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Doctor's Dilemma

By Jon Preddle

Rex Duis writes: In the novelisation of Remembrance of the Daleks (pg 28), the Doctor remembers his visit to Skaro in his first incarnation: "He thought of Temmosus, the Thal Leader, screaming for peace and friendship even as a Dalek gunned him down". But if you refer to page 89 of the novelisation of The Daleks (or whatever it's supposed to be called), Ian states: "I watched the Doctor peer out of the doorway, take Susan's hand and then the two of them disappeared".

As Rex points out, if the Doctor walked away before the Daleks attacked the Thals, how could he have seen Temmosus gunned down? Even if Ian had relayed the information to him, he still wouldn't have seen it himself. The only thing I can think of is telepathy or something, or maybe he later watches it from the TARDIS scanner's memory? What do you think?

I took a look at this scene from The Daleks (well, that's what it says on the video box) and in episode four, The Ambush, we see the events as described on pages 89 to 93 of Whitaker's book. Indeed, the Doctor and Susan do leave the city before the ambush starts, and so are not witnesses to the Dalek attack. From this it is clear that when it came to writing his own script's adaptation, Ben Aaronovitch incorrectly assumed the Doctor was present. Mind you, this is not the first time that the Target books have proven to be unreliable reference sources. However, all is not lost. On re-reading the passage from Remembrance, it appears that the Doctor is simply picturing in his mind's eye the image of Temmosus's murder, so he probably was told about the death in some detail by Ian all those years ago. There is plenty of opportunity for this to have happened between scenes in The Daleks, given that the first scene after the ambush is of the TARDIS crew already settled at the Thal encampment.


In Doctor's Dilemma of TSV 52 and the letters page of TSV 53 there was some discussion about the appearance of the character Celation from The Daleks' Master Plan, given that there were no known photos in existence of the alien. Our minds can now all be put to rest; in DWM 272, a photo of the elusive Celation appears for the first time in 32 years! What, you want to know what he looks like? Buy the issue and find out! What...? Oh, all right. He's tall, with a predominantly white bald head and a body that is covered from neck to foot in large black spots. Scary, eh?! The Australian censors thought so...

This item appeared in TSV 56 (October 1998).

Index nodes: Doctor's Dilemma, Remembrance of the Daleks, The Daleks' Master Plan