Written by Dennis Spooner from an idea by Terry Nation
Directed by Douglas Camfield
The TARDIS is pursued through space and time by an unknown presence. The Daleks try to activate the Time Destructor, with unfavorable results.
In this episode we see the return of the Dalek Time Machine. Yes, the rehash of The Chase is hitting full stride. But when you think about it, perhaps this isn’t so odd. These episodes aired at a time when episodes were unlikely to be re-aired. People who had seen The Chase may never see it again, so if they liked the story, that was it. Completely rehashing or retelling a story is somewhat forgivable. Granted, The Daleks’ Master Plan isn’t a complete reconstruction of The Chase, but many elements are similar, especially now that we have The Daleks chasing The TARDIS through time. And Dennis Spooner is involved, so it won’t be quite as serious as it could be.
We have the return of The Monk, used to less effect here. He is seeking revenge on The Doctor for trapping him in 1066, and decides to trap The Doctor on the planet Tigus, a newly formed planet that is still quite volcanic. However, this plan fails as The Doctor uses his ring, which we learn has “special properties.” It is a deus ex machina-Ring, possibly a precursor to The Sonic Screwdriver. Certainly less marketable.
It is hard to see the inclusion of The Monk as anything other than an attempt to pad the story. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed The Time Meddler and really like Butterworth’s portrayal of the character. Bringing the character back was a good idea, I just don’t know that bringing him back in this story was as good of an idea. However, with The Monk now added to the mix, we have a third major villain (The Daleks, Mavic Chen, and The Monk) to be vanquished. And the end is still very far away.