The Main Event: Saltshaker vs. Ball
Don't just stand there and scream, you little fool, run!
— Ian, to Vicki, speaking for a nation.
Watching the Space/Time Visualiser (a souvenir from last week's "Space Museum
"), the Doctor and friends watch The Beatles
, then discover that there's a Dalek time machine on their tail.
In a chase through time and space, the TARDIS with the Daleks in hot pursuit lands on the desert planet Aridius, on top of the Empire State Building, on the deck of the Mary Celeste
- the appearance of the Daleks causes the crew to abandon ship - and a fairground haunted house.
We eventually end up on the jungle planet of Mechanus, where a group of robots called Mechonoids take the travelers prisoner. They were sent fifty years earlier to build a city ready for a human colony to arrive and take possession. The colonists never showed up, but the Mechanoids continue to defend the city in readiness. The Doctor and companions meet Steven Taylor, a human astronaut who has been the Mechonoids' prisoner for some time.
The Mechonoids and Daleks battle, mutual destruction ensues, and Ian and Barbara decide to use the rather more reliable Dalek time machine to get home to 1960s London, reluctantly helped by the Doctor.
Steven Taylor stows away on the TARDIS, and is not discovered by the Doctor until the following serial.
This story holds the record for most companions in a single episode in Classic Who, an honour it shares with "The Daleks' Master Plan" if you count Bret. It was surpassed by the Tenth Doctor story "Journey's End" in New Who.
The Mechonoids reappear 40 years later, in the Big Finish Doctor Who
audio play "The Juggernauts"
- Chronoscope: The Time-Space Visualiser.
- Clap Your Hands If You Believe: The Doctor's theory on the (supposedly?) House of Horrors. Although the Daleks clearly believe they're on Earth, their weapons do not seem to incapacitate supposedly "fun-fair" dummies and one of them even throws a Dalek upsidedown and make them run in fear.
- Clumsy Copyright Censorship: The Region 1 DVD release has two minutes cut from Episode 1 in order to avoid paying for the rights to include a short scene with the Beatles. Thankfully, the episode is uncut in Region 2.
- Continuity Nod: Barbara protests when Ian destroys her cardigan again.
- Also, the fake Doctor telling Ian to kill the duplicate with a rock - like the Doctor almost did in on the very first serial.
- Earn Your Happy Ending: Barbara and Ian finally arrive home after two years. At the time of the show's run, it would be assumed that this is a long time to be time-hopping and that they should have arrived sooner.
- Evil Knockoff: The Daleks' android version of the Doctor.
- Evil Versus Evil: Daleks vs the Mechonoids.
- Fridge Horror: If the inhabitants of the Haunted House ‘attraction’ could take out some MOTHERF**KING DALEKS right off the bat, without preparation, beating the rest into a hasty retreat – imagine what happened to the patrons.
- Fake Shemp: In a bizarre example of this trope, William Hartnell's regular body double Edmund Warwick was recruited to play the Daleks' android version of the Doctor later in the story. Unfortunately, the director didn't attempt to disguise the fact that Warwick didn't look anything like Hartnell from the front, resulting in an effect somewhat akin to the body doubling from Plan 9 from Outer Space as the android changes from being played by Warwick to being played by Hartnell (and back) from shot to shot.
- Oddly, the concept may have worked had they just let Warwick be the Doctor and speak some lines - the reason for such being that the Daleks' technology was faulty, so their Doctor not only ends up calling Vicki "Susan" but his face doesn't actually resemble Hartnell's.
- Making things that much stranger, there's an occasion where the trope is actually carried out correctly — Warwick plays the real Doctor at one point during the fifth episode (specifically, when the Doctor and Ian are carrying the unconscious Vicki into a cave), and unless you look very closely at the Doctor's face throughout the sequence you probably wouldn't realize that it was actually Warwick playing him.
- Ghost Ship: The Mary Celeste.
- Go Mad from the Isolation: Steven.
- Go Mad from the Revelation: Apparently, the country boy tourist. Or he just thought the Daleks were completely ridiculous.
- Haunted House: Subverted, since it's really a closed funfair exhibit. The Doctor and company never learn this, and neither do the Daleks.
- Historical In-Joke: The Mary Celeste, again, as she really existed and really was a Ghost Ship.
- Hong Kong Dub: Hartnell voices the android double of the Doctor even in the scenes where the double is played by Warwick. Since the BBC's production methods at the time didn't allow for voices to be dubbed on in post-production, this meant that Hartnell had to record the robot's dialogue ahead of time, and the dialogue was dubbed in live during filming. Since Warwick didn't have any reference point for when the dialogue was being played, the dubbing is less than accurate.
- To be completely fair, however, this actually further works to show how faulty the Dalek's technology was. Completely unintentionally, of course.
- Infant Immortality: Shockingly averted. A woman who jumped overboard on the Mary Celeste was carrying a baby.
- This may be a case of small-scale Shown Their Work. Among the people who disappeared from the Mary Celeste were the captain's wife and two year-old daughter.
- Just a Stupid Accent: Oh God, the "American" accents. Like it was so hard to hire some barely-professional American extras who happened to be in England at the time. You don't have to be a native speaker to realize they would've been better off to ignore the issues of accents altogether.
- Man-Eating Fungus: Mechanus is covered in them.
- Narrating the Obvious: The protagonists are chased through time by a group of Daleks in their own time machine and make a brief stop on a sailing ship, and when the Daleks show up they fight and kill the crew before resuming the chase. The camera then pan over the now deserted ship before stopping on the name plate, which reads "Mary Celeste". That's kinda funny, right? Cut to inside the TARDIS, where Ian tells Barbara that the ship was, in fact, the Mary Celeste. Maybe the writers were afraid the audience looked away at the wrong moment.
- Opt Out: Ian and Barbara, rather than continue with the Doctor, use the Daleks' time machine to return to their home time (or close to it).
- Pit Trap: Ian constructs one to catch the Dalek guarding the TARDIS in episode 2.
- Robot Me: The Daleks' robot double of the Doctor, designed to assassinate the time travelers.
- San Dimas Time: The TARDIS and the Dalek time machine always arrive in the right order, despite the fact they travel through time. And Ian and Barbara arrive in London two years after they left, after having traveled with the Doctor for two years.
- Self Offense: Vicki knocks out Richardson, who has caught Barbara. Then Barbara and Vicki mistake Ian for a sailor.
- Single-Biome Planet: From what we see of both, this trope applies to Aridius (desert planet) and Mechanus (jungle planet).
- Stern Chase
- Stock Audio Clip: During the Daleks' fight with the Mechanoids, all the lines spoken by the Daleks are from earlier in the serial (in fact, mostly from their first scene in the first episode).
- Stock Episode Titles: An odd example, since none of the individual episodes is called "The Chase" - the serial name, however, has 30 uses.
- Tap on the Head: Used by Vicki to knock out Richardson. And Ian.
- Tonight Someone Dies: "The Death of Doctor Who". The robot dies.
- Two of Your Earth Minutes: Even when only speaking to each other, the Daleks talk about time in 'Earth minutes'.
- Visible Boom Mic: Not the boom mic, but Ian walks right into the camera's shadow when he and the Docter are exploring the 'haunted house'.
- Wacky Americans Have Wacky Names: Morton Dill.
- You Have to Believe Me: Alas, poor tourist.
- You Look Familiar: Peter Purves plays both Morton Dill and Steven Taylor, new companion introduced in Episode 6.