I recently read a review of the two Peter Cushing Dalek films from the 1960's. These were based on the first two Dalek TV stories. The reviewer concluded by wondering what a third Dalek story, based on the TV story 'The Chase', would have been like. This got me thinking...
TO: JOE GODIVA, AMIABLE FILMS inc.
FROM: BOB BOXER, ASSOCIATED SCRIPTS Ltd.
Please find attached the first (very) rough draft treatment for the 3rd Dalek movie. I have viewed the six-parter that the BBC sent over and tried to maintain the spirt of the piece.
Delighted that you have got the two principals signed-up. You will see that I have made some casting suggestions for other parts. It may be that some of these suggestions are not possible due to budget constraints, availability etc, but they indicate the type of actor I have in mind.
I have no grasp of timing issues as yet and I worry that I might have blown the budget in the first couple of pages ! No doubt we will talk about this next week when I come over to NYC to get your notes, ready for a revised treatment and (hopefully) a scene breakdown.
Oh yes, I hope you like the new working title. I thought we had better get the Daleks in there somewhere (no matter how much you like 'Flight Through Eternity')!
See you next week.
ESCAPE THE DALEKS!
A Movie Treatment: Draft #1
We open in present-day Central Park. There are the usual tourist crowds etc. (STOCK).
Near a boating pool we find DR WHO (PETER CUSHING) and SUSIE (ROBERTA TOVEY). They are sitting on a bench having their sketches done by a street artist. Dr Who is enthusiastically eating an ice-cream in the sunshine. Susie looks bored and is reading a scientific text-book.
The artist is STEVE TAYLOR (MICKY DOLENZ), a typical wise-cracking New York kid. He is coming to the end of the pencil sketch when there is a sudden disturbance in the middle if the boating lake.
The water bubbles and swirls like a whirlpool. Out of nowhere an object materialises and hovers on the surface of the lake. (I have envisaged it as a featureless white plastic-type sphere, the size of a weather balloon, but it could be any desired geometric shape). For a moment it sits there then a door in the side opens seamlessly. Two DALEKS slide out and make across the lake at speed, riding across the surface like hovercrafts.
Dr Who and Susie respond with alarm. "Daleks!" exclaims the old man. He drags Susie away. The Daleks are making right for them!
"Hey, You haven't paid!" exclaims Steve. He chases after Dr Who and Susie.
We see that the Daleks are on the bank. Their way is blocked by tourists who are more curious than scared. One of the Daleks fires its gun and a nearby hot-dog stand blows up in flames. The crowds flee in panic and the Daleks pass through, following the route of Dr Who, Susie and Steve.
Steve has chased Dr Who and Susie around the corner of a boat shed and is just in time to see them enter the TARDIS police-box. He runs up and bangs on the door angrily. "Five bucks, Mister."
He turns as the Daleks approach, screaming "Exterminate, Exterminate..."
The police-box door opens and Dr Who's hand reaches out to grab Steve and yank him inside. The TARDIS vanishes just as the Daleks open fire.
We zoom in on one of the Daleks which fills the screen, looking directly to camera. "Vengeance will be ours. This is only the beginning..."
Inside TARDIS Dr Who introduces himself and Susie to Steve. He says that he is familiar with the Daleks and couldn't just leave him at their mercy. Steve is a little nonplussed by all this but stubbornly demands his payment for the picture. To shut him up Susie gives him a five-dollar bill.
Steve pockets the cash and walks out into a totally alien landscape.
This is the planet ARIDIUS. Overhead is a massive boiling sun and the land is a vista of coral, steam and mud. (Imagine the ocean floor if all the water had burned off).
The wise-cracking Steve is staggered. He offers to refund the money if Dr Who can get him home! Dr Who explains that he left Central Park in such a hurry he didn't plot a course. He needs to find out where they are.
Just then they hear a cry for help. They find a man sinking in a mud-pool. He is up to his waist. Dr Who asks Susie to hurry and fetch some rope from TARDIS, which she does. As she rushes out with the rope we notice that the police-box is beginning to sink.
Using the rope they manage to rescue the sinking man who introduces himself as MALPHON (ADAM FAITH). Malphon is a human-type dressed in simple peasant clothing (There might be a suggestion of the alien about him such as a crested head or fangs etc. Whatever we can afford without being too extreme).
Dr Who tries to find out where they are but is only able to learn that Aridius was devastated when its sun exploded and the survivors, having lost all technology, eke out a living in small groups scattered around the planet.
As they turn to return to TARDIS they are horrified to find that it has half-sunk in the mud and is leaning over so that it cannot be accessed.
Malphon offers to take them to a nearby Aridian camp to fetch help to pull the police box out. Dr Who has no choice and they follow Malphon down a track.
As they approach the village they hear cries and see smoke and flames rising. Malphon starts to run towards the village but Dr Who restrains him and they cautiously look down over the crest of a hill. Here they see that several Daleks are causing mayhem, setting fire to buildings etc. We also see their time ship parked nearby. A group of Aridians are being interrogated, "Where is Dr Who? You are hiding him!" etc. One terrified Aridian makes a break for it but is gunned down.
Dr Who says they must get away. Malphon is reluctant but is eventually convinced. They make off away from the village towards the swamp where the Tardis landed. "We can't be caught near the swamp at night," says Malphon. "That is when the Mire-Beasts walk!" The Mire-Beasts are mutations, caused by solar radiation.
The group are then spotted and attacked by a single Dalek that flies using a jet-platform. After a couple of passes at them Steve lets fly with a small rock 'baseball style'. We see that it hits the machine's control panel, causing the Dalek to crash and explode. "Strike One!"
Back at the swamp darkness falls. As it does so several MIRE-BEASTS emerge from the mud. (I envisage them as gigantic human-shaped creatures apparently made from the very mud they emerge from). They roam around a while, looking for food. One of them finds the half-submerged police box. He lifts it out of the swamp and stands it on firm ground (possibly assisted by one or more Mire-Beasts). They sniff at it and lick it with their lizard-like tongues. Disgusted that it is not a food source they stamp off.
Meanwhile Dr Who and his party are being pursued by Daleks, who have been alerted by the destruction of one of their number.
Susie falls over and Dr Who, Steve and Malphon form a protective screen around her. The Daleks surround them. "Your execution has been ordered by the Supreme Dalek. You have interfered in our plans for the last time. EXTERMINATE!"
But before the Daleks can open fire they are attacked by a group of Mire-Beasts.
A battle ensues, with a couple of Daleks being crushed by the monsters (who think they are food) and several Mire-Beasts are killed.
In the confusion Dr Who and his party slip away and run back to the swamp. A couple of Daleks pursue them. Malphon manages to buy them some time but is exterminated. Realising there is nothing they can do Dr Who ushers Susie and Steve into the newly exhumed Police Box and dematerialise.
We see that the Daleks have finished off the Mire-Beasts and return to their time ship.
Inside TARDIS the Doctor speculates that the Daleks are intent of following them. It is too much of a coincidence that they were at Central Park and on Aridius. On a TV screen there is a blip showing the pursuing Dalek ship.
"We must hide from them."
"Where?" asks Susie
"We have Eternity to choose from " says Dr Who, adjusting the controls.
We go to a succession of cameo scenes where TARDIS lands, pursued by the Dalek ship and then moves quickly on. The number and length of these will be determined by the budget and timing, of course. This gives us an opportunity for some comedy.
Some ideas for this portion:
LIVERPOOL 2100AD THE BEATLES MEMORIAL MUSEUM.
TARDIS lands in what appears to be a BEATLES concert (screaming teenagers etc – STOCK FOOTAGE). In fact this is all a hologram. There could be some comedy elements as the Daleks confront the Fab Four and try to exterminate them but cannot because they are just 3D images. (It would be a great coup for our movie if we could hire the real BEATLES - even if just for 30 seconds airtime!)
