Genesis of the Daleks

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Genesis of the Daleks
We return to the place where it all began…
 

Part One

Sue looks over at the DVD’s Episode Selection screen and her heart sinks.

Sue: Oh no! Six episodes? This is not good.

And then, mid-way through the title sequence, she is suddenly buffeted by two conflicting emotions.

Firstly, joy:

Genesis of the DaleksSue: Genesis of the Daleks! Yes!

Swiftly followed by:

Sue: Terry ****ing Nation!

This could take some time so I pause the DVD…

Me: We watched this story together almost 19 years ago to the day. It was my first (and entirely unsuccessful) attempt at converting you to Doctor Who (along with a Peter Davison story that you didn’t much care for). It was back in the very early days of our relationship. Do you remember anything about it?

Sue: Only that I thought it was good. Or maybe I just said it was good so you wouldn’t finish with me…

Me: It’ll be interesting to see how much of this you actually remember.

Sue: I was probably far too busy looking at you to take much notice, so don’t get your hopes up, love. And given that I’ve already seen this story, does that mean we can skip it? I’ll give it an eight.

Me: No.

Genesis of the Daleks opens on a desolate wasteland populated by men in gas masks. But before Sue they get a word out, they are all murdered in a hail of machine gun fire. In slow motion.

Sue: I can see why you decided to show me this one. This is definitely not for the kids.

Me: That was the reaction I was going for. I wanted you to believe that Doctor Who was gritty, complicated and action-packed.

Sue: In other words, you lied to me.

Genesis of the DaleksThe Doctor appears in the middle of this eerie battlefield where he is met by a strange man dressed in black.

Sue: Is it the Master?

I decide to ignore this as a reaction will only encourage her.

Sue: His collar is a bit limp. He looks like a court jester.

When the Time Lord has finished briefing the Doctor on his mission to stop the Daleks at the moment of their creation, Sue demands that I pause the DVD.

Sue: Right, so are they allowed to do this? And if they are, why don’t they do this kind of thing all the time? When does he stop the Cybermen from being born? Or the Ice Warriors? Where do you stop?

Me: Well, that is a very good question. I don’t think the Time Lords are “in the right” for trying this, and they are clearly using the Doctor because it will give them deniability if they **** it up. So, in short, no, they shouldn’t be doing this. Some fans claim that this story is the first shot fired in the Time War.

Genesis of the DaleksSue: About bloody time. I was beginning to wonder when we’d get to that.

The Doctor finds Harry and Sarah and they set off across the wasteland, avoiding a missile barrage as they go.

Sue: This is very good. The direction is excellent. Best use of a quarry in Doctor Who yet.

Unfortunately, our heroes find themselves standing in the middle of a minefield…

Sue: Just detonate the mines with your sonic screwdriver. You’re always doing it. Or maybe he’s worried about getting hit in the face by a flying rock. That would make sense, actually.

The Doctor steps on a mine and Harry has to rescue him.

Sue: I like Harry now. He just risked his life to save the Doctor so he’s OK in my book.

As our heroes continue on their way, a strange shape appears to be watching them from a nearby cliff top.

Genesis of the DaleksSue: Is that thing hitchhiking?

As night falls, the action switches to the trenches outside the dome.

Sue: It’s a shame that we had to switch over to video, but at least they’re trying to make it look as seamless as possible; the smoke and atmospheric lighting help to sell it. Someone must have sat down and really thought about this. It looks great.

The Doctor and his companions are suddenly caught up in a firefight between the Thals and the Kaleds.

Sue: This is very adult. It feels like we’re watching a documentary about Serbian war crimes or something.

The Doctor and Harry are taken inside the Kaled bunker while Sarah is left for dead outside. Sue is slightly vexed that both the Doctor and Harry don’t make a fuss about this, even if they are dazed and confused. And then Sue settles into what will become one of her regular silences as Tom Baker dominates the next scene, where he manages to extract more information from his captors than they can from him. In fact, the only thing I managed to get out of her for ages was “Ooh, Thals”, which made me smile.

Genesis of the DaleksThe Doctor and Harry manage to turn the tables on their captors, but when they usher a Kaled named Ravon out of the room, Sue becomes incandescent with rage because the Doctor has left the contents of his pockets on a table – including the sonic screwdriver!

Thankfully, she is soon placated by Skaro’s set design.

Sue: Finally, we have some atmospheric indoor lighting. It just goes to show what you can do if you put your mind to it. This should be the template for all the stories to come. The direction is very nice, too – there is plenty of movement and interesting angles – it never feels stagey. They’ve cast this well, too.

Me: Do you remember anything about it so far?

Sue: Not a thing. Although the Nazis do ring a bell. I do seem to remember that it’s very depressing. I actually believe that the bad guys will hurt Harry and the Doctor if they don’t get their way. They are scary because they seem so real.

When Davros is mentioned, the Doctor asks who he might be.

Sue: Surely the Doctor would know who Davros is if he comes from the future? It would be like travelling back in time to stop the Nazis from invading Poland but not knowing that Hitler was the leader of the Nazis. It doesn’t make sense.

Genesis of the DaleksMeanwhile, outside the bunker, Sarah gets her first look at Davros himself.

Sue: There’s the big man.

From her hiding place, Sarah watches in horror as a Dalek emerges from the shadows.

Sue: Of course, Sarah has met the Daleks before. You’d have thought the Doctor would have warned her that she might bump into them again this week. That was a bit of an oversight.

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Part Two

Sue: What happened to the recap? There’s no episode recap!

Me: We only watched the last episode two minutes ago. And besides, they aren’t pissing about this week. There’s far too much to do.

Sarah is rescued by a mutant named Sevrin.

Sue: I bet the mutants are nice. Mutants are always nice.

Genesis of the DaleksMe: Do you recognise the actor playing this mutant?

Sue: Recognise him? It’s so dark, I can hardly see him!

It turns out that Sue never watched Howard’s Way anyway, so Stephen Yardley is completely lost on her, even if his voice is vaguely familiar.

Davros demonstrates his new Mark 3 travel machine to some Kaled scientists…

Sue: I can’t believe they actually made the Daleks scary again. I never thought I’d see the day.

A Dalek is armed and It immediately rounds on the Doctor. But just as the Dalek is about to exterminate its very first victim, a scientist named Ronson intercedes. Davros goes ballistic.

Sue: You wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Davros. I bet the kids were terrified of him.

Me: I certainly was. I still am. A bit.

Genesis of the DaleksMeanwhile, Sarah has been captured by the Thals and imprisoned with Sevrin and a Kaled officer, whose face definitely rings a bell.

Sue: He looks like Rodney Bewes from The Likely Lads.

Me: Rodney Bewes in Doctor Who. That would be… interesting.

As Sarah is led to the Thal’s rocket, Sue starts throwing out compliments like confetti at a wedding.

Sue: The set design is great. You can see where all the money has gone this year. This story has it all – massive sets, loads of extras, location work, Daleks – the lot.

Sue is also impressed with the plot.

Sue: Both sides are just as bad as each other and that’s quite unusual. I’m used to seeing the Thals as the helpless good guys. This is very bleak. Some of the performances are very intense as well.

Genesis of the DaleksShe especially admires James Garbutt’s passionate performance as Ronson but she doesn’t have a bad word to say about any of the performances.

Meanwhile, Sarah decides that slowly being poisoned to death with radiation isn’t really for her, and so she plans a daring escape plan.

