‘THE DALEKS’ MASTER PLAN’
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Mighty Dalek Adventure with The First Doctor
Check out ‘Mission To The Unknown’ first before you read this!
The 12 episodes of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ are spread from Discs 2 to 5 on the audio CD. The first six episodes are by Terry Nation with the second six by former script-editor Dennis Spooner. The TV episodes were directed by Douglas Camfield, who later directed ‘The Invasion’ with Cybermen in it!
The story begins with a prologue reprising the final moments of ‘The Myth Makers’. The Doctor and Katarina bring a wounded Steven into the TARDIS whilst Vicki has decided to stay behind in Troy. This sets up the story well with explaining what’s happened before ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ begins.
In the first episode, the TARDIS arrives on the planet Kembel where the nightmare begins! The Doctor tells Katarina to look after Steven inside the TARDIS as he goes out to explore. The Doctor however encounters Bret Vyon, a Space Security Agent, who forces him to give him the TARDIS key.
The Doctor however manages to trap Bret in a sophisticated chair when he manages to get back inside his TARDIS. Eventually, the Doctor realises the Daleks are on Kembel. Pretty soon, the Doctor uncovers what the Daleks’ plans are for the universe. He’s determined to stop them once and for all.
William Hartnell is great as the Doctor in this 12-part Dalek story. I really liked how his Doctor does so much and gets into the action of the story. He isn’t side-lined as an old man like he usually tends to be in some ‘Doctor Who’ stories. It must have been hard work, but Hartnell plays it off really well.
I really liked the Doctor’s relationship with Steven, as they both bicker and banter with each other with a sense of affection and respect throughout. I liked how the Doctor defies the Daleks and does all that he can to prevent them having the taranium core during their chase through space and time.
I also like Peter Purves in this story as Steven. He’s injured at the beginning but soon quickly recovers and is able to get into the heart of the adventure. He manages to knock Bret out in his sickly state for the Doctor to put him in his chair. Steven has a voice to make protests to the Doctor when bickering.
But the bickering is done out of friendship and respect for one another and not out of hostility. I liked how Steven uses his piloting skills in this story and even manages to come up with a fake lighting for the fake taranium core. Steven sees Katarina die and he gets to adjust to Sara Kingdom.
Adrienne Hill as Katarina is a short-lived companion in ‘Doctor Who’. She joined the TARDIS following the end of ‘The Myth Makers’. Katarina was a handmaiden in Troy and joins the Doctor and Steven on their adventures in time and space. She finds the TARDIS a wonder, calling it the Doctor’s temple.
Katarina calls the Doctor a god, but he tells her he’s not. Sadly Katarina’s time in the TARDIS is short-lived, as the writers realised the problems of writing for her and decided to quickly write her out during the Dalek story. This is a shame as she’s this sweet character who’s curious about the TARDIS.
Nicholas Courtney guest stars in the first four episodes as Bret Vyon, a Space Security Agent. This is Nick’s first association with ‘Doctor Who’, as he would later go on to play the Brigadier in the U.N.I.T. stories with Patrick Troughton; Jon Pertwee and Tom Baker. Here he plays an action man in the tale.
Bret threatens the Doctor at first to give him the TARDIS key at gunpoint. But he soon turns out to be trustworthy as Bret manages to get everyone aboard Mavic Chen’s Spar (space car) and off Kembel to reach Earth. Bret unfortunately has a sticky end by the time the fourth episode concludes.
Kevin Stoney guest stars as the human villain Mavic Chen, who works for the Daleks. Kevin would later go on to play the equally villainous Tobias Vaughn in ‘The Invasion’ with the Cybermen. His character in ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ is not too dissimilar to the one he would play in ‘The Invasion’.
Mavic Chen is the Guardian of the Solar System who betrays Earth and joins the Daleks in their alliance with the Outer Galaxies. Chen gives the Daleks the taranium core of the Time Destructor. Chen however wants to be more powerful and control the Daleks as he really thinks he is their ruler.
The Daleks are terrific in this 12-part story of theirs. They’re at their most evil, cunning and sinister best. The Daleks in the surviving TV episodes are truly spectacular and look beautiful, especially in the second episode when they are burning down the jungles of Kembel with their flame-throwers.
The Daleks have invented their most deadly weapon yet called the Time Destructor. This is almost similar to the ‘reality bomb’ Davros uses in ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’. The Daleks are pretty ruthless, especially when ordering a pursuit ship to be destroyed after failing to capture the Doctor.
In the second episode, the Doctor discovers the Daleks are holding a conference for all the delegates of the Outer Galaxies. He decides to go to this conference to find out what they’re up to. With the help of his friends, they knock out one of the delegates and the Doctor takes his clothes in disguise.