A FUTURISTIC AIRSHIP 2000 AD
A maiden voyage across the Atlantic of a great dirigible (captained by KENNETH MORE). The Daleks arrive chasing Dr Who and his friends and cause the crew to abandon ship. As TARDIS and the Dalek ship departs we see that the name of the airship is 'Mary Celeste II'! (Alternatively, this could be a space-liner, which may be easier to realise).
Steve is captured by a press-gang and dragged onto a Royal Navy frigate tied up in the docks. Dr Who and Susie manage to get aboard posing as a high-ranking government official and Steve's sister. He convinces the Captain (GERALD HARPER) that Steve is the son of the US president and this incident could mean war.
Whilst the Captain is mulling this over the Daleks attack the vessel. We see that one of the flying Dalek platforms is destroyed by cannonade fire but the seamen are generally no match for the Daleks.
In the confusion Dr Who and co escape back to TARDIS. They find a single Dalek on guard but mange to blind it (covering the eye-stalk with Steve's naval cap) and throw it into the sea. They make their escape with the Daleks hot on their trail.
EIFFEL TOWER MODERN-DAY
The observation deck. The Daleks are confused by the guide speaking French! There is a thick American DILL (FRED GWYNN) and a drunk Burlington Bertie type (RONNIE BARKER) who mistakes the Daleks for drink-dispensers!
WILD WEST 1800s
Dr Who gets involved in a High Noon shootout with a renowned gunslinger (CLIFF ROBERTSON)!
The possibilities are many. The above are just a few sketchy ideas.
After these cameos we focus on Dr Who and his friends inside TARDIS. Dr Who is examining the controls. We see a row of five light-bulbs. The rightmost three have gone out. The leftmost one is lit, but the bulb the second from left is winking. Dr Who says that the power is draining. They need to replace the uranium energy source soon.
He decides to take a gamble and take TARDIS somewhere that the Daleks cannot follow. He crosses some wires and jury-rigs some controls.
"Where are we going?" asks Susie.
"Out of reality altogether," says Dr Who. Throwing the control lever. The room tilts at a crazy angle, throwing the occupants around.
We have a visual representation of the police box vanishing down a psychedelic plug hole in space as it leaves reality.
We cut to a young boy's bedroom. TIMMY (aged about 9 or 10) is in bed, reading a scary book: 'Castle of Spooks' (?). Outside his window there is a thunderstorm. Trees scrape at his window. Timmy throws down his book, and pulls the covers over his head. From the open page on the floor we see an illustration of an archetypal haunted castle, high on a cliff face.
The image blurs then becomes 'real'. There is a thunderstorm outside (forked lightning etc). The camera pans inside to a great oak-panelled hall (suits of armour, portraits etc).
TARDIS arrives here (use weird camera angles to suggest something screwy and unsettling about this place).
Dr Who & co explore. We see that the eyes of a portrait follow them and the heads of suits of armour turn as they pass.
Steve and Susie are doubtful about Dr Who's assertion that they have "...left reality behind...". They go upstairs and find a big playroom and a crying ballerina (TWIGGY). They are attacked by toy soldiers and oversize toys (teddy-bears etc). The ballerina turns against them, locking the door to trap them but they manage to escape, slamming the door behind them. Shaken, they return to the hall where TARDIS landed. There they are harassed by typical flying 'ghosts' (white sheets) and other cliches of the horror genre (Mummies, Werewolves etc). But Dr Who defies these threats by proclaiming he doesn't believe in them and they prove to be intangible and fade away.
"It's like a child's nightmare!" says Susie.
Dr Who says that's just where they are – in the darker reaches of the human imagination.
(Interspersed with the above we switch briefly to see Timmy tossing and turning in his sleep – it is clear that Dr Who and Co have somehow entered his dreams)
"At least we are safe from the Daleks here," says Steve. Just as he says this the Dalek ship materialises and a squad of Daleks come out. The travellers are trapped.
