|02: The Invasion of the Daleks|
Preceeded by Darkness Falls
Followed by Sentinel
|The Doctor||Matthew Kopelke|
|Chloe Richards||Lorna Hill|
|Released|| Part 1: January 1999|
Part 2: March 1999
Part 3: May 1999
From the moment an explosion destroys the Green Park Underground Railway Station, the Doctor and Chloe are thrown into the evil world of the Daleks.
The Daleks have issued Earth authorities with an ultimatum - help them escape Earth, or London will be destroyed.
However, the Doctor knows the Daleks of old, and somehow feels that this Dalek ship at the bottom of the lake is there because of more than a damaged engine, and behind the entire scheme is someone whom the Doctor has fought many times before.
The Doctor will need all of his wits, and with Chloe's help, must thwart the Daleks plan, before all of London is destroyed...
Recording, post-production & CD mastering: Matthew Kopelke. Music: Malcolm Clarke. Series theme: Ron Grainer. Realisation: Dominic Glynn. Cover illustration and packaging design: Scott Marshall. Press & PR: David Hutchison. Recording: BTR's Lacaroo Street Studios. Script Editor: Witold Tietze. Producer: Matthew Kopelke. Director: Matthew Kopelke.
Part One: Two Council workers find a strange electronic device in the sewers somewhere under London. They are confronted by a Dalek, which exterminates them.
Meanwhile, the Doctor and Chloe have been taking time out at a jazz concert. On the way to catch a train to return to the Tardis, the Doctor tells Chloe of a miscreant he once knew named Sidgin Theta, and is annoyed not only by Chloe empathising with Sidgin’s plight, but also by the delayed trains. An announcement on the station’s PA system advising passengers to evacuate the station due to an emergency comes too late for the Doctor and Chloe, who are caught in the explosion as a bomb detonates inside the station.
When the smoke clears, the Doctor and Chloe find themselves trapped in a maintenance tunnel. Exploring the tunnel, they find a door hidden under a stack of sandbags. The Doctor opens the door with his sonic screwdriver, and they find a Dalek on the other side...
Chloe regains consciousness outside the train station, and realises that the Doctor is trapped underground. She reports this to the emergency services, and Colonel Trent, the on-site commander, leads a rescue team down into the station. Chloe guides them to the tunnel, and they locate the door, which this time has to be cut open. The room beyond is empty – the Doctor’s gone.
Part Two: Colonel Trent accuses Chloe of making up a hoax, but she is able to prove her story by finding the Doctor’s torch, and also a strange disc in her pocket that she does not recognise. Colonel Trent identifies the disc as a Dalek message plate, and decides that the message contained on the disc must be decoded and dealt with first.
The Doctor has been taken to a Dalek ship, where he again meets an old adversary: Davros, the Emperor of the Daleks. According to Davros, the ship was damaged in a battle, and crashed on Earth. The Daleks have placed explosives throughout the Underground system, that will be detonated if replacement engine parts are not provided.
The Daleks’ demands form the content of the message plate, which Colonel Trent plays during a COBRA meeting called to manage the government’s response to the impending crisis. The Prime Minister explains the situation to Chloe, and asks for her help.
Davros rejects out of hand the Doctor’s offers of assistance, and orders the countdown to start. With no sign of Chloe at the appointed meeting-place as the clock winds down, Davros orders his Daleks to detonate the bombs...
Part Three: The Doctor spots Chloe on the viewscreen in the nick of time, and Davros cancels the detonation. A Dalek is sent to the meeting-place to communicate further demands.
As the BBC News reports on the evacuation of Central London, the Dalek ship is dragged out of the Serpentine and the necessary parts are quickly delivered. Chloe is permitted to visit the Doctor in a cell on-board the ship, and he secretly gives her another message plate listing the locations of the bombs. The Doctor also reveals that the bombs are remote-controlled, and the Daleks intend to detonate them regardless once they have reached Earth orbit.
Chloe passes this information along to Colonel Trent, who orders the Bomb Squad into action with only two hours to find and neutralise the bombs. Five of the six charges are soon found, and Major Tarrant, the head of the Bomb Squad, reports that the bombs are made of a magnetic casing, and appear to contain a device that would detonate the bomb if it were tampered with.
The final charge is retrieved with only five minutes remaining, and Colonel Trent reluctantly orders in an air strike to destroy the Dalek ship before it can lift off. Before anyone can act, Chloe snatches up the bombs and runs for the ship.
The Daleks release the Doctor as their ship begins to lift off. The ship ascends quickly towards the heavens, then suddenly explodes in mid-air.
Chloe later explains that she fixed the bombs by their magnetic casings to the hull of the ship while rescuing the Doctor. With the crisis over, the Doctor and Chloe make their goodbyes and head off to catch another train back to the Tardis.
- As the UNIT soldiers open the door to the room the Doctor was trapped in, Chloe discovers that he has completely vanished.
- With no sign of Chloe arriving at the rendezvous point, when the countdown on the bomb reaches zero Davros orders detonation.
- The Doctor and Chloe leave to catch a train to head back to the TARDIS, which is located back on the other side of London.
