Importance: It’s another episode with the Doctor’s main nemeses, the Daleks. This is also when we see Susan leave the show. This is also the first mention of Dalekanium which comes later in both classic and modern Who. This serial also acts as the inspiration for the Peter Cushing film Daleks-Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D. Thanks Wikipedia!
Synopsis: The Doctor and his companions wind up on Earth where the Daleks have taken over. They end up finding a group who are trying to take down the Daleks, so the Doctor and his companions join with them and use their previous knowledge of the Daleks to help them succeed.
While plotting against the Daleks, Susan falls for David (one of the resistance members) and is faced with a difficult situation when it is time for them to leave. However, the Doctor sees how Susan feels for David and decides it best for Susan to stay with him and help Earth recover from the destruction the Daleks caused.
Thoughts: While the story itself isn’t necessarily important, it’s a good serial for Susan. For awhile, Susan has been feeling a little restricted since the Doctor tends to make all of the decisions. Susan is often treated like a child by her grandfather and recently, Susan has been trying to get out from under his wing. However, this has been difficult for her since she is so loyal to him.
Even though Susan and David try to hide their budding relationship, the Doctor notices, and in the end lets Susan go. The Doctor realizes that Susan needs to live her own life, and that he’s been holding her back. He also knows that Susan would never agree to leave on her own, so knowing this he locks her out of the Tardis and insists that she start a new life with David. He wants Susan to have a place to call home which can never happen if she continues to travel with him. So he lets her go.
While it seems a little harsh to just lock her out of the Tardis, I’m sure that had he not, Susan would have tried to come with him. Susan has proven time and again that she would never voluntarily go against her grandfather. The couple of times she does, she apologizes and allows the Doctor to walk all over her. Admittedly, the Doctor had some moments when he didn’t treat her with the respect she probably deserved. The Doctor realizes this, which is what makes his decision to leave Susan behind more meaningful. He finally sees that he’s been holding her back, and wants to do the right thing by her.
This is the best part of the storyline since the recurring issue of Susan’s need for some independence finally comes to a satisfying conclusion that adds to the growth of both the Doctor and Susan’s characters. Granted, we won’t be seeing Susan’s growth, but it will be interesting to see how this separation affects the Doctor.
On a side note, there is one episode that has a rather a long scene that has some astoundingly annoying music. So this is my warning to you. Also, at some point, Barbara says Red Indians which caused me to do an intake of breath. Granted, it was a different time, but I figured I would warn you of that too. It’s a little shocking.
Watch It? If you like the character of Susan, then this would be a pretty good episode to watch. Otherwise, I didn’t find the main storyline that interesting, which is weird considering the fact that the Daleks are involved.