‘The Daleks’ (TV)

thedaleksdvd drwho_beginninglrg


Please feel free to comment on my review.

The Beginning of the Daleks

This is the first Dalek story ever in ‘Doctor Who’ and is a seven-part story by Terry Nation. This is the story I was looking forward to most as it features the Doctor’s first ever meeting with the Daleks.

After enjoying the Daleks in the new series, I wondered how I would react to the Doctor’s first encounter with them. Luckily, I found this first Dalek story very gripping and atmospheric to watch.

My Dad has fond memories watching this story as a kid in 1963. He thought I might find this boring, but I found this story exciting! It was interesting to see how the Doctor meets the Daleks for the first time.

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The TARDIS arrives on the planet Skaro and the Doctor and his friends find themselves in a petrified forest. They soon visit a huge city before they get captured and become prisoners of the evil Daleks.

Terry Nation delivers a really good action-packed adventure with the Doctor and friends meeting the Daleks. It must have been pretty terrifying for audiences in 1963 to see Daleks for the first time.

The Daleks are brilliant creations based on the Nazis. They are intimidating alien creatures inside machines with horrible voices and barking out orders and wanting to exterminate and kill people.

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These Daleks in this story aren’t different to the new series ones in ‘Dalek’ and ‘Bad Wolf’/’The Parting of the Ways’. In this story, the Daleks wish to exterminate the peace-loving Thals on Skaro.

The Thals are beautiful, blonde-haired people who want peace with the Daleks after the war with them. When the Daleks kill their kind, the male Thal, Alydon, has to lead his people to fight them.

I enjoyed the four regulars in this first Dalek story. I liked it when they’re Dalek prisoners; when they trick a Dalek and when Ian gets inside a Dalek to bluff their way out so he and the others can escape.

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I enjoyed William Hartnell’s Doctor. He’s still the grumpy, arrogant, amoral old man from the previous story. It was naughty of the Doctor to sabotage his TARDIS so he can get to the Dalek city.

William Russell as Ian stands out pretty well. He’s angry when the Doctor’s sabotaged his TARDIS. It is interesting Ian takes the moral stance in these early stories instead of the Doctor with the Thals.

Jacqueline Hill as Barbara gets to shine. She’s terrified when she sees a Dalek, but is brave when joining Ian and the Thals to go through the swamp and mountains and a romance with Ganatus.

Carole Ann Ford as Susan is very good. She’s brave when fetching the anti-radiation drugs from the TARDIS and meets Alydon the Thal. She’s with her grandfather when they’re prisoners of the Daleks.

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The DVD special features are as follows. There’s the ‘Creation of the Daleks’ documentary including behind-the-scenes crew interviews on the making of this story. There is also a photo gallery. There are audio commentaries on three selected episodes in the story. They are all moderated by Gary Russell and are with William Russell; Carole Ann Ford; producer Verity Lambert and directors Christopher Barry and Richard Martin. There is also an information text commentary option to enjoy.

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I love the first Dalek story! My Dad remembers this Dalek story vividly and as he enjoyed watching this story, his son enjoyed watching it too. The rest is history with the Daleks, as they became the success that made what ‘Doctor Who’ is about and why the show has been long-lasting up to today.

‘The Daleks’ rating – 10/10

The previous story

For the First Doctor was

For Ian was

For Barbara was

For Susan was

For the Daleks was

The next story

For the First Doctor is

For Ian is

For Barbara is

For Susan is

For the Daleks is

  • ‘The Dalek Book’ (Annual)
Return to The First Doctor’s Timeline
Return to Ian’s Timeline
Return to Barbara’s Timeline
Return to Susan’s Timeline
Return to The Daleks’ Timeline
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Return to The Companions’ Timelines Index
Return to The Monsters’ Timelines Index
Return to Doctor Who Timelines
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14 thoughts on “‘The Daleks’ (TV)

  1. Timelord 007

    Yup deserving of a 10, I love this story, the episodes are gripping and suspenseful & the Daleks are menacing in their first adventure.

    I like how the Doctor’s tampering with the fluid link caused all this as it shows his mischievous side.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Simon.

      Rewatched ‘The Daleks’ recently and it’s still captivating to watch after all these years. And the Daleks are at their best in their first story. It was amusing to see the Doctor tampering with the fluid link, as it was very naughty of him to get him, Ian, Barbara and Susan to see the Dalek city. 😀

      Many thanks,

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Wolfie

    “Always search for truth, my truth is in the stars, and yours is here.”

    It’s a fantastic story. In every sense of the word. “The Daleks” is the quintessential distillation of everything that clicked for ‘Doctor Who’ in 1963/64.

    For the very first time, we step out onto an alien world beyond our Solar System. Skaro. It lingers in the mind that other televised depictions will try, but never quite recapture. The world’s petrified forest of stone trees and radioactive soil. Its only visitable city, a barnacle of sanitised reflective metals, with promenades so quiet that movement through it can be measured by a tremor. Populated by mutations with philosophies antithetical to all other forms of life. Even those it shares the planet with.

    This seven-part serial is, I think, in many ways where ‘Doctor Who’ started as a series. It’s certainly the first one that I watched all the way through. I can remember sitting in front of the television set with my hand on the controls… And I was still there by the end of “The Dead Planet” wondering what had just happened. A captivating ‘Dan Dare’ meets ‘The Lord of the Rings’ tale which still feels unique and — credit to director Christopher Barry — distinctly polished. In its haunting visuals of a Doctor captured in the Dalek city, railing against “This senseless, evil killing!” (an adlib from Hartnell), to the barren howl of the Skarosian wind in the Radiation Range.

