The Chase (TV story)

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The Chase was the eighth and penultimate serial of season 2 of Doctor Who. As well as featuring the first use of time travel by the Daleks, it was the final regular appearances of William Russell as Ian Chesterton and Jacqueline Hill as Barbara Wright respectively. It also featured the first appearance of new companion Steven Taylor, portrayed by Peter Purves. Peter Purves further did "double-duty" in this story by appearing earlier in the serial as an incidental character. The story also featured the first instance where a doppelgänger of the Doctor appears.

It saw the same story style as Nation's The Keys of Marinus, with the TARDIS crew in different locations nearly every episode. A similar style would later be used in The Daleks' Master Plan and The Infinite Quest. The Chase also saw characters from other works of fiction-making appearances, albeit as robotic duplicates in this story. Similar appearances would occur elsewhere in the programme's history. It also saw the program's take on the mystery of the Mary Celeste, a story that would be contradicted by other media.

This was originally meant to be the finale to series two and there were talks of it being seven parts in compensation for episodes three and four of Planet of Giants being condensed.


The travellers learn from the Time-Space Visualiser (taken from the Moroks' museum) that Daleks, equipped with their own time machine, are on their trail with orders to exterminate them. They flee in the TARDIS.

The chase begins on the desert planet Aridius and takes in a number of stopping-off points, including a spooky haunted house which is actually a futuristic fun-fair attraction.

Eventually, both time machines arrive on the jungle planet Mechanus, where the Daleks try to infiltrate and kill the Doctor's party with a robotic double of him. The travellers are taken prisoner by the Mechanoids — robots sent some fifty years earlier to prepare landing sites for human colonists who never arrived — and meet Steven Taylor, a stranded astronaut who has been the Mechanoids' captive for the past two years.

The Daleks and the Mechanoids engage in a fierce battle which ends in their mutual destruction. The Doctor's party seizes this opportunity to escape. The Doctor reluctantly helps Ian and Barbara to use the Daleks' time machine to return home.


The Executioners (1)[[edit]]

As the Daleks place the Doctor's position in time and space, the Doctor and his companions are busy in the TARDIS. The Doctor is spending all his time fixing the Time-Space Visualiser, Barbara is making a dress, Ian is reading, and Vicki is at something of a loose end. Eventually, this peace is broken by an ear-splitting shriek from the Time and Space Visualiser. The Doctor explains to his companions that the machine is something like a time television, which allows one to see any event that has happened in the past. They each choose an event to witness: Ian picks Abraham Lincoln giving his Gettysburg Address, Barbara elects to look into Elizabeth I's court and sees the genesis of William Shakespeare's plays The Merry Wives of Windsor and Hamlet; and Vicki sees the Beatles performing "Ticket to Ride" but is surprised to learn that they played "classical music". This experimentation is interrupted when the TARDIS begins to materialise. The four travellers find themselves on an arid and desolate planet which possesses two suns that move quickly across the firmament. The Doctor suggests that days and nights must be very short here. Ian and Vicki head into the desert wilderness, the former entrusted with the TARDIS magnet in case they should get lost. Vicki investigates some formations in the shape of humans similar to seaweed, which Ian knows is impossible. They find a trail of what appears to be blood in the sand, which Vicki runs off to follow. As they move off, they do not notice a tentacle rise up from the sand where they were.

Daleks on the Time-Space Visualiser reveal their evil intent to chase the TARDIS.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Barbara sunbathe. Barbara is distracted by the sound of the Visualiser, which has not been shut off. She sees a "broadcast" of the Daleks preparing a report. The Doctor enters and hears to his horror the Daleks' plan to follow "the enemy time machine" (the TARDIS) to the Sagarro Desert on the planet Aridius which is where the Doctor has found himself. The Dalek assassins plan to use their time machine to find the Doctor and his companions and exterminate them due to the fact that the Doctor is the only person that stands in the way of their ambitions to take over Earth. The Doctor and Barbara watch a group of Daleks embark into the machine and dematerialise. The Doctor informs Barbara that these events must have happened in the past for the Time and Space visualiser to be able to show it, which means that the Daleks are already on their way. The Doctor and Barbara agree they need to find Ian and Vicki and leave the planet immediately.

Tiring from their walk, Ian and Vicki take a rest as the "blood" trail ends; by this time night has fallen. They find a large metal ring. At first, Vicki is reluctant to disturb it for fear of what might happen (due in no small part to a myth from her childhood wherein pulling a ring in a field would lead to a drawbridge on a mysterious castle to open and something awful to come out). However, they decide they should pull it loose. At first, nothing happens and they prepare to leave, but an ancient trap door creaks open in the sand. They enter the newly opened cavern to have a look. Once inside, the door closes behind them — they are trapped — and another tentacle looms out of the darkness. As they turn they see a mysterious figure looming in the darkness.

The Doctor and Barbara have had no luck finding their friends. Night has fallen, it is cold, and the wind has begun to pick up, covering all tracks, including their own. They decide to return to the TARDIS, not entirely certain of the direction. A sandstorm breaks out, and the Doctor and Barbara fall to the ground. When the suns come back up again they look around for the TARDIS but to no avail. They speculate that it has been covered in sand. They are about to leave when the Doctor tells Barbara to get down, and they see a Dalek, buried by the sandstorm, emerging from the sand.

