Hello everyone, the Historian here, with a full house this week! Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo, MiniSpoo, MisterMother and Photobug joined me in watching as the Daleks pursue the TARDIS crew to the planet Aridius. Let's get to the summary!
Episode summary: First aired 29 May 1965. Straining from the effort to free itself, a Dalek emerges from the desert sand.....! Barbara gasps and she and the Doctor duck down as more Daleks appear. The Dalek Leader gives his orders: the enemy time machine must be buried under the sand. They will locate it, using a seismic detector on the end of one of the Dalek's arm sticks, then destroy it. And, when they locate the humans known to travel in it, they too will be exterminated! The Daleks begin their search as the Doctor and Barbara, realizing they must find the TARDIS, and Ian and Vicki, begin to move away...but are confronted by two strange fish-like humanoids!
Underground, Ian and Vicki run from the octopus-like creature.
The Daleks, meanwhile, have found tracks in the sand, obviously made by the Doctor and Barbara. Before they can begin to follow them, one of the fish-like aliens arrives. Referring to it as an Aridian, a native of the planet, the Daleks kill it.
One of the two Aridians, Malsan, tells Barbara and the Doctor about the history of their planet. Once, oceans covered Aridius, filled with life. The Aridians lived in a city underneath the sea. But as the suns moved closer and closer, the seas began to dry up. The other Aridian, Rynian, tells of the only other creature to survive the destruction of the oceans: the octopus-like mire beast, that originally lived in the slime of the ocean bed. When the waters receded, the beasts invaded the Aridian city, destroying and eating anyone they could catch! Barbara, now even more worried about Ian and Vicki, tells they Aridians they had gone into the desert last night. But the mire beasts hunt at night! There is a discussion about a hatch into the city that they may have gone down--but that hatch is about to be destroyed, to seal off an area of the city that the beasts had invaded. They can try to make it to the hatch first, but there is no time...the hatch will be exploded any minute...
And, indeed, an Aridian is about to activate a device that will set off the explosion. Underneath, Ian and Vicki struggle against the beast as the Aridian above activates his device! Part of the roof of the tunnel collapses, right on the beast, but Ian is knocked out as well. Vicki, doing her best to help him, decides to run and try and find the Doctor and Barbara to help.
Those two, meanwhile, have arrived at the gate of the city. Their Aridian friends invite them down into the city for rest and refreshment. The Doctor warns his new friends that the Daleks will show no mercy to anyone who helps him or his friends, but the Aridians invite them in anyway.
The Daleks, meanwhile, have located the dune that has buried the TARDIS. They decide to capture some Aridians and force them to dig it out.
In the city, the Doctor and Barbara eat. Barbara is upset at the possible death of her friends, but the Doctor suggests she should have more faith in Ian's ability to survive. He suggests she try to get some sleep. She does so, leaning up against what looks like a walled up tunnel. Shortly afterwards, Malsan arrives to make sure they're doing all right. The Doctor asks about the blocked tunnel. Behind it is an area invaded by the mire beasts, he is told. Malsan also tells the Doctor that the Daleks have communicated an ultimatum to the Aridians: deliver the travellers to the Daleks or they will destroy the Aridian city. The Doctor, knowing that the Daleks don't make idle threats, asks what the response was. Malsan tells him the Aridian elders are still discussing it; they have a few hours to reply. Regardless, the Doctor and Barbara have gone from being guests to prisoners, and guards are posted to watch them.
Vicki has found another trap door leading out. Sticking her head out, she sees...the TARDIS! Two Aridians, watched over by the Daleks, have finished digging it out of the sand. The Daleks then kill their prisoners. After this, the Daleks all fire at the ship, trying to destroy it, but it remains untouched. The leader then goes to search for the crew, leaving two Daleks on guard. Vicki, having seen all of this, climbs back down.
Barbara awakens just as Malsan and Rynian return with bad news: the elders have determined to have the travellers over to the Daleks at nightfall--in two hours. The Doctor tells Barbara that the Aridians have no choice in the matter.
In the tunnels, Ian comes to and starts looking for Vicki. Elsewhere in the tunnels, Vicki runs into an Aridian who takes her away.
Dust falls from the blocked off wall behind Barbara, but before she can call attention to this, Vicki runs into the room. She tells her friends that Ian was knocked out and she went looking for help--but she found a hatch that leads to the TARDIS! But the Aridians approach, telling the travellers that it is time to hand them over...and the wall collapses as a mire beast breaks through! It tries to grab Barbara, but the Doctor helps her get away and the beast grabs an Aridian. (The others have fled.)
Ian, meanwhile, has found the hatch and sees the Daleks guarding the ship. He ducks back down and begins to think. The other three run towards the hatch, not knowing they're about to run into their friend.
Outside, the Daleks gather and are informed that the humans have escaped from the Aridians, who have one hour to recapture them before the Daleks destroy their city. The leader takes all but one Dalek, which stays on to guard the TARDIS, to search.
Ian, Barbara, Vicki and the Doctor are reunited underneath the hatch. Ian has a plan, but no time to tell them about it. He borrows Barbara's cardigan--again--and the Doctor's coat. He then sends Vicki and Barbara up, telling them to hide in a place where they'll be able to bolt into the TARDIS when the time comes. He and the Doctor arrange some branches over the corner of the open hatch, then covers the branches with the clothing. They then cover that with sand. The two of them then come out of the hatch, take positions on either side of the corner and taunt the Dalek, avoiding its shots. As it comes towards them, they scatter...and it falls right into the hatch!
The four travellers gather to look down at the wreckage, but then break for the TARDIS as they see the other Daleks coming towards them. They manage to get in and take off just as the Daleks unleash a barrage of shots at the ship! The Dalek leader declares that they will follow the enemy craft, pursuing it through all eternity--to be EXTERMINATED....!
