Number : Season 12, serial 3 of 4.

Which one : The Dalek beginning.

Cast : The Doctor : Tom Baker
Sarah-Jane : Liz Sladen
Harry : Ian Marter
Davros : Michael Wisher
Nyder : Peter Miles
Sevrin : Stephen Yardley
Bettan : Harriet Philpin
Gharman : Dennis Chinnery
Ronson : James Garbutt
Ravon : Guy Siner
Gerrill : Jeremy Chandler
Tane : Drew Wood
Kravos : Andrew Johns
Kavell : Tom Georgeson
Mogran : Ivor Roberts
Kaled Leader : Richard Reeves
Kaled Guard : Peter Mantle
Thal Politician : Michael Lynch
Time Lord : John Franklyn-Robbins

Written By : Terry Nation

Produced By : Philip Hinchcliffe

Length : 6 x 25 minute episodes.

First UK Broadcast : 8 March – 12 April 1975

Plot : The Doctor, Sarah-Jane and Harry have their transmat journey back to space station Nerva intercepted by the Time Lords. They are sent on a sabotage mission to the last days of the Kaled/Thal civil war – on Skaro and the beginning of the Daleks.

Whats good : The Kaled/Thal civil war, on Skaro. The events leading upto the creation of the Daleks, under the direction of Davros. “Do I have the right?” speech. A different angle on the Daleks.

Whats bad : Mainly SFX, Davros’ mask looks a little too rubbery now and the Dalek embryo’s look like something – coughed up from a lung infection!

Review With Spoilers : Another gem, with the third serial of season 12. A gem because – it takes the Daleks and does something fresh with them. By giving the viewer an interesting origin story – introduction of their creator; Davros.

There is alot of good ideas going on here, from a concept angle. For instance, we get to see the last painful days of the civil war on Skaro. Where both Kaleds and Thals, are fighting; with only basic technology left – to wage war. Due to all other resources, having been used-up over 100’s of years – of devastation and stalemate.

Baker’s Doctor finally gets to lock horns, with the creator of the Daleks; Davros. After years of battling his Dalek creations, their shared verbal sparring – is by far the most interesting spectacle here. In part due to the hatred but begrudging respect, each hold – for the other.

Also featuring as a standout moment, is Baker’s excellent moral searching, “Do I have the right?” speech. As the Doctor stands, with two paired detonator wires; ready to blow up the Dalek embryo chamber and kill them all – before they even begin.

“Do I have the right? Simply touch one wire against the other, and that’s it. The Daleks cease to exist. Hundreds of millions of people, thousands of generations can live without fear, in peace…… and never even know the word ‘Dalek’ ” The Doctor

The Hitler and Nazi parallels drawn – between the Davros and the Daleks; is tangible here. Even down to – the grey Dalek prototype shells, the militarial heel clicking of Davros’ Kaled soldiers – and Davros’ rambling speeches of “total power!”.

Davros’ right hand man; Snyder (Peter Miles) – is particularly devious and snidey (and has more than a passing resemblance to Brick Tamlin from Anchorman, with his severe side-parting and little round glasses). Peter Miles played a similar part – in the Pertwee adventure; Invasion Of The Dinosaurs.

The emotional human condition, is on trial here, too. As Davros extolls the virtues of banishing all of the “weak” traits, from his new evolved Kaled fighting machines. Only to succumb to his own creation, simply because the Davros makes the Daleks; too ruthless – and they exterminate him; rather than follow his orders.

Genesis Of The Daleks is testament of taking something staid – like the Daleks, unwinding their lore and doing something a bit different with it. Whilst adding to the legend in positive ways.

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (5/5)

Old Doctor Who

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