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The Destroyers was the unproduced pilot episode of a spin-off series for American television. The actual title of the proposed spin-off series is not known.
A notable aspect of the script is that one of the characters is Sara Kingdom, whom Nation had featured in The Daleks' Master Plan (along with other characters and concepts used in his aborted spin-off).
Plot[edit | edit source]
Carson and Wayne are members of a space exploration team, guarding their base dome surrounded by a force field. Despite this, Daleks penetrate the field and kill Carson. His death alerts Wayne, Morgan and Sara Kingdom. Sara sounds the alarm as the Daleks attack. There are apparently no survivors.
The Special Space Security (SSS) sends three agents to investigate: Captain Jason Corey, Sara's brother David Kingdom and android Mark Seven. They discover Whitman still alive. He cannot identify their attackers, but tells them that they took a few prisoners, before he dies. Sara is in fact alive but wounded, dodging the Daleks in the jungle. The Daleks have Philip Leigh as a prisoner for interrogation. Their instrumentation detects movement at the dome, and they send a patrol to annihilate whatever is alive there. The agents have discovered the Dalek tracks and are following them when the Daleks approach the dome. Jason, Mark and David hide in the bushes, where they are attacked by man-eating plants.
Mark makes a noise, and the Daleks blast away at the bushes before proceeding to the dome. Jason and David free themselves with their knives and go to Mark's aid. Being a robot, he is mostly undamaged from the attack, and needs only minor repairs before he is functional again. Sara has taken refuge in the cave that is the entrance to the Daleks' underground base. They activate their defence mechanisms, shadowy spectres that attack her, enveloping her in webbing. The Daleks take her captive.
Jason, David and Mark find the cave, just ahead of the Dalek patrol returning from the dome. Their way forward is blocked by a chasm, but knowing there must be some way for the Daleks to cross it, they hide and see two Daleks activate a tubular bridge. As one crosses, they jump the other, and Mark tosses it into the chasm. The first Dalek tries to return but David deactivates the bridge, sending the creature plunging into the abyss. In Dalek central control, Leigh is eliminated now that they have a better prisoner in Sara. The Black Dalek orders the ship prepared for departure. The agents arrive at the perimeter in time to see this, but not in time to stop it. The Dalek ship launches, taking Sara with it.
Cast[edit | edit source]
- Sara Kingdom
- Mark Seven
- Captain Jason Corey
- David Kingdom
- Tom Wayne
- Phillip Leigh
Notes[edit | edit source]
On 1 November 1966, midway through recording of The Power of the Daleks, Terry Nation approached the BBC about spinning off the Daleks into their own television series. It would spotlight the Space Security Service and Sara Kingdom, both of whom had been created by Nation for The Daleks' Master Plan (broadcast November 1965-January 1966). Impressed by Jean Marsh's performance in that serial, Nation intended for her to reprise the role in the new series. Nation provided a two-act pilot script, entitled The Destroyers, and suggested that the Dalek programme should be made on film and in colour, which would require it to air on BBC2. By 13 November, Nation's Lynstead Film Productions seemed to have been given the go-ahead for a pilot episode of a half-hour Dalek series, to begin production on Monday 12 November. On 22 or 25 November, however, the BBC pulled out of the project due to BBC2 Controller David Attenborough's rejection of the series due to lack of available space on the BBC2 schedule and a reluctance to poaching the characters from BBC1. In 1967 Nation attempted to sell the series to America's ABC network, but without success. As Nation had requested that the BBC relinquish its rights to the Daleks to clear the sale of a Dalek series to the US and possibly ITV, the BBC opted to take the Daleks out of Doctor Who permanently, and so a final showdown was scheduled in The Evil of the Daleks, written by David Whitaker and broadcast May to July 1967.
The characters of SSS agents Sara Kingdom and "Agent Seven" had already appeared in The Dalek Outer Space Book, published in September 1966. Terry Nation had mentioned the possibility of a Daleks series as early as 3 August 1965, in an interview with The Sun newspaper.
In 2004, Loose Cannon Productions made a five minute "reconstruction" of the pilot, along with a brief featurette on the background to it. It "cast" Edward de Souza as Captain Jason Corey, Nicholas Courtney as David Kingdom and William Gaunt as Mark Seven.
Audio production[edit | edit source]
Big Finish produced a full cast audio drama of this story (The Destroyers) for The Second Doctor Boxset, a part of The Lost Stories series, released in December 2010. Terry Nation's original story about soldiers in the far future battling the menace of the Daleks was adapted by Nicholas Briggs and John Dorney, and largely switched the roles of Sara and David. It starred Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom, Alan Cox as Mark Seven, Chris Porter as Jason Corey, Alex Mallinson as David Kingdom and Nicholas Briggs as the voice of the Daleks.
Footnotes[edit | edit source]
- The “Lost” Dalek TV series - Dalektricity (June 2010)
- The Evil Of The Daleks - A Brief History of Time (Travel)
- Terry Nation: Writing For The Screen, by Paul Scoones - Time Space Visualiser (The Journal of the New Zealand Doctor Who Fan Club) #51 (June 1997)
- Big Finish Productions Discovers More 'Doctor Who Lost Stories'
- Big Finish Productions' The Second Doctor Boxset