The Doctor learns of the Daleks’ weapon and of Mavic Chen giving the taranium core. When the alarm goes off and everyone evacuates, the Doctor manages to steal the taranium core and gets away to return to his friends. I found that cliff-hanger gripping when Bret sets the ship for take-off.
The surviving footage of the third episode includes the Doctor, Bret, Steven and Katarina escaping in Chen’s Spar and on their way to Earth. They’re soon diverted off course by the Daleks’ directional beam and are on route to the planet Desparus. Bret doesn’t want to go there as it’s a bad prison planet.
As I mentioned, Katarina’s death scene is the surviving footage of the fourth episode, thanks to ‘Blue Peter’. It’s a dramatic scene where Steven shouts at Kirksen, one of the prisoners from Desparus, calling him ‘an animal’ as he holds Katarina hostage in the airlock after he stowed away aboard the Spar.
Katarina makes a noble sacrifice as she pushes the button of the airlock that sucks her and Kirksen into outer space. I was gut-wrenched as the moment of realisation was shocking. Katarina was the first ‘Doctor Who’ companion to die before Adric came. It was so deeply effective and moving to listen to.
In the same episode, we also get to meet another new companion – Jean Marsh as Sara Kingdom. Jean appeared in ‘Doctor Who’ before in ‘The Crusade’. Jean plays a Space Security Agent who seems rather cold and unfeeling. She answers to Mavic Chen and is ordered to recover the taranium core.
In the process, Sara kills Bret Vyon who turns out to be her brother. She joins the Doctor and Steven in the fifth episode when they’re sent to Mira by matter dissemination. Sara gradually comes out of her cold demeanour and becomes a nicer person to help the Doctor and Steven and stop the Daleks.
The Daleks soon come to Mira and eventually the Doctor, Steven and Sara are captured. It seems that ‘the Daleks have won’. But the Doctor, Steven and Sara manage to escape and return to Kembel in the sixth episode. They come up with a fake taranium core as they give it to the Daleks and Chen.
The Doctor, Steven and Sara soon get away and escape into the TARDIS. No sooner after they escape, they then land. They wonder where they are, but the Doctor warns them not to go outside. According to the TARDIS, the atmosphere is poisonous. But it’s actually Christmas Day on Earth 1965.
The seventh episode is the most unusual of the story. It breaks away from the main story as this is the first episode to be considered a Christmas special in ‘Doctor Who’. It was shown on Christmas Day 1965 before ‘The Christmas Invasion’. It does not have Daleks, but has the Doctor, Steven and Sara in it.
The episode is deliberately meant for comic relief and is pretty bizarre. I was slightly disappointed the Daleks weren’t in the episode. In the last scene, the Doctor, Steven and Sara have glasses of champagne to celebrate Christmas. The Doctor then wishes everyone at home a “Merry Christmas!”
The main story continues in the eighth episode with Mavic Chen and the Daleks. They discover that the Doctor and his friends have given them a fake taranium core. They set out in a time machine to pursue the Doctor and friends in the TARDIS. But they’re not the only ones pursuing the Doctor.
The eighth episode features the return of Peter Butterworth as the Meddling Monk. The Monk first appeared in the ‘Doctor Who’ story, ‘The Time Meddler’. He appears in three episodes of the story to provide comic relief. The Monk first attempts to immobilise the Doctor’s TARDIS on the volcano planet Tigus.
But the Doctor manages to free the TARDIS of the Monk’s meddling and he, Steven and Sara escape. But the Monk hasn’t finished with the Doctor yet and chases after him in his own TARDIS. By the way, the eighth episode marks it for being the first New Year’s Day special for ‘Doctor Who’ in 1966.
In the ninth and tenth episodes, we have another adventure in ancient Egypt where not one or two, but three time machines are present. These include the Doctor’s TARDIS, the Monk’s TARDIS and the Daleks’ time machine. The Doctor makes repairs to his ship as the Daleks and the Monk hunt for him.
The tenth episode is the third surviving episode of the 12-part story. I enjoyed this episode very much, as it features not only the Daleks, but also the second appearance of the Monk. Although the first two episodes of his second ‘Doctor Who’ appearance are missing, it was great to see him in this.
The last two episodes of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ are set on Kembel. The final showdown with the Daleks takes place as the Doctor, Steven and Sara hope to find them at their base on Kembel with Chen and the other delegates of the Outer Galaxies. But when they get there, they face trouble.
By the last episode, the Daleks have placed their Time Destructor in the lead ship of their invasion fleet. Chen completely loses it as his sanity wanes and his ambition for glory and power overwhelms him. Chen becomes mad, believing he is going to be the Daleks’ master and that they will obey him.
