Hello everyone, the Historian here, with a full house again: Ketina, Ronelyn, Schmallturm, Spoo, MiniSpoo, MisterMother and Photobug! The Daleks are catching up to the TARDIS and our friends don't have much time left, so we'd better get to the summary!
Episode summary: First aired 5 June 1965. The TARDIS' lead is shrinking...from twelve minutes to only eight. The Daleks are catching up...
In the foyer of what looks like a very creepy house, the TARDIS materializes. The four travellers exit the ship and look around. Barbara isn't too thrilled by what she sees, but Ian thinks this could be a perfect place to face down the Daleks--good walls, room to move and a staircase! "Daleks don't like stairs," he observes. But as he steps onto the staircase, there is a creak and bats fly down from the ceiling, scaring everyone but the Doctor. He suggests they explore upstairs to get the lay of the land before the Daleks arrive, but Barbara and Vicki nervously decide to remain downstairs near the TARDIS. After Ian and the Doctor leave, Barbara and Vicki decide to explore...but are startled by a sudden crash of thunder. Eyes above the fireplace light up, startling them again, but they resolutely walk around the ship to explore the area. They come upon a closed chest and cautiously open it, but find nothing inside. Suddenly, a skeleton drops down from the ceiling and the women scream.
Upstairs, the Doctor and Ian have paused on the landing. The Doctor walks on, but what seems to be a ghost of a woman passes right in front of Ian. The Doctor, meanwhile, has found what seems to be a laboratory down a small flight of steps. Although Ian is nervously dubious, the Doctor insists they investigate. There is something large beneath a sheet on a table. When they both go down, the thing under the sheet sits up--it is Frankenstein's Monster! The Doctor beats a hasty retreat, followed a moment later by Ian, as the Monster rises! Once the two are gone, however, the Monster lies back on the table.
Back in the foyer, Barbara and Vicki are pretty rattled. They only get more nervous when a man appears in a corner. He bids them welcome and claims to be Count Dracula! This is too much for Barbara, especially as the man disappears through a hidden door. Barbara cautiously goes to investigate, but can't find the catch. When she turns around, Vicki is gone! On the landing above, a woman, the ghost from before, appears and screams! Suddenly, the wall rotates, taking Barbara with it...
Upstairs, Ian mentions that although everything is strange, it's also somehow familiar. The Doctor seizes on this, coming up with a theory that they are in a world of nightmares, a manifestation of the human mind. Ian replies then they must be safe from the Daleks--those creatures can't enter the human mind, can they? The two arrive at the bottom of the stairs, only to discover that Barbara and Vicki are, predictably, gone. Thinking they may have followed the others upstairs, the Doctor and Ian go back up. Behind them, unseen and unnoticed, the Dalek time machine materializes in a corner...
Inside the Dalek ship, the metal monsters rejoice over catching up with their foes as they see the TARDIS on their scanner. A Dalek search party emerges into the house. One stays to guard the TARDIS in case the travellers return.
Upstairs, the Doctor and Ian still can't find their friends. They nervously decide to check the laboratory again. But as they go down the stairs, they see a Dalek in a corridor leading out of the lab! Ian tries to bluff it, and the Dalek is surprised to see the Frankenstein Monster rise. The Doctor and Ian flee up the stairs as the Dalek fires at the Monster, which keeps coming towards it!
The Doctor and Ian come down the stairs, meeting Vicki and Barbara at the bottom. They begin to dodge Daleks. "Dracula" appears and delivers his line and the Daleks threaten him. Vicki, worried that he will be killed, tries to warn him, but the Dalek fires...doing absolutely nothing. The woman on the landing appears and screams. The Monster appears and attacks a Dalek! In the confusion, the Doctor, Ian and Barbara run for the TARDIS, not realizing Vicki is not behind them. The TARDIS doors slam and it takes off--leaving Vicki behind! She manages to slip inside the Dalek time machine just before the remaining Daleks (one having been destroyed by the monster) retreat. The Dalek ship also takes off.
