The Dalek Invasion of Earth

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010 – The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Doctor Who serial
Dalek Invasion of Earth.jpg
A Dalek orders the Robomen to take the Doctor and Ian prisoner
Directed byRichard Martin
Written byTerry Nation
Script editorDavid Whitaker
Produced byVerity Lambert
Mervyn Pinfield (associate producer)
Executive producer(s)None
Incidental music composerFrancis Chagrin
Production codeK
SeriesSeason 2
Length6 episodes, 25 minutes each
First broadcast21 November 1964 (1964-11-21)
Last broadcast26 December 1964 (1964-12-26)
← Preceded by
Planet of Giants
Followed by →
The Rescue
Doctor Who episodes (1963–1989)

The Dalek Invasion of Earth is the second serial of the second season in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from 21 November to 26 December 1964. It was the second appearance of the Daleks and thus the first time an enemy re-appeared.

The serial is set on the Earth in the 22nd century, where the Daleks occupy the planet following a meteorite strike and a deadly plague. In the serial, the First Doctor (William Hartnell), his granddaughter Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford), and teachers Ian Chesterton (William Russell) and Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) work with a human resistance group to travel to a Bedfordshire mine to stop the Daleks from mining out the Earth's core as part of their plan to pilot the Earth through space.

This serial marks the final regular appearance of Carole Ann Ford as companion Susan.


After the TARDIS materialises, the Doctor surmises from the surroundings that they have landed in London, only to find it devastated and in ruins. It turns out the year is some time after 2164.[1] While climbing a rock face, Susan falls and twists her ankle. Then, due to the decay of the surrounding buildings and grounds, a quake tremor causes girders to fall across the TARDIS, blocking the travellers from entering again. Barbara stays with Susan while the Doctor and Ian explore, and the women are taken by a couple of refugees to a nearby shelter in an abandoned Underground station. There they meet resistance members Dortmun (the leader), Carl Tyler, David Campbell, Jenny, Thomson, Baker, and Larry Madison. Dortmun, a paraplegic scientist, has been working on a special type of bomb to destroy the Daleks' outer casings, and he and the others are preparing for an assault on the local Dalek headquarters.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Ian stumble across a body wearing a strange metal helmet and soon find an army of them as a Dalek rises from the River Thames. The Daleks take the Doctor and Ian, along with captured resistance members, including Jack Craddock, onboard their saucer, where they convert attempted escapees into Robomen. Ian does not understand why the Daleks still exist since the travellers saw them be defeated on Skaro (in The Daleks), but the Doctor reminds him that was far in the future. David and Craddock explain that the Daleks invaded Earth in the aftermath of a meteorite bombardment and a "new kind of plague" ten years prior, where humanity became divided and Asia, Africa and South America were wiped out. Sensing that the Doctor is highly intelligent, the Daleks leave a device in the cell with the prisoners which the Doctor solves, enabling them to escape. However, the Daleks are laying in wait and recapture them, drugging the Doctor and sending him to be converted into a Roboman. But the Doctor's transfer operation breaks down while Susan, Barbara and the resistance team attack the Dalek force using the explosives created by Dortmun. But the bombs are ineffective against the Daleks, and several resistance members are injured or killed. David and Susan rescue the Doctor while Barbara gets separated from them and is able to return to the Underground with Jenny to report back to Dortmun. Ian is unable to escape; he and Larry hide beneath a floor grating as the saucer leaves for the Dalek mining operations in Bedfordshire.

Before leaving London, the Daleks give orders to the Robomen to set firebombs to destroy the city. Hiding from the Robomen, David, Susan and the Doctor see them set up a bomb and leave. The Doctor, still too weak from being drugged, collapses, and David uses some quick thinking to disarm the bomb. He and Susan try to find an escape route through the sewers while the Doctor rests, and they are found by Tyler. After collecting the Doctor, who is starting to feel better, they escape the city and head for the mining operation. David and Susan start falling in love, but keep it a secret from the others. Meanwhile, Dortmun, Jenny and Barbara make their way to an abandoned museum also used by the resistance as a hideout. Dortmun, after leaving his notebook for Barbara to find, confronts the Daleks, sacrificing himself so that the women have a chance to escape. They get an old truck working and crash their way through the Daleks, heading for the mining operations as Barbara is convinced that that is where the Doctor would go. They make it most of the way there before the truck is destroyed by a Dalek saucer.

