Last time on the blog I covered the main pilot story of Doctor Who. However, the show didn’t really take off until it’s second story, The Daleks, a seven part serial. Over the next month and a half, Doctor Who’s ratings went way up and helped establish it as a pop culture phenomenon in Britain. In addition, “The Daleks” was later even made into a film-with some major changes. More on that later, however…
Anyway, the Doctor and his companions investigate the Dalek city, hoping to find some mercury to refuel the TARDIS (The Doctor however purposely broke the ‘fluid link’ in order to explore the city). However they are quickly discovered and captured by the Daleks. Able to escape by commandeering a Dalek shell (using their vulnerability to static, a weakness really only used in earlier stories). They also discover they have suffered radiation poisoning. Eventually, they manage to seek out the Thals, who remedy their affliction, and after an attempt to reconcile with their sister species goes wrong, the Daleks declare open war and extermination of the Thals by attempting to re-start the nuclear war that created their dystopia in the first place. However the Doctor and his companions, with the help of the Thals, manage to defeat the Daleks, and they are believed extinct (A mistake the Doctor would make multiple times in the future).
After another adventure in which the TARDIS malfunctions, the show takes on a slight ‘edutainment’ approach with several episodes dealing with the Doctor interacting with historical figures such as Marco Polo and Robbespiere, and even an attempt to alter history while visiting the Aztecs and being mistaken for Gods. They also encounter the strange world of Marinus, and the telepathic sensorites.
As the second season rolls around, the Doctor and co. end up on future London-but something’s not right. The city is nearly abandoned and devestated, with only a small group of rebels around. They soon find their answer-in the form of the Daleks, who have not only taken control of Earth, but plan to harvest it’s core to turn Earth into a warship. The Daleks are modified slightly here, from being confined to a city in their original story to roaming around freely, and also portrayed more as world-conguering villains instead of wanting to reclaim their planet in the original.
Daleks in London.
The Doctor and his companions are able to make an alliance with the Earth rebels and once again defeat the Daleks.
The Dalek Invasion of Earth was also made into a film, as well.
One of the more notable things about this particular adventure is the departure of Susan. She falls in love with one of the Rebels, and the Doctor sees that it’s time for him to leave her be and let her have her own life (despite her protests). Saying one last farewell, he takes off again with Ian and Barbera.
Their next few adventures have them pick up another young woman, Vicki, and visit ancient Rome during the time of Emperor Nero, and the crusades, as well as encountering a planet of sentient insects. However, another encounter with the Daleks leads to another departure-this time for Ian and Barbera.
The Daleks, kind of sick of this Doctor who keeps spoiling their plans, build their own time machine, and pursue the Doctor through various eras and planets, such as New York, a Haunted House, and the ghost ship Mary Celeste. Eventually landing on the planet of Mechanos, they encounter a race of robots, the Mechanoids, and their prisoner Steven Taylor.
The Mechanoids and Daleks get into a war, leaving them eliminated and their time machine abandoned. Reasoning that the Dalek time machine is more accurate than the Doctor’s TARDIS, Ian and Barbera ask to leave the Doctor, which he grants, although reluctantly.
Travelling with Vicki, the Doctor soon realizes he has a stowaway-Steven. After some initial disbelief-and a show down with another time lord, Mortimus who wants to mess with history, Steven joins the Doctor and Vicki in their adventures.
The series begins to dwelve more into science fiction plots, although there is still the occasional historical adventure. Vicki soon leaves and spends time in ancient Troy, while the Doctor once again faces Mortimus and the Daleks in a massive adventure across time and space (The Dalek’s Masterplan). He also enlists two more companions-Katarina and Sara Kingdom-but both are killed off during the event.
They eventually find plucky modern London girl Dodo, and the adventures continue. Steven eventually leaves to help out a tribe. However, during a return to London in the 1960s involving a sentient computer and it’s army of robots, Dodo is brainwashed and forced to leave the Doctor. The Doctor is then joined by Ben and Polly, a Naval sailor and a club-going girl.
Hartnell’s final TARDIS team.
After one adventure with Pirates, the Doctor and co. find themselves in the arctic, in an adventure that will change the Doctor forever-literally.
Earth finds itself facing off against a mysterious ‘tenth planet’-Mondas-which has assumed orbit around Earth, and is draining it’s energy. It’s inhabitants arrive on an Earth station to make sure their plan operates. Turns out that they’re Cybermen-a people who, after a great catastrophe, were dying. In order to survive, they replaced most of their organs with mechanical parts, although also kept some of their original tissue-hence becoming cyborgs. The conversion also robbed them of their humanity, turning them into emotionless drones.
The early (somewhat crude) Cybermen.
The Doctor and his friends defeat the Cybermen, but at a great physical strain to the Doctor. Realizing he hasn’t got much time left, he hurries to the TARDIS, gets the console moving, and then collapses to the floor. A concerned Ben and Polly are then astonished as the Doctor’s features change-into a younger, shorter man.