Saturday 31 December 2022

L is for... Lucius

Lucius was a young member of the infamous Ninth Legion, which vanished without trace in the Highlands of Scotland. The culprit was a savage creature known as an Eater of Light, which resided in an alternative dimension - accessed via a Pictish temple. A girl named Kar had freed this, and now she did not know how to control it. It began feeding on everyone - Roman and Pict. Lucius explained to the Doctor's companion Bill that his colleagues were all young and terrified. When the Doctor offered to sacrifice himself to keep the Eater confined, Lucius and Kar joined forces and agreed to take his place. The other dimension ran to a shorter time-scale, so they were still alive and battling the monsters in the early 21st Century.

Played by: Brian Vernal. Appearances: The Eaters of Light (2017).
  • Vernal played the mercenary Bala-Tik in Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens.

L is for... Lucas, Jennifer

Jennifer Lucas was a member of the crew of an acid mining operation. This had been established in a medieval ruin on an island off the south coast of England. The work was so dangerous that the crew made use of Gangers - replicas of each of them composed of a living organic substance known as the Flesh. They even had the same memories and personalities as their originals. When the Doctor and his companions, Amy and Rory, visited, a solar storm caused the equipment to go awry. The Gangers became permanent individuals. Rather than face destruction as temporary beings, they decided to fight for their right to exist independently.
The Ganger Jennifer killed her original but pretended to be her. She befriended Rory and attempted to manipulate him into helping her destroy the other humans. She showed him a Ganger waste pile. He only realised he was being used after it was too late and Jennifer had sabotaged the mine workings.
She mutated into a bizarre travesty of a human being  and began  killing humans and Gangers alike. The acid in the mine exploded and destroyed the building - killing the Jennifer Ganger.

Played by: Sarah Smart. Appearances: The Rebel Flesh / The Almost People (2011).

L is for... Lowe

Lowe was the Supervisor of Titan base - a refuelling stop on the moon of Saturn. A space-shuttle arrived which had passed through a mysterious cloud in space, and the three crewmembers had become infected by a virus known as the Swarm. Lowe was able to evade being killed by them by hiding in a refrigerated room. The TARDIS arrived soon after as the Doctor had also become infected by the virus. Lowe was recruited when a dying shuttle pilot infected him. He donned a heavy duty visor to disguise the physical symptoms of the virus - silvery hairs and scales around the eyes. He pretended to help take the Doctor to the Bi-Al medical foundation - built into an asteroid. Here he began recruiting more staff. Prof. Marius helped the Doctor by shrinking short-lived clones of Leela and he, and injecting them into his body to find the Nucleus of the virus at source. Lowe infected Marius and had him send a clone copy of himself into the Doctor to stop the others. The clone Lowe was attacked and destroyed by anti-bodies.
The real Lowe transported the Nucleus back to Titan where tanks had been prepared for its eggs. The Doctor pushed him into one of these tanks, and then arranged for a gas explosion to destroy the base.

Played by: Michael Sheard. Appearances: The Invisible Enemy (1977).
  • Sheard is one of several actors who have appeared more than once in Doctor Who, who played Imperial officers in The Empire Strikes Back.
  • As well as Lowe, his Doctor Who credits include The Ark, The Mind of Evil, Pyramids of Mars, Castrovalva and Remembrance of the Daleks.

L is for... Lovelace, Ada

Ada Lovelace was the only legitimate child of poet Lord Byron. She was born Augusta Ada Byron in December 1815. She had a keen interest in mathematics and logic which was encouraged by her mother. She was able to introduce her to many of the great scientists and writers of the day. One friendship of note was with Charles Babbage who was working on his Analytical Engine - a form of early computer.
The Doctor encountered Ada in another dimension, populated by the Kasaavin. They were secretly developing computer science on Earth as part of a scheme to turn the human race into organic hard-drives.
Ada knew how to transport herself back home, to London 1834, and brought the Doctor with her. They attended a scientific exhibition which was invaded by the Master. Ada used a prototype weapon to overpower him and they escaped to Babbage's home. Ada then transported the Doctor to Paris during the Nazi occupation, where they met British agent Noor Inayat Khan. Ada and Noor helped steal the Master's TARDIS to get to the 21st Century, leaving Noor behind with her memories wiped. Ada was returned to Victorian London, her memories also wiped.

Played by: Sylvie Briggs. Appearances: Spyfall Part II (2020).
  • Lovelace married an Earl the year after this episode.
  • She died in 1852 at the early age of 36.

L is for... Louis (XV)

The Doctor encountered Louis XV, King of France, when his mistress Madame de Pompadour was being stalked by service robots from the 51st Century. The spaceship was named after her, and due to severe damage the robots believed that human components could repair it - including her brain replacing the central computer.
Louis became King in 1715 at the age of five. He first met his future mistress in 1745, when she attended a masque ball at Versailles.
The Doctor hoped to take de Pompadour travelling with him in the TARDIS, but when he next visited Versailles it was 1764, and she had just died. Louis gave him a letter which she had left for him.
Louis died ten years later.

Played by: Ben Turner. Appearances: The Girl in the Fireplace (2006).
  • Louis succeeded his great-grandfather Louis XIV - the Sun King. He was in turn succeeded by his grandson Louis XVI, who was on the throne at the time of the French Revolution. It is believed that the seeds of the Revolution were actually sown by Louis XV, who damaged France's reputation abroad and made the monarchy unpopular at home.

L is for... Lou

Passenger, with his wife Carmen, on the 200 bus service to South London which was transported through a wormhole to the alien world of San Helios. Lou told the Doctor that his wife had mild psychic abilities, leading them to win £10 on the lottery every time they played. Lou liked the simple pleasures of life, and was looking forward to a nice meal when they got back home.

Played by: Reginald Tsiboe. Appearances: Planet of the Dead (2009).
  • Tsiboe was a dancer and singer as well as an actor. He was a former member of the disco group Boney M.

Wednesday 28 December 2022

Countdown to 60: A Daughter of the Gods

" She didn't understand. She couldn't understand. She wanted to save our lives, and perhaps the lives of all the other beings of the Solar System. I hope she's found her Perfection. Oh, how I shall always remember her as one of the Daughters of the Gods. Yes, as one of the Daughters of the Gods...".

