Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Doctor Who S4 E9 "The Evil of the Daleks"

Go To

Jamie: Anyone would think that this is a little game.
The Doctor: No, it is not a game.
Jamie: Of course it isn't, Doctor. People have died. The Daleks are all over the place, fit to murder the lot of us, and all you can say is that you've had a good night's work!
The Doctor: Jamie...
Jamie: No, Doctor! Look, I'm telling you this, you and me, we're finished. You're just too callous for me. Anything goes by the board, anything at all.

The Doctor: I care about life. I care about human beings. Do you think I let you go through that Dalek test lightly?
Jamie: I don't know. Did you? Look Doctor, just whose side are you on?

The one where the Daleks say goodbye... for now.

Written by David Whitaker. This seven-episode serial first aired from May 20 to July 1, 1967.

At the end of the previous story, the TARDIS was nowhere to be found - turns out it's been stolen by Edward Waterfield, a Victorian antique dealer who has been sent forward in time by the Daleks to capture the Doctor and Jamie.

The Daleks are trying to understand the "Human Factor"— the special quality humans possess that has enabled them to defeat the Daleks so often. Jamie is forced to complete a test— the rescue of Waterfield's daughter Victoria - while being monitored by the Doctor. With the "Human Factor" isolated, the Doctor implants it into three Daleks, who become amiable and playful.

Everyone is suddenly whisked off to Skaro where it turns out that actually the Daleks are trying to isolate the "Dalek Factor"— the impulse to kill and destroy— and implant it into humans, with the TARDIS being used to spread this throughout time and space. The Doctor implants more Daleks with the Human Factor and a civil war breaks out as the Doctor, Jamie and Victoria escape. With her father dead, Victoria comes along aboard the TARDIS as the Doctor watches the destruction of the Dalek city and muses that this must surely be their final end. Yeah, about that...

Note that this is probably the only time the show really meant it when they said the Daleks were destroyed; this was intended to be the final Dalek story ever in Doctor Who, as their creator was busy trying to sell a Dalek series to America. It didn't take, but it was still five years before they returned to the show. Thus this is probably the closest we'll ever get to a "last Dalek story."

Notably, this serial was one of only three from the show's monochrome era to be re-ran during the Classic Series' lifetime,note  and under some particularly unique circumstances: at the end of the next season's finale, "The Wheel in Space", the Doctor shows Zoe an excerpt from this serial to explain to her the kinds of dangers she'd face when travelling with him. While "The Wheel in Space" only showed the cliffhanger of Episode One for the sake of runtime, its original broadcast was directly followed by a complete re-airing of this story, with in-character narration from Patrick Troughton and Wendy Padbury establishing that the re-run is meant to be what the Doctor actually showed Zoe. Due to the likelihood at the time that it was going to be the last Dalek story ever, and their creator Terry Nation had already withdrawn permission for the BBC to exploit the Daleks, the repeat happened as a final opportunity for them to be seen onscreen.

Only the second episode remains, but the missing episodes were released in animated form in September 2021.