At the mine, Ian and Larry escape the saucer and meet workers named Wells and Ashton; the latter is killed by an aggressive creature called a Slyther, a pet of the Black Dalek. The predator then falls from a suspended mine cart that Ian and Larry use to try to get away from it, and down a mineshaft to its death. The Daleks send the mine cart down the shaft before Ian and Larry can climb out, and they are plummeted down in the cart to the mine operations far underground. The Doctor and his party arrive at the cliffs overlooking the mine, and he sends David and Susan on a mission to the far side of the cliffs to interfere with the radio signals the Daleks use to communicate with each other and the Robomen. The Doctor and Tyler begin climbing down into the mine. Barbara and Jenny find a hovel and, seeking shelter, meet two ragged women who are allowed to live on their own because they make clothing for the human slaves at the mine. These women pretend to befriend Barbara and Jenny before reporting them to the Daleks in return for food. The Daleks collect Barbara and Jenny and send them to work in the mine.

After Larry is killed by his brother, who has been turned into a Roboman, Ian hides in the mine, eventually finding Wells again, and also seeing Barbara from a distance. Before he can get to her, however, he ends up hiding and being trapped in a capsule filled with explosives. Barbara uses Dortmun's notebook to bluff the Daleks into believing she has information about an imminent uprising and demands to speak with the Black Dalek. When she and Jenny are brought before it, they discover that the Daleks are drilling through the Earth's crust so that they can blow out its core with a penetrative explosive capsule and then use a guidance system to pilot the planet around space. As the Daleks set the capsule in position and start the countdown, Ian scrambles the wiring inside the capsule, disarming it. When the shaft opens beneath the capsule, he escapes, but a Dalek cuts the rope he uses and he tumbles halfway down the shaft, stopping at a small access node. Leaving by the node, he jams a cord of wood across the shaft opening, preventing a re-armed explosive capsule from moving further down the shaft. While Barbara creates a diversion spinning a wild story about an uprising involving "the Boston Tea Party", "General Lee's forces" and "Hannibal attacking from the Alps", Jenny tries to corrupt the machine which controls the Robomen and send them new orders. The Daleks catch them and, after rearming the capsule and launching it, trap the two in the control room to be killed in the explosion. The Doctor and Tyler, hiding outside the control room, enter when the Daleks leave and free Barbara and Jenny. Using the Daleks' scanners, they find David and Susan, who destroy the radio beacon, leaving the Robomen adrift and causing a temporary overload within the Daleks, who short circuit. Barbara and the Doctor give new orders to the Robomen to destroy the Daleks, and with the help of the Robomen, Wells and Tyler lead the human slaves in rebellion, destroying the inert Daleks and escaping the mine. Ian reunites with his friends and, before the capsule explodes, they all escape back up the cliffs to rejoin Susan and David. The bomb destroys the Dalek fleet and causes an entirely new phenomenon – a volcanic eruption in England.

Back in London, Wells and Tyler help shift the girders away from the TARDIS. Susan has worn a hole in her shoe and the Doctor talks of mending it for her, but seems preoccupied and sad. Susan is also awkward, and after the Doctor goes back into the ship, she and David walk a short distance away. Declaring his love for her, David begs Susan to stay and marry him, saying he will give her a place to belong and a rooted identity, which earlier she told him she wanted to have someday. Susan agonises and protests that David is making her choose between him and her grandfather. Tearfully she says she must leave, but admits that she loves him. Suddenly, the TARDIS doors slam shut, and the Doctor, with Ian and Barbara at his side, bids Susan an emotional farewell, telling her that although they have always taken care of each other up until now, she is a grown woman and deserves a normal life with David. He promises to return one day, and sets the TARDIS in motion. The blue box disappears, and Susan, stunned, steps where it had been. David says that the Doctor must have known she would not leave him, and so chose to leave her. Taking David's hand, Susan walks away with him, intentionally leaving her TARDIS key behind.


The Dalek Invasion of Earth is the final regular appearance of Carole Ann Ford's character, Susan.