Sue: Sarah Jane is great in this story – she’s actually taking charge of the men. Yes, I can definitely see why you chose this particular story to show me. If it had been The Zarbi Planet you would have been out on your ear. This is really rather good.

As Sarah and Sevrin climb the rocket’s scaffolding, Sue appreciates the difficulty of their situation.

Sue: She’s doing really well in those heels.

Genesis of the DaleksMe: I remember watching this go out in 1975. I can remember sitting with my nose right up against the television screen and my father telling me that I would go blind if I didn’t move back a bit.

Sarah appears to fall to her death and the episode ends on a freeze frame.

Sue: Brilliant cliffhanger. Let’s watch the next one.

Me: We can’t. Two episodes a night, remember?

Sue: Spoilsport. How many episodes did we watch 19 years ago?

Me: All of them.

I should probably point out that it wasn’t the 1993 BBC2 repeat of this story that we watched. It was my copy of the official BBC VHS tape. Back when it was called The Genesis of the Daleks.

Genesis of the DaleksSidenote: a little later, we watched some of the DVD extras for this story, including a continuity compilation where the announcer also included the definitive article. Twice! Sue can’t believe that fans didn’t ring the BBC to complain after the first time.

Glen Allen doesn’t make the same mistake. Obviously.

Sue: Six episodes in one night? Bloody hell, I must have been keen on you back then. I’ll tell you what – let’s do it again. Let’s watch all six episodes tonight!

Me: No ****ing way.

Sue: Oh, come on! We could relive that night when we were young and in love.

Me: You have got to be kidding me.

Sue: You have no stamina anymore, that’s your problem. What does this say about our relationship, I wonder. I just offered to watch six episodes of Doctor Who with you and you turned me down. Never say that I don’t offer.

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Part Three

Me: You know someone who worked on Genesis of the Daleks, don’t you, Sue?

Genesis of the DaleksSue: That’s right, I do. Rosemary Crowson. I noticed her name in the credits to the last episode. I knew she’d done some Tom Baker Doctor Whos.

Me: She was the PA for two stories and she was also the Production Manager for three episodes of Blake’s 7.

I looked that up in advance. I’m not Toby Hadoke, you know.

Me: How did you know her?

Sue: She taught Production Management at a Media Training School in the early 90s.

Me: Did she ever talk about Doctor Who?

Sue: Yes, she did. In fact, I might have some gossip for you.

Me: Go on…

Sue: Well, apparently, and I don’t know if this was common knowledge or not, Tom Baker didn’t suffer fools gladly. He could be very funny and charming but you wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of him, he’d bite your head off.

Me: Is that it?

Sue: Oh, and he used to change his lines all the time; it would drive Rosie mad. I hope she’s OK. If you googled yourself and you are reading this Rosie, please get in touch.

The story resumes with Sarah falling from the gantry, but she miraculously lands on a platform below.

Sue: That was a stroke of luck.

Genesis of the DaleksSarah’s bravery is tested further when she is forced to “jump” from the gantry to the rocket cone.

Sue: She is making a mountain out of a molehill, here. She didn’t even need to jump. She just stepped across a tiny gap. Come on, Sarah, the way you were carrying on, you’d have thought you were going to Parkour over there.

Aside from this, Sue is gripped.

Sue: Of all the stories for Rosie to work on, she didn’t half pick a good one.

Me: The other one she worked on isn’t too shabby, either.

Go look it up. Unless you’re Toby Hadoke, of course.

Sue: Just think, Rosie was calling the shots in the gallery during this bit.

Me: Just think, if this was the 1960s we might have heard her.

A Thal guard decides to hang Sarah off the top of the gantry for a laugh.

Me: It’s sadistic, don’t you think?

Sue: Yeah, but I do like Sarah Jane’s jumper.

Genesis of the DaleksWhen Harry and the Doctor stumble across some of Davros’ genetic experiments that went awry, otherwise known as the Giant Clams, I sigh. Deeply.

Sue: What’s wrong with it? I don’t see the problem. What else do you expect a giant clam to look like?

When Tom Georgeson turns up as the Kaled scientist, Kavell, Sue (thinks she) recognises him:

Sue: It’s whatshisname from Our Friends in the North.

Me: No it isn’t.

Sue: Yes, it is. It’s Geordie.

Me: That is not Daniel Craig.

Sue: I’m sure I’ve seen him somewhere before…

Genesis of the DaleksMe: You are probably thinking of Between the Lines (which you loved) or GBH. He was superb in both, as he is in this.

Tom Baker urges the Thals not to trust Davros.

Sue: He didn’t blink again. Do you think it’s OK for the leading man to be the scariest thing in the episode?

Me: Scarier than Davros?

Sue: It’s a close run thing. Davros has the opposite problem – corpse eyes. It’s horrible really, like flesh rotting over a skull. The make-up is brilliant. Do we ever find out how Davros ended up like that?

Me: Well, there’s a Big Finish audio -

Sue: Ok, stop! Forget I asked.

The episode concludes with the Doctor attempting to stop the Thal’s rocket from being launched. But just when it looks like he might succeed, he finds himself pinned to an electric fence instead.

Me: I was eating egg and chips when that originally went out.

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Part Four

Genesis of the DaleksThe Doctor fails to stop the Thals from launching their rocket and the Kaleds are wiped off the face of Skaro.

Sue: This is not the Doctor’s finest hour, is it? How many people have just been killed, do you think?

Me: Thousands? Tens of thousands?

Sue: No wonder the Doctor is pissed off. The Time Lords will be furious.

Davros uses the disaster to rally the Kaled survivors behind him.

Sue: The script is very good. It’s very complex.

Me: I know. I don’t believe that Terry Nation could have written this.

Sue: But his name is on the credits. It must be Terry.

Me: I detect the hand of Robert Homes.

Sue: Maybe Terry pulled his finger out and he finally delivered the goods. It’s not impossible. Maybe I’ve been wrong about Terry all this time. And the foot rubs are very nice, I must say.

Genesis of the DaleksAs a Dalek patrols the trenches, silhouetted against a bruising night sky, Sue nods vigourously.

Sue: I definitely remember that shot. That’s a very iconic moment.

As Nyder continues to plot and scheme on Davros’ behalf, Sue finally decides to pass judgement on him.

Sue: Nyder is very creepy. Why is he doing this? What’s in it for him?

Me: I think he’s in love with Davros.

Sue: I think you are reading far too much into this.

Me: I love Nyder. I set up a fake Facebook page for him once.

Sue: Oh yeah, I remember when Facebook used to look like that. How old are you again?

Me: I made a Davros one as well.

Sue: Neil!

Genesis of the DaleksMe: I stopped before I got to Ronson. That’s when sanity took hold again.

Sue: Thank God for that.

Me: Although I did pretend to be Nyder on Twitter for a while. I’d ask people what I should get Ronson for his Christmas present and then I’d say “Thank you, that’s just what I needed to know” – just like he did just then.

Sue: I wonder about you sometimes.

Me: I’m better now.

As the Kaleds conspire to bring Davros back under their control, Sue notices an historical parallel.

Sue: This reminds me of that Tom Cruise film.

Me: Oh, this doesn’t sound good.

Sue: You know, the one where they try to kill Hitler from inside. Valkyrie.

Me: Actually, that’s not a bad call.

Genesis of the DaleksDavros decides to tie the Doctor to a chair.

Sue: That’s a nice tracking shot. You don’t see a lot of those in Doctor Who. This is very nicely directed. It’s almost as good as Camfield.

When Davros threatens to extract the history of the Daleks from the Doctor, Tom Baker gives it both barrels.

Sue: See! He is bloody terrifying.

Me: Mary Whitehouse got a bee in her bonnet when she saw this story. I think she called it “Terror at tea-time for tots”.

Sue: You can see her point. This is ****ing bleak.

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Part Five

Genesis of the DaleksThe Doctor is forced to recount the Daleks’ past defeats. This will take him quite some time.

Sue: Isn’t the Doctor changing the course of history by telling Davros about all of this? The Time Lords aren’t going to very happy with him. They might bugger up his TARDIS again as punishment.

Sue even recognises one of events mentioned by the Doctor.

Sue: Does this mean the one where the Daleks invaded Earth is a few episodes shorter now? Is that how it works?

And then Sue clams up (sorry) as the Doctor and Davros go head-to-head.

Me: You aren’t saying very much.

Sue: Just make something up. Pretend we are have a row. Now shut up, I’m trying to watch this.

Genesis of the DaleksShe will, however, occasionally chip with the odd compliment. For example, when Kavell attacks a guard with his cosh:

Sue: It was the correct decision to cut away before he hit him. It’s much more horrific if you are left to imagine the violence instead of watching an extra pretending to fall over unconscious.

Sue enjoyed the implication that Harry and Sarah have had their own little adventure, completely independent of the Doctor, but she is also overjoyed when they finally reunite.

Sue: They make a good team. I even want Harry to stay now.

The Doctor is adamant that they must recover the recording Davros made of his interrogation.

Sue: Why? How is that going to help? Davros could just write it down or dictate it to Nyder. You have to kill Davros if you believe getting the tape will be the end of it. Unless Davros’ memory is as bad as mine, of course.

The Doctor takes Sue at her word and he heads for the Dalek incubator room armed with explosives.

Sue: He won’t do it. I know he won’t do it. He doesn’t have the right. I remember now. He decides not to press the big red button, just you wait and see. Maybe my memory isn’t so bad.

Genesis of the DaleksWhen the Doctor arrives at the incubator room, Sue decides to fixate on a very disturbing detail.

Sue: They sound like little babies. The Doctor is going to kill little babies!

The episode concludes with the Doctor attacked by several Kaled mutants.

Sue: That reminds me of that thing on Londo’s neck in Babylon 5.

Me: It reminds me of not sleeping properly for a whole week.

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Part Six

Genesis of the DaleksThe episode begins with one of Doctor Who‘s most iconic moments…

Sue: This is the clip they’ll use on the news when Tom Baker dies.

Me: Thanks for that.

Sue: It’s true. It’s a very powerful scene.

However, before the Doctor can be forced into making a decision, he is interrupted with good news.

Me: Do you think he would have done it?

Sue: Never. There is no way the Doctor would have committed genocide. He’s the Doctor.

As Davros manipulates the Kaled rebels, our attention is drawn towards a large red destructor button.

Sue: Aha! There’s the big red button I was talking about. See, I’m not going mad after all. A lot of this is coming back to me now.

And it’s basically wall-to-wall complements from this point on:

Genesis of the DaleksSue: I like the female Thal. She’s a good, strong character; she would have made a good companion. Every role has been cast well in this story. I can’t find a weak performance to be honest.

Inside the bunker, Davros gives the Kaled elite one final chance to join with him.

Sue: I love the way two scientists decided to switch sides. I didn’t expect that at all.

When Nyder slips away, the Doctor decides to follow him, and he eventually forces the henchman to take him to Davros’ safe, which is decorated with a large iconic eye.

Sue: I see that Davros is a fan of Big Brother.

The Doctor deduces that Davros couldn’t have opened the safe from his chair, and Nyder must have done it for him.

Sue: So Nyder is basically Davros’ carer, yes?

The Doctor destroys the incriminating tape and then he immediately decides to leg it.

Sue: He can’t leave with the job half done! Isn’t he going to check that everything’s going to be OK before he scarpers? It’s not as if Davros hasn’t pulled the rug out from under you before.

But they can’t leave: the Doctor has lost the Time Ring that will take them back to the TARDIS.

Genesis of the DaleksDavros unleashes his Daleks and the rebels are all murdered where they stand. Including Gharman, who Sue had a soft spot for. A little later, we see that room is piled high with fresh corpses.

Sue: I bet Mary Whitehouse choked on a scone during that bit.

In the end, the Doctor decides to commit genocide after all.

Sue: Eh? No. That can’t be right.

He returns to the incubator room to finish what he began.

Sue: Where the hell did his coat mysteriously come from? Did he go back for it? He hasn’t got his priorities straight, has he?

The Doctor prepares to make the final connection that he spent ages agonising over earlier, but he is interrupted by a Dalek before he can complete it.

Sue: I can’t believe he’s going to do it.

Instead, the Dalek completes the connection for him and the incubator room explodes.

Sue: He didn’t commit the act himself but the intent was still there. I’m not sure how I feel about that.

She is still pondering this a few minutes later.

Sue: So basically what the Doctor is saying is it’s fine to go back in time and kill a small child. Right…

Genesis of the DaleksThe Doctor manages to escape from the bunker, just as the Thals blow up the entrance. The Doctor claims that the Daleks will be delayed for a thousand years.

Sue: Are you sure that’s right? Doesn’t he mean they’ll be delayed by a thousand yards?

The Daleks turns on the remaining Kaleds.

Sue: Who is going to tidy up all the bodies when they’ve finished killing everyone?

And then they turn on Davros himself.

Sue: That’s clever. If only he’d given them a dash of pity.

The episode concludes with the Doctor suggesting that some things might be better with the Daleks.

Sue: Yeah, Doctor Who‘s ratings for a start.

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The Final Score

Sue: It was on for a ten but the last episode was a bit of a cop-out. But there’s so much that’s good about this – the script, the direction, the performances, the lighting, the production assistance – I can’t really complain. What do you want me to say? It was excellent.

9/10

Me: Did you enjoy it more the second time around?

Sue: I think I appreciated it a lot more. Like I said, the first time I saw it, I was probably looking at you more than Davros. You are a slight improvement after all.

The experiment continues…
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Doctor Who: Genesis of the Daleks [DVD] [1975]

Price: £9.15

4.9 out of 5 stars (94 customer reviews)

 

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Discussion

  1. John Williams  March 26, 2012

    Oi! I thought we had joint custody of the Nyder Twitter feed? That would make an ugly court case.

    • Neil Perryman  March 26, 2012

      I didn’t say I was the only one pretending to be him. And you are welcome to him, mate.

  2. James C  March 26, 2012

    And with that, your entire readership lets out a collective sigh of relief.

  3. John Williams  March 26, 2012

    You’ll regret it once it’s monetised.

  4. Lewis Christian  March 26, 2012

    Phew!

    That’s all I got really :p

  5. John Callaghan  March 26, 2012

    You’re aware that the home page caption for this story reads “caption”, I suspect. Very post-modern!

    Another enjoyable write-up.

  6. Chris Too-old-to-watch  March 26, 2012

    Really glad that Sue enjoyed this as much as everyone else. Padding is kept to a minimum and story and direction are as good as they get. It just goes to show what the original series could do on a shoestring budget when they really tried. Are any of the new series dalek stories as good – discussion please.
    On another note I am disappointed that Sue missed the two ‘Allo’Allo Nazis…..

