Genesis Of The Daleks: Doctor Who: Season 12
Genesis of the Daleks SYNOPSIS:
Genesis Of The Daleks sees the travellers sent on a mission by the Time Lords to prevent the creation of the the most dangerous creatures in the universe.
The Transmat beam taking the Doctor, Sarah and Harry back to Nerva Beacon is diverted instead to the Dalek home world of Skaro. There a Time Lord instructs the Doctor to avert the development of the dalek, escape from the planet is possible only by an offered time ring. The Doctor and Harry are soon captured by the Kaleds who have been fighting an an eon long war with the Thals. Sarah first falls into the hands of the genetically scarred "Muto"s and befriends one called Severin before capture by the Thals.
The Doctor and Harry are delivered to the Elite led by crippled chief scientist Davros and avoid becoming the first public victims of a dalek experiment thanks to the intervention of Ronson their interrogator. He allows the Doctor and Harry to escape so long as they tell the Kaled government about the dalek development. Davros aide Nyder warns of the meeting. Rather than have his dalek project shut down by his own government Davros plans to annihilate his own people and gives the secret of destroying the city to the Thals and has Ronson exterminated.
Having led an unsuccessful escape attempt with her slave workforce, she and Severin are rescued by Harry and the Doctor. The latter is knocked out by a booby trap. The Thal rocket Sarah's slave party were packing with explosive destroys the Kaled city and Davros is branded a hero. Although he then has twenty newly created Daleks destroy the Thal people. The Doctor escapes the holocaust with the help of new Thal ally Bettan. Once reunited with Sarah and Harry he gets Severin to help Bettan organize a strike force against the Kaled Elite's bunker.
Gharman, Davros' head scientist has instigated a revolt among the Kaled Elite to stop Davros' increasing megalomania and change the genesis of the daleks. The Tardis crew are captured by the crazed scientist and the Doctor is forced to tell of how the Daleks will be defeated in the future. The revolt against Davros, Nyder and their loyalists is succeeding but maybe curtailed by the return of Davros' small army of Daleks. Bettan has a resistance group ready to destroy the bunker and the time travellers need only escape and find the lost time ring or be entombed with the Daleks forever.
Return to top of page
Genesis Of The Daleks SERIAL DETAILS:
Return to top of page
Genesis Of The Daleks CAST & CREW
Tom Baker (Fourth Doctor)
Elisabeth Sladen (Sarah Jane Smith)
Ian Marter (Harry Sullivan)
Michael Wisher - Davros
Peter Miles - Nyder
Stephen Yardley — Severin
Harriet Philpin — Bettan
Dennis Chinnery — Gharman
James Garbutt — Ronson
Guy Siner — Ravon
Jeremy Chandler - Gerrill
Tom Georgeson - Kavell
Ivor Roberts - Mogran
Drew Wood - Tane
Andrew Johns - Kravos
Richard Reeves - Kaled Leader
Peter Mantle - Kaled Guard
Michael Lynch - Thal Politician
John Franklyn-Robbins - Time Lord
Pat Gorman, Hilary Minster, John Gleeson — Thal Soldiers
John Scott Martin, Cy Town, Keith Ashley — Daleks
Roy Skelton, Michael Wisher — Dalek Voices
Production Staff for Serial 4E:
Writer - Terry Nation
Director - David Maloney
Script editor - Robert Holmes
Producer - Philip Hinchcliffe
Return to top of page
Genesis Of The Daleks REVIEWS
Genesis of the Daleks -Well Grob, there is one very good reason why all Terry Nation's writing suddenly comes good, he's got the backing of Hinchcliffe and Holmes now not the former production team, who were obviously quite happy for Terry to produce a by-the-numbers Dalek script. The new guys obviously encouraged and worked with Nation and coloured in the secondary characters where they needed colouring in! because the two things working against this script are that Terry wrote and it's a six parter!