The Death of Time (2)[[edit]]

The Daleks' Aridian slaves finish digging out the Doctor's TARDIS.

As Barbara and the Doctor duck out of the way two more Daleks appear, but cannot find the time travellers. As the two Daleks leave to look for the time travellers, the Doctor and Barbara get up to go. As they mount the crest under which they have been hiding, they are faced by a group of bipedal lizard-like creatures. One of the creatures is sensed by the Daleks and exterminated.

Meanwhile, under the surface of Aridius, Ian and Vicki escape the oncoming horde of lizard-like creatures that pursue them through the labyrinthine passageways — often having to attack the creatures with rocks in order to escape their clutches.

Back on the surface, the creatures introduce themselves as Aridians. They explain that the whole of Aridius used to be underwater, but as the two suns got closer to the planet the water evaporated leaving only the Aridians and the Mire Beasts. The Aridians explain that the Mire Beasts have taken over the Aridians' underground cities and left them to die out in the harsh sunlight. When the Doctor deduces that Ian and Vicki must be in the subterranean Aridian cities, the Aridians state that they cannot go there, as the Aridians are launching an assault on the Mire Beasts, blowing up some of their underground strongholds. The Doctor and Barbara are insistent, so the Aridians try to get them to the entrance before the explosion. However, they do not make it in time.

The explosion proves a mixed blessing for Vicki and Ian. Just as the explosion resonates throughout the tunnels, Vicki is grabbed by a Mire Beast. The beast is instantly killed by the explosion but a rock lands on Ian's head, knocking him unconscious. Vicki goes to find the Doctor, leaving Ian prone in the tunnel network.

The Daleks search for the time travellers. They use two Aridian slaves to dig out the TARDIS, which they have located using a seismic resonator. Once they have released the TARDIS, the Daleks kill the Aridian workforce and try to destroy the TARDIS, but it is impervious to their weapons. They guard the machine, waiting for the Doctor to return to his ship so they can ambush him.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Barbara are being protected from the Daleks in one of the Aridian subterranean strongholds, but one of the Aridians comes to the Doctor to inform him that the leader of the Daleks has made contact with them and has vowed that they will stop killing the Aridians if they hand over the Doctor. The Aridians tell the Doctor they can stall for half a sun but will then have to hand him over. The Aridians refuse to let the Doctor go free, saying the Elders are making a decision.

In another part of the cave system Vicki searches for a way out. She finds an opening and clambers through it only to see the Dalek guarding the TARDIS. The Aridians then say the Elders have decreed the travellers must be handed over by sunset; the Daleks have claimed when they are executed they will leave Aridius unharmed. The Doctor says they have two hours before the sun sets. Vicki meanwhile finds the Doctor, but the Aridians then come to hand them over. At this moment a Mire Creature breaks through a walled off section of the cave and seizes one of the Aridians. The trio of travellers use this opportunity to escape. Vicki leads the Doctor and Barbara back to Ian, who is now conscious. He has located the TARDIS, but it is guarded. The Daleks decide they will give the Aridians an hour to recapture the travellers, after which they will destroy the city. Ian finds the others and has come up with a plan as to how to get to it. He covers a hole with Barbara's cardigan and the Doctor's jacket. The travellers then tempt the guard Dalek towards them by calling and hiding. The Dalek falls down the hole into the Aridian cave network. The Doctor and his companions rush into the TARDIS just as the Daleks fire at them. As the TARDIS dematerialises, the Daleks vow to follow their enemy across eternity in order to destroy him.

Flight Through Eternity (3)[[edit]]

The Doctor and his companions celebrate getting the better of the Daleks and set off for their next destination. Their celebrations are short-lived when they discover that they are being pursued by another time machine.

The Daleks on their machine have managed to track the Doctor's TARDIS and can follow him wherever in time and space he may be; however, to the Doctor's advantage, the Daleks are fifteen minutes behind the TARDIS.

Back on the TARDIS, the Doctor notices that it is landing. He checks the scanners and discovers that they are in New York City.

Atop the Empire State Building a group of sightseers are being informed of the scenic panorama of New York when a young man from Alabama, Morton Dill, becomes separated from the group. Whilst his back is turned the TARDIS materialises. He informs Barbara and Vicki that the year is 1966 on their emergence from the TARDIS. When the Doctor and Ian also come out of the TARDIS, he assumes that the police box is part of a film set and assumes that the travellers are actors. As he goes to fetch his camera to take a photo, the companions re-enter the TARDIS and dematerialise. No sooner have the Doctor and his companions left and Morton has seen this than the Dalek time machine materialises. Morton takes the Daleks to also be props from the film and interacts with them very brazenly. He informs the Daleks that the other machine has just left. As he goes to take a photo again the Dalek time machine disappears. Eager to discover the mystery of the "film set", Morton looks for a trapdoor in the floor only to be discovered grovelling on the floor by a suspicious tour guide, who hurries away to fetch a policeman.

