technology improved over the years, it became fairly straightforward, even easy, to do. In the 21st century, it's commonly seen on chat shows and Blue Peter whenever Doctor Who guests arrive or depart.
  • The creature housed inside the Dalek casing was conceived as being frog-like in appearance.
  • Temmosus was originally named Stohl, Alydon was originally named Vahn, Ganatus was originally named Kurt, Kristas was originally named Jahl, Antodus was originally named Ven and Elyon was originally named Zhor.
  • In the original script, the dangers facing Ian, Barbara and the Thals in the mountains were different — they originally included mutated spiders and a fiery gas fissure.
  • In the original script, the Doctor and Susan were sentenced to be executed in a "sonic chamber".
  • In the original script, much was made of a forthcoming "great rain" — a periodic meteorological event on Skaro — which would reduce the radiation levels enough to permit the Daleks to emerge from their city and confront the Thals.


  • Episode 1 - The Dead Planet - 6.9 million viewers
  • Episode 2 - The Survivors - 6.4 million viewers
  • Episode 3 - The Escape - 8.9 million viewers
  • Episode 4 - The Ambush - 9.9 million viewers
  • Episode 5 - The Expedition - 9.9 million viewers
  • Episode 6 - The Ordeal - 10.4 million viewers
  • Episode 7 - The Rescue - 10.4 million viewers


  • Terry Nation named the Daleks after seeing the "Dal-Ek" volume of an encyclopedic dictionary. (He actually made up the name, but invented this as a story to tell the press.)
  • There was a transmission fault at the start of the first episode that meant the opening moments were in negative. (This was intentional on the part of the production team, who wanted to create the impression of heat on the surface of Skaro.)
  • This story was intended to feature a Glass Dalek, but this was changed due to budget constraints. (The idea of the Glass Dalek was created by David Whitaker only for his novelisation of the story.) A Glass Dalek did appear in the Sixth Doctor story, Revelation of the Daleks.
  • Electronic interference on the original tape meant that the first episode needed to be remade. (The first episode was remade, but this was because instructions being relayed to the studio from the control gallery were clearly audible on the original recording.)
  • Raymond Cusick based the shape of the Daleks on pepper pots. (The shape of the Daleks was actually based on a man sitting on a chair. The inspiration for the movement of the Daleks was a woman moving in a ballroom gown, seemingly gliding as her feet were not visible. Cusick did however use a pepper pot – though he could just as easily picked up the salt pot! – in the BBC canteen to demonstrate to a colleague how he envisioned the Daleks moving.) The inspiration was the Georgian State Dancers, whose large wide dresses gave the impression that they were gliding along the floor.
  • Shawcraft, the company who made some of the special effects for Doctor Who until 1969 and also built the main Dalek props, had built a prototype prop before actual work began. (A rough mock-up was made at the BBC, but this was not built by Shawcraft.)

Filming locations

Production errors

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • In episode 1, a wind machine blows the forest backdrop as well as Ian's hair.
  • In episode 1 when the Doctor bends down to get the mercury fluid link, a black wire covered in insulation can be seen lying on the floor.
  • In episode 2, a Dalek has faulty lights and an eye that will not turn on.
  • In episode 2, when Susan is running through the jungle, voices in the filming studio can be heard.
  • Early in the episode, when Ian, Susan and the Doctor are talking in a corridor, the shadow of a boom mic can be seen on Ian's face.
  • Just before the Doctor, Susan, and Ian are escorted into the cell (just after the camera has panned across from Barbara to the cell door), the Dalek voice effect's volume is low (or off) and misses the word "stop," (heard in the background) but is back at full volume for "here." This fault is corrected on the DVD release.
  • In episode 3, in one shot of the interior of the Dalek city, the shadow of a boom mic is clearly visible.
  • The Dalek casing used as a disguise in episode 4 is not the same as the one obtained in the previous episode. The casing in this episode does not have a magnet embedded in its sucker.
  • The creature rising out of the swamp is supported on a rubber ring, which is inflated to give the impression of movement. The rubber ring becomes clearly visible as it is inflated.
  • In episode 6, the rock Barbara grabs is an obvious fake — she ends up with polystyrene on her hand afterwards.
  • In episode 6, when the Thals are jumping across the chasm, Ian grabs onto the rock wall when he lands. His handhold breaks off with the rip of tearing Styrofoam, and the white spot where it was is visible for the rest of the scene.
  • In episode 6, one of the Daleks rattles as it moves down a corridor.
  • When the Doctor shorts out a Dalek control panel the explosion happens too early.
  • When Ian and Antodus see how far a cliff is in order to get to a cleft on the other side, Ian throws a pebble down. The sound of the pebble hitting the real production floor can be heard before the sound effect of the pebble hitting the bottom of the drop.
  • In a scene in which a Dalek succumbs to the effects of the Thals' drugs, the Daleks in the background are flat photographic blow-ups. The wooden bases on which they are supported can be seen at the bottom of the shot. A change of camera angle makes the flatness of the blow-ups obvious.
  • In episode 1, when Susan runs to check the fault indicator, the TARDIS console shifts.
  • The Dalek that calls for assistance early in the episode can be heard to move on unoiled casters, destroying the impression that it glides along the floor.


Home video and audio releases

DVD releases

This story was released (as Doctor Who: The Daleks), together with An Unearthly Child and The Edge of Destruction, as part of The Beginning DVD box set.


PAL - Roadshow ????

Special features:

Box sets

This story was released along with An Unearthly Child and The Edge of Destruction in a box set called The Beginning.

NTSC - Warner Video E2489

Digital releases

This story is available:

  • in iTunes stores (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, UK and US) as part of the Doctor Who (not Doctor Who: The Classic Series) collection Monsters: The Daleks, which additionally includes the story Asylum of the Daleks (all episodes are given as The Daleks, Episode 1, etc. without mentioning individual episodes' titles);
  • on Amazon Video (UK) as Season 2 of Doctor Who (Classic) series;
  • for streaming through BritBox (US) as part of Season 1 of Classic Doctor Who.

Video release

Original release

This story was released as Doctor Who: The Daleks - The Dead Planet and Doctor Who: The Daleks - The Expedition, two separate volumes held together with sticky tape. The lead-in to The Edge of Destruction and the "Next Episode" caption have been removed from Episode 7.


PAL - BBC Video BBCV4242 (2 tapes)
PAL - Polygram BBCV4242 (2 tapes)
NTSC - CBS/FOX Video 8253 (2 tapes)
NTSC - Warner Video E1275 (2 tapes)

Second release

This story was released as Doctor Who: The Daleks (Remastered). It was an unedited, remastered edition that the BBC originally intended to release in a box set with An Unearthly Child and The Edge of Destruction. They changed their plans and decided to release each story individually.


PAL - BBC Video BBCV6960 (2 tapes)
PAL - Roadshow 6960 (1 tape)

Script book

External links


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 INFO: "The Ordeal"
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 INFO: "The Survivors"
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 INFO: "The Rescue"
  4. INFO: "The Forest of Fear"
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 INFO: "The Dead Planet"
  6. Doctor Who 50 Years #1: The Daleks - "The Survivors" (May 2013)
  7. Doctor Who 50 Years #1: The Daleks - "The Survivors" page 21
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