In the TARDIS control room, the time detector continues to beep--the Daleks are still following. Ian expresses frustration while the Doctor continues to muse about where they'd been. He is convinced of his theory that they had landed in some kind of manifestation of the darkness of the human subconscious. Ian is still dubious, wondering if there might be a simpler explanation, but the Doctor insists he must be right.
Back at the house, we pan out and discover a sign that informs us that we have been in "Frankenstein's House of Horrors," a part of the Festival of Ghana in 1996. It has been closed, "Canceled by Peking."
Back in the control room, the Doctor continues to work on his device that should work against the Daleks. Barbara brings four cups of water to the Doctor and Ian and asks where Vicki is. But, they say, we thought she was with you!
On the Dalek time machine, the Dalek leader is informed that the TARDIS is approaching the planet Mechanus. They then discuss a "reproducer," entering a second room dominated by what looks like a capsule with a door. One of the travellers will be replicated to infiltrate the group and it is decided that the subject will be the Doctor using photos and other records. The robot will be ready by the time they reach Mechanus. After the Daleks leave, Vicki emerges from hiding. She approaches a piece of machinery that has what appears to be a microphone and attempts to contact the TARDIS, to no avail. She becomes increasingly frantic as she gets no reply.
In the control room of the TARDIS, all three of the travellers blame themselves for leaving Vicki behind. The Doctor reacts angrily to Barbara's asking whether they can go back for her, saying he wouldn't just be standing there if he could! Ian strikes on an idea--the TARDIS might not have the control to be able to go back, but the Dalek time machine could! They must capture it to save Vicki! Their next landing place will be their battlefield!
On the Dalek ship, the report comes that the TARDIS has arrived on Mechanus. The Daleks will arrive in four minutes. The replica robot, meanwhile, is ready and the Daleks arrive in the room to see it--as Vicki hides just in time. They prepare to activate the robot.
The TARDIS arrives on Mechanus, seeing a swampy jungle outside. The Doctor, Ian and Barbara, taking the anti-Dalek device with them, exits the TARDIS to explore and prepare.
On the ship, the door of the capsule opens as the Daleks talk about their success and superiority. A figure emerges from the capsule--it is a (not very good) replica of the Doctor, who repeats his orders: He will infiltrate the TARDIS crew and kill. Infiltrate and kill....!
Ketina's Krazy Transcript/Paraphrase
S: (to the Scooby Doo theme song) Doctor, Doctor Who, where are you?
M: (As Dalek) EXPOSTULATE. EXPLAIN THE PLOT!
K: The hell?
H: This is the episode out of this story that I was the least looking forward to, because I knew everyone would say "the hell?"
P: What was up with the bats on the strings? You could see the wires!
H: You were supposed to. It was a haunted house. I liked the fact that it was the 1996 Ghana Exposition and closed by Peking. I wonder what they thought would happen politically in the future for that to have happened.
Sc: It was a haunted house with the safeties off.
H: That's probably why it was closed.
M: Why did Frankenstein attack the Daleks? Maybe because they looked like other robots?
S: There was good comic acting.
H: Vicki and Barbara were great.
S: And the boys too
Sc: I loved how the doctor ran away...
M: He had this outlandish theory about where they were, and it was completely wrong.
P I don't know who the stage person was, but they were making lots of shadows.
M: Yes, the walls have hands. STAGE hands!
H: Creepy jungle! Everybody take a drink! You know it's a Terry Nation script, alright.
S: I give the Doctor 2 out 5 "coots". And one nice diving save on a Billy Fluff. He slowed, then got the line, and then spent the next two lines making up for it. And they seriously don't count noses when reentering the TARDIS.
MS: (from other room) EXTERMINATE! EXTERMINATE! (He did this a lot; it was adorable.)
S: And MiniSpoo ran from the room during some of the scary bits too!
R: There was also a Dalek fluff. THE DALEK SUPREME...DALEK.
H: And we had the return of the mathematically challenged Dalek.
M: And I loved that it was the one who's job it was to count things.