In the TARDIS the Doctor is making allowances for what will happen if the Daleks were to catch up with them. He begins to tinker with a machine that Ian and Barbara bring to him when the ship starts to materialise again. Ian and Barbara go out to explore and find themselves on an old sailing ship. Barbara is fascinated by sea travel and goes to look around; Ian, feeling queasy, returns to the TARDIS. Whilst Barbara looks around she is discovered by a sailor, who takes her to be a stowaway. He accosts her and refuses to let her go. However, Vicki leaves the TARDIS and sees Barbara in distress. She sneaks up on the sailor and knocks him unconscious. By this time the Doctor has readied the TARDIS to carry on and Ian is sent to collect the girls. As Ian approaches, Barbara warns Vicki another sailor is coming. As Ian rounds the corner Vicki knocks him unconscious too. Feeling guilty, the two girls take Ian back to the ship, which dematerialises just in time for the sailor to come to and witness the disappearance of the ship. The sailor alerts the rest of the crew that there is a stowaway on the ship and that he was hit over the head, and they fan out to find Barbara. As they search for Barbara, the Dalek ship lands. The sight of the Daleks, combined with the fact that they are desperately seeking information from the crew, causes the terrified sailors to jump ship. The Daleks discover that the travellers have left and return to their craft in pursuit of the Doctor, leaving the ship silent and empty. It is the legendary Mary Celeste.

Back in the TARDIS, the Doctor breaks the news to his companions that the gap between the TARDIS and the Dalek ship has lessened to eight minutes and that with every stop the Daleks get closer and closer to catching them.

Journey into Terror (4)[[edit]]

The TARDIS lands in a mysterious old house. Each traveller is scared by the creepy appearance of the house but tries to hide it from the others. The Doctor and Ian go upstairs to explore while Barbara and Vicki remain downstairs. As they explore, they notice that the fireplace has eyes that follow them around the room, and there are bats that mysteriously fly down from the rafters and skeletons that drop from the ceiling.

Upstairs the Doctor and Ian are making similar discoveries. Ian sees a ghostly figure. The Doctor stumbles upon a laboratory and, as he explores, Frankenstein's monster rises up from the slab as if to grab at the Doctor and Ian. The Doctor runs away in terror, followed by Ian. As they retreat, the monster quietly returns to his slab.

The Doctor ponders the whereabouts of Barbara and Vicki.

A similar apparition appears to Barbara and Vicki downstairs also. As they are exploring, a vampire appears to them and introduces himself as Dracula before disappearing again. Barbara investigates the patch of a wall from which Dracula appeared to find out how it might have been achieved, but when she turns back Vicki has disappeared. A woman from the upper balcony of the house screams at Barbara, and as Barbara backs up in shock the wall rotates, taking her with it.

Upstairs, the Doctor has rationalised where they have landed. He speculates that the house and its contents are so much like what one would expect from a creepy house that they have landed within a world of dreams — where terrors and thoughts have been magnified into a tangible place. Ian asks whether this means that the Daleks cannot chase them here, to which the Doctor agrees due to the fact that they are safe from time and space as they reside in the psyche. This gives them new hope, but as they return downstairs they find Barbara and Vicki have disappeared and are not in the TARDIS. They go back upstairs to look for them.

However, the Doctor is wrong. The Daleks have zoned in on the Doctor's whereabouts and are preparing to materialise. They state that he is still on Earth and has just changed the year and the geographical location. The Daleks materialise in the house and a search party disembarks, but one remains in case they return.

The Doctor and Ian cannot find Barbara and Vicki anywhere and, in their desperation, they go back into the room with Frankenstein's monster. As they go down into the room they are met with the dual terrors of the approaching monster coupled with the arrival of a Dalek. Thinking quickly, Ian traps the Dalek in a cage in the laboratory, and he and the Doctor escape. With the two men gone, the monster continues to approach the Dalek, which tries to exterminate him — only for the monster to be immune from the Dalek's weaponry. The monster opens the cage and destroys the Dalek, immune to the fact that it insists that it is indestructible.

As the Doctor and Ian return downstairs they discover Barbara and Vicki, who have reunited. The travellers' joy is short-lived when a Dalek corners them. When it looks like the travellers have no chances left, Dracula reappears and distracts the Dalek that was about to kill them. The travellers run for the TARDIS, but Vicki is stopped as two other Daleks appear. As they do, Frankenstein's monster reappears and begins to destroy the Daleks. Vicki does not make it into the TARDIS. Unsure of what to do and panicking, she sneaks into the Daleks' time machine.

In the TARDIS, the Doctor and Ian tinker with the weapon they plan to use on the Daleks whilst they discuss the planet they have just been on. The Doctor speculates that they shall never know quite when it was. While talking, they discover that they were actually in an advanced form of a haunted house from the Festival of Ghana in 1996 which had been cancelled by Peking. It is only when Barbara joins them that they realise that Vicki has been left behind.

On the Dalek time machine, the Daleks further track the Doctor's progress through time and space — they state he is headed towards the planet Mechanus. Skaro is contacted for a report on Mechanus. It is also revealed that the Daleks have a secret plan. The Daleks have been building a machine that they refer to as a "reproducer", and they plan to "reproduce" the Doctor, claiming it will be finished by the time they get to Mechanus. As the Daleks disperse, Vicki emerges from her hiding place. She tries to contact the TARDIS using some radio equipment that she discovers, but it doesn't work. Curious as to how the reproducer works, she sneaks up to it and is shocked when she sees what appears to be the Doctor standing inside the machine.

Back aboard the TARDIS, the Doctor is blaming himself for the disappearance of Vicki, but he states that there is nothing that he can do about it due to the fact that the TARDIS cannot interrupt its own time stream and visit the same place twice — even if the timing mechanism allowed them to pinpoint where they could go. Ian says they could fix the timing mechanism, but the Doctor says it could take months or years. Eventually, Ian hatches a plan. If they were to seize the Daleks' time machine, they could use that to return and rescue Vicki. The Doctor agrees and states that the next place they land will be the area of the inevitable battle that must take place. When they land they discover that they are on a largely swampy planet with dense undergrowth. They decide to go and explore so as to best use their time to destroy the Daleks.

As the Daleks approach Mechanus, the Daleks decide to animate the robot. They power up the reproduction machine and the simulated version of the Doctor comes to life. The Daleks ask the simulated version of the Doctor whether it knows its mission. The robot responds with, "To infiltrate and kill."

The Death of Doctor Who (5)[[edit]]

You may be looking for Death of the Doctor.
The TARDIS trio get surrounded by fungoids in the Mechanus jungle

The Doctor, Ian and Barbara are exploring the planet Mechanus. They soon discover that the dense undergrowth of the planet is made up of living plants called Fungoids that are constantly trying to attack them. They are soon cornered by the Fungoids, and as it looks like they might finish off second, some lights flash on which cause the Fungoids to vanish away. Ian investigates the lights and discovers they form a corridor through the jungle. The travellers follow the pathway.

Meanwhile, the Daleks have landed on Mechanus, where they say all life must be treated as hostile, and have fanned out in search of the Doctor, not before releasing their deadly doppelganger to "infiltrate, divide and kill." Vicki leaves the Dalek time machine and attempts to seek out the Doctor, but is attacked by a Fungoid.

As the Doctor, Ian and Barbara make their way through Mechanus, they are being stalked by the robot Doctor who never lets them far out of its sight. They soon reach the end of the corridor of lights and find themselves in a cave. Unsure as to why the complex system of lights leads to such an innocuous locale, they begin to look around, hoping they will either discover the significance of the cave or find a way of turning off the lights so as to allow the Fungoids to destroy the Daleks. In their exploration, they discover a weapon for keeping the Fungoids at bay. Barbara is confident that, with the combination of their newly found weapon and the bomb that the Doctor has been working on, the Daleks are done for. The Doctor warns her that the bomb can't be used undercover so they'll need to think of another tactic.

Meanwhile, Vicki is desperately searching for the Doctor. She comes across the TARDIS but finds herself almost being crushed by one of the Fungoids. She screams out, which alerts the Doctor and Ian, who rush out to rescue her. The robot Doctor uses this opportunity to swoop in and take advantage of Barbara's isolation. The robot Doctor informs Barbara that Ian has been killed by the Fungoids and that he needs her help out in the jungle. Confused and worried, she complies.

The Doctor and Ian find Vicki, who has fainted from the shock of her near escape with the Fungoids. Ian deduces that she must have hitched a ride with the Daleks in order to catch up with her friends. They carry her back to the cave and discover Barbara missing. Ian goes back out to look for her. Whilst Ian is gone, Vicki regains consciousness but, on seeing the Doctor, reacts wildly, suspecting him to be the robot version. When Ian returns, she calms down and apologises to the Doctor before explaining about the robot clone and his plans to kill them. Ian deduces that this is why Barbara must have left the cave. The three friends go out and look for her in a panic.

As they walk through the jungle, Barbara hears Ian calling her name. This leads to the robot Doctor attacking her. It knocks her to the ground before Ian arrives and fights the robot off her, but it is able to break free of him and escape. Ian explains the situation to a confused Barbara. Ian and Barbara meet up with Vicki — the humans are then shocked by the appearance of two Doctors, each of whom tries to convince them that he is the true Doctor. Ian makes his mind up and attacks one of the Doctors when it tries to get past him to destroy the other. They grapple wildly whilst the other Doctor gives Ian tips on how to finish off his adversary. However, the Doctor with Vicki and Barbara slips up and calls Vicki "Susan", revealing himself to be the robot. Barbara informs Ian that he has the wrong version, and the four unite in battle against the robot. Eventually, the robot Doctor battles the real Doctor, who destroys it. An exhausted Doctor and his companions return to the cave where they sleep. Little do they know that, whilst they sleep, a camera falls from the roof of the cave and observes their slumber.

Meanwhile, the Daleks have seized the Doctor's TARDIS and intend on keeping it hostage as an insurance policy for them not killing him. They head off to the area in which they suspect the Doctor to be.

Come morning, the travellers are shocked to see a large city risen up across the jungle that they missed due to last night's darkness. They leave to investigate it. They have not gone far when they spy some Daleks heading right for them. The travellers run back into the cave and suggest ways of escaping their certain doom. Ian suggests that the Doctor try to convince the Daleks that he is the robot version, but Vicki and Barbara say that this is too risky. Ignoring their advice, the Doctor sneaks away in order to try this plan. The Daleks take positions and are ordered to take no prisoners. However it is unsuccessful, and the Daleks try to exterminate the Doctor. He dives back in the cave as the Daleks make directly towards them. In their panic, they try to find somewhere in the cave where they can hide. They are shocked when one of the walls slides back to reveal a large multi-sided robot that calls itself a Mechanoid and bids them enter. The travellers have no choice but to accompany the robot.

