Doctor Who - Documentary s11e05 Episode Script

Beneth the City of the Exxilons

NARRATOR DALEK: Alert! Alert! Intruder detected in vicinity of televisual unit.
Intruder is attempting to access Dalek files concerning the City of the Exxilons.
-(BEEPING) -Password correct.
-(SIREN WAILING) -Access granted.
Initiate documentary playback.
(DOCTOR WHO THEME) NICK BRIGGS: I was 1 2 years old when Death to the Daleks was first broadcast, and to me, it was, ''Oh, my God, the Daleks are coming back.
'' Daleks! BRIGGS: It's a great Dalek story.
It gives the Daleks something new to do.
That's to say, they have to work with human beings because their guns don't work.
DALEK: Weaponry malfunction.
DALEK 2: Total power failure in armament circuits.
And as a 1 2-year-old, that's great! You love action movies, and you love people going around with machine guns.
And you love excitement.
And the Daleks have suddenly have got machine guns.
(SCREAMING) Primitive weapons moderately efficient.
DALEK NARRATOR: Human propagandist, Terry Nation, was the creator of Death to the Daleks.
His script drew unexpected parallels with contemporary Earth activity.
The story line of Death to the Daleks was about power.
The power being lost by the Daleks.
And in the first episode, suddenly, the power cuts out in the Tardis.
We seem to have got a mains power problem.
A similar thing was happening in England at that time with power cuts, with the miners' strike.
Oh, it's starting again.
-(CRASHING) -Ooh! Certainly, when we were rehearsing Death of the Daleks up at Acton rehearsal rooms, there were times where we had no light.
We literally had to work around the power cuts.
Oh, there you are.
I think Terry Nation was taking the mickey.
Not a click nor a tick.
There's something beautifully reassuring about the Terry Nation plots, you know? The fact, also, that he tells stories quite economically.
And he's very keen on using visuals rather than just dialogue.
It's very notable that episode one of Death to the Daleks has, you know, lots of location work, lots of running around, and fighting, but not so heavy on dialogue as a Doctor Who episode often was in those days.
I expected it to start off with a scene with Daleks, or the second scene would be with Daleks, or whatever.
Instead, I got this rather marvellous mystery.
I mean, I got this stuff of, the Tardis being I think it was a bit out of control.
And landing on this planet, and them stepping out.
It was all misty, and it was And all that was really sort of quite good, quite nice stuff.
And I felt quite imaginative about it.
DALEK NARRATOR: With the script in place, the cast and crew assembled for location filming.
The first time I met the cast was on location.
It was actually on the hotel, the night before the location.
And,Jon and Liz hadn't turned up yet.
They were already on their way, but they'd been working on another Doctor Who series.
When we arrived at the location, which was a disused quarry, it was near to Lulworth Cove.
I couldn't believe my eyes, 'cause I'd been to Lulworth Cove.
You know, a couple of times, I've been to Poole on holiday.
I'd a summer season in Weymouth.
It was a bit of Dorset I I couldn't imagine.
I mean, it was really like a dead planet.
And it seemed to go on forever.
Whilst it was very difficult to film down there, it proved, actually, to be the right sort of lunar landscape that they were looking for.
You know, where nothing grew.
It was all very fantasy.
FOX: It was very, very cold, I have to say.
Very cold indeed.
There were sunny days, but it was cold.
And we took a lot of opportunity going on to the location bus to keep warm.
And on the first day there, we did the scene by this lake which looked terribly contaminated.
I was surprised these actors were prepared to go into it.
We had the Exxilon in there.
It was Terry Walsh, the stunt guy.
And this strange creature with a probe came out of the water.
BRIANT: The root, obviously, is operated by piano wires.
There are piano wires coming up to those elevator machines that you use for cleaning street lights with, which have then got tackle on them, and so the visual effects guys are doing it.
So, talking about it and discussing it, that seems fine.
What we do is, we just get the root to sink down underneath and then we just pull it up.
So, I mean there are two problems with that.
It takes an awful long time for a root to sink in the water.
So, there was an awful lot of pushing it down underwater.
And then, of course, once it's coming up, it's actually full of water.