"Vengeance is ours!" grates the Daleks. They open fire, dousing Dr Who, Susie and Steve in their deadly fire. But nothing happens! Their weapons don't work in this place!
"We are going to have to talk." says Dr Who to the astonished Daleks.
The lead Dalek explains that they are an execution squad, tasked to exterminate Dr Who so as to prevent him meddling in their future plans to re-invade earth. They copied TARDIS technology and will never give up in their mission.
"But your weapons are useless here. It's a stalemate." says Dr Who.
"Not exactly," says a voice. An evil-figure steps out from a full length portrait and stands before them. This is NIGHTMARE MAN (CHRISTOPHER LEE). He is dressed in a long hooded cloak and his face is parchment white. (Suggestive of, but different to, Dracula).
Nighmare Man says that they are all doomed eventually. When their host wakes up they will all cease to exist, like everything here.
Dr Who and co make a break for the TARDIS but the Daleks interpopse themselves. Then the Daleks start screaming and screeching, getting louder and louder.
We see Timmy begin to thresh about in his bed, eyes twitching.
"They're trying to wake him up." says Nightmare Man.
Dr Who points out that this will mean he (Nightmare Man) will also vanish.
Nightmare Man seems to consider this for the first time. He snaps his fingers and the upstairs door to the nursery flies open. The toys come downstairs and attack the Daleks, distracting them enough for the Doctor and Co to slip into TARDIS.
Dr Who frantically re-jigs the controls to their normal settings.
Outside, the hall begins to disappear as if erased. A few Daleks make it back into their ship but some vanish along with the toys and Nightmare Man.
TARDIS takes off followed by the Dalek ship just as the whole dream-world disappears (we see Jimmy suddenly sit bolt up in bed, wide-awake). We switch to TARDIS in flight in a normal star-field, followed by the pursuing Dalek ship.
Dr Who examines the power controls. Only one light is blinking now.
"We only have enough power for one more landing. We will have to stand and fight!"
We are inside the Dalek ship now. Like TARDIS it is much bigger inside than out. It is multi-levelled and there are Daleks working at the various stations. In the centre of the room is the Dalek Commander, standing on a raised dais.
A Dalek reports that they are less than thirty minutes relative behind Tardis now.
The Dalek commander glides across to a scientific area. We see a Dalek scientist overseeing a glowing transparent chamber full of gas.
"Is it ready?" asks the Commander.
The Dalek scientist touches a knob and the chamber hisses open. A figure emerges.
This is ROBOT SUSIE (ROBERTA TOVEY again). She walks jerkily and stands stiffly before the two Daleks.
"Activate personality programme," orders the Dalek Commander.
The Dalek Scientist touches another control. As he does so Robot Susie giggles and becomes identical in movement and voice to the original.
"Do you understand your mission?"
"Of course." She giggles again. "I must infiltrate and exterminate!"
We switch to the interior of TARDIS. It has landed and all the interior lights fade and the room goes quiet. All the power lights are out now.
They go outside. TARDIS has arrived in an unearthly jungle clearing. The trees have a fleshy, pulsating quality.
Dr Who says they must put some distance between themselves and this place as the Daleks will be arriving shortly.
After a little exploration they come across a crashed space-ship which has earth markings (lettering, insignia). It has broken in half and is nearly covered with vegetation.
As they tentatively approach it a demented-looking man in a space-suit jumps out from behind a tree and covers them with a blaster.
Back at the TARDIS clearing the Dalek ship materialises. Robot Susie is dispatched into the jungle to try and locate Dr Who and Co (she has some kind of homing device).
Off she skips, chanting "Infiltrate and exterminate."
Dr Who, Susie and Steve are taken inside the crashed spaceship. Their captor is CAPTAIN BRENT (RAY BARRETT). He is bedraggled and in a very fragile state of mind. He reveals that they are on the planet MEKKANUS. His survey ship crash-landed here nearly four years ago. There used to be a crew of eight, who all survived the crash, but there are only two left now. The others were taken one at a time by their captors.
