The Dalek Invasion of Earth: World’s End

First Broadcast November 21st 1964 @ 5.40pm (11.4m viewers)

The Daleks are back! The first of many times that sentence could be proclaimed. Following their instant impact and popularity with the viewing public in their debut story ‘The Mutants/The Daleks’ a return was hurriedly commissioned. The return was well publicised with only the second Doctor Who cover of the Radio Times. William Hartnell didn’t even feature as the Daleks took centre stage. The imagery on that cover was deliberately provocative as it reflected that seen in the story, Daleks on the streets of London. In ‘The Mutants/The Daleks’ the time travellers visited the home world of the creatures. The next logical step was of course for them to visit our planet.

Radio Times Cover
Radio Times Cover

A large proportion of the audience would have experienced the threat of Nazi invaders less than 20 years previously. Images of Daleks at London landmarks, deliberately wielding their telescopic arms in a Nazi-esque salute provided some very powerful imagery. This story also began a trend of stories which still continues to this day. As Jon Pertwee famously said, ‘There’s nothing more alarming than coming home and finding a Yeti sitting on your loo in Tooting Bec.’ Alien invasion stories would from this point become a staple of Doctor Who. The alien placed within our normal environment of Earth would subsequently provide many an iconic image and sleepless nights for viewers. This all began here with the prospect of spinning around and coming face to face with a Dalek.

Memorable Moment (Spoiler Warning)

Unfortunately, the first appearance of a Dalek is a little underwhelming. This is largely because we only get to see one. But the reveal is of course saved for the cliffhanger. Tension and speculation is built up throughout the episode as the TARDIS crew try to uncover the truth behind a deserted and ruined London. The Robomen offer an intriguing distraction and threat before dramatically and rather unexpectedly a Dalek rises from the River Thames. This juxtaposition of an alien creature rising from the water would be replicated with greater success (and numbers) in stories such as ‘The Sea Devils’ and ‘Full Circle’. It is not an original idea with movie monster ‘The Creature from the Black Lagoon’ pre-dating this story. The effect, however, is impressive nonetheless and provided a promise of more Daleks to follow the next week.


Doctor Who – William Hartnell
Susan Foreman – Carole Ann Ford
Barbara Wright – Jacqueline Hill
Ian Chesterton – William Russell
David Campbell – Peter Fraser
Dortmun – Alan Judd
Carl Tyler – Bernard Kay
Dalek Operator – Robert Jewell
Roboman – Martyn Huntley
Roboman – Peter Badger


Director – Richard Martin
Producer – Verity Lambert
Writer – Terry Nation

Also First Aired On This Day…
  • Face the Raven
  • An Adventure in Space and Time (Docu-drama)


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