K: Obliterate, annihilate, terminate.... exterminate, exterminate, exterminate...
S: At 98 we all rotate!
H: Michael Hutchence is a Dalek! [laughs]
M: Okay, we did enjoy this episode which we are now going to tear apart.
H: Last week's bopped right along, but this one was draggy to me.
Sc: Still better than Space Museum.
H: Well, as I said last week, a kick in the head is better...
P: I really enjoyed how the Daleks are moving.
M: I really enjoyed Captain Obvious Dalek. The leader named the race who lived there that was named after the planet that they were the inhabitants of the planet. And then later he pointed out that the TARDIS must of have been resistant to their weapons after it was clearing unharmed by their weapons.
H: I think this episode really needed Roselin De Winter (from the Web Planet) to choreograph the movement of the fish people.
Sc: I liked the premise of the planet that used to be an ocean and is not a desert.
R: But nocturnal rock octopus?
Sc: It made sense! The mire beasts, living in the sludge, coming out....
R: Nocturnal rock octopus?
M: I liked the way they told the story about the suns getting closer and closer. So theatre.
S: A world of C3P0 Fish people.
H: And then the suns came. And then *darth vader noises*
Sc: I though they were good one episode throw away aliens. I thought it worked as a premise.
R: But the nocturnal rock octopus?
Sc: MIRE BEAST!
R: At the end the guys octopus costume shifted, and the octopus was rarr!
S: The octopus was all "Mummenschanz". There were sockets for googly eyes, but it was clear they intentionally decided to avoid the googly eyes.
Sc: It looked decent at the end. But the animation (movement) was bad.
S: Vicki moving around it looked bad. But the actual attacking blob was good.
P: The victim had to help the monster attack.
H: The costume looked good but the movement looked bad.
R: I thought it was more of an Ed Wood octopus.
S: The set design was good. For a collection of random squirrelly tunnels, it looked good.
H: The Doctor had a line of how neat the city looked, but I didn't get that.
S: I thought the backgrounds looked really good.
H: Did anyone feel like there should have been an occasional frame up on screen saying, "Scene Missing"?
K: Yes! During when the wall fell down!
H: During then and when the hatch was exploded...
P: It did only for the plunger. [The idea here was that we never saw the explosives set off. Suddenly, the ceiling in the tunnel was down and it was hard to follow.] The wall scene was...
R: ...Sad in it's own way.
M: They had to make a lot of compromises in this one for things they couldn't do.
R: They could have had the Aridians clear off the TARDIS with something other than trowels, especially if it was eight feet down.
Sc: Maybe if they had shovels.
H: Or if there were more than 2 of them.
K: Back to the wall. So the tentacle comes out of the wall, and then Barbara runs toward it?
P: She jumped into the wall.
H: Something seemed missing there.
P: I think the tentacle was supposed to have grabbed her, but we couldn't see that.
Sc: The tentacle grabbed her and then she escaped and then it grabbed the more succulent fishman.
S: I thought she had shoved the fishman into it for a sec so she could escape.
K: She was trying to rescue the fishman from the thing.
H: But for all the Doctor and Barbara know they condemned a species into extinction because the Aridians won't be able to give the Daleks the TARDIS crew and the Daleks will therefore kill all of the Aridians and destroy their city. The fact that the Daleks decided just to leave instead was a lucky break. The Doctor cared more about the TARDIS crew than the aliens.
P: They haven't yet established the Doctor as a hero.
M: Well, the fish people were pretty doomed anyway.
K: Where were the girl fish people?
H: How do we know that some of them weren't girl fish people? Can you tell the gender of a fish by just looking at it?
M: It seems like most races they run into all seem male.
S: I liked the bicycling Dalek. He's picking up speed. He's heading for the camera! Oh, and then they change scenes...
P: They clearly were doing camera angles to avoid showing tracks and footprints.
H: How did the coat and sweater help with the trap?
General discussion about them making a pit trap
M: But how they expected the Daleks to fall into that little 2 foot trap...
S: I HAVE LOST HIM IN THE SUN! NO, THE OTHER ONE.
H: I loved the two Daleks standing guard. I was just thinking "DO YOU HAVE A CIGARETTE? DID YOU SEE THE FOOTBALL MATCH LAST WEEK?"
M: It was getting a little "waiting for Godot"
*random quote of Dalek speaking lines from Godot*
Sc: Now I understand why Daleks don't have hands. They're too proud to do manual labor and enslave other races to do it.
H: Intentionally funny -- the interplay between Ian and Vicki. Where they're each like "You idiot, run this way".
M: The tentacles might have been friendly...
EDITORS NOTE: Had to stop typing for a bit, as the entire group gets silly devolving into tentacle jokes that I really can't type here.
H: You know, I'm enjoying the episode more now that we've talked about it.
M: It's Doctor Who!
H: But this one seemed to drag for me.
M: I think part of it seemed slow because BOTH the Aridians and the Daleks spoke slowly.
P: I'm just surprised they thought they could destroy the TARDIS just by shooting it, since it can travel through time and space.
M: Is this the first time they actually shot at the TARDIS?
H: The Daleks had their own time and space machine. Which presumably they can destroy themselves. Can a Dalek make a machine that it cannot destroy itself? That's a philosphical question.
K: I like the Daleks sensor thing.
H: That was cool.
S: The gyroscopic prop was really well done.
M: It was a boat compass. But yes, it did look cool. Interesting to see another Dalek attachment.
H: I looked like the project did enjoy this episode. I personally didn't think it was as good as last week, but we'll see if things improve.
And that's all for this week! Join us next time as the Daleks pursue the TARDIS through time and space! Until then, I remain
NEXT WEEK: "FLIGHT THROUGH ETERNITY"