January 26: "Flashpoint" / "The Powerful Enemy"

(The Dalek Invasion of Earth episode 6 & The Rescue episode 1)

And finally all these disparate threads come together.  Barbara and Jenny make their way into the Daleks' control room, while Ian sabotages their Earth-shattering bomb (twice!), Susan and David cause the Daleks to overheat for a bit, and the Doctor and Tyler also enter the Daleks' control room and help defeat them, thanks to an idea from Barbara to order the Robomen to turn on the Daleks.  And!  The first genuine cry of "exterminate"!

That said, it's actually a bit matter-of-fact, to be honest: this happens, then this happens, then this happens, with no real threat from the Daleks, the Robomen, or anything else.  It's more a matter of wrapping up loose ends than providing any last minute threat.  But that's probably partly to give Carole Ann Ford a proper leaving scene.  Yes, this is Susan's last episode, and her leaving scene is rather sweet: forced to choose between David and her grandfather, both of whom she loves but in different ways, she becomes rather upset, and the Doctor (who presumably has been watching on the scanner) makes the decision for her, delivering one of the finest speeches in the history of the show:
One day, I shall come back.  Yes, I shall come back.  Until then, there must be no regrets, no tears, no anxieties.  Just go forward in all your beliefs, and prove to me that I am not mistaken in mine.  Goodbye, Susan.  Goodbye, my dear.
But David gets the last word, just to make the point explicit: "He knew.  He knew you could never leave him."  It's quite moving.

Of course, the thing to take away from The Dalek Invasion of Earth is how confident it all seems.  It's quite large in scope, moving through parts of London and up to Bedfordshire, but you never get the sense that they're playing it safe.  The production team knows it can pull this off, and so they just go for it, essentially making an action-adventure movie over 6 weeks.  The plot is admittedly very silly, and there's also a sense that the Daleks don't actually get to do much after the third episode, but nevertheless this is a self-assured story that just about manages to get away with it.

Koquillion examines the TARDIS. ("The Powerful Enemy")
The next episode takes us to the planet Dido, and a crashed spaceship complete with Union Jack on its fin.  We're still in the future, encountering a young girl named Vicki, an injured man named Bennett, and their captor/terrorizer, an alien creature named Koquillion.  But it turns out the Doctor's been to Dido before, and he can't understand why a native Didonian would be so hostile as to try and kill Barbara and Ian.  But we'll have to wait until next time to find out.

For now, we're left with David Whitaker's script, with some really lovely moments.  "The trembling's stopped," Barbara tells the Doctor, referring to the motion of the TARDIS while travelling.  "Oh, my dear, I’m so glad you’re feeling better," he responds, completely misunderstanding her.  There's also the part where Ian and Barbara are discussing the Doctor's current state of mind, and the Doctor pops his head out and says, "Remember I can hear what you’re saying!"  And I don't know if it's in the script, but the part where the Doctor shows Barbara how to open the TARDIS doors and then compliments her before saying, "You won’t, of course, try to do that during transit, will you?", and she responds with this sidelong exasperated glare, is really quite funny.  But it's  interesting how out-of-sorts the Doctor is, seemingly forgetful and tired in the wake of Susan's departure.  It's quite lovely characterization, of the sort we'll come to expect from Whitaker: very understated and very sweet.