The Planet of Decision (6)[[edit]]

As the travellers escape into the lift, the Daleks enter the cave and find that their enemies have disappeared. They soon discover that they disappeared behind the hollow wall and begin the process of opening the lift door.

Inside the lift, the Doctor tries to get information from the machine as to where they are going; however, it gives them none. The lift soon opens its doors and the travellers find themselves in the Mechanoid City. They are led to a large room, and the door behind them is closed and locked. Once in the room, they discover a dishevelled human survivor named Steven Taylor, who asks them who won the wars. In his period of solitary confinement, he appears to have gone slightly mad with only his "mascot" HiFi, a small stuffed panda, for company. He is an astronaut from Earth who crash-landed on the planet two years earlier and has been kept as a prisoner by the Mechanoids. He explains to them that about fifty years ago humans began a process of colonising the planet and that the robots were originally devised to clear the area. However, Earth got caught up in an interplanetary war and the planet was forgotten. Ever since the crash, he has been held captive by the robots because he did not know the proper computer access codes that would identify him as one of the now-never-coming colonists; they keep him in this room as a kind of experiment.

The Daleks have opened the lift door and received a report from Skaro on the Mechanoids. They claim they have weapons and may damage them.

Steven shows his guests around his cell and takes the Doctor and Ian to the top of the roof. When questioned as to why he has never escaped using the roof, he states that it is too high to survive the drop, being 1500 feet. He also shares an experience whereby he escaped once before and was nearly killed by the Fungoids; he was soon recaptured by the Mechanoids and returned to his cell. Ian and the Doctor examine the roof and find a large drum with cabling wrapped around it, deciding that this could be used as a way of scaling the roof of the building. Steven states that he has tried this before, but wasn't strong enough to pull the wire on his own, though it could work with all five of them. The Doctor is doubtful and goes to talk it through with the girls.

However, his decision is made for him when the window onto the corridor is opened and he sees a Dalek exterminating a Mechanoid when it doesn't reveal where the travellers are. The humans all run up to the roof to escape; however, just before scaling to the roof, the Doctor leaves his device on the floor of the cell. As the Doctor escapes, two Daleks enter the room. Seeing that the humans have escaped to the roof, more Daleks are ordered to cut them off. One of the Daleks knocks the Doctor's weapon, which explodes instantly, immobilising the two Daleks and setting the building on fire.

Atop the city, Ian and Steven are preparing the wire. However, Vicki is unsure as to whether she can do it due to her fear of heights. This phobia is so debilitating that at one point she faints. Much against her protests, she is blindfolded and tied to the wire whereby she is lowered down the side of the building. The smoke from the building begins to billow up out of the gap in the roof. Seeing this, Steven drops the wire in order to go back and save HiFi. This causes Vicki to drop wildly until Ian and the Doctor catch the wire.

Steven scales back down into the cell and begins to make his way through the building amidst a full out-and-out battle between the Daleks and the Mechanoids that seems fairly evenly pitted.

Outside, the four travellers have all made it down the side of the building. They are unsure as to what to do about Steven when the cable starts to burn, leaving Steven trapped. As they flee back to the TARDIS, the city is consumed by flames and collapses. Steven, however, has survived the city's destruction and is stumbling around the forest, avoiding Fungoids and looking for the Doctor.

En route to the TARDIS, the companions and the Doctor stumble across the Dalek time machine. They are reticent to explore, but Ian lightens the mood by imitating a Dalek. Vicki shows the Doctor round the machine while Ian and Barbara realise that the machine is fully functioning and could return them home. They rush in to explain this to the Doctor. The Doctor is initially flabbergasted at the humans' stupidity, refusing to even contemplate the idea due to its dangers. However, Vicki convinces the Doctor that it is only fair to allow them to try if they know the risks that they are undertaking. Reluctantly, the Doctor leads them back into the machine to explain what they need to do.

Ian and Barbara find a real police box back home in London, 1965.

The Dalek time machine materialises in a disused garage in London, 1965. Ian finds out the date from a car's tax disc; they are two years out but both are still happy to be home. Ian and Barbara activate the ship's auto-destruct mechanism on leaving, as the Doctor had instructed them to do. Ian and Barbara, while sad at having to leave the Doctor, enjoy being back at home again and go sightseeing where they visit Trafalgar Square and the Embankment and even encounter a police box; however, this time it's a real one.

Ian and Barbara then catch a bus, where they discover that the fares have gone up during their absence. The bus conductor asks whether they've been on the Moon, and can't understand it when the pair start laughing at this comment.

Back on the TARDIS, the Doctor and Vicki witness a conversation between Ian and Barbara on the Time-Space Visualiser, with a mixture of joy at their safe arrival and sadness for their leaving. The two depart in the TARDIS.


Uncredited cast[[edit]]


Uncredited crew[[edit]]




  • The robots in the funfair are impervious to the firepower of the Daleks, who believe they are living beings.
  • This is the first example of the Daleks having time travel.
  • The Daleks use the Dalekian Scale to measure how long they are behind the TARDIS in arriving at space-time locations.
  • This is the first use of the Dalek replicant technology.


