Written by Dennis Spooner
Directed by Douglas Camfield
Escaping from the planet Mira, The Doctor, Steven, and Sara find themselves forced to land on Kembel and turn over the Teranium.
“You make your incompetence sound like an achievement!”
Naturally, as The Daleks are about to kill The Doctor, Steven, and Sara, the Visians attack en masse. The Doctor and his companions escape and manage to steal the Dalek ship. However, their escape is short-lived when The Dalek Supreme, irritated at his underlings’ failures, takes over the pursuit. He uses Dalek technology to pull the ship to Kembel.
Quite a bit happens in this episode. The Doctor makes a fake Teranium core, Steven tries to power the core using gravity force, which almost kills him and creates a forcefield around him. This comes in handy later in the episode when The Daleks shoot him. Their beams have no effect on him, but they destroy the forcefield so Steven doesn’t die. The fake core is given to The Daleks and The Doctor, Steven, and Sara make it to The TARDIS and escape.
Despite all this action, perhaps my favorite part is when Mavic Chen returns to Kembel. The Dalek Supreme immediately lays in to Chen, lambasting him for his failure. Chen make the case that he was merely trying to undo the failure that was originally the fault of poor Dalek security on Kembel. He had, after all, made sure the fugitives were sent to Mira so The Daleks could collect them without suspicion falling on Chen. The Dalek Supreme bristles at Chen’s excuse, but only until he is informed that The Daleks on Mira failed to recover the teranium and that they are now stranded on Mira. Chen, seeing that the tables are now reversed, takes full advantage of the opportunity to chastise The Dalek Supreme, effectively shutting him up. Gotta love Mavic Chen.
We are now halfway through this mammoth story. On some level, I think it could have ended here or at least in the next episode. We could easily have scenes where the fake teranium causes the time destructor to explode, destroying all life on Kembel. Sara Kingdom could then be returned to Earth to become the new guardian, or she could join the TARDIS crew. But no, we have six more episodes to go, and they are, in my opinion, some of the weakest of this story. Hang in there, readers. It’s all downhill from here.