The Doctor always won. Good always triumphed over evil. If you travelled with the Doctor, he would keep you safe.
Then, in the fourth instalment of The Daleks' Master Plan - The Traitors - everything changed. Within a few minutes of the episode opening, Katarina sacrificed herself - opening an airlock so that she and a convict named Kirksen were sucked out into the vacuum of space. Before the episode had closed, Bret Vyon, who had become a sort of surrogate companion over the previous three weeks, had been brutally gunned down. His replacement - and killer - was Sara Kingdom, and she too bit the dust before the story was done.
We hadn't really got to know Bret, but he was a space security agent so lived in a dangerous world anyway. Likewise Sara. Katarina on the other hand was simply a handmaid from ancient Troy - a gentle soul who had been foreseeing her own death almost from the outset. 
In real life, the actor playing Katarina - Adrienne Hill - had foreseen her character's demise, as it was the very first thing she recorded, long before appearing in studio for the fourth and final episode of The Myth Makers. Producer and story editor had quickly realised that a figure from so far back in history would be difficult to write for - having to have everything explained to her. The next production team brought in a companion from 1746, and another from 1866 - and got round the Katarina issue by simply ignoring it. Jamie and Victoria hardly ever questioned anything.

Class 03: Nightvisiting

In which a sentient plant-like lifeform emerges from a tear in Space / Time at Coal Hill School. This appears as a mass of tendrils, which can take on the form of people through a psychic link with its intended victims. Tanya is visited by her father Jasper - on the second anniversary of his death. Convinced she must be hallucinating, the figure attempts to make physical contact with her. He appears to have memories which only her father should possess.
Elsewhere, Miss Quill is visited by the same plant-form, which takes on the appearance of her sister. She tries to encourage her to accept a weapon - claiming that she can bypass the block which prevents her using guns.
Ram is on a video call with April when he is visited by Rachel - his Prom date who had been killed by the Shadow Kin.
April and Ram each run from their homes and meet up outside. They see people covered in green slime lying in the street and in nearby shops - victims of the tendrils.

Miss Quill knows her sister to be an imposter as she is too nice - she and her sister always hated each other. The creature reveals itself to be the Lankin - a parasite which feeds on the grief of its victims by appearing as someone they have lost, before absorbing them completely.
Unable to attack it, Quill fetches Charlie who has been in bed upstairs with Matteusz. Charlie stabs the creature with a screwdriver.
Ram and April discover a huge network of tendrils stretching across the neighbourhood. It is spreading across the whole of London. They spot one particular tendril, thicker than the rest, leading in through Tanya's window and head inside to save her.
Tanya hated her abusive father, and instead of feeding it the grief it desires, she poisons it with her anger. This weakens the Lankin. Miss Quill steals a double-decker bus and smashes through the main tendril leading into Tanya's home. The Lankin are forced to withdraw into the school and retreat through the Space / Time rift.
Charlie tells Miss Quill that Matteusz will be moving in with them, after being turfed out by his homophobic parents.

Nightvisiting was written by Patrick Ness, and was first broadcast on BBC 3 on 29th October 2016.
This episode allows for some character development, as we discover various things about the families of some of the regulars. Miss Quill had a sister with whom she shared a love-hate relationship (they loved to hate each other). April confides in Ram the circumstances that led to her mother being confined to a wheelchair. Her father had attempted to commit suicide by deliberately crashing his car - with his wife and daughter still in it. Matteusz has a homophobic family, who throw him out of the house due to his sexuality. He, meanwhile, sees his relationship with Charlie move up a level and they go to bed together. The main focus of the episode is on the one character who has been underused so far - Tanya. We learn about her dead father and about her mother and three brothers, and it is her attitude towards her father which leads towards the defeat of the Lankin. Her hatred quite literally poisons it.

The guest cast is a small one. Playing Jasper - Tanya's father - is Kobna Holdbrook-Smith.
Anastasia Hille plays Orla'ath, sister of Miss Quill. It transpires that Quill develop in nests, and sibling rivalry is encouraged in a "survival of the fittest" sort of way. 
Tanya's mother, Vivien, is played by Natasha Gordon. Anna Shaffer reprises Ram's deceased girlfriend Rachel.
Critics at the time claimed this to be the best of the series so far, thanks to scenes such as that between Tanya and her "father", and the development of the relationships between Charlie and Matteusz, and April and Ram.

Overall, an interesting little episode, though not terribly original. Ghosts pretending to be loved ones, concealing dangerous motives, is an old idea.
Things you might like to know:
  • Tanya has a letter from Coal Hill School giving its address as Foreman Street, Shoreditch. I.M. Foreman was the name of the junkyard proprietor on whose premises the TARDIS was parked in 1963.
  • The name Lankin came from the song Long Lankin, by contemporary musician Jim Moray. It was an adaptation of a 15th Century Scottish ballad called Lamkin.
  • Moray also wrote a piece called Nightvisitor, which was included in the episode. It backs a flashback scene involving Tanya's father, and April plays a section on her violin. Moray released it as a single on the day this episode first aired.

Monday 26 December 2022

The First Dalek Christmas

Dalekmania did not begin with The Daleks. At Christmas 1963, the Daleks had been a hit with the general public, but they were simply the villains of a one-off adventure in what would be a 52 week long series - unlikely to ever be seen again as their creator destroyed them unequivocally at the end of the story.
It was with news of the Daleks' return the following year that Dalekmania first got underway. The main period was to hit a year later, coinciding with The Daleks' Master Plan. This was when merchandise was at its peak, with many dozens of items available for purchase - games, puzzles, and clothing items. 
The Christmas of 1964 - coinciding with The Dalek Invasion of Earth - saw the first glimmerings of the phenomena, a taste of what was to come.

In the run-up to the festive period, two Dalek-related pop singles were due to be released. The first of these - Landing of the Daleks by The Earthlings - wouldn't arrive until January 1965, and was rapidly withdrawn as it employed an SOS Morse Code message which the BBC argued might be mistaken for the real thing by emergency services or international shipping.
The other - better known - song which did make it into the shops in time for Christmas was I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek, by the Go-Go's. The group, comprising session musicians, were able to borrow a couple of Daleks for the single's sleeve and publicity purposes (including the new Black Dalek). Sample lyrics include: 
"I'm gonna spend my Christmas with a Dalek,
And hug him underneath the mistletoe
And if he's very nice
I'll feed him sugar spice
And hang a Christmas stocking from his big lead toe..."
The chorus features a Dalek-like voice intoning "Me-rr-y Christ-Mas".

