'Day of the Daleks' was the first Doctor Who story that I saw after being lent it on VHS by my uncle. It was also the first serial of Doctor Who’s ninth season, broadcast in January 1972. The story stars Jon Pertwee as the Doctor and Katy Manning as Jo Grant. It was written by Louis Marks.
It concerns freedom fighters coming back in time to assassinate Sir Reginald Styles – a diplomat who they believe will create a timeline leading to the Dalek takeover of Earth by triggering an explosion that will wipe out other world diplomats at a Peace Conference, which will become the catalyst for a third world war.
The adventure begins with the Doctor and Jo being captured by the freedom fighters who are mistaken in believing that he is Sir Reginald Styles. Trips between the twenty second century and whenever the UNIT stories are set (nobody seems quite sure) ensue, with the Doctor and Jo ruthlessly pursued by the Daleks and their latest sidekick the Ogrons.
The serial concludes with a pitch battle between Daleks and UNIT troops. As the Daleks enter the house where the conference was to be held, a freedom fighter, Shura, detonates a bomb, destroying the Daleks and providing the explosion remembered by “history”. However in this case the delegates have not been killed, meaning that the Dalek invasion timeline ceases to exist. This "timey-wimey" plotting is something that appears to have become the norm during recent seasons, but here it is in fact an early example of the plot device.
The serial was released on DVD in 2011 with the correct title 'Day of the Daleks' as the VHS releases of it contained an error in the form of a previous working title 'The Day of the Daleks'. This release featured a special edition release of the story, with new sequences filmed and updated Dalek voices provided by Nicholas Briggs.
We will be watching the “original transmitted version” of “Day of the Daleks” (as in the one which isn't the special edition) on Wednesday together by tweeting along using the hashtag #DWBar. The Bar opens at 7.30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there.