"What captors?" asks Susie, looking around.
"The Mekkadroids. Look," says Brent. He points out of the window.
Surrounding the ship are several MEKKADROIDS (as many as we can afford). They are robotic spiders, each the size of a small car. They have various tools and implements on each 'leg'
"Fascinating!" says Dr Who.
A nervous Brent explains that the Mekkadroids appear to be the sole inhabitants of this planet. The space-ship crew were allowed to stay with their crashed vessel. The Mekkadroids seemed content to observe them at first, like specimens in a zoo. Then they started abducting them. None have ever returned. Brent thinks they have been taken away for dissection.
Steve asks where the other crewman is. Brent says he is out foraging for food in the jungle. The Mekkadroids allow this, as long as they do not venture too far.
One of the Mekkadroids approaches the spaceship door. "You will all come with us!" it says, in a weird warbling robot-voice.
Robot Susie is making her way through the jungle. She comes across a man who is collecting fruit in a bag. At this stage we do not see his face.
"Hello Steve!" she says, happily.
We then see that the man is a ringer for Steve Taylor. He is dressed in rags and has a beard (but not so we cannot recognise him as a ringer for Steve). The man is astonished to see Robot Susie. "My name is Stefan. Stefan Tylor." he says.
STEFAN TYLOR should be played by the same actor as Steve Taylor (MICKY DOLENZ in a dual role).
"Take me back to Dr Who!" says Susie urgently. Stefan doesn't know what she is talking about of course, but says he will take her back to the spaceship.
In the Dalek ship we see the Dalek commander watching a monitor. This gives us a view through Robot Susie's eyes. " She has made contact with the humans. Once we see Dr Who the robot will be detonated and our mission will be over!"
Robot Susie and Stefan reach the crashed spaceship. Stefan excitedly calls out for Captain Brent to tell him about Susie's arrival but the ship is empty.
In another part of the jungle we find the Mekkadroid Tower. This is a huge mushroom-shaped building towering over the trees. We pan up to the top where we find a transparent dome. Inside here is the Makkadroid control room housing the Mekka-Brain, a giant computer that controls the Mekkadroids.
Before it stand Dr Who, Steve, Susie and a clearly deranged Captain Brent, who have been brought here from the crashed space-ship.
Brent screams that he will not be experimented on and tries to break free. One of the Mekkadroids shoots him dead with a ray.
Dr Who is appalled. The Mekka-Brain says that Brent would have been useless for its plan as he was mentally damaged. Dr Who asks about this plan. It is explained that the original human inhabitants of Mekkanus were killed by a world-wide plague, but some managed to preserve their life-essence. The original crew of the space-ship had been experimented on to find out how they 'worked'. This phase is now over and Dr Who, Susie and Steve would be used to transplant this life force.
They protest but are restrained by Mekkadroid claws as the ominous looking transplant instrumentation slides into the room.
Back in the crashed spaceship Robot Susie watches impassively as Stefan searches the ship In her head she hears the voice of the Dalek commander. "Incapacitate the human and seek out your target!"
As Stefan turns his back Robot Susie clubs him unconscious (with her robotic strength). She leaves him and sets off into the jungle.
In the Dalek ship the Commander watches a monitor. We see a picture of the Mekkadroid Tower. "Dispatch our final reserve! Investigate-Identify-Exterminate!"
Outside the Dalek ship we see a squad of Daleks using their flying platforms depart (six if we can afford it).
Back in the Mekkadroid tower Dr Who, Steve and Susie are hooked up to the transfer machine and struggling against their restraints. The Mekka-Brain is gloating on about the culmination of their programming at last.
Just as the final switch is about to be thrown there is an overhead explosion and the glass ceiling of the dome shatters. The Daleks fly in!
"Intruder alert! Self-Defence mode!" screams the Mekka-Brain.