The must-have Dalek gift that year was the Dalek playsuit, of which two varieties were available. Both were quite expensive, so most children made do with small model versions - like the Louis Marx "robot action" or Rolykins models - or they made their own utilising cardboard boxes, toilet plungers and egg whisks.
One playsuit was manufactured by Berwick, and the other by Scorpion Automotives.

The Scorpion Automotives one is the one which is the big rarity today - thanks to the factory burning down before most suits could be distributed. All of the stock, plus the means to manufacture them, was destroyed in the blaze. The company never recovered. Of the two, it was the better designed.
There is a Berwick suit, with original box, on e-bay at the moment going for £499.99. Bought brand new, it would have set you back 66s 6d, or you could pay monthly instalments of 9s 6d.

The already established Daily Mail Boys & Girls Exhibition was deemed to be a good place to promote the series. This opened in mid-December each year and ended in mid-January. A number of Daleks were to be seen - including the increasingly ubiquitous Black Dalek. Attendees could travel around the exhibition on the "brainy train" - a driverless electric vehicle.

Despite having already completed her role in the series - but not yet on screen - Carole Ann Ford attended on one of the days, cocking a snook at the Black Dalek.
Doctor Who would return to the Exhibition for the 1967/68 event, when Cybermen and Yeti would be on view, along with a Rill, Fungoid, Mire Beast and Ice Warriors. The three winning monsters from the Blue Peter competition could also be seen.
As mentioned, the main period of Dalekmania came along later in 1965, when far more items of merchandise were available. We'll return to this subject when the "Episodes" posts reach that point.

Sunday 25 December 2022

New 60th Trailer & Images

In lieu of any new episodes this festive season, the BBC delivered a new trailer for the 2023 60th Anniversary Specials this evening. Most clips derived from what we believe to be the first of them - the one with the Meep and the Wrarth Warriors, from the Doctor Who Weekly comic strip. There were a couple of images of Neil Patrick Harris as well - strongly rumoured to be playing the Toymaker.
To the best of our knowledge there are three specials, as three directors are credited, and people saw reference to three productions on filming slates. However, we still only know of two plot-lines (Meep and Toymaker), so it may well be that one of these is a two part story.
The trailer showed that Donna is still subject to the mind wipe which the Doctor inflicted on her, and she will die if she remembers.
Along with the trailer, a quartet of photographs was released. As well as the Tennant one above we have one of Donna, one of her family (mum Sylvia, husband Shaun and daughter Rose), and one depicting someone we've not seen before. This is Ruth Madeley, who is a wheelchair user. She is an audio companion to the Sixth Doctor, but is playing a different character here, by the name of Shirley Anne Bingham. Which episode she features in, we don't yet know.

Merry Christmas!!!

Wishing you all a very Happy and Peaceful Christmas, and a Healthy and Prosperous 2023 (AKA Doctor Who's 60th Anniversary).

Saturday 24 December 2022

Episode 51: Flashpoint

Ian finds himself trapped inside the bomb casing as the Daleks position it over the shaft, ready to send it hurtling into the depths of the Earth...
He frantically tries to sabotage it, pulling randomly at the various wires. The bomb halts a few metres down, and Robomen are ordered to haul it back up to the launch area.
Ian manages to open a hatch on the underside of the bomb and starts to climb out, but is spotted by the Daleks. They fire and burn the rope he is hanging from, causing him to slide down the shaft. He comes to a stop, stunned, at a point where the shaft turns and there is a hatch through to another part of the complex.
Barbara and Jenny are brought into the Dalek control room. They see that the Daleks have a device though which they issue orders to the Robomen. To cause a distraction, Barbara makes up a complicated plot - an imminent attack on the mine workings using characters from history. She then attempts to order the Robomen to turn on the Daleks but is prevented from doing so. She and Jenny are left clamped to a wall. They will be left here to die in the explosion of the Dalek bomb.
Ian wakes and explores the area beyond the hatch. He finds several lengths of shoring timber, and decides to use these to block the bomb's path down the shaft.
The Black Dalek drops their bomb, unaware that it has been stopped close to the surface, then retreats to their saucer which will hover over the area.
The Doctor sends Susan and David to destroy the power generating cable which surrounds the mine, then he and Tyler enter the command centre now that the Daleks have withdrawn. They free Barbara and Jenny. The Doctor uses their scanner to observe Susan and David. This change to their equipment prompts a Dalek to come and investigate, but as the power cable is broken, it overheats and dies. Barbara tells the Doctor about the Roboman control device, and he uses it to order them to turn on the Daleks. Robomen and slave-workers rise up against their alien oppressors.
Ian arrives and explains about his sabotage in the shaft.
Everyone flees the mine workings as the bomb detonates. The blast wipes out the Dalek command centre - and takes out the saucer hovering overhead. All that is left is a new volcano, in the heart of England.
Back in London, Wells helps to clear the rubble from the TARDIS.
Aware of their feelings for each other, the Doctor formulates a scheme to force the issue between Susan and David. Ian and Barbara realise what he is about to do - and that they must take a step back.
The Doctor closes and double-locks the doors. He asks Susan to step back so that he can see her, then tells her that it is time that she settled down and lived her own life. With David she can do that. Promising to return and visit her one day, he dematerialises the TARDIS. David explains to her that the Doctor had to take action, as they would never have willingly parted from each other. Susan discards her TARDIS key in the rubble...
Next episode: The Powerful Enemy

Written by: Terry Nation
Recorded: Friday 23rd October 1964 - Riverside Studio 1
First broadcast: 5:55pm, Saturday 26th December 1964
Ratings: 12.4 million / AI 60
Designer: Spencer Chapman
Director: Richard Martin

It is very noticeable that the character of Jenny simply vanishes after the explosion at the mine workings. Everyone else gets to appear at the "walk  down" at the end - even the minor character of Wells. This is a throwback to the original plans for the new companion. One of the complications here was yet another potential cancellation crisis. The BBC would not commit beyond the end of 1964. There would have been little point introducing a new regular were the series about to end.
Plan A had been for Susan's replacement to have developed out of this story. She would have been a teenage resistance fighter of Anglo-Indian descent, named Saida. The actor Verity Lambert had in mind would have been Pamela Franklin (who had been one of the child stars of The Innocents). She was due to have disappeared towards the end of the story - only to turn up as a stowaway on the TARDIS. 
When the production team opted to go with Plan B - introducing the new companion in a two-part story to immediately follow this one, thanks to a renewed commitment towards the series by the BBC - Saida's role in events was given to the character of Jenny, which is why she just disappears before the ending.
Ann Davies would go on to become a very good friend of Jacqueline Hill. They had children of similar age and enrolled in adult education together before Hill returned to acting. Reid also helped care for Hill in her final illness. Her husband, Richard Briers, would finally appear in the series in 1987 as the Chief Caretaker in Paradise Towers, as well as an episode of Torchwood's second series.