H: Converting from rells to hours can't be easy. LET'S SEE, I LEARNED THIS IN DALEK GRADE SCHOOL. 30 RELLS TO THE MINUTE...
M: Maybe the Daleks are just bad at math, which explains their overconfidence. WE CANNOT LOSE, WE HAVE THEM OUTNUMBERED 7 TO 1,000!
R: ONE AND ONE AND ONE AND ONE NOT MORE THAN TWO...
S: The omnivorous TARDIS when it phased in it and ate a candelabra.
Sc: Which then reappeared when it left again.
S: And I think the Daleks time machine also displaced some furniture.
M: Something noteworthy - they split the party and yet no one was capture!
S: And Barbara was eaten by a very slow rotating wall. Captures 0, abandoned 1...
R: Duplicated... 1/2. WE FOUND AN OLD GUY IN A TRUNK. GIVE HIM A CANE.
M: The Doctor is definitely Scooby in this one.
R: And Shaggy is the TARDIS (high pitched "Shaggy" voice) "I'll stay here guys, go on without me."
S: WE WOULD HAVE EXTERMINATED THEM IF IT WASN'T FOR THAT DARN FRAKENSTEIN.
K: Frankenstein's monster!
P: So know we know animatronics / robots are immune to Dalek fire.
S: Animatronic Draculas and Frankenstiens..
K: Frankenstien's monsters!
S: Are immune to Dalek guns.
H: The screaming woman was Roslyn De Winter, who did the movement and played Vrestin in the Web Planet. She did movement and screaming in this episode.
K: What the heck was she screaming?
R: "Poor Tom's a cold!" drool... bdbdbdbd...
H: Transcript just says "screams."
Sc: Well, I still liked it better than last week. It was fast paced and did a good job at being silly.
R: Once I figured it out, it was funny. At first I though the special effects had really slipped.
M: I loved it from when the bats appeared. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to look that way, but it was funny and so I didn't care.
Sc: It was like Dream Park with a very low budget.
P: They took great pains to play up the squeaky step. And then no squeek at all only 10 seconds later.
R: It was an ironic squeak.
K: SO it was intentionally bad effects combined with real bad effects.
P: And staging. This was like the "Ed Wood" episode. The Daleks really really didn't have it together this episode.
H: We didn't understand what was going on.
P: They didn't have free will. What was up with them running in and then turning around and then going back? (at one point in the Dalek time machine.)
M: The Dalek missed his mark?
H: It's hard to see in those suits.
R: DALEKS ARE PROFESSIONALS. WE STUDY THE BLOCKING.
Sc: So Vicki is from the future and knew how to use the communicator...
K: We've seen that prop in a previous episode.
M: We don't even know if she was using the right thing. That could have been the ships thermostat.
Sc: IT'S HOT...NOW IT'S COLD...WHAT IS GOING ON?...AH, JUST RIGHT...NO, NO, DO NOT TOUCH IT AGAIN!
M: WHO IS FLUSHING THE TOILET WHILE I AM SHOWERING?!
P: What was up with the fake doctor robot? Why did they use a different actor?
H: These things were shot like stage plays, continuously. Hartnell couldn't go to the stage where they had the robot of the doctor, so they used a body double. And then they edited in the cliffhanger.
P: Were TVs so bad back then that the viewers couldn't tell...
H: Actually, yeah, very possibly.
S: Maybe it was because the robot was only 97% complete when he steps out of the booth, and he hadn't finished jelling until the close up shot.
K: I don't understand why they didn't just use a different actor for the whole role.
R: He looked terrible though. Like he had a prosthetic forehead.
H: William Hartnell is wearing a wig too. It's just that the stand-in's wig was just really bad.
K: Two screams!
P: This episode was mildly hallucinatory.
H: But amusing. (Scooby Doo voice) Raggy?
Ahem, that's enough of that. Anyway, I was quite pleased that the Project team liked this episode more than I thought they would. I've always found it to be pretty funny, but it's just silly enough not to work for some people. I'm glad it did for us, though!
See you next week! Until then, I remain
NEXT WEEK: "THE DEATH OF DOCTOR WHO"