Terry Nation, the (real life) creator of the Daleks attempted to launch his creations in their own TV series several times. This sadly never quite happened, although in the 1960s the Daleks did have a successful run of stories without the appearance of the Doctor in the “TV21” comic as well as in annual-type books such as “The Dalek Book”, “The Dalek Outer-Space Book”, “The Dalek World” as well as the paperback “Dalek Pocket Book”. They returned again in the 1970s in several “Dalek Annuals” as well as the paperback book “Terry Nation’s Dalek Special”.
The first attempt to get the Daleks their own TV series (for the US market, in around 1966) ultimately met with failure but luckily much is known about this early proposed spin-off, entitled “The Destroyers”. This site is devoted to recording information about lost Doctor Who stories & spin-offs and is well worth a read.
by Terry Nation
Pilot for an American series
Carson and Wayne are members of a space exploration team. They are guarding their base dome, surrounded by a force field. Despite this, the Daleks penetrate the field, killing Carson, His death alerts Wayne, Morgan and Sara Kingdom. Sara sounds the alarm, and the base erupts into violence as the Daleks attack. There are apparently no survivors.
The SSS (Special Space Security) sends in three agents to investigate. They are Captain Jason Corey, David Kingdom (Sara’s brother) and Mark Seven. Mark is in fact an android, stronger and more logical than any human being, with pedantic speech patterns. They discover Whitman still alive. He cannot identify their attackers, but tells them that they took a few prisoners; he then expires. Sara is in fact alive also, but wounded and dodging the Daleks in the jungle. The Daleks have Philip Leigh as a prisoner for interrogation. Their instrumentation detects movement at the dome, and they send a patrol out to annihilate whatever is alive there. The agents have discovered the Dalek tracks and are following them when the Daleks approach the dome. Jason, Mark and David hide in the bushes, where they are attacked by man-eating plants.
Mark makes a noise, and the Daleks blast away at the bushes before proceeding on their way to the dome. Jason and David now free themselves with their knives and go to Mark’s aid. Being a robot, he is mostly undamaged from the attack, and needs only minor repairs before he is functional again. Sara has taken refuge by accident in the cave that houses the entrance to the Daleks’ underground base. They activate their defence mechanisms, shadowy specters that attack her, enveloping her in webbing. When she is helpless, the Daleks take her captive.
Jason, David and Mark find the cave, just ahead of the Dalek patrol returning from the dome. Their way forward is blocked by a chasm, but knowing there must be some way for the Daleks to cross it they hide, and see two Daleks activate a tubular bridge. As one crosses they jump the other, and Mark tosses it into the chasm. The first Dalek tries to return but David deactivates the bridge, sending the creature plunging into the abyss. In Dalek central control, Leigh is eliminated now that they have a better prisoner in Sara. The Black Dalek orders the ship prepared for departure. The agents arrive at the perimeter in time to see this, but not in time to stop it. The Dalek ship launches, taking Sara with it.
The invasion of earth is beginning….
Notes on “The Destroyers” : By 13th November 1966, Terry Nation’s Lynstead Film Productions seemed to have been given the go-ahead to start production on the pilot episode of a half-hour Dalek film series on Monday 12th December. Impressed by Jean Marsh’s performance in The Daleks’ Master Plan, Nation intended for her to reprise the role in the new series. On 25th November, however, the BBC pulled out of the project. Throughout 1967, Nation attempted to sell the series to America’s NBC, but to no success, partly due to the poor reception to the second of the two Dalek films and the fact that the BBC series had yet to air in the United States.
In 2004, Loose Cannon Reconstructions included a five minute ‘reconstruction’ of the pilot, along with a brief featurette on the background to it, on their ‘The Dalek Master Plan’ tape. It ‘cast’ Edward de Souza [Marc Cory in “Mission To The Unknown”] as Captain Jason Corey, Nicholas Courtney as David Kingdom and William Gaunt as Mark Seven.
Big Finish look set to produce an audio version of “The Destroyers” in the near future… details here
Sara Kingdom became something of an ongoing character in Terry Nation’s spin-offs concerning the Daleks. More on her in an upcoming post shortly.