So, it's really, really difficult to get it in the air.
And I was the one who came down from the hill and shouted.
Come on! Get out of it! And this was done quite separately, with Michael standing just slightly below me, pulling a face and shouting, ''Monster!'' And I'd go, ''Go on, get out of there!'' We did this a few times.
We were all laughing so much at me, shouting at Michael's face, doing, ''Monster.
'' And the whole thing was quite ridiculous.
Galloway! Galloway! Duncan Lamont was the one I think I became closest to on the story, and he was great fun.
Had a very dry sense of humour, and he used to refer to the Daleks as ''Garlics''.
And the first couple of times, I thought this is hilarious, the Garlics.
And I looked at him one day and I thought, I think he really does think they're Garlics.
You know, they're French or something.
Misheard it.
Aye, Garlics.
There you are.
DALEK NARRATOR: The second day of filming saw the arrival of Dalek enemy, the Doctor.
Help me with him! Help me! I got on quite well with Jon Pertwee, although he liked things to go his way.
And I remember, almost, the first time I met him, I had all this stuff with the bow and arrow, and I always sort of fancied myself as the next Robin Hood.
He immediately came bustling up, and he said ''No, dear boy.
No, no, you're holding it all wrong.
'' ''You're holding it quite wrong.
'' And he put my hands right.
And he said, ''Like this, like this.
'' You know those arrows that are shot into the sand, beside Jon? Those were shot by the armourer, Jack Walsh.
With a bow and arrow, from 1 5 feet away, I was saying to him, ''Jack, just stand out of shot and shoot the arrow.
'' And he's an archer, and he said, ''No, no, can't do that, Michael.
'' ''No, it's got to be done from 1 5-20 feet away.
'' So, those arrows, which were shooting past Jon Pertwee were actually, like, only, that distance from him.
And Jon didn't blink, he didn't do anything.
He just acted what he was meant to act.
Brilliant guy.
DALEK: Exterminate, exterminate.
One of the big problems on location, more than the actors freezing to death and all the other things going on, was the Daleks.
Of course, mechanical characters on rocks and sand is a difficult thing to do.
As I'm sure, everybody knows, Daleks run around on casters, which you have on your sofa, bottom of your sofa, your armchairs.
Those little ball things.
On a flat, on a totally flat studio floor, they run around great, they go in any direction, they keep moving.
In a china clay quarry, not a hope in hell.
I mean, they are just not going to move.
I decided the solution to this was to use the railway track that we use on things called elemac dollies, which are camera dollies, camera platforms that run along the rails.
They've got four little wheels, and they run along on track.
And I got the grips to hire every single foot of elemac dolly track there was in the country.
Had it painted, without telling the people we hired it from, sand coloured, so that you could actually lay out quite long distances.
All four Daleks were set up like a sort of railway train.
At the top end of the track, each actor, Jon in the lead, had got a Dalek allocated to it.
And on the word action, the job was that they would give their Dalek a little push off, and then walk down beside it, so it would look like they were all walking down together.
So Jon, being, darling, darling Jon as he always is, I mean he's quite macho,Jon.
Jon gives his Dalek a really good shove off.
And then I think John Abineri does the same with his.
And I'm standing there watching this Dalek accelerate away from the group, going, ''Why is it doing that?'' And then as I watch it accelerating away, I see it's taken on a little bit of a rock 'n roll, and it's actually going on the tracks.
And then, I hear this little voice inside, going, ''Help! Help! Help!'' And this Dalek, first take, just accelerates away down to bottom the track, and then hits the bottom of the track.
And then, the other three Daleks, who are also out of control, come crashing into the back of him.
And that set us up for take two.
And so, back they all go, and we persuade Jon and people not to push them quite so hard.
There are one or two, shall we say, eccentric moments for the Daleks, which just seemed perfectly natural to me at the time.
It's only with hindsight that we can be wise, and perhaps cynical about these things.
There's the moment when the Dalek discovers that Jill Tarrant and Sarah Jane Well, it doesn't know that Sarah Jane is there.
But he discovers they've escaped.
DALEK: Human female has escaped.
Wouldn't his time have been taken up slightly more wisely if he'd gone off to try and find where she was, (LAUGHS) rather than go, ''Oh, dear, she's not here! She's not here! Help!'' DALEK: Female prisoner has escaped! I have failed! I have failed! Self destruct! And the self destruct itself, I love the fact that it doesn't blow up.
He just has a nervous breakdown, doesn't he? Like, ''Aw'' I, I, I (POWERING DOWN) I think they would have liked to have blown up that Dalek, but they'd already nearly burnt John Scott Martin to death on location.
And they probably didn't have any budget for it, so they said to Michael Wisher, ''Mike, just do a blowing up thing.
'' And of course, Michael Wisher, who I did know quite well I know he would have loved that.
And in fact, every time you interviewed him, you know, Michael would always do the Dalek blowing up bit.
He loved all that.
Then there was that strange thing where the Daleks were testing their weapons.
And in order to test their weapons, they had little Tardis models to blow them up.
(EXPLOSION) I love the fact that the Doctor is such a huge enemy of the Daleks that on every Dalek flying saucer, in a cupboard somewhere, they've got a supply (CHUCKLES) of little model Tardises which, when the Daleks get really cross, they just put them out on top of the control panel and blow them up.
(GROWLS) ''We'll get that Doctor.
'' (SHOTS FIRING) DALEK: Target model destroyed.
Substitute weaponry functioning satisfactorily.
Over there! I have a special affection for the Exxilons, which, if you see them close to, you know, you're in the canteen or something, they look like old sacks.
But if you see them particularly in the distance with these sightless eyes and all these strands hanging down, they're really quite scary.
I wanted the Exxilons, who were a slightly war-like tribe, to be slightly scary, to be able to move and do things.
But, if you're keeping to a human form, it's difficult to get a menace.
So, that's why they have big eyes and these long cloaks.
And their hands were terribly important.
I was really keen to perfect, what I totally failed to do in Colony in Space, and make the inhabitants meld into the background.
So, I took the designers down there.
We had real heavy discussions about it.
So, I wanted all the Exxilons to just actually look exactly the same colour, so you could never tell what was a rock, and what going to be a live Exxilon.
So, I'd taken photographs at the recce of the sand dunes, and there, we tried to match it as far as possible, by getting clumps of wadding, that soaked in the latex, and put it on, all by hand, on each one.
Making the same texture of rivulets and clumps of sand that came in the quarry itself.
I remember, one day, two of the Exxilons disappeared completely.
We were searching everywhere for them.
They weren't anywhere.
And we thought, ''They must have gone home.
'' Must have thought they'd finished for the day.
They found them asleep in the sand.
And of course, people had been walking past them, and stepping over them, and never saw them.
WARNE: The terrain of the filming was no problem for me, except the water.
I can remember, at night, going back to a little hotel where we were.
And I had piles of wet Exxilons in my room, with two electric fires and steam.
It was almost like a sauna bath, by the time we'd finished, trying to dry them out enough for the next day.
Because you couldn't actually wring them out, 'cause it would start tearing the stuff.
But, they all lasted.
DALEK NARRATOR: With filming complete, production moved into the human stronghold of Television Centre.
HUMAN: Six, five, four.
When we finally moved into the studio, we did have a lot of problems.
The traditional way with Doctor Who, and with a lot of other dramas is that you do the story chronologically.
But Michael decided to shoot it like a feature film.
That doesn't look like an Earth ship, sir.
-Well, maybe it's that new Z4 7 -Hold it, once more, please We recorded everything on that show out of sequence so that we would do literally one set.
We would cover all the scenes from four episodes in that one set on one morning.
Sarah, now listen to me.
Listen to me I'm sorry.
When you record out of sequence, then the actors get very confused, and probably we all did as well, a bit.
Can we go again? All sorts of things began to go wrong.
They lost the Tardis.
Instead of there being all day to find the Tardis, they had to find the Tardis really, really quickly.
Inevitably, bits of scenery, there was a backdrop or something that was torn, and so on.
So, they suddenly had to The BBC studio crews actually had to work a lot harder, and I think their jobs became a lot more stressful.
Well, now that must be one of the 700 wonders of the universe.
Didn't show, because the technicians and the crews were highly professional people, and they got on with it.
But I think they were a bit They weren't always amused by this somewhat young director, leaping up and down with bright new ideas.
DALEK NARRATOR: Studio recording required a different kind of Exxilon.
WARNE: The other design feature that we had to do was the subterraneans.
So, I decided that if they'd lived underground, that they would be stunted in growth.
So, I asked the director if he could cast small people.
Our people had created a monster.
They tried to destroy it.
Instead it destroyed them and drove out the survivors.
So, they were much smaller, and they were You could see the form of the body much more.
But they didn't look quite enough.
Then, I'd been out one evening, and on the way back, someone was driving me in the car.
And we came to a road sign, and it all lit up.
And I thought, that's it.
That's what I need for the Exxilons.
Keep away from me, keep back! Please! -Who are you? -I am called Bellal.
I thought Bellal was a great character.
I completely, I warmed to him.
The actor was brilliant on it because he used his body so much.
You get a lot of movement from his body, which replaces what he would give with his face.
When I first read through the scripts, I had no idea of what the character was going to look like.
I think that must have come to me when we were already in rehearsal and I saw the costume designs.
And seeing the mask design in particular with those enormous eyes, that put me in mind of some of those little creatures, like bushbabies, pottos.
And I thought I'd go along to the zoo, and just watch them for a little while, and try to get some ideas from that of how they move, how they react with each other.
Most of them had a kind of alert look about them.
I thought, well, that's quite an idea for the way for me to pursue the characterisation.
Putting on the mask was a complete surprise to me.
Of course, I'd seen the pictures of it, and I'd seen the mask itself, without putting it on.
But when I put it on, completely covering my head and stuck down on me Well, that was a bit of a nightmare because I hadn't anticipated how much it would restrict me.
I found that moving about was quite difficult because the big eye pieces on the mask were completely solid, except for two tiny pin holes.
And that restricted my gaze to what was within immediate view.
So, when the Dalek comes in, so to speak, when the voice comes, don't lean back so much.
-I see.
One more time, please! YARROW: When we got on to the set and started filming, I found that Jon was enormously helpful to me.
Stop, don't move.
He must have seen, must have realised that I was having my difficulties.
And he worked a little bit more closely with me than he had done before, just to help me get through.
I want you to do exactly what I do, all right? YARROW: He would occasionally put his arm around my shoulder, and just guide me over.
Or he'd put his hand on my back, and just twist me that little bit so that I could go in the right direction.
All right, jump! Well done.
That's rather a jolly game, don't you think? I think his amusement was also perceptible to me, and that immediately gave a kind of warmth and a kind of integration between the two of us.
Right, let's go and see what other pleasures they have in store for us.
He comes over like a real character, and everybody was very admiring.
And I know people who have seen the video, which I have, or the DVD with me, have said he's the highlight of the show.
You know, almost steals it from the Daleks.
You must understand.
It is beyond our power to help him now.
BRIGGS: I mean, it's a terrible thing to say, but it sort of reminded me a little bit of Bungle from Rainbow.
(CHUCKLES) Got that sort of, you know, very earnest kind of thing.
But it was much better than that.
You know, it was like Derek Jacobi playing Bungle.
You can see how Bellal could've just popped into the Tardis at the end.
That would have been fascinating, wouldn't it? To have a little underground chappy in the Tardis.
The funny thing is, of course, it would've been a nightmare for the actor, wouldn't it? No one would have recognised him.
He would have to say, ''It's me.
I'm with Doctor Who on the telly.
'' (CHUCKLES) And it would have been terrible.
So hot in that costume.
Every week, yeah.
Awful for him.
So, it was a lucky escape for Arnold, I think.
All right, old chap.
It's all over now.
PRODUCTION ASSISTANT: When he comes in to look at the city, could you be a bit more to your right, Jon? 'Cause otherwise we don't see anything of the city past you.
DALEK NARRATOR: The fabled city of the Exxilons was recreated within the Earth studio.
BRIGGS: The city of the Exxilons, this tremendous ancient building that miraculously still looks brand new.
It's a lovely concept.
And you can kind of hear the storytelling mind of an old writer who Well, he wasn't that old.
But, you know, a very experienced writer, who just, is working out interesting things to do.
It's an old city, but it still looks new.
And that civilisation within it has crumbled, but it still has this amazingly powerful beacon, which is sucking the technological power out of more advanced races.
It's brilliant.
It's great.
Then the Doctor gets inside it.
I've got another episode to write.
Ah, yes.
Yes, just as I thought.
He has to do lots of tests to get through, 'cause these ancient, clever people set lots of tests.
What sort of tests? Let's have a look at the Doctor Who Annual.
Well, there's a maze.
A test of skill and logic that we have to pass before we can move deeper into the city.
And if we fail? Well, then, we shall simply add to these decorations.
It's beautifully done, but it is a typical plot filler.
Well, here goes.
One day, Michael said to Joy Harrison and myself, he said, ''How would you like to come in on Sunday ''and see some of the editing?'' And we jumped at the chance, you know.
We'd like to see what was going on.
And the key scene that we were doing in the editing suite was the death of the city.
Michael said, ''What sort of noises should it make?'' We all sat around, thinking, what sort of noises should it make? They were going to have electronic sounds, surrealistic sounds, clanks and explosions and everything.
And I, on a whim, I said, ''Michael, it's a living city.
''It's got a nerve centre.
''It's got a brain, and it's got the Exxilons and their slaves in it.
'' And I said, ''Why doesn't it just have human screams coming out of the city?'' (SCREAMS) So, we sat there, dubbing in screams, Joy, Michael and myself.
Michael did the best screams, the two professional actors, the lesser screams.
And then, we all screamed together.
We were going, ''Aah,'' like this.
If you wonder what those funny little, sort of mice in the background are, it's us.
(CHUCKLES) It's rather a pity, in a way.
Now the universe is down to 699 wonders.
NARRATOR DALEK: The musical score on Death to the Daleks was highly irregular.
In this era of Doctor Who, virtually all the scores were done by Dudley Simpson, who did brilliant work, and really established the feel and sound of Doctor Who.
But this was The music in this story was done by Carey Blyton, who had previously done Doctor Who and the Silurians.
And he had a brilliant way of making weird noises with conventional instruments.
It doesn't say, ''This is dramatic.
'' It goes, ''Weird.
'' It says, ''Weirdness, strangeness,'' and I think that's different from a lot of what Doctor Who was doing at the time.
(CHANTING) You know, he had them chanting and doing that fantastic tune.
(HUMMING) That was the first thing I ever learned to play on an instrument.
You know, I had a little penny whistle that I'd bought on holiday, and I learnt to play (HUMMING) How about that, eh? Most people learn London's Burning, but I learnt that.
NARRATOR DALEK: Production was concluded, and the first episode transmitted on the 23th of February, 1 9 74.
YARROW: I was surprised to find how well it has stood up over the years, particularly, the scenes which involve myself.
Perhaps that's a bit of vanity on my part, but I thought that they worked very well.
They're getting ready to leave.
And we are powerless to stop them.
I think I was quite proud of it at the time, and I got quite good, few nice remarks about it.
(GRUNTING) But looking at it again, I think I could do better.
But then, most designers think that.
You know, something that's past is past, and I could design it much better today.
When I sat and looked at it It's only four episodes long, which is a relief, really.
(LAUGHS) And I think it works okay.
I think it has got atmosphere, but I don't think it's the best Dalek story ever.
Or maybe, we've just all seen too many Daleks.
(SHOTS FIRING) Oh, good shot, sir.
Yes, it's dated because of its technology.
It does look a bit fuzzy, but it is a very good yarn.
Everyone played their part, and I think the director Full marks.
BRIGGS: I think, in some ways, Death to the Daleks has had an effect on me for what I do now.
I mean, now I do the voice of the Daleks for the TV series, and also, I'm the executive producer of Big Finish who do the audio Doctor Whos.
And certainly, the sort of Dalek empire that is presented in Death to the Daleks is the one that I've inherited as my baseline assumption for what the Daleks are up to.
DALEK: Exterminate.
There's nothing that tastes so much like Doctor Who to me as Death to the Daleks.
DALEK NARRATOR: Dalek archive closed.