    • John S. Hall  March 26, 2012

      Boy, you two are flying through these in no time flat!

    • Lewis Christian  March 26, 2012

      I’d argue episode 4/5 is pretty much padding, with the rocket stuff. It impacts on the story but feels like it drags on and on a bit.

      • Robert Dick  March 27, 2012

        There is a tad too long between ‘No tea, Harry’ and ‘Have I that right?’

        I prefer the other Hinchcliffe six-partners but hey, such company to be in.

    • Dave Sanders  March 26, 2012

      No.

      Short discussion.

    • Patrick Sanders  March 26, 2012

      ‘Dalek’ is a cracker, and in the ‘Bad Wolf’ two-parter they are formidable and ruthless. They’re still pretty awesome in ‘Doomsday’, partly due to the shock cliffhanger seeing them in, though when they get into dialogue with the Cybermen it drags – and that’s part of the problem from then on. I don’t hate the other new stories (though ‘Victory’ does get very silly) but the more we see them the weaker they get – for instance, looking over their shoulders to have a sly chinwag in a New York sewer. It reminds me of the diminishing returns throughout the Hartnell period, and the more they have to talk and explain their plans the weaker they get (though the voices are great). ‘Power’ and the first 15 minutes of ‘Victory’ both made them sneaky and menacing, and ‘Genesis’ made them fresh and nasty. Equally we got the great Davros who at last could make Dalek plots eloquent, but again familiarity bred boredom. I’m not keen on the new daleks yet, but from the new trailer it’s possible we may get a better sense of what they can do. Maybe something fresh… But not as fresh as Sue got in this posting – she offered to watch a 6-parter in one sitting and you turned her down? Are you mad? I fear the polarity of your personalities is being reversed. Soon you will be hammering nails into chipboard as she excitedly writes a thesis on the origins of the Mara…

      • Dave Sanders  March 26, 2012

        Oh, I forgot about Dalek. It’s actually easy to forget it’s part of the list despite it being that good, because of how the Dalek is treated as a proper character instead of a lethal destructive force of nature.

        There’s also the Davros bits in Journey’s End, but since that fanboy squee wouldn’t exist without Genesis to begin with, it doesn’t really count.

      • encyclops  March 26, 2012

        For some reason I find it hard to think of the season finales as “Dalek episodes,” even though I can’t really argue otherwise. Perhaps it’s that they all come across as “surprise! it’s the f***ing Daleks again” because supposedly nothing else (except maybe the Master lipsyncing to the Scissor Sisters) can top them. Beg to differ, and yet I do think “Bad Wolf”/”The Parting of the Ways” does a decent job of making the old pepperpots a bit scary. Maybe “Doomsday” does too — it’s been a while since I’ve seen it. That thing where they drag Earth across space…not so much. Just my opinion, natch.

        I always get a bit of a Blake’s 7 vibe from “Genesis”…perhaps it just happens to be at the point where T*N and Robert Holmes intersect.

    • Loki  March 26, 2012

      I’d say Dalek is the best of the new series. On the classic side, I think Power of the Daleks though is really kickass.

      • BWT  March 27, 2012

        Yes. This. Without question. My three favourite Dalek installments. Superb…

  7. Paul Greaves  March 26, 2012

    “You have no stamina anymore, that’s your problem. What does this say about our relationship, I wonder? I just offered to watch six episodes of Doctor Who with you and you turned me down. Never say that I don’t offer.”

    Sue’s Finest Moment :)

  8. Frankymole  March 26, 2012

    Psst, Guy Siner played Ravon (no mention of his “leetle tank”), not James Garbutt…

    However I do not know what other story Rosemary Crowson worked on!

    • Neil Perryman  March 26, 2012

      Fixed. Sorry.

      And Sue has never seen an episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo so that was all lost on her.

      • solar penguin  March 26, 2012

        Never!?! How did she manage that?

        When this is finished, you’ll have to start an Adventures With The Wife In Occupied France blog.

        • Neil Perryman  March 26, 2012

          I will say this only once – no ****ing way.

          • PolarityReversed  March 26, 2012

            On a similar issue:
            Stephen Yardley – Howard’s ****ing Way???
            **** Allo Allo, Secret Army please…

          • Frankymole  March 27, 2012

            If no single episode of ‘Allo ‘Allo (not even to show off Sarah-bothering Thal Hillary Minster – who was a Thal in Planet of the Daleks too – twice the Thal for yer money) then Stephen Yardley at least deserves exposure – superb in The XYY Man, Day of the Triffids (ep 1 or 2, a David Maloney production) or Blakes 7 “Sand” which is unmissable. The guy is a cult hero!

            Can’t believe how sh!te “Howard’s Way” was though, given the cast. A waste. Could’ve been a “Plane Makers”.

          • PolarityReversed  March 27, 2012

            From the very limited viewing I gave it at the time, I got the feeling Howard’s Way was a sort of ill-judged attempt at a Brit answer to the likes of Dallas and Dysentery. For some reason, the theme tune still sticks in my head though.

            Neil – get Sue the boxset of Secret Army for her next birthday. She’ll be giving you footrubs.

  9. Alex Wilcock  March 26, 2012

    Sighs of relief all round, and some top Sue moments – I love that it starts with her version of the Doctor’s moral dilemma from the end: “Oh no! Six episodes?” / “Genesis of the Daleks! Yes!” / “Terry ****ing Nation!”

    Hinchcliffe / Holmes watch:
    “This is definitely not for the kids.”
    “This is very bleak.”
    “This is ****ing bleak.”
    “It’s sadistic, don’t you think?” “Yeah, but I do like Sarah Jane’s jumper.”
    And my personal fave: “I bet Mary Whitehouse choked on a scone during that bit.”

    “I bet the mutants are nice; mutants are always nice.”

    “Yes, I can definitely see why you chose this particular story to show me. If it had been The Zarbi Planet you would have been out on your ear.”

    “Some things might be better with the Daleks.”
    “Yeah, Doctor Who‘s ratings for a start.”
    …Though this got almost the worst ratings of the season. Still, it’s been on so many times everyone’s seen it since, haven’t they?

    But to prove I’m not a complete Hadoke, I did have to look up Rosemary Crowson.
    “Of all the stories for Rosie to work on, she didn’t half pick a good one.”
    “The other one she worked on isn’t too shabby, either.”
    So do you think the Blake’s 7s she got were some kind of karma?

  10. Alex Wilcock  March 26, 2012

    My one surprise is that Sue didn’t wonder how the Thals and the Kaleds managed to fight for a Millennium if their Domes are just down the road from each other.

    The question’s been answered by the fabulous Millennium Dome (no relation), Elephant, in Mysteries of Doctor Who #2: Skaro’s Neighbours From Hell. Go on. It’s a good read.

    • Paul Kirkley  March 27, 2012

      You’re right – that is a good read. Having adored Genesis of the Daleks as a kid (I nearly wore the LP version out) these days I really struggle to get beyond the central flawed premise of the 1,000 year war between civilisations that appear to be several yards apart, living in domes which their enemies can wander in and out of at will. It’s the same reason I can’t take The Doctor’s Daughter, with its absurd “week-long war” premise, seriously. But I really should try, as Genesis clearly has so much other stuff going for it.

      • encyclops  March 27, 2012

        The way I see it, if you can fix the flawed premise by moving a decimal point around, it’s easily overlooked. The “wander in and out of at will” problem is a little trickier, though, I’ll admit.

