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I'll tell you this: there's something very big going on here, and if the Daleks are involved, you can bet your life our whole galaxy is in danger.
A Lower Deck Episode. A bottom deck episode, in fact... possibly the first Doctor-Lite episode? The Time Travel Team and TARDIS don't even appear at all - this is just a teaser for the later story "The Daleks' Master Plan".
Three dudes, one of whom is a security agent for the Second Great and Bountiful Human Empire, crash in a jungle. They discover a Dalek plot to take over the solar system, and all end up very dead. Shades of James Bond abound.
One of Doctor Who's many Missing Episodes, this one was recreated by the students of the University of Central Lancashire in 2019 and released, with the full support of the BBC, on October 9th of that year, 54 years after its original airdate. Can be watched here.
This episode/story provides examples of:
- Absentee Actor: The only episode of the main series' canon not to feature both the Doctor and his companions.
- Backdoor Pilot: After "Planet Of Giants" was shortened and a hole in the schedule was created, Terry Nation wrote this episode partially as a teaser for the upcoming "The Daleks' Master Plan" and partially to see if a Dalek spinoff show could work.
- Bat Deduction: A spaceship of a type never before seen? Must be a Dalek craft.
- Body Horror: Get stung by a Varga and you become a Varga.
- Continuity Nod: Lowery recalls the Dalek's invasion of 22nd century Earth.
- Death World: Kembel is the most dangerous planet in the universe.
- The Dreaded: The Varga. Not only because of their Body Horror powers but because they mean a Dalek isn't far behind.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: The episode's alternate title in production was "Dalek Cutaway", which tells you exactly what you're getting. This alternate title was often listed along with or in place of "Mission To The Unknown" as the title of the episode for years until some of the disputed episode titles were standardised.
- Kill'Em All: Everyone in this story dies.
- Lower Deck Episode
- Mauve Shirt: Marc Cory.
- Missing Episode: The only standalone episode from the original run, and managed to become one of the missing due to tape wiping.
- Red Shirt: Jeff Garvey and Gordon Lowery.
- Plant Aliens: The Varga.
- Poorly-Disguised Pilot: A very poorly disguised one for the Terry Nation's proposed Dalek Space Opera spin-off in America.
- Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale: "Galaxy", "universe", and "solar system" are, despite what how this story uses them, not in fact synonyms.
- Sequel Hook: For "The Daleks' Master Plan".
- The Virus: Varga plants.
- Took a Level In Badass: The first of many that the Daleks would take.