Recap / Doctor Who S10 E4 "Planet of the Daleks"
Using Cookie Monster pelts as camouflage wasn't the Doctor's smartest move...
You know, for a man who abhors violence, I took great satisfaction in doing that.
The Doctor surveys the smoking remains of a Dalek

The TARDIS lands in a forbidding jungle, but with the Doctor slipping into a coma, Jo sets out to see if she can find help. She comes across a party of Thals, and stays in hiding aboard their crashed spaceship while they go to help the Doctor. After they have treated him, they tell him that they have travelled to this planet, Spiridon, to destroy a group of Daleks who have come to try and uncover the secrets of invisibility discovered by the natives.

Another Thal ship arrives and crashes (the Thals are evidently not great pilots) and the survivors tell of a force of ten thousand Daleks somewhere on Spiridon. The Doctor and the Thals find the Daleks in suspended animation in a cavern below the planet's surface. Using explosives, they blow up a rock wall separating the cavern from one of the planet's ice volcanoes, and the Daleks are destroyed.

The Supreme Dalek and his guards arrive on the planet, only to be stranded as the Thals steal their spaceship and the Doctor and Jo leave in the TARDIS.


  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: Ice volcanoes, which sound like an oxymoron, actually exist, and were first discovered on Neptune's moon Triton.
  • Author Appeal: Plagues become a part of Terry Nation's signature style in this story. They would feature in each of his subsequent stories for Who: "Death to the Daleks", "Genesis of the Daleks", and "The Android Invasion", as well as Survivors.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Strangely averted with the Thals' energy weapons. When defending themselves from the jungle animals, every single Thal runs out of shots.
  • Continuity Nod: Upon meeting the Thals, the Doctor mentions the events of The Daleks and The Evil of the Daleks.
  • Fearless Fool: The Doctor urges this on Codal while they are both imprisoned not to think himself such a coward. He even assures Codal that what he did was true bravery.
    The Doctor: Courage isn't just a matter of not being frightened, you know.
    Codal: What is it, then?
    The Doctor: It's being afraid and doing what you have to do anyway, just as you did.
  • Glowing Eyes: The local beasts, about their campfire.
  • Harmless Freezing: The Daleks can be problemlessly thawed.
    • However, sudden freezing does kill the Dalek inside its casing.
  • Invisible Monsters: The Spiridons. The Daleks are trying to imitate them.
  • Kill It with Ice: Though the Daleks may not be dead.
  • Made a Slave: The Spiridons.
  • Off The Shelf Fx: Commercially available Louis Marx Daleks were used to simulate the Dalek army, a technique previously used in "The Evil of the Daleks".
  • People of Hair Color: The Thals are all blond.
  • Pragmatic Villainy: When the Daleks are preparing to release their bacterial bomb, they administer vaccine to all their forces, including their Spiridon slave workers. This is not so much out of compassion but rather that they still need a cheap labour force to do the heavy work for them.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: It's been suggested that this story was inspired by The Vietnam War.
  • Rock Beats Laser: It helps to have gravity on its side.
  • See the Invisible: The Thals have a spray that can reveal invisible Daleks.
  • Shout-Out: Rebec was named after Terry Nation's daughter Rebecca.
  • Slave Race: The Spiridons.
  • Stupid Sacrifice: Not only does Marat's attempted Heroic Sacrifice do absolutely nothing to delay the Daleks, it very nearly screws over the Thals completely, since the Daleks find the location of the Thals' explosive charges on his body. Only Jo's quick thinking prevents disaster for the Thal expedition.
  • Suicide Mission: What the Thals think they face. For most of them it's right.
  • Synthetic Plague: The Daleks are planning to use one to wipe out the Thal intruders on the planet.
  • Technical Pacifist: see page quote.
  • There's No Place Like Home: Jo wants to return to Earth.
  • The X of Y
    • Humorously, "Planet" and "Daleks" are the most common X and Y. Really, this is the archetypical Doctor Who title!
  • Trapped in Containment: The Daleks in the bacterial lab.
  • Trojan Prisoner: Used by the Doctor, Jo, the Thals and some Spidron rebels to infilrate the caves.
  • Visible Invisibility: Spiridons move bushes, wear coats or wave objects around, so we know they're there. If they perish, however, they turn completely visible. Their intangibility is biologically generated- those biological functions stop, so does it.
  • Wham Line: Somewhere on this planet are ten thousand Daleks!
  • Worth Living For: One Thal is afraid after he finds this in Jo.
  • You Can't Go Home Again: The Daleks in the bacterial lab, again, since they are immune to the virus.
    • Note that the project leader was trapped in the lab, but an identical project leader is later in another room being exterminated by the Dalek Supreme. Either he suddenly gained magical escaping powers, or this second Dalek was the victim of a poorly-timed promotion.