Mythological creatures[[edit]]


The Doctor[[edit]]


Story notes[[edit]]

  • All episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings.
  • Negative film prints were recovered for all episodes in 1978.
  • This story had the working titles The Daleks (III) and The Pursuers.
  • The story was commissioned at late notice when another of Terry Nation's stories fell through. It would appear that the slot was originally to be filled by his planned historical The Red Fort.
  • Christopher Barry was considered to direct.
  • Terry Nation discarded several ideas for the serial, including sequences set in ancient Egypt (where the first of the Great Pyramids would be erected over the remnants of a destroyed Dalek), the planet Stygian whose inhabitants were invisible, and the mist-shrouded world of Vapuron. These ideas would subsequently be recycled in The Daleks' Master Plan.
  • There were several changes made from Terry Nation's original proposal in the finished serial. In the original storyline, the TARDIS crew would witness on the visualiser William Shakespeare discussing with his wife the possibility of allowing Francis Bacon to use his name on Bacon's plays, as well as a speech by Winston Churchill; Ian and Vicki would see through the sands the vast underground Aridian city; and Ian and Barbara would not return home to Earth at the end of the serial.
  • The denizens of Aridius were originally envisaged as ugly, hunchbacked creatures.
  • The Fungoids were originally introduced on Aridius, as opposed to confining them solely to the Mechanus sequences.
  • The Doctor's explanation of the haunted house existing in a realm of human thought was in fact Terry Nation's initial concept for the segment, which Verity Lambert felt was straying too far from the conventional Doctor Who approach.
  • Baron Frankenstein was at one point included in the haunted house scenes, while the Grey Lady was a late addition.
  • The scenes in "The Planet of Decision" with Ian and Barbara celebrating their return to London were made as part of the production block for The Time Meddler and the director for these is consequently Douglas Camfield.
  • The Mechanoids made their only appearance in this story owing to the difficulties the men inside them were having in controlling them; they would not even fit through most doors.
  • Dudley Simpson was only hired to provide the incidental music after the original choice, Max Harris, wasn't available.[2]
  • This is one of the few Dalek stories to incorporate humour. Examples include a stammering Dalek who cannot do simple mental arithmetic (in "The Executioners" and "The Death of Time"); Daleks nodding their eyestalks to confirm a plan (in "The Death of Doctor Who"); and Daleks showing a trait for deviating from the subject at hand (during their deliberations in "The Executioners").
  • The story also features the Beatles in a film clip. Ironically, considering the number of lost Doctor Who episodes, the Beatles' performance from which this clip was taken now only survives in this story. In a double irony, the scene has once again been "lost" as licensing restrictions forced it to be edited out for all DVD releases outside of Regions 2 & 4 (UK & Australia).[3]
  • The Beatles were originally planned to appear as old men performing at a fiftieth anniversary concert in the 21st century. The band were interested in appearing, but this proposal was apparently vetoed by their manager Brian Epstein. They were also originally going to be playing "I Feel Fine" instead of "Ticket to Ride".
  • The Doctor's sadness in saying goodbye to Ian and Barbara was not entirely down to good acting. William Hartnell had become good friends with William Russell and Jacqueline Hill and was genuinely saddened to see them leave.
  • This story includes the joke that, in the future, contemporary pop musicians such as the Beatles would be considered classical music. This joke was repeated in the series 40 years later in The End of the World. While not contemporary at the time of airing, the Beatles are once again referred to as "classical" in the story 42, when their name is heard to be pronounced "bee-attles".
  • The Daleks are particularly poetic in this story: Dalek - "Advance and attack! Attack and destroy! Destroy and rejoice!"
  • This is the final television story featuring Ian and Barbara, concluding the loose arc of the Doctor trying to get them home.
  • This is the first appearance of Steven Taylor. Peter Purves became the first actor to play two completely different roles (without the use of heavy makeup or prosthetics) in the same story. He also became the first actor to appear in a guest-starring capacity before being offered a regular role. This also occurred with Ian Marter, Freema Agyeman and Karen Gillan; the fact that Purves played two different roles, one to become ongoing within the same story, however, remains a unique circumstance.
  • The Chase was earmarked to form the basis for a third "Dr. Who" film starring Peter Cushing, to follow Daleks' Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., but the film was never made.
  • The fifth episode carries the title "The Death of Doctor Who"; this is one of only two occasions in which the technically incorrect name "Doctor Who" is used in an on-screen title (the other occasion being the seven episodes of Doctor Who and the Silurians in 1970). The name was corrected when the title was otherwise reused for The Sarah Jane Adventures serial, Death of the Doctor and its novelisation.
  • During rehearsal the three Fungoid costumes were given nicknames to avoid confusion: Fungoid Fred, Toadstool Taffy and Mushroom Malone.[4]
