Writer: Louis Marks
Director: Paul Bernard
Producer: Barry Letts
Companions: Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney), Jo Grant (Katy Manning), Sgt. Benton (John Levine), Cap. Yates (Richard Franklin)
Season: 9, eps. 1-4
Summary: UNIT and the Doctor investigate an old building that a UN delegate wants to use for peace talks, which he claims to be haunted. The Doctor discovers that Daleks, soldiers from an alternate timeline, and simian monsters called Ogrons are locked in a battle.
Review: If that summary sounds like the story is a mess, that’s because it is. Of the three Dalek stories from the Pertwee era, this is the worst.
The Doctor and Jo do a good job. I like that we actually get to see Jo use her escapology skills, which didn’t happen very often. In fact, this is one of Jo’s more competent stories.
My main problem with this story is the Ogrons, the monsters the Daleks use as henchmen. They are unnecessary. The Daleks have always been capable of doing their own work, so giving them minions–especially idiotic ones like this–doesn’t work. It lessens the threat the Daleks are supposed to be because they aren’t allowed to be menacing. The Ogrons don’t seem like a threat because they are less intelligent than the Daleks or the soldiers fighting them.
My favorite moment is in episode 2. The Doctor is sampling some wine when he is attacked by a soldier. He karate chops one and sets his glass down. He’s actually got just enough time to subdue the next soldier, and he doesn’t lose one drop of wine!
So overall, I think this this story is below average. If it didn’t have the Ogrons, it might have been decent.
Continuity: Jo mentions events in “Colony in Space” while the Doctor is repairing the TARDIS in episode 1. A Dalek acknowledges that the Doctor has “changed his appearance before”, referencing their encounters with the Second Doctor.
Trivia: The Daleks were originally going to be used in the Season 9 finale, but the writer of that story didn’t want to use them, so the Daleks were added to this story. Originally Terry Nation was going to write this story, but he had another program he was working on at the time. The DVD version cleans up the Daleks’ voices by having modern-day Dalek voice Nicholas Briggs redub the lines instead of the original dub.