  • Always Chaotic Evil: The first time the series averts this trope with the Daleks by having a few of them show compassion, though only because their biology was altered. The revival series ran with the idea; Dalek Sec, Dalek Caan and Rusty would follow.
  • Armour-Piercing Question: Not for what’s being asked, but for the fact it’s being asked by a Dalek, whose superiors demand Blind Obedience to any orders given.
  • Artistic Licence – Economics: Maxtible shares the alchemists' dream of transmutating metal to gold. Never mind that having more gold around would actually devalue the stuff.
  • Asshole Victim: Kennedy is a greedy bastard who gets what’s coming to him at the hands of the Daleks. Maxtible as well.
  • Author Appeal: David Whitaker liked any excuse to write about alchemy and here is the culmination of his obsession.
  • Batman Gambit: The Doctor pulls one on Jamie when the latter is upset with his apparent callousness, knowing that telling him not to try to rescue Victoria Waterfield will result him going off to do just that, and that Jamie would "infect" the Daleks with all that was good and noble in humanity.
  • Beard of Evil: Maxtible possesses one. A big, bushy one at that.
  • Berserk Button: The regular Daleks go ballistic after one of them questions orders.
    Black Dalek: Discontinue work. Discontinue work. Discontinue work.
    Omega: Why?
    Black Dalek: Who spoke? WHO QUESTIONED A DALEK COMMAND?!!!!
  • Big Bad: The Dalek Emperor is introduced here and is implied to have been the Greater-Scope Villain for other Dalek stories.
  • Book Ends: The show's fourth season ends the same way the Second Doctor's tenure began: with him confronting the Daleks and seemingly destroying them for good.
  • Bottle Episode: Episode 4 is Doctor-lite and (one) companion-lite as Patrick Troughton was on holiday. It mostly is about Jamie running down corridors with Kemel, with the Doctor only appearing in a pre-recorded sequence where he describes Jamie's personality to the Dalek, and Victoria only appearing in a quick pre-recorded shot right at the end.
  • Brief Accent Imitation: The Doctor briefly speaks like a Dalek in order to convince them he's been Dalekised.
  • Call-Back:
  • Canon Immigrant: The Dalek Emperor first appeared in Dalek comics and annuals, though he looked considerably different here.
  • Civil War: The Doctor orchestrates one between the "Human Factor" Daleks that he created, and the normal Daleks led by the Emperor.
  • Compelling Voice: Arthur Terrall hears a Dalek constantly telling him "OBEY!"
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Maxtible is the Victorian version of this trope, showing little regards for the death of his employees and being more obsessed with profit than human lives.
  • Deal with the Devil: Maxtible is helping the Daleks in the hope of getting the secret of turning base metal to gold. His eventual reward is to be turned into a human Dalek instead. Although the Daleks do demonstrate a successful alchemical transformation using a device, it's only to lure him into approaching the device and thus going through the field that implants him with the Dalek Factor.
  • Death by Origin Story: Victoria's father is killed by the Daleks, while her mother is already dead.
  • Defeat Means Friendship: Jamie and Kemel spent much of Episode Four fighting to the death after Maxtible falsely tells Kemel that Jamie is an evil villain. Jamie eventually gets the better of Kemel, leaving him dangling out of an open window, but he then saves Kemel with a rope. They bond immediately after this, and Kemel soon repays Jamie by saving his life.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Jamie is incredulous that Maxtible has collaborated with the Daleks and caused all this anguish just to learn how to turn metal into gold. The Doctor says that people have done worse for less.
  • The Dulcinea Effect: The Daleks' plan relies on Jamie being prepared to risk his life to save Victoria, whom he hasn't even met at that point. He does just that.
  • Dumb Muscle: Defied. It's Maxtible's opinion of Kemel, largely due to his mutism, but we see through his work with Jamie that he's actually rather clever.
  • Early Instalment Weirdness:
    • The Daleks want to test Jamie because he is special among humans as a result of having travelled in time, but when the Doctor asks why the Daleks don't just test him, they inform him that he has travelled in time too much and is consequently "more than human," which seems to imply that the Doctor was somehow changed or mutated by his excessive exposure to time (an idea that would resurface much later on). The Doctor being part of a whole other species altogether wouldn't be firmly established for another three seasons.
    • The Doctor says that even if the Daleks let them go, they couldn't get back to Earth from Skaro without the TARDIS, but muses that he could somehow try to take them to another universe, or even his home planet.
    • The Ape Shall Not Kill Ape aspect of the Daleks' characterization that popped up in their previous story is still largely in effect here, as evidenced by the fact that they don't do anything with Alpha, Beta and Omega until they start openly questioning orders, and don't actually try to kill any of the human factor-imprinted Daleks until it becomes clear they have a major rebellion on their hands. In later stories, and definitely in the post-2005 era, the Daleks would likely have pulled a You Have Outlived Your Usefulness on Alpha, Beta and Omega around the time they blew up Maxtible's house.
  • Enemy Civil War: Alpha, Beta and Omega are given human emotions, which turns them friendly, and sparks off a civil war which (supposedly) destroys off every Dalek.