Now in the past this combo would have been padded out and ordinary with the new team it's full steam ahead! The whole thing works, yeah there is the fact that when they have a whole planet to choose from the main Kaled and Thal domes are about 1 mile from each other. Maybe this is just one of the many battle zones around the whole planet and just the one where the Daleks evolved? But it's a small point that is surrounded by so many great ones that it has you going back to watch it again and again. Firstly the Tardis trio story arc continues as the travellers end up diverted to Skaro instead of being transported back up to Nerva. The Timelords want the Dr. to do some more dirty work for them and thus give him a time ring to take him back to the Tardis and tell him to stop the genesis of the daleks. Now yes he will mess up history but presumably when they say the daleks are now 'the dominant life form' they maybe referring to the Timelords wiped out by the daleks in the Time War and the Daleks survive! Shit! They're probably thinking if they can wipe us out then we better do it first but they only succeed in making the Dr a part of history.
Anyway Genesis of the daleks features all the famous Nation hallmarks, radiation sickness, genetic mutations in a cave, Thals vs. Kaleds, but it's the way the actors and directors interpret these ideas on screen that make them so refreshing. The atmosphere is one of ragged hopelessness from the beginning, as the Tardis crew dodge everything from battlefield bombardments to Muto's as they try to carry out their mission. Plus for once the Daleks are in the background of the story are when they are seen they are truly threatening. Maybe your right the lighting or something makes them more terrifying, much like the cybermen in Invasion who lumbered around just being hulking and monstrous. Davros takes centre stage in his first appearance that's easily his best. He's a classic villain and you wonder how the daleks managed without a proper mouthpiece before with their monotonous dialogue and he seems to have much more depth than the Master. He looks a truly terrifying figure and I was totally scared of this guy as a kid but on top of that he's so totally cunning, manipulative and brilliant it's hard not to get absorbed every time he's on screen. Easily actor Michael Wisher's best performance, he and Tom baker have an amazing chemistry on screen. As for Sarah who wouldn't be screamy after being dropped in the middle of a war? She does lead a prisoner breakout and stick to the Thals. Harry may stick his foot in clams but if not for him the Doctor's numerous escape attempts wouldn't have worked!
It's also nice to see the Thals seem just as unlikable as the Kaleds with the way they treat prisoners and shows that no one is really right in war and it's a futile waste of human life.There's so many great moments it's impossible to list them all but the atmosphere in this stoty and the shock and horror that would stamp this era of Dr. Who has been perfected in Genesis Of the daleks and it rightly deserves the mantle of classic in the series history. Full marks to director David Maloney, Tom Baker and the entire supporting cast no one drops the ball! Even Lieutenant Gruber makes an appearance. Have probably watched this more than any other Who but Genesis Of the Daleks never seems to get boring. Classic! 10/10
Genesis Of The Daleks:Where does one begin on what the fans hail "a classic"? How about what is actually on the page, and its a Terry Nation script. Again. On one hand, its seriously pants, yet on the other he actually manages to get across some pretty damn good ideas for a change. Taking the bad stuff to begin with...firstly it really stuffs up the origins of the whole Dalek race that was set down in THEIR VERY FIRST STORY where they were actually humanoid people (called "Dals") that mutated after a neutron bomb went off. In Genesis of the daleks they are the results of Davros' experiements that are then housed in the metal war machine casings. Well done, Terry fucking up your own continuity there.
Then there is the whole idea of the Time Lords getting the Doctor to interfere with history on their behalf. Firstly it is the EXACT reason the Time Lords fingered the second Doctor at the end of the War Games (do some sodding research Terry) and secondly; why is it only the daleks they want to stop? What about the cybermen, ice warriors, axons and Colin Baker? And isn't wiping the daleks out at their very beginning going to screw the future up for everyone else? Remember when Hartnell Doctor got stuck into Barbara during the Aztecs when she wanted to rewrite history? He went apeshit! Now the all powerful Time Lords say "Naaaah, its okay. Have a crack and see what happens!"
Also the whole Thal and Kaled races at war thing. It looks like their bunkers are so close they are within walking distance of one another. In fact, they are! Various Thals and kaleds are up and off to one another's bunkers with a picnic lunch and a rucksack full of explosives. Not only that, Davros himself and his toyboy Nyder are also up for an afternoon's jolly jaunty to the Thal dome. Question; who the hell did Davros manage to make it across the wasteland in his wheelchair. Not exactly smooth terrain there.
