Doctor Who – Planet of the Daleks

The frozen Dalek army on Spiridon.
(Source: Screen Capture from the Dalek War DVD. Copyright 1973 by The BBC

Doctor Who Story 068 – Planet of the Daleks

Who Wrote It: Terry Nation

What’s It About: In the aftermath of the Earth/Draconia conflict, The Doctor and Jo arrive on Spiridon, where they find a Thal taskforce, invisible natives, and an army composed of thousands of Daleks.

It seems strange to say that I’ve missed Terry Nation, but I think I have. He never wrote my favorite episodes, but Planet of the Daleks works for me. Planet stands out from Frontier in Space because Frontier was slow in places. Jo and The Doctor were imprisoned, then escaped, then were imprisoned, then escaped again, and so on. In Planet, however, the story moves along. There is a lot of stuff going on. It’s almost as if Terry Nation discovered pacing at somewhere along the way. Even the Dalek story is interesting and not quite a rehash, although we do have recycled elements: Thals vs. Daleks, The Daleks plan to contaminate the planet. But the idea of a frozen Dalek army is just plain interesting, and knowing that the army is still buried is chilling.

My only real complaint about the story is its relation to Frontier in Space. The connection between the two seems tenuous. Daleks appeared at the end of Frontier as the masterminds behind the Earth/Draconia conflict, but Planet had almost no connection with the previous story. It seems the Daleks were only brought in to Frontier as a good cliffhanger, but not because of any active part in the conflict. The previous story was hardly even mentioned. I guess I had built up a strong connection in my mind since the stories were released together on DVD. Taken on its own, however, this was an enjoyable story. I thought it was fun.

My Rating: 3.5/5

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