  • The End... Or Is It?: Something that's often forgotten about the ending (thanks in part to the episode in question having been wiped from the archives); after the Doctor has solemnly proclaimed these events to be the Daleks' final end, the camera pans across the ruins of Skaro until it comes across a seemingly destroyed Dalek... that begins to move. That said, the Dalek in question is a white Dalek, and since only white Daleks have been implanted with the human factor, it could also imply that the entire remaining species did a Heel–Face Turn... not that it matters, since they are back to their villainous ways the next time we see them anyway (this could be explained by the story that appeared in Doctor Who Magazine that is mentioned under Heroic Sacrifice below).
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The Emperor Dalek speaks with a deeper and more booming voice than its subjects.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Jamie and Kemel become this as they try to rescue Victoria from the Daleks.
  • Flat "What": The Doctor has just boasted that he's beaten the Daleks, only to be deflated by what the Emperor tells him.
    The Emperor: Silence! The Human Factor showed us what the Dalek Factor was.
    The Doctor: What?
  • Flowers of Romance: Subverted in a heartbreaking way with Victoria, whom Jamie was deeply attracted to, giving a flower, not to him, but to Kemel, who later shows it to Jamie.
  • For the Evulz: The Daleks’ hat. Pointed out by the Doctor:
    "Everything you say, Waterfield, is true. If we cannot find Jamie, the Daleks will take pleasure in killing everyone in sight, and their greatest pleasure will be in killing me."
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: The animation adds the Whitaker coat of arms to the wall of Maxtible's house, in tribute to writer David Whitaker.
  • Gambit Pileup: The Doctor uses a reverse-psychology Batman Gambit to get Jamie to play into the Daleks' plan, which is to observe him pulling a daring rescue so that they can isolate the "Human Factor" and use it to make themselves unbeatable. The Doctor himself is playing along, presumably because he can predict that it will make them friendly. Only, the Daleks are themselves playing a Batman Gambit: They're not actually interested in the "Human Factor" at all—they want to use that to isolate the "Dalek Factor" to implant into humans.
  • Going By The Match Book: While trying to trace Kennedy, the Doctor and Jamie find a matchbook from the Tricolor coffee bar, so go there to locate him. It turns out that Kennedy deliberately left the matchbook to lure the Doctor and Jamie to the Tricolour.
  • Gratuitous Greek: The first three Renegade Daleks with the Human Factor are named Alpha, Beta, and Omega (the first, second and last letter of the Greek Alphabet respectively).
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Kemel sides with Jamie after Jamie saves him from falling to his death. Though to be fair, Kemel was never actually a genuine villain. He was lied to by Maxtible, who told him Jamie was a bad guy he must prevent from getting through the corridor, and once he learned the truth he quickly made things right.
    • The good Daleks after the Doctor implants the Human Factor into them.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • Edward Waterfield pushes the Doctor out of the way of a Dalek blast, and is killed instead.
    • The good Daleks all die fighting the Emperor and his loyal Daleks. A story in Doctor Who Magazine showed some had actually survived and created a civilisation in the oceans of another planet; however, they perform a Heroic Sacrifice to defeat a monster.
  • Humanity Is Infectious: The human factor makes Alpha, Beta and Omega less Dalek-like.
  • Humans Are Special: This belief led to Alpha, Beta and Omega's creation in the first place. It seems the belief was not unfounded.
  • Imposter Forgot One Detail: When creating the good Daleks, the Doctor writes lowercase Greek letters onto their casings. When he sees a Dalek with an uppercase Omega approaching, he's quick to realise it's a trap.
  • It's All About Me:
    • When Edward Waterfield wants to know about Victoria's well-being, Maxtible tells him, "I am not a nursemaid to your daughter!" The only thing he cares about is the Daleks' promise to give him the secret of turning "base metal into gold!".
    • He also calls his laboratory "the only thing of value in [his] life". He has a daughter.
  • Killed Off for Real: This was originally intended for the Daleks, but their immense popularity eventually made a comeback inevitable. They've developed a very bad case of Joker Immunity since then.
  • Madness Mantra: killkillkillkillkillkillkillkillKILLKILLKILLKILLKILLKILLKILLKILL
  • Mad Scientist: Although he's not really much of a scientist at all, Maxtible fits the trope, and he gets madder as the serial progresses.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Maxtible and Waterfield both have beautiful daughters (Ruth and Victoria, respectively) who are unaware of their true activities.
  • Mind-Control Device: The Daleks use one on Arthur Terrall on Earth. When the story moves to Skaro, the Doctor and the Daleks both try to use the same machine on each other.
  • Missing Mom:
    • We only see a portrait of Victoria's mother, who's said to be deceased, though she did appear in the original script.
    • Maxtible has a daughter, Ruth, and there is no mention at all of where her mother is.
  • Off-the-Shelf FX: Louis Marx toy Daleks were used in the filming of the final Dalek civil war sequences (some raw film for which survives).
  • One-Steve Limit: The Dalek Omega is not to be confused with the Time Lord of the same name.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Doctor, when he discovers who is responsible for kidnapping him and Jamie and transporting them back to Victorian times.
