Genesis Of The Daleks was a 6 part fourth doctor story . It featured The Fourth Doctor and his companions Harry and Sarah-Jane

episode rootsEdit

the entire plot of Genisis Of The Daleks wasn't all from Terry Nation's imagination . Some ideas were based other culture . They were based on

  • The movie Dr.Strangeglove
  • the movie The satan Bug
  • The Avengers episodes Invasion Of The Earthmen and The Legacy Of Death
  • The Rise and fall of the third reich by William Sherier


A Time Lord intercepts the TARDIS crew en route to Nerva. It would normally be very dangerous to intercept a transmat beam, but the Time Lords long ago superseded such techniques. [The reference to this occurring when the Universe 'was less than half its present size' are unlikely to be accurate or else the Time Lords have existed for around 10,000 million years: cf 'The Trial of a Time Lord'.]

The Time Lords [via a Matrix projection] envisage a time when the Daleks will be the supreme power in the Universe and call on the Doctor. [There is some unconvincing waffle about 'seldom interfering', but this seems to be another CIA gig, the Doctor being told to pay the price for his freedom.

They want the Doctor to destroy the Daleks at the time of their origin [despite the fact that genocide is forbidden under Article Seven: see 'The Trial of a Time Lord'], or find some inherent weakness that can be used, or affect their development so they evolve into less aggressive creatures.

[The Time Lords must know what they are doing: if the Doctor succeeds, the disruption to the history of the Universe will be enormous See Carnival Of Monsters.] In the end the Doctor is unable to do any of these (in the case of total destruction he is unwilling ).

The Doctor's pocket contains a magnifying glass, the sonic screwdriver, his yo-yo, a pair of handcuffs, various lumps of brightly coloured rock, an item which he describes as 'an etheric beam locator, it's also useful for detecting ion charged emissions', and the time ring given to him by the Time Lords.

Skaro has been ravaged by a 1000 year war between the Kaleds and the Thals. There is a third ethnic group, the Mutos, mutants produced by the chemical weapons used during the first century of the war. Davros believes that the genetic mutation in the Kaleds is irreversible, and is experimenting with living cells to produce the prototype Daleks.

His early experiments involved animals, the resulting monsters being banished, along with the Mutos, into the wastelands. Davros is clearly old, stating that many times in the last 50 years the Government have tried to interfere with his work (it is never explained what, presumably horrific, accident brought about his infirmity).

The Doctor is forced into revealing the circumstances of every Dalek defeat he is aware of. He mentions the events of The Dalek Invasion of Earth, saying the attempt to mine the planet's core failed because of 'the magnetic properties of the Earth'.

Interestingly, he misdates the crisis to 'the year 2000'. He also talks of a Dalek invasion of Mars failing due to 'a virus that attacked the insulation cables of their electrical system'. [It seems likely that these are real events, as he is keen to destroy the tape when free. However, he lies tactically about the Dalek invasion of Earth so as not to reveal details of his own involvement.]

Bad acting , continuanity errors , and plain stupidity in this storyEdit

Sarah has a premonition of Revenge of the Cybermen (she mentions the beacon, but Nerva was not a beacon in that story).

How can you have a 1000 year war between two cities within spitting distance of each other?

Similarly, if the Kaleds can get into the Thal dome so easily (right up to the door of the Thal cabinet room), then why the war of attrition?

At the end of episode two, Sarah falls outside the gantry: in episode three's resolution, she falls onto a platform inside it. (A massive cop out.)

In episode three, between the Doctor looking up at the rocket and the soldier crawling to the switch, there is a single frame of the Doctor's back, the result of sloppy editing.

The Doctor seems magically to recover his coat between episodes one and six.

Will it really take the Daleks 1000 years to get through a blocked tunnel?

interisting facts about this storyEdit

The freeze-frame cliffhanger at the end of Part Two represents the series' first use of this technique.

Guy Siner and Hilary Minster, here seen playing playing Kaled and Thal soldiers respectively, later appeared in the BBC sitcom 'Allo, 'Allo.

Some of the Thal guns were previously used by the Drahvins in the season three story Galaxy 4.

Part of an Ice Warrior costume is seen in one shot, representing one of the mutant creatures produced by Davros in his experiments.

The BBC's official plot synopsis!Edit

Terry Nation's last two Dalek stories, Planet of the Daleks and Death to the Daleks, had been somewhat clichéd and unoriginal, and it had seemed that the Doctor's greatest adversaries were destined for an ignoble end playing out ever more hackneyed and repetitive material. Genesis of the Daleks changed all that. Indeed, as Nathan Roberts commented in Star Begotten Volume 3 Number 1/2, dated winter/spring 1989: 'The problem with reviewing a story like Genesis of the Daleks is that it is easy to run out of superlatives... Like a lot of Hinchcliffe's and Holmes' work, it is dramatic, gritty and uncompromising, pushing the show to its creative boundaries in almost every sphere of production.'

