68) PLANET OF THE DALEKS

7 April - 12 May 1973

Average Viewing Figure: 9.7M

Plot

Landing on the planet Spiridon, The Doctor discovers that 10,000 Daleks are hidden somewhere on the planet

Cast

Jon Pertwee (The Doctor), Katy Manning (Jo Grant), Bernard Horsfall  (Taron), Jane How (Rebec), Prentis Hancock (Vaber)

Tim Preece (Codal), Hilary Minster (Marat), Alan Tucker (Latep), Roy Skelton (Webster/Dalek Voices/Spiridon Voices)

Michael Wisher (Dalek Voices/Spiridon Voices), John Scott Martin, Murphy Grumbar, Cy Town, Tony Starr (Daleks)

Uncredited Cast

Alan Casley (Thal Pilot), David Billa, Ronald Gough, Kevin Moran, Terence Denville, Geoff Witherick, Kelly Varney, Gary Dean (Spiridons)

Crew

Terry Nation (Writer), Ron Grainer (Title Music), Dudley Simpson (Incidental Music), Dick Mills (Special Sound), Hazel Pethig (Costumes)

Jean McMillan (Make-Up), Clifford Culley (Visual Effects), Derek Slee (Studio Lighting), Tony Millier (Studio Sound

Terrance Dicks (Script Editor), John Hurst (Designer), Barry Letts (Producer), David Maloney (Director)

Uncredited Crew

Gerry Burrows (Grams), George Bayton (Music Copyist), Scota Rasuqesen (Make-Up Assistant), Ken Dodds (Floor Assistant0

Sue Hedden, Graeme Harper (Assistant Floor Managers), Michael Turner (Vision Mixer), Bill Bonner (Props Buyer)

Sarah Newman (Production Secretary), Carole Bisset (Director's Assistant), Tex Childs (Grip), George Gallaccio (Production Assistant)

Stan Swetman (Film Grip), Frank Brown (Film Sound Assistant), Elmer Cossey (Film Cameraman), Dave Thomas (Film Editor)

Ian Sansam (Film Sound), Charlie Morgan, Arthur Beavis, Martin Gutteridge, Charlie Stoneham (Effects Assistants)

Broadcast

Filming Locations

  • Beachfield Quarry, Redhill, Surrey

  • Ealing Film Studios: Stage 3B

  • Television Centre: Studio 1

  • Television Centre: Studio 4

  • Television Centre: Studio 6

    • unknown filming location remains to this date

Deaths

  • Vaber [exterminated by a Dalek]

  • Marat [exterminated by a Dalek]

  • Wester [sacrifices his own life]

  • Dalek [plummets to its death]

Production Days

  • 17 Days between Tuesday 2 January - Tuesday 20 February 1973

Production Errors

Working Titles

  1. The total number of Daleks on Spiridon - minus the frozen Dalek Army - is very, very, very inconsistent. There are supposed to be 12 Daleks in the 'rescue' squad but there is evidently much, much, much, more taking into account the Daleks killed on-screen and the remaining Daleks still left alive

  2. The Dalek which chases Jo and Latep during episode five knocks into a polystyrene rock, causing it to move 

  3. The Dalek ship is evidently controlled by string, since they are visible 

  4. The Dalek Supreme's dome lights are out of sync with its dialogue, its dome wobbles if its moves or turns too quickly and its middle section is visibly crooked

  5. When Latep slides a bomb towards a Dalek, the bomb on its side. In the following shot, the bomb is upright

  6. When Taron knocks out the Spiridon who is about to attack Codal, a BBC camera, the camera operator and an extra playing a Spiridon (with his fur coat off) can be seen in the set foliage 

  7. Before being hit on the head with a fake boulder, Katy Manning prepares herself for the take 

  8. During a shot in the Dalek's laboratory, the eyestalk of a Dalek positioned to the left is painted black, but in the next shot, its eyestalk has the usual white ring painted on it

  9. At one point during the story, some of the characters are able to point out Webster amongst other Spiridons. How can they do this when there is nothing separating them? They all look the same

  10. There are numerous continuity errors between Spiridon scenes recorded in studio and location 

  11. Whilst escaping the Dalek control room, Jo runs into the eye line of a Dalek, but the Dalek does nothing in the slightest to capture her - Jo stays there for longer than a second 

  12. Jo hair style changes between scene recorded in studio and location work 

  13. During episode three, a Dalek is holding a map in its plunger arm, the map disappears when the Dalek passes another Dalek, and in the next scene, the map has returned 

  14. Marat's sacrifice effectively achieves nothing 

  15. Why is The Doctor surprised to find a Dalek on Spiridon despite the fact he followed them to the planet? 

  • Destination: Daleks

  • Return of the Daleks - (storyline)

Verdict

A very lousy put together production. The jungle sets are well put together and realised but nothing looks like it was thought through with production values being at an all-time low. The sets for the Dalek base are clearly at the back end of the budget and the Spiridons themselves are nothing more than a cheap way of not having to create a new race of aliens.

There are big problems between scenes shot in the studio and location which makes it looks like the narrative is taking place on two different planets. There is a lot of padding at the whelm which is shameful because all six episodes come well under the 25-minute slot allowance which was available. Ideas run dry halfway through and episode six tries to keep you entertained but fails to do so. 

            The story goes nowhere and feels like one big, rushed heist/rescue/invasion/mission narrative all squeezed into one. The plot feels very repetitive where The Daleks chase The Doctor, Jo and the Thals, characters squeeze themselves through claustrophobic situations, The Thals escape The Daleks by mere seconds on multiple occasions and the Thals decided to go back to the place they just escaped from. A Thal (Marat) effectively sacrifices himself which achieves absolutely nothing and the other Thals mope and dope about losing him. There also appears to be a finding your courage b-plot amongst the repetitious tat which is severely out of place and utterly pointless. There is a lot of confusion about why The Daleks are on Spiridon, supposedly they are there to wake up an army, then all of sudden they are creating a bacterium that will destroy all life. Which is the one are viewers are supposed to focus on?

            The production is full of inconsistencies and plot holes, proving no one was paying attention to how the production was being put together. It feels as though the script was totally ignored and everyone did what they felt like on each production day. The direction is flat and full of terrible plotted scenes, terrible acting and a resolution that could easily have been sorted out in episode two or three.

            For a Dalek story, this a poor show not as bad as Day of the Daleks but still pretty bad.  *