The Chase : The Planet of Decision
First Broadcast June 26th, 1965 @ 5.40pm (9.5m viewers)
This sixth and final instalment of ‘The Chase’ brings to a conclusion the third Doctor Who story to feature the Daleks, a tale which has seen the Doctor and his companions pursued throughout space and time. Over the course of the journey, the TARDIS takes the adventurers to the desert planet Aridius, the top of the Empire State Building in New York City, the Mary Celeste, a peculiar amusement attraction in the future and finally the planet Mechanus, which features a stunning city, location for a spectacular final battle.
Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)
The explosive battle between the Daleks and the Mechanoids is pretty impressive with both machines skating effortlessly across the screen and engaging each other in a fight to the death. These Mechanoids are the first creatures to successfully engage in combat with the Daleks, fighting fire with fire, even if it results in their mutual destruction. The scale of the conflict is accentuated with smoke, flames and explosions superimposed on top of the footage, an odd decision and possibly one which is a little over the top. However, it still remains a stunning battle sequence, full of action, the likes of which the show had never seen before. In the confusion, the Doctor and his companions are able to escape and return to the TARDIS.
This episode would see the introduction of Steven Taylor who would become the new companion for the Doctor, capable of performing the physical demands unsuitable for William Hartnell and sharing the burden of some of the complicated dialogue. His introduction was required as the episode concludes with the departure of Ian and Barbara who of course began the mysterious adventure in that junkyard back in 1963.
Memorable Moment 2 (Spoiler Warning)
On discovering the Dalek’s Time Machine it is Barbara who considers the possibility that it could take them home, the thought hadn’t even crossed the mind of Ian. Originally, of course, their departure in the TARDIS had been against their will but such was their spirit of adventure they became swept up in the wonders of the universe. The Doctor himself is angry at the prospect, his concern for their well-being masking his disappointment that they want to leave his company, he can’t even bare to watch the machine dematerialise. Ian and Barbara do manage to return to London, conveyed through a peculiar photo montage, and with the Doctor and Vicki observing on the Time-Space Visualiser he finally admits that he will miss them. The silly old fusspots.
Doctor Who – William Hartnell
Barbra Wright – Jacqueline Hill
Ian Chesterton – William Russell
Vicki – Maureen O’Brien
Steven Taylor – Peter Purves
Cabin Steward- Jack Pitt
Director – Richard Martin
Producer – Verity Lambert
Writer – Terry Nation
Also First Aired On This Day…
- The Big Bang
- Doctor Who Confidential : Out of Time