    I particularly like how “The Daleks” takes time from its desperate adventure to delve into its characters and deliver something that feels genuine. Even the guest characters get a sizeable amount of time devoted to their thoughts and practices. We understand the Thals as well as would do Marco Polo or Autloc. This was a series that cared about understanding its characters. As many and as deeply as it could.

    And it’s very telling that, as good as “The Daleks” is, we are spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the ‘Best Of’ the First Doctor’s era. This was the make-or-break story for the show and it carries off its first “future” tale with aplomb. All involved can be very proud. Its legacy is over half-a-century and going strong today.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi Wolfie,

      Happy New Year

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on ‘The Daleks’. I enjoyed revisiting this ‘Doctor Who’ story on Britbox recently and it stands well to the test of time. It’s easily my favourite story out of Season 1 of the classic ‘Doctor Who’ TV series. Without it, ‘Doctor Who’ wouldn’t be where it is today.

      I’ve seen the latest news item about ‘A Sparkle of Doctors’. Looking forward to when it becomes available online. I’m currently revamping ‘Part Two’ of ‘The Thirteen+ Doctors’. The whole story should be completed by February. I’ve also seen the new home page for the Divergent Wordsmiths website. Looks good.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Williams Fan 92

    Great review Tim.

    I had a good time checking out ‘The Daleks’ again. It’s now one of my favourite Dalek and ‘Doctor Who stories. It was quite tense and exciting to see the Doctor meeting the Daleks for the first time, before he and his companions teamed up with the Thals to fight them.

    I liked Temmosus as a character. It’s a shame he was killed off in episode 4. Did you know his actor, Alan Wheatley, narrated ‘Elizabethan Express’ made by British Transport Films? Alydon and Ganatus have to be my favourite guest characters in the serial.

    My review of ‘The Daleks’ is already in development. I am of course also checking out the novelisation, the new illustrated one, along with the audiobook, read by William Russell. I’m two chapters into that.

    P.s. you know Sarah Sutton played a blind girl in ‘The Moon Stallion’. Well, did you know Carole Ann Ford played a blind girl in the 1962 film adaptation of ‘The Day of the Triffids’.

    Take care, WF92.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi WF92,

      Glad you enjoyed revisiting ‘The Daleks’ recently and that it’s one of your favourite ‘Doctor Who’/Dalek stories. It’s my favourite story out of Season 1 of the classic ‘Doctor Who’ TV series. I’ve just finished revisiting ‘The Reign of Terror’ on DVD and I’m about to revisit ‘Planet of Giants’ in the Season 2 Blu-ray box set. I won’t do updated reviews on the Season 2 stories just yet. I’ll do that once the 60th anniversary stuff is more or less sorted like ‘The Thirteen+ Doctors’ and the 60th anniversary marathon. Hopefully I’ll get to update my Season 2 reviews soon, but for now, I’m going to just enjoy revisiting Season 2 on Blu-ray.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the characters Temmosus, Alydon and Ganatus in ‘The Daleks’. I didn’t know that Alan Wheatley narratied ‘Elizabethan Express’ nor that Carole Ann Ford played a blind girl in the 1962 film adaptation of ‘The Day of the Triffids’. Though I do recall Carole Ann Ford mentioning she was in ‘The Day of the Triffids’ in her ‘Myth Makers’ when interviewed by Nick Briggs. Thanks for letting me know.

      Looking forward to your review on ‘The Daleks’ soon. Hope you continue to enjoy the rest of ‘The Daleks’ illustrated novelization. I might purchase that to read with ‘The Daleks’ audiobook read by William Russell someday.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  4. scifimike70

    Knowing how Sydney Newman originally opposed The Daleks because of his original preference to not have B.E.M.s in Dr. Who, fans can praise Verity Lambert for convincing him how important the Daleks were as a Whoniversal villainy. Still it’s fair to imagine how Dr. Who might have succeeded had Sydney won that argument. It’s all the more interesting now in reflection of SF shows that can get by without B.E.M.s (either almost or entirely). Dr. Who and Outer Limits for the 60s earned the love from audiences who could enjoy the monster-of-the-week. But both the Daleks and Cybermen were main highlights for how the mechanized or genetically tampered-with alien races may be the most realistically villainous ones. Thank you, Tim, for your review.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Tim Bradley Post author

      Hi scifimike,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on ‘The Daleks’. Glad you enjoyed my review. I don’t know what would have happened had the Daleks not appeared in the TV series and not be the success they became. I’m glad Verity Lambert persuaded Sydney Newman to see the Daleks go forward in the TV show and it’s certainly had a huge impact on ‘Doctor Who’s legacy. The monsters that have followed the Daleks since then including the Cybermen, Ice Warriors, Sontarans and Zygons are a part of that legacy too.

      Many thanks for your comments.

      Tim 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. scifimike70

        A sci-fi series can depend greatly on recurring alien villainies like the Daleks and the Cybermen for Dr. Who, or the Klingons and the Borg for Star Trek. So agreeably that earns them their role in such legacies.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Tim Bradley Post author

        Hi scifimike,

        I always like it when ‘Doctor Who’ tries to do enemies that are not copied-versions of Daleks like the Quarks sort-of were in ‘The Dominators’. Actually, it’s easy to match ‘Doctor Who’ and ‘Star Trek’ villains at times with the Sontarans and Klingons being alike as warriors and the Cybermen and the Borg being alike as cybernetic beings.

        Many thanks,

        Tim 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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