This was the very first serial of Doctor Who that made extensive use of location filming, with London being chosen as the primary backdrop. The decision to use London also helped to keep the show within its production budget given that the BBC's Lime Grove studios where Doctor Who was produced were located at nearby Shepherd's Bush. Location filming took place in various parts of the city including extensive sequences at Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Bridge, Albert Embankment and The Royal Albert Hall, moving on to Kensington and the Albert Memorial with scenes involving the Dalek roadblock being filmed at Wembley. These scenes were shot in the early hours of Sunday mornings.[2] Other location scenes were filmed at the abandoned Wood Lane (Central line) tube station in West London and river sequences both shot besides the River Thames at St Katharine Docks in Wapping and at Kew Railway Bridge. The mine scenes were the first Doctor Who scenes to be filmed in a quarry, using the disused John's Hole Quarry at Stone, Kent.[3][4][5]

The music was composed and conducted by Francis Chagrin.[6]

Alternative titles[edit]

Working titles for this story included The Daleks, The Return of the Daleks and The Invaders. The story has at times been called World's End, most notably in the frontispiece of its novelisation. This is the title of the first episode[7] and was applied to the story as a whole by the 1973 Radio Times 10th anniversary special and several lists that copied it. The story begins in the real World's End area of Chelsea in London.[8]

Cast notes[edit]

William Hartnell is absent from episode four, bar a single shot in the reprise from episode three.[8] The Doctor appears briefly at the beginning of the episode with Hartnell's stand-in, Edmund Warwick, shot from behind, groaning and falling over. Hartnell was injured while filming the battle at the Dalek saucer in episode three, and most of his lines went to David Campbell. According to commentary on the DVD release, the man carrying Hartnell down the saucer's ramp dropped him and he hit his head on a metal camera pedestal. Warwick went on to appear as the First Doctor's robotic double in the later Dalek serial, The Chase (1965).[9]

Nicholas Smith appears in his first speaking role in television.[10] He was originally only to have appeared in episode three, but according to Smith on a documentary accompanying the serial's DVD release, he talked the director into letting him lead the miners' revolution in episodes five and six. Bernard Kay portrays Carl Tyler (and also provides the voiceover on the longer of the two surviving BBC trailers for this story). He would later appear in The Crusade (1965), The Faceless Ones (1967), and Colony in Space (1971)[11] as well as the audio play Night Thoughts.

According to Carole Ann Ford, she became tired of the role of Susan and decided to leave the programme because the producers would not let her expand and develop the character.

Broadcast and reception[edit]

EpisodeTitleRun timeOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions) [12]
Archive [13]
1"World's End"23:4221 November 1964 (1964-11-21)11.416mm t/r
2"The Daleks"24:1928 November 1964 (1964-11-28)12.416mm t/r
3"Day of Reckoning"26:505 December 1964 (1964-12-05)11.916mm t/r
4"The End of Tomorrow"23:2312 December 1964 (1964-12-12)11.916mm t/r
5"The Waking Ally"24:2919 December 1964 (1964-12-19)11.435mm t/r
6"Flashpoint"25:2126 December 1964 (1964-12-26)12.416mm t/r

Paul Cornell, Martin Day, and Keith Topping wrote of the serial in The Discontinuity Guide (1995), "There are some wonderful exterior sequences, with giddy scenes of Daleks on Westminster Bridge and in Trafalgar Square (they've added lettering of their own to various monuments). The only thing that lets down the vast production values is the Slyther...Obvious Dan Dare stuff, but done with such hallucinatory conviction that the end result is very impressive."[14] In The Television Companion (1998), David J. Howe and Stephen James Walker said that the story "surely ranks as one of the series' all-time greats", with impressive scripting and location filming despite some clumsy direction. They also praised the "poignant and moving" final scene.[15] In 2008, Mark Braxton of Radio Times noted the continuity errors concerning the Daleks but praised the supporting cast, location filming, and emotional ending. However, he pointed out that the ambition had "consequences" in the form of production shortcomings.[16] The A.V. Club reviewer Christopher Bahn wrote that the serial had not "aged well at all" because it was "frequently slow-paced and suffers badly from his penchant for deliberately running out the clock by throwing in long, meandering subplots". He felt that Nation was not interested in the Daleks as characters and the Robomen were "more interesting conceptually than in execution", and that the dramatic impact of Susan's departure was "wasted" because the Doctor chose for her. Despite that, he called the first episode and cliffhanger "excellent" and noted how the serials' characterisation of the Doctor was echoed through the history of the show.[17] In 2010, Charlie Jane Anders of io9 listed the cliffhanger to the first episode – in which a Dalek rises out of the Thames;— as one of the greatest cliffhangers in the history of Doctor Who.[18]

