Doctor Who Concordance Wiki

"The Daleks" is the second story of the first season of Doctor Who.

The Daleks
Season 1 (1963-1964), Episode 5 to Episode 11
Air date 21 December 1963 - 1 February 1964
Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Christopher Barry and Richard Martin
Episode guide
100,000 BC
Inside the Spaceship


The Dead Planet[]

The Survivors[]

The Escape[]

The Ambush[]

The Expedition[]

The Ordeal[]

The Rescue[]

Background information[]

  • Writer Terry Nation was recommended to story editor David Whitaker by his fellow scriptwriter, Dennis Spooner. They both belonged to the same writers' agency, Associated London Scripts, which was set up in the mid-1950s by Ray Galton, Alan Simpson, Spike Milligan, and Frankie Howerd. Nation had written three science fiction scripts for the ABC anthology Out of this World. Despite initial reluctance, in July 1963 he submitted a storyline entitled "The Survivors".
  • On 31 July, Nation was commissioned to write for Doctor Who. Initially the brief was for a six-part serial, to be entitled "Doctor Who and the Mutants". One thing that changed during discussions with Whitaker was the date. "The Survivors" gives the year as 3000. As commissioned, the setting was still the future, but less precisely rounded: the 23rd century.
  • Susan's petrified flower is made of brittle sugar. The petals are pale pink, with darker pink dots, and the leaves are a faded green.
  • The script describes the magnedon: "A hideous reptile-like creature. A creature that has until now only existed in nightmares." Terry Nation tended to keep his scripted descriptions vague, to allow the designer freedom of imagination. The four-foot prop was considered an exceptional piece of work by Raymond Cusick. After the production finished, Verity Lambert took charge of the prop, and it adorned her office for many years.
  • The food machine sequence was included at director Christopher Barry's suggestion. He wanted to give some substance to the idea that the travellers actually live aboard the ship. The blocks of food were developed from a pun on the term "a square meal." The Doctor was scripted to collect up the plates and put them into the food machine, which starts whirring when he presses a button.
  • The doorways of the Dalek city were designed to suggest that the city's inhabitants are not of ordinary human stature.
  • The script describes the Daleks: "Four hideous machine-like creatures. They are legless, moving on a round base. They have no human features. A lens on a flexible shaft acts as an eye. Arms with mechanical grips for hands."
  • Nation and Barry both claim the credit for devising the Daleks' movement, but they agree that the inspiration was the Georgian State Dancers, a Soviet folk dance troupe founded in the 1930s. In their early 1960s repertory was a dance performed by women in hooped floor-length dresses, which made them appear as they floated across the stage.

Links and references[]


  • Dr. Who - William Hartnell
  • Ian Chesterton - William Russell
  • Barbara Wright - Jacqueline Hill
  • Susan Foreman - Carole Ann Ford
  • Dalek voices -
    • Peter Hawkins
    • David Graham
  • Daleks -
    • Robert Jewell
    • Kevin Manser
    • Michael Summerton
    • Gerald Taylor
    • Peter Murphy
  • Temmosus - Alan Wheatley
  • Alydon - John Lee
  • Dyoni - Virginia Weatherell
  • Ganatus - Philip Bond
  • Antodus - Marcus Hammond
  • Kristas - Jonathan Crane
  • Elyon - Gerald Curtis
  • Thals -
    • Chris Browning
    • Katie Cashfield
    • Vez Delahunt
    • Kevin Glenny
    • Ruth Harrison
    • Lesley Hill
    • Steve Pokol
    • Jeanette Rossini
    • Eric Smith

Uncredited performers[]


  • Written by Terry Nation
  • Directed by
  • Produced by Verity Lambert
  • Title Music by Ron Grainer with the BBC Radiophonic Workshop
  • Incidental Music by Tristram Cary
  • Story Editor - David Whitaker
  • Costume supervisor - Daphne Dare
  • Make-up supervisor - Elizabeth Blattner
  • Designers -
    • Raymond Cusick
    • Jeremy Davies
  • Associate Producer - Mervyn Pinfield


18th century; 2259; 2261; 2263

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