Reimagining Doctor Who

The Dalek Invasion of Earth 

Episode notes

There are two aspects of the original that require changing; firstly, the slavishly-kept aesthetic of the Blitz in a story set 200 years in its future; and, secondly, that there is no reason for the Doctor to not go back and retrieve or even visit Susan at least once after this point (though I maintain that it is Susan and not the Doctor’s mother in “The End of Time”!)

There is also the parallel universe aspect of “The Day of the Daleks”, in which a future Earth ruled by Daleks is averted.  So, pulling all of these strands together, I think this would work better if this story is set in that parallel Earth we see later in the Third Doctor’s era, with the TARDIS jumping a time track applied as the explanation (from the original “The Space Museum”), preventing the Doctor from ever piloting a return.  It would also allow us to have more of a mash of the Blitz era London, and a more modern depiction of the city (akin to the bezepellined London of Pete’s World in “Rise of the Cybermen” and on the Target novelisation cover of “The Daleks Invasion of Earth”). The setting of this story in a parallel Earth of the future would also add extra pathos to the stories set on parallel Earths in the future, where the Doctor keeps missing Susan’s time (too early).

We then have the problem of Susan’s departure.  The Doctor needs to be more present to Susan’s feelings for David over the months over which this story unfolds, perhaps being in the TARDIS and unavoidably overhearing the moment that David and Susan confess their love for one another – which necessitates that this story is told over a much longer period of time – while he is in the TARDIS with the scanner on (just as is referred to in “The Rescue”, except this time with Ian and Barbara already within, and themselves now also very much in love).

The plot needs tightening and heightening, but the lunacy of hollowing out the Earth’s core is now too iconic to be fixed. If anything, it really underscores how powerful and advanced the Daleks are.  Interestingly, we don’t solve the mystery of why the Daleks wish to pilot the Earth away from its place in the universe… (linking to “Journey’s End”).

Going forward from here on in, each occasion of a returning enemy which is referred to in the title must be introduced in the Cold Open, whether visually or through dialogue.


Cold Open

Open with Susan looking out over a river at sunset (that turns out to be the Thames, after the TARDIS has left), as she begins to recount the adventures so far, including flashes to ones not seen, such as Yartek and the Voord at the end of The Keys of Marinus, the end of episode one of The Sensorites, Susan and Barbara in a cell waiting to be taken to the guillotine in The Reign of Terror, Galaxy Four (including a quick cutaway scene which depicts a pulp SF war with ray guns and robots between the Drahvins and their Chumblies against the Dominators, who have subjugated the Rills), the four being confronted by themselves as exhibits in The Space Museum, maybe a scene of the Doctor and Susan dressed as a boy in the court of King John in The Crusade (?), the four of them running into the TARDIS just as noon strikes in Tombstone in The Gunfighters, the elephants and the Monoids in the garden in The Ark, the Doctor arguing with Jano in The Savages, and the Doctor and his companions uncovering the mystery of the rhyme amongst the tombstones while being held hostage in The Smugglers, the scene with Koquillion in the Hall of Judgement from The Rescue, before pivoting to her sense of growing up and the need to find a sense of place so as to strike out and call her own and home. Susan explains that this is the story of her final adventure, when the Daleks invaded the Earth.


Act One


The TARDIS struggles to materialise before it eventually lands under the northern end of Battersea Bridge in World’s End. The crew emerge to explore the sight of the Thames riverbank – they are back home in London! But there is no movement, no sound. Meanwhile, Susan has precariously clambered up rubble for a better view of their surrounds and is called out to by a worried Barbara, but it is too late; Susan triggers a collapse and the TARDIS is buried, narrowly missing Ian and the Doctor. The collapse separates the TARDIS crew on either side of the fallen bridge, while the tremendous noise has alerted other to their presence. Whilst Susan and Barbara are met by an unseen figure at gunpoint, the Doctor and Ian are menaced by black-suited and -helmeted paratroopers. As they back away towards the river in a planned attempt to swim to escape, they are confronted by the image of a Dalek emerging from the Thames.


Susan and Barbara have been taken into an unused sewer by the mysterious figure, who introduces himself as Tyler. Tyler has been evading a patrol of Robomen – the helmeted paratroopers who have now seized the Doctor and Ian – who were hot on his heels as he made his way back to the underground base of the resistance after foraging for food.

The Doctor and Ian are interrogated by the Dalek, who reveals that the Earth is already conquered before ordering that the prisoners are marched back to the Dalek mothership for interrogation and assessment.

Susan and Barbara are brought into the underground resistance base, where they meet David Campbell, who tells them of what has happened to the Earth (which we see in flashback), and the rebel leader, the wheelchair-bound Dortmun.

The Doctor and Ian meet other rebels, including a woman named Craddock and two brothers, Larry and Phil Madison, who have been rounded up by the Daleks. Craddock tells them that this is not the first time that she has escaped from the Daleks, having fled from their enormous work camp in the reclaimed lands of Cambridgeshire, north of London, where they are undertaking an enormous mining effort for reasons that nobody as yet worked out or discovered.

Barbara and Susan learn from David what the Robomen are, and the fate that now awaits Ian and the Doctor. Dortmun is preparing the rebels for an imminent, final attack on the Dalek mothership, during which time they hear the Dalek propaganda broadcasts. This time, they have a secret weapon; a bomb made of Dalekanium that has formed much of Dortmun’s secret work over the last two years. Barbara suggests the ruse that some of the rebels disguise themselves as Robomen in order to get them into the Dalek ship from which they can rescue the Doctor and Ian.

In a holding pen with all the other rebels aboard the Dalek mothership, the Doctor and Ian conjecture how the Daleks could have come to conquer the Earth given that they defeated them on Skaro. The Doctor is not certain, but the TARDIS had enormous difficulty when it landed them in this time and space. Before they can talk further, the Doctor and Craddock are taken for interrogation and selection.

Crisis Point

The rebels lead a pitched battle on the Dalek mothership, but things start to fall apart quickly. The disguised Robomen fight to maintain their minds as the suits and helmets begin to interlace with their bodies and minds, eventually succumbing to the effects and turning on the rebels.

Worse still, Dortmun’s bombs are proving ineffective against the Daleks and – with the information from Craddock’s mind regarding the rebel’s base – the rebels are being massacred by the Daleks and the Robomen both within at the heliport and in the underground.

The Daleks continue their interrogation of the Doctor and learn that he has valuable knowledge beyond this planet and even time. The Dalek Supreme orders that he is to be taken for maximum extraction.

Back at the rebels’ base, Daleks have infiltrated. Dortmun stands up to them, futilely throwing his bombs at them. In the ensuing chaos, Tyler, David, and Susan barely manage to escape into the sewers with their lives.

Meanwhile, Barbara fortuitously finds Ian and they go to rescue the Doctor – but they are too late: The Doctor has already begun conversion into a Dalek Roboman.

Ian and Barbara, along with Larry Madison, escape through the disposal chute as the mothership takes off from Chelsea heliport. The last of the rebels have been routed and the Daleks are now on their way to the centre of their mining operation in the British isles to the north of London.

The Daleks have won.


Act Two


Some time has passed. Separately, Ian, Barbara and Larry as well as Susan, David and Tyler have been making their way north through the deserted remains of Greater London, evading Robomen and Dalek patrols, packs of wild dogs, colonies descended from escaped zoo animals, and Dalek collaborators. They are on their way to the centre of Dalek operations; an enormous mine situated in the Fenlands of Cambridgeshire and the East Midlands.

All over the world, the Daleks have finally subsumed all pockets of resistance. They keep in touch with other members of the global resistance through radio, but they cannot use it too often as it give away their location. We see, in The Great Escape style. what happens to the other members of the resistance, most of whom are either sent to the slave camps, or exterminated on sight by the Daleks. The remaining human populations on each continent have been herded into work camps, all of which are located beneath sea level in places including; Death Valley, California, the Caspian and Dead Seas, Turfan in China, the Coal Lagoon in Argentina, the Arta region of Africa, Lake Eyre in Australia, and the Byrd Glacier, Antarctica. There, they are watched over by the Robomen and work to excavate tunnels deep into the planet’s core.

Turning point

Ian and Barbara are captured by the Daleks and sent to the mine when they are betrayed by two women who make clothing for the enslaved human population.

The Doctor, under the guise of a Roboman, finds Susan, David and Tyler. The Doctor escaped the Dalek mothership after it landed in the mine in his disguise, and has been gathering information as to what the Daleks are doing and how to stop them.

Rising Action

Ian and Barbara attempt to lead an insurrection against the Robomen, but fail. In the mine, Ian notices that the Daleks have enormous machines and tens of thousands of people to do the excavation – but there are no processing plants or machinery to refine anything like ore. It means that the Daleks have no interest in any mineral wealth of the planet, but he cannot understand why they would be drilling into the Earth for the sake of it. Barbara comes up with an idea for getting into the Dalek mothership so that they can find out, figuring if they knew why the Daleks were mining then maybe they could learn how to defeat them: Barbara brings Ian to the Daleks, saying that she has uncovered a global plot against them and that Ian is one of the ringleaders.

The Doctor brings Susan, David and Tyler into the work camp through an underground tunnel from the time of the reclamation of the Fens from sea level flooding caused by global warming, which he has discovered from an abandoned local library he has made his base. He has also discovered what he believes to be the reason why the Daleks are on Earth and the intent of their plans in drilling into the planet. More intriguingly, he long ago discovered how the Daleks will be defeated (but he will only do so when the time is right…)

The Daleks plan to deploy a bomb that will allow them to break through into the Earth’s core, having stabilised the flow of magma from the mantle through their control of electromagnetism.

Crisis Point

As Barbara bluffs the Daleks with the details of the supposed global plot against them, Ian attempts to observe the scientific readouts on their machines in an attempt to understand why; however, they are soon rumbled.

The Daleks release the bomb that will detonate the mantle layer of the Earth and expose its core.


Act Three


At that point, the Doctor enters the Dalek mothership with Tyler disguised as a Roboman. We have a classic showdown between the Doctor and the Daleks, with the Doctor telling the Daleks that they know nothing about the strengths of humanity.


The Doctor is able firstly to order the Robomen to revolt against the Daleks and side with the humans, who rise up against them not just in England but globally. Secondly, the Doctor is able to destabilise the Daleks’ static electricity fields that allows them to move around on Earth and even aboard their ship just in time as their bomb detonates. With the earth’s core exposed to them through the tunnels that they have been drilling, atop which their motherships are positioned across the world, the magnetic field of the planet begins to draw anything metallic within range down the shaft and into the Earth’s thick layer of magma, sending the Daleks into the fires of hell.


Susan’s departure scene by the Thames at sunset (except this time, it’s Susan who chooses and tells the Doctor that she has found a home in this London of the future and wants to stay behind with David).

Remember to share your thoughts in the comments section below, please.

(Available 23 September 2023)


(Previous episode: The Aztecs)

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