The Fourth Dimension
Planet of the Daleks
ASLEEP ON THE JOB
Wounded at the end of the previous story, Frontier in Space, the Doctor falls into a deep coma. A bed is extended from a large cupboard unit in the TARDIS console room on which the Doctor sleeps.
FRIEND FROM THE PAST
The Doctor meets the Thals for the first time since their first appearance in the original Dalek story. The Doctor is able to convince the Thals that he is indeed the same Doctor that helped the Thal people in their distant past by telling them that the names of his companions at the time were Ian, Susan and Barbara.
The Dalek Supreme, which arrives on Spiridon near the end of the story, is a larger Dalek than the standard variety. It is black and gold in colour and its eye stalk resembles a torch which lights up when it speaks. This particular Dalek prop was adapted from one that had been used in the Peter Cushing Dalek movies made in the Sixties.
BLIND IN ONE EYE
Michael Wisher once again provides the Dalek voices, following on from their appearance at the close of the preceding story, Frontier in Space. Here though they sound much more like the Dalek voices of the Sixties. For the first time we get to hear a Dalek say what has since become a classic piece of Dalek dialogue: ‘My vision is impaired, I cannot see’.
Terry Nation had created the Daleks back in 1963 for their first Doctor Who adventure. However, other work had kept him busy and, as a result, the last three Dalek stories had been written by other authors. He makes his return to the series and his creations with Planet of the Daleks and will contribute one story to each season for the next four years.
Terry Nation’s original title for the story was Destination: Daleks! with the planet being called Destinus. At the insistence of script editor Terrance Dicks, the planet was changed to Spiridon and the title to Planet of the Daleks.
The native inhabitants of Spiridon are invisible, the perfect defence against the hostile environment in which they live. Roy Skelton, who also provides Dalek voices in this story, was the voice of Wester, the Spiridon who befriends Jo. When Wester dies he becomes visible and his face, under make-up, is Roy Skelton’s.
TEN THOUSAND DALEKS
The shots of the vast Dalek army in the cavern were achieved by using a large number of Louis Marx toy Daleks, available in shops at the time. The Louis Marx toys had also been used in model shots of the Dalek battle at the end of Evil of the Daleks.
Prentis Hancock plays the volatile Thal, Vaber. Hancock had previously appeared in a small role in Spearhead from Space and would return again to Doctor Who as the similarly hot-headed Salamar in Planet of Evil and the Shrieve Captain in The Ribos Operation. Hancock is best known to science fiction fans for playing the regular role of Paul Morrow in the first season of Gerry Anderson’s Space: 1999.
All six episodes of Planet of the Daleks have been restored and remastered and have been released on DVD along with Frontier in Space as part of the Dalek War boxset. Episode Three only existed as a black-and-white film print for many years. However, the episode was recoloured for the DVD release. The episodes are accompanied by a commentary from actors Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Prentis Hancock (Vaber), Tim Preece (Codal), producer Barry Letts, and script editor Terrance Dicks. Also included on the two disc set is The Rumble in the Jungle, a documentary that looks at the making of the story.