Even after delivering Steven and Sara to them, the Daleks still disregard Chen. As the Daleks close in on him, Chen rants and raves about him being ‘first ruler of the universe and immortal’. But the Daleks eventually kill him on the spot. Chen dies, completely astonished by this outcome at the end.
The Doctor meanwhile turns up and rescues Steven and Sara. He also manages to activate the Time Destructor before the Daleks can. The Daleks dare not risk firing in their underground base. The Daleks have been outwitted by the Doctor. He manages to escape with Steven and Sara joining him.
But the story ends on a tragic note. When Sara helps the Doctor to escape to the TARDIS, she starts to age to death from the effects of the Time Destructor. This is a horrible moment as with everything dying on Kembel, Sara withers away too and making her the second ‘Doctor Who’ companion to ‘die’. Or is she? 😀
The scenes with time withering Kembel away into dust were very chilling to listen to, especially when Steven helps the Doctor back into the TARDIS through the harsh winds. The Daleks also get destroyed as they’re affected by their own terrible weapon. Eventually, the Time Destructor stops.
The Doctor and Steven come out of the TARDIS and see Kembel as a withered desert. Although triumphant, the Doctor and Steven know that too many of their friends have died in the process. With heavy hearts, the Doctor and Steven leave Kembel behind them and they go off in the TARDIS.
If you have the ‘Lost in Time’ DVD, there’s a commentary on the second episode of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ with Peter Purves, Keven Stoney and designer Raymond Cusick, moderated by Gary Russell. There’s an audiobook trailer on Disc 1 for the missing episode stories of ‘Doctor Who’ on audiobook CDs. There’s also a documentary on Disc 3 called ‘The Missing Years’ which looks into the missing episodes of ‘Doctor Who’, presented by Frazer Hines and Deborah Watling.
‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ has been a tremendous and enjoyable listening experience of a TV soundtrack. I enjoyed Peter Purves’ narration as it helped me to keep up with what went on in the story. I also enjoyed watching the three surviving episodes of the story from the ‘Lost in Time’ DVD.
I hope that more episodes of ‘Doctor Who’ will be found and that they will include ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. At least from this 5-disc audio CD of the story, you get to have the enjoyment and experience of what ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ was like and get captivated into this mammoth epic tale!
‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ is now available as part of ‘The Lost TV Episodes: Collection Two’ CD box set.
‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ rating – 10/10
‘DOCTOR WHO – THE DALEKS’ MASTER PLAN: PART 1 –
MISSION TO THE UNKNOWN’
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The Dalek Marathon Begins
These ‘Dalek Master Plan’ novelization reviews are for Timelord007!
Imagine a ‘Doctor Who’ novelization as long as two books!
‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ is an epic 12-part adventure from the 1960s of ‘Doctor Who’ that is mostly and sadly missing from the BBC Archives to this day. A novelization of that 12-part ‘Doctor Who’ epic would be a challenge to do, right? Well, John Peel did it and it’s an amazing novelization of the story.
In 1989, John Peel novelized the 12-part story by Terry Nation and Dennis Spooner that was shown on TV in 1965-66. John Peel is a renowned ‘Doctor Who’ author, having penned books for the ‘Virgin New Adventures’, the ‘Virgin Missing Adventures’ and of course the ‘BBC Eighth Doctor Adventures’.
John Peel was also a good friend of Terry Nation when he novelized ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. With Nation’s blessing, Peel novelized the story into books in 1989. Peel has also written his own Dalek adventures including ‘War of the Daleks’ and ‘Legacy of the Daleks’ with the Eighth Doctor in the 90s.
As I said, ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ is divided into two novelizations with 12 episodes from TV halved for each book. The first book became ‘Mission to the Unknown’ and the second book became ‘The Mutation of Time’. ‘Mission to the Unknown’ was published in September 1989 by the Target publishers.
With ‘Mission to the Unknown’, the book contains the standalone prelude TV episode, ‘Mission to the Unknown’ with Marc Cory in it as well as the first six episodes of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ story. The second book, ‘The Mutation of Time’ contains the second six episodes from that epic 12-parter.
I consider ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ as one of my favourite Dalek stories from the William Hartnell era of ‘Doctor Who’, even if most of the story is missing from the BBC Archives. So it’s only fair that I ventured into the novelizations of this story as well as listen to the audiobooks accompanying them.
‘Mission to the Unknown’, as a book, is divided into 16 chapters. I was curious how John Peel would novelize the TV episode, ‘Mission to the Unknown’, and the first six episodes of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ into prose form and for 16 chapters. But as I read/listened to it, it became so straight-forward.