A particular highlight of this episode is Barbara's attempt to fool the Daleks into believing they are under attack, using her knowledge of history. When the Black Dalek points out that they already control India, she switches it to "Red Indians" and brings in the Boston Tea Party. Hannibal is coming over the Southern Alps with his elephants, and the Seventh Cavalry are also involved. It's a lovely sequence. This story has given all the regulars something to get their teeth into - even Hartnell who has missed a week.
The metal clamps used to hold Barbara and Jenny to the wall just after this scene failed to work, so both had to hold them in place themselves.

Unfortunately, for the Daleks (and for the viewers), it's death by stock footage. The movie version has Daleks being sucked down into the bowels of the Earth, then we see the Dalek saucer dragged down to crash into the mine workings. For many people, this was their main image of this story, before it got its VHS release. What we get here is a montage of stock footage of old newsreel volcanic eruption images, and cast members describing things that have happened off screen. After six weeks, it is really rather disappointing.

Whilst little development had gone into the circumstances of Susan's departure - with Carole Ann Ford and Peter Fraser having to improvise and ad lib some romance between their characters - this was not the case with the departure scene itself. Ford and William Hartnell were invited to spend a weekend with Terry Nation and his wife at his country home in Kent to discuss the sequence.
Hartnell is given one of his finest speeches, worth quoting in full:

Doctor: During all the years that I have been taking care of you, you in return have been taking care of me.
Susan: Oh grandfather, I belong with you!
Doctor: Not any longer, Susan. You are still my grandchild, and always will be, but now you're a woman too.
I want you to belong somewhere, to have roots of your own. With David you'll be able to find those roots and live normally like any woman should do.
Believe me my dear, your future lies with David, and not with a silly old buffer like me. One day I shall come back. Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties.
Just go forward in all your beliefs and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.
Goodbye Susan. Goodbye my dear". 

However, there were actually a couple of other lines which Hartnell omitted. The same thing had happened with his last big solo speech - at the conclusion to The Edge of Destruction. The missing lines here were:

Doctor: "Work hard both of you. Be gentle with her David and show her that life on Earth with love and understanding can be a great adventure.
And remember, love is the greatest jewel of all."

Hartnell's speech was reused to introduce The Five Doctors in 1983, and featured again in the 50th Anniversary drama An Adventure in Space and Time.
Carole Ann Ford went straight into panto on leaving Doctor Who. Unfortunately she found herself badly type-cast and took on voice-coaching work to supplement her income - something she still does today. She reprised the role of Susan in 1983, in The Five Doctors, where she was paired with the First Doctor as essayed by Richard Hurndall. Later, she returned to the role of Susan in a number of Big Finish audios - some set during her time on the TARDIS and some following on from this story.

Changes were taking place behind the scenes as well as in front of the cameras. This is the final episode to have David Whitaker credited as Story Editor. He had already been employed by his successor - Dennis Spooner - to write the following two-parter which would introduce the new companion.

  • This episode was broadcast 15 minutes late due to Boxing Day sports coverage.
  • As it's Boxing Day most people are staying at home, so the viewing figures rise by a million and the AI goes up 2 points.
  • The draft title for this episode was "Earth Rebels".
  • Because of the Winter Olympics making use of technical facilities, recording for this episode was moved to a later slot of 9:00 - 10:15pm on 23rd October (it was usually 8:30 - 9:45pm at this time). There were concerns that 75 minutes would not be long enough and, due to the complexity of this episode, recording overran by some 17 minutes. A major reset of the studio to get rid of the bomb room alone took up 20 minutes. Other problems included a 5 minute camera failure and a sound failure of similar duration.
  • Take note of the corridor as the slave workers storm the Dalek control room. You can see the "It is forbidden to dump bodies..." poster and the TARDIS landing site, waiting for the recording of the final scenes.
  • On completion of the filming, the two Barnardos Daleks were returned to the charity, on the proviso they could be borrowed back again, whilst four Daleks, including the Supreme, were put into storage at Ealing. A third Dalek story had already been planned.
  • As with the first Dalek story, Aaru bought the rights to turn this into a 90 minute movie starring Peter Cushing. Released in 1966, as "Dalekmania" was already waning, it was clear what the main selling point was, as it was titled Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150AD. No mention of "Dr Who" and he hardly features on the main poster image.
  • On her last day in studio, Carole Ann Ford brought in her 8mm cine-camera and took some colour footage. Unfortunately she reused the film by mistake, leaving it double-exposed. We can see director Richard Martin in the top image, and a smiling William Hartnell, sans wig, in the lower one.
  • The 1964 Radio Times Christmas issue carried an article based loosely on Lewis Carroll's Alice, comparing the BBC with his Wonderland. One particular encounter dancer Barbara Lord had was with William Hartnell's Doctor and a bizarre drinks party including a pair of Daleks, one of which was the Black Dalek. A handful of colour images had been taken for the first Dalek story, retained by Ray Cusick, so this was the first time the general public would have seen their colour schemes.

Friday 23 December 2022

What's Wrong With... Robot

Colour Separation Overlay works on the principle that objects of a certain colour, filmed against a backdrop of the same colour, can be keyed out and replaced with the output from another camera. Traditionally the key colour has been blue, though in more recent times green has been the favoured option. The phrase "greenscreen" has pretty much come to be the industry norm for this effect. When director Paul Bernard was coaxed away from ITV to helm a couple of Doctor Who stories in the early 1970's, Barry Letts wanted to pick his brains about the techniques which the opposition were employing. ITV favoured yellow as the key colour. As he had championed CSO at the BBC, Letts agreed that yellow should be used on Doctor Who - first appearing on Bernard's Day of the Daleks.
The main requirement of the key colour was that it did not feature too prominently in nature, and costume designers could be advised to avoid it - otherwise the bits of costume of that colour would appear invisible.
Robot required the titular creature to grow to enormous proportions in the final episode, so only CSO would manage this. Director Chris Barry was using Outside Broadcast video to record the location scenes, and this worked better with CSO. When objects recorded on video were superimposed onto film, they had a tendency to appear to float, and did not integrate properly into the composite image.
The problems with CSO should have been minimal for this story - but no-one had thought about the fact that the robot was made from aluminium. Shiny, reflective aluminium...
When the robot grows, its legs begin to vanish, along with other bits as they reflect the key colour.
(NB: the DVD and Blu-ray versions have had this problem rectified to some extent).

