Story 010: The Dalek Invasion of Earth

Original broadcast dates, November – December 1964. I wonder if it felt different when you couldn’t binge-watch the whole thing? Must have.

Upon arrival a slide of debris locks the crew out of the TARDIS and they’re forced to try and find help to shift it. It’s a good thing they do, as the Daleks have invaded and plan on taking the planet for a joyride.

Other than the ridiculous “oh no we’re locked out of the ship again” event, which I suspect happens rather a lot, the story in this one is pretty good. And the Daleks, usually my least favorite enemy group, seem more menacing than usual. They’re still ridiculous and defeated by a flight of stairs, but these are deliberate and evil, as well as really threatening.

It’s apparently 2164 or something like that, and yet nothing has changed since 1964. The wooden desk in an office still has a paper calendar on it. Silly, really, considering how often you see things like that even now – everyone’s got it on their phones. Another point where science fiction missed the ubiquity of the hand-held computer and communicator. In two hundred years the models of cars and trucks didn’t change either – oh wait, that was a museum. That almost makes sense and seems like a good place to find an overlooked vehicle.

Convienently, despite 200 years passing, Ian and Barbara still know their way around, and can navigate the ruined London easily. They do so, get separated, and then manage to find one another again, despite all odds.

Despite several head-scratchers in the episode, it was a pretty good story with a couple of characters who cared strongly about things and did things they thought important, even if it was bad for them personally. (Death is usually bad for you.) Most of my problems with the story were after-the-fact thoughts, not things that came up while watching the show; the show played on and I followed it happily only to later poke holes in it.

I found the ending to be kind of crappy. The Doctor decides something in a rather one-sided way and dumps Susan there with this dude she’s just met. Hopefully they do actually get along and are happy, but the Doctor was sure a pushy jerk when he decided for her that is what she needed, regardless of what she might have wanted to do. And his promise to come back is likely never met, as he can barely seem to pilot the TARDIS where he wants it, much less getting it back to someplace he didn’t intend to go. If he could control it, Ian and Barbara would have been home after their first adventure. Brilliant space-time travelling young woman dumped off to be a farmer’s wife. I wouldn’t blame her for building a TARDIS of her own out of spare parts just to come harass him with.

Be fun if some of the new shows went and tried to pick up some of these pieces. Maybe they did, and maybe they will, but there’s so many people strewen about the galaxy from the Doctor’s wanderings that they can’t stop and say goodbye to them all. Makes me want to not like the Doctor and to not care about any of the companions, for if he can dump off his own granddaughter, what will he do with any of the rest?


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