Saturday 25 February 2012

The Daleks' Master Plan: Devil's Planet


Me:  So, John Wiles wanted to put his own stamp on the show and make it quite a serious drama.  He felt constrained by this story though – and didn’t have a great time.  All the paperwork that I’ve read that was written by him makes him sound alright but he’s got a bit of a reputation.

Him:  So, he was only there for three stores?

Me:  He’s responsible for a few more, but about that, yeah.

Him:  Steven Moffat’s the producer now, isn’t he?

Me:  Yeah.

Him:  So, he’s got the same job that Verity Lambert and John Wiles had?

Me:  Um…  Yes.

Him:  Oh.  So, was he chosen?

Me:  Ummm…  Sort of.  Russell T Davies kind of asked him.

Him:  And Russell T Davies was the previous producer?

Me:  Yes.  To be fair though, The Empty Child, The Doctor Dances, The Girl in the Fireplace and the Vashta Nerada epic all act as a pretty good CV.  And if you throw in Blink as the covering letter then I think that’s a successful application package right there.

Him:  What does a producer actually do?

Me:  That’s a very good question.  I’ll explain later.

Him:  Tell me now!

Me:  It’s a bit different now to what it used to be.  After Doctors, the change of producer is often when an era shift becomes noticeable.  Letts to Hinchcliffe and-

Him:  Blue whales are heavy.  Blue whales are very heavy.

Me:  On to the Devil’s Planet then.

We recap. 

Me:  This’ll give you an idea of how hard the recons must’ve been to put together because we’ve seen what this bit actually looked like.  They’ve made a good go of it.  Impressive stuff.

Him:  This is where Katarina goes, isn’t it?  Episode three?

Me:  This is episode three, yes.

Him:  And this is where she goes?

Bret Vyon orders a countdown but then notices that someone’s forgotten to close the door.  The Doctor boards the Spar, fortuitously before take off.  There’s a sudden moment of animation as the Spar leaves Kembel, and then we’re watching Daleks glide around like they’re at the ballet.  Tradition is observed.

Him:  They’re watching Doctor Who again.

The Dalek Supreme is quite keen to track the Spar.


The Spar isn’t to be destroyed – mostly because it took ages to get the taranium core in the first place.

Him:  What’re those Daleks actually doing?  Do they have shifts?

Me:  I don’t think they get lunch breaks.

Bret Vyon, Steven, Katarina and the Doctor catch up on what they’ve missed.  The Doctor explains the Daleks’ master plan - Earth to be destroyed first (as always) and then all the other planets.  Katarina’s finding all this modern talk quite baffling.

Me:  Poor Katarina.

Finally we discover where taranium’s found.

Him:  ‘Uranus’?

Me:  That’s where taranium’s found: Uranus.  Bwah ha ha!  Ha!  Ha!  Boom!  Boom!

Him:  Such a stupid laugh.

Me:  Luckily, it’s not mine.

Him:  Such a mindless fox.

Mavic Chen and his Evil Funkers are playing a dangerous gig back on Kembel.

Me:  Boba Fett’s making a guest appearance as Zephon there.

"I really don't see what all the fuss is about."
Zephon’s unhappy with how his day’s gone.  It gets worse when the Daleks exterminate him.  More background information is supplied and the Evil Christmas Tree makes a reappearance.  Our heroes are approaching the planet Desperus (more on this later) and checking the taranium.  Katarina looks and learns.  Perhaps the Spar could be used to play Marc Cory’s tape?

Him:  Why would it have a tape player?

Me:  Every classy Spar comes equipped with a quadraphonic 8-track player with walnut finish, so why wouldn’t it?

Him:  What about the future-telling octopus?  The one they used in the World Cup?  I recall there being a fortune-telling octopus at one point.

Me:  There was but he didn’t team up with the Daleks.  He was called Clever Hands or something.  I’m pretty sure he was a German octopus.

Him:  That’s right – maybe he changed the future.

Me:  So – you’re saying that the octopus policy of non-interference needs more rigorous reinforcing?

Him:  Uh-huh.  There’s one definite way to win a derby.

Me:  Ok.

Him:  You drug all the other horses.

Me:  ‘The Curious Incident of the Octopus in the Night-Time’.

Him:  What?

Me:  It’ll make sense when you’re older.  Or read Silver Blaze.

Him:  ‘Silver Blade’?

Me:  Silver Blaze.

The tape is played.

Him:  It’s different.

The Doctor:  The Daleks will stop at anything to prevent us!

Me:  Ummm…?  Should be quite easy then, shouldn’t it?  “OO-A-FLOW-ER!-AH!-A-CABB-AGE-WHITE!”

Him:  That’s only the Architect Dalek that collects butterflies.  I suppose if they were going to make a film of every Dalek story they’d have to make one of Mission to the Unknown.

Me:  It’d probably be an internet-only trailer.  Or released in Imax only, tacked on to the start of a useless sequel to boost audiences.

Him:  There are no weird museums in Scotland but there is a museum of the mouse trap in Wales.  Bedwas.  Where’s Kent?

Me:  Kent’s where the Daleks had reached according to Marc Cory’s improved maps.

Anyway…  The Spar’s approaching Desperus.  The Daleks operate their randomiser and suddenly there’s…

Me:  Movement.

Him:  No… no… no…

The Spar is being pulled into the gravitational point of Desperus, the penal planet of the solar system.  Bret Vyon reveals that they can’t land there as it’s full of criminals.  Back on the Dalek control ship a soft landing for the Spar is engineered.  Pursuit ships are launched.  Mavic Chen congratulates the Dalek Supreme.


Mavic Chen:  You still haven’t recovered the taranium.

Me:  “SHUT-IT!”

Mavic Chen returns to Earth.  The Spar is landing on Desperus and we meet some of the planet’s, rather horrid, inhabitants - Bors, Garge and Kirksen who are fighting over women and a knife.

Me:  Bit grim.  Again.

The sound of random geese fills the leaden Desperus landscape.  Whilst Bors is sleeping an unsuccessful knife grab is attempted by Kirksen.  The sound of a landing Spar is heard above the geese.  The convicts head off to the swamp to say hello.

Him:  How is a knife better than a point-ed stick?

Bret Vyon:  What’s the matter with Grandpa?

Me:  Nice.

Our heroes pop out for a look around the swamp.  In the distance – lights.

Me:  What’s the deal with the geese?

Him:  It’s music.

The Daleks pursuit fleet is now on the way to collect their taranium.

Me:  Almost like a chase, you might say.

Him:  It’s not a chase; it’s a ‘follow’.

Me:  Hmmm….

On Desperus the noise continues.

Me:  Oh – they're bats!

There’s a sudden bat attack on Kirksen and then a roar!

Me:  What the hell was that?

The Doctor comes back inside the Spar and tells Katarina to prepare to hold a switch.

The Doctor:  Just do as you’re told.

The Doctor takes a cable out into the swamp.  Bors and Garge creep closer.

Katarina:  Something moved.

On the Doctor’s signal, Katarina pulls the switch and Bors and Garge are electrocuted into unconsciousness.  Katarina confides in the Doctor.

Katarina:  With you I know I’m safe

All of a sudden there’s a lot of baffling noise.

Me:  What’s going on?

A manual take off is prepared and the Spar leaves just as the Dalek ships land.  The escape is mostly successful – right up to the point that Kirksen suddenly emerges and grabs Katarina…

Him:  Katarina doesn’t have a last name.

Me:  No, she doesn’t.


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