Classic Doctor Who Review: Before The Time War, There Was The Master Plan

The Daleks’ Master Plan is a Doctor Who television series which was aired by the BBC in late 1965.when William Hartnell was still in the lead role. Terry Nation and Dennis Spooner share the writing credit for this twelve episode saga. A prologue episode known as Mission to the Unknown is included in this CD set. The serial exists mostly in soundtrack. Peter Purves provides narration an does well.

Peter Purves plays Steven Taylor, one of the First Doctor’s companions, during this era. The Doctor has stolen a component for the Time Destructor from the Daleks and fled through space and time. Nicholas Courtney makes his first appearance in the series before he became better known as Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart. Jean Marsh joins the TARDIS crew as Space Security officer Sara Kingdom. Kevin Stoney plays Mavic Chen. Adrienne Hill joined the TARDIS crew in the previous adventure as Katarina.

As a fan, it was fun to finally experience the performances even if I could not see them. Hartnell still messes up some lines and not all of the writing is all that well thought out. The performances are a little hit and miss throughout the cast. This thing is twelve episodes of varying quality, but nothing ended up being truly awful. There was obviously some noticeable padding and somewhat unnecessary detours.

There were some interesting risks taken in that the notion of possible death of those who join the Doctor in the TARDIS gets explored here.

This was not worth twelve episodes, but the serial has a certain iconic place in Doctor Who history, so it was still quite the treat to finally hear it. It was a fairly enjoyable adventure even if it did take some extra concentration to stay engaged.

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