The Dalek Invasion of Earth

010 – The Dalek Invasion of Earth
Doctor Who serial
Dalek Invasion of Earth.jpg
A Dalek orders the Robomen to take the Doctor and Ian prisoner
Writer Terry Nation
Director Richard Martin
Script editor David Whitaker
Producer Verity Lambert
Mervyn Pinfield (associate producer)
Executive producer(s) None
Production code K
Series Season 2
Length 6 episodes, 25 minutes each
Originally broadcast 21 November 1964 (1964-11-21)-26 December 1964
← Preceded by Followed by →
Planet of Giants The Rescue

The Dalek Invasion of Earth is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who, which originally aired in six weekly parts from November 21 to December 26, 1964. This serial marks the final regular appearance of Carole Ann Ford as companion Susan Foreman.

The basic plot of the story was used for the film Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D..

Footage of William Hartnell as the First Doctor from this serial was subsequently used in the 1983 special The Five Doctors.



The TARDIS materialises, the Doctor surmising from the surroundings that they have landed in London only to find it devasted and decayed. It turns out the year is 2164. Barbara and Susan are taken by a couple of refugees to a nearby shelter in an abandoned Underground station and meet resistance members named Dortmun (the leader), Carl Tyler, David Campbell, Jenny, Jack Craddock, Thomson, Baker and Larry Madison while the Doctor and Ian stumble across bodies wearing strange metal helmets and soon find an army of them and Daleks rising from the River Thames. The Daleks take the Doctor, Ian and resistance members onboard their saucer and convert any escapees into robomen.

The Doctor is caught breaking out of his cell with Ian and Craddock, who was sent with them, and he and Craddock are to be converted into robomen while Ian runs out to look for Barbara and Susan. But the Doctor's transfer operation breaks down while Susan, Barbara and the resistance team attack the Dalek force using explosives created by Dortmun. But the bombs affect the humans as well as the Daleks and several are injured or killed.

The Daleks retreat to their ship and take off to their mining operations in Bedfordshire. Ian and Larry are left onboard the ship hiding unnoticed while the Doctor with Susan, David, Baker and Tyler travel there on foot. Barbara, Dortmun and Jenny make their own ways. Dortmun is exterminated on his way out of London while attempting to use his last bomb against a group of Daleks.

The saucer lands by the mine and Ian and Larry meet miners named Wells and Ashton. Both are later killed by an aggresive creature called a Slyther, a pet of the Black Dalek. The predator falls down a mine shaft to its death, but in causing this to happen Ian and Larry are plummeted down on a cart to the mine.

The Doctor and Susan reunite with Barbara in the mine and discover that the Daleks are drilling through the Earth's crust so that they can blow out its core with a penetration explosive capsule and then use a guidance system to pilot the planet around space. Ian becomes trapped inside the device as it is on schedule. He disarms it but manages to fall at the bottom of the shaft. The Doctor and his friends enter the control room and set the Robomen against the Daleks. The device is rearmed and is sent down the shaft. But Ian creates a barrier to intercept it and he and his friends escape out of the mine before the bomb explodes, destroying the Dalek fleet and causing an entirely new phenomenon — a volcanic eruption in England.

Back in London, the Doctor bids Susan farewell to have a new partnership with David and he, Ian and Barbara leave in the TARDIS.


  • Elements of this story appear in later Doctor Who stories. The serial was the basis for the Peter Cushing film, Daleks - Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D..
  • Dortmun calls the material the Dalek casings are made of Dalekanium. In the alternate future of Day of the Daleks (and the PC computer game Destiny of the Doctors), Dalekanium is an unstable explosive that can penetrate Dalek casings. In "Daleks in Manhattan", Dalekanium is confirmed by the Daleks themselves to be the substance which Dalek casings are made from.
  • The Virgin New Adventures novel GodEngine by Craig Hinton offers an alternate explanation for the Daleks' attempt to remove the Earth's core: an ancient Osirian weapon, capable of turning a star into a giant plasma cannon, which can be operated only on a planet without a bipolar magnetic field. GodEngine suggests that the Daleks were working with a rogue group of Ice Warriors to assemble this weapon, and planned to install it on the Earth. The novel also states that the Doctor returned to recover Susan's discarded TARDIS key. The same plot device was also used in the non-canonical film Daleks - Invasion Earth 2150 AD.
  • The Big Finish Productions audio drama The Mutant Phase is partly set on Earth in the year 2158, when the Fifth Doctor and Nyssa encounter invading Daleks in a rapeseed field in Kansas. The plan to extract the Earth's core and the mine works in Bedfordshire are mentioned, implying that the two stories are involved with the same invasion. The date of 2158 agrees with the above reasoning about the invasion having started in approximately 2157. The canonicity of the audio plays, like all spin-offs, is uncertain.
  • Carole Ann Ford reprised her role as Susan in the 1983 20th Anniversary television Special The Five Doctors, although no mention was made of David or her life after the Doctor had left her. Some of this was explored in the spin-off BBC Books novel Legacy of the Daleks by John Peel. Ford's departure was the first of what would be many cast changes in the history of the programme. The Doctor finally properly visits his granddaughter in the 2009 audio story An Earthly Child starring Carole Ann Ford as Susan and Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor. This story also introduces the Doctor's great grandson Alex Campbell, played by Jake McGann, Paul McGann's son.


