Doctor Who (1963–1989)
4 user 1 critic

Death to the Daleks: Part One 

As the TARDIS heads to the paradise planet Florana where the Doctor and Sarah go for a holiday, the TARDIS goes off-course and arrives on the barren planet Exxilon, where the TARDIS is ... See full summary »


(as Michael Briant)



On Disc

at Amazon


Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode complete credited cast:
Duncan Lamont ...
John Abineri ...
Neil Seiler ...
Julian Fox ...
Joy Harrison ...
Mostyn Evans ...
Michael Wisher ...
Dalek Voices (voice)
John Scott Martin ...
Dalek Operator (as John Scott-Martin)
Cy Town ...
Murphy Grumbar ...
Dalek Operator (as Murphy Grunbar)


As the TARDIS heads to the paradise planet Florana where the Doctor and Sarah go for a holiday, the TARDIS goes off-course and arrives on the barren planet Exxilon, where the TARDIS is loosing power. The Doctor and Sarah finds a group of humans and Daleks are searching for Parrinium, a mineral which is the only antidote to a space plague. Both parties encounter the native people and trouble ensues. In an attempt to find what caused the power-loss, the Doctor, chased by the Daleks, enter the Exxilon's lost city to be able to stop the power draining phenomenon. Written by Daniel Williamson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Release Date:

23 February 1974 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Many of the Dalek casings used for this story dated from the 1960s (due to the unsatisfactory quality of the casings produced for "Planet of the Daleks"). See more »


[first lines]
The Doctor: [singing] Oh, I do like to be beside the seaside / I do like to be beside the sea...
[the Doctor continues whistling]
Sarah Jane Smith: Sunglasses, sun lotion, water wings.
The Doctor: Well, you won't need those for a start.
Sarah Jane Smith: Oh, we're going swimming, you said...
The Doctor: You can't sink on Florana.
Sarah Jane Smith: I can sink anywhere.
The Doctor: The water's effervescent. The bubbles support you.
Sarah Jane Smith: Like swimming in a glass of bath salts.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The Best Laid Plans of Daleks, Mice and Men
11 July 2014 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

When the TARDIS suffers a mysterious energy drain and crash-lands on the planet Exxilon, the Doctor and his current companion Sarah Jane Smith find themselves embroiled in a power struggle on the planet. There are several different parties to this conflict, including two rival factions within the Exxilons themselves, an expedition from Earth sent to obtain supplies of the mineral "parrinium", which is the only cure for a deadly plague, and the Doctor's oldest adversaries, the Daleks, who have their own nefarious reasons for seeking the parrinium.

As is common with "Doctor Who" serials, much of the plot involves the Doctor and his pretty young companion running away, being captured and then trying to escape, in this case from the Exxilons, who want to sacrifice Sarah Jane for religious reasons. The Exxilons, however, looking like mobile piles of rags, are not really Terry Nation's most inspired creation or the Doctor's most frightening enemies; I cannot imagine many children taking refuge behind the sofa whenever they appeared on screen. A lot of the storyline revolves around the mysterious city which the Exxilons regard as sacred. Yet the Exxilons themselves appear to be a primitive race with a Stone Age culture. Who then was responsible for building the city? (The answer to this question is provided in the course of the serial).

This serial came towards the end of Jon Pertwee's reign as the Third Doctor, and seeing it again reminded me that it was in Pertwee's time that Elisabeth Sladen's Sarah Jane first took over the role of his companion. I always associate her much more with Tom Baker's Fourth Doctor. It serves as a good example of Pertwee's interpretation of the role. Although his Doctor is supposedly an alien Time Lord he comes across as an eccentric upper-class English gentleman, something of a dandy with his velvet jackets and cravats. Despite his race's immense technological capabilities, he is not infallible or all-knowing, even though he generally gets the upper hand in the end, and always remains a gentleman in behaviour as well as in his accent and style of dress.

"Doctor Who" was famous (or infamous) for its small budgets, but normally this did not make a huge difference to the quality of the programmes. "Death to the Daleks" is, however, one serial where more money might have made for an improvement. The Doctor describes the Exxilon city as "one of the 700 wonders of the universe", a description which might suggest something spectacular, yet the city we actually see looks very shoddily built indeed. Unless, of course, the "wonder" is that an entire city could have been built so cheaply, probably by the outer space equivalents of cowboy builders.

The serial has been described as having "too much rather than too little plot", and this is an assessment with which I would agree; the existence of several different competing groups, originating from at least four different planets (Exxilon, Gallifrey, Earth and Skaro), and the internal tensions within some of those groups, makes the plot over- complex and at times confusing. The day is, however, at least partially saved by the appearance of the Daleks. As has often been pointed out, Nation intended them as a Nazi analogue, and in this serial their Nazi characteristics- their ruthlessness and their conviction that all other life-forms are their inferiors- are fully brought out. It is these very characteristics which make them such satisfying intergalactic villains, something instinctively realised by those generations of children who have paraded around their playgrounds chanting "Exterminate! Exterminate!" We never paraded around the playground pretending to be Cybermen or Sontarans. And certainly not Exxilons.

It is not, however, simply the Daleks' viciousness which makes them so satisfactory. Equally satisfactory is the way in which the best-laid plans of Daleks gang agley with even greater regularity than those of mice and men. It is notable in this serial that the ruthless and self- seeking characters all come to a sticky end whereas the selfless and compassionate ones not only survive but also come out on top. By the end of "Death to the Daleks" the "Whoniverse" may be down from 700 wonders to 699, but it possesses one wonder in which our own universe is generally lacking- a systematic link between virtue and reward and between vice and punishment.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Parts played by more than one actor? Dr Wily
Missing Episode Rumour Thread: Please Post and discuss Any Rumours Here. Doctor_Omega
NEW WHO: The (Almost) Final Solution Doctor_Omega
NEW WHO: An Alternative Universe of Stories Doctor_Omega
the point when JN-T should have quit lawrenceconwayvulcan
Classic Series Writer to contribute script for Series 10 of New Who Verse101
Discuss Death to the Daleks: Part One (1974) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page