But as I said, its not all typical Terry paint-by-numbers television here. Firstly, there is Davros. He's great isn't he? He's cunning, charming, evil, creepy, shouty, sneaky and a complete megalomaniac. Even though some of the credit should be given to Terry for this creation, mostly of the honour must fall on Michael Wisher for a fantastic portrayal. Its a hell of a part to play and Michael Wisher grabs it with both hands. His scene with the Doctor where they discuss the glass phial that would wipe out all life is exceptional. Even when he is underplayed, you can sense the brilliance and mania of the Dalek creator.
There are lots of other highlights in Genesis Of the daleks as well. The Doctor's "do I have the right?" scene with the two wires at the end is very good and Terry does a nice job in setting up the whole World War 1 feel of the opening episode. Also, despite the ridiculousness of how close geographically everyone's war dome is from everyone else, there is a nice and bleak feeling of the hopelessness of war about it all. Also, and yet strangely for this writer, his secondary characters are all interesting and some depth and motivation to them. Nyder, the Thals, the Kaled scientists, the mutos, everyone actually has a reason to be in the story and a journey they must follow to a logical conclusion. Tom Baker is great in his scenes against Davros and you can appreciate watching two fine actors at work here. Sarah is sadly becoming a bit screamy and girlie here and poor Harry has fuck all to do other than put his foot in clams.
Finally, something that nearly goes unmentioned is the lighting. A great use of colours for the night scenes outside the Kaled dome when the the Thals are hiding in the bunkers from the daleks and also the interiors of the Kaled dome; they are dark and creepy and the long shadows forecast the arrival of a dalek long before it trundles into a scene. Great stuff.It looks great and Terry does prove he can write when he sets his mind to it. Plus there is a fantastic creation called Davros and everyone else is in top form too. So yeah for Genesis of the Daleks, I'm going all fannish and awarding another 10/10.
Genesis of the Daleks. We finally find out who is behind the most evil force in the universe. I knew it had to be bloody Phil Collins!Why is it that so many fans rate this as their number one all time Who? It's almost a cliché that this one has to be regarded as one of the best ever... why is that? Why? Because it is that good!
Genesis Of the Daleks has everything. Action, adventure, suspense, plot, sub plot and history. OK, it does leave you wondering a few things... like where the hell has Davros been all this time? And why wasn't he mentioned when we first met the Daleks. But you know what - I don't think it matters. You could come up with various explanations - but the fact that he creates them from mutation experiments, is consistent enough for me.
One thing with Terry Nation, he's not very subtle really. Kaled = Dalek... hmmm, that's kind of right up there with wanting to call the Dalek time machine in The Chase a DARDIS. But Kaled does kind of sound cool, so we'll give him that. The other thing that isn't subtle at all are the parallels between Daleks and Nazis. And now they have their very own Hitler! The war parallel in this one does work incredibly well though. As Goldby said, we really see that no side in a war is without fault, so we can also add "lessons" to that list of everything... which leads to the greatest lesson, possibly one of the greatest in the history of Who, and that's the evils of genocide. But how could destroying a race as evil as the Daleks be bad? The whole speech (with the wires) about the good that evil can create is an amazing highpoint in the entire Who world... and maybe even the entire Television world! Brilliant stuff, and really elevates Tom to "amazing" status in only his 4th story.
The atmosphere of Genesis of the daleks is also amazing - from the dark and murky trenches, to the mindless urgency of the rocket, to the efficient preciseness of Kaled bunker... it really feels like a war. Maybe it's the green lighting that makes the atmosphere, I don't know, but whatever it is, it's awesome... probably just ahead of the atmosphere he created in The Krotons! It goes without saying that the performances in this one are brilliant. It's a credit to Wisher's Davros that the legend of Davros is what it is... I mean his next story isn't for another 4 years, and is nowhere near as good - but by then he's already a household name, and feels like a long standing villain.
Unlike my Phil Collins joke, you can't really not give Genesis Of The Daleks 10/10
Return to top of page