1st September – 22nd September 1979

If you’re supposed to be the superior race of the universe, why don’t you try climbing after us?

The Doctor to a Dalek, episode 2

Concerned that the Doctor might have disliked her original personality, Romana voluntarily regenerates her body, taking on the face and form of Princess Astra (see The Armageddon Factor). Their first trip in the TARDIS on a randomised navigational heading (see The Armageddon Factor) is to an old haunt, although the Doctor fails to recognise it at first. Ashen landscape, evidence of massive destruction, high radiation counts: eventually the clues add up to just one planet, Skaro, home of the Daleks.

Tom as the Doctor with Lalla Ward as his assistant in Destiny of the Daleks © BBC

Here they meet a new, seemingly friendly race of alien space-travellers, the elegant, beautiful Movellans, recently arrived aboard a large spaceship. The Movellans and the Daleks have been at war for centuries and now their respective battle computers have reached a logical stalemate. Movellan Commander Sharrel (Peter Straker) tells the Doctor that the Daleks have returned to Skaro to excavate and revive the body of Davros (David Gooderson), their creator (see Genesis of the Daleks), with the intention that he should help them break the stalemate.

The Movellans, a robotic race as well, intend using the Doctor for the same purpose, but the Doctor acts first by finding and kidnapping the newly reawakened Davros. The Movellans respond by attempting to incinerate Davros, and the entire planet, by exploding a bomb that will set fire to the atmosphere.

When this stratagem fails Davros orders his Daleks to mount a suicide counter-attack on the Movellan ship. But the Doctor tricks Davros into detonating the Dalek bombs prematurely, destroying the entire squad. The Movellans are immobilised by the simple expedient of rushing them at close range and removing their power packs. As the Doctor explains to Romana, and to the captured Davros – who will go to Earth to stand trial – either side could have won the war by switching off their computers and by acting illogically.

Destiny of the Daleks is available on Region 2 DVD

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Destiny of the Daleks is available on Region 1 DVD

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Destiny of the Daleks is available on CD

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