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The Doctor says farewell to two trusted companions, but first they battle Desert Squids, Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula and Spherical Daleks.


Doctor Who The Chase Cast Shot
At some point, someone actually took this photo.

The Doctor, Barbara, Ian (and Vicki) get the Space-and-Time-Visualiser working and tune in to random years in Earth’s history. Fortunately, the STV is a device that allows its users to witness very specific and unmentioned points of significance, e.g. William Shakespeare having an audience with Queen Elizabeth I, Abraham Lincoln delivering the Gettysburg Address, The Beatles live on Top of The Pops, or Daleks exposing the recent completion of their time machine and consequent plan to hunt down Doc & Co.

And so begins this dismal journey into slapstick madness. The troupe encounters Aridians (fish people happily living on a desert planet with no water), a fake American atop the Empire State Building (apologies to all Americans on behalf of the BBC), a crewman of the Mary Celeste (whom they promptly bludgeon), and a fake Robot Doctor, who looks “exactly” like the real one.

But that’s not all! We’re also forced to endure our intrepid time travellers meeting Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster for an entire episode, that takes place, it seems, in a closed-down funfair in the future Ghana of 1996 – side note: the same year that John Spartan “will be” cryogenically frozen in future Los Angeles.

Furthermore, the troupe battles Gubbage Cones (aka Fungoids), Daleks (I believe you’ve met already) and Mechanoids (who are essentially spherical Daleks).

Were it not for two very important changes to the dynamics of Doctor Who, we might have told you to give this one a miss. Here we go:

  1. We’re introduced to the next companion.
  2. We must bid Barbara and Ian farewell.

The Ratings-and-Reviews section of this podcast episode kicks off at:
1 hour 32 minutes 45 seconds


Here's what we think of C016 The Chase

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Flapjack | @12Manymornings


Here's what we think of C016 The Chase

We rate Doctor Who stories on a scale from 0.0 to 5.0. For context, very few are excellent enough to merit a 5.0 in our minds, and we'd take a 0.0 Doctor Who story over a lot of other, non-Whovian stuff out there.

Leon | @ponken


Flapjack | @12Manymornings


Here's what you think 8 Responses to “C016 The Chase”
  1. Davis / @ShrubThe

    Here’s another (apparently) hated serial that I absolutely loved. Maybe I just have a big heart. Or the after-effects of The Web Planet have lasted longer than I thought. Either way, this serial was pretty great. It starts off with Vicki finally learning what her use to the crew of the TARDIS is-namely getting in the way. Good for you Vicki! The ship proceeds to land on the planet of unitard wearing lizard men. Of course, that’s after we spend ten minutes gazing into a machine that has little consequence to the plot. On this planet, Ian miraculously survives an explosion and pushes a Dalek off of a cliff using Barbara’s cardigan.

    Soon enough, the crew escapes from the Daleks and lands on the Empire State Building. Here we find an American with a very distracting (and insulting) southern accent. The group leaves immediately, only to be replaced by the Daleks. Who are made fun of by the American. The crew continues hopping from planet to planet in a quite nonsensical, but very entertaining way.

    The final battle happens on the planet Mechanus, where gigantic round robots trap everybody with a man named Steven. They jump off send Vicki off the roof attached to a cable, against her will, of course. Good choice for a guinea pig, I must add. The Daleks and the robots fight in a huge explosion-y battle on a bridge, which I quite enjoyed.

    Sadly, we must say goodbye to Ian and Barbara now. They will be missed, but at least they got a proper send off.the end of the serial was essential a photo album of the return to England. I liked it. This serial earns itself a 4.5, because I thought it was hilarious. It helps that the Daleks we’re doing comedy as well. I mark off for only a few reasons. First, they spent too much time on the time and space visualizer. Also, episode 4 had a very confusing ending, and I didn’t understand what happened. Still, I loved the episode, as I’ve said multiple times. Shama-lama-ding-dong. Sorry, I had to.

