THE DALEKS’ MASTER PLAN: VOLCANO
Me: Right. We’re over the halfway point and we’re rested. Final push over the next couple of days?
Him: I’m fed up with Daleks. But then, I reckon everyone was at this stage in time.
Me: There weren’t any in the last one.
Him: There are always Daleks.
Me: Hokay. Let’s give it a shot.
Him: Can I just sit in the corner?
Following last episode’s lunacy, it’s almost a treat to be greeted with Daleks watching Doctor Who. Because The Feast of Steven was never intended to be anything more light-Christmas flummery filler and not a real part of the story as a whole, there’s no recap. As a result of this there’s no way of telling how much time has passed. And as a result of that, it’s my understanding that there’ve been an awful lot of stories concerning the unseen adventures of the Doctor, Steven and Sara – most of them audio. I may well be wrong. Whatever, it can’t be canon. Ahem.
Anyhoo, the Daleks are delighted to announce that the time destructor is finally ready for testing. Cue musical sting.
Musical Sting: PARP!
Me: I guess this one’s from the Dalek point of view then. There’ll be a senseless waste of many Kaled lives when the fake taranium goes off.
Him: Barbara’ll walk in on them in a minute. Don’t forget that she’s working for the Daleks.
Me: In her sleep too.
In the Kembel Conference Hospitality Suite (otherwise known as the Davros Room), Mavic Chen and some Evil Chums are debriefing. Celation (who sounds a bit like a gas leak) is being a little bit critical of the slowly-unravelling Guardian of the Solar System. They’re all getting a bit paranoid.
Him: Could these guys replace the Daleks?
Me: I wouldn’t have thought so.
Talk turns to the Doctor and his friends. At this stage in his career, not much is known about him, other than that:
Mavic Chen: He is some kind of time and space traveller.
Well, says Celation, can’t be (hiss) anything to do with (hiss) my lot then – we can only (hiss) travel forward in time (hiss) by walking. Mavic Chen directs his accusations at Trantis. You remember – the runny-faced one.
Trantis: We have not yet succeeded. Only the Daleks know how to break the time barrier.
Me: That raises a few questions.
With the fires of paranoia successfully stoked, Mavic Chen probably twirls his moustache with a lengthy nail as he then says:
Mavic Chen: After all, we are here to witness the testing of the time destructor. Are we not?
Him: “This never happened when we had Daleks.”
That bizarre aside from the Him is in reference to the Mad UK parody ‘Doctor Ooh’,5 but you already knew that.
The Daleks are prepared to test the time destructor, but require a subject. Unluckily for Trantis, they haven’t got any mice.
Meanwhile, in the TARDIS, the Doctor, Steven and Sara have noticed that they’re being followed. Sara’s convinced it’s Daleks, but the Doctor’s not so sure.
Back on Kembel, Trantis is preparing to be tested. Seems quite altruistic of him.
The time destructor is activated and begins pinging. Trantis appears to have changed his mind.
Mavic Chen: So that’s what’s supposed to happen: a kind of abject insanity.
Celation gets in a quick, final criticism.
Celation: I (hiss) do not know, though (hiss) I always thought (hiss) Trantis (hiss) was a little (hiss) unstable (hiss) anyway.
The seconds ping by. Nothing happens. The Daleks work it out and Mavic Chen’s in trouble.
Dalek Supreme: THE-CORE-IS-WORTH-LESS!
Mavic Chen: No! No, it can’t be! It came from Uranus!
This comment causes childish hooting from us. After a few hours we calm down and have another go.
|"Well, I guess that the joke is on me, Mavic Chen."|
Mavic Chen, working well under pressure it has to be said, works out what’s really happened.
Mavic Chen: The old man fooled us!
Celation isn’t helping matters.
Him: I can’t understand a word Spotty’s saying.
Me: Played by Jon Pertwee in Superted, of course.
Him: He’s not the Spotty Man – he’s a spotty man. What was Superted?
The Him sighs.
The Daleks request a DARDIS from Skaro. Celation gets let off, but Mavic Chen’s on a written warning now.
Dalek Supreme: YOU-MA-VIC-CHEN-WILL-WAIT-HERE-FOR-THE-TIME-MA-CHINE!
The Supreme Dalek finally gets to work off some frustration by calling for the extermination of Trantis, which is gleefully carried out straightaway.
The Doctor and friends are still being followed when, suddenly – cricket happens.
Me: What? Eh?
