- Death to the Daleks
72 - Death to the Daleks Doctor Who serial
The Exxilons destroy a Dalek.
CastOthers Production Writer Terry Nation Director Michael E. Briant Script editor Terrance Dicks
Robert Holmes (uncredited)
Producer Barry Letts Executive producer(s) none Production code XXX Series Season 11 Length 4 episodes, 25 minutes each Originally broadcast February 23–March 16, 1974 Chronology ← Preceded by Followed by → Invasion of the Dinosaurs The Monster of Peladon
Death to the Daleks is a four-part serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. First broadcast from February 23 to March 16, 1974, it comprises four 25-minute episodes. The narrative begins as the TARDIS suffers an energy drain and crash-lands on the planet Exxilon. The Doctor (Jon Pertwee) and his companion Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen) are subsequently embroiled in a conflict between the Daleks and the human Marine Space Corp expedition over the mineral "Parrinium", which can cure and give immunity to a deadly space plague.
Travelling through space, the TARDIS suffers an energy drain and crash-lands on the planet Exxilon. The Doctor and Sarah Jane Smith venture outside to investigate the cause of the interference, and become separated. The Doctor is captured by the planet's inhabitants - the savage Exxilons - but escapes. Sarah is attacked by one of the creatures in the TARDIS, and flees into the night, finding a huge white City with a flashing beacon.
When daylight arrives, the Doctor is found by a party of the Marine Space Corps; they take him to their ship, which has been stranded by a power drain. They are on an expedition to mine "Parrinium" - a mineral abundant only on Exxilon - which can cure and give immunity to a deadly space plague. The lives of at least 10 million people depend on the expedition's obtaining the Parrinium and leaving the planet within a month. They show the Doctor some photos they have taken of the nearby City - which the Exxilons worship, sacrificing anyone who ventures too close to it. Sarah does so, and is captured and taken to the Exxilons' caves to be sacrificed by their High Priest.
A ship containing four Daleks now arrives; both the Daleks' ship and their weapons have been rendered useless by the energy drain. The Daleks claim that several of their planetary colonies are suffering from plague; thus they need Parrinium for the same reason as the humans. The Daleks, the Doctor, and the humans form an uneasy alliance to obtain Parrinium and escape Exxilon. While the allies are making their way to the humans' mining dome, the Exxilons ambush them, killing a human and a Dalek and capturing the others. The prisoners are taken to the Exxilon caves where the Doctor interrupts Sarah Jane's sacrifice; therefore, he is also condemned to death. When the dual sacrifice commences, a second party of Daleks, who have replaced their energy weapons with firearms, attack in force, killing a number of Exxilons. They then force the Exxilons and humans to mine Parrinium. The Doctor and Sarah flee into underground tunnels.
The Doctor and Sarah meet a group of subterranean, fugitive Exxilons. Their leader, Bellal, explains that the City was built by the Exxilons' ancestors, who were once capable of space travel. The ancient Exxilons built the City to be capable of maintaining, repairing, and protecting itself. However, fitting the structure with a brain meant that the City no longer needed its creators. On realising this, the Exxilons had tried to destroy the City, but, instead, the City destroyed most of them; the savage surface dwellers and Bellal's group are the only survivors. Bellal's people seek to complete their ancestors' last, failed act - to destroy the City and ensure their race's survival. Bellal sketches some of the markings on the City wall, which the Doctor recognises from a temple in Peru. Bellal also explains that the City supports itself through underground 'roots' and the aerial beacon. The Doctor realises that the beacon must be the cause of the energy drain, and decides to go to the City and resolve the problem.
The Daleks separately come to the same conclusion and create two timed explosives to destroy the beacon. One Dalek supervises two humans placing the explosives, but one of the humans, Galloway, secretly keeps one bomb. Two other Daleks enter the City to investigate the superstructure, but the Doctor and Bellal enter the City just before them. The two parties then proceed through the City, passing a series of progressive intelligence tests. The Doctor reasons that the City has arranged the tests so that only lifeforms with knowledge comparable to that of the City's creators would reach the brain, allowing the City to add the knowledge of the survivors to its databanks. On reaching the central chamber, the Doctor begins to sabotage the City's computer brain; the machine responds by creating two Exxilon-like 'antibodies' to 'neutralise' the Doctor and Bellal. The pair are saved when the Daleks enter and fight the antibodies, and the Doctor and Bellal escape as the City's sabotaged controls begin to malfunction.
When the bomb on the beacon explodes, all power is restored. The Daleks order the humans to load the Parrinium onto their ship. On leaving Exxilon, the Daleks intend to fire a plague missile onto the planet, destroying all life and making future landings impossible, so that they will have the only source of Parrinium. Their true intention for hoarding Parrinium is to blackmail the galactic powers to accept their demands; refusal would mean the deaths of millions. As their ship takes off, Sarah reveals that the Daleks have only bags of sand while the real Parrinium is on the Earth ship, which is now ready to take off. Galloway has smuggled himself and his bomb aboard the Dalek ship; he detonates the bomb, destroying the Dalek ship before it fires the plague missile. Back on Exxilon, the City disintegrates and collapses, the Doctor sadly commenting that the Universe is now down to 699 Wonders.
