007 – The Escape

In which there is more exposition, followed by an escape.

"Okay, Alydon, give me ominous. Give me threatening! Think 'Aqualung' by Jethro Tull! Perfect! Absolutely perfect, Alydon, baby!"


Upon leaving the TARDIS, Susan meets her first Thal, a strapping young man named Alydon.  Thus begins our struggle to keep straight all the names that Terry Nation is about to throw at us.  Alydon is the person who followed Susan in the forest and left the anti-radiation drugs.  He gives Susan more drugs in case The Daleks take the first batch.  Summarizing it in this way makes the whole exchange seem rather illicit.

When Susan is returned to the prison cell, we get a massive amount of exposition, which is convenient because The Daleks are listening in and start formulating a plan to wipe out the Thal survivors.  The Thals need food, The Daleks will agree to provide food, but it will be an ambush.  Meanwhile, in the forest, we meet the tribe for which Alydon was a scout.  The leader, Temmosus, wants to trust The Daleks, while Ganatus provides some wonderful sarcasm.  In truth, he is probably the most interesting of the Thals at this point because everyone else is so prim and proper.  Ganatus must be nouveau riche, with his wild, common ways and unpredictable, biting humor.  Curse you, Ganatus, you loveable scoundrel!  Ganatus also makes note of the fact that The Thals were once a warrior race, but are now farmers.  He says he doesn’t trust The Daleks, to which Temmosus replies, “we have changed over a thousand years.  Perhaps they have as well.”  Temmosus insists that The Daleks were once philosophers and scientists.  Ganatus retorts that The Daleks may now be the warriors.  Ah, snap, as they say.

The title promises an escape, and it does not disappoint!  Theorizing that The Daleks use static electricity gathered from the metal floors, The Doctor and Ian devise a plan where they use push a Dalek onto a cloak, breaking the circuit and shutting down the machinery that propels The Dalek.  Ian opens the casing and he and The Doctor discover at last that The Daleks are not robots, but mutated creatures that operate within a mechanical casing.  The two men remove the mutant from the machine, carefully concealing it from our vision.  At this stage in Doctor Who history, the show seems to be following the principle that what you don’t see is more frightening than what you do see.  Either that, or there were budgetary constraints.  Let’s go with the former, as it is more flattering to the show.

Ian then hops into the casing, and begins to impersonate a Dalek, whereupon he will pretend to escort his prisoners (The Doctor, Susan, and Barbara) to another location.  The escape has begun.  Some immediate flaws become apparent, however, not least of which is Ian’s inability to move the casing.  The Doctor must, therefore, walk behind the casing and push.  I guess small hope is still hope.  Sadly, this plan seems doomed to failure before it begins.  Hopefully the other Daleks will be too busy planning their ambush to notice.

"Arg, it's graduation night all over again."

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