Serial K:
The Dalek Invasion Of Earth


The Doctor, Susan, Ian and Barbara find themselves on Earth in the mid-22nd century... and the Daleks have invaded. Now the streets of London are stalked by the Daleks' mind-controlled human puppets, the Robomen, while more terrible monsters roam the countryside. Allying themselves with a small band of freedom fighters, the companions try to reclaim the planet for humankind, and discover the true purpose of the Daleks' mining operations in Bedfordshire.


Even before their first serial had ended, the Daleks had become a phenomenon. Ratings for Doctor Who rose by nearly two-thirds over the course of The Daleks, resulting in the Doctor Who production team asking the monsters' creator, Terry Nation, to stop work on a historical tale, “The Red Fort”, and instead pen the science-fiction adventure The Keys Of Marinus at short notice. By the end of February 1964, less than a month after the broadcast of the final episode of their debut serial, there were already plans afoot to bring back the Daleks. Nation had agreed to write a sequel in which the Daleks invade Earth, and this was provisionally scheduled to be the final serial of the recording block. On March 17th, Nation was commissioned to write “The Daleks”, which shortly thereafter was retitled “The Invaders” and then “The Return Of The Daleks”.

As the end of the production season neared, the thoughts of producer Verity Lambert and story editor David Whitaker turned to Doctor Who's future. It was already decided that there would be a break in transmission following The Reign Of Terror, meaning that “The Return Of The Daleks” would be the second story of the programme's second season. Lambert and Whitaker were particularly concerned about the composition of their regular cast, and considered -- but eventually rejected -- writing out Barbara in order to reduce the cast size.

Carole Ann Ford felt that Susan was not being properly developed as a character

Meanwhile, Carole Ann Ford had grown unhappy on Doctor Who. She felt that Susan was not being properly developed as a character, and nothing had been done with her own suggestions, such as Susan having a crush on Ian. Ford's husband -- who was acting as her agent -- had unsuccessfully attempted to have her released from her contract prematurely. With this in mind, Lambert and Whitaker decided to replace Susan with another teenaged girl; the change would occur in “The Return Of The Daleks”. On July 30th, an exit scenario for Susan was written, which Nation then incorporated into his script for episode six.

Even as Nation's work on “The Return Of The Daleks” was progressing, Lambert was getting nowhere in her efforts to secure a second recording block for Doctor Who. By the middle of August, Chief of Programmes Donald Baverstock had only granted Lambert an extra four-part serial. Lambert was unwilling to write Susan out of Doctor Who if the series was to end a month later, however, and therefore urgently needed a firm decision from Baverstock: either further episodes would be authorised, in which case the new companion would have to be hurriedly cast, or else Doctor Who would end with the four-part serial, in which case a suitable set of scripts would need to be commissioned, the stars' contracts amended, and the end of “The Return Of The Daleks” suitably rewritten. Finally, on August 14th, Baverstock agreed to a thirteen-week extension beyond the Dalek sequel.

By this time, Nation had included in his scripts the character of a teenaged rebel named Saida, an English girl of Indian descent who was revealed as Dortmun's daughter after his death. Saida stowed away aboard the TARDIS at the story's conclusion, becoming the new companion. Subsequently, this character evolved into the Caucasian Jenny -- one of several changes made to the serial prior to recording. David Somheim's surname became Archer and finally Campbell. Baker was originally named Roger Krish, while Larry Madison's first name was initially Robbie. The setting moved forward by a century, and so references to the original Dalek attack occurring in 1980 were deleted. The Robomen were conceived as wearing only a small disc on their temple, with wires snaking into the hair. Instead of crocodiles, David and Susan were menaced by mutated humans in the sewers. Wells' role was originally much smaller -- he was freed from the Dalek shuttle by Ian and left to tend to other escapees. Three old women lived in the shanty in the woods, rather than the degenerate mother and daughter. The final episode saw the Daleks attempt to kill all their slaves by trapping them in the mines, which will be deluged with lava when the bombs explode.

Pamela Franklin was selected to play Jenny until it was decided that she would not join the TARDIS crew

On August 17th, Lambert selected Pamela Franklin to play Jenny. Unfortunately, at the same time Lambert was facing resistance from her other stars, who were unhappy with the new contracts tendered for the additional episodes. With the future of Doctor Who therefore still in doubt, Lambert elected to proceed with the elimination of Susan from the series in “The Return Of The Daleks”, but asked Nation to reduce the importance of Jenny in the scripts, with the character no longer joining the TARDIS crew. The diminished role would eventually be played by Ann Davies; Franklin would go on to acclaim in films such as The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie and The Legend Of Hill House. With the eventual negotiation of acceptable contracts for William Hartnell, William Russell and Jacqueline Hill -- as well as the guarantee of another thirteen weeks from Baverstock -- Susan's replacement would now be introduced in the serial following “The Return Of The Daleks”.