Not only are Terry Nation's scripts well-written and full of new ideas, while still remaining true to the Daleks' roots by effectively equating them with the Nazis of the Second World War (perhaps the most obvious example of this after season two's The Dalek Invasion of Earth), but the story's production values are also extremely high. Director David Maloney is able to make an otherwise standard Doctor Who quarry really look like a mist-shrouded alien planet, and his slow motion opening sequence of a group of soldiers being massacred in a hail of bullets sets the scene for an unusually grim and horrific six-parter. This is a story about survival at any cost, and neither its writer nor those responsible for bringing it to the screen shirks from conveying the harrowing implications.

The story really kicks into gear with the introduction of Davros. It has by this point become virtually standard procedure in Doctor Who for a dominant central character to be brought in to act as the leader of a race of popular monsters, who are then reduced to the status of mere 'heavies' standing around in the background, handling the violent action and - if they are lucky - uttering the occasional line of dialogue. The Cybermen have been made subservient to their Controller (The Tomb of the Cybermen), their Planner (The Wheel in Space) and their Director (The Invasion), and similarly the Ice Warriors have been given their commanding officers in the form of Slaar (The Seeds of Death), Izlyr (The Curse of Peladon) and Azaxyr (The Monster of Peladon). Now it is the turn of the Daleks to play second fiddle; and although the conclusion to Part Six encouragingly suggests that they are going to buck the trend by killing their creator and reasserting their own dominance, later stories will prove this not to be the case.

Davros is, however, a masterful creation. Almost every line that he is given to speak is quotable and Michael Wisher, who could have been born to play the part, turns in a truly electrifying performance that overshadows all other aspects of the story. This near-perfect combination of scripting and acting brings Davros to life as an utterly compelling character, whose deranged genius is portrayed with such conviction that the audience holds its collective breath whenever he is on the screen. 'Michael Wisher's [performance] as Davros must rate as one of the most powerful ever... in Doctor Who,' enthused Richard Walter in Baker's Best in 1981. 'Undoubtedly the superb make-up helped, but having an actor who had previously been a Dalek "voice" was a great idea. At times Davros could have been a Dalek, the tone of his voice changing dramatically depending on his mood and often demonstrating just how ruthless he was.' Roberts was similarly impressed. 'The real stars of the story... are undoubtedly Peter Miles as Nyder and Michael Wisher as Davros, and both give remarkable performances; the latter especially considering that the only way for him to project the character was through his voice - the normal range of facial and bodily expression (with the exception of a slightly moving right arm) were unavailable to him. This alone makes Wisher's performance all the more breathtaking.' This is not the story of the creation of the Daleks, as its title might suggest. It is first and foremost Davros's story, and it is for him that it is chiefly remembered.

The story's faults are few and far between. There is a rather daft scene in which Harry clumsily puts his foot into the mouth of a giant clam that promptly tries to eat him, and many of the scientist characters serve no other purpose than to act as Dalek-fodder. In addition, although the cliffhanger ending to the first episode is great, being perfect in its timing and sense of anticipation of things to come, some of the others are a bit duff. Sarah falling from a gantry (only to land safely on a previously unseen beam at the start of the following episode) and the Doctor somehow becoming attached to an electrified fence are not exactly the stuff of nightmares.

These few minor failings are quickly forgotten, however, amongst all the wonderful things that this story has to offer. Scenes such as the one in which the Doctor debates with Davros the morality of the creation of the Daleks, likening them to a deadly virus with the potential to wipe out all life in the universe, and the one in which he agonises over whether or not he has the right to commit genocide by blowing up the Daleks' incubation chamber and destroying them at birth, are amongst the most dramatic and intelligent that the series ever produced. The BBC's Audience Research Report on the story's concluding instalment suggests that many contemporary viewers realised that it was something a bit special: 'A little more complex than some Doctor Who adventures, perhaps, and with underlying questions of conscience, the serial had been "different" it was occasionally felt and, although dismissed in some quarters as far-fetched, long drawn-out, confused and/or predictable, had provided acceptable escapist entertainment for the majority.'

Genesis of the Daleks is a gem of a story, with little padding as six-parters go and fine performances from all the cast. 'So Frankenstein is once more destroyed by his monster,' wrote Keith Miller in DWFC Mag Number 24, dated May/June 1975. 'The Doctor, Sarah and Harry say a very rushed goodbye to the Thals, grab hold of the time ring and whiz into outer space. The ending left me very puzzled. The Thals wandered away as if the Daleks had been destroyed. The Doctor and co faded away. What about the Daleks? It would only take them a matter of minutes to get through the blocked-up corridor.'

It seemed that the Daleks were destined to cross the Doctor's path again. More immediately, though, the very next story promised the long-awaited return of another of the series' most famous monster races...

t r