The BBC audiobook for ‘Mission to the Unknown’ is shared by two narrators. Yep, that’s right. Two people get to read ‘Mission to the Unknown’ on audio. These include Peter Purves, who played Steven Taylor in the series and Jean Marsh, who played Sara Kingdom, which was so exciting to hear.
I did wonder how this narration would be shared between Peter Purves and Jean Marsh in the audiobook. But as it turned out, they take it in turns to read a certain number of chapters in the two books. This made sense, since ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ is a very lengthy story in book form anyway.
The book begins in Chapter 1 with the climax of ‘The Myth Makers’, the story before ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. This made sense, especially as it sets up why the TARDIS left in a hurry with Steven’s injures needing attention. And it also matches so well with ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ TV soundtrack.
Also, it completes ‘The Myth Makers’ story in a novelization perspective. Homer himself couldn’t have known what was going on when the Doctor, Steven and Katarina departed from Troy in the TARDIS. And it’s only fair that we get to see what actually happened to the three in this novelization.
Chapters 2 and 3 comprise of the ‘Mission to the Unknown’ TV episode, with Marc Cory and Gordon Lowery. I was curious how ‘Mission to the Unknown’ would be incorporated into ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ and whether it would slow up the novelization. Thankfully, in two chapters, it didn’t slow it up.
Also, and this is just an observation. Had ‘The Myth Makers’, ‘Mission to the Unknown’ and ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ been transmitted in that order on TV, it would make sense why ‘Mission’ was connected to ‘Master Plan’. This would be for the audience’s benefit in engaging with the TV story.
The compression of the first six episodes into the 16 chapters of the first book goes like this. Chapters 4 and 5 comprise its first episode; 6 and 7 comprise its second; 8 and 9 comprise its third; 10 and 11 comprise its fourth, 12 and 13 comprise its fifth and lastly 14, 15 and 16 comprise its sixth.
Like I said, the narration is shared between Peter Purves and Jean Marsh in the audiobook. Peter reads Chapters 1-3, Jean reads Chapters 4-5, Peter reads Chapters 6-8, Jean reads Chapters 9-11, Peter reads Chapters 12-13 and Jean reads Chapters 14-16. It was easy-flowing to follow and enjoy.
But in all honesty, I prefer Peter Purves’ narration compared to Jean Marsh’s. Now don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed both their narrations. Peter’s very engaging to listen to, especially when he voices characters like the First Doctor. I believe he does a superb William Hartnell impersonation on audio.
Jean is good to listen to on audio, but I didn’t find that same energy in her narration as Peter did his. It felt inconsistent and jarred and Jean spoke quietly when it came to reading the story and performing the characters. But she makes up for this by giving emotional touches for the characters.
I do like it though with how the audiobook begins with Peter reading the first chapter of ‘Mission to the Unknown’ and ends with Jean reading the last chapter. It makes the audiobook feel poetic and come full circle, even though it’s the first half of the tale and there’s plenty more to look forward to.
Nicholas Briggs also voices the Daleks for this audiobook of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. I’m very pleased Nick Briggs gets to voice the Daleks in this, since he’s such a master of Dalek voices for both the new TV series and the Big Finish audios. It was exciting to hear the Dalek voices for real on audio.
Having watched the surviving TV episodes and listened to the TV soundtrack of the story, I could pick out familiar lines I enjoyed from the Daleks and have them reinvented by Nick Briggs for the audiobook. Nick Briggs delivers his lines of Dalek dialogue with plenty of enthusiasm as he should do.
In terms of the story structure in the book, John Peel doesn’t change a lot in terms of the plot. He changes things with regards to some character dialogue and rewrites scenes to work better in book form compared to the TV story. I was able to notice these changes as I read/heard the novel/audio.
During the ‘Mission to the Unknown’ story with Marc Cory, mention is made of the Dalek-Movellan War from ‘Destiny of the Daleks’. This was a surprise to notice this in the book. But of course, John Peel wrote the novelization in 1989 and he was able to add in later Dalek stories for this 1960s story.
There’s also mention of the Draconians from ‘Frontier In Space’ in the novelization. With ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ set in the year 4000, it would make sense to have the Draconians and Movellans established as a part of Earth Empire/Dalek history by this stage. And it pleases ‘Doctor Who’ fans. 😀
The ‘Mission to the Unknown’ part of the novelization concludes with Marc Cory getting exterminated by the Daleks. There’s no final scene of the Dalek alliance chanting “Victory!” at the end of that segment. This was so intriguing and tense with the book leading into ‘Master Plan’ itself.