The four original Dalek casings constructed for The Daleks were used again in Serial K; two of these had to be borrowed back from Barnardo's children's home in Stepney, to which they had been donated following the broadcast of the original serial. Two new Daleks were also constructed. For the first time, Nation's scripts indicated different levels of authority amongst the Daleks, and so one of the casings was painted in black livery to serve as the Dalek Supreme. The most significant design change was the addition of a radio dish on the back of the Daleks to explain why they were not confined to the metal floors of their city on Skaro, as in The Daleks.

Richard Martin had most recently directed the first episode of Inside The Spaceship, and was originally intended to direct the preceding serial, Planet Of Giants, before being switched over to “The Return Of The Daleks”. Production began with four days of location filming on August 23rd, 25th, 27th and 28th; this was the first significant out-of-studio excursion for Doctor Who, the only previous exterior shooting having been three brief scenes for The Reign Of Terror. In particular, this was the first time that any of the regular cast appeared on location.

Designer Spencer Chapman raised the ire of the police when he put Dalek markings on some London monuments

The first three filming days were all spent at various locales throughout London. A number of familiar landmarks were used to establish the Daleks' dominance of the city, with designer Spencer Chapman raising the ire of the police when he used blanco to put Dalek markings on some of the monuments. The museum which served as the rebels' hideout was actually the Palace of Industry in Wembley; road scenes were also filmed at nearby Third Way. The dockland scenes were enacted at the disused Wood Lane Underground Station, while warehouse material was performed at St Katharine's Docks and Butler's Wharf in Southwark. The segments at the river were recorded at Hammersmith Bridge and Kew Bridge in Hounslow. The wharf used was Irongate Wharf at Tower Hamlets. August 28th then took cast and crew to John's Hole at Stone, near Dartford in Kent, which served as the Dalek mine. This was the first of many instances of a quarry being used as a location for Doctor Who.

By the time episode one was recorded on September 18th, the serial had been renamed The Dalek Invasion Of Earth (the title “The Daleks In Europe” may also have been considered). The taping of World's End coincided with the programme's switch to a new studio home, Riverside 1. Doctor Who's original facilities, Lime Grove D, had rapidly proven to be too cramped and archaic, and in recent months the show had bounced back and forth between several different studios while awaiting the availability of Riverside 1. This was the venue for all six episodes which, as usual, were recorded on consecutive Fridays.

On October 2nd, during camera rehearsals for Day Of Reckoning, Hartnell's back was injured during the scene where he was carried on a stretcher down the Dalek saucer ramp. The actors playing the Robomen and the Dalek prisoners had been instructed to break step while traversing the ramp but had failed to do so. This weakened the integrity of the structure, causing it to collapse. Although Hartnell was well enough to continue with the day's shooting, he was still experiencing pain days later. After correspondence from Hartnell's lawyer, the BBC agreed to pay for an x-ray, which fortunately indicated no permanent trauma to the spine.

William Hartnell's back was injured during rehearsals for episode three, so he was released from part four with pay

It was agreed that Hartnell would be released from the recording of The End Of Tomorrow on October 9th, with pay. Fortunately, the Doctor appeared in only one scene anyway, making it straightforward to modify the script. Originally, it was he who noticed the Dalek firebomb; in the recorded version, it was David who made the discovery. The Doctor instead collapsed at the very start of the scene, and the dialogue written for him was shared between David and Susan. Edmund Warwick was hired to double for the absent Hartnell. The star was able to return for part five, The Waking Ally. Because the General Election had taken place the day before recording, no videotape machines were available; consequently, this episode was recorded on 35mm film.

The completion of Flashpoint on October 23rd marked the end of Doctor Who's first recording block, and also the conclusion of Carole Ann Ford's tenure on the show. Ford thereafter acted primarily in the theatre, although her on-screen roles included the movie The Great St Trinian's Bank Robbery and TV series such as What Ever Happened To The Likely Lads?. Ford was injured while making a commercial in 1977 and she retired from acting to raise her family. Her subsequent work has mainly been restricted to Doctor Who-related roles, including returning as Susan for the anniversary specials The Five Doctors in 1983 and Dimensions In Time in 1993. She also played Susan in the Doctor Who Unbound audio plays Auld Mortality and A Storm Of Angels. Ford additionally appeared in Shakedown: Return Of The Sontarans and other direct-to-video productions.

The Dalek Invasion Of Earth was also the end of David Whitaker's time as the programme's story editor, although he was already committed to writing the next serial in production, The Rescue. Whitaker continued to contribute scripts to Doctor Who in addition to his involvement in a variety of spin-offs. The latter included scribing the stage play The Curse Of The Daleks, ghostwriting the TV Century 21 Dalek comic strip for more than one hundred weekly installments, and authoring two of the three Doctor Who novelisations published by Frederick Muller (of The Daleks and his own The Crusade). Whitaker maintained his writing career until his death from cancer on February 4th, 1980.

