Doctor Who Reactions: "Genesis of the Daleks" (SPOILERS)

1)Like "Revenge of the Cybermen", this was one of the stories that Philip Hinchcliffe felt stuck with by his predecessor, Barry Letts. In the end, he ended up making the story quite a bit more graphic and intense than Letts would've done. Nation did alot of re-writing of Dalek continuity here - I get the impression that even he didn't exactly remember the events of "The  Daleks" properly.


2)"We'd like you to return to Skaro at a point in time before the Daleks evolved."  I've always wondered what the Time Lord at the start of this story was up to and who he was working for - the high council, the CIA, Rassilon?   Really, they returned the Doctor to a point just as the Daleks were coming into being. Why not send him back with some breathing room? For that matter, why not prevent whatever it was that happened to Davros? Why not go back and prevent the Thal-Kaled War?


3)The Doctor had some good scenes in this - in particular his despair over Harry and Sarah when he thought they were dead.  And of course, the famous "Have I that right?" scene when he debates the morality of destroying the Daleks.  I wonder how he felt about that after the Time War.


4)Harry was pretty good in this - I especially liked the scene where he helped the Doctor get his foot off the land mine. Sarah on the other hand didn't get to do too much other than lead the prisoner revolt that didn't really work out too well. Also, in Par tfive, she changes into some clothes she found for no apparent reason! Really it was for continuity with "Revenge of the Cybermen", but it does seem odd that no story reason is given - it just looks as though in the middle of an exciting adventure with the Daleks, the Doctor handed her some clothes and she wen off and changed into them.


5)This story has two of my all-time favorite Doctor Who villains in it - that is, Davros and Nyder! Wow, Michael Wisher and Peter Miles both do some excellent work in it. Wisher really makes Davros into a worthy opponent for the Doctor - with respect to the subsequent Davroses, none of them ever quite captured the character as well as he did. In fact, he established the character almost too well, since  - they never did another Dalek show without Davros for the remainder of the old series! And Davros would never again have a foil as good as Nyder, his own personal Himmler.


6)Lots of good supporting performances in this -Ravon, Gharman, and Ronson (who gets the dubious honor of being the first person killed by a Dalek) spring to mind, but especially Sevrin and Bettan.


7)Wow, the Dalek and Thal cities are just a short walk away from each other - any closer nd they'd be able to throw rocks at each other.


8)The killer clams made me laugh out loud.


9)The Thals bought into Davros' offer a little too easily, I thought - they trusted him too quickly.


10)The was the first story in which the Dalek guns were seen to have "beams" - SFX technology marches on!


11)I liked how they conveyed the Dalek attack on the Thal city by sound only - something they couldn't have afforded to actually show, but they still managed to convey it.


12)How fortunate that they were always able to find monitors to tune into whatever scene they wanted to see.


13)"But I'm afraid I've only delayed them for a short time - perhaps a thousand years."  I've long debated whetheer the Doctor actually changed history, or if what he did merely established the history he already knew - that is, if they hadn't sent him back there, the Daleks would've been more powerful.


14)Some fun quotes:

  • "Like finding the remains of a Stone Age man with a transistor radio." "Playing rock music?"
  • "Mutos are the scarred relics of ourselves."
  • "Our battlecry will be 'Total extermination of the Thals!'"  Be funny if he'd prevented the creation of the Daleks only to find the Kaleds were just as bed.
  • "No tea, Harry."
  • "All norms are our enemies." Hear, hear!
  • "Aliens! I must exterminate!"  Many years ago, almost thirty now, there used to be a college student who would drink too much beer and yell this at his bemused dorm mates. I wonder whatever happened to him...
  • "The whole of the Kaled people? You would go that far?" "Did you ever doubt it?"  "No." My nominee for one of the best-acted scenes ever in Doctor Who.
  • "Excuse me. Can you help me? I'm a spy."
  • "Thank you. That's what I wanted to know." Gharman, you moron.
  • "Even the sonic screwdriver won't open this door."  Obviously, they had dead-lock seals on Skaro.
  • "'Pity'? I have no understanding of the word. It is not registered in my vocabulary bank."
  • "We obey no one! We are the superior beings!"  Another favorite of that long-ago collegian. Really it's a wonder that I that he didn't get punched more often.



  • Part One: Sarah watches Davros test a Dalek!
  • Part Two: Sarah falls off the scaffolding!  (Really, the way she landed should've broken her neck.)
  • Part Three: The Doctor is zapped by an electric fence!
  • Part Four: Davros threatens to torture Sarah and Harry!
  • Part Five: Dalek embryos attack the Doctor!
  • Part Six: The Doctor, Sarah and Harry go whirling off into time



Not a bad story - some excellent performances here, but probably more remembered for its impact on subsequent stories (and the hash it made of Dalek continuity) thant for its own merits.  As I say with almost all six-parters, might've been better edited down to a four-parter.


[Part of list of Doctor Who episodes here.]

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So did you end up going to see it or not? In the post-show interview, Tom Baker bluntly states John Nathan Turner as the reason he left the show. I wish all of the Doctor Who DVDs had a “movie edit” option.

"The interviews with Tom Baker before and after were delightful, but I’ve got a few nits to pick with the plot…"

The story behind the Doctor's mission is revealed in the audio adventure "Ascension" (Gallifrey 6.3).

It is "Genesis of the Daleks" which lead directly to the Time War.

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