        I think there are lots of other good reasons not to take “The Doctor’s Daughter” seriously, so you’re on solid ground there.

  11. Russell Watson  March 26, 2012

    those Nyder & Davros pages absolutley cracked me up. Maybe i’m more a “specialist” than I care to believe. lol.

    As for the review, thought we were heading for a ten out of ten there but can see where Sue’s coming from. I have questioned his difference between the start & end of the episode from “do I have the right?” to “Hell yeah” .

    An absolute classic, though I fear Sue won’t be as complimentary of the next story which was acutally the first Doctor Who I remember, clearly, watching when my brother got the video in 1990 or there abouts & remains one of my absolute favourites.

    • Chris Too-old-to-watch  March 26, 2012

      Surely the Doctor’s moral dilemma to genocide changes according to the circumstances: the first time, the daleks were less of a threat than the second time. There could have been another way. Once all the threats to dalek development have been removed, the logical thing is to destroy the embryo daleks. I don’t suppose this aregument will cut much ice with ethical absolutists, but the Doctor has always shown himself to have different morals to human beings (clubbed-to-death-caveman anybody?)
      Anyway, the Doctor is never commiting genocide: there are always the mutants within the travel machines, not to mention plenty of genetic material in the Kaleds for breeding of more dalek mutants.

      • Dan  March 26, 2012

        If you mean by ethical absolutist anyone who’s not a relativist, then that’s a good thing I think. Relativism falls apart very easily.

      • Dan  March 26, 2012

        Nothing wrong with ethical absolutism, if by that you just mean non-relativism. Relativism falls part very easily once you examine it. Most people naturally mean that something really is immoral when they say so, and why not?

        Is the possibility of some threat to dalek development really the thing that stops the Doctor first time round? I thought it was “have I the right”. In that case it doesn’t then later become logical to kill off the nascent species.

        • Leo  March 26, 2012

          He isn’t killing off the nascent species by the later point, because there are already several Daleks active by then who aren’t dependent on anything that happens in the incubation room.

          The “Have I the right?” debate centres on whether or not the Doctor, or indeed anyone, has the right to wipe out a whole species, and moreover before it has properly come into being, to prevent it from ever having existed. This possibility no longer applies by the time he returns there later, because a number of Daleks, which he had earlier been hoping Gharman would either have destroyed or altered, have already taken over the situation, so all he can hope to do is try to weaken their position. Destroying the incubation room in those circumstances is akin to his arranging to have the Ice Warrior fleet destroyed in Seeds of Death, or blowing up the Zygon ship in Terror of the Zygons, or the Nucleus and its Swarm in Invisible Enemy – it causes a loss of life, but it’s an attack on his adversaries, rather than the complete destruction of the species, or preventing it from ever having existed. There is still scope to question the morality of it, in the same way as there is to question that of the other examples mentioned, but it would be a matter of debating whether or to what extent violent and indeed deadly methods were morally justified in counter attacking a dangerous horde. That’s not quite the same question which the Doctor’s earlier debate is about, which is more concerned with whether he has the right to take responsibility for having prevented a species from ever existing at all.

          • Dan  March 26, 2012

            So Sue was wrong that he was going back in time to kill a small child. Not genocide, different discussion, therefore mark should be changed to a 10.

          • Chris Too-old-to-watch  March 27, 2012

            The “Have I the right” speech is really about highlighting the difference between the Doctor and Davros: the Doctor thinks about what his actions will mean in destroying only one species: Davros has no compunction in releasing a virus that will destroy all life in the universe.
            Anyway, the Doctor does commit genocide in a few years…..

  12. Wholahoop  March 26, 2012

    I particularly agreed with Sue’s comment about the strong characterisations of virtually all dramatis personae (or whatever the phrase is meant to be). The thal female was called Bettan (I think). If that is correct it means she must have been good as I can hardly remember any other thal character names from other stories, not even the one Chancellor Goth played, ooh hang on, getting ahead of myself again.

  13. Simon Harries  March 26, 2012

    “I stepped from the TARDIS onto a bleak planet…” What an enjoyable read! When one knows a story as well as we all probably know Genesis – from the various repeats, the multiple VHS and DVD viewings, the multiple listens of the 1979 LP, to the extent that you know Tom Baker’s narration off by heart and can hear it in your head while watching the TV version – it’s a real thrill to follow Sue’s journey through it. We all know what’s coming, we wonder what Sue will think, we love it when she pays it a compliment and yet we can still be taught a thing or two when she makes a left-field observation, something we may all have missed no matter how many times we’ve seen it. Her quote, “So basically what the Doctor is saying is it’s fine to go back in time and kill a small child…” is a case in point, because I’ve been too busy enjoying watching Davros get his just desserts to notice.

    As regards the Rosemary Crowson reference, my favourite comment came from Neil: “Just think, if this was the 1960s we might have heard her.”

  14. Paul Mudie  March 26, 2012

    Good old Sue, she didn’t let us down. Although it might have been perversely amusing if she’d given this one a kicking…

    I’m prepared to accept that the script was all Terry ****ing Nation’s work, but it does make me wish that ALL of his Dalek stories could have been this good.

    • Richard Lyth  March 26, 2012

      Considering the massive quality gap between the last few Dalek stories and this one, it seems pretty likely that Robert Holmes must have done some extensive rewriting. But Terry Nation must have written the first draft at least, otherwise we wouldn’t have the giant clams…

      • Jazza1971  March 26, 2012

        Isn’t it a matter of record that when Nation delivered his first version of this story, Terrance Dicks and Barry Letts pointed out to him that although the story he had delivered was good it was too similar to earlier dalek stories he had previously written? Letts then suggested he wrote a story about the origin of the daleks.

        • Iain Coleman  March 27, 2012

          Yeah, and I’m pretty sure the quality of this story is down to Terry Nation being given a much-needed kick up the arse by Robert Holmes, rather than Holmes extensively rewriting the script. If you compare Genesis to other 1970s scripts that Nation actually gave a toss about – early Survivors, the first episode of Blake’s 7 – then the authorial voice and the plot obsessions are clearly all from the same writer. Conversely, there’s little in this story that one could point to as characteristically Holmesian.

          • Frankymole  March 27, 2012

            Barry Letts and Terrance Dicks administered the kick up the arse (as well as Bazza gifting Terry the title) – “you’ve sold us this story three times already”. Terry Nation, after several years down to earth in The Avengers, Persuaders!, etc seemed to get a second wind for SF – as well as Survivors, he dreamt up the superb Blakes 7. Yes, some of the tropes are there – radiation, post-apocalyptic / fascist mileux and all, but so is the wit, caustic cynicism, and a great turn for character – Kerr Avon could only be Terry’s. Same goes for Davros – years before Holmes came up with “Bent Face” and his clones (Sharaz Jek…) Nation had some skill or he wouldn’t have done all the 60s/70s series he did. But Who fans forget or ignore other work.

          • Paul Mudie  March 28, 2012

            Indeed. There’s very little humour in Genesis, and I’m sure Holmes would have slipped more witty dialogue in there. A dead giveaway is the lack of a comedy double-act! Unless we count Davros and Nyder…

  15. Dominic Francis  March 26, 2012

    “Ooh, Thals!”

    One for the range of mugs, methinks…

    • Jamie  March 26, 2012

      If ever there was a mug produced with the slogan “Ooh look…rocks!”….