  2. Al / @Fraze_Alex

    It’s so nice for you guys to be back, I really enjoy the last three serials at the end of season 2, despite the completely illogical nature of the space musuem and the chase. Unfortunately, I’m too sick to review the Chase let alone rewatch the whole thing so I’ll share some of my favorite trivia about the production:

    The Beatles were originally going to perform in studio in elderly make up as part of their 1996 30th anniversary reunion tour for the Chase, as they were all big Doctor Who fans. Unfortunately, they were in the middle of filming Help! (Their second movie), which aired just a month after the Chase finished airing. This forced the BBC to use stock footage of them from Tops of the Pops, a music show celebrating the pop hits of the day. As you guys know
    from Hartnell’s flubbing lines, they were only allowed to do one take, which was often very close to air date of the episode they were shooting. This clip serves as further proof of that extremely hectic production schedule because it was on Top of the pops just one month before the first episode was broadcast! I’ll leave you guys to imagine the possibilities behind that.

    April 15 -Beatles play on top of the pops
    May 22- Chase ep 1 airs
    June 26 – Chase ends
    July – Help! premieres

    Source: DVD production notes/commentary and further proof at (

    PS: One positive effect of this production failure is that the clip used in this episode is the only surviving footage of the Beatles on Top of the Pops.

    I’ll definitely review the time meddler because it really is a masterpiece serial and Hartnell’s best, you guys should be so hyped for it!

  3. Doctor Who Season 2 Episode 8: The Chase

    Following on the heels of a visit to the Space Museum on Xeros, The Doctor and Company find themselves on the run from The Daleks, through all of time and space.

    This is kicked off by a promo for ACME Time/SpaceVisualizers. Enjoy such wonders as Abe Lincoln boldyspeaking at Gettysburg; a Doctorless and lovelorn Elizabeth the First rapping with Will Shakespeare; how about your favorite boy band cranking out televised drops of gold? All yours, so long as Barb doesnt turn it off by accident.

    The Neds Atomic Dustbins chase the Magical Mystery Machine to Tatooine where they meet The Tye-Dye people. The Dune hippies are HELP!less against the Dispair Squids, and provide the semblance of a backstory for the Scooby Gang to gesture at while they bide their time running from Plungers Incorporated. For not the first time I’m sure, the removal of Barbs cardigan provides their salvation.

    The Doc et al escape. The Leotards are fucked, dessimated by squid death and Dalek slavery. Nice one, TimeLord.

    The Bloodhound gang then pitstop on the Empire State Building, in 1966. The ancestor of Steven Taylor twists and shouts at all the movie magic. They all arrive. They all leave. That’s about it.

    Whatever happened to Morton Dill? Interesting spinoff…..

    Next, the TARDIS lands on a not-quite-so yellow submarine, with like three crew, and there is a cutesy nod to historical maritime tragedy (Mary Celeste – facepalm. Lets just explain all of history, shall we?). Vicky knocks out Ian, and The Daleks assault the ships crew and employ the little used “avoidance by abandoning ship” interrogation technique.

    Segway to The Hilarious House of Frightenstein, circa 1996. In Ghana.

    Dr. Snuggles and the Three Amigos land in Gothica, and do battle with disgruntled animatronics and some spook house monsters. Clearly, The D-bags have underestimated the depths of weirdness in the human psyche, and have a hard time coping with Frankenstein, a cackling woman from second year drama school, and a Dracula impersonator, schooled in the spirit of Ray Harryhausen claymation. After a hard days night, the chased exit stage left.

    On a brighter note, Vicki is left behind.

    Arriving on the planet of left over production pieces, the remaining Tards dodge giant lonesome mushrooms, and plan to blow up the Daleks with a discarded Pentium tower.

    On a less brighter note, Vicki managed to hitch a ride on the Dalek Revolving Door Time Machine. And is no longer left behind.

    The Daleks build a really, REALLY bad evil robot Doctor. Because paying Hartnell overtime to play two characters would have hurt the budget. Fortunately, they convincingly dubbed the voice.

