The Fourth Dimension

The Chase


The Daleks acquire the ability to travel in time in their own TARDIS-like craft, which the script for the story called a DARDIS.


Finally, after three stories, the Daleks begin to shout the now very familiar ‘Exterminate’ as they fire upon their hapless victims.


For the first time, we see the TARDIS in flight from the outside as it travels through the space/time vortex. It’s not spinning on its axis yet though, which will become the standard in later years.


After almost two years, Ian and Barbara leave the TARDIS at the end of this adventure as actors William Russell and Jacqueline Hill had decided to move on to pastures new. As the two arrive back in London in 1965, their joy at being home is depicted as a series of still photographs around familiar landmarks.


Peter Purves gets to play two characters in the same story. Firstly he is American Morton Dill, a tourist on the top of the Empire State Building who is amazed and delighted when both the Doctor and the Daleks arrive. A few episodes later, Purves becomes Steven Taylor, an astronaut stranded on the planet Mechanus. Steven would join the Doctor and Vicki in their travels, but this would not become clear until the following story where it is revealed that he has stowed away aboard the TARDIS. Both William Hartnell and Maureen O’Brien had suggested that Purves would be a good choice for the new companion.


Using the huge Time Space Visualiser taken from the space museum in the previous adventure, the Doctor and his companions are able to watch events from history as they happened. These include President Lincoln giving the Gettysburg Address in 1863, Shakespeare having an audience with Queen Elizabeth I, and the Beatles singing ‘Ticket to Ride’. The latter is chosen by Vicki who is surprised to find the fab four playing what she describes as ‘classical music’.


In episode three, Flight Through Eternity, the TARDIS takes the Doctor and his friends to a 19th Century sailing ship. When the Daleks arrive in pursuit, the crew are terrorised and all jump overboard. The Doctor and the Daleks then depart, leaving the ship empty and its name is revealed to be the Marie Celeste. In real history, the Mary (not Marie) Celeste was found abandoned at sea in 1872. It is unknown what happened to the crew and remains a great maritime mystery.


When discussing the TARDIS’ time-path tracker, the Doctor says that it has been part of the ship ‘since I constructed it’. Is he referring to constructing the device or the TARDIS itself?


Despite much of episode one, The Executioners, taking place in the interior of the TARDIS, the main control console is in fact absent. A clever camera angle allows William Hartnell to activate the controls to open the TARDIS doors without revealing that the console isn’t actually there. The console returns for episode two.


All six episodes of The Chase were restored and remastered and released on DVD in 2010 as part of a box set that also included the previous story, The Space Museum. The DVD also included a commentary by actors Maureen O’Brien (Vicki), William Russell (Ian) and director Richard Martin; and the documentary Thrill of the Chase in which Richard Martin looks back at the making of the story.

Related Content