In the story, Bret Vyon refers to the Doctor as ‘Doc’ at times. This annoys the Doctor, who keeps telling Bret to stop calling him that. I admit, it is a funny joke and fits in well with William Hartnell’s Doctor. But it gets pretty silly when Bret keeps calling him ‘Doc’ despite the Doctor telling him not to.
During the third episode part of the story, there’s a sequence where Bors and Garge get eaten by monsters called Screamers on the planet Desperus. I don’t believe this was ever shown in the TV story and it was very disturbing to read/listen to with book in my hand and audio in the background.
I liked Katarina’s journey in the novelization compared to the TV story. In the novelization, it made sense why Katarina made that big sacrifice to open the airlock of the Spar and send her and Kirksen out into space. Katarina was prepared to die and she made this clear to the Doctor before her death.
During the time Katarina is in the airlock with Kirksen, he cuts off some locks of her hairs with his knife to admire it. This was quite disturbing to read in the book and illustrates Kirksen’s demented and unstable mind. I imagine that scene would have been cut out if originally written in the TV story.
Karlton, the chief of security for Mavic Chen, changes slightly in terms of appearance. In the novelization, he happens to have grey hair. But wait a minute, wasn’t he bald in the TV story? I’m not so sure what the reason is for John Peel to have Karlton appear grey haired compared to being bald.
There are a lot of changes for the fifth episode segment of the story. There aren’t any mice when the Doctor and Steven enter the molecular dissemination room. Also, Sara doesn’t get to order Borker to ‘aim for the head’ in the book, as she quickly finds the Doctor and Steven in the dissemination room.
There’s also more of Mavic Chen when he comes to see the two scientists Rhynmal and Froyn after their molecular dissemination experiment. The scene where Mavic Chen reveals his desire for more power with Karlton is also changed in terms of dialogue as well as story structure in the novelization.
It also gets explained why Marc Cory went to Kembel in the first place. Apparently he went without the SSS’s consent as he became suspicious about the Dalek activities on the planet. Bret Vyon and his colleague Gantry were sent by the SSS to investigate the disappearance of Marc Cory on Kembel.
There’s more with Bret’s death as he clings on to a few moments of life when being shot by Sara Kingdom. It was interesting to read/hear that in the novelization/audiobook, especially as Bret says something about Sara’s allegiance to Mavic Chen. It adds drama and tension for the two characters.
The scene where Steven confronts Sara about Bret’s death is different in the novelization compared to the TV story. Sara reveals that she killed Bret Vyon and gets more emotional about it compared to the TV version. Steven also doesn’t berate Sara harshly in the novelization as he did for the TV story.
The Visians on the planet Mira are developed in the novelization compared to the TV story. In the TV version, there’s mostly silent and invisible. In the novelization, they get to speak and seem to be more hostile when they’re considering killing the Doctor, Steven and Sara before the Daleks turn up.
They’re also described as ‘thin, bony, with two long, clawed arms, feet like birds’ claws, and a narrow head with a beak’ according to John Peel. I found it interesting how the Visians changed their minds about the Doctor, Steven and Sara and considered the Daleks a pretty dangerous threat than them.
There’s also more of the Daleks’ disapproval of failure by their kind in the novelization. In the TV story, the Supreme Daleks orders for a relief effort to rescue the Daleks from Mira. But in the novelization, the Black Dalek orders for the Daleks to be left on Mira after they’d failed their mission.
A significant moment in the novelization is when the Black Dalek comes to realise that the old man is the Doctor. This was interesting to have in the novelization, as I don’t think it was clearly established in the TV story. It also helps the Daleks realise who their enemy is during this 12-part epic adventure.
The book ends with Sara now in the TARDIS with the Doctor and Steven and established as the new companion. This was reassuring to read in the book compared to the TV story, as our heroes looked forward to new adventures, despite knowing they’ll face the Daleks again after escaping from them.
‘The Daleks’ Master Plan: Part 1 – Mission to the Unknown’ is a great beginning to this set of two novelizations of the 12-part epic story. I enjoyed reading the book and having the audiobook on Audible with Peter Purves and Jean Marsh narrating and Nicholas Briggs voicing the Daleks was a joy.
I’m impressed with how John Peel novelizes the story so far, since it’s quite a challenge to novelize a mammoth story with Daleks in it. It’ll be interesting to see what happens next as John Peel novelizes the next six episodes of the story. What will be new for the next instalment of this Dalek adventure?