    Enter Steven Taylor, fool on the hill, ex-future soldier and erstwhile companion of the quickly forgotten foil of Hi-Fi the teddy bear. He’s been there awhile.

    Whatever happened to Hi-Fi? He and Morton Dill need a buddy series.

    The Roving Daleks have a full on Robot Wars showdown with the Jenny Craig-O-bots, while the Ivory Towers of Some Other Script-a-lon burn. Climbing down some electrical cord (or the attempt to throw Vicki off a ledge – one can hope), the Quartet come together and vamoose away to the jungle.

    Steven fucks off after the bear, and is seen later wandering back in the jungle, probably near the TARDIS. Just saying…..

    Ian and Barb try to convince the crotchety old Doc to help them get home in the Dalek Delorian, and after some badgering by the still present and living Vicki, he agrees. Our swinging and upwardly mobile DINKS get back to where they once belonged, albeit two years out, and proceed to do normal adult, 20th century things like frolic with pidgeons, make faces and laugh at paying for stuff. Using the visualizer, Vicki and The Doc look on, because they know that a 50/50 chance of getting back home is a coordinate to dial in on.

    I actually really enjoyed this serial. From the jazzy stings going in and out of episodes, to the relentlessly pathetic attempts by The Daleks to catch and thwart the gang, it was quite a lot of fun. And the notion of Daleks versus a Haunted House is so ridiculous, it almost makes perfect sense.

    As a send off for William Russell and Jacqueline Hill, I would have enjoyed a less than ambivalent goodbye. After the speech for Susan, i guess i expected more. Plus: frowny face – we’re stuck with Vicki.

    It does get slow at points, and watching I felt we were dragged by lapels through the ending, but on the whole, the concept of the episode won me over. It had a distinctive “Keys of Marinus” feel throughout, and the fact that they werent locked into a single set worked wonderfully.

    Despite the mish mash of elements and slightly rushed-feeling ending, I give this serial 3.5 overall.

  4. The Chase

    Barbara and her companions are chased through space and time by the most pathetic Daleks ever, then the unthinkable happens… no more Barbara and no more Ian… Will the show survive!

    The Good

    Episode 1 is domestic bliss in the TARDIS – knowing that the ending would change this forever, makes it all the more poignant.

    The amazing send off of Ian and Barbara – considering Susan got abandoned and married off, this was a very powerful ending and the Doctor’s fluff of “You’ll end up as a couple of burnt cinders flying around in Spain.. IN SPACE!” seems to be completely in character, he’s really pissed off…. “I shall miss them, the silly old fusspots…”

    The team leave Vicki behind in episode 4…

    The Bad

    …the team find Vicki again in episode 5

    Were the Daleks on drugs? : “TARDIS TARDIS TARDIS TARDIS TARDIS!!!!” – and speaking of drugged up Daleks, what the hell was the Dalek smoking to NOT have exterminated Morton “Fucking” Dill…

    Vicki’s irritating Index is a 3.5, and in Episode 1 what the hell is she laughing at every few seconds… is she on the same thing that the Daleks have been smoking

    The Doctor’s robot duplicate manages to look completely unlike the Doctor and yet fools Vicki – Irritation Index now at 4.7


    Bookended by a nice start, and an amazing ending send off for Ian and Barbara – the rest is just a mismash of set pieces – it would score far lower if it wasn’t for the ending… 2.5/5

  5. Gina Guerrero / @GinaGuerrero1

    I can honestly say that I liked and actually enjoyed parts of The Chase rather than the story as a whole. In the first two Dalek stories, the Daleks were terrifying and omnipotent villains. In The Chase, the Daleks are incompetent blundering pepperpots that weren’t very scary. The Daleks didn’t feel the need to EXTERMINATE the various humans they encountered on the Empire State Building or on the ship, something they would have done in previous stories without hesitation.

