Doctor Who (1963–1989)
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Destiny of the Daleks: Episode One 

The Doctor and Romana find themselves on Skaro and forced to be military advisers to the Daleks' enemy, Movellans, while the Daleks revive Davros.


Ken Grieve


Terry Nation (by)

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Episode cast overview:
Tom Baker ... Doctor Who
Lalla Ward ... Romana
Tim Barlow Tim Barlow ... Tyssan
Peter Straker Peter Straker ... Commander Sharrel
Suzanne Danielle ... Agella
Tony Osoba ... Lan
Cy Town ... Dalek Operator
Mike Mungarvan ... Dalek Operator
Roy Skelton ... Daleks / K9 (voice)


The Doctor and Romana find themselves on Skaro and forced to be military advisers to the Daleks' enemy, Movellans, while the Daleks revive Davros.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


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Release Date:

1 September 1979 (UK) See more »

Filming Locations:

Dorset, England, UK

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Romana wears a pink and white outfit stylistically similar to the Doctor's, complete with scarf. See more »


The Doctor: Listen. You listen to me in there. What you want is something warm and sensible. Something that will wear well. Something with a bit of style and, well, style. You know?
[the newly regenerated Romana returns, wearing the Third Doctor's spare coat, scarf and floppy hat - these are several sizes too big for her]
The Doctor: How about this, Doctor?
Romana: Exactly! Good, heavens, that's exactly right. Ha! I never realised you had such a sense of style.
The Doctor: I thought you said external appearances weren't important.
Romana: Ah, but...
See more »


Featured in Doctor Who Live: The Afterparty (2013) See more »

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User Reviews

"Is that why you always win?"
20 September 2009 | by profh-1See all my reviews

Just watched DESTINY OF THE DALEKS. This has developed a bad reputation over the years, and not without reason. All the same, it is watchable.

I wonder how much of a shock it was for audiences in England when Romana regenerated without warning at the beginning of the story? Some fans have lambasted the sequence as trivializing regeneration, or even demanding explanation for how she frivolously "wasted" several regenerations before deciding on one she liked. But that's NOT what really happened. The thing is, you'd have to watch PLANET OF THE SPIDERS to understand what she was doing-- projecting a 3D image of her future regeneration, just as Kam-Po did with Cho-Je (and just as, later, the Doctor did with "The Watcher", though unknowingly in his case, as he clearly had never quite got the hang of it as "normal" Time Lords have). The fact that John Nathan Turner was heavily involved with the show at this point suggests the way it was handled might have been HIS idea, since many things during his long run on the show were never properly explained on screen, things being taken for granted that longtime fans had already seen the old shows and thus "KNEW" what was going on. (Gee, no wonder the size of the viewership shrank over the years, that can happen when you're only catering to hard-core long-time "fans".)

I get a kick out of the way the "new" Romana chooses a variation of The Doctor's current outfit to wear. It suggests strongly that the whole thing behind her regenerating is she's come to really LIKE him, would like to get along with him more, and maybe even become more like him. I thought she got a bit too "scream-y" in the first half, but once she escaped from The Daleks (and did so in a very clever way), the "old" Romana seemed to shine thru much more. I often think the 2nd Romana, by not trying so hard to prove she was so smart, actually became smarter. But at the same time, she could also be even more "imperial" than the original, despite her cuter appearance. (And what an adorable cutey she's become!)

You know, by this point in the series, when The Daleks show up, they seem OUT-OF-PLACE to me. Like something that would have been best left in the past as a horrible memory you're trying to forget. I did like The Movellans, both the idea and the general design work, but whenever The Daleks are on screen, they keep making me think that Terry Nation only had ONE idea, and he kept doing it over and over, driving it into the ground the way the Movellan ship does when it lands on a planet. Maybe it was a real blessing when Nation went to America and STOPPED writing for DOCTOR WHO altogether.

Perhaps the worst element of the entire story was David Gooderson. He's just NOT "Davros". He's terrible! I know Michael Wisher was still around when they did this, whatever possessed them to go ahead without him??? (I mean, even if there was a schedule problem, considering the costume and the mask, good grief, they could have gotten Wisher to OVER-DUB the voice after-the-fact. (Isn't that what George Lucas did with the voice of the Emperor in the DVD version of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK?)

Legend has it that after Tom Baker made fun of The Daleks not being able to follow him up a vertical shaft, it hurt their reputation as "scary" aliens so much that JNT felt he had to go to great lengths to "restore" their credibility and scariness when they finally returned in Resurrection OF THE DALEKS. It's too bad nobody just figured out how to make them hover as they always done in the Dalek comic-strip stories. It took until REVELATION OF THE DALEKS for it to happen on the show (and then, it was so badly shot you couldn't even tell what was happening), and REMEMBRANCE OF THE DALEKS before they finally "got it right", when one of them followed Sylvester McCoy up a flight of stairs.

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