‘MISSION TO THE UNKNOWN’
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Daleks without the Doctor
I have a fantastic CD release of a ‘Doctor Who’ audiobook featuring a mammoth Dalek story in it!
‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ audio CD features the 12-part TV story on audio. The story was shown on TV from 1965 to 1966. Sadly ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ is one of the missing stories from the BBC Archives. Only three episodes of this story exist and they’re found on the ‘Lost in Time’ DVD to watch and enjoy.
Where the other nine missing episodes are, I don’t know. There’s also surviving footage of missing episodes including Kert Gantry’s extermination by a Dalek in the first episode and Katarina’s death in the fourth episode. The entire story can be enjoyed in full though on audio CD with 5 discs to cover it.
The 5-disc audio CD has linking narration provided by Peter Purves who played Steven in the story. ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ has to be one of the most epic Dalek stories ever made from the William Hartnell era of ‘Doctor Who’. I do hope someday all 12 episodes of the story will be recovered to enjoy!
I’ve had the CD cover of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ with ‘Mission to the Unknown’ signed by Peter Purves at ‘The Capitol II’ convention in the Arora Hotel, Gatwick, May 2017. It was nice to share with Peter about how amazing it was that the BBC actually did a 12-part ‘Doctor Who’ story with the Daleks.
Before we get into the 12-part epic story, let’s check out the bonus episode that has its own disc and can be found with ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ on audio CD. That is of course ‘Mission to the Unknown’. This is an unusual ‘Doctor Who’ episode and I doubt another episode like this will ever get made again.
This single-episode story is also sadly missing from the BBC Archives like ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. This ‘Doctor Who’ episode is unusual in that it doesn’t feature the Doctor at all. Neither do his companions. It is an episode that just features the Daleks and is a prelude to ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’.
This episode was scrunched between ‘Galaxy 4’ and ‘The Myth Makers’. It was used as a trailer to promote the 12-part Dalek story in the next month or so. Terry Nation wrote this episode and used it as a template for doing a Daleks spin-off series in the USA. Sadly, it didn’t come to fruition as he hoped.
‘Mission to the Unknown’ is set in the year 4000 and takes place on the planet Kembel, six months before ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ happens. Instead of the Doctor, the cast is led by Edward de Souza as Marc Cory and Jeremy Young as Gordon Lowery. Cory is this Space Security Agent with Lowery here.
In the story, their spaceship crash-landed on Kembel and they’re trying to repair it. But when one of their colleagues becomes murderous until he gets killed, Cory reveals his mission to Lowery. He tells him about the Daleks and why they’re on Kembel. He also warns Lowery about the lethal Varga plants.
The Daleks in this episode are at their most evil cunning. They’ve gathered together the delegates of the Outer Galaxies to form an alliance in the conquest of the universe. They plan to conquer Earth and have a deadly plan in mind. They know of the two humans on the planet before they hunt them down.
This episode is tense and drama-filled throughout. Cory and Lowery don’t get on well and aren’t the best of buddies. They try to work together in order to warn Earth whilst on Kembel. But Lowery gets infected by a Varga plant. Despite his attempts to resist, he has a murderous urge and tries to kill Cory.
At the story’s end, despite trying to send a message to Earth, Cory gets exterminated by the Daleks and his tape recorder gets dropped to the ground. The Daleks and the delegates in their conference room become victorious, knowing that their conquest is assured. The Daleks’ master plan can go forth!
‘Mission to the Unknown’ is now available as part of ‘The Lost TV Episodes: Collection Two’ CD box set.
‘Mission to the Unknown’ rating – 8/10
‘MISSION TO THE UNKNOWN’ (2019)
Please feel free to comment on my review.
Daleks Without The Doctor (Again)
Does this fill in another gap for a ‘Doctor Who’ fan to enjoy? 😀
Over the years, there have been recreations of lost ‘Doctor Who’ stories from the 1960s in animation form. There hadn’t been a recreation of a lost story in live-action. Yes, there have been fan films of ‘Mission to the Unknown’ (I’ve seen one of them), but not an official remake. Until now!
In 2019, the students of the University of Central Lancashire recreated the lost episode of ‘Mission to the Unknown’ from ‘Doctor Who’. This featured new actors playing the characters in the episode; Nicholas Briggs voicing the Daleks and was premiered on the official ‘Doctor Who’ YouTube channel!
In fact, it premiered on the 9th of October 2019 at 5:45 pm on YouTube, 54 years after it was first transmitted on TV. I didn’t get to see it when it premiered, but I was able to see it on the YouTube channel. It featured an introduction by original Marc Cory actor Edward de Souza at the very start. 🙂
As for the episode itself, I found it very good. It was an impressive recreation of what could’ve looked like ‘Mission to the Unknown’ from the 1960s. It didn’t exactly match the original audio recording, but it was a superb attempt of recreation. Thankfully the episode was in black-and-white.
The episode featured Marco Simioni as Marc Cory; Dan Gilligan as Gordon Lowery and Jacob Marrison as Jeff Garvey. I was impressed by the actors’ performances in this recreation of a ‘Doctor Who’ episode. It was very well-directed by Andrew Ireland and he recreates that 1960s atmosphere.
I enjoyed the conference room scenes featuring the delegates of the Outer Galaxies including the likes of Paul Stenton as Malpha. I found the conference room scenes in the remake episode better than what I’ve heard in the original TV soundtrack. The aliens do sound convincing and intimidating.
I was astonished by what the Varga plants looked like in the recreation episode of ‘Mission to the Unknown’. I wasn’t expecting them to be that massive. I expected them to be subtler. It was astonishing to see the transformation of Jeff Garvey into a giant Varga plant in the recreated TV tale.
It is a shame ‘Mission to the Unknown’ is still missing from the BBC Archives. But I’m glad the students of the University of Central Lancashire got to recreate it for ‘Doctor Who’ fans to enjoy. It’s a superb recreation. I’m so glad they did it in black-and-white and that Nick Briggs voiced the Daleks.
There’s also ‘The Making of Mission to the Unknown’ on the ‘Doctor Who’ YouTube channel. This features behind-the-scenes interviews with the cast and crew including Nicholas Briggs and it also features Peter Purves and Edward de Souza visiting the set of the ‘Mission to the Unknown’ remake.
‘Mission to the Unknown’ (2019) rating – 9/10
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