‘Doctor Who – The Daleks’ Master Plan: Part 1 – Mission to the Unknown’ rating – 9/10
‘DOCTOR WHO – THE DALEKS’ MASTER PLAN: PART 2 –
THE MUTATION OF TIME’
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The Dalek Marathon Concludes
I’ve completed the long journey into reading the two ‘Daleks’ Master Plan’ novelizations at last!
‘The Mutation of Time’ is the second book of the two-part novelization of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, which was an epic 12-part ‘Doctor Who’ adventure shown on TV during the 1960s. I was pleased to have read this book and very pleased that John Peel had done such a grand job novelizing the epic.
This book was published in October 1989, a month after the first book ‘Mission to the Unknown’ was published in September. For this second book, John Peel novelized the last six episodes of the 12-part story. This is where the Dennis Spooner majority of Terry Nation’s epic story comes into place.
As I said before in my previous review for ‘Mission to the Unknown’, John Peel was a good friend of Terry Nation’s and wrote a number of ‘Doctor Who’ books for the Virgin Publishing and BBC Books range. He clearly does well novelizing this epic tale as well as adding new elements to make it better.
‘The Mutation of Time’ contains Episodes 7 to 12 of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ story. And yes, that means it includes ‘The Feast of Steven’ Christmas episode. It wasn’t too distracting to read the Christmas episode in the novelization as it was two chapters. But it slowed down the main story of it.
Having read the two novelizations of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, I’ve been able to appreciate a picture of how the story could have looked on TV. This is due to the fact that most of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ is sadly missing from the BBC Archives, as only three of the twelve episodes survive to this day.
‘The Mutation of Time’ book is divided into 15 chapters. As before with the ‘Mission to the Unknown’ book, most of the last six episodes are compressed to having two chapters in the book. This is the exception with the ninth episode in Ancient Egypt, as it has three chapters instead of two.
Like before with ‘Mission to the Unknown’, the BBC audiobook for ‘The Mutation of Time’ is again shared by two narrators. These include Peter Purves, who played Steven Taylor and Jean Marsh, who played Sara Kingdom. I enjoyed these two again after I had enjoyed the first novelization/audiobook.
As with the ‘Mission to the Unknown’ book, Peter Purves and Jean Marsh take it in turns to read the audiobook and they read a certain number of chapters in the two books. I thought that they would be taking it in turns for each chapter from Chapter 1 right up to the end of Chapter 15 in the book.
But it turned out that Jean read Chapter 1; Peter read Chapter 2 and then Jean read Chapters 3 and 4 before it came inconsistent with the ‘taking it in turns’ part of the audiobook. I feel that Jean read more chapters than Peter did. But at least they had Jean starting the audiobook and Peter ending it.
This was a reversal from the first ‘Daleks’ Master Plan’ audiobook, since Peter started first and Jean finished it. In this one, it’s Jean who started first and Peter finished it. Again, like with the first audiobook, I found Peter Purves’ narration of the story far more engaging than I found Jean Marsh’s.
I admit Jean Marsh’s narration has grown on me over reading/listening to these ‘Daleks’ Master Plan’ novelizations/audiobooks. It’s just that Jean Marsh can’t do a good voice impersonation of William Hartnell’s Doctor like Peter Purves can in the audiobook. Not that’s a bad thing. It’s just less exciting.
But at least Jean delivers the emotional aspects of the story well when it comes to someone in distress; someone sad or someone shocked at something. Again, it does feel jarring when you have two narrators reading the story and you wonder how they kept the narration consistent throughout.
This is how the narration goes. Jean reads Chapter 1; Peter reads Chapter 2; Jean reads Chapters 3-4; Peter reads Chapter 5; Jean reads Chapters 6-7; Peter reads Chapters 8-9; Jean reads Chapters 10-11; Peter reads Chapters 12-13; Jean reads Chapter 14 and Peter reads Chapter 15. So inconsistent!
Again, Nicholas Briggs returns to voice the Daleks for this audiobook of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. Having Nick Briggs voice the Daleks for ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ was a joy for me. I enjoyed it when Nick delivered familiar Dalek lines of dialogue that I knew from listening to the story’s TV soundtrack.
One of my favourite lines of Dalek dialogue spoken by Nick Briggs in this audiobook is when he says, “One Dalek is capable of exterminating all!” That Dalek line of dialogue was just as effective in the audiobook by Nick Briggs as during the TV story. Nick clearly had a roll with voicing the Daleks in this.
Listening to the Daleks voiced by Nick Briggs also sends a chill down my spine, especially when they interact with the human characters. It was such fun how the Doctor, Steven, Sara, Mavic Chen and the Monk, voiced by Peter Purves and Jean Marsh, interacted with the Daleks voiced by Nick Briggs.