CSO also allowed for cheaper productions, with sets and props made model scale and simply superimposed onto the background. A real army tank would have cost money to borrow, along with limited access. Letts advised using a model - and the one they went for wasn't one constructed especially by the VFX department. They used an Action Man tank - and it looks like it. The toy lacks any sort of detail, and has tracks which don't match a real vehicle. The VFX team should have been asked to adapt it, by adding detail, but this didn't happen. Had it been filmed slowed down it might have looked better, but it is on video in real time. 
What makes this worse, is that the tank features in the Part Three cliff-hanger - so you get to see it all again the following week.
The little Sarah doll looks exactly like that - a small doll. When the robot places her on the roof, there is a CSO mismatch as she is supposed to be gripping a drainpipe - but misses by a couple of inches.
The height of the robot varies in relation to the background. No-one has thought to properly work out the scale.

Michael Kilgarriff had a terrible time in the costume. Despite lots of padding at the joints, he was badly scratched and cut. One night he had a nightmare about being trapped in a miniature submarine, and when he tried to get up the next day he found he couldn't move his legs for a few hours. There is an actual trip captured on screen, after he has broken out of Kettlewell's laboratory, and we see an almost trip as the robot descends the steps outside the SRS meeting.
On leaving the meeting, Jellicoe hides behind the robot - but UNIT troops could have easily shot him at any time. They're too busy pointlessly shooting the  robot.

The Doctor claims to have the Freedom of the City of Skaro. This must be a Thal settlement, as the Daleks would hardly be issuing such things. He also mentions that the Alpha Centauri table-tennis team use 6 bats, as they have six arms. A two armed person only uses one bat - not two - so either he's confused or they play a totally different version of the game on Alpha Centauri.
The SRS object to Sarah wearing trousers - despite these being the most practical - and rational - form of dress for both men and women. They should be objecting to impractical skirts instead.
Does skirt-wearing feminist Miss Winters know that her underlings are advocating this sexist dress code notion?
The man objecting to Sarah' dress is played by Timothy Craven - who previously played the chap who moaned about having sold his house to travel to another planet in Invasion of the Dinosaurs. They missed a trick by not having him the same character - driven to join the fascist SRS after being duped by the equally fascist Operation Golden Age.

The SRS people at the meeting are shocked to see the robot for the first time - and are then informed that UNIT are on their way to arrest them all - yet they stop to laugh at the Doctor doing silly dances and tricks. Terry Walsh's bouncer  - who the Doctor previously tripped up - is then seen simply standing back, arms folded, watching the same on stage antics, and needs prompting to try to stop the Doctor.
Much of the story revolves around the theft of components for the Disintegrator Gun. As it was developed by Think Tank, this simply draws attention to the organisation. After they get the Gun, they simply use it to open a safe, and it's the launch codes that they are really after.
Even in 1975 this bunch of scientists ought to have known what a nuclear winter might have looked like, so it is bizarre that Miss Winters insists on triggering the missiles. How many of her supporters actually made it into the bunker anyway, to create her new society?
UNIT aren't any smarter, what with them managing to lose a 9 foot tall robot in broad daylight.
Kettlewell's virus was designed to devour all metals - not just the robot's special alloy - so I hope the Doctor adapted it in some way before he released it into the atmosphere of south-east England...

When the Doctor chops a brick in two, it clearly sounds like a block of wood instead.
We see the opening section of the note which the Doctor leaves for Sarah - and when she reads it back later it isn't the same.
The BBC was undergoing one of its periodic strikes - this time involving the scenic crew. Keep an eye out for a ladder that appears in the background in a number of scenes. The crew were not allowed to touch it so they just filmed around it.

Finally, don't expect this story to represent the start of a new era, even if there's a new Doctor. It is actually the end of the old one, recorded back-to-back with Planet of the Spiders. It is a Barry Letts-produced, Terrance Dicks-written, UNIT story, so has much more in common with Season 11 than with Season 12.

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Countdown to 60: The Monk's Got A TARDIS!

Number six, and a scene in which a lot of what we thought we knew about the Doctor is turned on its head.
Up to now, there has always been something unique about him, and we've been lead to believe that the TARDIS is a creation of his own invention. The idea that he comes from a race of people, who all have access to near identical machines like this, was unthinkable. Susan's insistence that she devised the name, and the Doctor's rather ambiguous statement that a particular component had been in the ship since he built it (but does he mean the ship, or just the component?) had made us think that he invented the TARDIS. Working against this, though, was his relative unfamiliarity with how the TARDIS functioned - which did hint that he had borrowed or stolen it.
The first two instalments of The Time Meddler had introduced the Meddling Monk and shown him to be a time-traveller. He was in the 11th Century, but enjoying gramophone records and electric hotplates.
The cliff-hanger to Part Three broke the news that not only was he a time-traveller, he was specifically a traveller from the same race as the Doctor, with his own TARDIS. The Doctor wasn't unique. There were other members of his race out there - ones who lacked his moral compass and who abused their power. The road to the Time Lords, and especially the rogue Time Lords, begins here.

Season 2 - The Collection: A Review

A personal gripe out of the way first... Whilst they may not have been able to predict the mail strikes in the UK, they should at least have considered just how busy the post is at the beginning of December, with general on-line shopping boosted by Black Friday deals. A combination of the post workers' strike and general pre-Xmas volume, meant that I only received my boxset on Tuesday 13th December - 8 days after the official release date.
In future I hope they aren't so stupid as to release anything else at this time of year in future. It was previewed in October in DWM and with a screening of The Time Meddler at the NFT in November, so should have been released then.
The delayed arrival, and having nine packed discs to work through, mean that this review is a little late.

