Trash Culture’s Dr. Who Reviews – The Daleks’ Master Plan (1966)

by Chad Denton

"I'll never be able to figure out these cigarette rolling machines. Confound it!"
"I'll never be able to figure out these cigarette rolling machines. Confound it all! And I don't even smoke."

The Daleks begin planning for something called “Operation Inferno” while Mavic Chen, “guardian of the solar system”, confides in an ally that he is planning to betray Earth and its colonies to the invaders in exchange for power. Meanwhile the TARDIS appears on Kembel (the planet from “Mission to the Unknown”) where the Doctor sets out to explore, leaving Steven to recover with Katarina’s help. Steven and Katarina are rescued from a Dalek patrol by Bret and Kert, two soldiers looking for Marc Cory, although the latter is killed by the Daleks. The Doctor learns that they are in the year 4000 and that the Daleks are up to something, but nobody can agree what to do as Steven, the Doctor, and Bret indulge in some alpha male posturing. To escape a fire in the jungle started by the Daleks in order to smoke them out, the Doctor and the others sneak into the Dalek base, where they and their allies have gathered again. While the Doctor disguises himself as one of the representatives, the others work on stealing Mavic Chen’s spaceship. At the meeting, Mavic Chen presents a weapon called the “time destructor” that needs a rare element called taranium, but before the Doctor can learn more his ruse is exposed. Bret prepares to fly the ship without the Doctor in order to make sure they warn Earth before getting caught, but the Doctor makes it to the ship in time, along with the taranium, which he managed to steal in the confusion.

On the way to Earth, the Doctor produces the tape left by Corey, which he found in the jungle. Of course, the tape confirms their suspicions that the Daleks are planning a massive invasion of the solar system. Soon the Daleks manage to cause their ship to crash and unfortunately it happens to land on a prison planet. The Doctor uses electricity to keep the prisoners at bay long enough for Bret to repair the ship while the pursuing Daleks accidentally crash on the planet too. Unfortunately, one criminal who managed to get in the ship regardless takes Katarina hostage and threatens to kill her unless they take him to the nearest planet, which happens to be Kembel. After the others comply, Katarina opens the airlock, killing both her and the criminal. Steven cannot believe that she could have done it deliberately, but the Doctor thinks otherwise.

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