Again, like with the ‘Mission to the Unknown’ book, John Peel doesn’t change much in terms of the story’s structure and plot. He does change things with regard to some of the character dialogue and rewriting scenes. But he keeps to spirit of Terry Nation’s story whilst I had noticed these alterations.
The book begins with a brand-new scene in Chapter 1. It opens with Sara Kingdom waking up, having had a nightmare about killing her brother Bret Vyon in the previous instalment. There’s a nice scene where Sara joins the Doctor in the TARDIS console room and she shares her remorse of Bret’s death.
Just to establish something here. When John Peel wrote this second part of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ novelization, he established an interval of time between ‘Mission to the Unknown’ and ‘The Mutation of Time’, thus enabling the Big Finish audios with the First Doctor, Steven and Sara to fit in.
Now this would be ideal to imagine that the Big Finish audios could fit into a period of time where the Doctor, Steven and Sara had been travelling together for some time in the gap between the sixth and seventh episodes of the story. It would work well in the context of the novelizations of the tale.
However in the TV version of the story, it would seem that the gap for the Big Finish audios to fit in would be between after the Christmas episode and before Episodes 8 to 12 of the story. I wish the gap between the novelizations would work had there not been that cliff-hanger in the sixth episode.
I do like how this second part of the novelization of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ explores Sara Kingdom’s journey to seek revenge on Mavic Chen and avenge the death of her brother. It makes her a sharper character and it balances her compassion as she accompanies the Doctor and Steven.
The compression of the last six episodes into the 15 chapters of the second book goes like this. Chapters 2 and 3 comprise the seventh episode; 4 and 5 the eighth; 6, 7 and 8 the ninth; 9 and 10 the tenth; 11 and 12 comprise the eleventh and finally but not least of all, 13, 14 and 15 the twelfth.
Chapters 2 and 3 continue the story of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, as they comprise the Christmas episode of the story. Like with the TV version of the story, the Christmas episode segment feels out of place within the novelization of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ and it feel like a separate story by itself.
However, the Christmas episode segment in ‘The Mutation of Time’ works better compared to the TV version in ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. Despite having to cope with humorous and sometimes bizarre nature of the Christmas episode segment, John Peel changes things to make it work better.
This includes the farcical scenes when the Doctor meets Charlie Chaplin and comes up with a suitable ending for one of his films. This involves the Doctor slapping a pie in Steven’s face before Sara ends up having a pie in his face too. This pie fight in the novelization didn’t place in the TV story.
There’s also the removal of the Doctor saying “A Merry Christmas to all of you at home!” in the TV story. I’m glad this wasn’t included in the novelization, as it wouldn’t have worked in text or print. I can imagine how silly it would be if the Doctor spoke to me as a reader and said, “Merry Christmas!” 😀
In the story, a Red Dalek takes charge of the Dalek time machine sent to Kembel to chase after the Doctor, Steven and Sara in the TARDIS in Ancient Egypt. This is clearly indicated by the Red Dalek on the book cover of ‘The Mutation of Time’ by Alistair Pearson. I got to say the book cover is awesome!
I also like that a Red Dalek takes charge of a Dalek task force to recover the taranium core from the Doctor. It echoes the 1960s Dalek movies with Peter Cushing as Dr. Who. It also foreshadows the blood-red Supreme Dalek featured in ‘The Stolen Earth’/’Journey’s End’ with David Tennant’s Doctor.
There’s a shock moment in the story where the Red Dalek gets destroyed by the Egyptians during the tenth episode segment of the story. The Red Dalek gets taken over by the patrol Dalek in his absence. I couldn’t help be dismayed by this, as the patrol Dalek taking over felt so embarrassing! 😀
Apparently in both novelizations of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, the Daleks suffer casualties in the story as opposed to all surviving in the TV version. This occurs when the Daleks fight the Visians on Mira in ‘Mission to the Unknown’ and when the Daleks are fighting the Egyptians in ‘The Mutation of Time’.
I really like it when the Monk makes an appearance in this novelization of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’. John Peel does well in establishing who the Monk is and how he’s chasing the Doctor following ‘The Time Meddler’. Although John Peel didn’t novelize ‘The Time Meddler’, he has a grasp on the Monk.
I enjoyed it when Peter Purves impersonates the voice of Peter Butterworth as the Monk in the story. Although not sounding like Peter Butterworth, Peter Purves gets the tone of the Monk’s character in the story, especially when it comes to the Doctor and the Monk face each other in this.
I liked it when reading the story and listening to the audiobook that the Monk betrays Steven and Sara to Mavic Chen and the Daleks, calling them hostages. It’s well-read by Peter Purves and the addition of Nick Briggs voicing the Daleks makes it more compelling and pretty engaging to listen to.