None of the above has any bearing on the quality of the new Collection box set. This is the largest release so far - with nine separate stories on their own individual discs - and it is the first of the 1960's monochrome seasons. As not one of them is complete, it also means it is the first to feature gaps. Luckily only two episodes are missing - Parts 2 and 4 of The Crusade. It makes this the most complete season in the archives, so was an obvious starting place for these older seasons to be released.
Sadly, the missing instalments have not been animated. These have always suffered the problem of having far too many speaking parts, locations and costumes - making them too expensive to animate. (A lot of people still don't comprehend the logistics of animating lost TV. You need a good enough soundtrack for a start, then there needs to be smaller numbers of speaking characters  and sets than these episodes offer. Finally, there has to be a market for the end product, and B&W Historical material simply isn't ranked as high as Daleks, Cybermen and sci-fi adventures in general).
What we do get is the soundtracks for the two episodes, accompanied by the telesnaps. Fortunately, they have added the option of narration from the audio CD releases (as on the Lost in Time set they failed to provide any explanation for the sounds in lengthy speechless sections). There are also production text subtitles).

Naturally cost has put some people off buying these special editions, especially with the cost of living crisis and power-boosted, open-ended energy bills. They are also (very slowly) reissuing sets with more basic packaging for about a tenner less.
Another criticism I keep seeing is the business that you simply can't upscale such archive material. Season 2 was broadcast not on the 625 line format of the 1970's and '80's stories. It went out on 405 line TV, so very low definition. Thankfully, technology has already shown that these old recordings can be enhanced. The DVD releases were a marked improvement on the VHS releases, and now the Blu-ray release has brought us a startling improvement to picture quality. This is as good as these episodes have ever been. With The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the soundtrack, whilst still in dual mono, has also been enhanced. The first episode of The Crusade does have some damage - too severe to get rid of entirely - but it is still a much better version that the one we got on the Lost in Time DVD set.
I, for one, don't care if it's proper HD or not. It looks fantastic, and that's all that matters.
No new additional CGI this time. That for Dalek Invasion was already on the DVD release and, apart from a new shot of Battersea Power Station, is confined to the fancy Dalek saucers. I was a little disappointed that they hadn't done anything to visually improve the story's climax. On screen it is simply some old volcanic stock footage. If you're used to the Peter Cushing movie version, you'll be especially disappointed. 
I would also have loved to see them get rid of the TARDIS / DARDIS chase sequences in The Chase, which are very amateurishly realised.

Before we look at the extras, a word about the packaging and artwork. 9 discs places a lot of strain on the plastic tray unit, and you may find it has come away from the main packaging. I have also found it necessary to use scissors or some other sharp implement to flip the discs over, as you certainly can't fit your fingers between the trays and the box.
The booklet has an illustration for each story, and these have always been in colour. I assumed this would also be the case here, as the booklet has a colour cover and the folding pocket in which it sits has a colour image. However, what we get are monochrome images, which I was disappointed with.

With the stories spread over 9 discs, there isn't any separate 'Extras' one this time. The VAM is spread over the other discs. Planet of Giants is unusual in that it is the very first story not to feature a "Behind The Sofa" feature. This means that Carole Ann Ford only gets to sit down and watch one of her stories from this season. Also on this first disc is the first of the Matthew Sweet interviews - with William Russell. Most interesting are his memories of his time in the RAF in the Middle East. All the other Extras are pre-existing ones.
The Dalek Invasion of Earth sees the first "Behind the Sofa", but no other new Extras. There are three sets of viewers - Maureen O'Brien, Peter Purves and Carole Ann Ford making one set, Bonnie Langford and Sophie Aldred forming another, and finally Janet Fielding, Sarah Sutton and Wendy Padbury. I really think they need to include Fielding less on these. She never pays attention to what's going on, is usually uncomplimentary about what she does see, and dominates the others. The producers seem more interested in watching her and Padbury spark off each other - despite this having no relevance whatsoever to the episodes under consideration.
The Rescue has a "Behind the Sofa" which almost covers the entire story. The main new Extra here is the other Matthew Sweet interview with O'Brien. This is much longer than the Russell one, and is interesting for her memories of a Liverpool childhood and her stage acting. She finds it incredibly difficult to be positive about her work, other than her detective novels.
The Romans only has a "Behind the Sofa" beyond what was on the original DVD release - likewise The Web Planet.
With only two surviving episodes, The Crusade allows for a couple of new Extras - but doesn't get a "Behind the Sofa". 
The missing episodes 2 and 4 get fine reconstructions, using soundtrack and telesnaps, which can also be viewed with additional narration and subtitles. This disc also features Toby Hadoke's latest documentary, in which he goes on a mission to find out all he can about David Whitaker. Sadly the series' first story editor was living in Australia when organised fandom got underway, then died from cancer on his return to the UK - so not a huge amount is known about him. Hadoke discovers a lot of information, some of it quite surprising so I won't go into detail here.
Another highlight is the archive interview material. Each set has included convention interview panel material, of variable quality. Here we get a quartet of Hartnell era companions at a 1985 DWASocial event - Jacqueline Hill, Carole Ann Ford, Adrienne Hill and Michael Craze - three of whom are no longer with us, and who died long before the DVD range began. Fortunately this time round they have elected to include the audience questions as subtitles. Previously it has been impossible to hear these and you've had to play "guess the question" from the various answers.
The final items of note are Sylvester McCoy's original introduction to The Wheel of Fortune from The Hartnell Years VHS release, and William Russell's links for the missing episodes from the story's individual VHS release. He does these in character as Ian, who apparently lives in a castle these days. These links were actually recorded in uber-fan Ian Levine's rather tacky mock-Medieval house.

I was very surprised to find that The Space Museum is also denied a "Behind the Sofa" feature. It would have been nice to have seen this being considered. That means three of the nine stories have no "Behind the Sofa", whereas in the past every story has been given one. The only new item here is a documentary about Doctor Who memorabilia collectors, presented by Emily Cook, who used to work for DWM. Naturally, it tends to be dominated by Dalek merchandise. At only 22 minutes, this is lightweight and disposable. As an instalment of a wider series on merchandising it might have worked better.
The Chase had been a double disc DVD, with lots of Extras anyway, so apart from the "Behind the Sofa" there isn't much new here. We get a 14 minute "Wayne & Shuster" comedy sketch (whom I've never heard of) in which a Dalek appears briefly at the end. Prior to this, a laboratory scene has a distinctive piece of Dalek machinery - but from Season 3's Mission to the Unknown and The Daleks' Master Plan - so I don't know why they've included it here on a Season 2 boxset. Not new, but shifted from another release, is a short feature on maritime mysteries. This was originally included on the Carnival of Monsters Special Edition, but probably fits better here due to its inclusion of the Mary Celeste.
Finally, The Time Meddler disc has its "Behind the Sofa", but the main big Extra is a new season overview documentary. Nice to see Richard Martin interviewed for this, as it is as much his season as anyone else's - he directed 18 of the 39 episodes.
These big overview documentaries only really started to appear towards the end of the DVD range, so I'm looking forward to more of them in these Blu-ray sets.