  • The three main pillars of the Mechanus forest set were referred to in the script as the "Gubbage Canes".[4]
  • A later novel, Interference - Book One, established that the Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster robots were built by Microsoft, although the company wasn't established until a full ten years after The Chase was broadcast.
  • "The Planet of Decision" features the first use of the Dalek battle cry of "Exterminate!" (Previously, The Daleks mentioned the term "extermination", and in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the Supreme Dalek ordered his subordinates to "exterminate" Ian, but this is the first time the word is used as a singular exclamation.)
  • In "The Mighty 200", a Doctor Who Magazine fan poll of favourite stories published in issue #413, The Chase ranked as the 157th favourite story overall and the least-favourite Dalek story.
  • The episode "Flight Through Eternity" contains a rather morbid first (remembering that Doctor Who was originally considered a children's programme and still is marketed towards children as of 2011): the first depiction of the death of a child. This refers to the baby being carried by the woman who jumps off the Mary Celeste (and, though no deaths occur on-screen, history records that the passengers of the vessel were never found).
  • "Flight Through Eternity" also contains the television show's first spoken reference to the TARDIS exterior being blue. Morton describes it as "some kind of beat-up old blue wooden box," which, due to the programme's then black-and-white nature, is the first time that the show confirms this iconic trait.
  • This was the second serial to consist of several mini-adventures linked by an overall story arc. The first was The Keys of Marinus, also written by Terry Nation. Both stories also feature a planet replete with sentient flora.
  • The Dalek dialogue from the battle scenes in episode 6 is reused from episode 1's scene of the Dalek Supreme sending the Executioners.
  • In November 1986, it was hoped the story could be repeated as part of TV 50, a celebration of fifty years at the BBC, but because of contractual problems this much-hoped-for repeat screening did not happen. However, Doctor Who was well-represented with a wide selection of clips from various adventures which was shown during the main TV 50 documentary.
  • Some of the Daleks appearing in this serial were created by Shawcraft Models for Dr. Who and the Daleks. Although the plan had been to refurbish them to resemble the television Daleks, this proved to be impractical, and the three hired Daleks were used only in the background of shots. As The Chase was broadcast before the movie was released, this marks the first appearance of the movie Daleks.
  • Although it's hard to tell because of the angle, when Vicki sits down near Barbara and tips the chair over, a tray of coffee spills onto the dress material Barbara is working with.
  • The trouble with the timing mechanism and the TARDIS not being able to land in the same place twice would eventually be fixed, allowing for this trouble to be done away with in future stories.
  • This is the first Dalek story where the Daleks are already aware of the Doctor.
  • The story contains a significant franchise first: the earliest appearance in the TV series of a character originating in spin-off media. The Black Dalek (later distinguished as the "Black Dalek Leader") was a recurring character in the contemporary comic series, The Daleks, and debuted in Duel of the Daleks #3 almost a month before the premier of "The Executioners". The Black Dalek would go on to feature in numerous other episodes, comics and audio stories throughout the decades. However, its identity as the same Dalek was not established in The Chase itself but by the Target novelisations written by John Peel, which were released many years later.
  • The Doctor encounters Frankenstein's monster. In The Haunting of Villa Diodati, the Thirteenth Doctor meets Mary Shelley on the night she writes Frankenstein.
  • This was the last six-part story until The Power of the Daleks a little over a year later and therefore the last six-part story of the Hartnell era.
  • Edmund Warwick had a part written especially for him as thanks for his help filling in for William Hartnell when he was injured making The Dalek Invasion of Earth.
  • Originally, it was hoped to realise the scene where a Dalek rose out of the sand by burying a Dalek casing in a dune and then pulling it out on a rope attached to a Land Rover. Unfortunately, when the shot was attempted, it was found that the weight of the sand kept the partially buried Dalek pinned firmly in place. The sequence was instead performed as a model shot at the BBC Television Film Studios in Ealing.
  • The Mechanoids were originally called Mechons, with their planet named Mechon. Aridius was originally named Aridus.
  • Dennis Spooner also simplified the action on Aridius: Terry Nation envisaged an entire colony of mire beasts who dragged Ian and Vicki below ground, while Spooner's revisions required just a single mire beast and added the trap door access to the tunnels.
  • As with The Dalek Invasion of Earth, Terry Nation didn't write the companion departue. Dennis Spooner wrote Ian and Barbra's exit.
  • Raymond Cusick was unhappy with Spencer Chapman's re-designs of the Daleks in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, so he had them removed. The radio dish was replaced with vertical solar panels positioned between the head grille and skirt sections.
  • This is the first story where two Doctors appear together on screen, specifically the original First Doctor and the Dalek's robot copy of him.


