7 April 1973
Bernard Horsfall (Taron), Prentis Hancock (Vaber) [1-5], Tim Preece (Codal), Jane Howe (Rebec) [2-6], Roy Skelton (Wester) [2-3,5]*; Roy Skelton, Michael Wisher (Dalek Voices) [2-6], John Scott Martin, Murphy Grumbar, Cy Town (Daleks) [2-6]; Hilary Minster (Marat) , Alan Tucker (Latep) [3-6].
|Written by||Terry Nation|
|Directed by||David Maloney|
|Produced by||Barry Letts|
The TARDIS materialises in a hostile jungle on the planet Spiridon. Jo sets out alone to find help for the Doctor, who has fallen into a coma. She meets a party of Thals and is left in hiding aboard their crashed spaceship while they go to the Doctor’s aid. The Time Lord, now recovered, learns of their mission to destroy a party of Daleks sent here to discover the native Spiridons’ secret of invisibility.
Another Thal spaceship crash-lands in the jungle, and the survivors bring news that somewhere on Spiridon there is an army of ten thousand Daleks. Jo meanwhile meets a friendly Spiridon named Wester, who cures a deadly fungus disease that she has contracted.
It transpires that the Daleks’ army is frozen in suspended animation in a cavern below their base. The Doctor, with the help of the Thals, explodes a bomb in the cavern wall and thereby causes one of the planet’s natural ice volcanoes to erupt, entombing the army in a torrent of liquid ice.
The newly-arrived Dalek Supreme and his aides are left stranded on Spiridon as the Thals steal their ship and the Doctor and Jo depart in the TARDIS
- This serial follows directly on from Frontier In Space, forming a rough twelve-part epic.
- The Thal race returns for the first time since The Daleks. They would next be seen in Genesis of the Daleks.
- In the second episode, a Dalek weapon is used for a purpose other than destruction, for the second and so far last time in the show’s history, and in both cases the purposes was paralysis of the legs – in this case, of the Third Doctor. The other paralysis was the very first use of a Dalek weapon, which was on Ian Chesterton in The Daleks.
- In the Seventh Doctor serial Remembrance of the Daleks, the Doctor improvises a Dalek-disabling device and adds, “I made something like it on Spiridon”, in reference to the converted TARDIS recorder.
- In the Seventh Doctor Doctor Who Magazine comic strip story Emperor of the Daleks (DWM #197-#202), Davros reconditions the survivors of the Dalek army on Spiridon to be loyal to him, using them to conquer Skaro and set himself up as Emperor, leading into the events of Remembrance of the Daleks. The audio drama Return of the Daleks has the Daleks attempting to awaken their army on Spiridon to assist their war effort and master the secret of invisibility- although the Seventh Doctor manages to thwart their plans by infecting the Daleks with light wave sickness-, contradicting the strip. The canonicity of both the audios and strips are arguable.
Daleks in this serial rely on gravitational disks to levitate, despite the fact that in the earlier serial The Chase it was implied that the Daleks were able to move independently between the decks of the Marie Celeste. In the later serial Revelation of the Daleks and subsequent serials featuring the Daleks, they are clearly depicted as readily able to fly.
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