The Daleks

1st Doctor

Susan Ian Barbera

Location: Skaro


As the Doctor tries in vain to return Ian and Barbara to their own time, the companions find themselves on the planet Skaro. Skaro is home to two races, both mutated in a long ago war. 
The Thals are now beautiful and peace-loving, while the Daleks are evil monsters housed inside robotic travelling machines. 
The Thals have come to the Dalek city to make amends with their long-ago enemies, but the Daleks secretly plot to exterminate the entire Thal race.
 NOVEL  By  David Whitaker

Target first edition publication date: May, 1973
Target first edition cover by Chris Achilleos
First edition illustrations by Arnold Schwartzman


The Daleks (sometimes called "The Dead Planet") is the second ever Doctor Who serial, presented with all seven unedited episodes on one tape. First broadcast between December 1963 and February 1964, the story ensured the programme's success by introducing the Doctor's most iconic enemies. Five hundred years after a nuclear war has devastated the planet Skaro, the Doctor (William Hartnell), Barbara, Ian and Susan materialise in a petrified forest where the pacifist, and decidedly camp, Thals face starvation. Our heroes visit a nearby city, the home of the last remaining Daleks, terrifyingly cold-blooded mutants encased in armed, pepper-pot-like shells, and become involved in a desperate battle for survival.

Given a nightmarish atmosphere by Tristram Cary's surreal electronic score, The Daleks proved the template for many a future Doctor Who adventure. Hartnell's Doctor is a surprisingly self-serving hero and the ambitious storytelling, which reflects the Cold War fears of the time, belies a tiny budget. The remastered picture sometimes looks digitised, but this story, remade for the cinema as Dr Who and the Daleks (1965) and starring Peter Cushing, is still both an effective, if at times unintentionally hilarious, entertainment and an essential piece of television history. A superior sequel, "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" was screened in late 1964. --Gary S Dalkin

From the Back Cover
The TARDIS lands on Skaro, a seemingly dead world with high levels of radiation. Seeing a deserted city, the Doctor deliberately sabotages his TARDIS in order to force Ian, Barbara and Susan to explore further. But the city is not as dead as it first appears. The TARDIS crew are captured by sinister metal creatures that silently glide through the corridors and walkways - Daleks!
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