    The Chase does exactly what it says on the tin. The Doctor and the Notorious VIB are being pursed through time and space by the Daleks because…Actually I’m not really sure why they are chasing him. The mix of stories and settings was not well executed and had been done better in The Keys of Marnius with more substance. We open with the crew watching a futuristic television that can show scenes throughout history including Abraham Lincoln, Shakespeare and the Beatles. I laughed out loud, rewound and laughed again at Ian’s “dancing”. They eventually land on the planet Adrius, with a population of aliens that looked like fishy tin men. They run into the Mire Beast which looked like a lumpy comforter, real scary.

    Unfortunately the rest of the story is tried and true trope of splitting up the group and the aliens selling out the Doctor to the Daleks. Daleks play cat and mouse for the next few episodes. We go to the Empire State building, the crew running in to one of the most offensive portrayals of an American, I have ever seen. His “accent”, if you want to call it that ..was horrendous. Then we are off to the high seas on the Marie Celeste with some I guess you can call it hi jinxs. The bizarre haunted house sequences after that drag on for most of the fourth episode, and by now you can tell I began to interest and wished for the story to just end.

    The final act of The Chase plays out in the studio-bound forests of Mechanus, and matters do reach some sort of head. We’re introduced to new companion Steven Taylor, who, after the useless Morton Dill, fares much better here. It’s nice to see a character that’s a bit more headstrong and who doesn’t automatically follow the Doctor’s orders. And the teddy bear was cool.

    The Chase is silly, rambling and in parts incoherent, but I still enjoyed it. The last 10 minutes pulled be back in to the story. It’s the end of the line for Ian and Barbara, who finally discover a way of getting back to their own time and place, thanks to the Daleks’ abandoned ship. The Doctor is totally against the idea, even going so far as to say that if they use the ship, they will end up as burnt cinders floating around in Spain. Despite the angry Time Lord’s protests, Ian and Barbara touch down safely in London, and enjoy their freedom in a rather charming montage of still shots. Again, The Doctor’s sad “I shall miss them… yes, I shall miss them” is wonderfully acted by Hartnell. I will miss them too….

    So my rating is a 3.3. Thanks guys!!!!

  6. Peter Zunitch

    Um, What happened with this one? This one also gives mixed feelings, but in a different way. One episode is really good, and the following is bad. Then back to good and bad again. It has several issues, mostly logical. It seems we are stuck here between great potential and the desire of either the writer or producers to lighten the story.
    I believe it was a deliberate choice to make the doctor’s clone obviously different from the doctor himself so as not to confuse the audience. I think there was supposed to be an implied understanding that to the characters he looks perfect and identical. It doesn’t work and was an incorrect choice, but I understand it, and looking at it from this approach is the only thing that makes real sense of it.
    Why are fun house [presumably] robotic characters immune to the Dalek weapons? We’ve seen the Daleks blast machines before. Why make the Empire state thing so comedic when the rest of the series is rather serious? It detracts so much from the tension of the story. Imagine instead a standoff at the top of the empire state building, with someone hanging over the edge (yes they could have figured out how to shoot it). Imagine the crew in a haunted house, being jump-scared by both the exhibits and the Daleks, and the Daleks blasting the exhibits to bits. Imagine the desert planet being given just a little more background to explore. Imagine the Mechanus stuff being a little tighter, with less sleeping in a cave waiting for things to happen.
    It is my choice to believe that Ian an Barbara go off and get married, etc. It would make their time in the Tardis all that more meaningful and valuable. I loved their sendoff, though I wish there were one or two lines in there that would have said what was unsaid…mainly Ian and Barbara to the Doctor. After all this time I didn’t like that they were actually angry and threatening at this point. I guess emotions were just high for both the cast and audience.
    I liked Steven’s introduction. You can tell he’s gone a little batty in the loneliness of his exile, but he’s a good man at heart. I didn’t like the Mechanoid design and to this day am not sure if they’re really saying things we should understand or if it’s just computer gibberish. The rest of the design for this series is great.
    I’d like to focus on Vicki though. Yes she seems to have some strange emotional reactions and she gets in the way, but I truly think everyone in the podcast land has misread her. I still assert she’s childlike (due to here lack of company for some critical years of her growing up), and that she has a sadistic side. However she also has a technical intelligence (at least with voiceprint locks), so she is amused by all the thing that go on. Things she finds all so silly and needless. It is this that makes her laugh at the wrong time, etc. She can be grating as a character, but if this was truly the context in which her character was shaped I think she was played brilliantly. She’s simply not aware of the seriousness around her half the time. To her it’s just a fun romp. This should have been played up. Unfortunately what we get instead is a Susan replacement with less insecurity, less motivation, and more of a need for social hand holding. When they’re not playing that up, she’s actually a contribution to many scenes. That said though, I understand the existence of the annoyance factor.
    Overall this is a story that has interesting moments, and others that need to come with a snooze alarm button. It is s story the never found focus, which is a shame as it’s such a great concept that is never explored again. 2.6

