The Daleks' Master Plan

The Daleks' Master Plan is a serial in the British science fiction television series Doctor Who. The twelve episodes (the most of any Doctor Who serial, excluding the four 1986 stories that were together called The Trial of a Time Lord) were aired from 13 November 1965 to 29 January 1966.

Some six months after the events of "Mission to the Unknown", the TARDIS arrives on the planet Kembel, and the Doctor leaves the TARDIS to try and find medical aid for the wounded Steven, leaving him with the Trojan servant girl Katarina.

For an 'in depth' look at this story, including clips and a brilliant photonovel, go to;


Currently, only episodes 2, 5, and 10 are known to exist. All the episodes were recorded on and transmitted from magnetic videotape. Subsequently, BBC Enterprises had 16mm film telerecordings made for potential overseas sales. However, the Christmas episode "The Feast of Steven" was excluded from this and the story offered for sale was an 11-part version. The original videotapes of Episodes 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 8 and 9 are listed among the first Doctor Who episodes ever ordered to be wiped, on 17 August 1967. At this point, "The Feast of Steven" became the first episode of Doctor Who to be seemingly lost forever.

BBC Enterprises retained their film copies, although the story was never purchased by any overseas broadcasters, until at least 1972. A set of viewing prints was sent to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, but the story was declined (as it was judged to be A - adults only - on the basis of its overall storyline, rather than cutable scenes) and the fate of these prints is unknown. Then at some point in the next four years, the BBC's film copies were junked.

A film copy of "The Traitors" wound up in the BBC Film Library, although the reasons for this are unclear as that library had no formal mandate to retain such material. However, in 1973 the episode was loaned to the Blue Peter production office for a feature on Doctor Who and never returned. It is possible that someone working on Blue Peter at the time took the episode home with them to save it from destruction; if this is the case, it could very well turn up again one day.

By 1976, the entire story was considered to be lost. However, Episodes 5 ("Counter Plot") and 10 ("Escape Switch") were returned in 1983 after being discovered in a trunk inside a Mormon church in Clapham, South London. Episode 2 ("Day of Armageddon") was returned to the BBC in early 2004 by Francis Watson, a former BBC engineer. This was released as a free DVD with the Sun;

Since this was one of only two Hartnell stories that were never screened outside of the UK (the other being "Mission to the Unknown"), the recovery of the missing episodes from overseas sources remains unlikely. For more information, see Doctor Who missing episodes.

Various clips from the first, third and fourth episodes also survive:

"The Nightmare Begins" - In late 1991, a mute copy of the prefilmed inserts for the story was discovered in a film can in the BBC archive. In 1998 these inserts were combined with the off-air soundtracks. A colour version of this, colourised by Stuart Humphryes and James Russell, was included as part of The Dalek Tapes, a featurette on the Genesis of the Daleks DVD.
"Devil's Planet" - A clip of around 90 seconds was screened in a 1971 edition of Blue Peter (then co-presented by Peter Purves, who played the Doctor's companion Steven Taylor).
"The Traitors" - A 1973 edition of Blue Peter featured another item on Doctor Who and included a clip of the scene leading up to Katarina's ejection from the airlock.
In addition, prior to the recovery of the episode itself, the prefilmed inserts for "Day of Armageddon", including the raw soundtrack, were retained by the BBC Film Library and never junked. In 1991, the archive copy was discovered to be missing, but it was recovered in 1993. In 1998, these inserts were combined with the off-air soundtracks to reproduce the scenes as transmitted.
Episode 2 was also distributed free at selected retailers in April 2006, in exchange for a voucher from The Sun tabloid newspaper.

Episodes 5 and 10 were released on VHS on the tape Daleks - The Early Years in July 1992, which also included the silent pre-filmed inserts which had been then-recently recovered (see above). In November 2004, all three surviving episodes were released on Region 2 DVD, in the three-disc Lost in Time box set, along with all extant clips from the story.

Soundtracks of all the episodes survive due to several fans recording the original transmissions. In 2001, the entire story (together with Mission to the Unknown) was released on CD, combining the best quality sections from the various collections. For photo see Mission to the Unknown blog.

The music from this serial was released as part of Doctor Who: Devils' Planets - The Music of Tristram Cary in 2003.

There are many examples of reconstructions on YouTube;

The serial was adapted as a charity stage production in October 2007 by Interalia Theatre in Portsmouth, UK, as a finale to their highly successful run of previous Doctor Who stage shows. It was adapted and directed by Nick Scovell and produced by Rob Thrush. Scovell starred as the Doctor, as in the company's previous productions. Nicholas Briggs guest starred as the voice of the Daleks and also, briefly, as the Doctor following a regeneration scene at the play's end. It played to a sell-out house over the course of its five-night run.

The DWM index can be found at;


The Australian Doctor Who fanzine Zerinza had published a novelisation of the story in 1980, as issue #14/15/16 (thereafter reprinted a few times), but it was not novelised by Target Books for almost ten more years, when it finally appeared in two volumes. The first, Mission to the Unknown, consisted of an adaptation of Mission to the Unknown and episodes 1-6 of Master Plan. The second, The Mutation of Time, adapted episodes 7-12. Both were written by John Peel and were published in September and October 1989, respectively.

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