Serial details by episode
Episode Broadcast date Run time Viewership
(in millions)
"World's End" 21 November 1964 (1964-11-21) 23:42 11.4 16mm t/r
"The Daleks" 28 November 1964 (1964-11-28) 24:19 12.4 16mm t/r
"Day of Reckoning" 5 December 1964 (1964-12-05) 26:50 11.9 16mm t/r
"The End of Tomorrow" 12 December 1964 (1964-12-12) 23:23 11.9 16mm t/r
"The Waking Ally" 19 December 1964 (1964-12-19) 24:29 11.4 35mm t/r
"Flashpoint" 26 December 1964 (1964-12-26) 25:21 12.4 16mm t/r
  • This was the very first serial of Doctor Who which made extensive use of location filming, with London being chosen as the primary backdrop. The decision to use London also helped to keep the show within its production budget given that the BBC's Lime Grove studios where Doctor Who was produced were located at nearby Shepherd's Bush. Location filming took place in various parts of the city including extensive sequences at Whitehall, Trafalgar Square, Westminster Bridge, Albert Embankment and The Royal Albert Hall, moving on to Kensington and the Albert Memorial with scenes involving the Dalek roadblock being filmed at Wembley. Other key locations used were filmed at the abandoned Wood Lane (Central Line) tube station in West London and river sequences both shot besides the River Thames at St Katherine's Dock in Wapping and at Kew railway bridge.[3]
  • The music was composed and conducted by Francis Chagrin.[4]

Alternative titles

  • Working titles for this story included The Daleks, The Return of the Daleks and The Invaders. The story has at times been called World's End, most notably in the frontspiece of its novelisation. This is the title of the first episode and was applied to the story as a whole by the 1973 Radio Times 10th anniversary special and several lists that copied it. See Doctor Who story title controversy. Interestingly, the story begins in the real World's End area of Chelsea in London.

Cast notes

  • William Hartnell is absent from episode four, bar a single shot in the reprise from episode three. The Doctor appears briefly at the beginning of the episode with Hartnell's stand-in, Edmund Warwick, shot from behind, groaning and falling over. Hartnell was injured while filming the battle at the Dalek saucer in episode three, and most of his lines went to David Campbell. According to commentary on the DVD release, the man carrying Hartnell down the saucer's ramp dropped him and he hit his head on the metal stand of the camera. Warwick went on to appear as the First Doctor's robotic double in the later Dalek serial, The Chase.[1]
  • Nicholas Smith appears in his first speaking role in television. He was originally only to have appeared in episode three, but according to Smith on a documentary accompanying the serial's DVD release, he talked the director into letting him lead the miners' revolution in episodes five and six.
  • Bernard Kay portrays Carl Tyler (and also provides the voiceover on the longer of the two surviving BBC trailers for this story). He would later appear in The Crusade, The Faceless Ones, and Colony in Space as well as the audio play Night Thoughts.
  • According to Carole Ann Ford, she got tired of the role of Susan because the producers of the show would not let her expand and develop the character.

In print

A novelisation of this serial, written by Terrance Dicks, was published by Target Books in 1977. This version featured cover art based on the film rather than the TV series. A German translation was published in 1981 by Schneider-Buch with the title Doctor Who - Kampf um die Erde (Doctor Who — Struggle for the Earth) with cover illustration by David A. Hardy. A French translation was published in 1987 under the title Docteur Who - Les Daleks envahissent la Terre (Doctor Who — The Daleks invade the Earth). The cover depicts the controversial twin French physicists Igor and Grichka Bogdanoff as presenting the book.[5]

Doctor Who book
Book cover
Doctor Who and the Dalek Invasion of Earth
Series Target novelisations
Release number 17
Writer Terrance Dicks
Publisher Target Books
Cover artist Chris Achilleos
ISBN 0-491-02124-0
Release date 24 March 1977

VHS and DVD releases

The DVD edition of The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
  • This story was released on VHS in 1990.
  • As part of the Doctor Who 40th Anniversary Celebration releases in June 2003, the story was released on Region 2 DVD as a two-disc set, with several extra features. These included the option to view the story with certain special effects sequences replaced with newly created CGI.
  • The DVD was also included in a limited-edition box set with later stories Resurrection of the Daleks and Remembrance of the Daleks.[6]


  1. ^ a b Sullivan, Shannon (2008-03-22). "{{subst:PAGENAME}}". A Brief History of Time Travel. Retrieved 2006-12-10. 
  2. ^ "{{subst:PAGENAME}}". Doctor Who Reference Guide. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  3. ^ The Dalek Invasion of Earth - Story Locations
  4. ^ "The Dalek Invasion of Earth". Dr Who guide. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  5. ^ Neal, Tim (2005-03-28). "Dalek Invasion French cover". On Target. Retrieved 2006-12-10. 
  6. ^ The TARDIS Library: 40th Anniversary Dalek box set

External links

Fan reviews
Target novelisation

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