The Dalek Invasion Of Earth was adapted as the Peter Cushing film Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD

Whitaker also helped write the screenplay for both Dalek films produced by Milton Subotsky in association with Aaru Pictures. As with Dr Who And The Daleks (the big-screen version of The Daleks), the Aaru adaptation of The Dalek Invasion Of Earth, titled Daleks: Invasion Earth 2150 AD, starred Peter Cushing as human scientist “Dr Who”. It premiered on July 22nd, 1966.

Whitaker's replacement as story editor was Dennis Spooner, who had started trailing Whitaker on August 6th; Spooner had recently written The Reign Of Terror. The change-over formally occurred on October 31st, by which time Whitaker had already completed much of the groundwork for the early portion of the second recording block. Also winding down his involvement in Doctor Who around this time was Mervyn Pinfield, who had been serving as the programme's associate producer as well as directing a handful of episodes. It was now felt that Lambert had enough experience as a producer to carry on without additional supervision, and so the associate producer post was abandoned. Pinfield -- who would still be credited on-screen for two more serials -- continued directing (including episodes Doctor Who) until his retirement from television in the mid-Sixties. He passed away soon thereafter.

Although the Daleks had been very popular after their initial outing, the fortuitous scheduling of The Dalek Invasion Of Earth during November and December 1964 incited a surge of Dalek-related hype throughout the holiday season. Christmas 1964 saw dozens of items of Dalek (and, occasionally, Doctor Who) merchandise invade stores. Riding this wave, The Dalek Invasion Of Earth became the series' most successful serial to date, hitting highs of 12.4 million for both the second and sixth episodes and -- more notably -- making Doctor Who one of the week's Top Ten television programmes.

  • Doctor Who: The Handbook: The First Doctor by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker (1994), Virgin Publishing, ISBN 0 426 20430 1.
  • Doctor Who: The Sixties by David J Howe, Mark Stammers and Stephen James Walker (1992), Virgin Publishing, ISBN 1 85227 420 4.
  • Doctor Who Magazine #280, 28th July 1999, “Archive: The Dalek Invasion Of Earth” by Andrew Pixley, Panini UK Ltd.
  • Doctor Who Magazine Special Edition #7, 12th May 2004, “I'm Into Something Good” by Andrew Pixley, Panini Publishing Ltd.

Original Transmission
1: World's End
Date 21st Nov 1964
Time 5.41pm
Duration 23'42"
Viewers (more) 11.4m (12th)
· BBC1 11.4m
Appreciation 63%
2: The Daleks
Date 28th Nov 1964
Time 5.41pm
Duration 24'19"
Viewers (more) 12.4m (10th)
· BBC1 12.4m
Appreciation 59%
3: Day Of Reckoning
Date 5th Dec 1964
Time 5.40pm
Duration 26'50"
Viewers (more) 11.9m (10th)
· BBC1 11.9m
Appreciation 59%
4: The End Of Tomorrow
Date 12th Dec 1964
Time 5.40pm
Duration 23'23"
Viewers (more) 11.9m (11th)
· BBC1 11.9m
Appreciation 59%
5: The Waking Ally
Date 19th Dec 1964
Time 5.41pm
Duration 24'29"
Viewers (more) 11.4m (18th)
· BBC1 11.4m
Appreciation 58%
6: Flashpoint
Date 26th Dec 1964
Time 5.59pm
Duration 25'41"
Viewers (more) 12.4m (12th)
· BBC1 12.4m
Appreciation 63%

Dr Who
William Hartnell
Ian Chesterton
William Russell
Barbara Wright
Jacqueline Hill
Susan Foreman
Carole Ann Ford
Carl Tyler
Bernard Kay
David Campbell
Peter Fraser
Alan Judd
Martyn Huntley
Peter Badger
Dalek machines operated by
Robert Jewell
Gerald Taylor
Nick Evans
Kevin Manser
Peter Murphy
Dalek voices
Peter Hawkins
David Graham
Ann Davies
Michael Goldie
Michael Davis
Richard McNeff
Larry Madison
Graham Rigby
Nicholas Smith
Slyther operator
Nick Evans
Patrick O'Connell
The Women in the Wood
Jean Conroy
Meriel Hobson
An Insurgent
Robert Aldous

Written by
Terry Nation
Directed by
Richard Martin
Produced by
Verity Lambert

Fights Arranged by
Peter Diamond
Title music by
Ron Grainer
with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
Incidental music composed and conducted by
Francis Chagrin
Film Cameraman
Peter Hamilton
Film Editor
John Griffiths
Costumes supervised by
Daphne Dare
Make-up supervised by
Sonia Markham
Elizabeth Blattner
Howard King
Jack Brummitt
Story Editor
David Whitaker
Spencer Chapman
Associate Producer
Mervyn Pinfield

Working Titles
Whole Story
The Daleks
The Invaders
The Return Of The Daleks
The Daleks In Europe
Episode 4
The Abyss
Episode 6
Earth Rebels

Updated 24th March 2013