Doctor Who: The Chase
Written by Terry Nation
Directed by Richard Martin
Broadcast 22nd May – 26th June 1965
Reviewed by Jeffrey Zyra
“I shall miss them. Yes, I shall miss them, silly old fusspots.”
Imagine being chased through space and time. Imagine the ones chasing you are your most hated enemies The Daleks. The Daleks have discovered time travel and are now hunting The Doctor, Ian, Barbara and Vicki all through time. The TARDIS crew is being chased all around to the Mary Celeste, to a monster themed fun house, to The Empire State Building in New York City USA. The Daleks are relentless in their pursuit until the final showdown on the planet Mechanus with the Mechanoids.
The Chase isn’t one of my favorite Dalek stories. Even though it has a good ending as Barbara and Ian finally get home the whole story could have been better if it was shorter. Coming in at 6 episodes it does contain a lot of filler. In my opinion it would have been better served as a 4 part story as the first two and last two episodes were done really well and I found to be very entertaining. It’s just the middle two stories were just bland and well stupid. I know they needed to create the illusion of a chase but some of the scenarios were quiet stupid. Mainly the Empire State Building scenes with future companion Peter Purves doing a really bad impression of someone from Texas.
Terry Nation tries to use the same type of storytelling that he did with The Keys of Marinus. While it worked with Keys of Marinus as every episode gave us a different scenario to find a key. The Chase it didn’t really work as it just seemed too stupid. The running around was boring actually even though they were trying to be cutesy i.e. The Mary Celeste. But what was actually really stupid was the fun house. I just find that scenario hard to take that you would think The Doctor would figure it out. I mean they are robots saying the same thing over and over again. Plus I thought the Daleks were intelligent beings and they should have figured it out.
The fight with The Daleks and The Mechanoids was pretty good. It was good seeing the Daleks meeting their match against another robot type species. The only problem is that they were kind of bulky and well really round. They were supposed to be a villain for The Daleks but never caught on in the TV show. They did however have a prominent role in The Dalek comic strip of the 60’s.
The Chase does have some fine moments. This story also is the last one to have Ian and Barbara as companions as they leave for home in the Daleks time machines. You can see that The Doctor doesn’t really want them to leave. You can see it in his argument with him. Then when they leave you can see him sad and lonely as he really got used to and enjoyed their company. It is quite a touching scene as the original companions leave. So The Chase while it does have some historical value in the shows history it just isn’t a really good Dalek story even though the premise is pretty good just not executed well.