The Daleks

From Academic Kids

Template:Doctorwhobox The Daleks is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which was first broadcast in 7 weekly parts from December 21, 1963 to February 1, 1964.



The Doctor, Barbara, Ian and Susan land on the jungle planet Skaro. They meet the two races on the planet - the beautiful, humanoid Thals, and the malicious race known as Daleks. The Daleks are mutant creatures, unable to survive without being encased in their metallic fighting machines.

The Doctor convinces the Thals that the only way to survive is to abandon their deeply held pacifist principles. They launch a combined attack on the Dalek city, eventually succeeding by cutting off the power supply, which leaves the Daleks immobilised.


  1. The seven episodes of the serial had individual titles. They were, respectively, "The Dead Planet", "The Survivors", "The Escape", "The Ambush", "The Expedition", "The Ordeal" and "The Rescue".
  2. The TARDIS can supposedly go anywhere in time and space - this episode is the first indication of its tendency to malfunction, when The Doctor has to try to fix their position by taking a reading of the stars.
  3. This is also the first story when the Daleks make an appearance. Writer Terry Nation once claimed that he came up with the name after seeing a set of encyclopedias with one volume spanning the section of the alphabet from Dal - Lek. However, he later admitted that this was simply a good story for the sake of the press, and that in fact he had just made up the name.
  4. Arguably the most famous of the 1960s Doctor Who serials, The Daleks was one of many sets of Doctor Who episodes slated for destruction by the BBC in the 1970s. However, in 1978, Ian Levine came across them at the BBC just hours before all remaining copies of the story were to be destroyed and managed to rescue them.

Alternate Titles

During production the story went through a number of working titles such as The Survivors and Beyond the Sun, before settling down as The Mutants. This title was used in most BBC paperwork using titles for over a decade.

However in 1972 a later Doctor Who story called The Mutants was produced (with the same director). Some feel that referring to two stories by the same title is confusing. Others have argued that such occurrences of repeated names are by no means uncommon and that disambiguation is not hard.

Two titles emerged as alternatives. The Dead Planet emerged after a Radio Times special inadvertently called all the early stories by the title of the first episode. This title was used in many licensed guides and magazines up until 1980, when it was displaced by The Daleks, a title deriving from the story's book and film adaptations and with no basis in contemporary usage. This title has largely stuck, though some still use The Mutants, often disamiguating it by the use of the production code (B), as opposed to (NNN) for the 1972 story.

One compromise has been to not refer to the story by a title but to instead write "the first Dalek story" or "Serial B".

See: Doctor Who story title controversy

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