Doctor Who Cuttings Archive

Daleks' screen debut

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1989-06-08 St Ives Weekly News.jpg


FANS of the legendary Dr Who, and there are many of them all over the world, will be pleased to hear of four new videos released this week by BBC Video.

Featuring the good Doctor in three regenerations, they make fascinating viewing.

Perhaps the most interesting of all is the screen debut of the Daleks, originally broadcast in seven 25-minute episodes in 1963, and now available, complete with opening and closing credits for each episode, spread over two cassettes.

It was the second story ever, and the one which really launched the Doctor, being the first which was universally acclaimed.

Although it appears, in retrospect, to be somewhat overstretched, it shows all the hallmarks of a classic with the Doctor and his companions being captured, rescued, encountering foaming swamps and goodness knows what before finally coming up trumps.


Interestingly, the series was made so cheaply that the man responsible for constructing the Daleks was only given a few hundred pounds —enough to make just four.

As a result, the others that you will see are really cardboard replicas.

The first tape, featuring episodes one to four, shows Hartnell and his three travelling companions landing on the planet Skaro and discovering a strange city.

The Doctor discovers that they have run out of mercury — vital for the Tardis if they are to take off again — and so off they go to the city to find some.

And then their troubles really begin!

Captured by the daleks, and suffering from radiation sickness, all looks hopeless for our intrepid heroes.

But fear not! As luck would have it, anti-radiation drugs are in the Tardis

And so it goes. Desperately silly, but wonderful at the same time.

Having been captured and escaped, the quizzical quartet find they have left the mercury behind.

And so, on tape two (episodes five to seven) back they go, past the horrid swamp and up a few mountains, to go in by the back door and catch the psychopathic pepper pots by surprise.

Ten years later, Doctor Who was in his third regeneration (as Jon Pertwee) and bathed with a particularly gruesome baddie in Linx.

Linx has been capturing 20th century scientists and bringing them back to the middle ages where his spaceship has crash landed near a castle.

He needs them to fix his craft — but reckons without the might of the good Doctor and his companion Sarah-Jane Smith (Elisabeth Sladen) starring in her first adventure.

Pertwee was my favourite Doctor and this is great stuff. Watch out for the sharpshooting archer

Finally, the fourth doctor, Tom Baker, battles with strange green slug-like things in The Ark In Space.

Complete with a commander called Noah, the Ark has been sent up with what's left of the human race freeze dried and ready to be thawed out once the battle raging on the planet is all over.

Unfortunately they oversleep by a few thousand years and the ark has been infiltrated by these slugs. Then the doctor arrives. Can what's left of the race be saved or will they be eaten by giant insects? No prizes for guessing which.

The Daleks, two tapes at 100 mins and 74 mins, are available only as a double-pack at £19.99; The Time Warrior (90 mins) and The Ark in Space (90 mins) are available at £9.99 each. All tapes are certificate U.

Caption: Kevin Lindsay as Linx — a villain from 1973.

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  • APA 6th ed.: Crozier, David (1989-06-08). Daleks' screen debut. St Ives Weekly News .
  • MLA 7th ed.: Crozier, David. "Daleks' screen debut." St Ives Weekly News [add city] 1989-06-08. Print.
  • Chicago 15th ed.: Crozier, David. "Daleks' screen debut." St Ives Weekly News, edition, sec., 1989-06-08
  • Turabian: Crozier, David. "Daleks' screen debut." St Ives Weekly News, 1989-06-08, section, edition.
  • Wikipedia (this article): <ref>{{cite news| title=Daleks' screen debut | url= | work=St Ives Weekly News | pages= | date=1989-06-08 | via=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 July 2024 }}</ref>
  • Wikipedia (this page): <ref>{{cite web | title=Daleks' screen debut | url= | work=Doctor Who Cuttings Archive | accessdate=15 July 2024}}</ref>