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Genesis of the Daleks

Reviewed by Paul Scoones

Of late, we have been treated to many of the classics of the Tom Baker era. Genesis of the Daleks is one of these without a doubt. As you will no doubt be aware, Genesis is meant to appear in between The Sontaran Experiment, and Revenge of the Cybermen, but for some reason that has yet to be adequately explained to me TVNZ left it out. This would've been inexcusable had they not elected to eventually screen Genesis, seven stories later.

The story rates quite simply as one of the very best Dalek stories of all time. The Daleks are tricky things to write adventures for - they're so limited in their physical capabilities, and so they are at their best when not appearing in the entire story, but remaining a scary and potentially lethal background menace. The stories I am thinking of are Power of the Daleks, Day of the Daleks, Revelation, and a few others. Genesis is of course also one of these.

Unusually for a six-parter, the pace is kept up throughout, a pace that doesn't allow you to stop and ask such uncomfortable questions as why wasn't Sarah affected by the radiation after loading the Thal rocket? How could two races living within walking distance of each other carry on a thousand years war? How will Bettan and her team survive in the wasteland, and the most difficult to explain away, How do the events of this story fit in with the very first Dalek story - The Daleks (1963)? This last question is one I have chosen to examine in more detail in an article in this issue.

Michael Wisher's Davros was superb, and more than made up for the slight woodeness of the rest of the cast. His death scene was one of the highlights of the story. Dalek creator, Terry Nation, wrote Genesis in part as a parallel with the Nazis. It is interesting to note that Guy Siner and Hilary Minster, German soldiers in 'Allo 'Allo, played like-roles in Genesis. Lastly, did you pick up on the hurried last minute costume change for Sarah and the Doctor to run into the next (but earlier made) story, Revenge of the Cybemen?

This item appeared in TSV 1 (July 1987).

Index nodes: Genesis of the Daleks