Doctor Who – The Daleks’ Master Plan, 1966
The Daleks’ Master Plan was the third story of William Hartnell’s third, and as it would turn out, final full season.
The twelve part story is the longest Doctor Who story with a single director and production code, as whilst Trial Of A Time Lord ran to fourteen episodes it had four separate stories within it. Each story was written by a different author with it’s own working title.
comings and goings
Apart from it’s length, The Daleks’ Master Plan is also noted for being the first appearance of Nicholas Courtney as Space Agent, Bret Vyon. ( Courtney who would go to feature in many Doctor Who stories as the Brigadier).
Adrienne Hill who made her first appearance in The Myth Makers as companion Katerina bows out when she is killed. Jean Marsh plays companion Sara Kingdom in the story who finds herself befalling the same fete. Bret Vyon is also killed off.
Peter Butterworth returns briefly as The Monk (first seen in The Time Meddler)
The story is also noted for a brief interlude in which The Doctor and his companions journey to a police station in 1960’s England and then a silent film set in America, the trio toast Christmas, and the Doctor breaks the fourth wall by wishing a happy Christmas to the viewers at home.
Sadly from twelve episodes only three remain in the BBC archives. These are: episodes 2, 3 and 4.
Set some six months after the events of Mission To The Unknown, the TARDIS materialises on the planet Kembel.
Leaving a wounded Steven with Katerina The Doctor leaves the safety of the TARDIS and goes in search of medical aid.
Meanwhile, a Space Agent, Bret Vyon, is also on the planet trying to find out what happened to Agent Marc Cory. Coming face to face with the travellers he holds them at gunpoint demanding to be taken away from the planet.
Vyon cures Steven and agrees to work with The Doctor and his companions to escape and warn Earth of the massive Dalek-led alliance that is amassing on the planet.
Part of this alliance is the treacherous Guardian of Earth, Mavic Chen, who has brought a sample of the extremely rare Taranium, which will become a part of the Daleks’ ultimate weapon, the Time Destructor. The Daleks plan to use the time destructor to conquer the universe.
In a later scene we see Brett Vyon kilsl Chen only to be killed himself seconds later by another Space Agent as we are introduced to Sara kingdom, who it turns out is Brett’s sister.
After a series of events The Doctor and his companions, now just Steven and Sara, are reunited. In order to stop The Daleks The Doctor activates the fully assembled Time Destructor.
Knowing that the device will quickly begin ageing anything in its vicinity, the Daleks allow the Doctor and his companions to escape.
Steven goes ahead back to the TARDIS, but Sara insists on accompanying the Doctor. When the two are unable to get back to the TARDIS before the Time Destructor reaches full power, Sara is aged to death and reduced to dust metres away from the TARDIS.
Steven helps the Doctor back inside the TARDIS. Freed from the Destructor’s influence, the two are left weakened, but alive and back to their original ages.
The Daleks try to destroy the Time Destructor, but instead cause it to run out of control, resulting in it destroying the Daleks and all life on the planet. The Doctor and Steven emerge from the TARDIS, and Steven is distraught over the deaths of Bret, Katarina and Sara, while the Doctor can only contemplate the “terrible waste” that has taken place.
William Hartnell – The Doctor
Peter Purves – Steven Taylor
Adrienne Hill – Katerina
Jean Marsh – Sara Kingdom
Nicholas Courtney – Brett Vyon
Peter Butterworth – The Monk
Terry Nation (episodes 1 – 5 & 7)
Dennis Spooner (episodes 6 & 8 – 12)
Produced By: John Wiles
Script Editor: Donald Tush
Directed By: Douglas Camfield
Original Transmission Dates: 13th November – 28th January 1966
Next Story: The Massacre