This is the big set-piece fight of the movie as the Daleks and the Mekkadroids go head to head. Daleks explode. Mekkadroids explode. Fire breaks out. A Dalek fires at the Mekka-Brain which explodes in flames. The whole room is on fire.
We see that Steve has managed to get hold of a piece oif sharp debris and manages to cut through his restraints. He frees Dr Who and Susie with some difficulty and they stagger off through the smoke and flames, managing to get into an elevator.
The battle continues in the control room. We get an outside view of the tower ablaze.
Dr Who, Steve and Susie stagger out at ground level. They just manage to put some distance between the tower and themselves before it collapses around them in flames.
After this spectacular collapse we see Dr Who and Steve get to their feet., brushing themselves down.
"Where's Susie?" asks Dr Who, alarmed.
"She was just behind us...oh here she is" says Steve. He grabs the girl's hand. "Come on , we'd better get away from here before the whole jungle goes up in flames!" They hurry off down the track and out of sight.
A moment later we see Susie arrive from the direction of the burning tower. She is covered in soot, coughing and limping. She sets off down the same track.
We cut to Dr Who and Co who have made their way back to the crashed spaceship. We understand now that the girl with them is Robot Susie!
At the spaceship they find a groggy Stefan. Dr Who remarks on the similarity between Steve and Stefan. He speculates that Stefan may be a future descendant of Steve.
Stefan asks why Susie KO-ed him. Dr Who doubts she could do this. He looks suspiciously at Robot Susie.
At this point Robot Susie gives herself away. She calls the old man 'Doctor' instead of 'Grandfather' and her programming is confused by the presence of two 'Steves'.
(The Dalek commander is watching through his monitor on the Dalek ship).
"What have you done with my granddaughter?" demands Dr Who.
"Here I am, grandfather!" says Susie, standing on the fringe of the clearing.
"Detonate!" orders the Dalek commander.
We hear the Dalek voice come from Robot Susie. "Det-o-nate!" She starts to count down robotically "5-4-"
"She's a Dalek bomb!" exclaims Dr Who.
Steve jumps at Robot Susie and wrestles her to the ground. There is a brief struggle and we see a flap spring open on the back of Robot Susie's neck, revealing some buttons. Dr Who quickly pushes a combination of buttons and Robot Susie falls limp.
In the Dalek ship the commander's screen has gone blank.
"We have triumphed. Our target is exterminated. We will prepare to return to the home planet."
Some time later the Dalek commander is overseeing preparations for lift off. There are very few Daleks in the ship now. Say three or four.
Just as they prepare to take off Robot Susie walks into the ship. The Daleks are nonplussed.
"Explain yourself!" grates the Commander.
"Infiltrate and detonate," intones Robot Susie. Smoke starts to rise from her neck "5-4-3-"
The Daleks panic but cannot get to her in time.
Outside, Dr Who, Steve, Stefan and Susie are crouched behind some foliage watching expectantly.
There is a terrific explosion. A blast of flame and heat belches out of the open door of the Dalek ship. The ship itself contains the explosion but collapses like a punctured soufflé.
"Well, my re-programming seems to have worked a treat!" says a delighted Dr Who. "Now let's see about that ankle, Susie."
Some time later we see Susie, Steve and Stefan waiting anxiously outside the dead Dalek ship. Dr Who emerges, beaming. "Just as I thought. All the Daleks have been destroyed. We are free at last!"
Susie points out that TARDIS is out of power. They are stuck here.
Dr Who produces a metal cylinder from his inside pocket. "I managed to salvage this. It's the uranium core of the Dalek ship. It will power my TARDIS for a hundred years!"
"Then all's well, " remarks Steve.
Just at that moment the fleshy trees on the edge of the clearing start to move menacingly towards the group. They run for the TARDIS with alarm. Moments later the police box vanishes.
We are back in Central Park. Steve is completing a sketch of Dr Who, Susie and Stefan standing in front of the police box. He holds it up for their approval.
They smile, giving him the thumbs-up. They wave goodbye to Steve – and us - and go back inside TARDIS.