  16. solar penguin  March 26, 2012

    The first time Terry ****ing Nation has a ruthless character whose name sounds a bit like Avon. Makes you wonder what B7 would’ve been like with Guy SIner instead of Paul Darrow!

    Anyway, like everyone else, I’m glad Sue loved this one. Is there anyone, anywhere who doesn’t love it?

    • Matthew Marcus  March 26, 2012

      I don’t love it! Donning protective outerwear and I prepare to become the most hated man in Who fandom…

    • Dave Sanders  March 26, 2012

      “Surely the Doctor would know who Davros is if he comes from the future? It would be like travelling back in time to stop the Nazis from invading Poland but not knowing that Hitler was the leader of the Nazis. It doesn’t make sense.”

      It made even less sense after John Peel had a go at it, believe me.

      • Loki  March 26, 2012

        I have a feeling that Davros was less well known than the Daleks because he died and was stuck on Skaro while the Daleks spread out and terrorized the universe. (think Big Finish radio drama ‘Davros’, one of the initial conversations between Willis and Kim suggests that Davros is not a household name)

      • Jamie  March 26, 2012

        If this is the first time the Doctor’s met Davros along his own timeline, I think not.

        • John G  March 27, 2012

          “If this is the first time the Doctor’s met Davros along his own timeline, I think not.”

          Exactly, and it is reasonable to assume that it is, given that the Doctor has never encountered Davros on screen or heard his name up till now, even when the Thals filled him in on the history of Skaro’s races in the first Dalek story.

    • Dave Sanders  March 26, 2012

      Just be thankful B7 didn’t have Jill Tarrant from Death To The Daleks in it.

      • Matt Sharp  March 26, 2012

        Oh, yes – according to one of the extras on one of the B7 DVDs, the very first thing that June Hudson thought to do following the discovery of spandex was to wrap Hariet ‘Bettan’ Philbin’s bum with it. And there was much rejoicing…

        Joy Harrison in the same situation probably wouldn’t have had the same impact at all.

    • Chris Too-old-to-watch  March 26, 2012

      I can just imagine it, Gruber as Avon: “Ding-Dong Avon calling. Oh bona to varda your dolly old eek Servalan….” (Apologies to Julian and Sandy)

    • Frankymole  March 27, 2012

      ” Is there anyone, anywhere who doesn’t love it?” I did go off it for a while (repeated to death), mainly as it doesn’t have enough Daleks. After that electrifying scene where the Dalek prototype “identified the alien in our midst”… Then again – less is more. Michael Wisher owns this, with Peter Miles and Ian Marter (and a big slew of fabulous guest actors, not to mention designers, crew, production assistants etc) not far behind. David Maloney’s direction out-Camfields Camfield.

      “No tea, Harry.”

      As a kid I thought the muto with the big “hitchhiking thumb” was a wrapped-up Dalek! Being shrouded and lurking around on cliffs is verry Terrornation. Exxilons did it, but so did the G.H.O.S.T.S in “Rebecca’s World” (remember that?)

      Not the Number One story for me (Green Death, Seeds of Doom or a couple of 60s tales beat it), but easily top 5.

  17. matt bartley  March 26, 2012

    I was expecting Sue to hate the resolution to episode two’s cliffhanger – I know I do.

  18. Matthew Marcus  March 26, 2012

    Good to see Sue picking up on one of the big problems I have with Genesis – people always point to the “Have I the right?” speech as some kind of shining moral centre point to the 26 glorious years of Classic Who… but this is totally undercut by the fact that, five minutes later, the Doctor decides that yes, he does have the right after all.

    This is obviously confidently made, a fair bit more “adult” than previous outings, a production team hitting its stride, yadda yadda, but for me it’s hardly Terry Nation suddenly and inexplicably developing the power to write amazing scripts, so much as everyone around him doing the best job possible with his usual low-IQ Boy’s Own Adventure fodder. Borrowing the iconography of World War 2 may make a story more affecting, but it doesn’t make it automatically clever or interesting, at least not for me. Accepting that it takes all sorts to make a happy fandom; and being glad that Genesis provides as much pleasure for so many people as it does; I still find Season 12 pretty mediocre at best, and I’d still rather watch Revenge of the Cybermen (just to cement my perversity!)

    • Dave Sanders  March 26, 2012

      RotC works a lot better once you understand the Cybermen, and the story as a whole, are intentionally meant to be something of a sad old relic just so they wouldn’t have to do another one like it. Funnily enough, I remember how it came across to me at the time as being totally fitting, when I was just five years old. It wasn’t just me either, since it was voted as the first BBC Video release nine years later despite not being very good.

  19. Glen Allen  March 26, 2012

    Well…
    I’m loving the fact that Sue is usually silent when Tom is on screen. By all acount this is a rare thing, although not to be encouraged or we’d all die of boredom :)

    “Glen Allen doesn’t make the same mistake. Obviously.”
    Hmm yes this is an odd one. I had no idea that that little continuity bit was going to pop up on this DVD. Had I known, Id have said something rather more interesting than pointing to The O Zone later on BBC 2.. Oh well it was lovely to be included

    Its far too early in Tom’s reign to be able to ask Sue to NOW choose her favourite Doctor but the moment has been prepared for, and will be asked in due course.

    An excellent read… and of course Sarah will infamously make a mountain out of another molehill in about 9 years time

  20. Dave Sanders  March 26, 2012

    “Although I did pretend to be Nyder on Twitter for a while….”

    I wondered who that was! I only found it the other day.

  21. Bryan Simcott  March 26, 2012

    Mary Whitehouse would have choked on a scone …seeing that.

    I`m not big on the T short front (I1m too big to fit the bloody things :) ) but this one made me laugh …

    I`m not a great fan of Genesis as its been “done to death” over the years but its true that the Direction, casting etc all have huge siginicance from here on in, and will continue to do so for the next 3 years .

    • Dave Sanders  March 26, 2012

      The Mass Effect series being just the latest in a loooooooooooooooong line of pseudo-morality sci-fi knockoffs.

  22. DPC  March 26, 2012

    It’s an awesome story, but regarding the lighting — it stunk. The Doctor and friends (and, later, enemies) always turn corridors after seeing something and just at the right time — except there’s clearly no shadow for them to indicate they’re about to be caught. Maybe the Doctor is empathic like Counselor Troi and can sense when people are approaching?

    That’s a nitpick, but it’s the only one worth mentioning… apart from the resolution to Sarah’s cliffhanger drop where they chat and show she was never in any danger now…

  23. Jazza1971  March 26, 2012

    “Is that thing hitchhiking?” and the relevant photo would make a great t-shirt!

  24. Mag  March 26, 2012

    Gah? Sue rates Spearhead from Space higher than Genesis?!

    • Lewis Christian  March 26, 2012

      *insert witty comment here about Sue only being human and also having some ‘off days’ :p*

    • encyclops  March 26, 2012

      That’s the trouble with numeric ratings: so satisfying, yet there’s always the temptation to go back and “normalize” when more data comes in.

      Consider also the context: “Spearhead” was the first color story, for one thing. That had to be refreshing.

  25. Tim Cook  March 26, 2012

    Re the ‘clip to be shown when Tom Baker dies’ comments, I recall that when Jon Pertwee died, BBC News decided to illustrate the report with a ‘funny’ clip of wobbly scenery from ‘Day of the Daleks’.

