Saturday, 6 June 2009

Doctor Who: Dalek Cutaway. As opposed to "Mission to the Unknown", which is merely the title of the first episode.

Mission to the Unknown"There's something very big going on here. And if the Daleks are involved you can bet your life our whole galaxy is in danger."

A Terry Nation script, and it's got a jungle in it. It's weird that this features none of the regulars- personally I wasn't too perturbed as this was just one short episode and I'm aware it's just a prologue to the forthcoming epic. But I wonder if the contemporary viewers would have been aware of this.

The Loose Cannon recon is very nice indeed; as with Galaxy Four, there's been a lot of cleverness employed in enabling us to see as much moving footage as possible.

I love the Varga plants, very Terry Nation! As is the phrase "space security". I was also much amused by Marc Cory's statement that he hasn't told anyone he's coming to Kembel; we know he's doomed from this point on. The sense of doom is nicely fuelled further by Lowery's infection. The later sight of him as a Varga plant from the waist upwards is very effective, although I'm not sure whether I should be crediting Douglas Camfield or Loose Cannon!

The Daleks are great here- clever, scheming and implacable. We know that, for one episode only, nothing can stand in their way. The delegates are also a squee moment in themselves. I'm a bit hesitant on giving this a mark at all as it feels very much like part of a greater whole, but I'm going to give it 5/5.

I hope the Doctor's in it next week, mind!


The Aztecs 5/5
Marco Polo 5/5
The Crusade 5/5
The Time Meddler 5/5
The Rescue 5/5
The Reign of Terror 5/5
An Unearthly Child 5/5
Mission to the Unknown 5/5
The Dalek Invasion of Earth 4/5
The Romans 4/5
Planet of Giants 4/5
The Daleks 3/5
Galaxy Four 3/5
The Space Museum 3/5
The Chase 3/5
The Sensorites 3/5
The Edge of Destruction 2/5
The Web Planet 1/5
The Keys of Marinus 1/5

The Terry Nation Cliché Count

Mysterious figure follows female companion but later turns out to be a goodie: 1
Anti-radiation drugs: 1
Countdown: 2
Daleks at the cliffhanger to part one: 3
Our heroes unable to return to the TARDIS: 3
Trek through hostile environment: 2
Cowardly character dies a heroic death: 1
Part 1 spent exploring: 4
Jungle: 4
Character displays a grave moral failing making their death inevitable: 2
Episode opens with the strange death of a mysterious figure: 1
Very big bomb: 2
Planets named from their predominant quality plus “us” on the end: 2
Alien city: 2
Deadly Plants: 1
Unnecessary use of “space” as a prefix: 1


  1. Listened to this on audio recently as part of a planned review of the whole 13-parter. Very dark, isn't it?

  2. It might seem an odd thing to say, given the total lack of footage, but I suspect it's Douglas Camfield who should get most of the credit for that. The first episode of the story proper is also very dark (not surprisingly, as it's basically a rehash!) and the short bit of footage we get is just extraordinarily, terrifyingly bleak.