As I write this article, Doctor Who fans are (allegedly) in tears over the departure of the Ponds last weekend. However, in this week’s Doctor Who Bar Wednesday session, we will be going back to the very first departure of a companion, in Terry Nation’s “The Dalek Invasion of Earth”.
After the success of the original Dalek story, the Producers of Doctor Who were keen for the enemies to return. Nation wrote a six part story in which the Daleks invaded the Earth, planning to extract the core of the planet and pilot it anywhere around the universe.
“The Dalek Invasion of Earth” makes great use of its setting. The
London landmarks sprayed with Dalek graffiti reminds us that this story is indeed happening where we live, and that increases the tension. The Daleks trundling over Westminster Bridge is an iconic image that is still recognised today.
This serial was also adapted into the film “Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD” starring Peter Cushing. It was the second and last of the Peter Cushing films due to the fact that it wasn't as popular as the first film - "Dr. Who & the Daleks." The movie is noted however for featuring the first Doctor Who appearance of Bernard Cribbins.
The story ends with the Doctor double-locking Susan out of the Tardis, knowing that if he doesn't she’ll sacrifice her own happiness (Susan has fallen in love with a character in this story, the freedom fighter David Campbell) to look after her grandfather. It is painful for the Doctor to leave Susan behind, but it's because that he knows that she would never leave him which is why he leaves her. It's a lovely poignant scene, watch out for it! This marks the very first time we see a companion depart, and you can bet if they had had Twitter back then, attention seeking fangirls would be all over this scene. Susan would return in the Twentieth Anniversary special "The Five Doctors", as well as in a number of Big Finish audio productions.
So join us on Wednesday Night and tweet along. Bar opens at 7:30pm and we press play at 8.00pm. Hope to see you there.