    By the by, will ‘The Pescatons’ be included in this experiment? It’s due after ‘The Seeds of Doom’ I think, and was considered canon enough to get its own (terrible) novelisation from Target.

    • Glen Allen  March 26, 2012

      Oh dear God, Pescatons? I hope not. :)

      • Frankymole  March 27, 2012

        Surely they cannot miss out BBC schools’ “Exploration Earth”. That’s even on the same CD as “Genesis”!

        Or the Crackerjack sketches. Or Dr Emu and the Deadly Dustbins. There was a lot mroe to being a Who fan than just watching the show – after all, that was only on for 25 minutes a week! We had to fill our days somehow when not making K9s out of cardboard boxes, or Krotons out of baked bean tins (or scoffing industrial quantities of Walls lollies or Sugar Puffs).

      • solar penguin  March 27, 2012

        It’ll be worth doing The Pescatons just for Sue’s reaction.

  26. Paul Kirkley  March 26, 2012

    Is it as good as The Lodger, though?

    • Dave Sanders  March 26, 2012

      Are you kidding? After Genesis, Davros is the lodger you can’t get rid of.

  27. Loki  March 26, 2012

    I loved this one! One of my new favorites and it has nothing to do with my love of Davros. But those Facebook and Twitter pages cracked me up. The sheer amount of geekery involved, oh man. “I think he’s in love with Davros.” Ha! Have you seen that fake Big Finish album cover that suggests it is so? ‘The Henchman Chronicles’, Nyder One Thing Nor the Other.

    Lots of great lines here, and a brilliant episode. I don’t know why people are on about the ‘have I the right?’ speech. I know its iconic, but the capsule speech kicks its butt in my opinion.

    Sue knows that the Doctor commits genocide multiple times, right?

  28. Loki  March 26, 2012

    You know what the sequel to Wife in Space should be? Going through the Big Finish dramas!

    • Lewis Christian  March 26, 2012

      Yeah… ending with a very ironic Big Finish to their marriage, I suspect :p

      Best stay clear for now!

  29. encyclops  March 26, 2012

    I’ve never heard any of the Big Finishes, partly because they always seemed even less canonical than the novels (which probably shouldn’t matter, but it somehow does) and partly because every time I tried to buy one the checkout flow didn’t work. Which one should I Google to find out what their explanation of Davros’s disability is?

    I remember the FASA role-playing game (I KNOW) blamed a Thal rocket attack. Or was it a Kaled rocket that malfunctioned? I think there was some irony in there somewhere, perhaps only the Alanis Morrissette “it figgers” style irony.

    As to the charges of genocide: I am in the camp that doesn’t require the Doctor to be a moral paragon. I hope he’s better than most organic lifeforms would be in his situation, but if he’s perfect I don’t think he’s plausible. I also don’t think he has the Olympian physical constitution suggested by the abuse he takes in the form of David Tennant (electrocution, freezing, and so on), and in general reject attempts to deify him or any other Time Lord. In my opinion, raising the question is only half the moral battle; the other half is parsing what circumstances it takes to answer that question in the affirmative.

    • Frankymole  March 27, 2012

      Some source (not sure if it is the FASA game) insists that Davros is “mutated” – somewhat ironic given how the Kaleds, and Thals, treat mutations. Cast out as Mutos! So presumably Davros’s horrific injuries are just that – not genetic. However, he himself is more than content to induce mutations in embryos to find out the “future form” of his race. Yes, kind of ironic. The “master race” are ultimately mutants – therefore a new race.

      • solar penguin  March 27, 2012

        IIRC the text on the Movellan computer screen in Destiny says that Davros is a mutant. So there’s some canonical justification for it. OTOH if John Peel is right, nothing about the Movellans can be believed. (Good job he’s wrong then.)

        • Frankymole  March 29, 2012

          Good point. Davros could’ve been attacked by some mutagen (thank goodness a Morlox wasn’t in the vicinity – or a giant clam) but maybe the Kaleds didn’t chuck him out into the wasteland because (a) he’s too useful/distinguished/mentally-in-favour-of-Kaled supremeacy and wiping out everyone else, (b) can’t breed (although clearly he can use his own cells to breed Daleks), (c) managed to convince them he wasn’t mutated since he was normal before the attack i.e. born “untainted”. Was it Terrance Dicks who first posited that Davros was crippled by a Thal shell, or was it from a Terry Nation annual/omnibus?

          Incidentally what about the theory that the Giant Clams are the “Mark I Travel Machine”? Personally I thought Davros’s chair or some development of it was more likely to be the mark I. The shells used in the 1963-64 story were probably Mark IIs, adopted by Kaled mutants until they got their own production lines off the ground.

    • Neowhovian  March 27, 2012

      The relevant Big Finish audio is called I, Davros. I haven’t heard it myself, but it’s a four-parter that’s supposed to follow him from youth through his development of the Daleks (or some such).

      Anywho, you can get it at the Big Finish website (http://www.bigfinish.com/I-Davros), and the download for all 4 parts is only $15 (don’t know the price in £ (I expect £15), since they just show local currency).

      • solar penguin  March 27, 2012

        I, Davros was also included as an extra in the Davros DVD box set.

      • Robert Dick  March 29, 2012

        Actually the audio Davros covers it. I, Davros then came along later and went into much more detail though. Both are worth doing for those interested enough.

  30. Peter J Ross  March 26, 2012

    Does Peter Miles know about those wonderful Facebook and Twitter pages? I expect he’d be vastly amused. Would Sue remember him from The Silurians?

    • Jamie  March 26, 2012

      She would have done, were it not for the ‘Terry Wogan’ atop his bonce.

  31. CJJC  March 26, 2012

    I’m glad that Sue has been assured that Rodney Bewes showing up in a Dalek story would be a silly idea.

    • PolarityReversed  March 27, 2012

      What you have to understand, our kid, is that things have changed round here while you’ve been off terrorising the galaxy with your plungers and such. It’s not like it was when the Thals kept winning the Cup against insuperable odds, you know. Me and the rest of the lads have redecorated the ship in tasteful avocado. We’re moving up in the universe. And you needn’t go around blaming the Doctor for your outmoded exterminating tendencies neither, even though he’s now dressed even dafter than ever…

    • solar penguin  March 27, 2012

      Of course, just to keep Sue happy, If Rodney Bewes did appear in a Dalek story, it would have to be a very grim, sadistic, and gritty one, ideally less than six episodes long, with location filming somewhere more interesting than a quarry, and with the Doctor very morally wimping out from killing the baddy in cold blood.

      What are the chances of that happening…!?!

      • Frankymole  March 29, 2012

        Didn’t his “Whatever Happened To The Likely Lads” missus (Bridgit Forsyth) appear earlier in a Dalek story where the Doctor was unnecesarily sadistic to Jamie… and the real-life wife of his fellow Likely Lad was going play the sadistic Morgan in “Colony in Space” until she was vetoed because apparently a dominatrix was deemed too strong for the BBC at teatime. So Bewes and sadism go hand-in-hand.

    • Noodles  March 27, 2012

      It’d just be so strange to see him in such a different context. I wouldn’t be able to stand the confusion in my mind.

  32. CJJC  March 27, 2012

    Also, I like to interpret the conversation between Davros and the Doctor (about whether the bechaired one would, hypothetically, release a virus that would destroy all life in the universe) as the moment when Davros finally works out how big a nutter he is, and likes what he sees.