This last disc has one final surprise to offer. The fourth episode of The Time Meddler has always had 12 seconds of footage missing - the final moments of the two Viking raiders. Only the sound has existed, as this film was cut by an overseas censor and is the only copy ever retrieved. Here, they have reinstated the sound, with accompanying images. We get a close-up of someone pulling out a short sword, then shots - again in close-up to avoid faces - of the two men being stabbed. It's quite gruesome stuff.
And what of the next Collection? The man who makes documentaries for the range said on Twitter today that he has made a documentary for the range... Are we supposed to be impressed by this Earth-shattering news? If you don't have anything interesting to say, it might be an idea to say nothing.
Hopefully we will get a Troughton set sometime soon, and a second Davison set (Season 20 has been rumoured for ages).

Monday 19 December 2022

Inspirations: Blink

Russell T Davies had intended that Steven Moffat would write Series 3's Dalek two-parter. He declined, but to make up for it he offered to tackle the Doctor-lite story for that year instead. This had become an annual necessity after the introduction of a Christmas Special to the production schedule each series. The principal cast could not feature prominently in fourteen episodes, so one had to use them only sparingly.
Moffat was asked to come up with something really scary, and opted for a sort of haunted house setting.

For inspiration, Moffat looked to a story he had written for the 2006 Doctor Who Annual - "What I Did On My Christmas Holidays, by Sally Sparrow".
In this, Sally is 12 years old and spending the 2005 festive season at her aunt's cottage in Devon. On return to school she writes an essay about what she got up to. Fascinated by some flowery wallpaper, she tore a piece off to find some writing underneath. Clearing the whole message she is shocked to find it directed at her - "Hep me, Sally Sparrow!" - and a date of 24th December1985. Her aunt digs out some photos from that date when a party was held, and there is the Ninth Doctor holding another request for help from her.
Beneath more wallpaper is a message leading Sally to a video cassette hidden at the back of a shelf.
This allows Sally to have a conversation with the Doctor - in the same way that adult Sally can with the Tenth Doctor in Blink. After stepping out of the TARDIS in 1985, it jumped forward 20 years, leaving him stranded. He knows her half of the conversation after reading her essay about these events - which she gives to him when she is older.
Sally can pilot the TARDIS back to the Doctor using some reset button that allows the ship to home in on his watch.
Sally, as an adult, later encounters the Doctor and gives him her essay, knowing he will need it one day.

As you can see, all the main plot beats of Blink are present. We have a character called Sally Sparrow taking the lead. Moffat changed her to a young woman as he knew children tended to hate watching other children. She peels away very old wallpaper to find a message from the Doctor directed specifically at herself. The Doctor has been separated from the TARDIS and needs her help to get it back. Everything revolves around him knowing what is going on by learning it from Sally, before she has met him. She sorts things out retroactively. Her communication with him involves a video rather than a DVD, but the main thing is a transcript of events which he can follow.
The time frame was shifted back to the 1960's, to allow one of the characters (Billy) to grow into an old man.

Rather than an "alien from outer space" type monster, Moffat decided that something which you might come across in everyday life would be scarier. He recalled a childhood holiday to Dorset around Christmas, where he had seen a derelict church and graveyard with warning signs forbidding access.
Through the railings he had seen statues of lamenting angels, covered in vines.
This provided the image of the Weeping Angels, variations of which can be seen in any Victorian graveyard. The idea that any statue could be dangerous then grew out of this.
In terms of their modus operandi, living statues naturally led to thoughts about the children's game "Statues", or "Grandma's Footsteps". Here one person stands with their back to the others, who then have to sneak up on them. The person with their back to the group turns around randomly, at which point the others have to freeze. If they are seen to move, they are knocked out of the game.
The idea that the Angels sent victims back in time, to live off their potential energy, was simply a way of making them dangerous without actually killing people.

Wester Drumlins was the name of a house in which Moffat had lived in the 1990's.
Moffat hit a problem with the ending, finding it impossible to destroy unkillable monsters. He even sought help from Mark Gatiss. Eventually he realised that there were four angels - and the TARDIS had four sides. (The ending doesn't really bear thinking about too closely. All it takes is for the lightbulb to fail and the Angels are freed).
Provisionally titled "Sally Sparrow and the Angels", Moffat decided to retitle it as Blink. RTD pointed out that he would have to have characters use this word through the script. Moffat then had to rewrite much of the dialogue to stress the "Don't Blink" instruction.

Sunday 18 December 2022

Episode 50: The Waking Ally

Ian and Larry find themselves on the edge of a deep mine shaft, with the Slyther bearing down on them...
A large spoil bucket hangs a few feet away, and Ian urges his friend to jump for it. They succeed but the creature attempts to leap after them. It is unable to hang on and plunges down the shaft. Ian and Larry decide to remain in the bucket until things quieten down. However, it suddenly starts to descend down the shaft.
It comes to a halt near the bottom. Worried that it will start rising again they decide to jump down. Larry does so just as the bucket starts moving, and he injures his leg as he falls.
Susan is reunited with her grandfather in the sewers. Checking the street level above, Tyler inadvertently attracts the attention of a pair of Robomen. With ammunition limited, they must try to dispose of both before they can call on reinforcements. The Doctor knocks one out, whilst Tyler shoots the other as it tries to climb out of the tunnel.
Barbara and Jenny, meanwhile, have decided to move off the roads now that they are getting closer to the mine workings. In a forest clearing they come across a cottage. An elderly woman lives there with a younger one. They invite them in to eat and rest a while, explaining that the woods can be full of wild dogs. The younger woman is then sent out into the night with a bundle of clothing. The older woman explains that they are allowed to do work for the mine workers, mending clothes in return for food, so the Daleks leave them alone.
In the mines, Ian and Larry are confronted by a Roboman. It transpires that this is Phil - Larry's brother, whom he came here to find. Larry sacrifices himself to allow Ian to escape, killing Phil after his brother has fatally wounded him. He recognises him in his dying moments.
At the cottage in the woods, Barbara and Jenny discover that they have been betrayed to the Daleks in exchange for more food. They are taken into the mines and put to work.
The next day the Doctor and his group have set up camp on a cliff overlooking the mine workings. The Doctor notices Susan and David flirting together on his return from a reconnaissance. He asks Tyler why they did not concentrate their efforts here, as this is undoubtedly the heart of Dalek operations on Earth. They discuss the theory that the Daleks may be planning to remove the planet's magnetic core, replacing it with a propulsion unit that would allow them to pilot it through Space.
Ian sees Barbara in the mines and then comes upon Wells. He asks him to get a message to her. However, she has already devised a plan to get out of the tunnels by offering information to the Daleks. She has Dortmun's notes about his bomb, but this does not interest the Daleks. She then fabricates an imminent attack, and is sent with Jenny to the Dalek control centre.
Looking for somewhere to hide, Ian finds himself in the command complex. He enters a chamber in which the bomb is being prepared.
He hides in the bomb casing, which is still in two sections. The Black Dalek orders that the bomb be made ready to drop down the shaft, and he finds himself trapped inside it as the halves converge.
As he frantically tries to disarm the device, the Daleks position it over the shaft and begin to lower it...
Next episode: Flashpoint