  • "The Executioners" - 10 million viewers
  • "The Death of Time" - 9.5 million viewers
  • "Flight Through Eternity" - 9.0 million viewers
  • "Journey into Terror" - 9.5 million viewers
  • "The Death of Doctor Who" - 9.0 million viewers
  • "The Planet of Decision" - 9.5 million viewers


  • The photo montage of Ian and Barbara in London was originally shot on location, but later junked, and not recovered with the telerecordings. (The scene was always intended to be a still photo montage.)
  • The scene showing Ian and Barbara on the bus was shot on location. (The scene was actually shot at Ealing Studio with a back projection active behind the bus to give the impression of movement.)
  • A third Dalek film starring Peter Cushing, based on DW: The Chase and titled Daleks vs. Mechons, was filmed but subsequently lost in a fire. A trailer was discovered in the basement of a church in northern England in 2009. (The supposed "trailer" was fanmade, as the graphics were too advanced for circa 1967. This "trailer" can be found on YouTube here. Although a third film was planned as an adaptation of The Chase, it was shelved with no work done following the second movie's failure at the box office.)

Filming locations[[edit]]

  • Camber Sands, Kent (Planet Aridius landscape)
  • Ealing Film Studios, London (Ian and Barbara arrive back in London)
  • White City Central Line, London (Ian and Barbara's view back in London)
  • Albert Embankment, London (Picture montage of Ian and Barbara back on Earth)
  • Bayswater Road, London (Picture montage of Ian and Barbara back on Earth)
  • Kensington Gardens, London (Picture montage of Ian and Barbara back on Earth)
  • Regent Street, London (Picture montage of Ian and Barbara back on Earth)
  • Trafalgar Square, London (Picture montage of Ian and Barbara back on Earth)
  • Empire State Building, New York (STOCK FOOTAGE)

Production errors[[edit]]

If you'd like to talk about narrative problems with this story — like plot holes and things that seem to contradict other stories — please go to this episode's discontinuity discussion.
  • In "The Executioners", Vicki and Ian cast shadows across the backdrop painted like a desert.
  • In "The Death of Time", as the Aridians show the airlock, one repeats the word "this".
  • An Aridian can be seen getting up and sneaking off camera after being knocked over by Vicki in "The Death of Time".
  • At the very end of "The Death of Time", when the Doctor and his companions run into the TARDIS, they run into a side without a door.
  • When the Mary Celeste model is moving, no water is displaced.
  • When Vicki knocks out the captain of the Mary Celeste, she only lightly taps him on the head, yet he still collapses.
  • As the TARDIS lands at the beginning of "Journey into Terror," a candelabra moves a few feet to the left.
  • The string controlling the bat that lands on the stairway railing is very obvious.
  • As Ian and the Doctor descend the stairs where Frankenstein's Monster lies, a camera and operator are clearly in shot at the top of the stairs.
  • In "Journey into Terror" Barbara and Vicki walk behind the TARDIS and over to a small chest; a shadow from the camera falls over it and then retreats as they get closer.
  • The first time Count Dracula says "I am Count Dracula" to the Daleks, his mouth is clearly out of sync with the audio.
  • A Dalek is clearly visible under an archway in Frankenstein's lab — from where it later converses with the Monster — before the Daleks have supposedly arrived in the haunted house. Vicki can also be heard talking in the background just before the scene ends.
  • In the following scene, Barbara makes the quote, "Ask not for whom the bell tolls...". There was supposed to be the sound of a tolling bell that they reacted to (yet we never heard it).
  • Frankenstein's monster has no jacket in one scene, then somehow acquires one in the next.
  • In "Journey into Terror," a countdown clock on a wall of the Daleks' time machine is superimposed across the dome of the observing Dalek as it trundles behind the display. (This error has been corrected for the remastered DVD release.)
  • John Maxim (Frankenstein's Monster) is incorrectly billed as "Frankenstein" both on the closing credits and in Radio Times.
  • In "The Executioners", the top section of the fourth Dalek to enter the time machine moves up briefly.
  • In "The Executioners", a Dalek appears to be talking to a wall. When another Dalek talks to it during a communicator, the communicator lights up as it speaks to indicate the Dalek is not there.
  • In "The Planet of Decision" the Daleks mistakenly refer to the Mechanoids as Mechons, which is what they were originally called in the first script. However, the rest of the characters confusingly do call them by their correct title.
  • In "The Planet of Decision", just before Barbara's line "Well? Any chance?", the cameraman bumps into something causing the camera to shake.
  • Dalek prop number seven can be seen to be walking across the sand dunes on Aridius, and when circling the TARDIS, the same prop is lifted up and the operator's legs can be seen. The operator walks the prop a few steps before putting it back down again.
  • In "The Death of Doctor Who", when the Daleks are planning their attack, a camera is visible in the background for about 25 seconds.


Home video and audio releases[[edit]]

DVD releases[[edit]]

A restored version of this story was first released on DVD in the UK on 1 March 2010 in a two-disc set as part of a box set with The Space Museum.

Special Features[[edit]]

Disc One[[edit]]
Disc Two[[edit]]


  • Editing for the DVD release was completed by the Doctor Who Restoration Team.
  • Due to the licensing issues surrounding the Beatles song, it has been announced that American (Region 1) releases of The Chase will be edited to remove the scene.[3]

Blu-ray releases[[edit]]

The story was released on Blu-ray in the UK on 5 December 2022, as part of the box set The Collection: Season Two.

Digital releases[[edit]]

This story is available:

  • for streaming through BritBox (US) as part of Season 2 of Classic Doctor Who.

VHS releases[[edit]]

This story was initially released to VHS video as part of The Daleks Box Set, alongside Remembrance of the Daleks. In both the United States and United Kingdom, The Chase was never sold separately.

UK Release: September 1993 / US Release: October 1993
PAL - BBC Video BBCV5005 (2 tapes)
NTSC - CBS/FOX Video 4795 (2 tapes)
NTSC - Warner Video E1145 (2 tapes)

Audio releases[[edit]]

April 1966 saw the release of "The Planet of Decision" (episode six) as a 7" mini album by Century 21 Records and Pye Records as part of their "21 Minutes of Adventure" series. Some editing was done and linking narration was provided by the Dalek voice actor, David Graham. This was the first Doctor Who audio release of either an existing or original story, predating both Doctor Who and the Pescatons and the LP release of Genesis of the Daleks by a little over a decade.

External links[[edit]]


  1. 1.0 1.1 BBC Official Site
  2. We Are Cult
  3. 3.0 3.1 Marcus (11 March, 2010). No Beatles outside Europe. Doctor Who News. Retrieved on 23 January 2013.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Howe, David J., Stammers, Mark, Walker, Stephen James, 1992, The Sixties, Doctor Who Books, an imprint of Virgin Publishing Ltd, London, p.44