In the exchange for the taranium core by the Doctor with Steven, Sara and the Monk handed over to him by the Daleks and Mavic Chen, there’s a difference from the TV version. There’s no berating by the Doctor to say Mavic Chen broke his promise on bringing just ‘one Dalek’. It’s just not featured in it.
In the eleventh and twelfth episode segments of the story, there’s a complete different to the TV version in the novelization. Steven and Sara are not separated from the Doctor when the TARDIS returns to Kembel. The Doctor doesn’t wander off either since he simply stays with Steven and Sara.
I prefer this in the novelization compared to the TV version. There’s no explanation given as to why the Doctor was absent in the last two episodes of the story, or if there is it’s not clear enough. Having the Doctor featured more in the two last episodes of the story in the novelization is superior.
It allows the Doctor to have more involvement in the action of the story and have more interaction with Mavic Chen. This is especially when the Doctor, Steven and Sara finding the delegates of the Dalek Alliance in their prison cell on Kembel and when they are escorted by Chen to the Dalek base.
I wish now that the novelization’s inclusion of the Doctor in the last two episodes of the story had been featured in the TV version. It would have made the Doctor more heroic and allow him to take the moral high ground, rather than have Steven and Sara wondering where the Doctor is on Kembel.
There’s more of a hint of a Dalek invasion force in space about to attack Earth compared to the TV version. I don’t recall a Dalek invasion force featured in the TV version of the story when I listened to the TV soundtrack on audio CD. Maybe if I listen to the TV soundtrack again, I’ll confirm there is one.
But I suspect not since it didn’t feel that evident whilst listening to the TV version of the story. It adds to the sense of scale by having a Dalek invasion force in space and it makes it even more epic. It gets referred to a lot in the novelization as it creates a deeper seriousness to the Daleks’ attacking Earth.
Throughout the novelization, the Doctor shows disgust and disapproval of Mavic Chen who becomes a traitor to the people of Earth by working with the Daleks. Mavic Chen is oblivious to this and sees himself as superior to the Daleks before he comes to realise that all doesn’t work according to plan.
I like how Mavic Chen’s death is described in the novelization compared to the TV version. In the TV version, he’s described as having a look of astonishment on his face. In the novelization, Mavic Chen reflects on his last thoughts as he dies. He realises he had been wrong of the Daleks working for him.
I found the climactic scenes where Sara Kingdom aged to death very heart-breaking. The Doctor and Steven witness Sara’s deterioration as she gains wrinkles on her skin and she gets turned into dust by the Time Destructor’s effects. I have to say, it’s very well-read by Jean Marsh during those scenes.
I’m currently wondering how Sara Kingdom managed to survive and cheat death, considering that she survived the events of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ according to ‘The Five Companions’. The ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’ novelization doesn’t help very much, but the Big Finish audios need to be heard.
The book ends with Chapter 15 containing four closing sequences. There’s the sequence where the Doctor and Steven see the state of Kembel after the Time Destructor stops, before they leave in the TARDIS. There’s also a scene where the Dalek Prime waits on Skaro and discovers the plan has failed.
There’s also a sequence where Karlton gets arrested by Senator Diksen after being exposed as a traitor with Mavic Chen working for the Daleks. This is from Marc Cory’s recorded message found in Bret Vyon’s possession in ‘Mission to the Unknown’. I don’t recall reading that in the first novelization.
Oh wait! It turns out it wasn’t in the ‘Mission to the Unknown’ novelization. This was a continuity error on John Peel’s part since the recorded message by Marc Cory was very different in the first novelization. I wonder if John Peel found it a struggle novelizing the 12-part adventure by this point.
The last scene of the book has the Monk stranded on an icy world and swearing revenge on the Doctor. This was featured at the end of the tenth episode of the TV story and has now shifted to the end. It was very intriguing this scene with the Monk concluded ‘The Mutation of Time’ novelization.
‘The Daleks’ Master Plan: Part 2 – The Mutation of Time’ is a great conclusion to this set of two novelizations of the 12-part epic story. I’m pleased I finished the two novelizations of ‘The Daleks’ Master Plan’, as they’ve been a joy to read and they are great to listen to as audiobooks via Audible.
Peter Purves and Jean Marsh exceed well in reading these two novelizations of this epic Dalek story. Having Nicholas Briggs on board as the voice of the Daleks also makes it equally more exciting. John Peel does well novelizing this epic story. I hope it won’t be long before I read another book by Peel.
‘Doctor Who – The Daleks’ Master Plan: Part 2 – The Mutation of Time’ rating – 9/10
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