Written by: Terry Nation
Recorded: Friday 16th October, 1964 - Riverside Studio 1
First broadcast: 5:40pm, Saturday 19th December, 1964
Ratings: 11.4 million / AI 58
Designer: Spencer Chapman
Director: Richard Martin
Additional cast: Meriel Hobson and Jean Conroy (The Women in the Woods), Peter Badger (Phil)

As we mentioned last week, Verity Lambert had reservations about the design of the Slyther, thinking it wasn't quite frightening enough. It was very much a large sack-like costume. Shawcraft were instructed to add extra features, the most obvious being the eyes on stalks. (The eyes weren't terribly clear on screen, but can be seen better in publicity pictures taken at Shawcraft's workshops). The whole top third of the costume is new.
Unfortunately, the Slyther is on screen for so short a time - and the old costume is seen in the reprise - that the audience probably didn't even notice the changes, but it is a mark of Lambert's insistence on quality that they took the time and expenditure to make the alterations. There may have been some thought to having the Slyther return in a future Dalek story, as Nation had already been approached about writing their third appearance, which he believed at the time would be their last.

On Friday 28th August Richard Martin's team had descended on John's Hole Quarry, at Stone in Kent. This was the location for the Bedfordshire mine workings. This was the first time that the programme ever filmed in a quarry - and here it was actually standing in for a quarry, rather than some alien planet.
None of the regulars or guest artists were required for this filming. After the specific location had been lost for many years, it was finally tracked down in 1988, thanks to an OS map of the Dartford area. The rail track and tunnel were the key identifying markers. The full story is told in Nothing at the End of the Lane No.1, the archive / research publication from programme historian Richard Bignell. The Bluewater shopping centre now takes up part of the site.
Curiously, when the Government was looking for geologically stable areas where nuclear waste could be stored, central Bedfordshire was one of them - so the Daleks have picked one of the worst possible places in England in which to drill.

To portray the 'Women in the Woods'  Richard Martin cast Jean Conroy and Meriel Hobson. Conroy, playing the younger of the women, had been an old friend of his from his acting days with Coventry Rep. These characters represent another aspect of World War II imagery - the collaborators who allowed themselves to be used by the invaders in exchange for food or freedom. Left behind when the Nazis fled, many encountered summary justice at the hands of the resistance movement. No doubt Jenny would have ensured that the "Women in the Woods" paid for their treachery.
Tragically, four weeks to the day after the recording of this episode - on Friday 13th November - Conroy was hit by a vehicle outside her London home, and died in hospital the next day. She was 29 years old. Her only Doctor Who work was therefore broadcast posthumously.

A highlight of this episode is the emotional scene involving Larry and his Roboman brother. We've quickly grown to like Larry, so having him die under these circumstances is tragic - coming all this way to save his brother, only to learn he is far too late. He is killed by him - but saves Ian and destroys Phil as he dies - freeing him as he does so.
In The Sensorites the Doctor had accepted weapons for his mission with Ian into the aqueduct - describing them as "handy". There is no indication that he intends to ever use them, and we do later see that they have a stun setting anyway. Here he makes his views on violence explicit. He never takes life unless his own (and presumably Susan's by extension) is directly threatened.

Nicholas Smith, playing Wells, was asked if he would like to stay on the production to feature in the last two episodes. With nothing lined up at the time he was more than happy to accept the extra work.
Like Martyn Huntley who featured as a speaking Roboman in the last episode, Peter Badger had also been a speaking Roboman in The Daleks, in the scenes set on the riverside.

Carole Ann Ford and Peter Fraser were both concerned that the planned romance between Susan and David was not very well developed in the scripts. They decided to work on this by themselves and a lot of what you see - such as the whole  "I can see something's cooking" sequence on the lip of the quarry was actually unscripted. One problem raised by these scenes is that they appear to have lit a fire right on the edge of the Dalek mine-workings, where it would be sure to be noticed.

What exactly is "the waking ally"? Presumably it is supposed to refer to the human slave workers, but there is no sign of them beginning to rebel in this particular episode. The only people doing this are the ones who've been doing so since the beginning of the story.

  • There is a slip in audience figures from last week, no doubt due to the proximity to Christmas (the last Saturday before December 25th being one of the busiest shopping days of the year). This explains the audience numbers, but the AI figure also drops a point.
  • This episode was captured directly onto 35mm film rather than 405-line video tape due to a shortage of tape recording machines at the BBC - due to a General Election.
  • In the draft script, this was the first appearance of the Black Dalek. The Larry character was called Robbie and the Roboman who killed him wasn't his brother. He also gave a different history to the invasion. Earth was already at war with itself, and a new world government had been formed in Japan.
  • The draft script also had three old women, rather the young / old pair seen on screen - a reference to Macbeth's trio of witches.
  • Peter Diamond rejoined the production as fight arranger, and played the Roboman who fights with Tyler in the sewers. Diamond had worked on the first episode, when he was seen as the Roboman who walks into the Thames, and he doubled Ian when he hangs off the broken stairwell in the warehouse.
  • Keep an eye out for the Black Dalek prop in future 1960's stories - or at least its upper half, as they will repaint and mix and match the top and bottom sections until the end of the classic series. The Black Dalek has a strip of wood supporting one of the horizontal hoops in the area beneath the dome, presumably a quick repair job that was supposed to be temporary. You can see it in the image above, on the underside of the middle hoop, just above the gun.
  • Radio Times featured the series yet again for this episode, with a stylised Dalek illustration and a brief resume of the story so far: