Reimagining Doctor Who

The Dalek Masterplan

Episode notes

Just imagine this story done on a modern television budget…

It should be huge. It should build on and deliver to beyond the expectations of the audience’s expectations of sci-fi.  It should be utterly terrifying in the way that it presents the Daleks, as the most advanced and war-like race of alien ever seen in any sci-fi movie.  It should be epic in the way it sweeps across the universe, not as padding but as build up. It should take the best of both “The Chase” and the three chase-about episodes of this original “The Daleks’ Master Plan”, and put the Doctor, Ian, and Barbara in the sights of the Daleks as the hunted to their implacable hunters. (We can even meet both Brett Vyon and Sara Kingdom in the first part, and Steven in the second.)

It should be tight and suspenseful, in the first part as a suspense story revolving around the discovery of the Daleks’ plans, with the Doctor’s delaying them through the ruse of the fake Terranium core, and in the second part as the Chase through Time and Space, as the Daleks close in and the Doctor, Ian, and Barbara, who must face the Daleks when they next land, in Egypt on the plains of Giza, it turns out. 

The climax sees the Doctor return to Kembel to fix what he did in giving the Daleks and Chen the core, which he intends to use on the Daleks by switching it on manually.  Meanwhile, Ian and Barbara sneak into the Dalek base and step out to prevent the Doctor from activating the Time Destructor, but he acts decisively to send them back home to London, 1965. As Kembel around him is subjected to the effects of the Time Destructor, and the Daleks all crumble away to dust, the Doctor escapes into the TARDIS – neither affected as all else has been on the planet. 

But the damage has been done, and the resolution is as we see in the original, with the Doctor ageing hundreds of years, except here adding our first glimpse of regenergy around the Doctor’s form, which lasts until the final scene.  At the end, we see the Doctor alone in the TARDIS, recreating his monologue in the scene at the end of “The Massacre”, as he flicks the dematerialisation switch and he and the console begin to become consumed in the bright light.

Cold Open

The Doctor, Ian and Barbara are pursued by a Dalek execution squad through time and space (via montage).




The camera pulls back and we realise that the Doctor has been fiddling with the Space-Time Visualiser, where the TARDIS team see themselves pursued by a Dalek execution squad through time and space. At that moment, the TARDIS materialises. Ian is suffering from blood poisoning resulting from his fight at the sack of Troy, and is being tended to by Barbara – they need to get medical treatment to Ian quickly or he will die.

Bret Vyon and Kert Gantry are on the planet Kembel; one of the potential destinations that the Space Security Group have identified for Marc Cory and his missing crew. They find the almost-atomised remains of the ship in the jungle upon landing, and set out towards the same imposing edifice that Cory and his team observed six months previously.

In the Dalek installation, we are introduced to the members of the coalition against the Earth, including Mavic Chen, the Guardian of the Solar System.

Rising Action

The TARDIS has materialised on the planet Kembel; the same jungle planet we saw in the cold open and in Mission: Unknown.  In searching out the immediate area in which the TARDIS has landed, the Doctor finds Cory’s holocube recording, pockets it, and then sets off to find medical treatment, having spotted a structure on the horizon.

Bret and Kert have infiltrated the Dalek installation through the service ducts, evading Dalek observation posts and surveillance. The Doctor has also got into the base and runs into Bret and Kert, who treat him with hostility. In backing away from them, the Doctor trips a wire and they are almost immediately set upon by Daleks, who identify him as an enemy of their race, before he quickly destroys them. Bret and Kert are convinced that the Doctor will be a useful ally, and under the Doctor’s direction they quickly move on towards the heart of the Dalek base to discover what they are planning so that they can defeat it before Bret and Kert will allow the Doctor to share their medipacs with Ian. The Doctor proposes a show of good faith; he provides them with Cory’s holocube recording in return for the medipac.

The detection of intruders in the base alerts the Daleks, who set to burning the jungle as they are no longer able to devote their resources to finding them. Soon, everything and everyone in the jungle will be incinerated – including the TARDIS. We cut to Ian and Barbara, with Barbara desperately trying to keep Ian conscious as Ian relates memories and long held-back feelings about her from their time travelling with the Doctor.

Back in the conference room, the politicking among the delegates and the first splits in the coalition begin to appear; in particular, between Mavic Chen and Delegate Zephon. They are watched by the Doctor, Bret and Kert. The conference is soon temporarily adjourned in light of these difficulties, and we observe a continuation of the argument between Zephon and Chen as they watch the torching of the surface of the planet below. The conference is due to restart imminently, but Zephon says that he is too important to the masterplan and that it will recommence when he returns, before he storms off. Chen and Zephon are silently overheard by both the Daleks and the Doctor, Bret, and Kert.

Back in the TARDIS, Ian’s situation has degenerated further, and he is close to death as Barbara weeps for him. Outside it, the Daleks’ “pyro flames” have created an inferno of a forest fire that now begins to close in on the TARDIS.

Bret hatches a plan to have the Doctor replace Zephon, who is a vegetative creature whose body is fully covered by his robes, in order that they may learn more about this plot to then take that intel back to Earth’s Space Security Service. Having done so, they send the Doctor back into the conference room, with the other delegates angry at Zephon’s display of arrogance towards them all. There, the masterplan is revealed: They will deploy on Earth and its people the Time Destructor, a weapon that will speed up the ageing process on the planet and all humans until they fall to dust, before they sweep through the Solar System uncontested and become masters of the universe. The Time Destructor is powered by taranium, which has been mined and processed on the moons of Uranus by Chen over the last 50 years. Appalled, the Doctor sits in the conference chamber but can do nothing for now.

Meanwhile, the fires begin to lick the outside doors of the TARDIS…

First Crisis Point

At that moment, Zephon breaks free of Kert, killing him with his poisonous tentacles before escaping to sound the alarm. Bursting through the chamber doors, Zephon points screaming at the Doctor’s hooded figure. The Doctor jumps out of his seat and grabs the taranium core from the Time Destructor as Bret escapes from his vantage point and flees in the direction of the space port. Surrounded by Daleks and the delegates, they are about to be exterminated when…

… the TARDIS dematerialises from the immediate danger of the pyro flames…

… and materialises around the Doctor just as the Daleks are about to exterminate him.

Instead, the Daleks’ rays bounce off the TARDIS’ exterior shell. The Daleks call for the pyro flame attachments. While they wait, the Doctor taunts them through the Space-Time Visualiser, saying that he has never seen such a miserable collection of miscreants and that he has foiled the Daleks yet again: If they want the taranium core to power their Time Destructor against the Earth, they’re going to have to come and get it from him. The TARDIS dematerialises.

Rising action continued

In the Dalek conference chamber, the blaming has already begun. Zephon is exterminated, to Chen’s silent delight, after which Tantris upbraids the Daleks for endangering their collective masterplan in trusting Chen – the Doctor is clearly humanoid, while his two companions were from Earth’s Space Security Service. The unholy alliance is on shaky ground, but Chen’s oratory wins them back over to his and the Daleks’ side again, only just and perhaps only for the time being. The Daleks reveal to the delegates that they will retrieve the taranium core from the Doctor.

Back on board the TARDIS, the Doctor throws the medipac to Barbara with which to treat Ian with, who then makes a quick and full recovery. Barbara is relieved and elated, wiping away tears and holding Ian close. They almost kiss – but don’t (not yet, anyway).

Bret, meanwhile, has clambered aboard Chen’s spaceship – The Spar – and escapes Kembel unharmed by utilising the approvals granted to Chen. He looks to upload the holocube’s message using the onboard computer, but it is overridden by Chen, who has commanded that he now be pursued by his personal security force, led by Sara Kingdom.


The Daleks unveil their own space-time machine, and together with Chen pursue the Doctor in the TARDIS.



Rising action

The Doctor, Ian and Barbara attempt to evade the Daleks, but it is clear that they are locked in on their trail and that – each time they land – there is less and less time to evade and attempt to defeat the Daleks. Unlike the TARDIS, the Daleks clearly have control over where and when they are going, giving them an extra advantage in that they will always be able to pilot their machine to follow them, until they have succeeded in their mission.

Bret, meanwhile, realises that he cannot convince his sister, Sara, in time. Instead, he buys himself a few precious minutes more by taking the Spar into hyperspace, during which time he records his own holocube message to transmit to Sara. The Spar emerges from hyperspace, crashlanding on a desolate plane. Sara lands immediately after him, and shoots him dead. Upon returning to her ship, she informs Chen that she has been successful in her mission, afterwards brushing away a solitary tear from her otherwise stoic face. It’s at that point that she sees the message alert. She presses play. We don’t see or hear the message beyond the opening few words, but we do see Sara’s reaction to it; one of disbelief and inconsolable remorse.

Cue a series of scenes set in different locations taken from “The Chase” and “The Daleks’ Master Plan”, including the Marie Celeste, atop the Empire State Building, the 1996 World Fair in Ghana, etc., as well as the domed city of Mechanus where we meet Steven Taylor, before we head to Egypt for the final battle and where we have a spectacular fight between the Daleks and the armies of Pharoah as conducted by the Doctor. In the meantime, the Doctor has converted the power provided by the taranium to act as personal shields for himself, Ian, and Barbara, and anyone else they meet along the way, against the Daleks’ extermination rays.

First Crisis Point

The Doctor lures the Daleks and Chen into the tomb of the Great Pyramid of Giza, where they are entombed forever, supposedly through the power of the taranium, (which is actually a fake), which holds just enough power in it to hold the Daleks and Chen suspended in a single moment in time, holding them in statis for eternity but that wipes them out of time after that moment has passed outside that bubble. The Doctor escapes in the TARDIS, but the Daleks and Chen are not trapped; they recall their machine, take the taranium that was meant to hold them in check, and arrive back to Kembel, following the trail of the Doctor’s TARDIS, which has already arrived. The Daleks have won.

Rising Action (continued)

Back on Kembel, no time has passed as the fake taranium core is fitted to the Time Destructor. Chen is trying to ingratiate himself with the other delegates brought to Kembel, but they are hostile to him. He introduces two of these delegates, Trantis and Celation, to the idea of the Doctor — a “creature from another galaxy”. It would appear that the Doctor’s galaxy is unknown to both of these races as they have not mastered this technology yet. The Daleks enter into this conversation and say that the time destructor is ready for its test run and that the subject has been selected. It is revealed that Trantis is to be the test subject due to the fact he has proven no use to the Daleks. Trantis is placed in a cell with the machine and the machine is switched on, but it has no effect on Trantis. The Daleks check their readings and state that everything in the machine is working properly and that it must be the taranium. The Daleks accuse Chen of lying to them and supplying them fake taranium, but Chen says it must be the Doctor who switched the mineral. The Daleks begin to hunt for the Doctor on Kembel. Before they leave, they exterminate Trantis.

The Doctor tells Ian and Barbara what he is about to do: Take the real taranium core back to the Daleks so that he can detonate the Time Destructor on Kembel. Ian and Barbara are appalled, but he tells them that the TARDIS will take them away at the moment of impact. Just as it relocated at the moment it was threatened by the pyro flames, asks Ian, to which the Doctor says that that time it was due to him having made preparations for his own personal security ahead of facing the Daleks again rather than the TARDIS ever having been in danger of mere fire. Alas, it is a trick that he can’t pull off a second time, but that at the last moment of safety, the TARDIS will dematerialise of its own accord after the Time Destructor is detonated. After he leaves, Ian and Barbara begin to come to terms with the impending self-sacrifice of the old man and what their lives will become aboard the TARDIS, perhaps taking the rest of their lives to return home.  It’s at that point that Barbara remembers that the Daleks’ time machine, unlike the TARDIS, can be directed, and that they have a greater chance of getting home in their time machine than in the TARDIS. They leave the TARDIS one last time, and attempt to catch up with the Doctor.

Meanwhile, the alliance has unravelled. The rest of the delegates revolt against Chen, saying that now they have the taranium back he serves no purpose to them. They decide to vote him out. Their deviousness is interrupted by Chen and the Daleks. Chen gives a speech explaining how it has been decided by the Daleks and he that Chen is to be the leader of the Galactic Council because of his success with the taranium and his superiority to the rest of them. This disgruntles the other delegates, who move towards Chen so as to attack him; in the scuffle, Chen shoots Gearon, one of the delegates, and says that they have to yield to his power. After the dust has settled from this dispute, the delegates realise that they have been left alone in the room and that bars have been put up around the doors. Soon the Daleks return to exterminate the delegates.

The Doctor has reached the Dalek base, where he overhears the Daleks exterminate the delegates in their newly-formed cells. He is intercepted by Ian and Barbara, whom he scolds for leaving the TARDIS, but who help him on his way before they ask him to send them back in the Daleks’ time machine. He sets the co-ordinates for 23 November, 1963 – or at least he thinks that he has – but is unsure whether this will send them home or disperse their molecules throughout the Space-Time Vortex. Ian says that they don’t seem to have much choice, and agreeing, the Doctor says goodbye to him and Barbara before sending them on their way.

Second Crisis Point

As Ian and Barbara depart, the Doctor is captured by Chen and the Daleks.


Sara Kingdom appears with a gun trained on Chen. She says that she has betrayed her and all of humanity, which amuses him. Chen orders she be killed, but at that point, the Doctor produces the real taranium core. The Daleks know that they cannot exterminate him and Sara without damaging the core, so they back away. The Doctor demands he be taken to the Time Destructor, which surprises Chen and the Daleks and who gladly agree, thinking that the Doctor has seen reason and accepted defeat.

The Doctor plugs in the taranium core, but, before he does so, tells Sara to run when he says run. Surprising everyone, giving her a few minutes’ start, the Doctor then manually switches on the Time Destructor on Kembel, with devastating effects. The Daleks and Chen all age to death in front of his eyes, while the power source for the personal shield device he has on him begins to exponentially fall as the taranium core’s energy is channelled into the Time Destructor. The Doctor takes Sara’s hand and they run back to the safety of the TARDIS, each step also taking them further away from the protection of the decaying shield, until eventually, with mere metres and seconds to go, they are no longer protected. The ravages of the Time Destructor begin to take effect, adding decades, even centuries to the Doctor’s life, while Sara horribly ages to death in seconds before his eyes.


Finally, in the last of the tumult that erupts over Kembel, an unconscious Doctor collapses to the floor of his console room as the TARDIS dematerialises itself to safety before the entire planet itself disintegrates into cosmic debris and dust.


Ian and Barbara back home in London, 1965 (as per the ending in “The Chase”).


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

(Available 23 February 2023)


(Previous episode: The Trojan Horse)

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