  7. In this, the first Dr Who story ever to feature multiple planets and multiple time-zones, the Daleks are hunting down the TARDIS crew. As the Doctor and his companions visit one spot after another, looking for a battleground, the Daleks are drawing in ever closer.

    Their journey begins on the desert planet Aridius, populated by carnivorous Mire Beasts and rather feeble fish people. From there, our intrepid heroes touch down on the top of the Empire State building, on the Mary Celeste sailing ship, inside a strangely lethal haunted house fairground attraction and finally on the planet Mechanus, populated by rotund robotic Mechanoids and a maniac with a teddybear.

    I have to confess to some bias. This was one of my VHS videos of Dr Who as a youngling and will always have a special place in my heart. I am therefore gazing at it with the fond, enraptured expression of a doting parent who sees beneath the dribbly nose and the vomit stains to their darling infant child.

    So with that caveat, there are several things I think work really well in this story. First is the interaction between the main characters. Especially the banter back and forth in Episode One demonstrates clearly just how much they have become a ‘family’ by this point. Second, I really appreciate the music. It’s a strange sort of upbeat lounge jazz that doesn’t remotely add to the tension or drama of the piece but is very memorable and can even by hummed along to, which is more than can be said for any other music so far. Third, the comedy (although a bit of a hit or a miss) can sometimes hit the funny spot. I may be in a minority, but I find the New York scene pretty amusing. It’s the little details, like the posh lady struggling to get her camera strap over the enormous feather in her hat. Fourth, some of the plot points, like Vicki stowing aboard the Dalek time machine, or the Daleks creating a replica robot Doctor, are very dramatic. Fifth, the great send-off of Barbara and Ian at the end of the story is, for me, one of the highlights of the second season. There will never be another Ian and Barbara, and few companions will get such a heartfelt goodbye in the history of the show.

    Even with my fond appreciation of this story, there are some things that don’t work at all. Sending up the Daleks as being parody villains was a really bad choice for the overall direction of the show, though maybe it seemed like a good idea at the time. Meanwhile, the whole format of The Chase left some obvious questions: Why did the Daleks, in their time machine, arrive after the Doctor? Why not choose to land half an hour before him and be there to meet him? Why did the Doctor and his crew ever leave the TARDIS, knowing that they are safe if they stay inside?

    Apart from the plot holes, we have so many production errors it is jaw-dropping, ranging from the robot doctor looking like a totally different man (some of the time) to massive shadows being continually thrown over the backdrop paintings of supposedly distant mountains. The pacing is always stop-starting and Vicki gets on my nerves with her hysterical screaming at every opportunity.