Commercial releases[edit]

In print[edit]

Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth
Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth.jpg
AuthorTerrance Dicks
Cover artistChris Achilleos
SeriesDoctor Who book:
Target novelisations
Release number
PublisherTarget Books
Publication date
24 March 1977

A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in 1977. This version featured cover art based on the film rather than the TV series. A German translation was published in 1981 by Schneider-Buch with the title Doctor Who – Kampf um die Erde (Doctor Who – Struggle for the Earth) with cover illustration by David A. Hardy. A French translation by Ronald C. Wagner was published in 1987 under the title Docteur Who – Les Daleks envahissent la Terre (Doctor Who – The Daleks invade the Earth). The cover depicts the controversial twin French physicists Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff as presenting the book.[19] In 2011, the novelisation was released as an audiobook read by William Russell.[20]

Home media[edit]

The DVD edition of The Dalek Invasion of Earth.

This story was released on VHS in 1990. As part of the Doctor Who 40th Anniversary Celebration releases in June 2003, The Dalek Invasion of Earth was released on Region 2 DVD as a two-disc set, with several extra features. These included the option to view the story with certain special effects sequences optionally replaced with newly created CGI. The DVD was also included in a limited-edition box set with later stories Resurrection of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks.[21] This serial was also released as part of the Doctor Who DVD Files in issue 95 on 22 August 2012.

Film adaptation[edit]

In 1966, the serial was adapted by Milton Subotsky as a film, Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., starring Peter Cushing as Dr. Who and Roberta Tovey as Susan, with the roles of Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright being replaced by the new characters Tom Campbell (Bernard Cribbins) and Louise (Jill Curzon).[22]


  1. ^ Howe, David J.; Walker, Stephen James (1998). "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Doctor Who: The Television Companion. London: BBC Worldwide. p. 38. ISBN 0-563-40588-0.
  2. ^ "Jacqueline Hill". Doctor Who Interview Archive.
  3. ^ Kent Film Office. "Kent Film Office The Dalek Invasion of Earth Article".
  4. ^ "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Chuck Foster / News in Time and Space Ltd. Retrieved 22 September 2013.
  5. ^ Gary Russell (2003). Doctor Who – The Dalek Invasion of Earth (DVD). BBC. Event occurs at 6:38 in "Now and Then" feature on Disc 2. ASIN B00009PBAN. This was the first ever quarry to be used in the making of Doctor Who.
  6. ^ "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Dr Who guide. Retrieved 2 January 2011.
  7. ^ "BBC One - Doctor Who, Season 2, The Dalek Invasion of Earth, World's End". BBC.
  8. ^ a b "BBC - Doctor Who Classic Episode Guide - The Dalek Invasion of Earth - Details".
  9. ^ "Doctor Who: The Space Museum/The Chase DVD review". Den of Geek.
  10. ^ "Nicholas Smith, actor - obituary". 8 December 2015 – via
  11. ^ "Remembering Bernard Kay". BBC. 5 January 2015.
  12. ^ "Ratings Guide". Doctor Who News. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  13. ^ Shaun Lyon; et al. (31 March 2007). "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Outpost Gallifrey. Archived from the original on 30 May 2008. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
  14. ^ Cornell, Paul; Day, Martin; Topping, Keith (1995). "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". The Discontinuity Guide. London: Virgin Books. ISBN 0-426-20442-5.
  15. ^ Howe, David J & Walker, Stephen James (1998). Doctor Who: The Television Companion (1st ed.). London: BBC Books. ISBN 978-0-563-40588-7.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  16. ^ Braxton, Mark (21 November 2008). "Doctor Who: The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Radio Times. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  17. ^ Bahn, Christopher (6 November 2011). "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  18. ^ Anders, Charlie Jane (31 August 2010). "Greatest Doctor Who cliffhangers of all time!". io9. Retrieved 7 August 2013.
  19. ^ Neal, Tim (28 March 2005). "Dalek Invasion French cover". On Target. Archived from the original on 5 August 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2006.
  20. ^ "Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth (Classic Novel)". AudioGo. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  21. ^ "40th Anniversary 1963-2003 Dalek Collector's Edition @ The TARDIS Library (Doctor Who books, DVDs, videos & audios)".
  22. ^ Ainsworth 2015, p. 158.

External links[edit]

Fan reviews[edit]

Target novelisation[edit]