I didn’t like the Daleks’ Master Plan, tell me why you did/didn’t

I’ve experienced the whole story twice now and both times I found it really quite bad. Whether it’s the sheer length or just the story not gripping me the whole thing felt like a big waste of time with very minimal highlights through its near 5 hour run time.

(Quick side note I don’t struggle with telesnaps as some people might, the massacre is one of my all time favourite stories)

The first 4 or so parts are pretty solid, then it devolves into just a very strange experience with lines like ‘it’s a mad house it’s full of Arabs’ being said by the Doctor. I really struggle to understand how people can enjoy this one all the way through. The ending also still feels rushed somehow which is absolutely insane to me.

The characters of the story just aren’t there, nick Courtney is easily the best non main cast member and Mavic Chen honestly fell flat in my opinion. The Doctor and Steven carry this story for me with Katarina feeling pointless especially after her haphazard introduction in the ‘Myth Makers’. I do enjoy Sara Kingdom but I just don’t see enough of her to love her like others do. I did enjoy when the monk showed up but it couldn’t bring this story out of the hole it’s in by part 8 or so.

I apologise that this has turned into some sort of crazy rant but I wanna try and give my full perspective to see if anyone can help me love this story.


That’ll pretty much need to be someone other than me, unfortunately, as I haven’t watched it. Due to it being a 12 parter, and mostly missing, it’ll probably end up being the last serial I end up watching in classic, honestly, though given I only have 19 classic serials I haven’t watched, I’ll get there eventually…


It’s one of my favorites for several reasons! I love longer stories in general; I always find I want more of Doctor Who and that seems to usually translate into wanting stories to be longer and loving longer stories because they can explore more things. Master Plan in particular has such a cool world being explored; I adore the stuff with the alien delegates, they’re so fun and creatively designed/performed and having them back in the audios was one of my favorite things to have ever happened in expanded media. I truly just love Terry Nation’s worldbuilding of that time in the future, and while Mavic Chen should definitely not have been played by a white guy in makeup, as a character I think he’s really cool and a fascinating villain. I really like how the Daleks are allowed to be clever and actually characters in this story, which is a constant in the 60s but basically disappeared afterwards. The Feast of Steven is a very fun episode and most of the comedy in it really lands for me. I think the eighth episode is kinda boring and the weakest of the story, but it then picks up again with the trip to ancient Egypt and the appearance of the Monk, who’s great fun in it. And then the final episodes bring us to a truly heartbreaking end.

Conceptually I really like Sara Kingdom, but in practice she’s written quite misogynistically as often as she’s written to be competent, which ends up making her character very mixed in quality. Katarina actually comes out better imo, and she has a genuinely lovely dynamic with the First Doctor which means it’s a shame she wasn’t able to continue on longer.

I also love how the team travels throughout a time period by its own methods, then away, and back, never forgetting the complete unpredictability of the TARDIS and utilizing it very well to make it quite a big deal when they finally get into it with the taranium core. (That total unpredictability is something I think could aid the show if it were brought back tbh.)

Really, apart from the typical poorly aged & problematic aspects of older TV, and episode eight mostly boring me, there’s not much of anything I dislike about this story!


For me it’s okay, but not great. It has some interesting ideas, but it’s too long with too many detours. The Monk stuff is fun, but should’ve been it’s story, and The Feast of Steven is a fluff Christmas special that only exists because the normal airtime landed on Christmas Day that year. If you want to like Sara Kingdom more, I’d suggest checking her Big Finish stories. The Home Truths trilogy is excellent and really gets deeper into her character. Actually, I’ve found that Simon Guerrier is one of favorite First Doctor writers in general.


Seconding Simon Guerrier and his First Doctor companion chronicles, he’s so good at capturing that era and doing really good stuff with it!!


It’s a great story. Long and mostly missing, with a few boring episodes in it (and one nonsensical, see The Feast of Steven). But it also has so many great things about it: many cool locations; Nick Courtney & Jean Marsh; Mavic Chen as one of the more memorable villains; the return of The Monk; the grim death of Katarina; the VERY grim climactic Time Disruptor scene and the death of Sara Kingdom; Daleks, Daleks, Daleks!


I think I found it decidedly average, but I’m desperately due a rewatch because I don’t remember it well at all. Then again, dalek stories are so rarely my favourite so that probably doesn’t help me


I see! That’s quite the convincing read. I love that you love it so much. after my second rewatch of it earlier this year I can’t say I found the story beats as Impactful as you did which I feel is the main reason we differ in opinion so much.

I can somewhat agree with Katarina coming off better than Sara because I do enjoy her dynamic with the first doctor but like I mentioned I found her rushed and slightly weird introduction in the ‘Myth Makers’ to be very strange.

The Feast of Steven is genuinely like a fever dream to me, it is absolutely mental and just doesn’t really work in my opinion.

Agreed episode 8 is insatiably dull and the worst of the lot.

Mavic Chen despite the racist background of the character still just has never worked for me, he’s one of those mad villains I just don’t gel with. I prefer a Professor Zaroff even if I’m not that much of a fan of the Underwater Menace.

Like I previously mentioned I found the ending to be rushed and it didn’t hold that much weight for me. Yes the death of Sara is shocking and brutal but the resolution with the Time Destructor is dire at best for me.

I really do think my opinions would improve if I could get better visual of the story and I do plan to read the novels shortly as I’m currently trying to collect all the target novels.

Like I say I love that you love this story and hope this had shed even more light on my opinions :))


I really enjoy this story. Even at 12 episodes, it feels like a fairly tight story. My tiny review at the time likened it to The Chase, only better.

The characters are good. Sara Kingdom is such a great one. She has so many layers, and a brilliant arc. There are enough changes in scenery to keep it interesting, but at the same time, you spend enough time in the various places that it doesn’t feel jarring when the changes happen.

The overall narrative that is threaded though this grand adventure keeps me grounded. It doesn’t just turn into a collection of random things that bulk out a story until the plot reappears again in the last episode.

Out of the 12 episodes, there is only one I dislike, and honestly that might be just down to the nature of recons.

This is a 4.5/5 (fav) for me.


200w (2)

A large part of this story is a retelling of the narrative of the Chase, but done so much better.

  • The relationship between Bret Vyon and Sara Kingdom, it is so unbelievably powerful what happens between them and results in Sara becoming the perfect companion for this story.
  • Katarina’s death is so powerful, she was in over her head in these future times for her but her sacrificing herself was a deliberate choice to save her friends.
  • Kevin Stoney as Mavic Chen is pitch perfect in his performance.
  • The Feast of Steven, I don’t know, perhaps if given a decent animation it will work better for me.
  • Sara Kingdom’s demise at the end is so gruesome and just immensely powerful.
  • Peter Purves and William Hartnell give amazing performances throughout.
  • Just the weirdness of some of these delegates, they are really alien.

I think if (when) it becomes animated it would be nice to include an edit that edits out the shenanigans with the Monk - it’s a nice subplot, but it does halt the narrative a bit to a stop.

Plus, as an aside, that recreation that was made of Mission to the Unknown was really well done :+1:


Just to add onto my point.

I think this might be my favourite Dalek story.


Wow! That’s quite the high praise. I will give this story another go at some point but after watching it through twice the thought of going through it again doesn’t seem all too pleasant.

I adore your enthusiasm!


My two favourites are The Daleks’ Master Plan and Genesis of the Daleks. This I think comes out on top because, while it has dark moments, it’s more of an enjoyable romp. Genesis is great, but the unending dour nature can make it a difficult one to watch again and again.

It’s just my opinion. Other dislike both. I’m not a giant fan of the OG The Daleks, but others think it’s the best one.


Just remember: you’re not obligated to love or even like everything. There are so many different stories in the Whoniverse that all of us are bound to dislike some of them and find many of them average. This shows the richness of opinions within fandom and sparks good (and hopefully meaningful and respectful discussions). Sometimes rewatching something changes our opinion of a story for the better or the worse, sometimes it doesn’t. And that’s fine.

Within this forum alone, there are plenty of people who like The Web Planet for instance, while I cannot stand it. And others love The End of Time, while others (for some strange reason) dislike it passionately.

Noooo! Don’t touch my mate The Monk! Leave him alone! There’s not enough of him in televised Doctor Who as is! And Peter Butterworth is a genius!


At least I am passionate about something :wink:

That’s why I said to include it as an edit :wink: I love the Monk, but the bits with the Monk gives a degree of levity to the story that, if edited out would leave a more intense and streamlined story.
Imagine if you threw in an episode somewhere towards the end of Children of Earth where they had to capture the Blowfish in the sportscar because he had stolen the Mcguffin of the week before getting back to the 456… If you catch my drift :wink:


Okay then, if we can have the best of both worlds, I’m happy. Not that we’re very likely to get an animated reconstruction of this anyway :joy:

You know, I’d really want to see this now :joy:


Me too! :grin::grin::grin:

And then again have an old Welsh woman look at that car chase and go “Bloody Torchwood!” again :sunglasses:


This story holds a unique place in my personal experience of televised Doctor Who. I have never watched it, and I’m sure that trying to “watch” it as telesnaps would be just awful. I think that’s a terrible way to try to experience any of the missing episodes.

It is, though, the only story for which I have the BBC Audio release, so I’ve listened to it multiple times (curiously, I’m in the midst of a re-listen now), and I’ve very much enjoyed it. The audio, with Purves’ linking narration, really works for me.

As it’s the only TV Who story I’ve experienced this way, I have nothing to compare it to, no sense of what might be better or worse or whatever. But I’m really glad to have this one.