101 – The Abandoned Planet (The Daleks’ Master Plan Part 11)

Written by Dennis Spooner From An Idea by Terry Nation
Directed by Douglas Camfield

The Doctor, Steven, and Sara follow The Daleks back to Kembel, only to find the planet in a somewhat different condition to how they left it.

I don't think this picture is from this story, but it's what came up on my Google search, so deal with it.

The end of this story is quite near and the pace seems to be rocketing a bit.  Quite a lot happens in this episode.  Our heroes return to Kembel, which appears to be abandoned.  Mavic Chen takes control of the council of delegates and in turn, The Daleks imprison all the delegates, Chen included.

Following the explosion on the TARDIS, The Doctor discovers that the directional control is not compatible with his TARDIS.  The part burned itself out, but not before the team arrived on Kembel.  The three begin to make their way back to the Dalek city, but along the way, The Doctor vanishes.  I guess William Hartnell had some vacation days or something, for he is missing the rest of the episode.

The scenes of Steven and Sara exploring are intercut with scenes of Chen returning the core to The Dalek Supreme, and then the final meeting of the council.  Chen formally takes control of the council, informing the other delegates that they must now defer to him and he only defers to the Daleks.  But then a Dalek squadron enters the council chamber and escorts everyone to the prison area.  This is where Steven and Sara find them.  After some negotiating, Steven agrees to release all the delegates so they can marshal their forces to take on the Dalek fleet.  All but Mavic Chen, who’s ship explodes when it takes off.  Steven and Sara are shocked by this, but they both make their way back to The TARDIS, hoping this will be enough to stop The Daleks.  They are quite shocked when they are captured by Mavic Chen and a Dalek, then led to an underground bunker, where it seems The Daleks have been this whole time.

While never explicitly stated, it is certainly implied that The TARDIS materialized a few minutes to a few hours after the coup in the council chamber.  This is actually quite a fun idea, the possibility of arriving to prevent something from happening, but arriving too late.  This being Doctor Who there would be some way that The Doctor would find his way back to prevent the big bad thing, or he would come up with a Plan B, but it is an interesting idea.  And shocking, at that.  Imagine the horror if Steven and Sara, while searching for The Doctor, came across the council chamber and if it had been filled with the bodies of the delegates.  There would be no mistake that they had failed.  It could have been used to more effect, but the idea did create some good suspense and the episode ends with us not quite sure where Mavic Chen stands in relation to The Daleks.  Is he planning something against them on the fly, or was he planted in the prison to help lure Steven and Sara to the bunker.  I’m sure we’ll find out in part 12, where we finally conclude this extremely long story.

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