The Chase


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The Chase

Serial Code


First Transmitted

22 May 1965

Final Ratings







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Regular Cast

William Hartnell (Dr Who), Jacqueline Hill (Barbara), William Russell (Ian), Maureen O Brien (Vicki), Peter Purves (Steven Taylor)*

Guest Cast

Robert Marsden (Abraham Lincoln), Roger Hammond (Francis Bacon), Vivienne Bennet (Queen Elizabeth I), Hugh Walters (William Shakespeare) [1], Richard Coe (Television Announcer) [1], Peter Hawkins, David Graham (Dalek Voices), Robert Jewell, Kevin Manser, John Scott Martin [1-4], Gerald Taylor (Daleks), Jack Pitt (Mire Beaast) [1-2], Ian Thompson (Malsan) [2], Hywel Bennett (Rynian) [2], Al Raymond (Prondyn) [2], Arne Gordon (Guide) [3], Peter Purves (Morton Dill) [3], Dennis Chinnery (Albert C. Richardson) [3], David Blake Kelly (Capt. Benjamin Briggs) [3], Patrick Carter (Bosun) [3], Douglas Ditta (Willoughby) [3], Jack Pitt (Cabin Steward) [3], John Maxim (Frankenstein) [4], Malcolm Rogers (Count Dracula) [4], Roslyn de Winter (Grey Lady) [4], Edmund Warwick (Robot Dr. Who) [5]*, David Graham (Mechanoid Voice) [5-6], Murphy Grumbar [5-6], Jack Pitt [6], John Scott Martin [6], Jack Pitt [5], John Scott Martin [5], Ken Tyllsen [5-6] (Mechanoid)


Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Richard Martin/Douglas Camfield
Produced by Verity Lambert


1 “The Executioners” 25:25 22 May 1965 10.0m
2 “The Death of Time” 23:32 29 May 1965 9.5m
3 “Flight Through Eternity” 25:23 5 June 1965 9.0m
4 “Journey into Terror” 23:49 12 June 1965 9.5m
5 “The Death of Doctor Who” 23:27 19 June 1965 9.0m
6 “The Planet of Decision” 26:29 26 June 1965 9.5m


The travellers learn from the Time-Space Visualiser taken from the Moroks’ museum that Daleks equipped with their own time machine are on their trail with orders to exterminate them. They flee in the TARDIS.

The chase begins on the desert planet Aridius and takes in a number of stopping-off points, including a spooky haunted house which is actually a futuristic fun-fair attraction.

Eventually both time machines arrive on the jungle planet Mechanus, where the Daleks try to infiltrate and kill The Doctor’s party with a robotic double of him. The travellers are taken prisoner by the Mechonoids – robots sent some fifty years earlier to prepare landing sites for human colonists who never arrived – and meet Steven Taylor, a stranded astronaut who has been the Mechonoids’ captive for the past two years.

The Daleks and the Mechonoids engage in a fierce battle which ends in their mutual destruction. The Doctor’s party seizes this opportunity to escape.

The Doctor reluctantly helps Ian and Barbara to use the Daleks’ time machine to return home.


  • All episodes exist as 16mm telerecordings.
  • Negative film prints were recovered for all episodes in1978.
  • This story went under the working title The Pursuers.
  • The story was commissioned at late notice when another of Terry Nation’s stories fell through. It is believed that the slot was originally to be filled by his planned historical The Red Fort.
  • This is the final television story featuring Ian and Barbara.
  • The story also features The Beatles in a film clip. Ironically, considering the number of lost Doctor Who episodes, the Beatles performance from which this clip was taken now only survives in this story. (In a double irony, the scene has once again been “lost” as licensing restrictions forced it to be deleted from the Region 1 DVD release.). The Beatles were originally planned to appear as old men performing in the 21st Century but this proposal was vetoed by their managerBrian Epstein. Had this gone through, of course, it would have become an anachronism given the fates that would befall both John Lennon and George Harrison before they got to be “old men”.
  • Vicki mentions the time rotor.
  • The Doctor uses the time path indicator and the Time-Space Visualiser.
  • The Doctor gives Ian the TARDIS magnet to track his time machine.
  • The Doctor explains to the others it takes twelve minutes for the TARDIS flight computer to re-orientate itself and gather power, thus limiting the speed with which they can make each new jump.
  • This is the first appearance of Steven Taylor. Actor Peter Purves became the first actor to play two completely different roles (without the use of heavy makeup or prosthetics) in the same story. He also became the first actor to appear in a guest-starring capacity before being offered a regular role. This also occurred with Ian Marter, Freema Agyeman and Karen Gillan, the fact that Purves played two different roles, one to become ongoing within the same story, however, remains a unique circumstance.*
  • The Chase was earmarked to form the basis for a third Dr. Who film starring Peter Cushing, to follow Daleks’ Invasion Earth 2150 A.D., but the film was never made.
  • The fifth episode carries the title The Death of Doctor Who, this is one of only two occasions in which the technically incorrect name ‘Doctor Who’ is used in an on-screen title (the other occasion being the seven episodes of Doctor Who and the Silurians in 1970). The name was corrected when the title was otherwise reused for The Sarah Jane Adventures serial, Death of the Doctor and its novelisation.
  • During rehearsal the three Fungoid costumes were given nicknames to avoid confusion: Fungoid Fred, Toadstool Taffy and Mushroom Malone.
    The three main pillars of the Mechanus forest set were referred to in the script as the Gubbage Canes.[2]
  • A later novel, Interference – Book One, established that the Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster robots were built by Microsoft, although the company wasn’t established until a full ten years after The Chase was broadcast.
  • The Planet of Decision features the first use of the Dalek battle cry of Exterminate! (Previously,
  • The Daleks mentioned the term extermination, and in The Dalek Invasion of Earth, the Supreme Dalek ordered his subordinates to exterminate Ian, but this is the first time the word is used as a singular exclamation.)
  • In The Mighty 200, a Doctor Who Magazine fan poll of favourite stories published in issue #413,
  • The Chase ranked as 157th favourite story overall and the least-favourite Dalek story.
  • The episode Flight Through Eternity contains a rather morbid first (remembering that Doctor Who was originally considered a children’s programme and still is marketed towards children as of 2011): the first depiction of the death of a child. This refers to the baby being carried by the woman who jumps off the Mary Celeste (and, though no deaths occur on-screen, history records that the passengers of the vessel were never found).
  • This was the second serial to consist of several mini-adventures linked by an overall story arc. The first was The Keys of Marinus, also written by Terry Nation. Both stories also feature a planet replete with sentient flora.
  • When Ian asks Barbara for her cardigan for use in his plan to make a trap for the Dalek guarding the TARDIS, she says, Oh no, not again. Another of her cardigans was sacrificed in The Space Museum.
  • This is the first appearance of Dalek replicant technology. It would be seen again in Resurrection of the Daleks.
  • The Empire State Building is used as a location in another Dalek story, Daleks in Manhattan/Evolution of the Daleks. In this story, it is suggested that the Daleks had a hand in constructing the Empire State Building, at the very least designing the top few floors, which is indeed the case in that latter story. The Daleks featured in the two stories are most likely not aware of each other, because the plot of Manhattan/Evolution hinges on a post-Last Great Time War state of affairs.
  • The Mechonoids appear again, resurrected by Davros, in The Juggernauts.
  • The Daleks’ ability to time travel is referenced again in The Daleks’ Master Plan, The Evil of the Daleks, Day of the Daleks, Resurrection of the Daleks, Remembrance of the Daleks, Doomsday, Daleks in Manhattan, The Stolen Earth and Journey’s End.
  • The alien known as Mila, first appearing in Patient Zero, claimed to have been in the TARDIS since this story.
  • In 1903, after receiving a wealth of information from the future, Grigori Rasputin foresaw the manner in which Ian and Barbara would leave the TARDIS. (The Wanderer)
  • Ian and Barbara arrived back in London on 26 June 1965. The Doctor gave them an envelope of British notes and coins which included a twenty pence coin from 1982. (The Time Travellers)
  • Ian and Barbara return as husband and wife in The Face of the Enemy.
  • The Daleks refer to The Doctor as human again in The Daleks’ Master Plan. It wasn’t until Resurrection of the Daleks that his true species designation was acknowledged by them on-screen.
  • Order the Chase DVD via the BBC DVD Page
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