Writer: Terry Nation
Director: Christopher Barry (parts 1, 2, 4, and 5) and Richard Martin (parts 3, 6, and 7)
Producer: Verity Lambert
Companions: Susan (Carole Ann Ford), Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill), and Ian Chesterton (William Russell)
No. of Episodes: 7
Season: 1, ep. 2 (5-13)
Summary: The Doctor and company arrive on Skaro, where the Doctor encounters the Daleks for the first time. He and his companions align themselves with the Thals, in the hopes of defeating the Daleks.
Review: Well, this is the story I knew I had to review sooner or later. There is no villain more iconic for the show than the Daleks. They are the only enemy that every single Doctor (including Paul McGann if you count the Big Finish stories, which I do) has encountered at least once. I feel that no Doctor has been tested until he has faced the Daleks. So, what do I think of the original? Meh. This story is one of the slowest classic serials, right up there with The War Games. If you’re curious about what the first Dalek story was like, by all means watch it, but it’s not something that should be rewatched.
Overall Review: 5/10
Continuity: The Doctor would not visit Skaro again until “Genesis of the Daleks”. This story is the first–and to my knowledge the only–story where we actually see how people eat on the TARDIS. It is also the only story where the Daleks are powered by static electricity.
Trivia: This story almost didn’t happen. When Sydney Newman, one of the co-creators of Doctor Who, started the show, he said “no bug-eyed monsters and no robots”. The Daleks was something he felt was against what he proposed, however, this was the only serial that was ready after “An Unearthly Child” finished production. Lambert was adamant that it would air, and she fought for it. “The Daleks”‘ working title was “The Mutants”. This story was later adapted into the movie Dr. Who and the Daleks, with Peter Cushing (who also played Grand Moff Tarkin in Star Wars: A New Hope) as the Doctor.