  33. Nathan Darcy  March 27, 2012

    Growing up in the US I didn’t grow up with Doctor Who but with the coming of the new series in 2005 I quickly started watching. This lead in turn to watching some of the classic series. I started with this serial and I was instantly hooked so I was hoping that Sue would like like it and not dismember it. Also since I first saw this one I thought that this one was the origin of the Reality Bomb from series 4 of the new ones. That was Davros’ attempt to destroy all reality, just not in the form of a virus.
    Reading the updates has become a highlight of my week and I’ve recommended this to many of the people at my school who watch the show and they all love it.

  34. BWT  March 27, 2012

    I’d have to agree with Sue’s grading. Yes, it does seem a bit cliched that this is the serial that so many seem to be enamored by but then again, it *is* that good. Superb. Pepperpots and jackboots – as it was always meant to be. That is, if you believe Terry f***ing Nation’s revisionism and retconning *his* own Genesis for the Dalek mythos.

    Which reminds me: the T-shirt belongs to Neil this time with “I detect the hand of Robert Homes.”

    Have pity on us…

  35. Harry  March 27, 2012

    I don’t care if the score fell one short of a perfect 10, I am strangely delighted that Sue has rated this story so highly, showing that there are many qualities present, from the casting, the directing, the script and so on, that shine through even if one is not a fan as such.
    Given that I was born the same day as the final episode of Season 12 was first broadcast, I obviously don’t remember this on first transmission, but, such is the power of the story, while I don’t have any strong memories of watching story ‘X’ or ‘Y’ during the 80s (by which time I would have been more than old enough to have strong memories), I distinctly remember “Genesis of the Daleks” being repeated around Christmas, I think on the day itself, and really being taken in by the whole thing. It may not have been the first time I had seen the story, either…any earlier memories are hazy…but it means that, despite my age, my childhood memories of Doctor Who are as coloured by this masterpiece as by the contemporary episodes of the day. This is not meant as a criticism of 80s Who, or JNT bashing…indeed, there are some stories from that time that still stand up well…rather a declaration of how powerful “Genesis…” was, and still is.

  36. gangnet  March 27, 2012

    Doesn’t the Doctor commit genocide on a weekly basis in his Seventh Incarnation? My memories are dim, because I could never rewatch those things.
    Of course, the reason that the Doctor doesn’t know Davros is that it’s this history-change itself that makes him famous. The history of the Daleks is a bit of a disaster, but that’s how I read it.
    My understanding (I could be wrong) is that Terry Nation didn’t write most of the Dalek stories attributed to him; he’d turn in a page or two and say “Write the rest for me” or somesuch, and apparently everyone put up with it so that they could use his Daleks. I find it very hard to believe that he wrote this one.

    • Frankymole  March 29, 2012

      That’s the case for “Master Plan” but not most of the others. The way the same scenes crop up in “The Saint”, The Persuaders!”, “The Avengers”, “Survivors”, “Blakes 7″ etc does show most of them were his work – at least as much as any other credited writer on the show (though Holmes did compile most of Lewis Griefer’s, Bob Baker and Dave Martin’s, Louis Marx’s, and Gerry Davis’s work).

      • David Brunt  March 29, 2012

        That’s not at all true about Master Plan, despite Donald Tosh trying to claim the credit for it.

        If anything, Nation’s delivered scripts were quite lengthy and needed editing down to length. They’re certainly no shorter than the scripts for his three (and a bit) previous Dalek stories. The second Dalek story had polishing revisions by David Whitaker but the majority of the story content was Nation’s work. I suspect that’s what happened with Genesis. Holmes did a bit of work on dialogue here and there, but it was Nation’s work.

        The “back of a fag packet” scripts seem to be more a late 1970s occurance. Chris Boucher had major patch-up jobs to do on ‘Blake’s 7′ the further it got into Season one and beyond, but the latter were around the time when Nation was in the process of emigrating to America, so could be excused.

        He was just an old hack who could churn out the goods when needed. Rather like Allan Prior, Vince Powell and RTD.

  37. John G  March 27, 2012

    It’s great to see Sue enjoy a story so much, particularly one that is deserving of praise like Genesis. It is certainly one of the best Dalek stories ever made, though I must confess that I prefer Power and Master Plan. The trouble with Genesis is that it takes a couple of episodes to really kick into top gear, though once it does it becomes truly compelling. There is no doubt in my mind that Nation is the principal author, even if Holmes helped to toughen the script up and elaborate the dialogue; the preoccupations are Nation’s, and he was not averse to writing bleak stories, as had already been proved by The Daleks, Dalek Invasion of Earth and Master Plan, and would be demonstrated again by Blake’s 7.

    My inner fan was a little disappointed that Sue didn’t start comparing the account of Dalek origins we see here to the one the Doctor was given back in The Daleks, but in fairness a year has gone by and I can’t really expect her to remember the finer details of the earlier story!

    • Neil Perryman  March 27, 2012

      You’ll be lucky to get her to remember what she watched a couple of weeks ago!

      • Frankymole  March 29, 2012

        It’s fairly easy to reconcile the two stories of Dalek origins, anyway. Just don’t bring Yarvelling into it!

  38. charles yoakum  March 28, 2012

    so glad to see that sue rated this one so highly. an absolute classic in the books, and sue’s reaction is clearly one for it: she’s silent when baker is commanding the screen. Even in this first season, he’s magnetic in a way that Pertwee isn’t in Inferno or Spearhead, and those are great stories as well. Baker just kills it right out of the box, and thankfully the british public caught on to it as well.

    and it want this on a mug NOW: I bet Mary Whitehouse choked on a scone during that bit.

  39. Michael  March 28, 2012

    Like everyone else I’m glad she enjoyed it. Michael Wisher and Peter Miles are magnificent. The only thing that I would criticise is the fact that the Doctor is so serious in it. Yes, I know bad things are happening but they always do in Doctor Who and it doesn’t usually stop the 4th Doctor being funny. There are episodes in this where he doesn’t smile, make a joke or be eccentric for the entire episode. Still one one of my favourites.

    • John Callaghan  March 30, 2012

      Would you agree with the idea that the Doctor works best as a counterpoint to the tone of the rest of the story? In a grim tale, it’s best to have a larkier Doctor to reassure the viewers, whereas in a dafter episode, a more serious Doctor helps to ground proceedings and keep them believable. Would Genesis have the same reputation if the Doctor was making light of things?

      Mind you, you know me: I like larky.

  40. Nathan  March 28, 2012

    I always wanted to see the scene where Davros and Nyder crossed the wastelands to the Thal Dome.

    Did they pack sandwiches? What was in them? Egg again?

    And what happened when they knocked on the door and asked to come in. What did the Thal doorman say when their arch enemy trundled up to the door and asked if the Thal Prime Minister was in?

    Nyder knocked, obviously.

    • Chris Too-old-to-watch  March 29, 2012

      And on the way, was Davros incessantly asking “Are we there yet?

      • Andrew  March 29, 2012

        Must’ve taken them ages, what with Davros having to pedal that wee bogey of his all the way through rocky terrain. Perhaps the Thal city is downhill.

  41. Andrew  March 29, 2012

    I watched the last episode tonight for the first time in years and I’m pretty sure that Tom’s reading from cue-cards during his famous ‘do I have the right’ speech.

  42. Mike Sutton  March 30, 2012

    Davros, YOU ARE INSANE!!

  43. David Rolinson  March 31, 2012

    That’s how good this blog is: there *is* something new to be said about Genesis of the Daleks.