Doctor Who: The Evil of the Daleks

Samantha PillingEntertainment, History

Known for being one of the lost episodes of Doctor Who, The Evil of the Daleks was the season finale for series four of the popular TV series. Consisting of 7 episodes, each only 25 minutes long, filming took place during the month of April.The Evil of the Daleks was then broadcast on 20th May 1967 – with the remaining six episodes being broadcast over the following weeks.

Production notes

The scripts for The Evil of the Daleks, episode 1-5 were received by the BBC on 16th March 1967. Four days later, they received the scripts for episodes 6 and 7. Production assistant Tim Combe found Grim’s Dyke as the filming location for Dr Who. He initially saw it whilst house-hunting in the general area, but returned on 6th April 1967 to check the then out of use house, as a potential location for Doctor Who. The next day a BBC assistant, Rae Pickthrone and Mr Sewell, the engineer and surveyor for the Borough of Harrow, had agreed a fee of £120 for the use of Grim’s Dyke. Filming would take place on the 20th, 24th and 25th of April.

The Evil of the Daleks saw Patrick Troughton, as the second Doctor Who, and Jamie (Frazer Hines) was his current companion. However, these episodes also saw Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling) became a new additional companion for the Doctor. She hadn’t been their first choice for this role. Originally, Denise Buckley had been cast, but she was subsequently dropped and replaced by Watling.

Filming at Grim’s Dyke also consisted of a rare night shoot for the Doctor Who series. Night filming was needed, to show the exterior of the house. This was to be used in episode 3 of the finale.

End of the Daleks

Interestingly, The Evil of the Daleks was the episode that was supposed to signal the end of the Daleks. The decision to remove them from the TV series had been made, after the director, Gerry Mill, complained about the quality of the models being produced by then contractor, Shawcraft Models. The Daleks creator, Terry Nation, was also planning to have a spin-off series for his Dalek creations. He’d been trying to get them written out of the series for a while – but the BBC ultimately decided against taking on this spin-off series.

The Evil of the Daleks was therefore, the first Doctor Who story to be assigned to the BBC’s own visual effects department.

The BBC Archive Centre holds six production files for The Evil of the Daleks. However, episode two is the only one to still exist as part of the BBC archives, along with a couple of behind-the-scenes clips from episode seven. BBC writer, producer and author, Simon Guerrier shares some great stills of The Evil of the Daleks on his Twitter feed:, as does the Doctor Who Locations Guide website:

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