- Death to the Daleks is also the name of a spin off audio drama by Big Finish Productions in the Dalek Empire series.
- The Doctor attempts to destroy the Exxilon supercomputer by feeding it illogical paradoxes. This is the same tactic he used against the mad BOSS computer in The Green Death the previous season.
- This marks the last appearance of the TARDIS Console Room until Planet of Evil.
- Sarah later references this story in Pyramids of Mars.
Serial details by episode Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
Archive "Part One" 23 February 1974 24:32 8.1 PAL 2" colour videotape "Part Two" 2 March 1974 24:25 9.5 PAL 2" colour videotape "Part Three" 9 March 1974 24:24 10.5 PAL 2" colour videotape "Part Four" 16 March 1974 24:35 9.5 PAL 2" colour videotape 
- Working titles for this story were The Exilons and The Exxilons.
- This is one of two Third Doctor serials (the other being The Claws of Axos) to still have a 90-minute PAL studio recording tape.
- The incidental music for this serial was composed by Carey Blyton and performed by the London Saxophone Quartet.
Episode one of this story was missing from the BBC archives, when they were first fully audited in 1978; eventually, a 525-line NTSC recording was recovered from an overseas television station. A low-quality PAL recording was subsequently recovered, albeit with the opening scene missing. In 1992, this was followed by the recovery of a better-quality 625-line PAL recording from a shipment of episodes returned from Dubai.
Doctor Who book Death to the Daleks Series Target novelisations Release number 20 Writer Terrance Dicks Publisher Target Books Cover artist Roy Knipe ISBN 0-426-20042-X Release date 20 July 1978
VHS and DVD releases
- The serial was released on video in an omnibus format in July 1987, the first Doctor Who video to be released on just VHS, instead of both VHS and Betamax. As the PAL version of episode one was not yet known to exist, this used the NTSC version of the episode.
- An episodic release (with the PAL version of episode one) was released on 13 February 1995, although episode two was slightly edited due to BBC Video mistakenly using a cut version of episode 2 returned from ABC TV in Australia (episodes 3 & 4 were also from ABC TV), instead of the UK master tapes of episodes 2-4.
- The serial will be released on DVD in 2012 .
- ^ Shaun Lyon et al. (2007-03-31). "Death to the Daleks". Outpost Gallifrey. http://gallifreyone.com/episode.php?id=xxx. Retrieved 2008-08-30. [dead link]
- ^ "Death to the Daleks". Doctor Who Reference Guide. http://www.drwhoguide.com/who_3x.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- ^ Sullivan, Shannon (2007-08-07). "Death to the Daleks". A Brief History of Time Travel. http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/serials/xxx.html. Retrieved 2008-08-30.
- ^ "Serial XXX: Death To The Daleks: Production". A Brief History of Time (Travel). http://www.shannonsullivan.com/drwho/serials/xxx.html. Retrieved 2006-12-31.
- ^ http://www.doctorwhonews.net/2011/05/dwn030511125312-dvd-schedule-update.html
- Death to the Daleks at BBC Online
- Death to the Daleks at Doctor Who: A Brief History Of Time (Travel)
- Death to the Daleks at the Doctor Who Reference Guide
- Fan reviews
- Death to the Daleks reviews at Outpost Gallifrey
- Death to the Daleks reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide
- Target novelisation
- Death to the Daleks (novelisation) reviews at The Doctor Who Ratings Guide
- On Target — Death to the Daleks
Doctor Who season 11 serials Doctor Who: Dalek television stories First Doctor Second Doctor Third Doctor Fourth Doctor Fifth Doctor Sixth Doctor Seventh Doctor Ninth Doctor Tenth Doctor Eleventh Doctor"Victory of the Daleks" • "The Pandorica Opens" / "The Big Bang" Minor appearances See also Novels and novelisations featuring Daleks First DoctorDoctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks (Frederick Muller, 1964) • The Dalek Invasion of Earth (Target, 1977) • The Chase (Target, 1989) • Mission to the Unknown (Target, 1989) • The Mutation of Time (Target, 1989) Second DoctorThe Power of the Daleks (Target, 1993) • Evil of the Daleks (Target, 1993) Third Doctor Fourth Doctor Fifth DoctorResurrection of the Daleks (TSV Books, 2000) Sixth DoctorRevelation of the Daleks (TSV Books, 1992) Seventh DoctorRemembrance of the Daleks (Target, 1990) Eighth Doctor Tenth Doctor Unspecified DoctorThe Dalek Factor (Telos, 2004) CollectionsShort Trips: Dalek Empire (Big Finish, 2006)
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