Additional credited cast
Captain Bambera (Lorna Hill), Jim Smith (David Chodrya), Radio Announcer (Witold Tietze), Soldier #1 (Witold Tietze), Paul Jones (Mark Jones), Railway Station PA Voice (Mark Jones), Driver (Mark Jones), Soldier #2 (Mark Jones), Major Tarrant (Mark Jones), Daleks (David Hutchison), Davros (David Hutchison), Policeman (Geoff Kelly), Prime Minister (Geoff Kelly), Alex McIntosh (Geoff Kelly), Colonel Trent (Scott Marshall), Lieutenant Andrews (Witold Tietze).
Things to listen out for...
- In the opening scene, there is a slight noise heard straight after Mark Jones' first line of dialogue. This was the sound of David Hutchison stifling a laugh in the background, given the comedic nature of Mark's Jamaican accent.
- There are several in-jokes present in the script for fans of Jon Pertwee's era as the Doctor. Geoff Kelly plays BBC reporter Alex McIntosh, who first appeared in The Day of the Daleks. The BBC3 channel mentioned during the McIntosh broadcast is a reference to its appearance in The Daemons, as opposed to a direct reference of the current BBC3 digital channel per se.
- Lorna Hill was roped in to play Captain Bambera, a character who originally appeared in the Sylvester McCoy story Battlefield, played by Angela Bruce, as the head of UNIT operations in England. The reason behind the character's appearance was nothing more than an in-joke for fans of that story. Fan lore states that Battlefield is set in 1999, and as The Invasion of the Daleks was set at the time of its recording (December 1998), it was decided to include a subtle reference to the fact that Bambera would be running UNIT the following year. This places Colonel Trent's role as Operations Leader between Colonal Crichton (as seen in The Five Doctors) and Brigadier Bambera (as seen in Battlefield).
Things you probably never knew...
- This script was based on a short story written by Terry Nation. Daleks: The Secret Invasion was originally written for Terry Nation's Dalek Special, released in 1979. The BTR script closely follows the narrative of this short story, with the children roles being replaced with the Doctor and Chloe, as well as the inclusion of UNIT and the opening scenes.
- Scene 8 was the single most difficult scene to record on the day. After several attempts, it was decided to move onto Scene 9, with Scene 8 re-mounted at the very end of the recording day.
- To prevent his throat from becoming too dry and hoarse from performing all the Dalek voices on the day, David Hutchison brought along a small container of honey, which he ate during the day to line his vocal cords.
- This was originally meant to be a 4-part serial, but when writer Matthew Kopelke was unable to flesh the script out to a sufficient length to warrant 4 x 10-minute episodes, David Hutchison suggested he "do a Planet of Giants on the script", and simply take the already written Part 4 material, and include it in with the slightly under-running Part 3. This resulted in Part 3 being significantly longer than either Part 1 or 2, which were of a very consistent running length.
- The cover artwork features Matthew Kopelke in costume as his Doctor, and yet this was the only time he appeared in this costume in any cover artwork or photography. So was it a one-off? Not exactly. The general idea is that this was the costume the Doctor chose straight after his regeneration, and stuck with it through until Rapture The Heavens. In this story, the Doctor appears in a more streamlined and lighter version of his costume as featured here (although the waistcoat is different), before coming back in Series 2 with a new jacket and bow-tie arrangement. It was this second costume that the BTR Doctor has become more known in.
- Davros: 'So, Doctor, you have decided to meddle with my plans yet again. You will not succeed! I will triumph, and this insignificant planet you call Earth will be destroyed! I will be rid of you, Doctor, and when I do, I shall conquer the galaxy!'
Matthew: It is an easy thing to say that the only way up was from here! Inspired throughout 1998 by the audio adventures released online by FloorTen, not to mention my past attempts at creating Doctor Who audio adventures in the early 1990s, it would be an understatement to say that I was eager to produce my own series of adventures for my own Doctor. The original plan had been to produce this as a Seventh Doctor & Ace adventure, before turning into an original Doctor and companion combination. This was down to my desire to produce more than one story, which at the time was envisaged as a trilogy of stories featuring the Daleks, the Cybermen, and the Master (again, you can see the FloorTen influence here on my young mind!).
This actual story had a fairly extended genesis, with scripting (such as it is, given that the majority of the plot and dialogue is lifted from a Terry Nation short story) occurring throughout 1997 / 1998, and the recording session taking around 6 hours on a fairly energetic Saturday afternoon. It's amazing to look back at that session, and how rudimentary the entire setup was. A microphone (the same microphone, as owned by David "Runcible" Hutchison, which was used on every single BTR audio adventure excluding Renegade's Ball) plugged into a CD player which had a karaoke feature, which itself was outputted to the Line in socket on an old 16-bit SoundBlaster sound card, on a rather slow 486 Windows 95 PC (even for 1998, this was quite old hardware), it's amazing to think we managed to record this thing at all.
But really I guess this all gets to the heart of what made this story so special, and what was sadly lost on virtually the entire Internet when they downloaded the episodes. Sure, the post-production is very rough (there was no multi-track audio editing in those days for a low-end home PC, so the entirety of the serial was produced in a destructive editing environment), the acting is hardly up to standard (almost everyone involved were non-actors), and yeah, for sure - the script is a very thin piece of work with plot holes you could drive a truck through. But here's the thing - everyone involved had a huge amount of fun making it, long-term friendships were formed, and a lot was learnt about how to produce a successful audio drama. If The Invasion of the Daleks had not posessed this crucial element, it's fair to say that everything that came after The Gallifreyan Recommencement would never have happened.
And, really, that is what makes The Invasion of the Daleks a winner. Even if it does suck as a final product. (1/10)