Him: This isn’t The Daleks’ Master Plan any more.
|Doctor Who and the Krikkitmen lobby card.|
The TARDIS lands in Douglas Adams’ head for a while-
Commentator Trev: There’s a police telephone box on the pitch.
Commentator Scott: My word, yes.
-and then leaves.
Me: What a weird scene.
Despite the comedy stop-off, our heroes are still being followed.
Mavic Chen and the Daleks observe the arrival of a shiny new DARDIS. Mavic Chen is given a final chance and sent to accompany the hastily cobbled together Pursuit of the Time-Travellers Task Force.
Me: Oh. I guess I was wrong about there not being another DARDIS.
Musical Sting: PARP!
All of sudden there’s familiar lava footage.
Me: Oo. That’s from Inferno.
Him: No: Volcano.
The TARDIS materialises on the side of a volcano on the planet Tigus; Dennis Spooner wrote this episode which is probably why the planet isn’t called ‘Vulcanus’. The ship that’s been chasing the TARDIS has also landed. This calls for more stock footage from the opening titles of Inferno.
A large lump of pumice opens up, revealing the Monk!
Me: Oh – Whoah!
Him: Yeah. The Meddling Monk. Didn’t you know he was in this one?
Me: Not this episode.
The Monk spies the TARDIS and chuckles, preparing for Monkery.
Our heroes leave the TARDIS. The Doctor has an idea.
Amidst all this heroic rumination, the Monk sneaks up to the TARDIS on tiptoe and sabotages it.
The Doctor calls out, suggesting a meeting. Sara spots the Monk and there’s a delicious confrontation between the Doctor and our first returning character who isn’t from Skaro.
The Monk explains how he escaped from 1066. The banter’s wonderful.
Sara: What’s he talking about? 1066?
Steven: It’s alright; we’ve met the Monk before. I’ll explain later.
The Him hoots at this.
The Monk and the Doctor chuckle their way to the end of the conversation. The Monk reveals that – turn-about being fair play - he’s marooned them. The Monk leaves and our friends trudge back to TARDIS. True to his word, the Monk’s knackered it. The Doctor’s not happy but has an sudden thought. Using the light from the sun and his ring he manages to open the door. Our friends enter and the TARDIS leaves.
The Monk’s been watching this carry on.
The Monk: Ah. No. No. Don’t think I’m going to leave it at this. You haven’t heard the last of me, Doctor! You haven’t heard the last of me!
On the TARDIS.
Steven: If you ask me, we haven’t heard the last of the Monk.
The Doctor ‘explains’ how he was able to pick apart the lock-Monkery.
The Doctor: Oh, that’s all very simple, dear boy. You see, the sun in that particular galaxy has very unusual powers. I merely reflected its powers through that ring.
|"Alright, alright! I keep a spare key in it. Happy now, hmmmm?"|
Sara: Is there something special about it?
The Doctor: It has… uh… certain properties. The combined forces of that sun together with the stone in that ring was sufficient enough to correct the Monk’s interference.
In fairness, Steven doesn’t sound convinced either.
Back with the Daleks. The DARDIS is loaded up with Mavic Chen and Daleks. Launch is prepared.
Me: The Countdown Dalek’s back.
Him: The Countdown Dalek’s always with us.
The Daleks locate the TARDIS as materialising in London, New Year’s Eve 1966.
Me: It’s got very disjointed here, but I like the idea of the Countdown Dalek counting down New Year. And this would’ve been New Year’s Day, wouldn’t it?
Him: Yeah – week after Christmas.
The DARDIS is launched to the flashing blossom of fireworks and the drunken slurring of Auld Land Syne. ’65 is dead. Long live ’66!
Dalek Supreme: RE-PORT-TO-SKARO!-OUR-TIME-MA-CHINE-IS-NOW-IN-PUR-SUIT!-NO-THING-CAN-MATCH-DA-LEK-TECH-NOL-OGY!-THE-U-NI-VERSE-SHALL-BE-OURS!-CON-QUEST-IS-A-SSUR-ED!
Dalek Choir: CON-QUEST!-CON-QUEST!!-CON-QUEST!!!-CON-QUEST!!!!-CON-QUEST!!!!!
And… it’s the credits.
Me: Bit of an odd one that. What did you think?
Him: I wish the Daleks would shut up.
5. Written and illustrated by Steve Parkhouse, who, oddly enough, later went on to write possibly the greatest Doctor Who comic strips ever. “Voss not dock anyvay, voss poodle.”