Planet of the Daleks
Looking for THE Planet of the Daleks, Skaro? You naive fool!
|Planet of the Daleks|
|Air date||7 April - 12 May 1973|
|Written by||Terry Nation|
|Directed by||David Maloney|
|Frontier in Space||The Green Death|
Planet of the Of The Daleks is the thrilling conclusion to the cliffhanger from Frontier in Space, padded out to 6 episodes. It features The Velvet SPLINK and Bubbly McMiniskirt, a planet, and some Daleks.
At the end of the GOAT previous story, it was revealed that the real reason Missy Delgado had been trying to get the humans and Draconians to go to war was so the Daleks could swoop in and destroy both weakened empires. If you're watching them out of order, I guess I just spoiled Frontier for you, but whoever told you to watch Planet before/instead of Frontier is not your friend, and it's really his fault.
So, in this story, the space opera continues, and we see the much-discussed Dalek Wars that wreaked havoc on the galaxy in the 26th century, as every child in the UK wanted.
Oh, wait, no. The Doctor and Jo go to Spiridon, a planet where they make sure to tell us there are "no more than 12" Daleks. Actually, there are another 10000 frozen ones in the Tomb of the Cyberkaledmutants, but we don't get to see them, presumably because frozen tombs cannot be thawed out without a large negro, and they forgot to bring one.
Spiridon is a jungle planet, and full of molten ice (no, it doesn't make any more sense if you watch it), with typical Terry Nation monsters like moving vines and fungus with eyes. There are also natives, who are invisible, and who the Daleks have enslaved.
There's also some Thals, who came here as a commando mission but they're apparently not very good drivers, so only a few of them survived the landing, and they're now just trying to stay alive and spying on the Daleks a bit. They remember the First Doctor and that nice piece of ass he brought with him when he came to Skaro, and also the two girls. They're not quite as homoerotic as last time. And they end up doing most of the action this time, albeit after having long drawn-out conversations about the meaning of bravery.
The invisible natives are the important bit, because the Daleks have figured out how their invisibility works and are going to build their own "anti-reflecting light wave" technology to make themselves invisible. Because 500 flying saucers full of 10000 Daleks would be shit, but 500 flying saucers full of 10000 invisible Daleks, that'll conquer the galaxy easy. But it turns out that making themselves invisible makes the Daleks susceptible to "light wave sickness", which causes symptoms similar to but distinguishable from "ray exhaustion", which are both totally realistic diseases that I'm sure Dr. Kit Pedler advised Terry Nation about.
The light wave sickness plot drags on for weeks, padded out with a bunch of filler borrowed directly from The Daleks, and then it fails, and the Thals have to defeat the Daleks with explosions instead. And then the Doctor convinces them to make the foundation of their society A Man Who Sometimes Would but Doesn't Want to Glorify it Any More Than Strictly Necessary. The end.
Oh, also, remember that Stephen King movie where Stephen King was in it, and he played the guy who got green shit on his hand and turned into green shit? It's also in D&D. Jo gets that green shit on her arm. I assume she gets better at some point, because she didn't turn into green shit in the later episodes, but I forget.
And I think the Daleks made a plague? They usually do, so probably.
You know how every RTD finale is a two-parter, usually with Daleks in, where the first part kicks ass and the second part is either tedious or stupid? Frontier in Space/Planet of the Daleks is where he got the idea.
It's not actually that bad. It's just not that good. Lots of padding, and most of the good bits, you already saw in previous Terry stories. And "not that good" is a huge letdown after the previous story and its cliffhanger ending.
- Time Lords' voluntary healing comas.
- Earth is considered a myth by the 26th century.
- You can't blow a TARDIS up, but you can fuck it up by gunking up its exterior with a bit of sap.
- You know how you squeed in surprise that the Daleks can el-e-vate in Dalek—or, if you're a bit older, the exact same scene in Remembrance? Yeah, they fly around on levitating disks like it's no big deal here. Presumably that's how they got between ship decks and building floors in The Chase. In fact, they'd been doing it since the start of the comics. Really, only plebs ever thought that stairs were an issue.
- Thals still live on Skaro. So do Daleks. How? Fuck if I know. Apparently Terry originally intended to imply that the Thals had won the war and kicked the Daleks off their planet, but forgot to write that part.
- Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts insisted that Terry Nation include more female characters so the female viewers would have someone to identify with, so next time someone rants about NuWho and SJWs and blah blah blah, point that out. They also asked him to take out a violent massacre of the Thals, because Uncle Terry had discovered dark prophecies about the coming of Mary Whitehouse.
Behind the Scenes
Terry Nation had left Doctor Who for good after The Daleks' Master Plan, and forced David Whitaker to kill off the Daleks for good in The Evil of the Daleks, all so he could go off to America and make a show called The Daleks Exterminate Everything, Without That British Ponce Around. But after five years of trying, he was faced with the choice of selling his young daughter Rebecca into sex slavery or writing a new Dalek story for Doctor Who. He chose wrong. And got so far behind schedule that he let them do Day of the Daleks first, which everyone likes better than this one. Next thing you know, he'll be a junior staff writer for MacGyver.
As usual, all the characters' names are puns on the Nation family. In particular, Taron is named for TerrNT, aka Terry himself, and Rebec for Rebecca, his young daughter. Did I mention that Taron and Rebec are lovers? Also, she's the boss, but she submits to him because macho. Maybe a little too late to send Child Services by the Nation house, but maybe someone should have considered it at the time?