Doctor Who (1963–1989)
5 user 1 critic

The Nightmare Begins 

The Doctor runs afoul of the Daleks and Special Security Agent Bret Vyon on the planet Kembel.


Douglas Camfield


Terry Nation

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Episode cast overview:
William Hartnell ... Dr. Who
Adrienne Hill ... Katarina
Peter Purves ... Steven Taylor
Brian Cant Brian Cant ... Kert Gantry
Nicholas Courtney ... Bret Vyon
Luanshya Greer Luanshya Greer ... Lizan (as Pamela Greer)
Philip Anthony Philip Anthony ... Roald
Kevin Stoney Kevin Stoney ... Mavic Chen
Michael Guest Michael Guest ... Interviewer
Peter Hawkins ... Daleks (voice)
David Graham ... Daleks (voice)
Robert Jewell ... Dalek
Kevin Manser Kevin Manser ... Dalek
Gerald Taylor ... Dalek
John Scott Martin ... Dalek


In the year 4000, the Daleks conspire to conquer the Solar System. Their scheme involves treachery at the highest levels, and a weapon capable of destroying the very fabric of time. Only the Doctor and his friends have the means to prevent catastrophe - and there is no guarantee they will escape with their lives...(Originally broadcast in twelve parts.) Written by Outlaw Time Lord

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Release Date:

13 November 1965 (UK) See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Lizan was originally a man named Gilson. See more »


[first lines]
Katarina: He has a strange sickness. Can you not help him?
Dr. Who: I'm doing the very best I can, my child. Oh dear, dear, dear. It is such a worry. This poison seems to be spreading throughout the whole of his system. Yes, we need a special drug. I shall have to land somewhere.
Katarina: [lights on the console start flashing] What is that?
Dr. Who: Oh, we're slowing down, my dear. We're going to land in a moment.
Katarina: Can we have reached the place of perfection so soon?
Dr. Who: Ah, well, I rather doubt it. At least, that is, we ...
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User Reviews

The Daleks' Masterplan
15 October 2008 | by ametaphysicalsharkSee all my reviews

In spite of its almost ludicrous length, relative lack of cohesion, insanely complicated storyline, (though not exactly a complex one, just lengthy and full of unexpected turns and trips to places as diverse and bizarre as the locations visited in "The Chase", we even get to go to Egypt during the fourth dynasty, although this is for the most part certainly not played for laughs), largely clichéd (outside of his ethnicity given when this was made) villain in Chen, and frequently meandering feel, not to mention a horrific Christmas episode, "The Daleks' Masterplan" is worth sitting through twelve episodes of.

The end result is almost surprisingly enjoyable and worthwhile for all "Doctor Who" fans and not just completists like myself, even in the form of reconstructions given how most of the episodes are missing. It certainly helps that the reconstructions for these episodes are especially good and watchable. Normally in my comments on "Doctor Who" stories I would go into the actual story in further detail, but this one has so many moods, so many settings, so many events, that it would almost be pointless (not that writing these comments isn't a tad bit pointless in itself...).

The writing, as I've said before, is incoherent and lacking in cohesion, partly because this story was scripted by two different writers in Terry Nation and Dennis Spooner, and probably worked on extensively by the script editor as well. Production-wise the story is excellent, particularly based on the surviving episodes in which the sets are very well-realized.

All in all this is occasionally a slog but completely worthwhile in the end, and absolutely excellent in places. It feels like a twelve-part story, even if it could have worked better as an eight-parter (six might have been too short, and it's not often you get to say that about a "Doctor Who" story).

Episode 1: 7/10, Episode 2: 6/10, Episode 3: 7/10, Episode 4: 8/10, Episode 5: 9, Episode 6: 8/10, Episode 7: 3/10, Episode 8: 7/10, Episode 9: 7/10, Episode 10: 9/10, Episode 11: 7/10, Episode 12: 8/10.

Average: 7.17/10

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