    – Vicki annoys everybody (including me) by whistling tunelessly. Even the Doctor loses his temper with her: “Stop that whistling.”
    – After a couple of pointless little mini-scenes with Abraham Lincoln and Elizabeth I, we are treated to a sequence with the Beatles playing on Top of the Pops. It’s barmy, it’s fun, and Ian’s dancing, once seen, can never be unseen.
    – The Doctor and Barbara are sunning themselves in the Aridian desert. The Doctor is singing, with only a modicum more sense of tune than Vicki displayed earlier. “Doctor”, cries Barbara, hearing something, “what’s that awful noise?” “I beg your pardon!”, splutters the Doctor, “that’s no way to talk about my singing! I could charm the nightingales from the trees!”
    – The Daleks plan to hunt down the time machine. “TARDIS”, they sing, like a cacophonic barbershop quartet stuck on repeat… “TARDIS, TARDIS, TARDIS, TARDIS”. “Doctor”, cries Barbara, “they said TARDIS!” It’s always good to have someone stating the utterly obvious…
    – “Don’t just stand there and scream, you little fool! Run!” Ian says what I am thinking.
    – A rather rubbery mire beast ‘eats’ an Aridian by basically walking over it. Meanwhile, the Doctor isn’t trying to help, but hobbling away as fast as he can.
    – Ian asks for Barbara’s cardigan and the Doctors coat. “My dear boy, we’re trying to defeat the Daleks, not start a jumble sale!”
    – There is one particularly stupid Dalek around. When asked the time, he hesitates, making little ‘Er’ and ‘Um’ noises for a good ten seconds. He does the same sort of thing again later, and the commands always have to be given to him twice. I’m not sure if it was deliberate, given the amount of other mistakes in this story…
    – The mere sight of the Daleks on the Mary Celeste is enough to send everyone jumping into the sea in terror. Even a nursing mother with her infant in her arms leaps hopelessly over the side… Are they really that frightening? The guy in New York didn’t think so.
    – Some idiot Dalek, probably the brother of the stammerer, belly-flops off the edge of the ship with a scream. Did he not notice that he had run out of deck?
    – By the time Frankensteins monster has started to creak slowly out of the bed, the Doctor has already legged it up the stairs. He’s clearly had the fright of his life!
    – The robot doctor fights the genuine article while Ian, Barbara and Vicki look on in confusion. Despite lacking in both development and execution, it’s a grand moment!
    – The Dalek war cry is very poetic: Align and Advance! Advance and Attack! Attack and Destroy! Destroy and Rejoice!”
    – One of the first scenes we have of the rotund Mechanoids is two of them meeting in a narrow corridor. They bump into each other, try going one way and then another, flapping their appendages uselessly. It’s not a great first impression considering they were being touted as the New Daleks!
    – Steven, the buffoon that he is, drops the rope lowering Vicki down the side of the skyscraper. Instead, he rushes back into a burning building to rescue his teddy bear. Meanwhile, Ian tries to help by grabbing Barbara by the trousers, almost pulling them off in the process…
    – The showdown battle between the Daleks and the Mechanoids is pretty epic. Almost makes their inclusion worthwhile!
    – And of course, the classic line: “You’ll end up as two cinders wandering around in Spain… er, in space!”

    It’s a classic case of being ‘so bad it’s good’. The Chase is one of these shows that stands up to endless re-watching simply because it’s so unintentionally hilarious. Not only that, but it’s got an emotional heart to it, being the swansong for Ian and Barbara – the original companions and up there with the very best.

    OVERALL: 4.1

  8. Benjamin O'Neill

    I just recently watched The Chase and listened to your podcast of it. I agree with most of what you said, and the other reviewers have summed it up pretty well.
    I think it was a great waste for Ian and Barbara to have destroyed the Dalek time machine. Why not just put it in storage for a rainy day?
    Also, why didn’t the Doctor either take it over instead of his TARDIS, or cannibalize it for parts so the TARDIS would work properly? This part just makes no sense, other than the producer didn’t want to change the format of the show.
    Was the TARDIS tracker they used in the first episode the same one the Fifth Doctor gives to Tegan, who then gives it to BAGLS in Mawdryn Undead? Those are the only two times I remember the Doctor having such a device.

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