    Doctor: What are they called, these creatures?
    (A Dalek enters the room, unseen by the Doctor who has his back to the door).
    Dalek: Doctor! Now do you understand?
    (A look of dread comes over the Doctor's face, as he slowly turns round to face the Dalek).
    Doctor: (terrified): Oh, yes. Perfectly.
  • Orgasmic Combat: The Daleks shove Victoria into a body scanner to check her health. This appears to be a painful experience for her at first, but her expressions slowly change...
  • The Plot Reaper: The Doctor cannot leave Kemel and remain likeable, but he would not be a good companion, and so he sacrifices himself to get the Doctor back to the TARDIS. Lawrence Miles heavily criticised the story for this, saying he cannot stand characters being killed to save effort.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "DO! NOT! FIGHT! IN! HEEERE!"
  • Railing Kill : How Jamie and Kemel dispose of one of the Daleks guarding Victoria.
  • Recycled Soundtrack: Sound effects from "The Daleks" and "The Daleks' Master Plan" are reused for the Dalek city.
  • Re-Release Soundtrack: The Beatles' "Paperback Writer" played in a scene set in a bar. On the narrated cassette release (the story has been lost, but the soundtrack survives), the whole scene was deleted. The scene was retained on the CD release, with "Paperback Writer" replaced by a generic tune that would fit the coffee bar atmosphere.
  • Screen-to-Stage Adaptation: In 2006, The BBC and the Terry Nation estate licensed a charity stage version of the serial. It was adapted and directed by Nick Scovell, who also starred as the Doctor. Production was by Rob Thrush, who provided the Dalek voices, and the orchestral score was by Martin Johnson. The production ran at the New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth between 25 and 28 October 2006, playing to sell-out houses during its five-night run. £15,000 was raised towards the restoration of the theatre, with an additional £550 going to Children in Need.
  • Shut Up, Kirk!: The Dalek Emperor does this to the Doctor after he claims that Alpha, Beta and Omega will cause other Daleks to question their society and start a rebellion, with the Emperor pointing out that three rebellious Daleks aren't going to cause much trouble for a species conditioned to fanatically obey orders at all costs. The Doctor evidently takes note of this, and later produces a much larger group of rebellious Daleks.
  • Smug Snake: Maxtible embodies this.
  • Spoiler Title: As with most Dalek-based serials from Classic Who, the first episode ends with the dramatic reveal of a Dalek!
  • Stuff Blowing Up: In the surviving footage of Episode 7, there is an explosion every few seconds. Shortly before the clip cuts out, a Dalek goes bang.
  • Sword Fight: Jamie has one with Arthur Terrall. Sadly, it's in a lost episode, so we can only imagine how awesome it was.
  • Theme Naming: Alpha, Beta and Omega are all named by the Doctor after letters in the Greek alphabet. Although, oddly, the Doctor skips from the second letter, Beta, straight to the last, Omega, instead of using the third letter, Gamma.
  • 20 Minutes into the Past: Aired in summer of 1967, but the "present" scenes are explicitly 1966 (and the Victorian scenes exactly 100 years earlier).
  • Uncertain Doom: Maxtible is last seen charging into the collapsing Dalek city, proclaiming that he will destroy the rebellious Daleks. We don't see him killed, but considering that the rebels have already blown the far more heavily-armoured Emperor to pieces, his survival odds don't seem good.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: After his house is destroyed, Maxtible's only reaction is to complain about the loss of all his worldly goods. He doesn't show any concern for the possibility that his daughter might have gotten caught in the explosion, or gratitude for the fact that she set off from the house early enough that she likely escaped.
  • Villainous Breakdown:
    • Maxtible has one after the Daleks blow up his house, as the only things he apparently valued were his possessions. The Daleks exploit this to lure him into a trap with their gold-producing machine, which actually imprints him with the Dalek factor.
    • The Dalek Emperor's reaction to the war, as it becomes increasingly obvious that the Daleks loyal to them are hopelessly outnumbered.
    Do not fight in here!
  • The Voiceless: Kemel doesn’t speak a word throughout the proceedings. The closest is a scream as he dies.
  • Voice of the Legion: The Emperor Dalek has an echo effect
  • Wham Line: The Doctor claims he's Out-Gambitted the Dalek Emperor, only for the Emperor to reveal his true plan.
    The Emperor: The Human Factor showed us what the Dalek Factor was.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: Jamie towards the Doctor, twice, concerning the latter aiding and abetting the bad guys. See quote at the top.
  • The X of Y: The second Dalek story, and the second story overall (following the introduction of overarching titles in "The Savages"), to use this format for its title.


Video Example(s):


The Daleks reveal themselves

The Doctor learns that the men who stole the TARDIS (his time machine/spaceship) and transported him and Jamie 100 years into the past were doing so under orders from monsters that they accidentally summoned while trying to invent time travel. The Doctor asks who exactly these monsters are -- and immediately finds out the hard way that they're his worst enemies, the Daleks. His reaction is one of pure dread as he realizes just how dire his situation is.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / OhCrap

Media sources: